Caption = Copper engraving of Kalki from the late 18th century.
Name = Kalki
Devanagari = कल्कि
Weapon = Sword
Mount = Horse
Planet = In
Hinduism, Kalki ( Devanagari: कल्कि; also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara (great incarnation) of Vishnuwho will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. The name Kalki is often a metaphor for eternityor time. The origins of the name probably lie in the Sanskritword "kalka" which refers to dirt, filth, or foulness and hence denotes the "destroyer of foulness," "destroyer of confusion," "destroyer of darkness," or "annihilator of ignorance." [ [http://www.ismaili.net/Source/nikakalki.html The Kalki Parana] ] Other similar and divergent interpretations based on varying etymological derivations from Sanskrit - including one simply meaning "White Horse" - have been made. [cite web |url=http://www.yoga-philosophy.com/eng/kalki/kalki.htm |title=Appearance of Kalki Avatar |accessdate=2008-06-15 |year=2003 |work=yoga-philosophy.com]
In the Buddhist
Kalachakratradition, some 25 rulers of the legendary ShambhalaKingdom have the title of Kalki, Kulikaor Kali-king. [cite web |url=http://kalachakranet.org/kalachakra_tantra_history.html |title=Kalachakra History |accessdate=2008-06-15 |date=2006-07-29 |work=International Kalachakra Network]
Hindu traditions permit numerous interpretations of what avatars are and to what purpose they act. Avatara means "descent" and indicates a descent of the divine awareness into manifestations of the mundane form. The
Garuda Puranalists ten avatars, with Kalki being the tenth. The Bhagavata Puranainitially lists twenty-two avatars, but mentions an additional three for a total of twenty-five avatars. He is presented as the twenty-second avatar in this list.
All Hindu traditions declare all people to be manifestations of the divine essence or Atman and avatars to be individuals who are far more acutely and extensively aware of this fact and its implications than most. They have entered the mortal realms voluntarily to teach important truths to humanity or
dharma, and who usually have extraordinary abilities to aid in these roles.
Popular images depict him riding a white horse with wings known as Devadatta (God-given.) In these images, Kalki is brandishing a sword in his right hand and is intent on eradicating the corrupt destitution and debauchery of
Kali Yuga. Others represent him as an amalgam of a horses head and a man's body.
The prophecy and its origins
One of the earliest mentions of Kalki is in the "
Vishnu Purana", which is dated generally to be after the Gupta Empirearound the 7th century A.D. [cite book |last=Wilson |first=Horace |authorlink=Horace Hayman Wilson |title=Vishnu Purana |origyear=2001 |publisher=Ganesha Publishing |isbn=1-86210-016-0 |pages=72] In the Hindu Trimurti, Vishnu is the preserver and sustainer of life, balancing the processes of creation and destruction. Kalki is also mentioned in another of the 18 major Puranas, the " Agni Purana". Agniis the god of fire in the Hindu pantheon, and symbolically represents the spiritual fire of life and the processes of transformation. It is one of the earliest works declaring Gautama Buddhato have been a manifestation of Vishnu, and seems to draw upon the Vishnu Puranain its mention of Kalki. A later work, the " Kalki Purana", a minor Purana, is an extensive exposition of expectations and predictions of when, where, and why it is said he will come, and what he is expected to do. It has a militant perspective, and celebrates the defeat of traditions that are deemed heretical for not adhering closely enough to the traditions of the Vedas, such as Buddhismand JainismFact|date=June 2008. A few other minor Purana also mention him.
Agni Puranaexplains that when the non-Aryans who pose as kings begin devouring men who appear righteous and feed on human beings, Kalki, as the son of Vishnuyasha, and Yajnavalkya as His priest and teacher, will destroy these non-Aryans with His weapons. He will establish moral law in the form of the fourfold varnas, or the suitable organization of society in four classes. After that people will return to the path of righteousness. (16.7-9) The Agni Purana also relates that Hari, after giving up the form of Kalki, will go to heaven. Then the Krita or Satya Yugawill return as before. (16.10)
Vishnu Puranaalso explains that, "When the practices taught in the Vedas and institutes of law have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyasha, an eminent brahmana of Shambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties. By His irresistible might he will destroy all the mlecchas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will reestablish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who will follow the laws of the Krita age or Satya Yuga, the age of purity. As it is said, 'When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return.'" (Book Four, Chapter 24)
Padma Puranarelates that Lord Kalki will end the age of Kali and will kill all the wicked mlecchasand, thus, destroy the bad condition of the world. He will gather all of the distinguished brahmanasand will propound the highest truth. He will know all the ways of life that have perished and will remove the prolonged hunger of the genuine brahmanas and the pious. He will be the only ruler of the world that cannot be controlled, and will be the banner of victory and adorable to the world. (6.71.279-282)
Srimad-Bhagavatamstates, "At the end of Kali Yuga, when there exist no topics on the subject of God, even at the residences of so-called saints and respectable gentlemen of the three higher castes, and when the power of government is transferred to the hands of ministers elected from the lowborn shudraclass or those less than them, and when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. (2.7.38) It further describes Lord Kalki's activities as follows: "Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His swift white horse Devadatta and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His eight mystic opulences and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared dress as kings." (12.2.19-20)
Kalki Purana" combines all of the elements from the puranas above. It states the evil family of the demon Kali will spring from the back of Brahma. They will descend to earth and cause mankind to turn towards depravity. When man stops offering yagnato the gods, Vishnuhimself will descend to earth to rid the world of evil. He will be reborn as Kalki to noted Brahmin family in the city of Shambhala. As a young man, He will be mentored in the arts of war by Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. [Parashurama himself performed a penance thousands of years ago for Shiva, who in acknowledgment gave to him control over celestial weaponry with which to cleanse the Earth of Kshatriyacorruption.] He will then set out across the world battling evil kings and false prophets. He finally defeats Kali and brings about the Satya yuga. Having completed His mission, He will assume his four-armed form and return to heaven as Vishnu.
Tibetan Buddhismhave preserved the " Kalachakra Tantra" in which "Kalkin" is a title of 25 rulers of the mystical realm of Shambhala. The aims and actions of some of these are prophesied in portions of the work. The 25th Kalkin as an emanation of Manjushriis said to bring about world-wide spiritual change.
Modern interpretations of the Kalki prophecy
Many modern writers have attempted to link figures in comparatively recent history to Kalki. Given the traditional account of the Kali Yuga lasting 432,000 years [ [http://vedabase.net/sb/3/11/19/en1 Bhaktivedanta VedaBase] ] and having started in 3102 BCE [The Indus Script and the Rg-Veda, Page 16, By Egbert Richter-Ushanas, ISBN 8120814053] , which makes these claims problematic. Some scholars such as
Sri Yukteswar Giriand David Frawleyhave clamed that there are intermediate cycles within the 432,000 year cycle. [ The Holy Science, by Jnanavatar Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, Yogoda Sat-Sanga Society of India, 1949] [ "Astrology of the Seers", Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin ISBN 0-914955-89-6] Kalki will have eight superhuman qualities, one wife, two long-lived famous sons, and no daughters.
*Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay has argued in his book "Kalki Autar aur Muhammad Sahib" that
Muhammadcompleted all the prophecies of the Kalki avatar. ["Kalki Avtar Aur Muhammad Sahib", Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay), 1969 and 1970] The book "Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures" claims to be based on research from all Vedas, Puranasand Upanishadsto claim that Muhammad was the last and final messenger. ["Muhammad in the Hindu Scriptures", Pundit Ved Prakash Upadhyay, Islamic Book Trust, pp. 43-71]
*Ismaili Khojas, a
Shiamuslim group from Gujarat and Sindh and followers of Aga khan, believe in the 10 incarnations of Vishnu. According to their tradition Imam Ali, the son-in-law of prophet Muhamad was Kalki. [http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a789048858~tab=content] [http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/islam/kalachakra_islam/religious_conversion_shambhala.html]
*Some adherents of the
Bahá'í Faithhave interpreted the prophecies of Kalki's arrival as being references to the arrival of their messenger Bahá'u'lláh, [cite book | title = Hinduism and the Bahá'í Faith | first = Moojan | last = Momen | publisher = George Ronald | location = Oxford | date = 1990 |id = ISBN 0-85398-299-6 | chapter = Hindu Prophecies | url = http://bahai-library.com/books/hinduism/ch4.htm] which has played a major role in the growth of the Bahá'í Faith in India. [http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/bhpapers/india1.htm The Baha'i Faith in India: A Developmental Stage Approach] by William Garlington, Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Studies, No. 2 (June, 1997)]
Savitri Devi(pseudonym of the French writer Maximiani Portaz) attempted to synthesise Hinduismwith Nazi philosophy, claiming that Nazileader Adolf Hitlerwas Kalki. Her views have been repeated by Miguel Serranoand other neo-Naziesotericists. [Nicholas Goodrich-Clark, "Hitler's Priestess, Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism", New York University Press, 1998, pp.124-5; 218, 221] [ [http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/fascism/SavitriDevi.html Koenraad Elst, Savitri Devi] ]
*In his book "The Aquarian Message"
Samael Aun Weorclaims to be the Kalki Avatar.cite book | author=Samael Aun Weor | title=The Aquarian Message: Gnostic Kabbalah and Tarot in the Apocalypse of St. John | publisher=Glorian Publishing | origyear=1960 | year=2004 | id=ISBN 0-9745916-5-3 | pages=p. 224]
Koka and Vikoka
* [http://www.dakotacom.net/~jforster/KalkiAvatar.htm Kalki Avatar, the Coming Prophet (Essay by Swami Amar Jyoti)]
* [http://webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_kalki.html Kalki in Indian Mythology "1] [http://webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_kalki2.html 2] "
* [http://www.berzinarchives.com/kalachakra/religious_conversion_shambhala.html Religious Policies of the 25 Kalki rulers]
* [http://www.indiaprofile.com/monuments-temples/kalkitemple.htm Kalki Temple in Jaipur]
* [http://mailerindia.com/god/hindu/index.php?vish12 Buddha & Kalki]
* [http://www.indiayogi.com/content/indgods/kalki.asp Kalki, The Last Avatar]
* [http://ww-iii.tripod.com/hindu.htm Hindu Prophecies: Translations from the Kalki Purana]
* [http://ismaili.net/Source/nikakalki.html Comments on the Kalki Purana]
* [http://observationsnperspectives.blogspot.com/2006/03/perspective-kalki.html Perspective on Kalki]
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