fourth of four yuga ages of a Yuga Cycle in Hindu cosmology
Kali Yuga (Sanskrit: कलियुग, lit. 'dark age') is known as the passing ~5000+ year dark age characterized by ignorance, corruption, materialism, & chaos - scheduled to end with the appearance of the Kalki Avatar, who is ushering in a golden era of enlightened consciousness, peace, & spirituality. Kali Yuga is a very important concept in Hinduism, Theosophy, the Agni Yoga Teachings, Anthroposophy, and is a topic in the Puranas & writings by visionaries such as H.P. Blavatsky, Benjamin Creme, W.Q. Judge, Helena Roerich, Rudolf Steiner, and traditionalist ideologues such as René Guénon and Julius Evola, among others.
- It is unwise to underestimate the forces of the adversaries [evil], especially when their beloved Kali Yuga comes to its end. Certainly it is a decisive battle and one should take care...
- Agni Yoga, Hierarchy, p. 109, (1931)
- Thus one can see the end of Kali Yuga. It depends upon humanity where will be the beginning of Satya Yuga. We know that Satya Yuga is preordained, but its location and conditions may differ. My warriors, I can assemble you according to usefulness and devotion. Man has fallen into a dark pit and closed the outlet with a black cover.
- Agni Yoga, Hierarchy, p. 118, (1931)
- The time of Kali Yuga has been a difficult one; Satya Yuga must once more bring together the worlds, which were separated by force. One has to wait for this time in solemnity, wait for it as the return of the perfection ordained. So let us agree to pay the proper attention to spirit-creativity. We can grow used to thinking about things from this perspective. Thus, we need to concern ourselves with what is most significant in giving life its direction. Whoever schools himself in maintaining a balance between the worlds is making his path a great deal easier.
- Agni Yoga, Heart, p. 78, (1932)
- Falsehood and darkness fill the end of Kali Yuga. One must realize this in order not to lose one's strength. It is impossible to avoid the dark days, and only a knowledge of their cause will give one the patience to survive them. People do not want to simplify the path to Truth; and encumbrances like technocracy only serve to reveal the dark chains of lower matter. Blasphemies, in all their virulence, also reveal the darkness of negation in contrast to the realization of Light. You can read about these signs in the Puranas, therefore the fulfillment of all the other predictions can be anticipated. We all must now adapt ourselves to the fiery element—this also is affirmed in the Puranas. I consider that it is time to call people to the understanding of Be-ness.
- Agni Yoga, Fiery World I, p. 435, (1933)
- The Higher World is incorruptible, but instead of self-purification through thought and labor, people still try to bribe the Higher Grace. In such ignorance is expressed a complete unwillingness to reflect upon the essential nature of the worlds. The history of prayer shows that at first hymns were chanted, then prayers were spoken for all beings, and only later did man dare to importune with demands for himself. Sufficient evidences have been given as to how worthless for evolution is everything engendered by selfishness. One cannot purchase favor and justice. Is it not shameful that such words must be repeated?
One may ask oneself, Is not involution taking place? The end of Kali Yuga can also produce such manifestations. Terrible cataclysms have been indicated, but what can be more frightful than a catastrophe of the spirit. No earthquake can be compared with the dissolution of consciousness. All forces need to be intensified in order to hold back humanity from the abyss, therefore meditation about the Higher World is a necessity of the day.
- Agni Yoga, Aum p. 236, (1936)
- Black Age – The passing materialistic era of darkness. Kali-Yuga.
- The manifestation of unfit elements is great at the end of Kali Yuga. The fiercer Armageddon is, the better it serves as purifier of the dross. (66) The end of Kali Yuga is significant, for many cosmic events are connected with this period... Armageddon was predicted ages ago, and the abnormalities at the end of Kali Yuga were described in the Puranas, but even keen thinkers underestimated those clear indications. However, the unusualness of the events does not impress humanity, whose mental confusion was also predicted ages ago. (106) The significance of Armageddon is little understood. Anyone who knows about the approaching end of Kali Yuga recognizes that it cannot occur without world upheavals. The forces that were particularly powerful during the Black Age must now struggle for survival, and they prefer a general catastrophe to defeat... The tension of spatial currents and the discovery of Primal Energy could not be mentioned in the Puranas even though they were intended for the seeking, advanced thinkers. But both of these conditions have now been manifested in a pronounced form, making the significance of the approaching end of Kali Yuga the more obvious.(127)
- Agni Yoga, Supermundane, (1938)
- It is true that Armageddon is raging and incredible crimes have been committed, but it is also true that against the background of these terrors a speedy evolution rushes onward. Is it possible that people do not see how much of the new is entering life? We should not permit the doubting worldlings to proclaim that the dark forces are victorious. That which belongs to Infinity cannot be conquered.
The Thinker wisely encouraged His disciples, and prophesied the victory of the Forces of Light. (259) In the Puranas it was predicted that toward the end of Kali Yuga humanity would be driven to acts of madness. It is very dangerous that people do not recognize this state, for while it is possible to cure a patient who does not resist treatment, if he struggles against it the beneficial effects of the medicine will be diminished. But how do you explain to people that their leaders and their teachers are insane? ...such mental confusion fully corresponds with the end of Kali Yuga... Most people hate the messenger who brings knowledge... let them at least remember the warning that humanity is acting insanely. The Thinker warned, “Do not fall into madness.” (285)
- Agni Yoga, Supermundane, (1938)
- Sathya Yuga: the Age of Truth; Tretha Yuga: the era when the Divine elements were on one side and the demonic on the other; Dwapara Yuga: the era in which the Divine and demonic elements were in the same kingdom; Kali Yuga: the Age of Iron; the age of all-round moral decline, when the Divine and demonic forces are battling in each human being.
- Sathya Sai Baba, Sanskrit-English Dictionary, compiled from Sai Baba’s discourses, Prasanthi Nilayam, India, 2000 quoted in SI Magazine (September 2004)
- We are in the Kali Yuga [a Sanskrit term meaning Dark Age] and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness [evil] in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now laboring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the "Gate" and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have sacrificed himself for Humanity--"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life" eternal, and therefore "few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14) So strait indeed, that at the bare mention of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat with a shudder... Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them!
- Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in Studies in Occultism, (1888)
- As the “ Satya-yuga” is always the first in the series of the four ages or Yugas, so the Kali ever comes the last... Anyhow, it is curious to see how prophetic in almost all things was the writer of Vishnu Purâna when foretelling to Maitreya some of the dark influences and sins of this Kali Yug. For after saying that the “barbarians” will be masters of the banks… he adds: “ There will be contemporary monarchs, reigning over the earth— kings of churlish spirit, violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and wickedness. They will inflict death on women, children, and cows; they will seize upon the property of their subjects, and be intent upon the wives of others; they will be of unlimited power, their lives will be short, their desires insatiable... People of various countries intermingling with them, will follow their example; and the barbarians being powerful... in the patronage of the princes, while purer tribes are neglected... Wealth and piety will decrease until the world will be wholly depraved. Property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification.
- H.P. Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, Vol I, p. 377, (1888)
- It had been declared from the first and has been repeatedly asserted since that no Theosophist, not even as an accepted chela – let alone lay students – could expect to have the secret teachings explained to him thoroughly and completely, before he had irretrievably pledged himself to the Brotherhood and passed through at least one initiation, because no figures and numbers could be given to the public, for figures and numbers are the key to the esoteric system. (164) We are not given the figures of the Great Kalpa, and are not allowed to publish those of our small Yugas, except as to the approximate duration of these. (206)
- H.P. Blavatsky, in The Secret Doctrine, Vol I, (1888)
- The world has entered a new phase. The dark age of Kali Yuga is over. Our solar system is now beginning the Aquarian experience (lasting approximately 2,500 years). Aquarius’s energy is the energy of synthesis. This will bring humanity together into a unity completely different from the situation of today.
- This is the end time of Kali Yuga, the Dark Age, and the beginning of Kalki, the Age of Light, and the coming of the Kalki Avatar Who is Maitreya. Thousands of people in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, in the last weeks of the revolution against Hosni Mubarak, experienced Maitreya Who appeared among the people as Kalki Avatar, the rider on the white horse. This was filmed by independent media and was seen by millions on YouTube. Kalki Avatar on the white horse travelled through the crowds fast and unhindered; He was probably unseen by the vast majority in the square, but was seen by millions of people who watched the film on the internet.
- Besant is correct. To be exact, my Master says it is 4,700 years. The Buddhist figure of 200,000 years refers back to the major decline of spirituality in late Atlantean times which led to the destruction of the Atlantean land-mass and civilization nearly 100,000 years ago. This can be seen as the beginning of a ‘dark age'. (Above text is Creme's reply to question: Besant says that Kali Yuga was the last 5000 years. Buddhism had always said 200,000 years. Which is correct?)
- We are now in the fourth age, the Kali- Yuga or 'dark age', and have been so already, it is said, for more than six thousand years, that is to say since a time far earlier than any known to 'classical' history. Since that time, the truths which were formerly within reach of all have become more and more hidden and inaccessible; those who possess them grow fewer and fewer, and although the treasure of 'nonhuman (that is, supra-human) wisdom that was prior to all the ages can never be lost, it nevertheless becomes enveloped in more and more impenetrable veils, which hide it from men's sight and make it extremely difficult to discover. This is why we find everywhere, under various symbols, the same theme of something that has been lost-at least to all appearances and as far as the outer world is concerned-and that those who aspire to true knowledge must rediscover; but it is also said that what is thus hidden will become visible again at the end of the cycle, which, because of the continuity binding all things together, will coincide with the beginning of a new cycle.
- We have in fact entered upon the last phase of the Kali-Yuga, the darkest period of this 'dark age', the state of dissolution from which it is impossible to emerge otherwise than by a cataclysm, since it is not a mere readjustment that is necessary at such a stage, but a complete renovation. Disorder and confusion prevail in every domain and have been carried to a point far surpassing all that has been known previously, so that, issuing from the West, they now threaten to invade the whole world; we know full well that their triumph can never be other than apparent and transitory, but such are the proportions which it has reached, that it would appear to be the sign of the gravest of all the crises through which mankind has passed in the course of its present cycle.
- At the present time we are in a cycle of transition, when, as a transition period should indicate, everything in philosophy, religion and society is changing. In a transition period the full and complete figures and rules respecting cycles are not given out to a generation which elevates money above all thoughts and scoffs at the spiritual view of man and nature.
- William Quan Judge in The Ocean of Theosophy, p. 126, (1893)
- We may conclude that the older and original version of the Era of the Seven Rsis commenced with the Seven Rsis in Krttika in 6676 BC, used a total of 28 Naksatras, and placed the start of the Kali Yuga in 3102 BC. This version was in use in northern India from at least the 4th century BC, as witnessed by the statements of Greek and Roman writers; it was also the version used by Vrddha Garga, at around the start of the Christian era.
- J.E. Mitchiner: Traditions of the Seven Rishis, Motilal B Delhi 1982, p. 163. , quoted in Elst, Koenraad (1999). Update on the Aryan invasion debate New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
- In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga.
- A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme, purport (1972)
- It would be more correct to say that the cycle of Kali Yuga is approaching its end on our planet and that we are now going through a transitory stage. Satya Yuga must begin with the affirmation of the sixth race, individual groups of which are already appearing on Earth.
- Long ago, it was said, "Blessed are the obstacles, by them we grow." Thus, also in the most ancient Hindu scriptures it is said that the Kali Yuga is particularly useful for spiritual perfectment, and that which in the Satya Yuga could only be achieved through hundreds of thousands of incarnations can be attained in Kali Yuga in a few lives... But, of course, here as ever, only strong spirits who love to overcome difficulties are particularly successful, whereas lukewarm ones, who choose the easiest and irresponsible path, are destined to hard toil, which will finally lead them to a most difficult path. Therefore, profoundly just and scientific are the words from the Apocalypse, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
- Maitreya corresponds to the Kalki Avatar in Hinduism (the "White Horse Avatar" — see the Revelation of St. John), and to the Messiahs of all nations...
- The dark forces proceed in a united front, hounded by fear of their approaching weakening. The year 1942 marks the end of the Black Age; our planet will enter a new, better epoch. Although the effects of the Black Age will still tag along, the bright sowings already begin to produce sprouts under the beneficial rays of new combinations of the luminaries; and the sowers of darkness will begin to suffer defeat. At present, these sowers are reinforced by heavy cosmic currents throughout the whole world. This is why it is so essential for all those who know about the extraordinary moment to guard unity, because it will defend them from many attacks. Unity is the best shield for the health. (11 February 1938)
- We divide the history of the world into four periods: sathyam, tretha, dwapara, kali yuga. Sathya yuga — the age of truth — was a time of total truth — when, as we say, ‘the cow stood on four legs’; then the following age on three legs, in other words there was a loss of 25 per cent of truth; the following period was a time of only 50 per cent truth; and now, in this period of kali yuga ‘the cow is standing on one leg’ — 75 per cent falsehood.* It is an indication and an image to show the condition of the world at the present time. We must try to get back to that state of truth or sathyam. Only when there is truth can we trust. If there is no truth there cannot be trust.
Only through truth and the spirit of sharing, together with spiritual practices, can man be brought back to himself, make him more sane. Otherwise we will allow our desires to drive us more and more mad and ultimately man will become man’s own worst enemy and we will destroy ourselves.
- Share International magazine, Revealing the natural aspect of being' (September 2004)
- The aim of the Ahrimanic powers is to prevent...development... to harden and freeze up the earth, to shape it in such a way that, together with the earth, man remains an earthbound creature. He becomes hardened... and continues to live in the future ages of the world as a kind of statue of his past... The earth could not reach its goal if the Ahrimanic powers were to gain the victory, if man were alienated from his beginnings, from the powers who supported him at the beginning of his evolution. Outwardly, the human being would develop in a way entirely in keeping with the earthly sphere, but by suppressing his innate disposition, which must lead him beyond the earth. The Ahrimanic powers could not touch man while the intellect was still rooted in the spiritual through an old inheritance, as was the case during the past three or four centuries. But this has changed since the beginning of the 20th century. The ancient Indian wisdom knew this, and fixed the end of the 19th century as the end of the “Dark Age,” of Kali-Yuga. Thus it had an intimation of a new age. This new age was to indicate that from the beginning of the 20th century, our deepest concern should no longer be that of clinging to an old spiritual inheritance, but of absorbing the new light, the pure light, in our earthly life.
- In this world-historic moment it is as though we could behold the deeds of those who lived upon earth before the end of Kali-Yuga, in the 1880's and 90's. That which was then enacted among men on earth, has now been received by Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. Yet never was the spiritual contrast-of-light so great as it is to-day, in the realm of these spiritual facts. In the 1880's one could look upward and see how the people of the Revolutionary period of the middle of the 19th century, were received as to their deeds by Thrones and Cherubim and Seraphim. But as one looked, a kind of darkling cloud settled over the middle of the 19th century. What one then saw passing into the realm of Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones, lighted up only a very little.
- The closing quarter of the 19th century was an extremely important and crucial period in humanity’s history and evolution. Three great cycles all intersected at the same time, a very rare and uncommon occurrence. The first 5,000 year cycle of the Kali Yuga was due to draw to a close between late 1897 and early 1898. The Age of Pisces was rapidly fading out and the New Age of Aquarius was to gradually begin its 2,155 year course from the dawning of the new century in 1900.
Mahabharata, Book 3, Vana ParvaEdit
Kali Yuga Predictions
- O thou foremost of all speakers, O Muni of Bhrigu's race, that which we have heard from thee about the destruction and re-birth of all things at the end of the Yuga, is, indeed, full of wonder! I am filled with curiosity, however, in respect of what may happen in the Kali age. When morality and virtue will be at an end, what will remain... tell me all in detail, O Muni, for all that thou narratest is varied and delightful...(Section CLXXXIX, p. 387)
- Thus addressed, that foremost of Munis began his discourse... listen to me as I narrate the future history of the world during the sinful age. O bull of the Bharata race, in the Krita age, everything was free from deceit and guile and avarice and covetousness; and morality like a bull was among men, with all the four legs complete... (Section CLXXXIX, p. 387)
- In the dark age (of Kali)... morality mixed with three parts of sin liveth by the side of men... men in general will deceive their fellows... And men with false reputation of learning will... cause truth to be contracted and concealed. And in consequence of the shortness of their lives they will not be able to acquire much knowledge. And in consequence of the littleness of their knowledge, they will have no wisdom.
- Covetousness and avarice will overwhelm them all. And wedded to avarice and wrath and ignorance and lust men will entertain animosities towards one another...(Section CLXXXIX, p. 387)
- And the lowest orders of men will rise to the position of the intermediate ones, and those in intermediate stations will, without doubt, descend to the level of the lowest ones...
- Even they that are always observant of vows, will become covetous... People will become atheists and thieves... the kings of the earth, with hearts wedded to sin without knowledge and always boastful of their wisdom, will challenge one another... (Section CLXXXIX, p. 388)
- And the Kshatriyas [military caste] also towards the end of such a period will become the thorns of the earth. And filled with avarice and swelling with pride and vanity... And attacking and repeating their attacks upon the good and the honest, and feeling no pity for the latter... the Kshatriyas will, O Bharata, rob these of their wives and wealth... (Section CLXXXIX, p. 388)
- And no one will ask for a girl (for purposes of marriage) and no one will give away a girl (for such purposes), but the girls will themselves choose their lords, when the end of the Yuga comes...
- And the kings of the earth with souls steeped in ignorance, and discontented with what they have, will at such a time, rob their subjects by every means in their power..., the right hand will deceive the left; and the left, the right....
- And men with false reputation of learning will contract Truth and the old will betray the senselessness of the young, and the young will betray the dotage of the old. (Section CLXXXIX, p. 388)
- And cowards will have the reputation of bravery and the brave will be cheerless like cowards...
- Men will cease to trust one another... full of avarice... sin will increase and prosper, while virtue will fade and cease to flourish. And Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas will disappear, leaving, O king, no remnants of their orders... jealousy and malice will fill the world. And no one will, at that time, be a giver (of wealth or anything else) in respect to any one else... (Section CLXL, p. 392)
- Men will... become omnivorous without distinction, and cruel in all their acts... urged by avarice, men will, at that time, deceive one another when they sell and purchase. And when the end of the Yuga comes, urged by their very dispositions...
- Men will act cruelly, and speak ill of one another... * people will, without compunction, destroy trees and gardens. (Section CLXL, p. 392)
- And men will be filled with anxiety as regards the means of living... overwhelmed with covetousness, men will kill... and enjoy the possessions of their victims... And when men become fierce and destitute of virtue and carnivorous and addicted to intoxicating drinks, then doth the Yuga come to an end... (Section CLXL, p. 392)
- Friends and relatives and kinsmen will perform friendly offices for the sake of the wealth only that is possessed by a person...
- When the end of the Yuga comes, men abandoning the countries and directions and towns and cities of their occupation, will seek for new ones, one after another. And people will wander over the earth, uttering, 'O father, O son', and such other frightful and rending cries. (Section CLXL, p. 392)
After Kali YugaEdit
- And when those terrible times will be over, the creation will begin anew. And men will again be created and distributed..and about that time, in order that men may increase, Providence, according to its pleasure, will once more become propitious... And the clouds will commence to shower seasonably, and the stars and stellar conjunctions will become auspicious. And the planets, duly revolving in their orbits, will become exceedingly propitious. And all around, there will be prosperity and abundance and health and peace....(Section CLXL, p. 392)
- And commissioned by Time, a Brahmana of the name of Kalki will take his birth. And he will glorify Vishnu and possess great energy, great intelligence, and great prowess.... vehicles and weapons, and warriors and arms, and coats of mail will be at his disposal as soon as he will think of them. And he will be the king of kings, and ever victorious with the strength of virtue. And he will restore order and peace in this world crowded with creatures and contradictory in its course. (Section CLXL, p. 392)
- And that blazing Brahmana of mighty intellect... will be the Destroyer of all, and will inaugurate a new Yuga. And surrounded by the Brahmanas, that Brahmana will exterminate all the mlecchas wherever those low and despicable persons may take refuge. Markandeya continued, Having exterminated the thieves and robbers... and having established anew the blessed rectitude ordained by the Self-create, Kalki, of sacred deeds and illustrious reputation... the people of this earth will imitate his conduct... there will be prosperity everywhere (on earth). And as the countries of the earth will one after another be subjugated... (Section CLXL, p. 392)
- Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of Markandeya, the royal head of the Kurus... spoke... 'O muni, if I am to protect my subjects, to what course of conduct should I adhere? And how should I behave so that I may not fall away from the duties of my order?' Markandeya, hearing this, answered, 'Be merciful to all creatures, and devoted to their good. Love all creatures, scorning none. Be truthful in speech, humble, with passions under complete control, and always devoted to the protection of thy people. Practise virtue and renounce sin, and worship thou the manes and the god and whatever thou mayst have done from ignorance or carelessness, wash them off and expiate them by charity. (Section CLXL, p. 393)
- Renouncing pride and vanity, be thou possessed to humility and good behaviour. And subjugating the whole earth, rejoice thou and let happiness be thine. This is the course of conduct that accords with virtue. I have recited to thee all that was and all that will be regarded as virtuous. There is nothing appertaining to the past or the future that is unknown to thee. Therefore, O son, take not to heart this present calamity of thine. They that are wise are never overwhelmed when they are persecuted by Time. O thou of mighty arms, the very dwellers of heaven cannot rise superior to Time. Time afflicts all creatures. (Section CLXL, p. 393)