Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Embedded with the Kali Yuga

Embedded with the Kali Yuga

Embedded with the Kali Yuga will be a forum for essays, thoughts, poems, and musings, on any and all topics that affect and interest our readers and myself. The particular, and I hope unique, perspective that this column will bring is that all its topics will be viewed against the backdrop of the Kali Yuga with an eye to the alchemy that transmutes darkness to light, misunderstanding to lucidity, insult to compassion, and worry to laughter.
Yuga is a term that denotes a lengthy period of time within an even larger cycle consisting of four yugas that repeat endlessly throughout creation.
Kali is the period of time that we are now experiencing. Krita (sometimes called Satya), Treta, and Javpura (sometimes called Dwarpar) are the names of the other three yugas.
Opinion varies widely regarding the length of each yuga. For example, some say that our yuga, the Kali Yuga will last 432,000 years while others have calculated its length as 4,320,000 years. My own calculation is that Kali Yuga will last approximately a mere 5,750 years.
My thinking is this. It is clear from all Vedic sources that the last incarnation of God in Dwarpar, (the yuga before Kali) was Krishna. Most sources place his birth at approximately 3100 B.C.
The most recent incarnation of God (in the form of Meher Baba) “dropped his body” in 1969 A.D. He told us that he was the last Avatar of this cycle and that the next Avataric incarnation would be in a new age (Satya), approximately 750 years from now.
So doing the math:

3000 years from Krishna to 0 A.D.
+ 2000 years to incarnation of Meher Baba
+ 750 years to the new age (Satya) and the next coming of the Avatar
= 5,750 years

This is a difference of 4,314,250 years from the largest calculation! I can offer this explanation:
“Time passes differently according to one's situation in the cosmos. Lord Brahma lives for one hundred years, but his twelve hours consist of one thousand cycles of four ages (yugas): Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. A single cycle of Kali, the shortest, yuga, corresponds to 4,320,000 solar years.
The duration of life is (roughly) one hundred years in the present Kali age; one thousand years in Dwarpara-yuga; ten thousand in Treta-yuga; and one hundred thousand years in Satya-yuga. Time is relative to the kind of body one occupies. While Brahma's one hundred years equal 311 trillion of our years, an insect's one hundred years might come to no more than one of our days or less. And on the heavenly planets ruled by Lord Indra, one day equals six of our months.”
So, with all this relativity, the possibility of even major discrepancies in calculations is possible—even likely.
Here is an even simpler explanation: This is the Kali Yuga—everything is confused, we should expect it!

One thing we can be certain of though, is that each of the yugas has a distinctive character. Satya, the next age is considered a golden age. Peace will reign. Harmony will exists within all of the kingdoms of life. “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, Age of A-quar-i-us!!!”

But the Kali Yuga, our yuga, is quite different. Kali is an age in which passion overwhelms lucidity, lust dominates innocence, fear empowers anger, charity is sacrificed upon the alter of greed, and selfishness and pride reign supreme.
The Age of Kali is very difficult. Suffering is tremendous. All the kingdoms of life, everyone and everything, every institution, are affected. Politics are corrupt; religions counsel war and revenge, while the heart weeps for the healing companionship of the real, divine beloved.
We are all embedded with the Kali Yuga, but we do not have to be food for Kali. Real efforts are difficult to make, conditions are not conducive to spiritual practice, but every stick has two ends and the other end of this stick is that even the smallest efforts are greatly rewarded.
We have all seen and survived many yugas. Spring invariably follows winter. The last Avatar of Kali has been called “the light that comes before the dawn.” May this column sing glory to his presence among us and be a source of remembrance of the mercy with which he rewards even the humblest of our efforts to please him.
I look forward to this opportunity to share with you all and welcome any and all comments and suggestions you may have for the column.
Michael—your reporter and commentator embedded with the Kali Yuga.