Kali Yuga – how the hell do we fight the darkness?
I haven’t trusted myself to write lately. I feel like a dark cloud is hanging over me, the UK, the world and having worked in marketing for most of my adult life, I was always taught not to deliver a problem without having some solutions to offer too.
And christ on a bike, I’ve tried to come up with solutions, on a personal level, on a bigger level and I feel tiny and hopeless and overwhelmed.
I have been constantly remind in these past few weeks of the concept of the Yuga’s the four ages of the world. We are currently in an age called Kali Yuga (not to be mixed up with the Goddess Kali, this age is represented by a demon called Kali or Kaly.
What is Kali Yuga all about? Well, it ain’t great and if you don’t want to get depressed you might want to stop reading now.
In the Indian epic, The Mahabharata (from which the Bhagavad Gita comes) Krishna talks about the forthcoming age of Kali Yuga. He describes it as a time when the world’s soul turns black. The good stuff of humanity (virtue, grace, kindness) starts to diminish as the age goes on. So, timings become problematic as we try to work out when Kali Yuga began and when it will end but most sources see the current age ending somewhere between 2025 and 2325. Now considering the yuga lasts 9000 years, we can safely say that we are at the sticky end of Kali Yugu.
What are the main characteristics of the age? Disease, anger, fear, corrupt leaders, increased natural calamities, unrest…
Have a quick look at wikipedia for the predictions of Kali Yuga and prepare to be mentally saying tick, tick, tick…
Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly.
Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.
People will start migrating.
People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that.
Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life.
Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish.
People will take vows and break them soon after.
People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.
Gurus will no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them.
I want to feel light and bright again but I keep looking at my beautiful son, the light within him so friggin’ bright it’s like a supernova and I don’t him to inherit this world full of darkness.
I keep coming back to the Gita, and the teachings Sri Krishna offers in its rich rich pages. One of the biggest is this – you cannot avoid karma, it is your duty (your dharma) to make the world a better place by ACTION. If you go and hide in a cave for the next 300 years, that would be considered non-action and karma will come and bite you on the arse. Each and every one os us has a duty to ACT, to make this world’s soul a little less black.
If we then turn to the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali, sutra 1:1 has taken on a new meaning for me. Atha Yoga Anushasanam. Sometimes translated as ‘the study of yoga begins here’, or ‘now practice yoga’ or to me now it seems clear that meaning more accurately is ‘now is the time for yoga, yoga is needed NOW’. As Patanjali continues to delve into the 196 Sutra’s he offers us moral guidance on how to live in the form of the Yamas and Niyamas (the do’s and dont’s).
One of these is repeated in several sutras, the concept of TAPAS. Tapas means thus:
Stop complaining and get on with it
Show up and stand up
Fire up people, now’s the time to act
Act passionately, act now
And so what solution can I offer in this time of the final years of Kali Yuga as the world gets blacker? It is up to us to keep a light burning. If we turn to despair then darkness will pervade. We have to act, we have to have a voice, we have to act with true virtue showing our fellow beings compassion and kindness, we have to stand up for what we believe in and we have to stand together in community against ‘wickedness’. We have absolutely no other option. Krishna told us so.