4.01.02.03 Hinduism [Non Abrahamic (A.E.T.)]

accounts of end times. A.E.T. 

Hindu eschatology Outline

A Cycle/Age is 4,320 million years

Hindus have a cyclic understanding of external history/internal spirituality.1)Hidden Bible Taboos Forbidden By Organized Christianity By James Slobodzien

The Cycle or “Kalpa”, lasting 4,320 million years in the terms of orthodox Hindus, illustrates the pattern of decline in the state of nature and civilization between periods of timelessness when Brahma (Creator aspect of mind/spirit) regenerates the world of existence/reality.

There are four yugs or ages in this process from completely pure to completely impure.

The final is Kali Yuga or the Iron Age where civilization becomes spiritually degraded, human lives are shortened by violence and disease and there is a general state of decay in nature.

This is the worst period before complete destruction which is then followed by a Golden Age.

Hindu traditional prophecies, as described in the Puranas and several other texts, say that the world shall fall into chaos and degradation. There will then be a rapid influx of perversity, greed and conflict, and this state has been described as:

Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharata, Abhyuthanam Adharmasya Tadatmanam Srijami Aham“. Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7)

Whenever there is decay of righteousness O! Bharatha And a rise of unrighteousness then I manifest Myself!

Thus whenever there is intolerable evil and chaos in the world, there is an appearance of an avatar.

In the current yuga, known as the Kali (the most evil) yuga, “The Lord shall manifest Himself as the Kalki Avatar… He will establish righteousness upon the earth and the minds of the people will become as pure as crystal.

In Hinduism, there is no eternal damnation of souls.

There is no end times as well.

After this evil Kali yuga ends, the next yuga or epoch would be Satya yuga where everyone will be righteous, followed by Treta yuga,Dwapara yuga and then another Kali Yuga.

Thus time is cyclical and the epochs keep repeating infinitely.

However, the extent of tolerable evil and degradation in each epoch is different and therefore the threshold that is necessary for the manifestation of God’s incarnation is different for each yuga.

The current yuga is the most evil and so the threshold for the appearance of the avatar is so high that the world needs to degrade to the maximum levels.

The Four Yugas2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_eschatology

Satya Yuga lasts 1.728 million years.

Treta Yuga lasts 1.296 million years.

Dvapara Yuga lasts 864,000 years.

Kali Yuga lasts 432,000 years.

Hindu Reincarnation & Eschatology3)http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Eschatology#Hindu_eschatology

Ongoing Circle of Births and Deaths (samsara)

Based on a cyclical perception of time, some cultures, like India, also affirm an individual spiritual life, but minimize its existence after death through the doctrine of reincarnation, where the spirit enters another physical body immediately after death. This transmigration of the spirit (metempsychosis) follows a strict law of moral justice known as Karma in which one’s actions in this earthly life determine the quality of rebirth in future lives.

In order to receive a good Karma, Hindu devotees need to follow the path of dharma, one’s religious and social duties that are rooted in righteousness and faith.

However, when compromising the path of dharma through self centered thoughts and actions, human beings enter a state of bad Karma that can only be removed by means of being reborn into a lower life (that could be a lower caste or even a form of animal life).

The resulting ongoing circle of births and deaths (samsara) perpetuates a state of suffering and ultimately appears as an evil from which human beings seek deliverance (moksha) in order to enter a state of absolute bliss and enlightenment (Nirvana).

The personal or individual Eschatology of Hinduism4)https://www.britannica.com/topic/eschatology

Its the Process of Birth, Death, and Rebirth.

Eschatological teachings concern the cycle itself and the attainment of moksha, or release from the cycle. The process is guided by karma (the doctrine that actions have consequences in this life and the next), which determines the fate of individual souls. After death, souls can be assigned to any of several heavens or hells, depending upon their accumulation of virtues and vices, before their transmigration into a new human, animal, insect, or plant body. Some souls, however, may be so irredeemably evil that they are assigned to eternal damnation; others may be assigned to redemption, or devayana (“god’s way”).

Redemption is popularly viewed as entrance into the highest heaven of the god worshiped, where the redeemed await a spiritual reflection of earthly joy. In modern Hinduism the soul that is identical with God is redeemed through a recognition of the organic wholeness that has vanished from consciousness because of the soul’s imprisonment in matter. Recognition of the true nature of one’s self (atman) then leads to identity with absolute being (brahman). Redemption lies in the accomplishment, or rather recognition, of the atmanbrahman identity, for it already frees one from the chains of karma and samsara (cycle of rebirths).

Hindu cosmic eschatology5)http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Eschatology#Hindu_eschatology

Cycles of Creation and Destruction

In Hinduism, cosmic eschatology is also understood within the framework of a cyclical perception of time. The Purana writings (recalling old tales about the Vedic period) mention cycles of creation and destruction within each of the “days” (kalpa) of the creator god Brahma that extend over a time span of over 4.3 billion earthly years. That is to say, during each of these kalpa “days” Brahma brings forth the entire universe (creation) and withdraws it into himself (destruction), thus implying a periodic recreation of the world with a new “Manu” or primeval man.

Within the vision of a universal destiny for humankind, the notion of a Golden Age (krta yuga), extends for a time period of about 1.7 million earthly years starting in the far distant future with the arrival of the Kalki Avatar, the one of divine descent. “The Lord shall manifest Himself as the Kalki Avatar…He will establish righteousness upon the earth and the minds of the people will become as pure as crystal…As a result, the Sat or Krta Yuga (golden age) will be established.

By contrast, the present age, the Kali Yuga, is the worst of all possible ages, “When deceit falsehood, lethargy, sleepiness, violence, despondency, grief, delusion, fear, and poverty prevail … when men, filled with conceit, consider themselves equal with the Brahmins.” The Kali Yuga began around 3000 B.C.E. and will last another 429 000 earthly years within the previously mentioned cyclical conception of time.

Universal eschatology in Hinduism6)https://www.britannica.com/topic/eschatology

mythical or “relative” eschatology

The universal eschatology in Hinduism is best described as a mythical or “relative” eschatology and involves the Hindu creation myth and the myth of the eternal recurrence of the universe, a cosmic drama that, it is believed, can be reenacted or influenced by religious ritual.

Although the Hindu eschatological tradition involves no final consummation, it is characterized by great cycles (kalpas) of rise and decline, creation and destruction.

The kalpa comprises 2,000 mahayugas, which in turn are each made up of four ages, or yugas, of diminishing length. The current age is the fourth yuga, the kaliyuga, of a mahayuga and is to last 1,200 “cosmic” years (432,000 years).

An age of strife and disorder, decadence, and degeneration, the kaliyuga will, according to Hinduism, be brought to a close in a great conflagration. The consummation of the age will be accomplished by Kalki, the final avatar, or incarnation, of Vishnu, and will be followed by the creation of a new age, the Krita yuga, a golden era of righteousness and peace.

The yuga cycle of creation and destruction itself is part of a larger cycle involving Brahma (the personification of brahman, the Absolute reality and source of all things). This cycle, lasting the lifetime of Brahma (100 of his years), will end in an even greater conflagration that will destroy the cosmos, demons, gods, and Brahma himself.

Universal destruction, however, will be followed by an age of chaos and then by the birth of a new Brahma and the creation of a new cycle of birth and death.

Original sources:

(i) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_times#Hinduism

(ii) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_eschatology

(iii) https://www.britannica.com/topic/eschatology

(iv) http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Eschatology#Hindu_eschatology

References   [ + ]

1. Hidden Bible Taboos Forbidden By Organized Christianity By James Slobodzien
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_eschatology
3, 5. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Eschatology#Hindu_eschatology
4, 6. https://www.britannica.com/topic/eschatology