Description of the Four Yuga ||58||
1Suta said: Henceforth I shall explain the traits of Dvapara age. When Treta Yuga ends, Dvapara sets in.
2In the beginning of Dvapara, the attainment of Siddhis by the people is as it was in Treta Yuga. But as the Yuga advances, the Siddhis disappear.
3-4Then the following vices begin to appear in the people at the time of Dvapara.: covetousness, lack of fortitude, trading mentality, war-mindedness, indecision about principles, inter-mixture of castes, indecision about duties, destruction of sacrificial plants and animals, pride, arrogance, impatience and weakness. These vices provoked by Rajas and Tamas Gunas prevail in Dvapara Age.
5In Krita Age Dharma is natural; in Treta it is sought and attained. In Dvapara it becomes agitated and intensly affected, and in Kali it perishes.
6In Kali Age the order of the castes gets destroyed. The discipline of the different stages of life is disturbed and confused. Doubts (due to variance) in Srutis and Smritis begin to rise.
7Owing to the difference between Srutis and Smrtis, no decision is arrived at. Due to indecision, principles of Dharma cannot be declared. When the principles diverge, there is difference of opinion among men.
8Owing to mutual difference in their views and delusion, no definite decision as to what is Dharma and what is not, can be arrived at.
9In view of the defects in the causes and the indecisions therein, differences in opinion arise leading to these peculiarities of outlook (or philosophy).
10Multiplicity of scriptures has been created by the people of different (philosophical) outlooks. A single unified Veda is divided into four in Treta Age.
11Due to the short span of life as found in Dvapara Yuga, the Veda is classified into four by Vedavyasas (in Dvapara Yugas).
12The Vedas are further sub-divided into Mantras and Brahmanas by the descendants of sages by alterations on accents, syllables etc. in accordance with their different outlooks.
13The Samhitas of the Rik, Samanand Yajur Vedas were compiled by sages expert in Srutis occasionally with general and special (known as Vedic Vikrtis) changes according to different standpoints.
14Consequently Brahmana (woRiks), Kalpa Sutras and Mantra-Pravacanas (different scriptural texts) came into existence. Some were abandoned by authoritative teachers while others were retained.
15In Dvapara Age Brahmanas began to disregard the rules of conduct and stages of life. Formerly there was one Yajurveda; later it was bifurcated (into Sukla and Krshna Yajurveda).
16This entire scriptural lore became confused by the general and perverted interpretations. By the discourses on (the interpretation of) the Yajurveda, it was greatly impaired.
17So also, by means of innumerable alterations and variations, the Atharvan, Rik and Saman have been confused in Dvapara by the people of different views.
18These diverse and different versions do not perish in spite of alterations in Dvapara Age. They continue to function but in Kaliyuga they perish.
19Effects of these contrarieties and errors take shape in Dvapara itself as calamities such as draughts, premature deaths, epidemics.
20Due to miseries born of verbal, mental and physical acts, despondency and indifference to worldly life sets in, as a result of which they begin to ponder over the ways of relief from misery.
21The pondering leads to detachment; from detachment, defects (of the worldly life) are seen. As a result of seeing defects, there is the possibility of spiritual knowledge in Dvapara Age.
22In Dvapara Age, rival (scriptures and sects) crop up against the scriptures which were honoured formerly in the first Svayambhuva Manvantara.
23There are variations and alterations in the science of Ayurveda, Jyotisa and the ancillaries of the Vedas; there are doubts and variations in regard to the texts on political economy and logic.
24There are diversities and variations in the Smrti texts. Separate systems and schools (of theology and philosophy) are established. In Dvapara Yuga difference of opinion starts among men.
25The life of all living beings in Dvapara Age becomes arduous involving bodily strain. Livelihood is possible only by mental, verbal and physical strain.
26-27Covetousness, lack of fortitude, mercantile activities, wars, indecision in regard to philosophical principles, handling and editing of the Vedic texts, inter-mixture of holy rites, diseases, sickness, greed, slaughter, breakdown in the system and rules of castes and stages of life, and susceptibility to passion and hatred— all these are rampant in Dvapara Age.
28-29The traits of Dvapara are evident in the Sandhya period but a little. They become deficient in quality. In the quarter of the Sandhya period, a part of it persists.
30Now listen and understand the traits of Kaliyuga1. At the close of transitional period of Dvapara, Kaliyuga begins.
31These are the characteristics of Kaliyuga: violence, jealousy, falsehood, deception and slaughter of ascetics. These are the characteristics of Kali Age which people inherit.
32Affected by the traits of the Age, entire Dharma deteriorates. It is doubtful whether the livelihood (of the people) can be achieved even by putting up mental strain, physical exertion or prayers.
33In Kali Age, there are fatal diseases. There is perpetual fear of hunger. There is terrible danger of drought. Vision is blurred and rendered perverse.
34In Kaliyuga, people do not accept the authority of Smrtis. Some die in the womb, others die in youth. Some die in old age and some in childhood, in Kali Yuga.
35In Kali age people are unrighteous, unmindful of the rules of conduct, fierce in anger but deficient in power and splendour. They always utter falsehood.
36There is danger and fear to people owing to wrong performance of sacrifices, neglect of (Vedic) studies, evil conduct, misleading religious scriptures and faults in the performance of holy rites of Brahmanas.
37In Kali age creatures are affected by passion and greed. They become violent, deceptive, malicious, hot-tempered, impatient and untruthful.
38There is much of agitation and turbulence at the advent of Kaliyuga. There is no regular study of the Vedas. The Braha- manas do not perform Yajnas. All men inclusive of Ksattriyas and Vaishyas gradually decay.
39Low-born and insignificant persons have contact with Brahmanas in sharing beds, seats and food in Kali Age.
40Kings are mainly Sudras propagating heretic ideas. People never hesitate to kill a child in the womb. They behave in such a way.
41Longevity, intellect, strength, beauty and family prestige decline. Sudras behave like Brahmanas and Brahmanas adopt the ways of Sudras.
42When the end of the Yuga approaches, thieves and robbers administer kingdoms like kings; kings adopt the methods of thieves and robbers. Servants are bereft of love, friendship and loyalty (to their masters).
43Women become unchaste and disinterested in holy rites. They become fond of wine and meat. When Kali Age sets in, they resort to deceptive means.
44In Kali Age beasts of prey become more numerous and owerful. Cattles die and dwindle. Saintly men withdraw and keep aloof.
45At that time excessively fruitful but very subtle Dharma becomes difficult of access. Since the conduct of life of those who enjoy, in the various stages of life, is loose and unbridled, Dharma gets shaken.
46Then, when the end of the age approaches, even the great goddess like the earth will yield but little fruit. Sudras will begin to perform penance.
47But piety practised for one day (in Kali Yuga) is equal to that practised for a month in Dvapara and a year in Treta Age.
48The kings never protect the subjects. They appropriate their shares in oblations. Towards the end of the Yuga, they become eager solely to protect themselves.
49The kings do not belong to the Ksattriya clan. Vaishyas maintain themselves with the help of Sudras. The noble Brahmanas perform obeisance to Sudras at the end of Kali Age.
50In Kali Age there will be (wicked) persons in the guise of sages. When the Yuga is about to come to a close, the god of rains will shower in a mysteriously haphazard manner.
51In this base Yuga, people will have trading propensity, By false measures, the buyers will be deceived of their due share in the commodities.
52The whole society abounds in heretics of foul conduct and activity with their false appearance. Men will be in a minority and women will be many, when the end of Kaliyuga is imminent.
53People will be begging too much of one another. They will habitually eat meat. They will be using harsh words. They will not be straightforward or free from jealousy.
54No one helps in return for the help received. People will get emaciated and weak. They will indulge unhesitatingly in the activities causing downfall. That is the characteristic of the Yuga coming to a close.
55The earth will be devoid of good men. It will be desolate. In countries and cities, there will be groups and cliques.
56The earth will be deficient in water and less fertile. Protectors (i.e. those who ought to protect) will not protect. They will not exercise control over the administration.
57People will take away others’ gems and jewels. They will molest other men’s wives. They will be passionate with a wicked heart. They will revel in violent sinful activities.
58The men have unlikeable consciousness (?) They keep their hair untied and dishevelled. Towards the close of the Yuga, men less than sixteen years will begin to procreate.
59When the close of Yuga is imminent, Sudras exhibiting their white teeth, with clean shaven heads and wearing ochre coloured robes will perform sacred rites, proclaiming that they have conquered the sense-organs.
60There will be thieves stealing food crops and garments. There will be looters robbing other robbers and abductors of murderers.
61When perfect knowledge and holy rites disappear in the world, when people become inactive (in religious matters) even worms, mice and serpents will attack men.
62Abundance, welfare, good health and ability will become rare. Owls will begin to infest the countries afflicted by the fear of hunger.
63The maximum life expectation of the people afflicted by misery will be a hundred years. In Kali Yuga, the Vedas will be seen in some places and not seen in some places.
64-66Yajnas are forsaken when Dharma receives a setback. There will be many types of heretics like wearers of ochre-coloured robes (Buddhists), Jainas and Kapalikas (skull-bearing mendicants). There will be sellers of the Vedas and of the sacred places. Heretics antagonistic to the discipline and arrangement of different castes and stages oflife will be born. When Kali Yuga sets in, the Vedas will not be studied. Sudras will be experts and authorities in the affairs of Dharma.
67Kings born of Sudra women will not perform Yajnas. The subjects will murder women and slaughter cows. Coming to mutual clash, they will kill one another. And in this way, people will try to accomplish (their object).
68Due to the spread of misery, people will be shortlived. Realms will be exterminated. Sickness, delusion, dejection, unhappiness and all Tamasic activities prevail in Kali Age.
69People will kill and destroy children in wombs. With the advent of Kali, longevity, strength and beauty begin to decline. The highest life expectation of men afflicted by misery will be a hundred years.
70The Vedas will be seen somewhere and not seen in some places. When Dharma is harassed Yajnasare forsaken.
71At that time men will attain Siddhi in a short time. Blessed people, leading excellent Brahmanas will perform holy rites at the end of the Yuga.
72For those who perform the holy rites enjoined by the Srutis and Smrtis, without the least tinge of jealousy, the performance of holy rites for a year in Treta Yuga is equal to that for a month in Dvapara Age. An intelligent man performing these in Kali Age according to his capacity, shall attain the same fruit in a day.
73-74This is the condition in Kali Age. Now understand the condition in the part of the junction (Sandhyamsa) from me. In every Yuga the achievements (Siddhis) shrink and dwindle by three-fourths. In accordance with the nature of the Yuga, the Sandhyas stay by a quarter. In accordance with the nature of tlfe Sandhyas they are established in their parts by a quarter.
75-76Thus when the period of junction (Sandhyamsa} approaches at the close of the (Kali)Yuga, a king, the chastiser of the wicked people, will be born after the death (fall) of Bhrigus. He (will be) Candramas by Gotra (of the Lunar race). He will be called Pramiti. He was born of a part of Vishnu formerly in the Svayambhuva Manvantara.
77He wandered over the earth for full twenty years. He led an army consisting of cavalry, chariots and elephants.
78He was surrounded by hundreds and thousands of Brahmanas armed with weapons. He killed Mlecchas in thousands.
79He went everywhere. After killing the kings born of Sudra women, he exterminated the heretics.
80He killed thousands of persons who were not religious and righteous. He killed those born of mixed castes as well as those who depended on them.
81-83He killed the Udicyas (northerners), Madhya Defy as (people of the Middle Land), mountain-dwellers, easterners, westerners, dwellers in Vindhya and Aparanta. He killed the southerners, Dravidas, Simhalas, Gandharas, Paradas, Pahlavas, Yavanas, Tusaras, Barbaras, Ginas, Sulikas, Daradas, Khasas, Lampakas, Ketas, and the different tribes of Kiratas.
84Setting his wheel (of religious victory) in motion, the powerful lord, the destroyer of Mlecchas, roamed over the earth. He could not be thwarted by any living being.
85He was born of a part of Lord Vishnu. This valorous hero was known as Pramiti by people knowing what happened in the previous birth.
86-88In the previous Kali Yuga, he was of Candramas Gotra (Lunar race). When he was thirty-two (he started his victorious march). For twenty years, he continued to slay men and other living beings in thousands. By his firm action, he rendered the earth a relic (memento) of his valour. Due to his anger provoked by mutual causes (bilateral relations) or suddenness, he subdued Vrsalas who were generally unrighteous. Thereafter, he attained eternal rest along with his followers in the region (confluence?) of Ganga and Yamuna.
89-91When he thus passed away along with his ministers and faithful soldiers, after exterminating all the kings and Mlecchas in thousands, when the period of the part of Sandhya arrived at the end of the Yuga, and when only a few of the people remained scattered here and there, the unchecked people became active in the world in groups. They harassed one another and sought help of one another.
92When anarchy prevailed as a result of the Yuga (coming to a close), and when there was doubt and suspense everywhere among the subjects. they became frightened of one another.
93They were exhausted and agitated. Eager to preserve their own lives, they left their wives and homes. They became extremely miserable and died.
94When Dharma based on the Vedas and Smrtis became defunct, people killed one another devoid of the bounds of decency, affection, friendship or shame.
95Their span of life dwindled to twenty-five years. They became short-sized. They abandoned their wives and sons. Their sense-organs became agitated and their minds dejected.
96Oppressed by drought and scanty rain, they were forced to abandon cultivation. Being utterly miserable, they left their lands and countries and lived in the frontier.
97They began to resort to rivers, oceans, wells and mountains. They maintained themselves on fruits and roots, wine and meat. They became very miserable.
98They wear bark garments and deer skins. They have no wives or sons. They fall off from the system of castes and stages of life. They resort to a terrible promiscuous intermixture of castes.
99They reach the limit of misery. Only a few of them survive. They are oppressed by old age, sickness and hunger. Due to misery they become indifferent to worldly existence.
100Due to this despondency and indifference, they begin to ponder. By pondering over they attain the state of equanimity. In the state of equanimity, they are enlightened. Due to enlightenment they become pious.
101When those subjects surviving at the end of Kali Age are thus enlightened, in a single day and night the Yuga is transformed.
102After making their minds enchanted Kritayuga sets in due to the power of the inevitable destiny.
103When Kritayuga begins to function again, the few subjects surviving from Kaliyuga become the subjects of Kritayuga.
104Those Siddhas who stay move about and are seen clearly. The Seven Sages are also ever present there.
105Brahmanas, Ksattriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras who are to serve as seeds for future generation become non-differentiated from those who are born of Kali.
106The Seven Sages instruct them and the others too in the two types of Dharma prescribed by Srutis and Smrtis as well as in the conduct pertaining to the castes and stages of life.
107Then in Krita Yuga, people (subjects) perform the sacred rites. To the subjects of the Krita Age Dharma based on Srutis and Smrtis is laid down by the Seven Sages.
108For establishment of Dharma among the subjects, the Sages remain in authority over the whole of Manvantara and stay on (live) to the end of the Yuga.
109-110Just as new shoots grow from the roots of grasses that are burnt during the summer in the forest-fire, so also the new Yuga grows out of the old Yuga. Till the end of the Manvantara this series goes on without break.
111Happiness, longevity, strength, beauty, virtue (Dharma), wealth and love—all these become reduced by one fourth from one Yuga to another.
112In the parts of junctions of Yugas (Sandhyamsas) the Siddhis of Dharma become almost extinct. Thus, O Brahmanas, the Pratisandhi (the period of transition between Yugas) has been narrated to you.
113-114By means of this alone should all the sets of four Yugas be known. When the set of four Yugas repeats a thousand times, it is the day of god Brahma. His night is also of the same duration. In it, there is simplicity and inactiveness of the Bhutas (elements).
115This alone is the trait of all Yugas. Seventy-one cycles of the sets of four Yugas occurring successively constitute a Manvantara.
116In a single set of four Yugas everything happens in the manner you have heard now. In the other sets of four Yugas also the same thing happens in the same order.
117The differences that occur in the various creations are confined to twenty-five, neither more nor less.
118So also the Kalpas and the Yugas are similar in characteristics. This alone is the characteristic sign of all the Manvantaras.
119So also the transitions of the Yugas occur naturally. They are eternal as well. But the living beings that undergo modifications in the form of dissolution and re-creation cannot be permanent.
120Thus the characteristics of Yugas have been briefly mentioned, the Yugas of the past and future in all Manvantaras.
121-122In respect of the future Manvantaras the traits shall be inferred from the previous one. In the Manvantaras whether of the past or of the future, know that the Manvantaras shall be explained by the present one; one Kalpa is explained by explaining another.
123-124The eight classes of Devas, sages and Manus are also similar in all Manvantaras in names, forms and purposes. The division of the four castes and stages of lite is the same in every Yuga.
125The Lord arranges for the creation and the division of castes and stages in the different Yugas in accordance with the nature of those Yugas for the purposes of fulfilling the functions, in the respective Yugas.
126The topic has been narrated in brief. Now listen to and understand the creation of the world. I shall explain the situation in different Yugas in details and in proper order.