Skip to main content

02 Re-post : Endings of the Four Yugas

Endings of the Four Yugas

Note: You know, something sinister is happening here. Three of my earlier posts got deleted for no apparent reason. Not sure if it was something I did, considering that I am quite technologically challenged. So I am re-posting them as they were. This one is one of the first posts, and what started this blog really. So it is especially dear to me. This was first posted in May 2008. Blast from the past really ! Have fun !

You know, there are a lot of theories floating around. I have a few theories too -- one of them is that when we used to drink a lot of 2-rupee 'chai' - when we were in degree college, when money was scarce but friends were many -- we used to have a lot of brigth ideas to change the world. We would in fact solve half the world's problem in a 'cutting' - that's half a cup of brew you get on Mumbai's roadsides ...

But today, when we pay 60 rupees for a cup of cappuchino and what not, we get nothing .. Null, void, nada! ... Case in point: Last week I was in Noida at a client site, more of friends rather. We would go out for chai almost every evening after work. And what would you expect? My mind is brimming with new ideas.

While I was in this state, for some reason I started pondering on the concept of Four Yugas in Indian mythology. As you know, the four yugas are:

1. Satya Yug - Also called Krita Yug
2. Treta Yug
3. Dwapar Yug
4. Kali Yug

Every yuga came to an end with a war. The more I was thinking about it, the more I became certain that if you follow this notion, then the idea of Armageddon that accompanies this is inevitable. Also, the nature of this battle started becoming clearer in my mind. Here is how:

a. Between Who? -- The fights in Krita Yug were between Devas and Asuras. The fight in Treta Yug was between a Man and a Rakshasa - Rama and Ravana. The fight that ended Dwapar Yug is well-known - in which Men of the same family fought with each other - Pandavas and Kauravas. In Kali Yug therefore, the battle will be internal - Man against himself.

b. Good or Bad? -- This is related to above. There was also a clear de-markation between the good and the bad -- which slowly starts getting murky as the yugas pass. It get increasingly difficult to identify whose side is really the side of the good.

Devas were good, Asuras were bad. That was that. Some Rakshasas used to be great followers of Shiva or Vishnu, but that was mainly to get a boon. Once they got the boon, they would not hesitate to even turn it around on God. There is hardly any evidence that they helped others or did any other acts of good deed.

Rama was divine, Ravana was a Rakshasa. So you would think Ravana is a villain. But that is hardly true. Yes, he forcefully took another man's wife to his house, but he did not take her in. He kept her outside in a nice garden. He is great follower of Shiva, and not only that but is a 'prakand pandit' - a great scholar. His land Lanka is said to have bricks of gold - which obviously mean that not only the king but also his subjects were well off. Having said that, we can still distinguish the good side and the bad side.

In Mahabharata (end of Dwapar Yug), things get really complicated. All the known great heros at that time - Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa, Ashwatthama - they all fight on Duryodhana's side. Then there is Karna - who was supposedly so rightous that he never said no to anyone. Even the great Shalya fights for Duryodhana - maybe he was tricked, but the fact remains that it is very difficult to say that Pandavas was the good side and Kauravas was the bad side. The only reason to say so is because the Nara and Narayana - Arjun and Krishna - were on Pandava's side and they won.

So when it comes to Kali yug, it gets almost impossible to distinguish the good from the bad. Which can be confirmed by what you see around you - who do you think is on the side of good? And more important, whose side are you on?

c. Outcome? -- This is most interesting. In fact, this is my main theory here.

In Krita Yug, wars would be fought, there would be killings and there would be resurrections. Devas had Amruta - the elixir of life which made them immortal. Asuras knew Sanjivani Vidya (at least their head priest Sukracharya knew). So in effect there are no casualties - good or bad.

In Treta Yug, Rama fought with Ravana. All the key people from Ravana's side died - Kumbhkarna, Indrajeet, all of them. But the rest of the Rakshasa clan seem to have survived. That was the 'praja' (subjects) that was handed over to Vibhishana after the war to rule. So what you see here is that only the real baddies died. Everyone else survived.

The Great War of Mahabharata was bloody for both sides. Not only did the people on Duryodhana's side died, but all the people who were on Pandava's side - Satyaki, Drishtadyumna, Drupada ... even their children died. Arjun's unborn grandson (Abhimanyu and Uttara's son Parikshit) also died in the womb due to Ashwatthama's error, but Krishna brought him back to life. The only people who survived were the Pandava heros and a handful others. All 11+ 7 aukshohanis (we still don't know for sure how much one aukshohani is) of army were wiped out, except a few hundreds. The only people who survived on the side of Kauravas were - Kripa, Kritvarma and Ashwatthama.

What does this trend lead you to? Yes, my dear, this is what I am bringing you to --- a complete annihilation. It does not matter whose side you are (if you did answer my earlier question), it does not matter how you fight, it does not matter whether you are a hero or a commoner, there is only one way to go - down! Pretty bleak, huh?

d. Why? -- The four yugas match the four Dharmas - In every yuga there is one Dharma less. Dharma is sometimes represented by a cow. In Krita Yug, the cow walks on all four legs. in Treta Yug, only three, in Dwapar only two and in Kali Yug only one. So it is inevitable that by the end of Kali yug, Dharma will be immobile, and there will be a need to start all over again. I will write about this in detail in another post.

So you see, the end of Kali Yug will come with a war within yourself, without you knowing whose side who is, resulting in a complete annihilation, and so that a new cycle starts all over again.

Now the question is, when will that happen? ... We will address this in comments / other posts.

- Shreekant
10 May 2008