Chapter 3-3 – vyAsa predicts life in the coming kaliyuga
I do not know about the immediate as well as distant future. (I do not know whether my time for liberation (death) is near of far – see nIlakaNTha commentary). I wish to know about the end of dvApara era, stained with excess of adharma (I wish to know about the next era).
We are yearning for the arrival of that era due to our longing for dharma when we can get the highest dharma and happiness by doing small deeds.
The end of the era, dvApara, has arrived causing fear and anxiety for people. Dharma is lost, O the expert in dharma! Tell us about it describing its signs.
Sauti (ugrashrava) said:
The one who thinks about the progress of future of all beings at the end of the era, who was asked thus (by king janamejaya), the lord (vyAsa) said:
At the end of the (dvApara) era, there will be kings, who will take away their portions (taxes) from people, without protecting them. These kings will always be interested only in protecting themselves.
Non-kShatriya-s will also become kings (at the end of the era) and the brahmins will earn their livelihood from shUdra-s. As the era (dvApara) declines, shUdra-s will follow the customs of brAhmaNa-s.
O janamejaya! At the end of the era, the brahmins who take up (bow and) arrow (who follow the dharma of fighters – kShatriya-s) and the brahmins learned in veda-s will have food sitting in the same row, without offering ablutions to fire.
O janamejaya ! At the end of the era, there will be sculptors, speaking lies, men who like spirituous liquor and meat and men who consider wives as friends.
As the (dvApara) era declines, the thieves will do the work of kings. The kings will follow the habits of thieves and the servants shall use those items, which they are not directed to use.
As the (dvApara) era declines, wealth will be praised by all. The deeds of good men will not be respected. The fallen people will not be despised.
(As the era declines) the men will lose their souls, the widows, the mendicants and also those who are not yet sixteen will have children always.
As the era declines, the communities will sell food, the brahmins will sell veda-s on crossroads and the women will sell their chastity.
As the era declines, all those who recite veda-s will take up vAjasaneya (and abandon other branches of veda-s) and the shUdra-s will address others without any respect.
As the era declines, the brahmins will sell the fruits of penance and sacrifice and the seasons will become contradictory.
shUdra-s with white teeth, anjan in eyes, shaven head and wearing ochre clothes will earn their livelihood, following the dharma of shAkyabuddha.
As the era reaches its end, the animals of canine variety will be more, the cattle will decline and tasty food will be rare.
As the era declines, the lowly castes will be in the middle and the middle will go to the lower side and the majority of people will be of low caste.
As the era declines, two year old oxen will be used for carting and ploughing and the clouds will shower strange rains.
All will be born in the race of thieves and will steal from each other. The poor will become wealthy by gaining a little wealth.
As the era goes to its end, the men will not do their duty (dharma). The earth will become like a desert. There will be thieves all along the road.
In the era of kali all will become traders. The portions given by father will be immediately divided by the sons.
Prompted by greed and falsehood, the people will fight against each other and steal.
Even after the beauty as well as form and jewels decline, at the end of the era, the women will decorate their hair.
As the end of the era approaches, for the householder who does not have any source of enjoyment, his wife will become the ultimate end.
People with bad habits and people who are not noble will be abundant with false forms. Men will be few and women will be more. That is the sign of the end of the era.
There will be many beggars in the world. People will not give anything to each other. People will accept donations from those who are from lower caste without thinking.
The people will decline because of oppression from kings, thieves and fire. The sowed seed will not sprout (agriculture will be in vain). The young will have the habits of the old.
As the era ends people will be happy with daydreaming.
In the rainy season, the wind will be dry, rough and shower stones. As the era ends the people will become uncertain about the other world.
The wicked people will be interested in abusing the soul and brahma. They will consider themselves great. The brahmins will become angry.
The kShatriya-s will observe the customs of traders, earning their livelihood from trading wealth and grains. As the era changes, all will adopt the customs of brahmins.
The agreements and pledges will not be honoured. As the era declines, the debts will not be returned.
As the era declines, happiness will be in vain and anger will be fruitful for men. As the era declines, even the sheep will be milked.
Those who do not know the scriptures will behave as they like (but will claim the sanction of scriptures). Those who consider themselves as experts will speak about justice without any supporting citation.
As the era declines, it will not be possible to speak as per the scriptures. All will know all without consulting mature men.
As the end of the era approaches, all, without exception, will consider themselves as kavi (all-knowing). The brahmins, since they are fixed in deeds contrary to scriptures will not direct the kshatriya-s to perform their dharma.
As the end of the era approaches, the kings will behave as thieves.
O janamejaya! At the end of the era, those who accept girls born to a married woman from her lover, the cheaters and the liquor drinkers will become the supporters of brahma and perform the horse sacrifice.
As the end of the era approaches, the brahmins, greedy for wealth, will make those who are not eligible, to perform the sacrifices. They will also eat what is not eatable.
People will address without any respect. They will never get educated. The women will only wear ornaments having conch and decorate themselves with grass named gavedhuka.
As the era approaches its end, the stars will change the position. The directions will become opposing. There will be red colour in the sky and all the directions will burn.
The sons will ask fathers to do work. The daughter in law will ask the mother in law to do work. Men will have intercourse with women of lower castes.
(As the era ends) the students will daunt the teachers with words as sharp as arrows. The excited men will perform oral sex as well.
(As the era ends) the brahmins who worship fire, will eat without offering the four lumps of food. People will eat food without offering it first to others and gods.
(As the era ends) cheating the sleeping husbands, women will embrace other men. Cheating the sleeping wives, the men will embrace other women.
As the era ends, there will be no one without any physical or mental disease. People will envy and harm each other as the era ends.
Thus this is third chapter of bhaviShyaparva, harivaMsha, khila (sequel) of mahAbharata, vyAsa predicts life in the coming kaliyuga.