1 April 2009

Kali Yuga

Poll elections for upcoming elections for the Tiruvannamalai Lok Sabha will be focussed on issues such as proposed mining activities around the Tiruvannamalai Hills and the launching of industrial units in such places as Chengam. To find out more about the iron ore controversy currently underway in Tiruvannamalai refer to this earlier posting.

Whether or not this mining enterprise actually materialises, the fact that discussions are already well advanced about the possibility of iron ore mining around the sacred Tiruvannamalai Hills, is indicative of the immense greed of our society in this Kali Yuga. To illustrate the significance of this time, I include below an illustrative story about this period in which ‘people will stoop to any depths to get wealth.’

Kali Yuga

“Satya Yuga and Treta Yuga had ended and it was the Dwarapa Yuga. Only one month remained for Dwarapa Yuga to end and after that would begin the age of the Kali Yuga. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Mahesh and Dharma Raj went to Kali and said, “Your age, the Kali Yuga will begin after one month. How will this new age be? What will be your influence on it? “I will tell you now that during my time wealth will reign supreme. There will be treachery and fraud. People will stoop to any depths to get wealth.”

Before Kali could say anymore, the Gods witnessed the following scene: A merchant was holding a large copper vessel filled with treasure. He said to the Brahmin, “After I bought your house, I found this vessel filled with treasure. I think your forefathers must have buried it in the house. Therefore, it belongs to you.” The Brahmin said, “This treasure is not mine. As, I sold the house to you, along with the earth below it and the sky above it. Therefore, whatever you get from it, belongs to you alone.” “No,” said the Merchant, “It belongs to you.” “Of course not,” argued the Brahman, “It belongs to you only.” Soon the argument turned into a quarrel between the Merchant and the Brahmin.

At last they decided to give the treasure away to the Village Head. But even the Village Head refused to accept the treasure. So they went to the King, and said, “Your Highness, this treasure does not belong to anyone. So please deposit it in the State Treasury.” But even the King refused to deposit it in the State Treasury. After a long debate, it was decided to keep the treasure with a money lender for a month.

Everybody there present said, “We will think about this after a month.” And in their presence the money lender buried the treasure deep in the ground. One month passed and the Kali Yuga had begun. And with the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the merchant thought, “I found the treasure in my house, so it belongs to me.” Meanwhile the Brahmin thought, “The treasure was buried by my forefathers so it belongs to me.”

The Village Head thought, “Neither the Merchant nor the Brahmin wanted the treasure so it belongs to the Village. We can use the money to have a lavish feast for the village. And by hosting the feast I can make some money.” The King thought, “The people have no right over any treasure. Whatsoever is found under the ground belongs to the King.”

And so with the beginning of Kali Yuga, everybodies way of thinking changed. Their intentions were no longer noble. They became selfish, greedy and dishonest. As decided earlier, the work of digging up the treasure began in the presence of all who had taken part in the debate about the treasure. When the vessel containing the treasure was pulled out and opened, everybody was shocked and surprised as the casket was only full of charcoal. Kali said to the Gods, “Did you see that? The money lender cheated everyone. Did you see my influence?

. . . During the Kali Yuga, all go on pilgrimages, meditate, perform penances and fast to show they are virtuous . . . But very few speak the truth.”

[Adapted from Vikramaditya stories]

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