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For other meanings see Kalki (disambiguation)

In Hindu traditions, Kalki (कल्कि) (also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara (Great Avatar) of Vishnu the Preserver, who will come to end the current Kali Yuga, (The Age of Darkness and Destruction). The name Kalki is often a metaphor for "Eternity" or "Time". The origins of the name probably lie in the word Kalka which refers to "dirt", "filth" or "foulness" and hence denotes the "Destroyer of Foulness", "Destroyer of Confusion", "Destroyer of Darkness", or "The Annihilator of Ignorance". In Hindi kal ki avatar means "tomorrow's avatar". Other similar and divergent interpretations (based on varying etymological derivations from the ancient Sanskrit language, —including one simply meaning "White Horse") have been made.[1]

In the Buddhist Kalachakra tradition this legend has a more developed legend associated with the Buddha who initiates the first king of Shambhala, King Suchandra.[2] In Buddhism, he is the ruler of the legendary Kingdom of Shambhala, where the whole of society is enlighted and the Kalachakra tantra is held and widely practiced.


[edit] What is a Maha Avatara?

Hindu traditions permit numerous interpretations of what Avatars are and to what purpose they act. Avatara means "descent", and indicates a descent of the divine awareness into manifestations of the mundane form. Prominent religious leaders like Ramakrishna are considered avatars by some, but in most Hindu traditions there are only 10 Maha Avataras (Great Avatars), though the identities of the most recent are sometimes disputed (i.e. Buddha and Balarama). The Bhagavata Purana has a list of 25 Great Avatars.

All Hindu traditions declare all people to be manifestations of the divine essence, the Atman, and Avatars to be individuals who are far more acutely and extensively aware of this fact and its implications than most, and who have entered the mortal realms voluntarily to teach important truths to humanity, and who usually have extraordinary abilities to aid in these roles.

[edit] What will Kalki do?

As with the prophecies of many traditions there are many diverse beliefs and depictions as to when, how, where and why the Kalki Avatar would appear, and the Divine purpose the descent will aim to fulfill. The popular image of the Avatar is that of a rider upon a white horse, which some sources name as Devadatta (God-given) and describe as a winged horse. The most common accounts declare Kalki will come riding upon a white horse, brandishing a flaming comet-like sword, (or wielding a comet like a sword),[citation needed] intent on eradicating the reign of evil on the Earth, vanquishing the demon Kali, reconciling all opposites, renewing the processes of the Dharma (Paths of Virtue), of Creation, and establishing a reign of righteousness. The sword is sometimes interpreted as a symbol for "discernment", or Wisdom, slicing away the bonds of lies and foulness and liberating souls to greater awareness of truth and beauty.[citation needed]

[edit] Origins of the Kalki prophecy

One of the earliest mentions of Kalki is in the Vishnu Purana, which is dated generally to be after the Gupta Empire around the 7th Century A.D.<ref>p. lxxii, Vishnu Purana by H.H. Wilson ,2001, Ganesha Publishing, ISBN 1-86210-016-0</ref> Vishnu is the Preserver, the sustainer of life in the Hindu trinity, balancing the processes of Creation and Destruction. Kalki is also mentioned in another of the 18 major Purana, the Agni Purana. Agni is the god of Fire in the Hindu pantheon, and symbolically represents the spiritual fire of life and the processes of transformation. It is one of the earliest works declaring Gautama Buddha to have been a manifestation of Vishnu, and seems to draw upon the Vishnu Purana in its mention of Kalki. A later work, the Kalki Purana, a minor Purana is an extensive exposition of expectations and predictions of when, where, and why it is said he will come, and what he is expected to do. It has a very militant perspective, and celebrates the defeat of traditions that are deemed heretical for not adhering closely enough to the traditions of the Vedas, such as Buddhism and Jainism. A few other minor Purana also mention him.

It has been theorized that the Kalki Purana may have been written as a Hindu response to the Buddhist prophecies within the Kalachakra Tantra of many leaders with the name or title of Kalki. Followers of Tibetan Buddhism have preserved the Kalachakra Tantra, and initiation rites based upon it are a prominent part of the Tibetan traditions. In the Kalachakra Tantra Kalki (or Kalaki, or Kulika) is declared to be a title or name of at least 25 rulers of the mystical realm of Shambhala. The aims and actions of some of these are prophesied in portions of the work. The 25th Kalki as an emanation of Manjushri who brings about world-wide spiritual change. "At that time, all the families of men on the earth shall be fulfilled with dharma, pleasure and wealth. Grain shall grow in the wild and the trees shall bow with fruit - these things will occur."<ref>The Outer Wheel of Time; Vajrayana Buddhist cosmology in the Kalacakra tantra, by John Ronald Newman, Univ. of Wisconsin 1987</ref>

[edit] The Kalki within

Drawing on symbolic and metaphoric interpretations of the Buddhist Kalachakra, Shambhala, and Bodhisattva traditions at least as much as the Hindu prophecies, interpretations of the Kalki legends in ways that do not necessarily apply the designation "Kalki" uniquely to any particular person have arisen. In such interpretations "Kalki" is seen primarily as an archetypal symbol of what can be manifest in any person, whether man, woman, or child. [citation needed]

It is a designation of spiritual repose and vigor, a "beautiful life essence", impelling people to follow diverse and harmonious paths of virtue, rather than needlessly harsh and destructive paths of bigotry and narrow minded presumptions. To those who embrace this view the term Kalki can refer to an attitude or quality of awareness that will be manifest in many enlightened people, who perceive beyond Maya (the appearances of Space and Time) and into Eternity in ways that are both rational and mystical in nature. A level of Awareness where people become destroyers of the uncharitable ways of bigotry within themselves which would otherwise lead them to unjustly oppress others, and limit themselves.

In such interpretations everyone who is enlightened enough to follow the ways of ultimate honesty and ultimate love can be declared to be an honorable manifestation of Vishnu the preserver of Life, and Kalki the Destroyer of Foulness … but no one person can be declared to be the ultimate manifestation…or the ultimate teacher for all people. There are many ways to point out some of the worst confusions that afflict human minds and souls, and for anyone to think that there is only one greatest and most perfect way for all, (which is of course their own), and that all others must be scorned, shunned, denigrated and vilified is itself one of the worst and most dangerous confusions that afflict many who are spiritually weak, ignorant, cowardly and vain.

It is emphasized that much is required in many spiritual paths, but the most important of all requirements are the will to speak the truth, and the capacity to love any who perceive the truth and become devoted to it, no matter how troublesome, misguided, dishonest and dangerous they may initially be. One can not force change upon others, but one can give them the information and opportunity by which they can come to desire beneficial change themselves.

Each person who is wisely charitable, "riding the white horses" of fate's flow, and wielding the deceit destroying "sword" of honesty can become a "Kalki" — a destroyer of such foulness as could dwell within themselves first and foremost, that they may more ably assist others in destroying the capacities for evil within themselves.[citation needed]

Each person is considered a potential spiritual ruler of their own manifest span of mortal life, a universe to themselves connected to all others by bonds of awareness and sympathy; a person of utmost integrity, perceiving many connections between all people, all events, all ideas and all souls, and therefore affirming that respect for the individual integrity of all other mortals as an imperative of their own. The Kali Yuga can end within them, no matter how long it may persist in others, and a Satya Yuga of wisdom begins within their life, enabling them to help others to find their own unique paths towards enlightenment, and into their own ranges of contentment.[citation needed]

[edit] Modern variations of the Kalki prophecy

[edit] Theosophy and Christianity

Some Theosophists and New Age speculators have declared the Kalki prophecies and those of the Maitreya Buddha of Buddhism, might actually refer to one and the same individual, and they and others have noted similarities of the Kalki prophecy to the Rider on the White Horse in the Christian book of Revelation who defeats the Antichrist Rev 19:11. In such interpretations the sword of Kalki is equated to the two-edged sword that proceeds from the mouth of this apocalyptic figure, and is often symbolically interpreted to be the swordlike effectiveness of words of truth against all manner of lies and deceptions. Kalki is also said to war with the twin demons Koka and Vikoka, similar to Gog and Magog who will attack the utopia established by the rider on the white horse at the his thousand year reign on earth Rev 20:7-8.

[edit] Neo-Nazism

Extending upon the bleakness of the Kalki Purana, aggressive and violent interpretations of the Kalki prophecies also exist. Adolf Hitler is well known to have incorporated myths, legends, and symbols he felt have Aryan origins into his own Nazi mysticism. Some such as Savitri Devi Mukherji believe the Kalki prophecies, among others, referred to Hitler and predict the ultimate worldwide military triumph of his Nazi Third Reich. There is currently a Neo-Nazi group in Argentina that operates under the name "Red Kalki", and other fascist, racist and ethnocentric groups still incorporate the concept of Kalki into their mythos.

[edit] Anti-Nazism

The musical group Current 93 recorded a song "Hitler as Kalki (SDM)" for their album Thunder Perfect Mind, which the writer David Tibet dedicated to his father who fought against the Nazis.[3]

[edit] Gore Vidal

The author Gore Vidal, known for his dark witty cynicism in such works as Messiah, Live from Golgotha and other novels, wrote an extremely nightmarish and depressing satire on modern society, human motivations, and the potential consequences of extreme complacency, indifference, delusion, deceitfulness, and jealousy entitled Kalki (1978).

[edit] Claims of being Kalki

In the last few decades several leaders of relatively small religious movements in India, and a few outside of it, including some women, have at times claimed to be the Kalki Avatar of Hinduism, or their followers have declared them to be Kalki.

  • Some adherents of the Bahá'í Faith have interpreted the prophecies as having referred to their messenger Bahá'u'lláh as the Kalki Avatar.<ref>Momen, Moojan (1990). “Hindu Prophecies”, Hinduism and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-299-6.</ref>
  • Meher Baba also stated that he was the Kalki Avatar.
  • Sri Kalki Bhagavan who is the leader of the Golden Age Foundation, also called the Oneness movement, is considered by some to be the Kalki Avatar.
  • American guru Adi Da has claimed to be the Kalki Avatar, briefly changing his name to "Da Kalki" from 1990 to 1991.

[edit] Other meanings of Kalki

  • The name Kalki is also used as a relatively rare personal name that has been given to both male and female children, and recently, a rare and somewhat untamable leopard [4].
  • Playa Kalki is a beach on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, also curiously known as "Alice in Wonderland".
  • Kalki is the stage name of Kostandin Georgiev, a Bulgarian musician and dentist who is in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest music concert ever performed, which occurred in 1996 on a peak near Mount Everest.[citation needed]

[edit] See also

[edit] References


[edit] External links

[edit] Interpretations of the Kalki Avatar

Hinduism | Dashavatara of Vishnu Image:HinduSwastika.svg
Matsya | Kurma | Varaha | Narasimha | Vamana | Parashurama | Rama | Krishna | Balarama | Buddha | Kalki

Hinduism | Hindu mythology | Itihasa Image:Hindu swastika.svg
Female Deities: Gayatri | Saraswati | Lakshmi | Dakshayani | Parvati | Durga | Shakti | Kali | Sita | Devi | Radha | Mahavidya | more...
Male Deities: Brahma | Vishnu | Shiva | Rama | Krishna | Ganesha | Kartikeya | Hanuman | Lakshmana | Indra | Surya | more...
Texts: Vedas | Upanishads | Puranas | Ramayana | Mahabharata
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