A person could have been asleep under the proverbial rock for many years and still know that something is seriously amiss in today’s civilization. Something negative has been slowly but surely growing for the past several centuries. That something apparently seems to be snowballing towards fruition.
Is it our collective paradigm? Or is it simply that some sort of psychopathic tendencies of the human race have been manifesting more and more frequently? Is our awareness of this negativity due to selective news coverage? Or has something else been going on?
I’m a fairly upbeat guy who prefers to spend his time with other upbeat, positive people. But lately, it’s been more difficult for me to ignore some rather alarming trends that appear to be growing in strength. Most of these could have been passed off, in olden times, as our dark inner natures. I am of the opinion that something much larger in scope has been happening and increasing throughout all of our recorded history.
Some cultures claim that this series of events is all a part of recurring cycles. The description of this portion of the cycles is compellingly found in Hinduism. I cannot begin to claim expertise in the spiritual traditions of South Asia. I can only say that I have been interested in, and have done some armchair study of the ocean of literature that is to be found from that part of the world.
That said, one important aspect keeps coming to my attention nearly every time I investigate the wisdom traditions of South Asia is that of the great cycle of life on earth. Basically, the cycle is divided into quarters. The four stages, or Yugas, are called: Dvapara Yuga, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Kali Yuga. Hindu scripture and teachers say that mankind has been living in the Kali Yuga or final stage. Some claim that the Kali Yuga is, itself, in its final phase.
When the cycle transitions back into the Dvapara Yuga, a great destruction will take place. Indeed, at every transition from Yuga to Yuga, the scripture says that great dissolutions of humanity occur.
This all appears quite dire and depressing. I like to temper this somber knowledge with the fact that each generations’ collective egos like to posit themselves as special. Each generation feels that the fate of the world is on their shoulders.
The fate of the world is passed from one generation to the next like the baton in a relay footrace. The relay race takes place on a circular track. There’s a beginning and an end to each footrace. Are we the last runners to hold the baton before the finish line? Seeing today’s reports of events, to many of us, it looks like the finish line is indeed coming into view, soon. It seems like there’ll be nobody else to pass the baton to.
At the closing of the Treta Yuga, the Lord Krishna was killed. Following Krishna’s ascent to his abode around 3100 BCE, the present Yuga, the Kali Yuga began. Krishna was the last one to hold the baton. Then he crossed the finish line of the footrace called the Trita Yuga.
The scriptures relate conditions we will notice at the end of the Kali Yuga. The Bhagvata Purana warns that people will be exceedingly greedy, take to selfish behavior, will be merciless, indulge in hostilities without any substantial cause, unfortunate people will abound, there will be extreme covetousness for wealth and worldly desires. It looks like we are about to cross the finish line or the Kali Yuga. The transition to the Dvapara Yuga might be upon us?
Some teachers claim that the end of this cycle or Yuga will result in absolute chaos across the globe. Many fear that it might begin with a fight to the finish between Christianity and Islam because both of their holy books claim such a thing. Other people believe it will be military adventurism and a fight to the finish between military empires because current events seem to be pointing in that direction. There are others who think that both will happen.
You might think of the last stage of Kali Yuga like 4:00 in the morning. The darkest part of the day. This is the fight to the finish preceding the dawning of a new daytime. The daylight of the new era reveals that nobody has won. It was a loss for everybody. Whatever civilization, religion, and sustanance that developed in the previous thousands of years has nearly vanished. The Dvapara Yuga will be a fresh start.
That is one view. I don’t necessarily endorse that view, but I still find it compelling. Is the Yuga Cycle a good way to describe today’s events? Are we at the finish line, or will we pass the baton to another generation of runners?