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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 12

Despair and Hope in the Age of Quarrel

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 12   

 Despair and Hope in the Age of Quarrel

(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'And then, o King, day after day under the strong influence of the time [of Kali-yuga] the religiousness, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance and mercy as well as the duration of life, the strength and the memory will diminish [see also 1.16]. (2) In the age of Kali among man wealth alone will be the sign of a good birth, behavior and qualities and material power will be the only criterion in determining what would be just and right. (3) Marital relations will be based upon outer appearances, in business deceit will be the standard, whether one is considered manly or feminine will depend on one's sexuality and a sacred thread will suffice to be considered learned. (4) An outer mark will be enough to determine a person's spiritual status and will also suffice for changing one's confession, making little money one looses one's credibility and a little word jugglery is enough to be considered a scholar. (5) Poverty is taken for something unholy and hypocrisy is considered a virtue; a promise is enough to be married [to have premarital sex] and to take a bath [without any other morning routine] is enough to appear for the day. (6) A reservoir of water somewhere far away is considered a holy place, beauty depends on one's coiffure, life's purpose is to fill one's belly, audacity is considered truthfulness, able to maintain a family one is an expert and religious service is attended for one's reputation. (7) With the earth overpopulated with a populace thus corrupted, anyone among the intellectuals, the merchants or the ruling or working class who is the strongest, will be the King of the Hill. (8) The citizens whose wives and property is stolen by a merciless and avaricious ruling class behaving like ordinary thieves, will flee to the mountains and the forests. (9) Resorting to the consumption of vegetables, roots, meat, honey, fruits, flowers and seeds they will be ruined, suffering draught, tormented by famine and taxes [see also 1.16: 20, 4.20: 14, 4.21: 24, B.G. 3: 14]. (10) By cold, wind, heat, rain and snow plagued as well as by hunger, thirst and diseases, they suffer as a consequence a great deal of distress and anxiety. (11) The maximum duration of life for human beings in Kali-yuga will be fifty years. (12-16) When the bodies of all living entities by the contamination of Kali-yuga are in decay and the dutifulness of the members of all status-orientations is lost, when the vedic path fit for all man has changed into an atheistic conception of duty, when the kings predominantly act as thieves and men in their various occupations in truth are all lying bandits of meaningless slaughter, when the classes are predominantly [profit-]labor-minded, the cows are no better than goats, the hermitages are just like materialistic homes, family ties do not reach further than the bonds of marriage, when the plants and herbs have reduced in size and all trees are like s'amî trees, when there is always lightning in the clouds and the homes are ruled by loneliness [voidism, impersonalism, see Pranâti], when Kali-yuga is running at its end and the people have become like asses, the Supreme Lord will descend in the mode of pure goodness to defend the dharma.

(17) The spiritual master of all the moving and nonmoving beings, Lord Vishnu, the Controller of All, will for the protection of the religion and the saintly put an end to the fruitive activities and the [repeatedly] being born. (18) In the village of S'ambhala Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the great soul, the brahmin Vishnuyas'â ['the glory of Vishnu']. (19-20) Mounting His swift horse Devadatta, the Lord of the Universe endowed with His sword, transcendental qualities and the eight mystic opulences [siddhis], will subdue the ones who turned away from the holy. On His horse moving with speed about the earth He, unrivaled in His splendor, will slaughter the thieves disguised in the garb of kings. (21) When all the robbers have been killed, the minds of all the citizens and the people living in the countryside will clear up being touched by the breeze which carries the most sacred fragrance of the [with sandalwood paste] decorated body of Lord Vâsudeva. (22) When Vâsudeva, the Supreme Lord, is situated in their hearts in His transcendental form of goodness, the culture of their progeny will flourish as never before. (23) When the Supreme Lord Kalki, the Lord and Master of Dharma, incarnates, will Satya-yuga and the creation of progeny in the mode of goodness begin [see yuga]. (24) When the moon and the sun together with Jupiter [Bhrihaspatî] in the same constellation [of Karkatha or Cancer] enter the lunar mansion of Tishyâ [or Pushyâ, 3° 20´ to 16° 40´ see zodiac] that very moment Satya-yuga - or Krita - will begin.

(25) Thus I have briefly described all the kings of the past, the present and the future who belong to the solar and lunar dynasties [see also vams'a]. (26) Beginning from the birth of your good self up until the coronation of king Nanda [see 12.1: 12] eleven hundred and fifty years will pass [*]. (27-28) When the constellation of the seven sages (Ursa Major, the Great Bear) rises are the first two of them (Pulaha and Kratu) seen in the sky, in between them on the same line [northwest] in the night sky is their [ruling] lunar mansion seen. The sages [the stars] connected remain with that lunar mansion for a hundred human years. Now, in your time, are the twice-born situated in the nakshatra called Maghâ. (29) With Vishnu, the Supreme Lord, the sun known as Krishna having returned to heaven, this world has entered the age of Kali in which people delight in sin. (30) As long as He, the Husband of Ramâ, touched the earth with His lotus feet, Kali couldn't really take possession of her. (31) When the [constellation of the] seven sages among the gods enter[s] Maghâ, Kali-yuga begins. That period covers twelve hundred [godly] years [or 432.000 human years, see also kâla]. (32) When the seven sages pass from Maghâ to the lunar mansion of Pûrvâsâdhâ, will from the time of [Mahâpadma] Nanda and his descendants on, this age of Kali gain its full strength. (33) The historians say that the day that S'rî Krishna left for the spiritual abode, the age of Kali commenced. (34) At the end of the thousand celestial years of the fourth [Kali-] age, will Krita-yuga start again, the time when the minds of man are self-luminous.

(35) Thus has this dynasty from [Vaivasvata] Manu been enumerated as it descended on earth; and also the positions from age to age of the learned, the traders and the workers may be understood the same way. (36) Of these personalities, these great souls, one only remembers their names; all that remains of their glory on this earth are their stories. (37) Devâpi, the brother of S'ântanu [9.22: 12-17] and Maru [9.12: 5-6] who took birth in the Ikshvâku dynasty, both live in Kalâpa, endowed with great mystic power. (38) They will at the end of the age of Kali return to the human society and, deriving from the instructions they received from Vâsudeva, as previously promulgate the varnâs'rama-dharma. (39) The four ages of Krita, Tretâ, Dvâpara and Kali that the living beings undergo in this world continuously repeat themselves in this sequential order [see also mahâyuga]. (40) O King, these kings, these gods among man and the others I have described who arriving on this earth exert their possessiveness, in the end all have to forsake this world and face their destruction. (41) Even if someone's body carries the name of king it is nevertheless destined to end as stool, ashes or food for the worms. For the sake of that body he was of enmity towards other living beings and for that reason he ends up in hell. How can one possibly say of such a person that he knows what is good for him [compare 6.18: 35, 7.15: 37, 10.10: 10, 10.51: 50]? (42) [A king may think:] 'How can this same undivided earth held by the personalities of my predecessors and now under my sway, be of my son, grandson or other descendant?' (43) When one accepts this body that is composed of earth, water and fire, with a notion of 'I' and when one says 'mine' to this earth, one lacks in intelligence, because one in the end reaching one's own absence has to forsake this body as well as this earth [see also 4.9: 34-35]. (44) Whatever that kings may enjoy in the world with all their power, is by Time all turned into accounts and histories only [compare with 2.9: 33, 5.19: 28, 11.19: 16, 11.28: 21].'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/