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Kalī Yuga (Devanāgarī: कली युग) (lit. Age of Kali, also known as The Age of Darkness), is one of the four stages of development that the world goes through as part of the cycle of Yugas, as described in Hindu scriptures, the others being Dwapara Yuga, Treta Yuga, and Satya Yuga. According to the Surya Siddhanta, an astronomical treatise that forms the basis of all Hindu and Buddhist calendars, Kali Yuga began at midnight (00:00) on 18 February 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar or 23 January 3102 BCE in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, which is also considered by many Hindus to be the time that Krishna left his body. The Kali Yuga is traditionally thought to last 432,000 years.
Most interpretations of Hindu scriptures believe that earth is currently in Kali Yuga, though others believe that earth is now at the beginning of Dwapara Yuga. Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually throughout the Kali Yuga: it is mostly referred to as the Dark Age, mainly because people are the furthest possible from God. The description of Kali Yuga given below is an indication of its interpretive relevance in our current worldly existence.
Hindus generally consider morality to be comparable to a bull. In Satya Yuga, the first stage of development, the bull had four legs, and in each age morality is reduced by a quarter. By the age of Kali, morality will be reduced to only a quarter of that of the golden age. Thus, the bull will only have one leg: morality will wait on men. <ref>The Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Markandeya-Samasya Parva: Section CLXXXIX</ref>
Kali Yuga is associated with the apocalypse demon Kali, not be confused with the goddess Kali, as these are unrelated words in the Sanskrit language. The "Kali" of Kali Yuga means "strife, discord, quarrel, or contention," whereas the goddess "Kaali" means "time".
 Attributes of Kali Yuga
 In relation to rulers
Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly. Rulers will no longer see it their duty to promote spirituality or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world. People will start migrating seeking countries where wheat and Barley form the staple food source.
 In relation to people's relationships
Avarice and wrath will be common, men will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of Dharma will occur. Lust will be viewed as being socially acceptable. People will have thoughts of murder for no justification, and they will see nothing wrong with that mind-set.
People will no longer follow the science of reason and instead be led by their emotions instead of their minds. Family murders will also occur. People will see those who are helpless as easy targets and remove everything from them.
Many other unwanted changes will occur. The right hand will deceive the left and the left the right. Men with false reputation of learning will teach the Truth and the old will betray the senselessness of the young, and the young will betray the dotage of the old. Cowards will have the reputation of bravery and the brave will be enervated cowards. People will not trust a single person in the world, not even their immediate family. Even husband and wife will find contempt in each other.
In the Kali Yuga there will be teenage pregnancies. The primary cause will be the social acceptance of intercourse as being the central requirement of life.
It is believed that sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish. People will take vows only to break them soon.
Alongside death and famine being everywhere, men will have lustful thoughts and so will women. People will without reason destroy trees and gardens. As previously mentioned, men will murder. There will be no respect for animals, and also meat eating will start.
People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks. Men will find their jobs stressful and will go to retreats to escape their work.
Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted and followers of Kama will wrest control of the mind from all humans.
Throughout the age, humans become shorter in height and weaker physically as well as mentally and spiritually.
As the sin increases exponentially, so will the incidence of divine justice and wrath. Sinners will be punished sooner by apparent freak means. However witnesses to these acts of justice will have a choice to recognize the power of God and submit to Him or disregard it as a freak incident and continue on the path of Sin and eventually be destroyed in the most gruesome incidents.
 Weather and nature conditions in the Kali Yuga
when flowers will be begot within flowers, and fruits within fruits, then will the Yuga come to an end. And the clouds will pour rain unseasonably when the end of the Yuga approaches.
Kali (Demon) (Devnāgari: कलि) is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and nemesis of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to the Vishnu Purana, he is a negative manifestation of Vishnu who, along with his extended evil family, perpetually operates as a cause of the destruction of this world.<ref name=sacred>CHAP. VII</ref> He is the major antagonist in the Kalki Purana.
Towards the end of this yuga, Kalki will come riding on a white horse to battle Kali and his dark forces. The world would suffer a fiery end where all evil will perish. And in turn will start a new age, the age of Satya Yuga.
 Other interpretations of Kali Yuga and the Yuga cycle
Other interpretations of the Hindu scriptures, most notably by David Frawley and Sri Yukteswar Giri, hold a different view of the Yuga cycle. Based on historical and scriptural evidence, they state that the Yugas change in a cycle much like the four seasons, where the planet moves repeatedly and gradually from one Yuga to the next, without a sudden jump from Kali into Satya Yuga. Further, they both state that historical evidence shows that Kali Yuga ended around 1700 CE, changing at that time to Dwapara Yuga.
Also supporting their view is the fact that humans are becoming taller in height, more intelligent, and are living longer. This, according to Sri Yukteswar, is contrary to some of the only objective criteria for defining Kali Yuga.
 Vamadeva David Frawley
David Frawley, a widely respected Jyotish astrologer and author of many books on Vedic traditions, points out that Manu, in his Manhu Samhita, posits a much shorter Yuga cycle of 24,000 years. Manu’s Yuga cycle happens to correspond roughly to the same length of time that astronomers attribute to the Precession of the Equinoxes. Based on Frawley’s interpretation of scripture, we are currently near the beginning of a Dwapara Yuga cycle that will last a total of 2,400 years. He further points out that that the traditional 432,000 year cycle is questionable, based on Vedic and Puranic historical records. He explains this interpretation in more depth in his book The Astrology of the Seers. <ref> Astrology of the Seers, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-914955-89-6</ref> He also explains that the shorter yuga theory offers better proof of the age of Rama and Krishna and other important historical Indian figures than other dating methods, which make some of these figures out to be millions of years old - too old for the accepted chronology of human history on Earth.
 Sri Yukteswar Giri
According to Sri Yukteswar Giri, we are currently in Dwapara Yuga. In his book The Holy Science, he explains that "the astronomers and astrologers who calculate the almanacs have been guided by wrong annotations of certain Sanskrit scholars (such as Kullu Bhatta) of the dark age of Kali Yuga, and now maintain that the length of Kali Yuga is 432,000 years, of which 4994 have (in 1894 CE) passed away, leaving 427,006 years still remaining. A dark prospect! And fortunately one not true." The Holy Science includes his astronomical explanation for a shorter Yuga Cycle, in which Kali Yuga lasts only 2,400 years (1,200x2, one descending Kali Yuga cycle, followed by an ascending cycle). <ref> The Holy Science, by Jnanavatar Swami Sriyukteswar Giri, Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society of India, 1949</ref>
 Sri Aurobindo
According to Sri Aurobindo, Kali Yuga lasts far less than 432,000 years. The followers of the Purna Yoga believe that the Mother successfully solicited the early end of the Kali Yuga in 1969, and the abolition of pralaya (normal process of destruction of the universe at the end of a kalpa – Cosmic Cycle of Creation-Destruction).
 Brahma Kumaris
The length of the entire Kalpa is said to be 5,000 years according the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, the length of Kali Yuga being only 1,250 years. The BKWSU is also unique amongst Hindu cults in believing in a fifth age called the Confluence Age which correlates to the Christian concept of "End Times", a time of both destruction of the world and revelation of God via their messiah. According the the BKWSU, humanity entered the end of the Kali Yug in approximately 1936 and the world will finally end in approximately 2036 (although there was already a failed prediction of the end of the world or Kali Yuga in 1976).
 Old time radio shows
 Video games
In the video game series Soul Calibur, Kali-yuga is the name of a bo staff. The Dvapara Yuga is a purifying stone and the Krita Yuga, a Tai-Chi sword (Jian). They are called The Holy Trinity. The Treta Yuga isn't mentioned in the series. Characters that use these weapons include Kilik, Chai Xianghua, and Edge Master.<ref>Kilik</ref><ref>PS2 Soul Calibur III</ref>
 See also
 External links
- The Hindu concept of Time
- On the Golden period of 10,000 years in current Kali Yuga
- Future History of the World - description of the features of Kali Yuga
- Comparison of Hindu and Christian end-of-world prophecies
- Story of the Kali Yuga 'taking up residence' at beginning of the current age
- Kali Yuga and the Precession of the Equinoxesde:Kali-Yuga