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Kalki

Copper engraving of Kalki from the late 18th century.
Devanagari कल्कि
Affiliation Avatar of Vishnu
Weapon Sword
Mount Horse

In Hinduism, Kalki (Devanagari: कल्कि; also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. The name Kalki is often a metaphor for eternity or time. The origins of the name probably lie in the Sanskrit word "kalka" which refers to mud, dirt, filth, or foulness and hence denotes the "destroyer of foulness," "destroyer of confusion," "destroyer of darkness," or "annihilator of ignorance."[1] Other similar and divergent interpretations based on varying etymological derivations from Sanskrit - including one simply meaning "White Horse" - have been made.[2]

In the Buddhist Kalachakra tradition, some 25 rulers of the legendary Shambhala Kingdom have the title of Kalki, Kulika or Kalki-king.[3]

Contents

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. The Garuda Purana lists ten avatars, with Kalki being the tenth. The Bhagavata Purana initially lists twenty-two avatars, but mentions an additional three for a total of twenty-five avatars. He is presented as the twenty-second avatar in this list.

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

Kalki as Vajimukha, horse-faced

Popular images depict him riding a white horse with wings known as Devadatta (God-given.) In these images, Kalki is brandishing a sword in his right hand and is intent on eradicating the corrupt destitution and debauchery of Kali Yuga. Others represent him as an amalgam of a horse's head and a man's body.

The prophecy and its origins

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.[4] In the Hindu Trimurti, Vishnu is the preserver and sustainer of life, balancing the processes of creation and destruction. Kalki is also mentioned in another of the 18 major Puranas, 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 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[citation needed]. A few other minor Purana also mention him.

The Agni Purana explains that when the non-Aryans who pose as kings begin devouring men who appear righteous and feed on human beings, Kalki, as the son of Vishnuyasha, and Yajnavalkya as His priest and teacher, will destroy these non-Aryans with His weapons. He will establish moral law in the form of the fourfold varnas, or the suitable organization of society in four classes. After that people will return to the path of righteousness. (16.7-9) The Agni Purana also relates that Hari, after giving up the form of Kalki, will go to heaven. Then the Krita or Satya Yuga will return as before. (16.10)

The Vishnu Purana also explains that, "When the practices taught in the Vedas and institutes of law have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasha, an eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties. By His irresistible might he will destroy all the mlecchas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will reestablish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who will follow the laws of the Krita age or Satya Yuga, the age of purity. As it is said, 'When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return.'" (Book Four, Chapter 24)

The Padma Purana relates that Lord Kalki will end the age of Kali and will kill all the wicked mlecchas and, thus, destroy the bad condition of the world. He will gather all of the distinguished brahmanas and will propound the highest truth. He will know all the ways of life that have perished and will remove the prolonged hunger of the genuine brahmanas and the pious. He will be the only ruler of the world that cannot be controlled, and will be the banner of victory and adorable to the world. (6.71.279-282)

The Bhagavata Purana states, "At the end of Kali Yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher castes, and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the lowborn shudra class or those less than them, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. (2.7.38) It further describes Lord Kalki's activities as follows: "Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift white horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings." (12.2.19-20)

The Kalki Purana combines all of the elements from the puranas above. He is one who has power to change the course of time stream in the favour of the good.He will be one to whom the power to change the destiny of the world will be given.It states the evil family of the demon Kali will spring from the back of Brahma. They will descend to earth and cause mankind to turn towards depravity. When man stops offering yagna to the gods, Vishnu himself will descend to earth to rid the world of evil. He will be reborn as Kalki to noted Brahmin family in the city of Shambhala. As a young man, He will be mentored in the arts of war by Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu.[5] He will then set out across the world battling evil kings and false prophets. He finally defeats Kali and brings about the Satya yuga. Having completed His mission, He will assume his four-armed form and return to heaven as Vishnu.

Followers of Tibetan Buddhism have preserved the Kalachakra Tantra in which "Kalkin" is a title of 25 rulers of the mystical realm of Shambhala. The aims and actions of some of these are prophesied in portions of the work.

Kalki and Shambala

Kalachakra tantra was first taught by the Buddha to King Indrabhuti, the first dharmaraja of Shambhala.[6] "Lord Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, the great souls Vishnuyasha and Sumati." (Srimad-Bhagavatam Bhag.12.2.18)[7]

Literal translation:

शम्भल ग्राम मुख्यस्य ब्राह्मणस्य महात्मनः।
भवने विष्णुयशसः कल्किः प्रादुर्भविष्यति।।
Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana – 12:2:18

शम्भल ग्राम मुख्यस्य ब्राह्मणस्य महात्मनः।
शम्भु Shambhu (Shiv Shambhu Bhola)[6][7] + ल or ले (of) + ग्राम Grama (Community/Village) + मुख्यस्य Mukhyasya (Principally) + ब्राह्मणस्य Brahmanasya (of the Brahmins) + महात्मनः Maha Atman (Great Souls)
Shiva Durga[8] worshipping community principally of great souls Brahmins.

भवने विष्णुयशसः कल्किः प्रादुर्भविष्यति।।
भवने Bhavanê (At the home of) + विष्णु Vishnu + यशसः Yáśas (Worthy) + कल्क Kalk ( Mud or Sediment) + इ i (to arise from, come from) + प्रादुर् Prādúr (Arise/Born) भविष्यति Bhavishyati (In the future)
In the future at the home of Vishnu worthy, one from the mud/sediment will arise/be born.
This points to a name equivalent to mud or sediment born.[9]

द्वादश्यां शुक्ल-पक्षस्य माधवे मासि माधवम्।
जातं ददृशतुः पुत्रं पितरौ हृष्ट-मानसौ।। (1:2:15 Kalki Purna)

द्वादश्यां शुक्ल-पक्षस्य माधवे मासि माधवम्।
द्वादश्यां - द्वा dvA (two) + दश्यां dashya (tens/10's) meaning 20 शुक्ल-पक्षस्य - शुक्ल Shukla (bright) + पक्षस्य(pakshaya) parts (the first part of the moon cycle) + माधवे madhva is Hindu month of Chaitra (First day of Chaitra is when Lord Brahma created the universe) March/April + मासि masi (month of) + माधवम् madhavam it is a point of reference to the birthday of Lord Krishna celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami which is observed on the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhaadra (parts of August and september).
Alternatively
द्वादश्यां - द्वा dvA (two) + दश्यां dashya (tens/10's) meaning 12 शुक्ल-पक्षस्य - शुक्ल Shukla (bright) + पक्षस्य(pakshaya) parts (the first part of the moon cycle) + माधवे madhva is hindu month of Chaitra[10] (First day of Chaitra is when Lord Brahma created the universe, Hindu new year starts) March/April + मासि masi (month of) + माधवम् Lord Krishna (as Kalki) arrived.
जातं ददृशतुः पुत्रं पितरौ हृष्ट-मानसौ।।
जातं jatam (born - brought into existence) + ददृशतुः dadastu (then) + पुत्रं putram (a son) + पितरौ pitarau (parents [were]) + हृष्ट hrshta (thrilling with rapture, rejoiced, pleased, glad, merry) + मानसौ manasau (mental feeling).

Twenty, first fortnights of the moon cycles from the birthday of Krishna (Krishna Janmashtami - Bhaadra/August) then in the month of Chaitra (March/April) the father was mentally overwhelmed by the son being born. This points to the sun sign of Aries.
or
12th of the first part of the moon cycle in the month of Chaitra (March/April, Hindu new year) Lord Krishna (as Kalki) arrived then the father was mentally overwhelmed by the son being born This also points to the sun sign of Aries.

In Chaitra month, the fifteen days in Shukla paksha (first fortnight / first half of the month) are dedicated to fifteen gods or deities. Each day of Chaitra month is dedicated to each God. People worship a God on each day, the 12th day (Chaitra Dwadashi) is dedicated to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu.

The marriage of Kalki

Kalki Purna:

मत्तो विद्यां शिवाद् अस्त्रं लब्ध्वा वेद-मयं शुकम्।
सिंहले च प्रियां पद्मां धर्मान् संस्थापयिष्यसि।। 1:3:9

ततो दिग्-विजये भूपान् धर्म-हीनान् कलि-प्रियान्।
निगृह्य बौद्धान् देवापिं मरुञ् च स्थापयिष्यसि।। 1:3:10

श्रुत्वेति वचनं कल्किः शुकेन सहितो मुदा।
जगाम त्वरितो ऽश्वेन शिव-दत्तेन तन्मनाः।। 2:1:39
समुद्र-पारम् अमलं सिंहलं जलसंकुलम्। («=सिंहलद्वीप»)
नाना-विमान-बहुलं भास्वरं मणि-काञ्चनैः।। 2:1:40

प्रासादसदनाग्रेषु पताका-तोरणाकुलम्।
श्रेणी-सभा-पणाट्ताल-पुर-गोपुर-मण्दितम्।। 2:1:41

The beloved of Kalki is named Padma who lives at द्वीप dweep (island) सिंहले Sinhale[11](सिंह shiha (Lion) + ले(of))= "the island of the lion"(1:3:9).
The spotless/clean land of the lion one which is surrouned by a excellent/supreme ocean at the other side of this ocean. (Line 1 2:1:40).
Abundance of different kinds of chariot of the gods (Air-Crafts) brilliant wealth and prosperity.(Line 2 2:1:40).

Modern interpretations of the Kalki prophecy

Stone plaque of Kalki from the 18th century.

Many modern writers have attempted to link figures in comparatively recent history to Kalki. Given the traditional account of the Kali Yuga lasting 432,000 years [12] and having started in 3102 BCE [13], which makes these claims problematic. Some scholars such as Sri Yukteswar Giri and David Frawley have claimed that there are intermediate cycles within the 432,000 year cycle.[14][15]

  • Shree Veera Brahmendra Maha Swami, writing about 1,000 years ago in "Divya Maha Kala Jnana" (literally: "Divine Knowledge of the Time") claims that Kalki would arrive when the Moon, Sun, Venus and Jupiter have entered the same sign; such occurrences are not rare and the next is expected in the year 2012 or afterwards.[16]
  • Pandit Ved Prakash Upadhyay has argued in his book Kalki Autar aur Muhammad Sahib that Muhammad completed all the prophecies of the Kalki avatar.[17] The book Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures claims Muhammad to be Kalki based on research from all Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads.[18]
  • Ismaili Khojas, a Shia Muslim group from Gujarat and Sindh and followers of Aga khan, believe in the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. According to their tradition Imam Ali, the son-in-law of prophet Muhamad was Kalki.[1][2]
  • Members of the Bahá'í Faith have interpreted the prophecies of Kalki's arrival as being references to the arrival of Bahá'u'lláh,[19][20] which has played a major role in the growth of the Bahá'í Faith in India.[21]
  • In their books The Avatar of What Is by Carolyn Lee PhD and Holy Madness by Georg Feuerstein, they identify claims that Adi Da was the Kalki Avatar.[24]
  • In 16th century Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh wrote that Kalki is the Vivek Budhi(Intelligent and Spiritual mind) i.e Gurmat. When the Sins(Manmatt/Manmukhs) emerge only Gurmat acts as Kalki and vanish all Manmatt of world. Gobind Singh where narrated whole Kalki Avtar of hindu belief in Chobis Avtar, there he ended with this belief that Kalki is none other than Gurmat. Page 1468/Last Line

See also

References

  1. ^ The Kalki Purana
  2. ^ "Appearance of Kalki Avatar". yoga-philosophy.com. 2003. http://www.yoga-philosophy.com/eng/kalki/kalki.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Kalachakra History". International Kalachakra Network. 2006-07-29. http://kalachakranet.org/kalachakra_tantra_history.html. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Horace. Vishnu Purana. Ganesha Publishing. pp. 72. ISBN 1-86210-016-0. 
  5. ^ Parashurama himself performed a penance thousands of years ago for Shiva, who in acknowledgment gave to him control over celestial weaponry with which to cleanse the Earth of Kshatriya corruption.
  6. ^ Brahma-Samhita (5:45)
  7. ^ Parvati/kAli/Durga Lord Shiva’s wife distroyed the demons Shumbh and Nishumbh.
  8. ^ Goddess Durga, also known as Parvati or Amba is the wife (consort) of Lord Shiva and exists in various divine (both friendly and fearful) forms. Two of her fierce but very powerful forms are Durga (goddess beyond reach) and Kali (goddess of destruction) who distroyed the demons shumbh and nishumbh.
  9. ^ पङ्क (panka) "Mud or Sediment" and ज (ja) "born".
  10. ^ Madhava is the name given to the spring or to either of spring's two months, Chaitra (BhP 10.65.16, madhu) or Vaisakha (Harinamamrita-vyakarana 1.103).
  11. ^ This is not Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka was known at the time as "Lanka" in MahaBaratha.
  12. ^ Bhaktivedanta VedaBase
  13. ^ The Indus Script and the Rg-Veda, Page 16, By Egbert Richter-Ushanas, ISBN 81-208-1405-3
  14. ^ The Holy Science, by Jnanavatar Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society of India, 1949
  15. ^ Astrology of the Seers, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-914955-89-6
  16. ^ Hindu Prophecies: Translations from the Kalki Purana
  17. ^ Kalki Avtar Aur Muhammad Sahib, Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay), 1969 and 1970
  18. ^ Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures, Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay, Islamic Book Trust, pp. 43-71
  19. ^ Momen, Moojan (1990). "Hindu Prophecies". Hinduism and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-299-6. http://bahai-library.com/books/hinduism/ch4.htm. 
  20. ^ Buck, Christopher (2004). "The eschatology of Globalization: The multiple-messiahship of Bahā'u'llāh revisited". in Sharon, Moshe. Studies in Modern Religions, Religious Movements and the Bābī-Bahā'ī Faiths. Boston: Brill. pp. 143–178. ISBN 90-04-13904-4. 
  21. ^ The Baha'i Faith in India: A Developmental Stage Approach by William Garlington, Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies, No. 2 (June, 1997)
  22. ^ Juergensmeyer, Mark (2006). Oxford Handbook of Global Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 520. ISBN 978-0-19-513798-9, ISBN (Ten digit): 0195137981. http://books.google.com/books?id=lQMurMhRtfIC&pg=PA520&lpg=PA520&dq=mirza+ghulam+ahmad+and+kalki&source=web&ots=U9KkJuucTS&sig=G7Yri05Mxusy3JGIlP-mGej9oJM&hl=en#PPA520,M1. 
  23. ^ Samael Aun Weor (2004) [1960]. The Aquarian Message: Gnostic Kabbalah and Tarot in the Apocalypse of St. John. Glorian Publishing. pp. 224. ISBN 0-9745916-5-3. 
  24. ^ Carolyn Lee (2007). The Avatar of What Is: The Divine life and Work of Adi Da. Dawn Horse Press. pp. 122. ISBN 1-55778-250-4. Georg Feuerstein (2006) [1991]. Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools, and Rascal Gurus. Paragon House. pp. 189. ISBN 978-1-57097-233-1. 

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