Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 8



Chapter VIII

On the greatness of Kālī Age

1-110. Nārāyaṇa said:

A part of Saraswatī descended in this Bhārata Puṇya Bhūmi (land of merits), owing to the curse of Gangā; and She remained in full in Viṣṇu's region, the abode of Vaikuṇṭha.

She is named Bhāratī, on account of Her coming to Bhārata; she is called Brāhmī because she is dear to Brahmā; and She is called Vānī as She presides over Speech.

Hari is seen everywhere, in tanks, in wells, in running streams (i.e., in Saras). Because He resides in Saras, therefore He is called Sarasvān. Vānī is the Śaktī of that Sarasvān; therefore She is denominated Saraswatī.

The river Saraswatī is a very sacred Tīrtha. She is the burning fire to the fuel of sins, of sinners.

O Nārada! Through the curse of Saraswatī, the Devī Gangā also assumed the form of a river in part. She was brought down to this earth at the request of Bhagīratha. Hence she is called Bhāgirathī.

While Gangā was rushing down to the earth Śiva capable to bear the great rush of Her, held Her on His head at the request of the Mother Earth.

Lakṣmī also, through the curse of Saraswatī came in part of parts Bhārata as the river Padmāvatī. But She remained in full with Hari. Lakṣmī appeared also in Her other part as the well-known daughter Tulasī of the king Dharmadhvaja in India.

Last of all, through Bhāratī's curse and by the command of Śrī Hari, she turned into the Tulasī tree, purifying the whole world. Remaining for five thousand years of Kālī, all of them will quit their river appearances and go back to Hari.

By the command of Śrī Hari, all the Tīrthas except Kāśī and Vrindāvan will go along with them to Vaikuṇṭha.

Next at the expiry of the ten thousand years of Kālī, Śālagrāma śīla (the stone piece worshipped as Nārāyaṇa) Śiva, and Śiva Śaktī and Puruṣottama Jagannātha will leave the soil of Bhārata and go to their respective places, (i.e. the Mahātmas of those will be extinct from Bhārata).

There will then cease to be the saints of Śiva Śakta, Gāṇapatya and Vaiṣṇava sects, (eighteen) Purāṇas, the blowing of conch shells (auspicious signs), Śrāddhas, Tarpaṇas, and all the rites and ceremonies dictated by the Vedas.

The worship and glorification of the Gods, the recitation of their praises, their names will be extinct. The Vedas with their Amgas will no longer be heard of.

All these will disappear with them. The assembly of the Sadhus, the true Dharma, the four Vedas, the village Devas and Devīs, the Vratas (vows) the practising of the austerities, fasting, all will disappear.

All will be addicted to the Vāmāchāra ritual (the left-hand ritual Tantric form of worship; sarcastically used in the sense of drinking wine and eating flesh, etc.) They will speak falsehood and be deceitful. If anybody worships, his worship will be void of Tulasī leaves.

Almost all will be deceitful, cruel, vain, egoistic, thievish and mischievous. Men will be at variance with one another; women will be at variance with one another; no fear will exist in marriage ties.

Properties will be only of those that will make them (i. e. there will cease to be any inheritance from father to son and so forth). Husbands will be obedient to their wives; unchaste women will be in every house.

Wives will rebuke their husbands by incessant noising and chidings. Wives will be the sole mistresses of houses and husbands will stand before them as servants with folded palms.

Fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law will be their servants. The brothers of wives, and their friends will be the managers of the household affairs.

But there will be no friendship with one's own class fellows. The brothers and friends of the house owners (masters of the house) will appear quite strangers as if they are new-comers.

Without the command of the house-wives, the masters of the houses will be unable to do anything. The divisions of caste (Brāhmaṇa, Kṣattriya, Vaiṣya, and Śūdra) will entirely disappear.

Far from practising Sandhyā Bandanam and other daily practices, the Brāhmaṇas will cease to hold the holy threads even on their bodies.

The four colour-classes will practise the doings of the Mlechchas, read the Śāstras of the Mlechchas and forsake their own Śāstras.

The Brāhmins, Kṣattriyas, and Vaiṣyas will become the slaves of Śudras, will become their cooks, runners and carriers of buffaloes.

Everyone will be devoid of truth. Earth will not yield any grains; trees will not yield any fruits and women will be childless. The cows will not yield milk; even if there be a little milk, ghee will not come out of it.

The affection between husband and wife will die out and the families will be devoid of truth. The King will not wield any power; the subjects will be over burdened with taxes.

The ever flowing big rivers, the petty streams, the caves of mountains all will gradually have very little water in them.

The Four Varṇas will be devoid of Dharma and Puṇya (merit, virtue). One in a lakh may be virtuous. Afterwards that too will cease.

Men, women, boys, all will be ugly and deformed. They will utter bad words and vile sounds. Some villages and towns will be completely deserted by men and will look terrible; at some others few cottages with few inhabitants will be seen.

Villages and towns will be jungles and jungles will become filled with men. The inhabitants of the forests will become heavily taxed and disconsolate. The beds of rivers and lakes will become dry owing to want of rains and will be cultivated.

The Kulīnas of high families will become very low. The whole earth will be filled with liars, untruthful cheats and hypocrites. The lands, though cultivated well, will yield grains in name.

Those who are well known as the millionaires, they will become poor and those who are devoted to the Devas will be atheists. The town’s folk will have no trace of mercy; rather they will hate and envy their neighbours and turn out murderers of men.

In the Kālī age, males and females will be everywhere, of a dwarfish stature, diseased, short-lived, and of very little youthful virility.

The hairs will turn out grey no sooner the people reach their sixteenth year. And they will be very old when they become twenty years old.

The girls of eight years will have menstruation and will become pregnant. They will deliver every year. Old age will attack them when they become sixteen years old. Some women will have their husbands and children living. Otherwise almost all will be barren, childless.

The four Varṇas will sell their daughters. The paramours of the mothers, wives, son's wives, daughters, and sisters will be the source of support to them all. No one will be able, without money, to collect the merits by repeating the name of Hari.

Persons will make gifts for name and fame and ultimately will take back what they had made as gifts.

If there be any gifts made by one's own self or by one's forefathers or for a Deva purpose or for Brāhmins or for the families of the Gurus, there will not be found wanting attempts to take back those gifts.

Some will go to daughters, some to mothers-in-law, some to the wives of sons, some to sisters, some to mothers of co-wives, some will go to the brother's wives. In every house, those who are unfit to be mixed will be mixed with, excepting one's mother.

In Kālī Yuga who is whose wife? And who is whose husband? There will be no certainty; who is whose subject and what village is to whom? There will be no surety that such a property belongs to such and such a man.

All will turn out to be liars, licentious, thieves, envious of other's wives, and murderers of men. In the houses of the Brāhmins, Kṣattriyas, and Vaisyas, the three higher castes, the current of sin will flow. They will live by selling lac, iron, and salts prohibited by the Śāstras.

The Brāhmins will drive buffaloes, burn the dead bodies of the Śudras, eat the food of the Śudras and go to unchaste women. There will be no more faith existing in the five Ṛiṣi Yajñas.

Almost every Brāhmin will not observe the vows of Amāvasyā Niśipālana. The holy threads will be cast away and the Sandhyā Bandanam and cleanliness and good practices will cease altogether.

The unchaste women who deal in giving loans, etc., and live on interests and the procuresses during menstruation will cook in Brāhmin families. There will be no distinction of food, no distinction of wombs, no distinction of Āśramas, and no distinction of persons. All will turn out Mlechchas.

O Nārada! Thus, when the Kālī will have its full play, the whole world will be filled with Mlechchas, the trees will be one hand high and the men will be of the size of a thumb.

Then the most powerful Bhagavān Nārāyaṇa will incarnate in His part in the house of a Brāhmin named Viṣṇujaśā as his son.

Mounted on a long horse, holding a long sword He will make the world free of the Mlechchas in three nights. Then he will disappear from the face of the Earth and She will be without any sovereign and be filled with robbers.

There will be incessant rain, for six nights and it will rain and rain and the whole earth will be deluged; no traces of men, houses, and trees.

After this the Twelve Suns will rise simultaneously and by their rays the whole water will be dried up and the earth will become level.

Thus the dreadful Kālī will pass away when the Satya Yuga will come back, Tapasyā and the true religion and Sattva Guṇa will prevail again.

The Brāhmins will practise Tapasyā, they will be devoted to Dharma and the Vedas. The women will be chaste and religious in every house.

Again the wise and intelligent Kṣattriyas devoted to the Brāhmaṇas will occupy the royal thrones and their might, devotion to Dharma and love for good deeds will increase.

The Vaiṣyas will again go on with their trades and their devotion to their trade and the Brāhmins will be re-established. The Śudras, too, will be again virtuous, and serve the Brāhmins.

Again the Brāhmins, Kṣattriyas, and Vaisyas and their families will have Bhakti towards the Devī, be initiated in Devī Mantras and all will meditate on the Devī.

Again there will be spread the knowledge of the Vedas, the Smriti, and the Purāṇas, all will go to their wives in menstruation periods. No Adharma (unrighteousness) will exist and the Dharma will reign in full, with all the parts (Kalās) complete.

When the Trētā Yuga comes, the Dharma will be three footed; when the Dvāpara Yuga will come; the Dharma will be two-footed and when Kālī will begin, the Dharma will be one-footed, and when Kālī will reign supreme, no Dharma will exist, even in name.

(O Nārada! Now I will speak of time.) The seven days of the week, Sunday, etc., the sixteen tithis, Pratipada etc., the twelve months Vaiśākh etc., the six seasons Summer, etc., the two fortnights (dark and bright) and the two Ayaṇas (Northern and Southern) are rendered in vogue.

One day consists of four Praharas, one night consists of four Praharas; a day and a night constitute one so-called day. Thirty such days make one month. In the computation of time, five kinds of years (Varṣas) were already mentioned (in the 8th Skandha).

As the Satya, Trētā, Dvāpara and Kālī roll on turn by turn, so the days, months and years also roll on in turn.

One day, according to the Devas, is equal to one year, according to men; three hundred and sixty human Yugas equal to one Deva Yuga. Seventy-one Deva Yugas make one Manvantara.

The life period of Indra, the Lord of Śachī, is one Manvantara. Twenty- eight Indras lives equal to one day of Hiraṇyagarbha (the golden wombed) Brahmā.

One hundred and eight such years equal to the life of one Brahmā. When this Brahmā dies, there is the Prakriti Pralaya. The earth is not visible then. (The dissolution of Prakriti takes place.)

The whole Brahmāṇḍa is deluged by water; Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Mahēśvara and the other wise Riṣis get diluted in Para Brahmā whose substance is all truth and consciousness.

That time, the Prakriti Devī, too, gets merged in Para Brahmā. The fall of Brahmā and the dissolution of Prakriti are called the Prakriti Pralaya. The duration of this Pralaya is one Nimeṣa of the Parā Brahmā Mūlā Prakriti united with Māyā. All the Brahmāṇḍas (universes) are destroyed at this time.

When this Nimeṣa expires, the creation begins again in due order. So one can count the endless numbers of times when this creation and dissolution work are going on.

So who can tell how many kalpas had past away, or how many Kalpas will come, how many Brahmāṇḍas were created or how many Brahmāṇḍas will be created.

Who will be able to count how many Brahmās, how many Viṣṇu or how many Mahēśvara there have been. But One and Only One Parā Brahmā Parameśvara (the Great God) is The Supreme Lord of these countless Brahmāṇḍas.

The Parameśvara of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss is the Highest Spirit of all. All others, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Mahēśvara the Great Virāt, the Smaller Virāt, all are His parts.

This Brahmā is Mūlā Prakriti and from That has appeared Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of his left half which is woman (Ardha Nārīśvara).

It is She that divided Herself into two forms; in Her one form, She resides as the two armed Kṛṣṇa in the region of Goloka; and as the four-armed Nārāyaṇa in Vaikuṇṭha.

All the things from Brahmā, the Highest, to the mere grass the lowest, all are originated from Prakriti. And all the Prakriti-born things are transient.

Thus the True, Eternal Para Brahmā, beyond the three Guṇas, the Source of all creation, Whose substance is All-Will is the Only Substance beyond the region of Prakriti.

He is without Upādhis (conditions, as time, space, causation and attributes); He is without any form; and the forms that He assumes, they are for showing His Grace to the devotees only.

The Lotus-born Brahmā is able by His Power of Knowledge to create the Brahmāṇḍa.

It is by His Grace that Śiva, the Lord of the yogis is named Mrityunjaya (the Conqueror of Death), the Destroyer of all, and the Knower of all Tattvas.

By His Tapas, Śiva has realised Para Brahmā and therefore has become the Lord of all, All-knowing, endowed with great Vibhūtis (lordly powers), the seer of all, omnipresent, the protector of all, the bestower of all prosperities.

The devotion and service towards Para Brahmā have alone made Śrī Viṣṇu the Lord of all; and it is through the power of Para Brahmā, that Mahāmāyā Prakriti Devī has become omnipotent and the Goddess of all.

Bhagavatī Durgā has got His Grace by Her devotion and service to Him and has become Mūlā Prakriti of the nature of Being, Consciousness and Bliss.

And so has the Devī Sāvitrī, the Mother of the Vedas, become the presiding Deity of the Vedas and She is worshipped by the Brāhmaṇas and the Knowers of the Vedas.

That She presides over all the branches of knowledge, is worshipped by all the learned assemblies and by the whole Universe is the result only of worshipping the Prakriti Devī.

That Lakṣmī has become the bestower of all wealth and the presiding Deity of all the villages and the mistress of all, worshipped by all and the bestower of sons to all is also the result of worshipping Her.

Thus it is through the worship of Prakriti that Durgā, the Destroyer of all calamities and troubles has appeared from the left side of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; and Rādhā has become the presiding Deity of His Prāṇa (vital airs), and She is worshipped by all and possessed of all knowledge.

It is by the worship of Śaktī that Rādhikā has so much excelled in love, has become the presiding Deity of the prāṇa of Kṛṣṇa, has got love and respect, has been placed on His breast and is exceedingly beautiful.

With the object of getting Kṛṣṇa for her husband, She practised severe austerities for one thousand Deva years on the mountain Śataśringa in Bhārata to get the Mūlā Prakriti's Grace.

And when the Śaktī Mūlā Prakriti became graciously pleased towards Her, Śrī Kṛṣṇa seeing Rādhikā increasing in beauty like the Crescent Moon took Her to His breast and out of tenderness wept and granted Her highest boons so very rare to others and said:

O Beautiful One! You better remain always in My breast and devoted to Me among all my wives; let you be superior to them all in good fortune, respect, love and glory.

From today you are my greatest best wife. I will love you as the best amongst them all. O Dear! Always I will be submissive to you and fulfil what you say.

Thus saying, Śrī Kṛṣṇa selected her as his wife without any co-wives and made Her dear to His Heart.

The other Devīs besides the five Prakritis, already mentioned also derived superiorities by serving Mūlā Prakriti.

O Muni! What shall I say, everyone reaps the fruits as he practises Tapasyā.

Bhagavatī Durgā practised on the Himālayās tapasyā for one thousand Deva years and meditated on the lotus-feet of Mūlā Prakriti and so has come to be worshipped by all.

The Devī Saraswatī practised Tapasyā for one lakh Deva years and is come to be respected by all. The Devī Lakṣmī practised Tapasyā at Puṣkara for one hundred Divine Yugas and, by the Grace of Mūlā Prakriti has become the bestower of wealth to all.

The Devī Sāvitrī worshipped Śaktī for sixty thousand divine years in the Malaya mountain and is respected and worshipped by all.

O Vibhu! Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Mahēśvara worshipped Śaktī for one hundred Manvantaras and so have become the Preservers, etc., of this world.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa practised for ten Manvantaras terrible austerities and therefore obtained his position in the region of Goloka and is remaining there today in greatest bliss.

Dharma Deva worshipped Śaktī with devotion for ten Manvantaras and has become the lives of all, worshipped by all, and the receptacle of all.

O Muni! Thus all, whether the Devīs, Devas, Munis, Kings, Brāhmaṇas, all have got their respect in this world by the worship of Śaktī.

O Devarṣi! I have thus described to you all that I heard from the mouth of my Guru, in accordance with the rules of the Vedas. What more do you want to hear?

Here ends the Eighth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the Greatness of Kālī in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.