Taking The Mystery Out of Yoga

by Gretchen Karros

How Destructive Forces Are Understood

We often bemoan the fact that these are “hard times” in which we are now living. One doesn’t have to count the innumerous instances of events that strikes our being to the very core. The “Zeitgiest” or spirit of this age is shaking us up and we often ask “WHY?” this is happening.
Times similar to these have been happening since the beginning of man and the Yogis, in their infinite search for truth, have a very interesting explanation for us. It is called “Kali-Yuga” a name for our present age.

According to the ancient set of writings called the “Puranas”, that originally was a set of stories. These books are similar to the “Vedas” (another set of books relating to living a “good life”, but easier to understand). Later, the “Kali-Yuga” age became known in Tibet where Tantra originated, and at the time when Shankaracharia, a famous Spiritual Master who is known for his writings about Vedanta visited Tibet and lectured and debated about the Purana books.

“Kali-Yuga” is our present age and even though we think we are modern, this force was around even in ancient India. This doctrine that even predates ancient Greece was the first to start expressing new modes of consciousness. There are twelve “ages” and this Kali-Yuga is the termination of them. We are in what is considered the Dark Ages of these destructive forces. The three very long and much earlier forces are called “Satya-Yuga”, “Tetra-Yuga” and “Dvpara-Yuga”, all dating back many thousands of years. This age is the last one but is the most destructive and complex of all the others.

A quote from the “Vishnu Purana”, when explaining what the Kali-Yuga age would look like says; “Where property confers rank, wealth is a virtue, passion binds husband and wife, falsehood is the source of success, sex the only enjoyment, and outer trappings are confused with inner religion.” This quote (written so long ago) sounds like something we could say is happening NOW.
This era that we are in presently started in 3102 b.c.e with the writing of the “Mahabharata” an epic poem. This poem was about a Prince and Lord Krishna and it heralded in the changes in consciousness for modern man. From this point, with this era moving into the “New Age”, mankind will be at its most materialistic level with the progression of time. Eventually, we will slowly move forward and will attain to spiritual heights much greater than we will ever know in this age.

“Whatever the truth about the Hindu model of world ages may be in determining our individual response to life, we can rely neither on the “yuga” theory nor on any of the contending new age explanations of spirit of our times. Rather, we must realize that, as individuals, and to some extent a group, we determine our own future. We can embody either the dark actualities of our age odor its luminous potential. We can help shape gloom and doom or increase the light in the world. The choice is always ours.”
– Georg Feuerstein

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