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What is Kaliyuga?

All creation goes through four Yugas (each Yuga is a period lasting for several thousand years). Satya Yuga (the age of truth was when dharma or righteousness stood at four legs. This is the Yuga where Lord Vishnu took these avatars – Matsya, Kurma, Varaha and Narasimha), Tretayuga (when dharma stood at three legs, which means that dharma declined when compared to Satya Yuga). This is also the Yuga where three incarnations of Lord Vishnu took place – Vamana, Parashurama and Rama), Dvapara Yuga (when dharma stood at two legs, which means it further declined when compared to Treta Yuga). This is the Yuga when Lord Vishnu took the avatars of Lord Krishna and Balarama) and Kaliyuga (the age of Vice, which is currently ongoing. It is believed that Lord Vishnu will take his tenth incarnation of Kalki several thousand years from now and put an end to all vices, while also initiating the dissolution of all creation).

Man is both lucky and unlucky in Kali Yuga – he is unlucky because this is the worst Yuga of all the Yugas where dharma is the least of all Yugas. Everywhere, we find violence and hatred. If we pick up the newspaper or watch television, sad news from all over the world haunts us. This is what the term ‘Roga’ means; it means disease and misery. However, we are also lucky because, this is the Yuga when spiritual development is most easy to achieve when compared to all other Yugas. In Satya Yuga man had to meditate several thousand years to attain Self-realization, Kaliyuga requires only a few years of meditation.

The biggest advantage in Kaliyuga is in terms of the availability of an easier technique than traditional meditation – chanting of God’s name (NamaJapa), which is a unique form of meditation.  We only need to take the name of God (Rama, Krishna, Shiva etc.) to keep constant connection with him and liberate ourselves. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita that whenever there is a decline in righteousness, he will be born to destroy the evil forces and to re-establish righteousness. Although Kaliyuga is not an easy period for humanity, it is definitely a great opportunity in disguise to liberate yourself by getting to know the truth. Kaliyuga is indeed the apt time for Yoga (union with our Supreme Self). Yoga does not only mean bodily postures (Asanas); the true meaning of the word ‘Yoga’ is Self-realization through communion with the truth (Supreme Self)”.

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