The story of Kalki avatar and the Hindu end times is an epic tale. It involves a few bizarre characters. Our protagonist Lord Kalki avatar who is the tenth avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, his trusty white horse Devadatta, an army of sycophantic warriors, Kali a demon god and a huge flaming sword. What’s not to like?

The story can be found in the famous Hindu Puranas; a vast collection of more than 36 books dating as far back as 250CE. They cover a whole range of topics in India literature, involving myths, legends, gods, and folk tales. The bulk of the Kalki story is told in the Vishnu Purana and Kalki Purana. 

Given the tale’s geographic origins, it is obviously very popular on the Indian sub-continent in both the Hindu and Sikh religions. However, it is less well known in the USA and Europe.

Strangely, the best reference in popular culture in the USA comes in the form of a modern day retelling of the original tale by the political activist Gore Vidal.

Who, What, Where, When and Why?

metrics for kalki avatar end timesSo, for those not so up with their Hindi eschatology. In the Hindu religion we currently live in an age called Kali Yuga. This is in fact the last of four different Yuga.

1. Satya Yuga – 1.728 million years
2. Treta Yuga – 1.296 million years
3. Dvapara Yuga – 864,000 years
4. Kali Yuga – 432,000 years

The four Yuga together make up a one big cyclical Maha Yuga. Hindus believe that this 4.32 million cycle repeats itself 1000 times to make a Kalpa or day of Brahma.

As the ages progress we see a gradual decline in intelligence, character, life span, strength and wisdom. The First age, Satya Yuga is characterized by truth and perfection while the fourth age, Kali Yuga is characterized by darkness and ignorance.

Kali Demon God

Kali Demon –  Unknown  / Flickr

In Kali Yuga the people are ruled by the demon god Kali. They “commit sin in mind, speech, and action” and often suffer from plague, famine and natural disasters. Life is terribly short, for the most part miserable and many humans have turned to cannibalism.

Near the end of this Yuga the Hindu god Vishnu descends to earth as the Kalki avatar. His mission is to “rid the world of wicked kings, false profits and evil people”.

Thus begins a great battle of epic proportions. On the one side Kalki avatar and the forces of virtue, and on the other the dark Lord Sauron… wait no, Kali and the forces of evil. Millions, ever billions will perish. The force of virtue win, of course. After the defeat of evil on earth the Satya Yuga begins.

The Panel of Experts Talk about Kalki Avatar

Professor of Physics – I am a big fan of the famed atheist Sam Harris and the new atheist movement. I therefore see no reason to take this story seriously.

State Governor – If Kalki is concerned with dishonestly and moral breakdown then he should first visit the white house and it’s new inhabitant.

CIA Field Operative – The followers of this religion believe that Kalki will arrive when the moon, sun, Venus and Jupiter are in alignment. This happens more often that you think and yet…no Kalki avatar.

What Would Karl do?

Karl – a 30 something millennial living in the San Francisco bay area

Karl woke up that Monday morning thoroughly exhausted. He had spent the previous week at army boot camp. Everything was happening so fast.

Ever since the blue diety Kalki avatar had arrived the world had gone crazy. Two great armies were being formed to do battle. At the head of one Kali, some demon god, and at the other, Kalki. To be honest, Karl had trouble telling them apart.

The USA had sided with Kalki so Karl was assigned to Virtue Company, an elite unit of soldiers trained specifically to use the flaming sword. 

As well as being exhausted, Karl was a quite nervous. He had been told tales of the monstrous army they were going to fight. The date of the battle had also been set. He had two days of R&R and then they were off…

The two days passed quickly for Karl. He spent much of it playing World of Warcraft and eating Coco Pops. He got up at 6 on the day of the battle, was out the door by 7, and on the plane by 730. He spent the next 9 hours travelling to wherever it was the battle was happening. Other than the pilot nobody knew the actual location. He jumped off the transport and looked around. He could have been in Africa, India, South America. All he knew was that it was hot and very noisy.

In front of him stood a mass of humanity. An army in the millions maybe even the billions. The noise alone was deafening. It seemed that Karl was one of the last soldiers to arrive but this meant that he was going to be the first into battle. Just his luck! Even now the armies were lining up ready to attack.

The lead speakers began to blare and off they marched. It took a good 15 minutes to reach the enemy army on the other side of the valley. Karl quickly drew his sword to parry incoming blow from a monstrous looking man. He ducked under a second swipe of this man’s sword but took a fist to the head and was knocked out cold. Many hours passed and the battle raged on around him.

He awoke what must have been at least 24 hours later. The battle was over, his side had won, and he was a hero. Karl smiled to himself.

Reading List

Many, Many, Many Gods of Hinduism by Swami Achuthananda – A great introduction for anyone with an interest in Hinduism

India: A History by John Keay –  Spanning five millennia this is an interesting look at the culture, people and religion that cover India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.