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

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.2.12-16

kṣīyamāṇeṣu deheṣu

dehināḿ kali-doṣataḥ

varṇāśramavatāḿ dharme

naṣṭe veda-pathe nṛṇām

pāṣaṇḍa-pracure dharme

dasyu-prāyeṣu rājasu


nānā-vṛttiṣu vai nṛṣu

śūdra-prāyeṣu varṇeṣu

cchāga-prāyāsu dhenuṣu

gṛha-prāyeṣv āśrameṣu

yauna-prāyeṣu bandhuṣu

aṇu-prāyāsv oṣadhīṣu

śamī-prāyeṣu sthāsnuṣu

vidyut-prāyeṣu megheṣu

śūnya-prāyeṣu sadmasu

itthaḿ kalau gata-prāye

janeṣu khara-dharmiṣu

dharma-trāṇāya sattvena

bhagavān avatariṣyati


kṣīyamāṇeṣu — having become smaller; deheṣu — the bodies; dehinām — of all living entities; kali-doṣataḥ — by the contamination of the age of Kali; varṇa-āśrama-vatām — of the members of varṇāśrama society; dharme — when their religious principles; naṣṭe — have been destroyed; veda-pathe — the path of the Vedas; nṛṇām — for all men; pāṣaṇḍa-pracure — mostly atheism; dharme — religion; dasyu-prāyeṣu — mostly thieves; rājasu — the kings; caurya — banditry; anṛta — lying; vṛthā-hiḿsā — useless slaughter; nānā — various; vṛttiṣu — their occupations; vai — indeed; nṛṣu — when men; śūdra-prāyeṣu — mostly low-class śūdras; varṇeṣu — the so-called social orders; chāga-prāyāsuno better than goats; dhenuṣu — the cows; gṛha-prāyeṣu — just like materialistic homes; āśrameṣu — the spiritual hermitages; yauna-prāyeṣu — extending no further than marriage; bandhuṣu — family ties; aṇu-prāyāsu — mostly very small; oṣadhīṣu — plants and herbs; śamī-prāyeṣu — just like śamī trees; sthāsnuṣu — all the trees; vidyut-prāyeṣu — always manifesting lightning; megheṣu — the clouds; śūnya-prāyeṣu — devoid of religious life; sadmasu — the homes; ittham — thus; kalau — when the age of Kali; gata-prāye — is almost finished; janeṣu — the people; khara-dharmiṣu — when they have assumed the characteristics of asses; dharma-trāṇāya — for the deliverance of religion; sattvenain the pure mode of goodness; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; avatariṣyati — 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 varṇāśrama 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 śūdras. 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 śamī 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 (pāsaṇḍa-pracure dharme). In confirmation of the Bhāgavatam'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 Kṛṣṇa will descend as Kalki and remove the thoroughly demonic persons from the face of the earth.

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