Canto 12: The Age of DeteriorationChapter 2: The Symptoms of Kali-yuga

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.12-16

kshiyamaneshu deheshu

dehinam kali-doshatah

varnasramavatam dharme

nashte veda-pathe nrinam

pashanda-pracure dharme

dasyu-prayeshu rajasu


nana-vrittishu vai nrishu

sudra-prayeshu varneshu

cchaga-prayasu dhenushu

griha-prayeshv asrameshu

yauna-prayeshu bandhushu

anu-prayasv oshadhishu

sami-prayeshu sthasnushu

vidyut-prayeshu megheshu

sunya-prayeshu sadmasu

ittham kalau gata-praye

janeshu khara-dharmishu

dharma-tranaya sattvena

bhagavan avatarishyati


kshiyamaneshu -- having become smaller; deheshu -- the bodies; dehinam -- of all living entities; kali-doshatah -- by the contamination of the age of Kali; varna-asrama-vatam -- of the members of varnasrama society; dharme -- when their religious principles; nashte -- have been destroyed; veda-pathe -- the path of the Vedas; nrinam -- for all men; pashanda-pracure -- mostly atheism; dharme -- religion; dasyu-prayeshu -- mostly thieves; rajasu -- the kings; caurya -- banditry; anrita -- lying; vritha-himsa -- useless slaughter; nana -- various; vrittishu -- their occupations; vai -- indeed; nrishu -- when men; sudra-prayeshu -- mostly low-class sudras; varneshu -- the so-called social orders; chaga-prayasu -- no better than goats; dhenushu -- the cows; griha-prayeshu -- just like materialistic homes; asrameshu -- the spiritual hermitages; yauna-prayeshu -- extending no further than marriage; bandhushu -- family ties; anu-prayasu -- mostly very small; oshadhishu -- plants and herbs; sami-prayeshu -- just like sami trees; sthasnushu -- all the trees; vidyut-prayeshu -- always manifesting lightning; megheshu -- the clouds; sunya-prayeshu -- devoid of religious life; sadmasu -- the homes; ittham -- thus; kalau -- when the age of Kali; gata-praye -- is almost finished; janeshu -- the people; khara-dharmishu -- when they have assumed the characteristics of asses; dharma-tranaya -- for the deliverance of religion; sattvena -- in the pure mode of goodness; bhagavan -- the Supreme Personality of Godhead; avatarishyati -- will descend.


By the time the age of Kali ends, the bodies of all creatures will be greatly reduced in size, and the religious principles of followers of varnasrama will be ruined. The path of the Vedas will be completely forgotten in human society, and so-called religion will be mostly atheistic. The kings will mostly be thieves, the occupations of men will be stealing, lying and needless violence, and all the social classes will be reduced to the lowest level of sudras. Cows will be like goats, spiritual hermitages will be no different from mundane houses, and family ties will extend no further than the immediate bonds of marriage. Most plants and herbs will be tiny, and all trees will appear like dwarf sami trees. Clouds will be full of lightning, homes will be devoid of piety, and all human beings will have become like asses. At that time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear on the earth. Acting with the power of pure spiritual goodness, He will rescue eternal religion.


Significantly, these verses point out that most so-called religions in this age will be atheistic (pasanda-pracure dharme). In confirmation of the Bhagavatam's prediction, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled that to be considered a religion a system of belief need not recognize a supreme being. Also, many atheistic, voidistic belief systems, often imported from the Orient, have attracted the attention of modern atheistic scientists, who expound on the similarities between Eastern and Western voidism in fashionable, esoteric books.

These verses vividly describe many unsavory symptoms of the age of Kali. Ultimately, at the end of this age, Lord Krishna will descend as Kalki and remove the thoroughly demonic persons from the face of the earth.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari