Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kali Yugam - The Yugam with an infamous spell

Kali Yugam, the last of the four Yugams in the Hindu Cosmology. It is a dreaded yugam where things will be a haywire, where virtues (dharmam) are ignored and neglected. The Kali Yugam lasts for 4,32,000 years according to the Hindu Cosmology and once Kali Yugam ends, the cycle of the other Yugams - Satya or Krita (17,28,000 years), Treta (12,96,000 years), Dwapar (8,64,000 years) - take over. More details about these calculations and other information about these yugams in the upcoming posts. Don't hasten yet about Kaliyugam's end because we are just in the beginning, only about 5110 years have passed we still have a lot to go. Kaliyugam is dreaded because, legend says people live a short life unlike the people in the other yugams; in Krita yugam, people have life until their bones exist; in Treta, until their flesh lasts; in Dwapar, until the last drop of blood - remember Bhishma; and in Kali Yugam, people live until they eat food, once the food reserves in the body are gone, they die. That is the reason saints and mahans profess people to donate food which is a good deed in the Kali Yugam.

I have already posted about the happenings in the Kali Yugam in one of the earlier posts, Kumaresa Sadhagam. However, there is an interesting legend, an upakadhai of the Mahabharatha, that illustrates the effects on the onset of the Kaliyugam. Mahabharata and the Kurukshetra War happened at the end of the Dwapar Yugam. The story beautifully explains the infamous nature of the Kali Yugam. In fact, I plan to start of another blog, writing these stories, in Tamil, that I heard from my parents, grandparents and read from sources that I don't remember now, but these legends have stayed evergreen in my memory.

Now, the legend. The Kurukshetra War was over, the Pandavas won the battle. Dharmaraja (Yudhistra) also called Dharmar, is known for holding the values of Truth (Satya) and Righteousness (Dharma) and hence the name Dharmar. He ascended the throne after the Kurukshetra War and his subjects lived peacefully and happily in his righteous reign. Then came this strange but interesting case.

Dharmar was in his court, along with his brothers and Lord Krishna. Two farmers came to him for deciding on a certain case. Of the two farmers, one sold his land to the other, lets call them the buyer farmer and the seller farmer. The deal was done and the seller received his payment from the buyer. The buyer after a few days of buying that land from the seller, starting ploughing and digging that land, and he struck some priceless treasure of rare gems and gold. The buyer was honest enough, so he took that treasure and went to the seller saying that he had paid only for the land and not for the treasure in it and the rightful owner of the treasure is the seller. The seller being equally honest told that the sale of the land has been done and anything from the land does not belong to him anymore and he said that the rightful owner was the buyer.

Both did not come to an agreement and thats when the dispute started (Strange isn't it, but remember that was in the Dwapar Yugam :)) and finally they decided to have it settled at Dharmar's court. The next day they went to Dharmar's court and explained the situation. Dharmar was really happy to see his subjects so righteous and he said that he felt really proud of both of them because of their righteousness. And Dharmar told that he does not want to give a verdict that will cause other to feel bad and asked them to both make a decision in his court. The farmers decided unanimously that the treasure be in possession of Dharmar until they come up with a decision and once they have decided who is to have the treasure, they will get it from Dharmar. Dharmar felt that it sounded like a plan and gave a nod. The farmers went for the moment leaving the treasure in Dharmar's possession. Dharmar felt really proud of the farmers' act.

Time passed by and things went on fine, until the same farmers who came to Dharmar's court came again with a different view of the earlier case. The buyer farmer now claimed that the treasure is his as he has paid the seller for the land and whatever he gets, either crops or whatever, is his. The seller farmer's argument was that he sold only the land and not the treasure, if he had known about that treasure, he would have either took it himself before the sale or would have charged the amount in the sale price. The farmers were arguing with the points reversed from their stand in the case when came earlier to Dharmar. Lord Krishna who watched all this smiled at Dharmar, who was confused a lot about this case. It was a case where the plaintiff and defendant had self-contradictory views over a period of time. He thought for a moment and gave the verdict that the treasure belongs to the government giving his explanation as follows.

The land of the buyer, which was previously with the seller before that sale, falls into his Empire. So all the thiings belong to his Empire unless it was a reward for some effort made towards a claim. In addition, the treasure was not the benefit of any effort made by either of them and hence the King (himself) vests all the right to property and possession of the treasure. The treasure shall be used for the benefit of the people of his Kingdom. The farmers were disappointed, but they could not fight the King and went back.

Now Lord Krishna rose to the fore and told Yudhistra that the time has come for them to leave this planet as He has seen the indications that Kali Yugam has started. And once Kali Yugam starts, they had no business there. Dharmar asked how Lord Krishna told that there are indications of Kali Yugam. Lord Krishna replied, that Dharmar who had the held the values of Truth and Righteousness, has slipped in the above case. Lord Krishna proceeded saying that though Dharmar had mentioned that the treasure will be used for the benefit of the people of his Kingdom, he had no right on the treasure and yet he found out justifications in the name of righteousness. And that, is the indication of Kali Yugam's arrival, even the most righteous will fall victims to circumstances and try to plunder and covet other's property. Dharmar realised his mistake and did as Lord Krishna suggested and the left Earth in a vimanam for good.

The aforesaid story clearly explains the spell Kali Yugam has even on the people who are determined. Think about the common man like you and me, unless the person has a great grit and determination to stand for the good, circumstances will lead him to unrighteous and immoral paths very easily, thereby taking them spiritually away from the path of Salvation. Of course, we can realise that with the events happening around us today, Kali yugam has a bad spell on everything that is on the planet, but this is just the beginning and there is a long way to go. Imagine the plight and sorrow people will have at the end. Legend says that at the end of the Kali yugam, human race will get to be contained within a feet or so. The mention about human race getting contained within a feet or so is unclear whether humans will grow only a feet or so tall, or will be contained within something that is a feet or so high, however a movie that has brought this legend to visual interpretation is "The Matrix" and the avatar, Kalki, will incarnate to rescue the people from their sorrows and plight. Nobody knows how the Kalki Avatar will be, but it is mentioned as the most modern of Avatars. Time has the answer, we will have to wait for nearly 4,27,000 years to see that...

More to come, until then...

31 comments:

BALAJI K said...

Thanks Prabhu, for posting this wonderful story from Mahabharatham. Nice selection ! - K.Balaji

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Balaji Sir

V said...

Dear Prabhu,

You have matured into a fine story-teller. What a great impact your narrative makes on the readers!!

Actually, behind the physical division of the Four Yugams, there is a spiritual division which is what is the intended meaning of the physical division of so many number of years, etc. It is this way:

The stage of a human's evolution where he is in the lowest rung of the ladder, called prAkrutam, uncultured, unevolved, unpolished, unrefined, giving in to base tendencies of food and flesh, is the real Kali.

The other yugas are higher in evolution and refinement of the individual. So, when we see such highly evolved souls, mahAtmas, amidst us, it is not Kali for them but Kruta or Satya yugam of their journey. The Puranic stories and indicators of each Yuga's characteristics are a lessor for the reader, hearer, to put great effort and elevate himself to the higher rungs of the spiritual ladder. And only when he reaches the highest, he can get liberated from samsaaram.

Thanks for the truly impressive post and do come out with further instalments.

Regards,
subbu

Anonymous said...

Excellent explanation.

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Subbu,

Thank you very much! A very good information, I never knew the Spiritual division of the Yugam, and that explains the connection why mahatma's are even born in the Kaliyugam. Thank you very much for this explanation and the support

Regards,
R.Prabhu

R.Prabhu said...

@Anonymous

Thank you very much!!!

V said...

Dear Prabhu,

You might have heard this famous song, I think by Papanasam Sivan:

'Eppo varuvAro endan kali theera..'

Note the word 'endan'. That shows the state of kali is person-specific. Also, there is another parallel. In Kundalini system, the basic, first chakra is the moolAdhara chakra. This is 'base' part of the body. The 'ascent' of the Kundalini Power, by well directed sAdhana, upwards is greater and greater freedom from the base inclinations and seeking sobre and higher and nobler levels, gradually culminating in the sahasrAra or head, 'ucchan thalai' region. This is where Shiva and Shakti remain united. The Kundalini Shakti in every individual, originally in the base region, rises, by sadhana, to the highest level and unites with Shiva in the head. This marks liberation.

Warm regards,
subbu

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Subbu,

Yes, I remember to have heard the song but not very often. And indeed, as pointed out by you, Yugams do have a spiritual connection too. However, having the kundalini raised from one chakram to the other higher in the level helps the person transcend the barriers of time and space and thereby enabling liberation. Very few have actually elevated the Kundalini power. The six chakras are

Mooladharam
Swathistaanam
Manipooragam
Anagatham
Aagngnai
Visuthi

The seventh one is the Sakrasthanam/Sahasrasthanam or the Bramharandhiram, this is where the Shiva and Shakthi unite, the uchanthalai. This is also the 10th vaasal in the human body.

I would like to blog more about this in the future posts in detail. Let me how soon I can make it.

Regards,
R.Prabhu

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hi Prabhu,

Sorry for my long absence here.

Will read your post fully soon.

I have created a blog list in my blog and I am blog rolling you.

Voracious Blog Reader

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Voracious Blog Reader,

Welcome back after a very long time!!! Well, I too was away from blogging for quite sometime, and resumed back posting only recently. I hope you wouldn't have missed much. Welcome back once again

Regards,
R.Prabhu

R.Prabhu said...

@Voracious Blog Reader

Thanks btw for adding my blog to your blog rolls :)

Prabhu Chandar said...

Hi Prabhu..

I am fan of your history writings .and you have a way of presenting thoughts ..

However this article,with your convincing style of narration, will only help propagate things that are not proven /never proven/cant be proven .. who will have a continuous chain of history for 30K yrs to validate this ..

I request you to not propagate mythology , rather your history works are fascinating ..

Request as a friend and as well as a rational thinker.
BUt whatever you did .. leaving the myth content .. was well said and interesting :-)

Cheers,
Prabhu

R.Prabhu said...

Hi Prabhu Chandar,

I understand your point my dear friend. Time is just another dimension, there is nothing good or bad about it. In fact, there isn't anything good or bad, it just one's perception about things.

However, my opinion is that these legends, mythology and histories add some substance to what we are. Everything in the past can become a moot point for the present and future people. For instance, many people still believe Avaiyar is a single person in the past, in truth it is not, but people have widely accepted that she is a single female icon who stood for the benefit of Tamils. More about Avaiyars in future posts :)

Also, interpreting legends and myths is like peeling onions, the more you get deep into it, you find nothing. However, when you stop at a particular point, you get something valuable or rather usable. The use actually differs from one to another. The same is the case of legends and mythological statements, one may interpret as real and the other may question. So I feel that we can take what we want and settle down with it rather than probing into the truths and validity of those statements :)

Thank you very much for the support and the comment. Quite thought provoking and interesting :) Expecting more of your support and comments :)

Regards,
R.Prabhu

PS: For those who don't know, Prabhu Chandar and I are classmates since my LKG :)

Sundar said...

hi prabhu,

interesting stuff not many would be really aware of:)

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Sundar :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Prabhu and Prabhu Chandar,

I think it was Ananda Coomaraswamy, the famous author and thinker who said that the Indian Epics and Mythology constitute 'the permanent History of India'. And any authentic record of History has its benefit for humanity. What after all will be our benefit by reading King George and Elizabeth and other Roamans? When we read with faith our Ramayana, Mahabharatha and other Puranams, in any language, apart from knowledge, we get Punyam. Punyam is nothing but favourable impressions in the mind that can guide us in the right direction in our present and future.

At a higher level, one would not question about whether the events of the Puranas did indeed take place. It is the knowledge-content that they have to convey that becomes the focus of a mature reader of these legends. The truth of the quality-content of these legends are eternal, they are time-tested.

Have we ever questioned the truth/verifiability of the 'kaakkaai-vaDai-nari' kathai that our mother told us n number of times upon our pestering her every day before going to sleep? Yet has not the moral of that story remained deeply etched in our psyche?

Undoubtedly, even at an advanced age, an adequately educated man of our Indian tradition will find the Ramayana and Mahabharata extremely interesting, fascinating, gripping, even though he is reading these for the nth time. One will not be satisfied with different renderings of the story, different songs, TV serials, comics, etc. on these two Immortal Works of Indian Literature. One will never get 'pOdum enRa manam' in respect of these gems that our Holy Land has produced.

Pl. pardon me for interrupting.

Vaazhga Perum KaappiyangaL, vaLarga namadu arivum aayvum.

Regards,
subbu

R.Prabhu said...

Dear Subbu,

Your points and your perspective about the Puranams are quite valid. And the kaakai vadai nari example was good indeed. Quite true, we will lose the essence, esp the moral aspects, of these epics if we tend to question it scientifically or try to fit in our own logical conclusions.

Thank you very much, once again

Regards,
R.Prabhu

V said...

பிரபு அவர்களே,

தமிழில் ஒரு ’கமென்ட்’ செய்யலாம் என்று நினைத்து, என்னிடம் உள்ள ’baraha IME' மூலம் இதை எழுதுகிறேன்.

நான் முன்பு சொன்ன ’எப்பொ வருவாரோ என்தன் கலி தீர’ என்ற பாடல் கோபால கிருஷ்ண பாரதியினுடையது. இவர் தில்லை நாதன் பெயரில் பல் பாடல்கள் இயற்றிய பெரும் பக்தி கவி். இப்பாடலை ’guruji.com' music search என்ற விண்டோ வில் என்டர் பண்ணினால் கேட்கலாம், நித்யஸ்ரீ மஹாதேவன் குரலில்.

இந்த சைடில் எண்ணற்ற தமிழ் பக்தி மற்றும் சினிமா பாடல்களைக் கேட்கலாம். பாடல் பெயரோ பாடகர் பெயரோ அல்லது கடவுள் பெயரொ சினிமா பெயரோ எண்டர் பண்ணினால் போதும். ’சட்டி சுட்டதடா’, ’எங்கே நிம்மதி’ போன்ற பொருள் பொதிந்த பாடல்களும் உள்ளன. ’அடியார் கூட்டம்’ என்ற முருகன் பக்தி பாடல் எனது favourite.

வணக்கம், வாழ்த்துக்கள்,
சுப்பு

R.Prabhu said...

தகவல்களுக்கு மிக்க நன்றி சுப்பு அவர்களே. தாங்கள் தமிழில் பதிவு செய்ய http://google.co.in/transliterate/indic/tamil என்ற இணைய தளத்தை உபயோகிக்கலாம்

V said...

இந்த tool பற்றிய விவரம் ஒரு நண்பர் மூலம் அறிந்தேன். இது மிகவும் எளிதாக உள்ளது. உங்களைப் போன்ற software நிபுணர்கள் எப்பேர்பட்ட சாதனை புரிந்துள்ளனர்! இந்த google indic transliteration tool பல இந்திய மொழிகளில் பதிவு செய்ய உதவுகிறது. ஒரு விதத்தில் இந்த கலி யுகம் ஒரு பொன்னான யுகம் அல்லவா? இணைய தளம் என்ற concept நம்மை இணைத்து அறிவு மற்றும் தகவல் பகிர்ந்து கொள்ள எப்படி உதவுகிறது!!

இதை அந்த டூல் மூலம் தான் பதிவு செய்தேன். (இதற்கு நீங்கள் பதில் எழுத வேண்டாம்).

நன்றி,
சுப்பு

Maayaa said...

kuthiraiyila kalvi varuvarnnu dhane ellarum solranga

R.Prabhu said...

@Priya

Of course, yes, but Nobody knows what that Kuthirai has to be interpreted as?

Shree Padre said...

Nice to read your post on Jackfruit. I'm editor of a Kannada farm magazine, Adike Patrike, run by farmers. We are in 22nd year. Jackfruit is a subject of top priority for us. I read a lot of references to Jackfruit cultivation in Panrutti. Could you please enlighten me more about this? I'm told there are big jackfruit orchards in Panrutti? Can you help me by giving some contacts of Jackfruit farmers or people who know more about the status of Jackfruit cultivation in Panrutti? Some farm journalists of that area, if you know...

Thanking you,
Shree Padre

R.Prabhu said...

Shree Padre Sir,

It is good to hear that you liked the blog. And it is great to hear that you come across references about Panrutti Jackfruits. Unfortunately, I do not have much information. Give me your email id so that I will update you whenever I the information

Shree Padre said...

My e-mail is yespee@gmail.com

godrealized said...

R. Prabhu... When do we expect coming of Bhagavan Kalki... an Avatar of present era... a messiah competent to uplift Dharma (righteousness)! In times of strife... when mutual trust amongst each other reaches its lowest ebb... coming of a messiah (Avatar) gets necessitated! Even man gods like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed fail in such circumstances!

Who shall be Bhagavan Kalki is the biggest question! Coming of a man god coupled with powers of Chanakya (most able administrator in history of mankind) is only solution! Humanity looks forward to such a one... an ordinary mortal that against all odds upholds Dharma (righteousness) and succeeds in re-establishing peace tranquility abound!

R.Prabhu said...

Thank you Mr. Vijay Kumar for visiting my blog and the links the links that you have posted. Will take a look at your links

Anonymous said...

Hello thank you for posting the story about the Kali yugam. I was researching about Tamil calendar, and I'm not sure if there is any calendar in Tamil such as Mayan calendar. Do you know anything about world ending in Tamil literature? Please do reply back if you could recommend me a book about the world and yugams.

Thank you

R. Prabhu said...

Thanks Anon! Yes there is a Tamil Calendar, you could read the following posts
Esoteric Edaikaadar - Part 1
Esoteric Edaikaadar - Part 2
Esoteric Edaikaadar - Part 3

Umamaheshwaran Gangadharan said...

Dear All,

I am travelling to Velliangiri Temple this weekend. Can you please tell me, if I need to get permission from Forest Department? or I can just start climbing the steps? Please help.

R. Prabhu said...

You can travel to the temple in the foothills but climbing the Vellingiri hills at this time of the year is very dangerous due to heavy rainfall.