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...