Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Cusp of Ages

According to the ancient Indian system for reckoning time, we are at a very significant juncture in history. The present is a cusp or transitional period between Kali Yuga and Satya Yuga. Two of four ages in a recurring cycle.
Kali Yuga is a period of darkness and confusion, in which Dharma (natural law) is largely overturned. The Goddess MahaKali is often misunderstood, outside of India, to be a malevolent deity, and so it is often assumed that the Dark Age of Kali Yuga is named after Her; in fact She assumes a terrific form out of pure compassion, in order to destroy negativity threatening Her children.

The Elven Deva Galadriel reveals her terrific aspect

As Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi has explained, the name of the Dark Age comes from the demon Kali, whose name is transliterated from the Sanskrit the same way but pronounced differently. In Hindu Myth, Kali was a troublesome personification of evil and chaos defeated by a righteous king and threatened with annihilation, but who begged for a place to exist and was promised that he would preside over a future world age, which would be the worst time ever. Kali Yuga, in one sense, is a necessary evil, because without it's inversion of Dharma, evolution would stagnate. There is no impetus for change without a shock.

Satya Yuga is a period in which truth prevails, a return to a kind of Golden Age. Satya means Truth; not dogmatic truth but the inherent reality of the Universal Self. In Yoga philosophy Self/Being (Atman) and Truth (Sat) are considered to be one and the same. In realising one, we realise the other. Therefore the establishment of Satya Yuga will require the abolition of illusory ego and superego.
It's interesting to note that in one story about the evil demon, Kali is banished from the world by the righteous king but allowed to reside in gambling dice and gold. Unfortunately the king wore a golden crown, and so Kali was able to influence his thoughts and cause him to throw a poisonous snake at a sage - an extremely inauspicious act. Thus Kali succeeded in precipitating chaos in the world, and in getting his revenge on the king.

Perhaps Tolkien, a scholar of ancient languages and myths, got his inspiration for the ring from the story of Kali.

Frodo's hobbit innocence and humility allows him to bear
the malign influence of the gold Ring of Power,
where larger, more egoistic beings would have failed.

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