(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'When the earth saw the kings busily engaged in conquering her, she laughed and said: 'Ah, just see how these kings, these playthings of death, wish to conquer me! (2) This lust of the rulers of man and even the wise is doomed to fail with those kings who put their faith in this lump [of earthly matter] that compares to bubbles [of foam on water]. (3-4) They may think: 'First of all conquering the division of six [the senses and the mind], we will conquer the leading ministers, then the advisors and then rid ourselves of the thorns [or the thugs], the citizens, the friends and the elephant keepers. This way we will step by step conquer the earth and her girdle of seas', but thus being bound by the hopes in their heart, they do not see their own finality [compare B.G 16: 13-18]. (5) After having conquered the lands by the sea they with all their might enter the seas; what's the use of this kind of victory of self-control? Spiritual liberation is the [actual] fruit of self-control!
(6) O son of the Kurus[, she said:] 'Unintelligently they in that struggle try to conquer me [for the sake of eternal 'fame'] while the Manus and their sons, all had to give it up and had to leave [this world] the way they came [viz. helplessly]. (7) For my sake conflict thus arises among materialistic persons, a conflict wherein fathers fight with sons and sons with each other, because in their striving for power their hearts are bound to politics. (8) Saying things like: 'This for sure is my land and not yours, you fool', the rulers of man thus quarreling kill each other and get killed for my sake [compare e.g. 2.5: 13, 2.7: 42, 4.29: 5, 5.5: 8, 6.16: 41; 7.8: 7-10; 9.4: 2-12]. (9-13) Prithu, Purûravâ, Gâdhi, Nahusha, Bharata, Kârtavîryârjuna, Mândhâtâ, Sagara, Râma [*], Khathvânga, Dhundhuhâ [or] Kuvalayâs'va [9.6: 23-24], Raghu [9.10: 1], Trinabindu [9.2: 30], Yayâti, S'aryâti [9.3: 1], S'antanu [9.22: 12-13], Gaya [5.15: 6-13], Bhagîratha [9.9: 2-17], Kakutstha [9.6: 12], Naishadha [Nala, 9.9: 16-17, 9.23: 20-21, from the descendants of Nishadha, 9.12: 1], Nriga [Nâbhâga, 10.64: 10], Hiranyakas'ipu, Vritra, Râvana, who made the whole world lament, Namuci [8.11: 29-49], S'ambara [10.36: 36], Bhauma, Hiranyâksha and Târaka [8.10: 19-24], as well as many other demons and kings of great control over others, were each and everyone heroes who well informed were unconquerable and subdued everyone. Living for me, o mighty one, they expressed great possessiveness but, by the force of Time being subjected to death, they failed to accomplish their goals, all that remained of them are the historical accounts [see also B.G. 4: 7].'
(14) [S'uka continued:] These narrations that were related to you about great kings who spread their fame in all worlds and then departed, do not express the highest purpose; they, o mighty one, are but a wealth of words [a backdrop] for dilating on the renunciation and wisdom [of God]. (15) It is still the repeatedly discussing and singing about the qualities of the Lord who is Praised in the Verses which destroys everything inauspicious; he who desires Lord Krishna's untainted devotional service should therefore forthwith engage in regularly being of that listening.'
(16) The honorable king [Parîkchit] said: 'By what means, my Lord, do the people living in Kali-yuga eradicate the faults that accumulate because of that age, please explain that as-it-is to me. (17) [Explain to me] the yugas, the duties prescribed for them, and the time they last and find their end, and the Time itself that constitutes the movement of the Controller, of Lord Vishnu the Supreme Soul [see also timequotes page]'.
(18) S'rî S'uka said: 'In Krita-yuga the people of the time maintain the religion with all its four legs of truth [satya], compassion [dayâ], penance [tapas] and charity [dâna, or also s'auca, purification [**], compare 1.17: 24, 3.11: 21 and see niyama]. (19) The [hamsa-]people [of that age] are content, merciful, friendly, peaceful, self-controlled, tolerant, satisfied within, equal-minded and mostly ascetic [see also 3.13: 35 and 11.17: 10]. (20) In Tretâ-yuga is one fourth of [the strength of each of] the legs of dharma gradually lost because of opposite, irreligious qualities: falsehood, violence, dissatisfaction and quarrel [compare 1.17: 25]. (21) They are in that time devoted with rituals and penances, without any excessive violence or wanton desires. Prospering in their respect for the three Vedas they follow the three paths [of regulating the religion, the economy and sense gratification], and the four classes are predominantly oriented on the brahminical, o King. (22) The dharmic qualities of austerity, compassion, truth and charity are in Dvâpara-yuga reduced to one half because of the adharma qualities of violence, discontent, lies and hatred. (23) One is [in that age] of moral fiber and one loves the glory and is absorbed in vedic study. One is opulent with large families and joyful, and the four classes are for the greater part of brahminical nobility. (24) Next in Kali-yuga the legs of religiousness are decreasing to one fourth because of an increase of adharmic principles [compare 1.17: 25] and that one fourth will in the end also be destroyed. (25) In that era the people will be greedy, ill-mannered, lack in compassion, prone to useless quarrel [politicizing], unfortunate, obsessed with material desires and predominantly enslaved to [fruitive] labor. (26) The modes of the goodness, passion and ignorance of a person are set in motion by the Time and are observed in different combinations within the mind [***]. (27) When the mind, the intelligence and the senses flourish in the mode of goodness, that time of taking pleasure in knowledge and austerity should be understood as the time of Krita. (28) O intelligent one, when the conditioned souls in their duties are of ulterior motives and in their devotional service strive for honor, that predominance of passion must be considered the time of Tretâ. (29) When greed and dissatisfaction, false pride, envy and hypocrisy are seen everywhere and what one does is dominated by selfhood one speaks with that [predominance of] passion and ignorance of the time of Dvâpara.
(30) When there is deceit, false testimony, sloth and drowsiness, violence, depression, lamentation and delusion, fear and poverty is that time remembered as Kali, the time of ignorance. (31) As a consequence the mortals will be shortsighted, unfortunate, eating too much, lusty and poverty-stricken and the women will act on their own accord and be unchaste. (32) The populated areas will be dominated by impious people [or thieves], the vedic scriptures will be slighted by false doctrines [heretics], the political leaders will devour the people and the twice-born ones will be dedicated to their bellies and genitals. (33) The youngsters [students] will averse to vows be impure in their engagements, the householders will [with what they claim] tend to be beggars, the withdrawn ones [the middle-aged with no nature left to retreat into] will be city-dwellers and the renounced order will greedily endeavor for financial profits [be engaged in 'reli-business']. (34) Smaller in size and voracious having many children [the women will have] lost their timidity and constantly speak harshly and with great audacity be as deceitful as thieves. (35) The merchants will for no reason be of cheating so that their business dealings are truly miserly and the people will consider a degraded occupation [like e.g. in the sex industry or gambling business] a good job. (36) Servants will abandon a master lacking in property even if he is the best one around, masters will abandon a handicapped servant even when he belonged to the family for generations and cows will be [killed] when they have stopped giving milk. (37) In Kali-yuga men under the control of women will be wretched and forsake the association of their own family members, friends, brothers and father, in favor of an upon their sexuality based friendship with the sisters and brothers of his wife's family. (38) Labor minded people will for their living appearing as renunciates acquire funds religiously and climbing a high seat speak about the religious principles without any sense of duty concerning the knowledge [of sacrificing, or false preachers...]. (39-40) With their minds constantly upset, troubled by taxes and famine in times of scarcity with droughts on the surface of the earth, they will, being troubled by countless worries, live in fear. Lacking in clothing, food, drink, rest, change, bathing and personal ornaments the people of Kali-yuga will appear like ghostly creatures. (41) In the age of Kali one will even over a single coin develop enmity [5.14 and 5.14: 26]. Rejecting friendly relations one will kill oneself and even kill one's relatives. (42) Not even born in a decent family one will protect the elderly, the parents, the wife and the children; simply in support of the petty self-interest of one's own belly and genitals. (43) O King, in Kali-yuga the mortals will predominanly be of sacrifice for atheistic reasons with their intelligence which factually originated from The Infallible One, the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is the Supreme Spiritual Master of the three worlds and at whose feet the various masters bow down. (44) In Kali-yuga the people do not worship Him unto whom a person dying, in distress collapsing and with a faltering voice helplessly chanting His name, is freed from the chains of karma and achieves the topmost destination [see also B.G. 8: 10 and 6.2]. (45) The things, the place and the individual nature of man are as a result of Kali-yuga all faulty, but when one installs Bhagavân, the Supreme Personality in one's heart, He takes it all away.
(46) Of those human beings who but even heard, glorified, meditated, worshiped or venerated the Supreme Lord, the inauspicious which accumulated from a thousand births in their hearts is cleansed away. (47) Just as the discoloration one finds in gold because of other metals is undone by fire are the same way the impurities of mind of the yogis undone by Lord Vishnu residing in the soul. (48) Knowledge ['demigod worship'], penance, arresting one's breath, friendship, bathing in holy waters, vows, charity and praying with prayer beads gives not as much purification of mind as is achieved with Him, the Unlimited Personality of Godhead present in the heart. (49) Therefore o King do your utmost best to establish Lord Kes'ava in your heart; the moment you die [here after this week] you will thus concentrated attain the highest destination. (50) The Supreme Lord meditated upon by those who are dying is the Supreme Controller, the Soul and Shelter of All, who leads them to their true identity, my dearest. (51) In the ocean of faults that is Kali-yuga, there is luckily one great good quality: just by chanting about Krishna [see bhajans] one can, liberated from material bondage, attain the kingdom of heaven [see also bhâgavata dharma and kîrtana]. (52) The same result in Satya-yuga achieved by meditating on Vishnu, in Tretâ-yuga achieved by worshiping with sacrifices and in Dvâpara-yuga achieved by serving the lotus feet [of Him as a King], is in Kali-yuga achieved by singing about the Lord [see also 11.5: 38-40].'