On Dissolution of the Age of Lucifer
[Raja Yudhishtira, emperor of Bharatvarsha, during his sojourn among the Rishis of Kamyak Forest, with a view to ascertain the future state of the world, asked the immortal saint Märkandeya and he answered:]
“In the Satya Yuga [age of goodness–Ed.] virtue being devoid of the least touch of greed, deception and other evil qualities of the mind, was like a full four-footed bull. In the Treta, it lost one and in the Dwäpar two feet. In the Dark Age [age of Lucifer–Ed.] it will be only one-footed, the other three feet being destroyed by vice.
“The longevity, heroism, intelligence, strength and mind-force of mankind are gradually decreasing age by age; they will decrease still more in the Kali [age of anger/Lucifer–Ed.]. The kings, Brahmins, Vaisyas and Sudras will practise false piety and this false piety will be turned into a means of cheating others. Love of truth will decline in men; decline of Love of truth will cause shortness of life; shortness of life will prevent proper cultivation of wisdom. Little wisdom will beget ignorance, ignorance will beget greed, greed, anger; anger, delusion. And swayed by greed, anger, delusion and sensuality, they will be envious of and antagonistic to each other.
“The twice-born castes will become void of truth and holy meditation. The mean Chandäläs will behave like Kshatriyäs and kshatriyäs will imitate the ways of Chandäläs. Husbands will become extremely hen-pecked; feed upon fish, flesh and milk of goat and sheep. Man will aggress upon man and develop an irreglious, atheistic and thievish nature.
“People will not discriminate about the eatableness or uneatableness of any food. Brahmins will cease performing spiritual practises, will denounce the Vedas, and being deluded by false discussion give up holy ceremonials and engage themselves in mean actions. Father and son will feel no compunction in killing each other, but will rather feel delighted at the deed and call it an act of god.
“The whole world will become Mlecha [repugnant–Ed.] and void of religious performance and ceremonials, gladness and festivities. Almost all people will be miserly, defame their friends and defraud and steal money of poor unprotected widows. They will possess little strength and no energy, yet be greedy and filled with material, sensual attachments; will gladly listen to the advice of well-known bad persons and accept charity by false pretences.
“Conceited and illiterate kings will challenge one another to fight, will try to kill one another, and will be like thorns on the sides of their subjects. Setting at naught their duty of protecting people, they will, swayed by greed and pride, be ever anxious to rob and punish them, and, prompted by their cruel heart, they will snatch away the property and wives of honest and pious men.
“None will ask a father for his daughter to marry and no father will offer his daughter in marriage. The daughters will choose and marry their own choice without consulting anybody or going through any ceremonials.
“Brother will cheat brother. Even learned persons will lose love of truth and be addicted to telling lies; the old will act like boys, boys like old people. Cowards will brag of their bravery and brave men will act like cowards. All will eat the same kind of food and be filled with selfishness and delusion. No one will trust another.
“Brahmins, Kshatriyäs and Vaisyäs will cease to restrain and rule the Sudras and even each other. All castes will be levelled and become one–unclean and barbarous. Fathers will not pardon sons, nor sons pardon their fathers. Wives will cease from attending upon their husbands; men and women will be self-willed and envious of each other. People will not perform any good works or ceremonies to satisfy the gods. They will not listen to each other; there will be no guru or pupil, all will be filled the with darkness of ignorance. At kali-end their longevity will be 16 years; most will die immediately after that age is reached. Women will give birth to children at the age of seven or eight. No husband will be satisfied with his wife, no wife will be satisfied with her husband. They will have very little wealth. Envy will be predominant in every mind, hunger ever burning in every stomach. Cross-roads and streets will be thronged by wantons and libertines. Women, forsaking shame, will bear spite and grudge for their husbands. Men will be all of unclean habits, manners and customs, eat anything and everything and will be terrible in every way and action. They will cheat all in buying and selling goods, out of sheer greed.
“None will care to acquire spiritual wisdom, yet will be busy in performing spiritual ceremonies for form’s sake and be naturally addicted to crooked acts. They will show the faults of each other. People will live in constant fear of losing their lives as victims of their own greed and envy. The Sudras will kill Brahmins and rob them of their property, and the Brahmins being thus oppressed will cry out in agony and out of fear will roam unprotected on the face of the earth. Some of them will take refuge in lonely spots on river banks, on mountains and in dangerous places to save their lives; others being oppressed by the grinding taxes of unjust kings will lose all patience and taking to the service of Sudras will perform forbidden acts.
“The generality of the people will become fierce and of murderous propensities. The Sudras will become spiritual preceptors and the Brahmins will listen to them, believing their wrong precepts to be demonstrated facts. The low will be high and high low; all conditions will be reversed. All, all people will forsake god and worship mammon. The Sudras will cease from serving Brahmins. The earth will no longer be adorned by the temples of god. All mankind will be impious and develop frightful characters. Meat will be their food, liquor their drink. The object of life will be to increase flesh and blood. The rain clouds towards the close of Käli will pour down rain out of season so that, overwhelmed by incessant untimely rain, people will subsist on fruits and roots. Pupils will not care for the lessons of their teachers, temporal or other, and will act against their wishes. The poverty-stricken gurus will curse their disciples. There will not be the least trace of respect left in the world. The relations of friends and kiths and kins will depend upon obligations of money.
“At the close of the cycle flowers will grow upon flowers, fruits upon fruits and, owing to the rains not falling in season, there will but grow scanty crops, so that famine-stricken populations of the earth will cry out in hunger and roam upon her surface. Fragrant things will lose their odour, sweet juices will lose their sweetness, seeds will not germinate properly. Women will transfer their love from husbands to servants. All women, including wives of heroes, will prefer somebody else to their husbands for lovers. Pious men will be in mean stations, short-lived and poor; vicious men will occupy high positions, have long life and prosperity. There will be constant breaking out of fires all over the land. Tired and hungry way-farers will ask for food and refuge from house-holders in vain, and out of despair rest and sleep upon the road. Crows and other birds, snakes and beasts will make unearthly noises.”