Kalki: The tenth incarnation of Vishnu

Because Kalki has not visited us yet, we can not say much about him. Like the other nine incarnations of Lord Vishnu, he is expected to incarnate when our ethical condition becomes deplorable — too low to be improved by saints. Scriptures say that in the last phase of kaliyuga, which may be a few hundred thousand years away, people stop engaging in good karma altogether, hypocrisy defeats God’s remembrance, citizens renounce their prudence, and spiritual knowledge is completely lost. This sets the platform for God’s final visit to Earth to trigger another cycle of four yugas, beginning with satayuga.

Kalki’s name is mentioned in many Puranas, including the Vishnu Purana, the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, and the Harivamsha Purana. According to the Vishnu Purana, he will be born to a Brahmin named Vishnuyasa in a village named Shambhala to annihilate all the wicked rulers and citizens of Earth. After Kalki guides the remaining humans towards their appropriate dharma over the last few days of kaliyuga, their minds will get purified as if they have “woken up at the end of the night.”

How can the author of the Puranas say anything about a future incarnation of Vishnu? Firstly, parts of the future can be seen by maharishis like Ved Vyas, who have divine vision. Secondly, though Kalki has not visited Earth in the current era, he has been here before in a previous cycle of yugas, according to Hinduism’s popular notion about incarnations. In fact, as Hindus believe, all incarnations of Vishnu are born repetitively in different eras or in different universes.

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2 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    An interesting take on the Apocalypse. Is the implication that any striving to improve the spiritual condition of mankind is doomed to failure? If only divine intervention can save humanity, then we as individuals should focus entirely on improving our own karma, though that necessarily will involve many acts of kindness and charity toward others.

  2. M. Shri says:

    Welcome to the blog.The theory implies that the positive or negative changes we make today (for ourselves or others) are not permanent and may not define Earth's spiritual environment tomorrow. Some people take longer to learn and resist goodness. Still, the world may see many great saints and good changes over the future millenniums because many people continue to work for God (towards goodness and beyond) with little concern for success or failure. And they reach God much before he incarnates on Earth.

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