Hindu eschatology


Hindu eschatology

Contemporary Hindu eschatology is linked in the Vaishnavite tradition to the figure of Kalki, or the tenth and last avatar of Vishnu before the age draws to a close, and Shiva simultaneously dissolves and regenerates the universe.

Most Hindus acknowledge as part of their cosmology that we are living in the Kali Yuga literally "age of darkness", the last of four periods (Yuga) that make up the current age. Each period has seen a successive degeneration in the moral order and character of human beings, to the point that in the Kali Yuga where quarrel and hypocrisy are prevalent. Often, the invocation of Kaliyuga denotes a certain helplessness in the face of the horrors and suffering of the human condition and a nostalgia for a golden past or a future salvation.

However, Hindu conceptions of time, like those found in other non-Western traditions, is cyclical in that one age may end but another will always begin. As such, the cycle of birth, growth, decay, death, and renewal at the individual level finds its echo in the cosmic order of all things, yet affected by the vagaries of the comings and goings of divine interventions in the Vaishnavite belief.

Most Hindus believe that Shiva will destroy the world at the end of the kalpa. Some Shaivites hold the view that he is incessantly destroying and creating the world.

ee also

*Kalki
*Metrics of time in Hinduism
*Kali Yuga


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