First, please understand that the term “Kali” in Kali Yuga should not be confused with the name of the Goddess Kali. They are two different words. The name of the Goddess means “time”. The “kali” of the yuga means “black, dark, strife, discord, quarrel or contention”.
The four Yugas are in the proportion 4:3:2:1.
1. Krita Yuga (fortunate age; also called Satya Yuga)
2. Treta Yuga (age of three parts)
3. Dwapara Yuga (age of two parts)
4. Kali Yuga (age of darkness)
Each Yuga has a dawn (Sandhyá) and a twilight (Sandyásana) period, each a tenth of its length.
“The rishis, measuring time, have given particular names to particular portions of time. Five and ten winks of the eye make what is called a Kastha. Thirty Kasthas make what is called a Kala. Thirty Kalas, with the tenth part of a Kala, make a Muhurta. Thirty Muhurtas make one day and night. Thirty days and nights form a month, and twelve months form a year. Persons well-read in mathematical science say that a year is made up of two solar motions, meaning the northern and southern. The sun makes the day and night for men. The night is for the sleep of all living creatures, and the day is for work. A month of human beings is equal to a day and night of the departed manes. That division consists in this: the light half of the month is their day which is for work; and the dark fortnight is their night for sleep. A year is equal to a day and night to the gods. This division consists in this: the half year for which the sun travels from the vernal to the autumnal equinox is the day of the gods, and the half year for which the sun moves from the latter to the former is their night. Thus, an earth year is but a day for the Devas. Calculating by the days and nights of human beings about which I have told you, I shall speak of the day and night of Brahma and his years also. I shall, in their order, tell you the number of years, that are for different purposes calculated differently, in the Krita, the Treta, the Dvapara, and the Kali yugas. Four thousand celestial years is the duration of the first or Krita age. The morning of that cycle consists of four hundred years and its evening is of four hundred years.
“Regarding the other cycles, the duration of each gradually decreases by a quarter in respect of both the principal period with the minor portion and the conjoining portion itself. These periods always keep up the never-ending and eternal worlds. They who know Brahma, O child, regard this as Immutable Brahma.”The Mahabharata, Shanti Parva, 231.21-22
“The learned say that these 12,000 celestial years form what is called a cycle. A thousand such cycles form a single day of Brahma. The same is the duration of Brahma’s night. With the beginning of Brahma’s day the universal entities come into being. During the period of universal dissolution the Creator sleeps in Yoga meditation. When the period of sleep expires, He awakes. What is Brahma’s day covers a thousand such cycles. His night also covers a thousand similar cycles. They who know this are said to know the day and the night. On the expiry of His night, Brahma, waking up, modifies the indestructible intelligence by causing it to be overlaid with ignorance. He then causes Consciousness to spring up, whence it originates Mind which is at one with the Manifest.” The Mahabharata Shanti Parva, 231.29-32
In calculating the duration of the different yugas, there are a few differences between the Puranas, otherwise their descriptions are all the same. The Brahmanda Purana 184.108.40.206-34 specifically states that Krita or Satya yuga is 1,440,000 human years in length, Treta-yuga is 1,080,000 years, Dvapara yuga is 720,000 years, and Kali-yuga is 360,000 years in length. The Linga Purana 4.24-35 also agrees with this except for Treta yuga, which it says is 1,800,000 years in length. These figures are correct when we leave out the conjoining at the beginning of each yuga and the ending of each yuga periods.
When explaining the various measurements of time, the Vishnu Purana Book One, Chapter Three and the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19, along with the Bhagavad Gita 8.17, the Vayu Purana Chapter 57, and Bhavishya Purana Brahma Parva, 2.86-107, and others, such as the Mahabharata as quoted above, also all agree on the measurements of the durations of the yugas.
To relate these durations to history we need an actual date, and this is supplied by the Hindu astronomers. They agree that the Kali Yuga began at midnight between February 17 and 18, 3102 BCE. With this we can calculate that the transition to the Krita Yuga will occur around 427,000 CE.
he nAtha ramaNaSreStha
asmAkaM kA gatiScAtra
bhaviSyati kalau yuge
“Ganga said: O protector, Supreme enjoyer, on your departure for the perfect abode, Goloka, thereafter what will be my situation in the age of Kali?”
varSANi tiSTha bhu-tale
pApAni pApino yAni
tubhyaM dAsyaMti snAnataH
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Remain on earth for five thousand years of Kali yuga. Sinners will deposit their sins in you by bathing.”
bhaviSyaMti darzanAc ca
snAnAd eva hi jAhnavI
“By the sight, touch and bathing of one who worships Me by My mantra all those sins will be at once burnt to ashes, O Ganga.”
purANAni bhavaMti hi
tatra gatvA sAvadhAnam
AbhiH sArddhaM ca zroSyasi
“There will be chanting of the name of Hari and reading of the Bhagavata Purana. Reaching such a place, attentively hear.
“Sinful reactions including the killing of a brahmana can be nullified be hearing the Bhagavata Purana and chanting of the names of Hari in the manner of devotees.”
dahaMti pAvako yathA
“Just as dry grass is burnt by fire, by the embrace of Vaisnavas all sins are burnt.”
tathApi vaiSNavA loke
pRthivyAM yAni tIrthAni
puNyAnyapi ca jAhnavi
“O Ganga, the whole planet will become a pilgrimage site by the presence of Vaisnavas, even though it had been full of sinners and sins.”
santi puteSu saMtatam
sadyaH putA vasundharA
“In the body of My devotees remains eternally the purifier. Mother Earth becomes pure by the dust of the feet of My devotees.”
sadyaH putAni tIrthAni
sadyaH putaM jagat tathA
“It will be the same in the case of pilgrimage sites and the whole world. Those intelligent worshipers of My mantra who partake of My remnants will purify everything.”
mAm eva nityaM dhyAyaMte
te mat prANAdhikAH priyAH
tad upasparza mAtreNa
puto vAyuzca pAvakaH
“Those, who everyday meditate only on Me, are more dear to Me than My life. The air and fire become pure simply by their indirect touch.”
madbhaktAH saMti bhu-tale
madbhakteSu gateSu ca
“For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of Mine will be present on earth. After the departure of My devotees there will be only one varna (caste).”
“Devoid of My devotees, the earth will be shackled by Kali. Saying this, Krsna departed.”
Brahmavaivarta Purana 4.129 Verses 49 – 60
The above is supported in 4.90.32-33:
haris tiSThati medinI
devAnAM pratimA pUjyA
zAstrANi ca purANakam
“Lord Hari will stay on this earth for the first ten-thousand years of Kali-yuga. For that time the deities of the demigods will be worshiped and the Puranas and scriptures will also be present.”
tad-ardham api tIrthAni
gangAdIni su nizcitam
tad-ardham grAma-devAz ca
vedAz ca viduSAm api
“For half that period the Ganga and other holy places will be present. For half that period the village temples and the Vedas studied by learned brahmanas will be present.”
According to the Vedic scriptures, our current age, is Kali-yuga and is one of spiritual darkness, violence, and hypocrisy. Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.31 records Kali yuga as having begun when the constellation of the saptarishis (the Great Bear constellation of Ursa Major) passed through the lunar mansion of Magha. Hindu astronomers/astrologers have calculated this to have been 2:27 a.m. on February 18, 3102 BC. This took place some 36 years after Lord Krsna spoke Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.
All of the scriptures teach that during the 432,000 year age of Kali, humanity deteriorates. Humans begin to kill animals for food. They fall under the spell of intoxication. They lose all sexual restraint. Families break up. Women and children are abused and abandoned.
Increasingly degraded generations, conceived accidentally in lust and growing up wild, swarm all over the world. Political leadership falls into the hands of unprincipled rogues, criminals and terrorists, who use their power to exploit the people. Entire populations are enslaved and put to death. The world teems with fanatics, extremists and spiritual artists, who win huge followings among a people completely dazed by hedonism, as well as by cultural and moral relativism. “Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory diminish with each passing day.” Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.1
The saints and sages of ancient India describe the people of this age as greedy, ill-behaved, and merciless. In this age merely possessing wealth is considered a sign of good birth, proper behavior, and fine qualities. Law and justice are determined by one’s prestige and power. Marriage ceases to exist as a holy union, men and women simply live together on the basis of bodily attraction and verbal agreement, and only for sexual pleasure.
Women wander from one man to another. Men no longer look after their parents in their old age, and fail to provide for their own children. One’s beauty is thought to depend on one’s hairstyle. Filling the belly is said to be the only purpose in life. Cows are killed once their milk production drops. Atheism flourishes. Religious observances are performed solely for the sake of reputation.
The Linga Purana describes the human race in Kali yuga as a vain and stupid people “spurred on by the lowest instincts.” They prefer false ideas and do not hesitate to persecute sages. They are tormented by bodily desires.
Severe droughts and plagues are everywhere. Slovenliness, illness, hunger and fear spread. Nations are continually at war with one another. The number of princes and farmers decline. Heroes are assassinated. The working classes want to claim regal power and enjoy royal wealth.
Kings become thieves. They take to seizing property, rather than protecting the citizenry. The new leaders emerge from the laborer class and begin to persecute religious people, saints, teachers, intellectuals, and philosophers.
Civilization lacks any kind of divine guidance. The sacred books are no longer revered. False doctrines and misleading religions spread across the globe. Children are killed in the wombs of their mothers. Women who have relations with several men are numerous. Predatory animals are more violent. The number of cows diminishes.
Linga Purana says that in Kali yuga, young women freely abandon their virginity. Women, children, and cows – always protected in an enlightened society – are abused and killed during the iron age. Thieves are numerous and rapes are frequent. There are many beggars, and widespread unemployment. Merchants operate corrupt businesses. Diseases, rates, and foul substances plague the populace. Water is lacking, fruits are scarce. Everyone uses vulgar language.
The men of Kali yuga seek only money. Only the richest have power. People without money are their slaves. The leaders of the state no longer protect the people, but plunder the citizenry through excessive taxation. Farmers abandon living close to nature. They become unskilled laborers in congested cities. Many dress in rags, or are unemployed, and sleep on the streets. Through the fault of the government, infant mortality rates are high. False gods are worshiped in false ashrams, in which pilgrimages, penances, charities and austerities are all concocted.
People in this age eat their food without washing. Monks break their vows of celibacy. Cows are kept alive only for their milk. Water is scarce. Many people watch the skies, praying for rain. No rain comes. The fields become barren. Suffering from famine and poverty, many attempt to migrate to countries where food is more readily available. People are without joy and pleasure. Many commit suicide. Men of small intelligence are influenced by atheistic doctrines. Family, clan and caste are all meaningless. Men are without virtues, purity or decency. Visnu Purana 6.1
Does this not sound exactly like what we have today? here is other texts…
Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda, Srimad Bhagavata-Mahatmya
Sri Narada replied, ‘I came here considering the earth to be the best of planets. Although I travelled to Puskara, Prayaga, Kasi, Godavari, Haridvara, Kuruksetra, Sriranga and Setubandha, I could not find peace in any of those holy places. At present, Kali yuga the friend of irreligion, has completely afflicted the whole earth. Now truthfulness, austerity, cleanliness, mercy and charity are nowhere to be seen. The fallen living entities take pleasure in telling lies and are simply engaged in filling their bellies. They are lazy, less intelligent, unfortunate, and always disturbed. Those who are called saintly are actually pretenders. Though they appear renounced, they accumulate wealth, women, and paraphernalia for sense pleasure. Women rule the family and the brother-in-law is the consultant. People sell their daughters out of greed, and husbands and wives always quarrel. The holy places, asramas of saintly people, and rivers are under the control of the yavanas, who are against Vedic religion. They have destroyed many temples and therefore yogis, siddhas, jnanis and religious people are not to be seen. The processes of liberation are completely burnt to ashes in the fire of Kali yuga. In this age people sell grains in the market, the brahmanas charge fees to teach, and women thrive by prostitution.
“Thus witnessing the defects of Kali yuga and wandering over the face of the earth, I reached the bank of the Yamuna where Lord Krsna had performed various pastimes. O best of sages, please hear about the wonder I saw there. A beautiful woman was sitting in a dejected mood while two old men lay unconscious in front of her breathing very quickly. While trying to bring them to consciousness, the young women would sometimes cry. At times she would look around as if searching for her protector, the Super soul. She was served by hundreds of women who were fanning and trying to console her. I saw this whole scene from afar and out of curiosity went near them. Upon seeing me, the young lady stood up and spoke very piteously. She said: “O saintly person, please stay here for a moment and dispel my distress. Your auspicious vision destroys the sins of materialistic people. By your words I will get relief from misery and become peaceful. Only by great fortune can one get darsana of a person like you.”
I inquired, “O virtuous lady, who are you and who are these two men lying here? Who are these ladies serving you? Please explain the cause of your distress in detail.”
The lady said, “My name is Bhakti, and these two are my sons Jnana and Vairagya. By the influence of time they have become old and decrepit. These women are the holy rivers, such as the Ganges. They have come here to serve me. Although I am directly being served by these ladies, still I am not peaceful. O sage, whose only wealth is austerity, though it is well known, please hear my story carefully and grant me solace. I was born in the land of Dravida, in South India, and I grew up in Karnataka. I was respected in the state of Maharastra, but when I came to Gujarata, I lost my youth. Rogues influenced by Kaliyuga broke my limbs and for a long time I remained in that condition and thus, along with my sons, I have become very weak and impotent. Upon coming to Vrndavana, I regained my youth and beauty, but my two sons, who are lying here, are still old and tired. I will leave this place and travel to foreign lands, but I feel sad owing to the plight of my sons. We always remain together, so why is it that I am young and they are old? It should be that the sons are young while the mother is old. I am astonished by this and so I lament. You have mystic power and are most intelligent, therefore, please explain this to me.”
Narada said, “O chaste lady, from within my heart I see the cause of your misery, therefore I advise you not to lament. Lord Hari will shower all auspiciousness upon you.”
Suta Gosvami said, “The best of sages, Sri Narada, understood the reason in a moment and said, ‘O beautiful lady, hear attentively from me. Because of this ruthless age (Kali-yuga), good behaviour, yoga, and austerities have all become lost. People are addicted to cheating, irreligious behaviour, and are like the demon Agha, sin personified. At present, saintly people are unhappy and demonic people are enjoying sense gratification. Under these circumstances, if an intelligent man maintains his fortitude, then he is considered a scholar. By and by the earth is becoming a burden for Lord Sesa. At present it is not even worth seeing, what to speak of touching, and I see no auspiciousness anywhere. Everyone neglects you and your two sons. Because of worldly attachment to sense gratification, people are blind. Owing to their negligence,, you have become decrepit. It is only due to the glory of Vrndavana that you have become young again. This land is very auspicious because devotion always dances here. However, your two sons are being neglected and thus their health is failing, but by the touch of Vrndavana they remain asleep and breathing.”
Bhakti said, “Why is it that King Parikshita did not kill this sinful Kali yuga? Because of Kali yuga all objects have lost their essence. Why does the most merciful Lord Hari tolerate irreligion? O sage, please remove this doubt. I feel pacified by hearing your sweet words.”
Narada said, “O auspicious young lady, now that you have asked, please hear me with attention as I explain everything and thus relieve your misery. Kali yuga took control and started obstructing auspiciousness the day Lord Krsna left this planet for His abode. When King Parikshita travelled on earth, conquering all the kings, he met Kali, who fell at his feet and took shelter of him. The king, who understood the essence of things just like the bumble bee, decided not to kill him because that goal which is not attainable by penance, yoga meditation, or samadhi, is easily attained in Kali yuga simply by performing hari kirtana. Although the king knew that Kali yuga was useless, he spotted this one essential good quality, and understanding that this would make the living beings happy, he spared him. Because humanity is engaged in irreligious and immoral acts, everything has lost its essence. All objects, including the seeds of the earth, are ineffective. The brahmanas, being gre edy for wealth, are performing Bhagavata katha in peoples houses and therefore the essence of katha is lost. Immoral, atheistic, and sinful people have begun to reside in the holy places, causing the influence of those places to be lost. Those people whose hearts are always filled with lust, greed and anger make a show of performing austerities, thereby causing the essence of penance to be lost. Because people are unable to control their mind, they have taken shelter of greed, pretence, and immorality, and have given up the study of scriptures, causing the influence of jnana-yoga to be lost. Moreover, the pandits, or scholars, are only expert in producing children and enjoying sex like buffaloes. They are no longer expert in the process of liberation. Furthermore, there are hardly any Vaisnavas coming in bonafide sampradayas and there, everywhere all objects have become ineffective. This indeed, is due to the influence of Kali and is not the defect of anyone else. Therefore, a lthough the lotus-eyed Lord resides near by, He tolerates this.”
Suta Gosvami said, “O Saunaka, hearing these revealing words of Sri Narada Muni, Bhakti was very surprised. She replied, ‘O saintly person, you are very glorious and it is my good fortune to have met you. Within this material world, association with a saintly person is indeed the cause of all perfection. Just by once meeting you, Sri Prahlada, the son of Kayadhu, conquered Maya, and by your mercy Dhruva Maharaja gained the Dhruva planet. You are the personification of all auspiciousness. I offer my obeisances unto you, the direct son of Lord Brahma.'”
2. Expound, son of Satyavati, the law, which is for the good of mankind, in the present Kali age; and the practice of purification, such as it ought to be.
11.-15. Vyasa having said “All are well,” thus interrogated him: “If thou art aware of my reverence for thee, or from affection, thou affectionate to persons revering thee! Expound the law to me, for I am, father, an object of kindness to thee. The rules of law expounded by Manu have been heard by me, and those by Vasishtha and by Kasyapa, and by Garga and by Gautama and by Usanas; the laws of Atri and Vishnu and Samvarta and Daksha and Angira and Shatatapa and Harita and Yajnavalkya, and Katyayana and Prachetas and Apastamba; and the laws of Shankha and Likhita,
16. All these laws have been heard by me as they were expounded by thee; they embody the sense of the Veda; (they) have not been forgotten by me. They are the laws for the four ages, the Krita, the Treta, and the rest, forming parts of this Manvantara.
17. All laws arose in the Krita age; all have vanished in the Kali age. Expound a part of the rules of conduct fit for the four castes, such as are common to all.
22. In conformity to the character of the age, the rules of law suitable for men differ from age to age. The rules for the Krita differ from the Treta rules; the Dvapara laws are not identical with the Kali rules.
23. Self-mortification is the rule in the Krita age; knowledge is said to be the same in the Treta; in the Dvapara, they say sacrifice to the gods to be the sole rule; and charity alone in the Kali age.
24. For the Krita are suited the laws of Manu; for the Treta, those by Gautama are prescribed; for the Dvapara those by Shanka and Likhita; for the Kali, those by Parasara are prescribed.
25. In the Krita, one should quit a country itself; one should quit a village in the Treta; in the Dvapara one should shun only the particular family; but in the Kali, one should shun the perpetrator alone of an offence.
26. In the Krita sin is incurred by one who converses with a sinner; in the Treta by one who touches the sinful man; in the Dvapara by taking the sinner’s food; in the Kali by a sinful act alone.
27. A curse in the Krita takes effect the moment it is uttered; in the Treta it does so in ten days’ time; in the Dvapara, in the course of a single month; in the Kali, however, it takes a year.
28. In the Krita the donator himself comes up to the donatee and makes the gift; in each succeeding Treta age, the donatee is invited and the gift is made; in the Dvapara, the gift is made to one who asks for it; in the Kali, however, gifts are made in exchange for service done only.
29. Excellent is the gift made on coming to the donee’s side; the gift after invitation is of the middling kind; gift to a suitor is of a low character; but gift for service rendered is fruitless.
30 – 31. Religion has been overthrown by irreligion; and truth indeed by that which is false; kings have been overpowered by thieves; males have been subdued by females; the worship of fire is dying out; respect to superiors is ceasing to be seen; and maidens are becoming mothers: this is what invariably happens in the age of Kali.
32. Life in the Krita has its seat in the bones; in the Treta it has its seat in the flesh; in the Dvapara the blood is the seat of life; in the Kali, however, life is dependent upon food and the like.
33. Special are the rules of conduct for each cyclical age; and the regenerate castes are guided by the rules that govern the age; no censure can attach to them; for the regenerates conform to the spirit of the age.
Now the sinful Kali Age is upon them, when Dharma is destroyed, an Age full of evil customs and deceit. Men pursue evil ways. The Vedas have lost their power, the Smritis are forgotten, and many of the Puranas, which contain stories of the past, and show the many ways which lead to liberation, will, O Lord! be destroyed. Men will become averse from religious rites, without restraint, maddened with pride, ever given over to sinful acts, lustful, gluttonous, cruel, heartless, harsh of speech, deceitful, short-lived, poverty-stricken, harassed by sickness and sorrow, ugly, feeble, low, stupid, mean, and addicted to mean habits, companions of the base, thievish, calumnious, malicious, quarrelsome, depraved, cowards, and ever-ailing, devoid of all sense of shame and sin and of fear to seduce the wives of others. Vipras will live like the Shudras, and whilst neglecting their own Sandhya will yet officiate at the sacrifices of the low. They will be greedy, given over to wicked and sinful acts, liars, insolent, ignorant, deceitful, mere hangers-on of others, the sellers of their daughters, degraded, averse to all tapas and vrata. They will be heretics, impostors, and think themselves wise. They will be without faith or devotion, and will do japa and puja with no other end than to dupe the people. They will eat unclean food and follow evil customs, they will serve and eat the food of the Shudras and lust after low women, and will be wicked and ready to barter for money even their own wives to the low. In short, the only sign that they are Brahmanas will be the thread they wear. Observing no rule in eating or drinking or in other matters, scoffing at the Dharma Scriptures, no thought of pious speech ever so much as entering their minds, they will be but bent upon the injury of the good. Mahanirvana Tantra 1.37-50
But since the men of the Kali Age are full of greed, lust, gluttony, they will on that account neglect sadhana and will fall into sin, and having drunk much wine for the sake of the pleasure of the senses, will become mad with intoxication, and bereft of all notion of right and wrong (61).
Some will violate the wives of others, others will become rogues, and some, in the indiscriminating rage of lust, will go (whoever she be) with any woman (62).
Over eating and drinking will disease many and deprive them of strength and sense. Disordered by madness, they will meet death, falling into lakes, pits, or in impenetrable forests, or from hills or house-tops (63-64).
While some will be as mute as corpses, others will be for ever on the chatter, and yet others will quarrel with their kinsmen and elders. They will be evil doers, cruel, and the destroyers of Dharma (65-66).
I fear, O Lord! that even that which Thou hast ordained for the good of men will through them turn out for evil (67).
O Lord of the World! who will practise Yoga or Nyasa, who will sing the hymns and draw the Yantra and make Purashcharana? (68).
Under the influences of the Kali Age man will of his nature become indeed wicked and bound to all manner of sin (69). Mahanirvana Tantra 1.61-69
O Vararohe! know that when Vedic and Puranic initiations cease then the Kali Age has become strong (47).
O Shive! 0 Peaceful One! when virtue and vice are no longer judged by the Vedic rules, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (48).
O Sovereign Mistress of Kaula doctrine! when the Heavenly Stream is at some places broken, and at others diverted from its course, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (49).
O Wise One! when kings of the Mlechchha race become excessively covetous, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (50).
When women become difficult of control, heartless and quarrelsome, and calumniators of their husbands, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (51).
When men become subject to women and slaves of lust, oppressors of their friends and Gurus, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (52).
When the fertility of the earth has gone and yields a poor harvest, when the clouds yield scanty rain, and trees give meagre fruit, then know tha t the Kali Age has become strong (53).
When brothers, kinsmen, and companions, prompted by the desire for some trifle, will strike one another, then know that the Kali Age has become strong (54).
When the open partaking of flesh and liquor will pass without condemnation and punishment, when secret drinking will prevail, then know that the Kali Age has become strong.
Mahanirvana Tantra 4.47-55
Coincedentally, the same yuga cycle timing is found in Babylonian, Chinese, and Icelandic as well as about 26 other ancient cultures.
Now alot more really needs to be understood.
In Kali yuga, knowledge is only at 25% maximum when compared to 100% in krita yuga. In each yuga knowledge is lost by a quarter. Also understand that knowledge is stable and unmoving. It is truth. If it changes it is not truth and we are talking about vijnana and this is mundane and material knowledge. This shows that the capacity of the human is actually deteriorating. There is a difference between types of knowledge. There is aparavidya (mundane) and paravidya (spiritual knowledge). If there are 12 levels of to complete mundane knowledge of everything and a PH.D level would only be the 4th level of 12 levels. In Kali yuga, only 1/4 of the knowledge is possible. There are exceptions for the very few blessed and brilliant ones but still not much further than the 4th level. This states the availability of comprehension of truth and also explains the vast amount of scholars trying to prove wrong the timing of the yugas in the ancient texts. if these scholars had the comprehension of what the texts teach instead of taking them as concepts, there would be no reason to try to prove the texts wrong, experience would be obvious.
Another piece to understand is that everything is karma. The degradation is karma itself. There is no stopping it, as so many people living in fear or running away from truth out of fear would like to or from the small ego self one thinks they have control of their destiny. The actions that all of us have taken collectively over time continue the karma and the de-evolution. The only thing that can be done is on that individual level. One can live righteously in dharma. This is, coincidentally, the teachings in all of the vedic knowledge. But I find dharma is a very misunderstood thing in the West. It is not duty but more an entire way of life. Like all the vedic knowledge, it too is in layers and levels.
One more piece in understanding that all of this is karma is understanding that the lifetime you are in and experiencing right now is not your first and won’t be your last. Moksha is not easily attained and certainly not if you are living in and part of an adharmic materialistic culture.
Bottomline is this, for the past 2,700 years we have been moving through Kali Yuga, and this Yuga is supposedly coming to an end in 2025. The end of the Yuga will inevitably be followed by cataclysmic earth changes and civilization collapses, as is historically characteristic of the transitional periods. In a cycle of 2,700 years, our planet is impacted by a series of cataclysmic events for a period of a few hundred years, which brings about a total or near total collapse of civilizations across the world. This is nature. This is all that is. It is just a speck in the whole of things.
Periodically Pralayas (destructions) take place. A destruction comes at the end of four thousand yugas on earth. For a hundred years there are no rains and there is widespread drought. Thereafter, Vishnu uses the rays of the sun to drink and dry up all the waters that there are on earth. Seven different suns appear in the sky and they burn up the three worlds of heaven, the earth and the underworld. The earth becomes as flat as the back of a turtle. The breath of the great snake (Shesha) also serves to burn up the three worlds.
After the three worlds have been burnt up, dark clouds full of thunder and lightning appear in the sky. For a hundred years it continue to rain. The rain puts out the fires that have been raging. From Vishnu’s breath are created tremendous winds and these drive away the clouds. But there is water everywhere. And Vishnu sleeps on these waters. For an entire kalpa he sleeps. The sages then pray to Vishnu for the three worlds to be created yet again.
There are three types of pralaya or destruction, the first being brahma or naimittika. Naimittika pralaya takes place after a kalpa, that is after one of Brahma’s days and after fourteen Manus have passed. Before this pralaya, the earth becomes weak and there are no rains for a hundred years. Vishnu adopts the form of Rudra and drinks up all the water that there is in the rivers, the oceans, the seas and the mountains. The seven rays of the sun manifest themselves as seven different suns. These suns burn up the three worlds. Not only is bhuloka burnt up, but bhuvarloka and svarloka are also destroyed. There are dark and thick clouds everywhere. For a hundrd years it continues to rain. All is darkness. For a hundred years the winds blow. And Vishnu sleeps on the waters that are everywhere till the worlds are created again.
The second type of destruction is known as prakrita pralaya. The three basic gunas are, as you know, sattva, rajas and tamas. Their perfect balance is known as prakriti. At the time of destruction when prakriti becomes assimilated into the paramatman, that is known as prakrita pralaya. The third type of pralaya is known as atyatika pralya. This refers to the disppearance of three types of distress, adhyatmika, adhidaivika and adhibhoutika. Adhyatmika distress consists of physical and mental ailments like fever and sadness. Adhidaivika distress is that due to the elements, such as coldness and heat. Adhibhoutika distress is that which humans face from other livings beings, such as ghosts and snakes. At the time of atyantika destruction, these distresses also disappear.