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Ascending and Descending Ages according to Sri Yukteswar
Demon of Kali-Yuga

Kaliyuga ( Sanskrit , n., कलियुग, kaliyuga literally "Age of Kali ", "Age of Strife") is the name for the last of four ages , the Yugas in Hindu cosmology. It is considered the age of decay and ruin. As such, it was often related to the Greek Iron Age described by Hesiod in the Theogony and was also called the "Iron Age". The others are Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga.

Lord of this time is the black apocalyptic demon Kali , according to Vishnu Purana the negative manifestation of Vishnu , who in this form is responsible for the destruction of the universe. Kaliyuga is (incorrectly) often associated with the goddess Kali (kālī), who generally stands for dark, material aspects. Kali also denotes the losing side of the dice marked with a point.

According to Buddhist cosmology, such a dark age denotes the fourth and last major period of a period of about 3,000 years, from the birth of a Buddha until the appearance of a new Buddha.

The Hindu and Buddhist names for Kaliyuga refer principally to the same thing - a final age of four. What is different, however, is the specified length, which in Hinduism can range between 1,200 and 360,000 "human years". It is often unclear whether “human years” or the much longer “god years” are meant. In addition to other writings, the Vishnu Purana and the Manusmrti deal with this topic.

Age of decline

According to tradition, after the appearance of a teaching Buddha, the age gradually degenerates. After an age known as golden, silver and copper, we are now in the so-called "iron age", in which the outer world and the spiritual constitution of beings are very much affected by the three root poisons hate, greed and confusion. The "black age" is therefore more affected by war and widespread suffering than the previous ages. It is also known as the "Age of Decline". In such an age few beings have the ability to practice meditation for spiritual development and require very powerful methods to lead the mind to full enlightenment.

End of Kali Yuga

What follows after the end of Kali Yuga is controversial. In Hindu tradition, several possibilities are open: 1.) A new Golden Age (Satya Yuga) appears immediately and instantly replaces disorder and suffering with “divine” order and knowledge. 2.) A slow ascent through a new Dvapara and Treta Yuga up to a new Satya Yuga takes place analogously to the previous descent.

In Buddhism as well as Jainism , the last and dark ages generally take on an eschatological coloring and are adapted to the doctrines of salvation and redemption. At the end of a black age, according to Buddhist tradition, a new Buddha appears who preaches enlightened teachings, whereupon a new age of truth ( satya yuga ) begins. In an Age of Truth, beings have easy access to spiritual practice, and the minds of beings are little veiled by poisons. According to legend, 1,000 Buddhas will appear in this eon (Sanskrit kalpa ) and set the “wheel of teaching” in motion again. According to Buddhist tradition, Buddha Shakyamuni (563 BC) was the fourth Buddha to appear in this aeon. The appearance of the fifth Buddha named Maitreya is predicted for a few centuries. The last of 1,000 Buddhas of this aeon will at the end of an incredibly long period of time bear the name Möpa (Tibetan "completion"). According to tradition, this closes the happy cycle of this aeon and the world as we know it will be destroyed.

Individual evidence

  1. Claus Dettelbacher (2008) In the mulberry grove: The doctrine of the 4 world ages: Introduction to the traces of cyclical time. Reception, interfaces, philosophy of history - with constant consideration for Julius Evola . BoD, Norderstedt; ISBN 978-3-8370-6253-3 . (Extended diploma thesis at the University of Vienna); especially p. 73 ff.
  2. Swami Sri Yuktesvar Giri (1963) The Holy Science . SRF (German: The Holy Science ; originally in Bengali / Sanskrit; Calcutta 1894).