What proof is there that a new Golden Age is comming? What will it be like? When will it come? My previous post “2012 & The Golden Age” was based on an Indian prediction supposedly from the Brighu Samhita. Like many translations of ancient works, some predictions seem accurate, while others are not. This post explores what is predicted in other Vedic texts and the visions of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Guru’s
Srila Prabupada speaks about the Golden Age within this Kali Yuga (Morning walk, March 11, London, 1975):
“Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, will the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement take over the world eventually, in this Kali-yuga? Prabhupāda: No, that is not possible, because only the fortunate persons will take.”
As a living Vaisnava Prophet, Srila Prabhupada explains that not everyone will experience the Golden Age of Lord Caitanya. Only those who worship Sri Gauranga will enter into the bliss of this “Prema-Yuga”. The offenders of Krishna and Gauranga will no doubt congregate where pockets of Kali remain during the coming ‘Golden Age of Harinama’. No, the whole planet will not become heavenly, even though it is predicted by Lord Gauranga Himself that “In every town and village my Holy Names will be sung”. Therefore, some towns and villages will be inimical to the Golden Age Devotees of Lord Gaurahari who pass through those towns!
Below is a statement by Srila Prabhupada’s siksa disciple, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami about how long this “Prema Yuga” will last in this extra-ordinary Kaliyuga. (Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Cessnock, Australia, February 25, 2002).
“When Caitanya Mahaprabhu comes, (once in thousands of Kali-yugas), there is no Kalki Avatar. The effect of harinama will continue everywhere, until the end.”
Thus, the lila of the Prema-Yuga is seen with some differences amongst the Gaudiya Vaisnava Acaryas.
Below is a 60 minute discource by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, from 2009, which describes what to expect as we enter the coming Golden Age. More information about the Vedic prophecies from the Bhagavata and Brahma-Vaivarta Puranas can be found at his site: http://www.dharmacentral.com
SEARCH FOR THE NEW “GOLDEN AGE” IN THE WRITINGS OF INDIA
The Srimad Bhagavata Purana, (7.9.38) states:
“My Lord, You kill all the enemies of the world in Your multifarious incarnations in the families of men, animals, demigods, sages, aquatics, and so on. Thus You illuminate the worlds with transcendental knowledge. In the age of Kali, O Mahapurusa, You sometimes appear in a covered incarnation. Therefore You are known as Triyuga (one who appears in only three yugas).”
In the text Brahma-yamala, the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:
mayayam ca bhaviryami
“Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Saci in Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.”
The following quotes are found in Brahma-vibhāga, of the Tṛtīya-khāṇḍa in the Śrī Atharva-Veda, Text 7:
saptame gaura-varna-virnor ity anena sva-saktya caikyam
etya prante pratar avatirya saha svaih sva-manum sikrayati.
In the Atharva-veda Purura-bodini Upanisad it is said: “In the seventh manvantara, in the beginning of the Kali-yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will, accompanied by His own associates, descend in a golden form to the earth. He will teach the chanting of His own holy names.”
ito’haṁ kṛta-sannyāso’vatariṣyāmi saguṇo nirvedo niṣkāmo bhūgīrvāṇas
tīra-stho’lakanandāyaḥ kalau catuḥ-sahasrābdopari pancasahasrābhyantare
gaura-varṇo dīrghāṅgaḥ sarva-lakṣaṇa-yukta īśvaraprārthito
nija-rasāsvādo bhakta-rūpo miśrākhyo vidita-yogaḥ
When the demigods prayed to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, requesting Him to
incarnate on the Earth, He said, “I will appear on the bank of the Ganges between the fourth and fifth millennia of the age of Kali. My heart having been satisfied by the prayers of the incarnation of Śaṅkara, Śrī Advaita Ācārya, I will manifest Myself as a virtuous and renounced brāhmaṇa sannyāsī, devoid of material desires and possessing all transcendental qualities. At that time, My complexion will be golden, I will be called Miśra and My eyes and arms will be long. With all the symptoms described in Samudrikā of a mahā-puruṣa, I will taste My own sweetness in the form of a devotee. Only qualified persons will know who I am.”
In the Garuda Purana it is also said:
“In the month of Phalguna, when the star phalguni is conjoined with the full moon, I will appear in a golden form begotten by Jagannatha Misra in Saci-devi’s womb.”
and in the Ananta-samhita:
prabhur gauro gaura-harir
namani bhakti-dani me
At this time My names will be: Krsna Caitanya, Gauranga, Gauracandra, Sacisuta, Mahaprabhu, Gaura, and Gaurahari. Chanting these names will bring devotion to Me.”
The above six verses miraculously predicted the advent of 14th century religious reformer Sri Krishna Chaitanya. It is no doubt remarkable that the Manvantara, the Yuga, the millennium, practically the year, the actual month and the astronomical conjunction on the day of his birth were accurately predicted thousands of years earlier. Included in these verses are the names of his parents, his physical features, his particular childhood and adult names, the place of birth, the secret nature of his identity, and an accurate description of his religious teachings. Other such verses include the prediction of his associates, the name of his village, and the resulting world-wide effect of his teachings. The physical proof is there that the Atharva Veda and Puranic texts predate the year of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth in 1486 in Navadvipa on the Ganges in India.
Because Sri Caitanya is an actual avatar of God ie: Krishna, who incarnates once every thousand divya-yuga cycles, this special age we live in called “Kali-yuga” has also been described as the “Dhanya-Kali-Yuga” by His transcendental associates, in verses such as this:
debera durlabha ratna milā-ilā kari yatna
kṛpāya bālā-i laiyā mari
kailā kali-yuga dhanya prabhu kṛṣṇa-caitanya
yaśa gāya dāsa narahari
“ Lord Gaura-Hari carefully brought with Him rare and precious jewels, jewels even the demigods cannot obtain. The Lord kindly distributed those jewels to everyone. In this way He made the Kali-yuga a glorious and fortunate time. Thus Narahari dasa sings the glories of Lord Krishna Caitanya.”
Generally in Kali-yuga, the partial manifestation of Krishna, Sri Narayana, brings the Mahamantra, giving liberation to Vaikuntha only, it does not bestow Vraja-Prema. Typically, Lord Buddha is another avatar in the Kali age, and then, when godlessness prevails at the very end, Lord Kalki appears, delivers the Earth from degradation, and re-introduces the Satya Golden Age. However, once in every day of Brahma, Sri Gauranga is the Yuga-Avatar. He distributes with great fortune (dhanya) the Krishna-Nama sankirtan movement imbibed with Krishna-prema, Radha-dasyam and the highest destination of Goloka-Vrindavan-Navadwipa. It has been said by some Gaudiya Acaryas that this Golden Age of Sri Caitanya lasts for 10,000 years, others have said 103,500 years, while other “Gaura-Yugas” last for the entire 427,000 remaining years of Kali. (These predictions will be discussed later, on this page)
Sri Caitanya-deva himself also predicted the global effect of his appearance in this kali-yuga, in the Antya-lila (4.126) of the Caitanya Bhagavata, the biography by Sri Vrindavan dasa Thakura:
Sri Caitanya explains: “I have appeared on earth to propagate the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. In this way, I will deliver the sinful material world. Those demons who never before accepted My authority and lordship will weep in joy by chanting My names. I will vigorously distribute devotional service, bhakti, which is sought after even by demigods, sages, and perfected beings, so that even the most abominable sinners will receive it. But those who, intoxicated with education, wealth, family background, and knowledge, criticize and offend My devotees, will be deprived of everything and will never know My true identity.” Then Sri Chaitanya specifically states:
prthivite ache yadi nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara hoibe more nama
“I declare that My name will be preached in every town and village on this earth.”
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, along with his western disciples, startled people everywhere in the early seventies by performing congregational street chanting in the major cities of the world, including those pictured above.
In 1970 the Names of God “Hare Krishna” became household words when the famous Beatle musician George Harrison released his #1 hit single “My Sweet Lord” as well as producing the “Hare Krishna Chant” by London devotees, which ranked in the top ten in many western countries. This was one way toward fulfilling the “Every Town” prophecy.
Various Krishna scholars claim to have found the text which may have prompted Swami Prabhupada to predict the 10,000 year Golden Age. The duration of this global chanting period is mentioned in the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana (Sri Krishna-janma Kanda: 129.49-60).
LORD KRISHNA’S PREDICTION FROM 3,000 BC
Sri Ganga-devi, worried about the future, asks Lord Krishna – “On behalf of the sacred rivers (Yamuna, Kaveri, Godavari, Sindhu, Saravati and Narmada), Ganga Devi says, “Lord Krishna, we see that Your pastimes are ending and that people are becoming more materialistic. After You leave, all the sinful people of Kali-yuga will take bath in our waters, and we will become overwhelmed with sinful reactions.” Sri Krishna replies:
kaleḥ pañca sahasrāni
varṣāni tiṣṭha bhū-tale
pāpāni pāpino yāni
tubhyaṁ dāsyanti snānataḥ (50)
sadyaḥ pūtāni tīrthāni
sadyaḥ pūtaṁ jagat tathā
man mantropāsakā viprā
ye mad ucchiṣṭa bhojinah (57)
mad bhaktāḥsanti bhū-tale
eka varṇā bhaviṣyanti
mad bhakteṣu gateṣu ca (59)
Lord Krishna smiled and replied, “Be patient. After 5,000 years My mantra upasaka (worshiper of the holy name) will appear and spread the chanting of the holy name everywhere. Not only in India but all over the world people will chant ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’ By this chanting the whole world will become eka varna (one class or designation), namely, hari-bhaktas, devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Because the devotees of Hari are pure, anyone who contacts them will become purified of sinful reactions. Pure devotees will visit you and purify you of your sinful reactions by bathing in your sacred waters. The period of worldwide chanting of Hare Krishna will continue for 10,000 years. After that the devotees will see Kali’s full force overtake the world. At that time, you sacred rivers should hide under the earth, as Sarasvati has already done, and wait for the next Satya-yuga.” (Translation by Vedic researcher Stephen Knapp)
The important Sanskrit words here are ‘kaleh pancasahasrani’ (after 5,000 of Kali) ‘manmantropasaka’ (the worshiper of my mahamantra) ‘jagattatha’ (the whole world) & ‘kaler daśa-sahasrāni’ (for 10,000 years of Kali). Sri Krishna had predicted the appearance of a powerful devotee who would instigate the worldwide chanting of the Mahamantra for 10,000 years of Kali-yuga.
One should know that those people who offend Gauranga’s devotees will be deprived of the bliss of this most fortunate age of Lord Gaura.
How this world-wide chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra would manifest is described by Lord Caitanya Himself (in Locana Dasa Thakura’s biographical work) Sri Caitanya Mangala (Sutra-khanda, song 12). In lines 564 & 565, Lord Caitanya predicts the activities of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the ‘mantra-upasaka’ & ‘senapati-bhakta’ who was especially empowered to spread Krishna Consciousness around the world:
ebe nama sankirtana tikshna khadaga laiya
antara asura jivera phelibe katiya
yadi papi chadi dharma dure dese yaya
mora senapati-bhakta yaibe tathaya
“Taking the sharp sword of the congregational chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra, (nama-sankirtana) I will root out & destroy the demoniac mentality in the hearts of all the conditioned souls. For those sinful people who have given up religious principles in far off countries, I will send my Senapati Bhakta (military field commander devotee) to give them Krsna consciousness.”
In the 1800s, some 400 years after the introduction of Sankirtana, Srila Bhaktvinoda Thakura predicted in his magazine, Sajjana-toshani, in an article called Nityananda Suryodoy: “Soon there will be a time when chanting of Krishna’s name will be heard in England, France, Russia, Germany, and America” and “A personality will soon appear to preach the teachings of Lord Chaitanya and move unrestrictedly over the whole world with His message.”
In this regard, Bhaktivinoda also wrote in his Sajjana-toshani in 1895 that, “Sriman Mahaprabhu did not descend with His associates to deliver a certain number of human beings in the land of India, but rather His purpose was to deliver and uplift all living beings in all countries of the world by practicing the eternal religion of all souls.” In the same article, Bhaktivinoda questioned, “when will that day come when all greatly fortunate souls take up banners, drums, and hand cymbals and cause the ecstatic waves of harinama-kirtans [songs of the holy names of the Supreme] and the singing of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy name to rise in the streets of their towns and cities?”
In 1896, Bhaktivinoda predicted in his book, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts: “The dharma preached by Caitanya Mahaprabhu is universal and not exclusive … The principle of kirtan as the future church of the world invites all classes of men, without distinction of caste or clan, to the highest cultivation of the spirit. This church, it appears, will spread worldwide and replace all sectarian churches, which exclude outsiders from the precincts of the mosque, church, or temple.” (pages 68-69)
With his spiritual vision, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura could see how the sankirtana process would be taken in the near future to the western countries and, indeed, all over the planet. In fact, in 1875 Bhaktivinoda Thakura had also predicted in his Caitanya Sikshamrita that “the day would arrive when foreigners would come to Sri Mayapur and dance in ecstasy with their Indian brothers in this holy land. They would chant, “Jaya Sacinandana! Jaya Sacinandana!” This means victory and glories to Sri Sacinandana, who is Sri Chaitanya – the son of Mother Saci.
THE FUTURE UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF SANKIRTAN
(Compiled by Bhagavat Maharaja)
On such a day they will say, “Our dear Brothers, we have taken shelter of the ocean of Lord Caitanya’s Love; kindly embrace us” that day will witness the holy transcendental ecstasy of the Vaisnava dharma to be the only dharma, and all sects and religions will flow like rivers into the ocean of Vaisnava dharma. Oh, when will that day come?” In another place Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura repeats the same prediction a little differently: “Oh when will that day come, when pure and transcendental Vaisnava prema will be the only religion of all souls and all tiny sectarian religions will meet in the unlimited and universal religion of Vaisnavism as rivers merge into the great ocean? O when will that day come? (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura – Sajjana Tosani 1885)
“Gradually, when the offensive portions of the established religions are destroyed, there will be no more differences in the bhajana performed by the various Sampradayas nor any quarrel between them. Then as brothers, the people of all varnas, castes, and countries will spontaneously chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord together. At that time, no one will hate anyone or consider others dog eaters; nor will anyone be overwhelmed by the pride of high birth. The living entities will not forget the principle of natural brotherhood.” (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (Sajjana toshani 4/3)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada in his article THAKURA BHAKTIVINODA made the following statement about Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s prophecies on Universal Spiritual Unity:
“Thakura Bhaktivinoda has predicted the consummation of religious unity of the world by the appearance of the only universal church, which bears the eternal designation of the Brahma Sampradaya. He has given mankind the blessed assurance that all Theistic churches will shortly merge in the one eternal spiritual community by the grace of the Supreme Lord Shree Krishna Chaitanya. The spiritual community is not circumscribed by the conditions of time and space, race and nationality. Mankind had been looking forward to this far-off Divine Event through the Long Ages. Thakura Bhaktivinoda has made the conception available in its practicable spiritual form to the open-minded empiricist who is prepared to undergo the process of enlightenment. The keystone of the Arch has been laid which will afford the needed shelter to all awakened animation under its ample encircling arms. Those who would thoughtlessly allow their hollow pride of race, pseudo-knowledge or pseudo-virtue to stand in the way of this long hoped for consummation would have to thank only themselves for not being incorporated in the spiritual society of all pure souls.”
THE WHOLE WORLD RECEIVES THE MESSAGE OF THE SANKIRTAN REVOLUTION – “MY SENAPATI BHAKTA”
As an answer to these prayers and predictions, on Nandotsava, the annual festival day celebrating Krishna’s birth, in the year of 1896, Abhay Caran De was born. It was he who grew up as a pure devotee of Krishna. In 1933, he was initiated by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami, the son of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who also instructed him to spread the message of devotional service to Krishna in the English-speaking countries. Receiving the sannyāsa name Bhaktivedanta Swami by his senior guru-bhai, BP Kesava Goswami, he became the world famous senapati bhakta Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada came to America in 1965 with little money and without knowing anyone. With difficulty he continued to work, carrying out the instructions of his spiritual master until he established the first Krishna temple in the United States. Thereafter, he continued to distribute this spiritual knowledge and the process of singing and chanting Hare Krishna all over the world. He travelled around the world 12 times and visited every major country to take bhakti and harinama sankirtana to the western world, fulfilling the ancient prophecy.
There is very little Vedic literature about the Golden Age of Sri Caitanya. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, coming in the line of Sri Caitanya, claims this age of divine love will last 10,000 years from the year of Chaitanya’s appearance in 1486 CE. Some say he meant from his own appearance in 1896. Other Gaudiya Masters declare the entire remainder of Kali-yuga will be like a Tretā-yuga paradise, where every village has a Temple of Sri Caitanya, accompanied with sacred singing and dancing in the streets. Only a small minority will choose to live like outcast savages.
Some Vaisnava scholars don’t credit the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana prophecy to apply to this yuga. An alternate translation says that all the holy rivers will vanish by 5,000 years into Kali, while the ‘mantropāsakā’ devotees who chant will only last 10,000 years into the yuga. Since the sacred Ganga is still present, another Kali yuga, from another Kalpa (Day of Creation) is implied.
HOW LONG WILL THE GOLDEN AGE LAST?
However, one of the Upa-Puranas, the Kalki Purana, sheds some more light on this particular Dhanya Kali yuga. Composed by Vyāsadeva, he saw in trance how the avatar of Kalki would take birth and carry out his mission at the end of the yuga. At the introduction of the Purana (Ch 1 Text 38) the progress of the yuga is described:
dvitiye tannama hinas trtiye varna sankarah
ekavarnas caturthe ca vismrta cyuta satkriyah
“In the second quarter of Kali-yuga, people will no longer chant the holy names of Lord Krsna. In the third quarter of Kali-yuga, there will be an upsurge of unwanted population, and in the final quarter of Kali-yuga, there will be only one class of human being, because God consciousness will have been long forgotten.”
Here we see a reference to Lord Gaura’s ‘Age of Prema’. By the second quarter of Kaliyuga, Krishna’s names will not be chanted. That’s after 108,000 years of this Kali Age. Does this pattern follow the same degradation pattern of the four yugas? If it did, The Golden Age of Prema should have been at its height during the life of Lord Gaura, some 500 years ago. At that time all of India was wonderfully affected with Sri Chaitanya’s Golden Age – a spiritual revolution of Krishna-Bhakti with the public inauguration of the secret Mahamantra, but by the time of Srila Bhaktivinoda, the expansion of the Golden Age had practically disappeared. This was only 400 years later. The only indication that God had walked the Earth was the automatic ripple effect in Europe, the end of the ‘Dark Ages’ and the beginning of the Renaissance, the European “Age of Enlightenment”. We see from this evidence, that the Age of Lord Gaura does not behave like the degradation of yugas. (See 4 Yugas – Ages of Man)
THE ONE IN A THOUSAND ‘GOLDEN AGE’ WITHIN KALI YUGA
We should imagine then, an alternative to the typical yuga pattern of gradual degradation. The coming of the Gaura-Yuga may evolve like the passing of a season. It may sweep through this Dhanya-Kali like a monsoon season of transcendental love, intensifying with each future incarnation of Lord Gaura’s eternal servants.
One quarter of Kali Yuga is 108,000 years. Thus, we can imagine, like the cycle of seasons, that the Golden Age should rise for 54,000 years, cover the entire world, then decline for 54,000 years until the Chanting of Krishna’s names ceases altogether. The peak, or ‘summertime’ of the Golden Age of Prema could last for some 30 to 50 thousand years, with a total duration, from Lord Gaura’s appearance, to its end at a quarter way through Kali, of 103,500 years!
Thus, at the present time, this enormous period of both spiritual growth and technological advancement, has practically just begun. As the Prema-Yuga progresses, it will become like a Treta-yuga of spiritual and material happiness, with garden city-states of unlimited clean energy and amazingly evolved technologies.
Then, at its fullness, The New Golden Age, like a special Satya-yuga within Kali, should last for up to 50,000 years. By this time, practically everyone, everywhere on Earth, will be blissfully meditating on the Lord by singing and remembering the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, along with other blissful Holy Names of the Lord according to local traditions. In every town and village there will be beautiful shrines and pavilions for the singing of Lord Gauranga’s names. There will be no wars, no government, no corporations, no pollution, no private ownership of resources, and only when required, will the wise village elders intervene with the carefree and virtuous daily lives of the citizens. By virtue of the power of the mantra, old age and disease will become forgotten. Technology will have been transcended by mystic siddhi perfections. All necessities for life will be manifest by this chanting, and, at the end of their lives, the people of this Golden Age will each ascend to the highest spiritual abode of Goloka-Navadvīpa.
However, being within Kali-yuga, and although the chanting will be in every town and village, there will always be a very small percentage of rebellious souls who will not be saved. Those who offend the ‘Chanters of the Great Holy Names’ will neither achieve happiness nor salvation. Like lepers or savages, they will remove themselves to the mountains and forests to live banished from society. Gradually, the Golden Age of Prema will diminish through a cycle of 54,000 years, as the darkness of Kali once again envelopes humanity until the end of the age.
Bhaktivedanta Swami was asked by a New York reporter on July 14, 1976 if everyone on Earth will become Krishna conscious. This was his reply “That is not possible. It is more for the most intelligent class of men. Unless one is intelligent class, he cannot understand. So we don’t expect that everyone is intelligent. People are engrossed with the bodily concept of life. It is beyond that. So dull brain cannot understand what is beyond this body. So you cannot expect that everyone will understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”
It is written in one of Srila Prabhupada’s biographies that he said WW3 will come to wipe out communism and atheistic science, unless his books on Bhakti-yoga are extensively distributed:
However, from various verses in the Puranas we understand that the majority of people, the ‘lokān sarvadā’ or people of ‘all the world’, will be saved by the pastimes of Lord Gaura. For example, in the Varāha Purāṇa, the Supreme Lord predicts:
aham eva dvija-śreṣtho līlā-prācurya-vigrahaḥ
bhagavad-bhakta-rūpeṇa lokān rakṣāmi sarvadā
“I shall come as the best of the brāhmanas. I will exhibit many pastimes in the form of a devotee [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu]. I shall deliver the people of all the world (lokan raksami sarvada).”
Mahaprabhu’s Golden Age has certainly received minimal treatment by Vaisnava authors and thus remains somewhat a secret doctrine. One such author, Kanupriya Goswami, wrote a small booklet on this topic in 1929, a time when a world war was looming, and any worldwide spread of Gaudiya Vaisnavism seemed very unlikely. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who had passed away 15 years earlier, and his illustrious son Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, who would leave eight years later, were the only other Acharyas in the world writing on this topic.
In his essay “Dawn of the Age of Love”, Kanupriya quotes Caitanya Caritamrita: CC Ādi 3.19 “I shall personally inaugurate the religion of the age – nāma saṅkīrtana, the congregational chanting of the holy name. I shall make the world dance in ecstasy, realizing the four mellows of loving devotional service.” and then writes that the day is not far off when “thousands of fallen persons like Jagai and Madhai will be initiated in the religion of Devotional love” He seems to predict the world-wide propagation of the Krishna Movement by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his disciples in the 1970s.
He also comments on how uncharacteristic it is of this Kali Yuga that symptoms which are usually reserved for the last quarter of Kaliyuga are clearly visible in the world today, after only 1% of the yuga has passed. He conjectures that being in great fear of the coming Golden Age sown by Sri Caitanya, the Kali-purush is trying his hardest to perform his service of destroying religion now, instead of at the completion of Kali Yuga. Kanupriya thus believes the entire 427,000 year remainder of the yuga will be a Golden Age of Krishna-saṅkīrtana, which he calls a “śuddha-sattva-yuga” or “Prema-Yuga”.
His only evidence are these two verses from the Bhagavata Purana:
SB 11.5.36 – Those who are actually advanced in knowledge are able to appreciate the essential value of this Age of Kali. Such enlightened persons worship Kali-yuga because in this fallen age all perfection of life can easily be achieved by the performance of saṅkīrtana.
SB 11.5.38 – “My dear King, the inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages eagerly desire to take birth in this Age of Kali, since in this age there will be many devotees of the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa.”
The Goswami then predicts, at the end of his essay, that “by Krishna’s wish, the blood red clouds of the Kali-purusha’s destructive potency gathers on the world’s horizon to cause such a conflict amongst the world’s nationalistic leaders than an unprecedented blood-curdling destructive war will take place, leaving barely one fourth of the world’s population to survive …… thereafter, the tranquil world will witness the clear generation of Mahaprabhu’s prema-dharma, the religion of devotional love. After that, the period of time remaining in the Kali yuga will be worshipped by the people of the Satya-yuga”
He then reflects:
“The whole world is about to burn up in the flames of this holocaust as a result of offenses, yet if we can quickly turn from the path of destruction to our natural religious life, then it is possible that the inconceivably powerful Supreme Lord, by His irresistible will, could prevent such an imminent drama of death from taking place and simply cause the ”Premayuga” to start. Yet we personally think that this axe of destruction now looms so close to us, that to ward it off is beyond the capacity of human society.”
Of course, we can see in hind-sight that 1929 was the eve of the second world war, so, much of what the Goswami foresaw came to pass, yet it was a far cry from an apocalyptic war that would leave only “a quarter of the Earth’s population alive”. However, it did shock the world into a mindset that would soon evolve into the anti-war counter culture based on ‘love and peace’ seen in the 1960s.
As we can clearly see, there is no definitive scriptural evidence to suggest an entire Kaliyuga will become a heavenly Golden Age. It is an idea that has crept into various sectors of Lord Chaitanya’s mission today. The verse from Kalki Purana still seems the clearest guideline to describing this New Golden Age. That said, there are more predictions by Kanupriya Goswami discussed below by another eminent acarya.
PREDICTIONS BY THE ‘HIDDEN ACARYA’
One of Bhaktivedanta Swami’s most advanced disciples was Gour-Govinda Swami (1929 – 1996). He was born to a family of exalted devotees in Orissa during the year that Kanupriya Goswami published his book. After leading an exemplary career as a teacher, he renounced worldly life and was offered the holy order of Sannyasa upon meeting his spiritual master in Vrindavan in the year 1975. By the order of his guru, in 1985 Gour-Govinda Swami began touring the world, spreading the teachings of the Golden Avatar.
In Bhubaneswar, May 1994, after travelling the world many times and inspiring thousands of people to take up the chanting of the Krishna mantra, he was asked to talk about the Golden Age of Lord Caitanya. Around this time, after his guru’s departure, there was much quarrelling in the world-wide ISKCON Hare Krishna movement. Many of the western-born leaders had fallen from their vows and disappeared.
“Kali is in the Krishna movement now, we can see there is so much quarrelling. Reforms were made in 1986 to kick Kali out, but he will remain another 10 years. In 1996, finished! The Age of Prema will come. Dr. Fakir Mohan dasa has found this prophecy during his research”.
A disciple asked: “The Acarya, will the Guru-Acarya appear around that time? Gour-Govinda Swami replied “Acarya, it is said – it is like a patch of black cloud is covering the effulgent sun. When cloud is removed the sun will come out. That is like the appearance of the Acarya, at that time it should happen. Then, gradually, gradually, the Prema-yuga shall come – but there should be war, otherwise how these unnecessary things will be destroyed? Unwanted things should be destroyed. Then the pure thing will come out. When there is a great war – Mahabharata war was there – then after that – dharma was established. Krsna did it. War must be there – and after the war – that will herald the sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya and the pure chanting of the Holy Name”.
Laughing, Gour-Govinda Swami said “A dangerous period is coming. Devastation is required, then good will come out, everything nice will come out”. What will happen to ISKCON? the disciple asked. “Nothing …. Nothing will destroy Mahaprabhu’s movement”.
Later in October that year, in Melbourne, a disciple again asked Gour-Govinda Swami about this Prema Yuga coming after the 500th festival anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His gurudeva then replied “A prophecy tells that after 1986 it will spread more in the Western world than in India. So after 1986 chanting of Krishna is spreading more and Kali becomes weaker and weaker. So it is spreading more in the Western countries. This is the prophecy. You see in Russia there was a ban on Mahaprabhu’s Movement, but now that ban is lifted and it is spreading rapidly. Thousands and thousands of Russians are coming to join. So many books are being distributed. Russia is among the top ten places, the statistics tell us. This is how it is going on because in the West, Mahaprabhu is showering His mercy upon the mlecchas, yavanas, the degraded souls”.
“This is said, Kali becomes weaker especially after 1986. Then for 10 years some strength will still be there. From 1986 to 1996 Kali will still have some strength. But after 1996 Kali will become very weak. Then a prema-yuga will come. In 1996 we are going to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s 100th birth anniversary. From that day it will spread more and then a prema-yuga will come. There is some prophecy like that. One Swami called Kanupriya Goswami, he gave that prediction”.
“In the University of Orissa is one scholar whose name is Dr. Fakir Mohan dasa. He is a research scholar of Mahaprabhu’s teachings. He is a Gaudiya Vaishnava, a professor, and has received a doctorate from the Utkal University. He has produced this thesis where he has mentioned this prophecy by Kanupriya Goswami, that after 1996, a prema-yuga will come. And so we see many people in the West are taking up vegetarianism. That is one symptom, also, thousands of Russians are coming to join, this was predicted”.
We can see why many groups of devotees made bunkers and prepared for world war three around this time! They did not understand the world war Kanupriya sensed was over in 1945. However, it is still a possibility that another terrible war will be necessary to cleanse and redirect the worlds population toward spiritual goals and to nurture the Earth.
It does appear, though, that Kanupriya was correct to some extent with these two figures; 500 and 510 years after the birth of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In 1986 there was a huge international festival, and the pretending gurus in ISKCON were kicked out, and worship of Krishna was decriminalised in the USSR, and the movement spread more and more in the western world. Exactly ten years later in 1996, three months after Gour-Govinda Swami left this world, a new guru began to spread the teaching of Prema in the west. His name was Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami, another great swami, who was born to exalted Sri Rama devotees, in Bihar, India, 1921.
Although he had been directly requested by Bhaktivedanta Swami to educate his disciples and perform his funeral rites, because quarrel had remained in ISKCON, this great leader was not accepted as the Acarya. He therefore began to preach the message of Prema, Divine Love, all over the world with the blessing of Bhaktivedanta Swami’s own godbrother-guru, Keshava Goswami and his Gaudiya Matha association, where he had served for five decades. Many of Gour-Govinda’s bereft followers from ISKCON however, accepted him as the predicted Prema-Yuga Acarya.
Before his departure from this world in 2010 at the age of 91, Narayana Goswami had published over 100 sacred books, initiated more than 10,000 disciples, travelled the world 30 times between 1996 and 2009, and had been awarded the title of ‘Yuga Acarya’ for his lifelong contribution to the spreading of the Prema-Yuga by the “World Religious Parliament”. He also thought that the entire remainder of Kali Yuga will become a Golden Age of Krishna sankirtan. Yet today in 2017, quarrel still remains in both ISKCON and in the Gaudiya Matha, so it seems the Kali-Purusha has still not left Krishna’s movement!
We can understand that the Golden Age of Sri Caitanya will last for a very long time, from 10,000 to 100,000 years, so it may also take a long time to fully manifest. Simply by hearing of the effect Lord Caitanya had when He appeared, and the effect the great parivrajaka-acaryas, Bhaktivedanta Swami, Gour-Govinda Swami and Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami, we realise that waves of the Prema-Yuga will continue to inundate the world in this Kali Age as more perfected messengers of Gauraṅga incarnate amongst us and travel the world.
PREDICTIONS FROM THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM
BV Tirtha Swami, a sannyasin of Narayana Goswami’s Gaudiya Matha institution, has studied various texts including the Kalki, Bhagavata and Vishnu Puranas, and has used the predicted lineage of Kings and Rulers found there, to create a timeline for the future. From the texts of the Puranas he argues that the Golden Age is gradually rising, and will last for about 125,000 years into the Kali age. Using verses from Bhagavata Purana he also pinpoints the description of the current millennium:
SB 12.1.27-28 “Then will follow seven kings of the Ābhīra race from the city of Avabhṛti, and then ten Gardabhīs. After them, sixteen kings of the Kaṅkas will rule and will be known for their excessive greed. Eight Yavanas will then take power, followed by fourteen Turuṣkas, ten Guruṇḍas and eleven kings of the Maula dynasty.”
History tells us Ābhīras ruled the Sindh region in 400 CE, then by 700 CE the different Islamic and Turkic invaders, who we call the Umayyads, Abbasids and Samanids, begin to take control from the north west direction. At this time the Vedic Gujarat princes still ruled central Bharata (India). By 1000 CE, the north west was conquered by the Islamic Ghaznavids (Gardabhīs), and then by the Ghurids, who’s rule then spread all the way eastward to Bengal by 1200 CE.
BV Tirtha Swami surmises that the Gardabhīs, Kaṅkas, Yavanas & Turuṣkas must be the different groups of Muslim, Turk and Mughal Invaders who took control of India between 608 and 1707. Thereafter, the Guruṇḍas (as confirmed in the Bhavishya Purana) are the ten British Monarchs (George I – George VI) who oversaw the occupation of India until independence.
It appears from these verses that the group “Ābhīra-Gardabhīs-Kaṅkas” and the “Yavanas-Turuṣkas-Guruṇḍas” who followed them, had control of India up until the Maulas, who are considered the Presidents of the Republic of India, which was formed in 1947. The current presidents of India have no power, as the country is actually governed by its Prime Ministers. We are therefore now living in the reign of the powerless Maula presidents in 2017.
SB 12.1.29-31 “These Ābhīras, Gardabhīs and Kaṅkas will enjoy the earth for 1,099 years, and the Maulas will rule for 300 years. When all of them have died, there will appear in the city of Kilakilā a dynasty of kings consisting of Bhūtananda, Vaṅgiri, Śiśunandi, Śiśunandi’s brother Yaśonandi, and Pravīraka. These kings of Kilakilā will hold sway for a total of 106 years.”
Here, the Bhagavata Purana describes the Islamic and British conquest of India, and then begins to describe the future that has not yet manifest. The Ābhīras, Gardabhīs and Kaṅkas must simultaneously rule different states along with the Yavanas and Turuṣkas (these are the different Islamic and Mughal Sultans, and the Portuguese, Spanish and French Yavana colonists who invaded India along with the British). They ruled much of India from around 608 CE until the British “Guruṇḍas” start to take total control in about 1707, creating the total of 1,099 years as confirmed in this verse.
The powerless Maula Indian presidents see that Bharata has actually been governed by its Prime Ministers for 70 years since independence in 1947. These figure-head Maulas should continue to hold office for another 230 years before the first Kilakilā dictator, Bhūtananda, takes power in 2247.
SB 12.1.32-34 “The Kilakilās will be followed by their thirteen sons, the Bāhlikas, and after them King Puṣpamitra, his son Durmitra, seven Andhras, seven Kauśalas and also kings of the Vidūra and Niṣadha provinces will separately rule in different parts of the world. There will then appear a king of the Māgadhas named Viśvasphūrji, who will be like another Purañjaya. He will turn all the civilized classes into low-class, uncivilized men in the same category as the Pulindas, Yadus and Madrakas.”
THE FUTURE OF THIS MILLENIUM 2000CE – 3000CE
Thus Bhūtananda is understood to begin an Afghani ‘dynasty’ that invades and rules India by about 2247 CE for 106 years, until 2353. Then thirteen generations of their sons, the Bāhlikas, will rule India until finally, a new king Puṣpamitra, and his son, Durmitra come to power. After this, seven Andhras and seven Kauśalas will rule, making a list of 29 rulers since the Afghani Kilakilā invasion. If each rule for 20 years, that would cover a 580 year period. Therefore, by about year 2933, the rascal king Viśvasphūrji is destined to rule like an incarnation of Kali-Purusha, forcing everyone in Northern India to be uncivilized and sinful. Fortunately the eastern city of Navadvīpa has been prophesied to become a great centre for the New Golden Age of Sri Caitanya, even if the northern holy places fall for some time to Kali. We are told that the provinces of Russia, Europe, Africa and the Americas will have their own rulers, and hopefully they will be nurturing the new Golden Age there also.
SB 12.1.35-36 “Foolish King Viśvasphūrji will maintain all the citizens in ungodliness and will use his power to completely disrupt the kṣatriya order. From his capital of Padmavatī he will rule that part of the earth extending from the source of the Gaṅgā to Prayāga. At that time the brāhmaṇas of such provinces as Śaurāṣṭra, Avantī, Ābhīra, Śūra, Arbuda and Mālava will forget all their regulative principles, and the members of the royal order in these places will become no better than śūdras.”
From these verses, we see more detail of the next 1,000 years. It appears as though Prime Ministers will govern the Republic of India instead of the figurehead ‘Maula’ presidents, or the traditional princes, for another 230 years until 2247. Hopefully, like Narendra Modi, they will give support to the traditional Vedic religion, and especially to those associates of Lord Caitanya who are expected to incarnate and expand the age of love.
After this, a war with Afghanistan is indicated by the term Bāhlika (Bactria or Northern Afghanistan). Six powerful Afghani dictators lead by Bhūtananda will conquer and occupy India for 106 years, then their 13 sons and successors for possibly another 260 years until about 2613. Then another 16 rulers will follow starting with King Puṣpamitra, who we hope will return India to the growth of the Golden Age with the help of powerful gurus, until the end of the second millennium CE. It is possible, of course, that the rest of the world avoids the Afghani-Indian conflict and will continue to develop spiritually and ecologically in line with predictions of Lord Caitanya and the Acharyas.
However, even as the Golden Age progresses with waves of spirituality from empowered incarnations of Sri Gaura’s devotees, there are also set-backs by the incarnation of demons who are servants of Kali. Such is indicated by the birth of foolish Viśvasphūrji around 2933 (an extrapolated guess), who will become a great and influential figure in South Asia. Ruling from Northern India, he will indoctrinate all the citizens with atheism and will use his power to completely disrupt the established order of the world. This is not very different from the activities of communist China or North Korea at the beginning of the millennium. The Golden Age will take a huge blow, as all those brāhmaṇas in the west of India will forget the religion of love, and become the foolish servants of their senses.
Unfortunately the Bhagavata Purana does not speak about the Golden Age of Lord Gauranga, it only secretly discloses His advent as the Golden Avatar. The beginning and the end of Kaliyuga are described, but not the most fascinating first half or first quarter of the “one-in-a-thousand” Dhanya-Kali-Yugas. This wonderful age is brushed over in the Kalki Purana with only one verse, just like many other Puranas, which very briefly predict His incarnation and mission. Lord Gauranga lived for only 50 years before physical ascension in front of many witnesses, but the next 100,000 years are never mentioned!
Perhaps we shall learn more as the age progresses, indeed, there is a verse in the Caitanya Bhagavata that states more and more pastimes of Lord Caitanya will be revealed as time progresses, as Srila Vrindavan Das Thakura has promised:
Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 20:87, by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami:
caitanya-maṅgale ihā likhiyāche sthāne-sthāne
satya kahena,–‘āge vyāsa kariba varṇane’
“In Caitanya-maṅgala, Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has stated in many places the factual truth that in the future Vyāsadeva will describe them elaborately”.
The statement āge vyāsa kariba varṇane is similar to a text in the Caitanya-bhāgavata (First Chapter, text 180) in which Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura says:
śeṣa-khaṇḍe caitanyera ananta vilāsa
vistāriyā varṇite āchena veda-vyāsa
“The unlimited pastimes of Śrī Caitanya will be described by Vyāsadeva in the future.” Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that these statements indicate that in the future, other representatives of Vyāsadeva will elaborately describe Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes.
And remember, the associate of Śrī Caitanya, Śrīla Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, has written:
ke jābi ke jābi bhāi bhava-sindhu-pāra
dhanya kali-yugera caitanya-avatāra (1)
Who will go? Who will go, O brothers? Who will cross over this ocean of material suffering? This Kali-yuga in which Śrī Caitanya-avatāra has appeared, is truly blessed!
Below is a recent 7 minute message from Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, a disciple of Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhara Swami (a close friend and godbrother of Srila Bhaktivdanta Swami Prabhupada). Sri Acharyaji is confident about the dawning of the New Golden Age, whether it come smoothly or through violent changes. He follows Srila Prabhupada’s prediction that the Prema-Yuga will last 10,000 years.
SRILA SRIDHAR MAHARAJ ON THE KALKI PURANA
Mutual Intense Exploitation will come to such Degree that it will Burst.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj
Devotee: In this Kalki-Purana by Srila Vyasadeva, it gives the historical reference to when the Kalki-Purana was spoken. So it was spoken after the third seating, between Sukadeva and Pariksit Maharaja. Right after that period, then Markandeya Rsi comes in and then Sukadeva Goswami relates Kalki-Purana in his presence. So does that mean that what is in this Kalki-Purana is going to happen or is it a description from a previous kalpa, yuga, how to take it?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes, both may be possible, and the previous scripture with some new addition Sukadeva may say to him. One who can see the future, with that addition and the past modified, he may deliver to Markandeya.
Devotee: So these things may be taken that they are going to happen or in a general way it’s taken?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Generally it happens like that with little modification. Every day you get up from your bed, you go to the latrine, then you come and take some breakfast, and then the newspaper, or something, this general habit. But there will be change also, not exactly copied every day, but general thing and with some new addition. So kalpa, Brahma’s day means one kalpa-ved, almost similar things are going to happen but with little change. Already the copy of the previous day, the routine, the previous day’s routine generally repeated but with little change every day. Hare Krsna.
Guru Maharaj: Ha, ha, ha, ha. Distraction. They know the condition of the world after the atomic war. What is Kalki, ha, ha, ha, they will think that they’re prey to that inevitable history. They may try their best not to throw atom but some force will come and utilise them or make them instruments to help that general force and they can’t help withdraw it. So some other force is there, ha, ha, that will create, use them, utilise them as an instrument and create the destruction of Kalki, general destruction.
The path when it’s full thing is seen that is mutual exploitation, intense exploitation amongst them, that mutual intense exploitation will come to such a degree that it will burst, it will combine and burst, and then some reaction will come again. As the resultant of exploitation, the individual or provincial or national, whatever it may be, the resultant of the tendency of exploitation of one another, that will come to meet and create a disaster which is inevitable. We will be helpless instrument there. Hare Krsna.
Cinamasta, there is one lila, she is beheaded and with her hand she is has held the head and the blood oozing, coming, and in her face she is drinking.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: No, Cinamasta, one of the lila of the Devi.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Durga, Cinamasta, she is drinking her own blood. How? The beheaded head is in her hand and the blood oozing and it is falling at her face, in her mouth, and she is drinking.
But this civilisation is suicidal, the knowledge, the Einstein, the Newton, they have given so much invention and that is being utilised to devour this whole creation. Suicidal civilisation, reactionary, so connect you with the Infinite Good. All activity, all movement must be guided by the central interest, not any provincial or local interest, then clash is inevitable, clash is inevitable if you try to look with any provincial benefit, welfare.
Nothing less than the Absolute Centre should be the point of our guidance. So Krsna consciousness, Krsna consciousness, nothing less than the Centre where no consideration of provincialism, all universal. Put food to the stomach, the whole body will be fed, that theory. Put water to the root, the whole tree will be fed.
Yasmin tuste jagat tustam prinite prinito jagat, By satisfying Krsna, the whole universe becomes satisfied, for one who is dear to Krsna is dear to the whole universe.
aham hi sarva-yajnanam
bhokta ca prabhur eva ca
na tu mam abhijananti
tattvenatas cyavanti te
“You will be saved if you devote your energy for My purpose.”
You are saved, otherwise the provincialism, small or big group, and clash is inevitable, unavoidable. So you may worship other gods, demigods, that is also provincial interest, individual interest, group interest. So eliminate all sorts of group interest and only connect with the universal point. And that is beautiful and that is autocrat, there is beauty and there is autocracy. You must remember that. Whole sustenance and sacrifice also must be great autocracy.
Sacrifice to an autocrat, that is not very easy, but the solace, the consolation is beautiful, is very easy also. If we are attracted by His beauty everything is possible. No difficulty to surrender to an autocrat if my interest is best represented there. The charm, the love, beauty, harmony, that is safe. This is Krsna consciousness, sarva-dharman, justification of this clarion call.
(“Totally abandoning all kinds of religion, surrender exclusively unto Me. I will liberate you from all kinds of sins, so do not despair.”)
“Give up all duties and come to Me, I shall protect you.”
The meaning of this clarion call, “Give up all sorts of respective duties, local duties, and come to the absolute point. You will be saved.” Sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja, “The whole one side, myself alone one side, give up all, come to Me alone, I am the key to this whole, to the existence of the whole thing. And what is Myself? Beauty.”
Everyone wants beauty, rasam, anandam, ecstasy. None will say that I don’t want, you may profess, hypocritically you may pronounce, but that is not heart, heart can never say that I don’t want anandam, sukham, beauty, love, harmony. But that thing that everyone wants, what is the relief, the shelter of everything, that is autocrat, that does not hold any lower position to anything else, cannot, that is Absolute. But everyone wants He is absolute from the inner heart, not from the surface. Rasi vai sah, and also it’s not power but beauty, love, not control.
Hare Krsna. Gaura Hari. Gaura Hari. Gaura Hari. Nitai Gaura Hari bol!
[21-24 June 83] (Posted by Yugala Murti – Julie Cluer)
A Look at the “Golden Age”
The Golden Age in Iskcon
There are several views within and around the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) regarding when the Golden Age will begin. Most hold that it began with the birth of Lord Caitanya (1486-1533), but it is also common to think that it began with the birth of Srila Prabhupada, especially since he is purported to having stated that his books will be the “law books for the next ten thousand years.”
Another opinion is that it began in 1986, a year in which Iskcon went through a major administrative reform. At any rate, it has begun already, and while the beneficial effects of the new age may seem small at present, they will slowly but surely increase. The beginning will be characterized by a polarization between the forces of light and the forces of darkness1, but, at the apex of the Golden Age, there will be a “heaven on earth”:
[There] will be regular rainfall all over the planet, the climate will become very pleasant, the earth will produce abundant quantities of food grains, the cows will produce unlimited quantities of milk, the oceans and rivers will produce minerals, jewels and natural fertilizers and the forests will provide honey, fruits, flowers and medicinal drugs. Conflict and anxiety will disappear as Krishna becomes the central point of everyone’s activities.2
However, this is not an automatic process: it hinges on the successful missionary activities of Prabhupada’s followers3. Such an idea is well-known from Christian post-millennialism4, wherein the millennium or future “Golden Age” is expected to precede the coming savior, and it will come about gradually, not as the result of some single, cataclysmic event. Though for Iskcon members, the savior has already come (Caitanya/Prabhupada), the appearance of the millennium is similarly expected to be gradual.
Srila Prabhupada on the Golden Age
Curiously enough, looking through the Vedabase, one does not find very much about this Golden Age. The first occurrence of this idea is in a conversation with a disciple in September of 19685, but since the disciple there refers back to having heard about a prophecy of the “Golden Age of Kali”, Prabhupada must have spoken about it before. While disciples would later endeavor to record Prabhupada’s every word, casual conversations were generally not taped during the first years.
Srila Prabhupada would continue to mention the idea a few more times over the years, usually only in passing. It is interesting to note that on two of the four recorded occasions that he himself broached the topic, it was in conversations with “important” persons6. This may have been done to impress upon these people the upcoming importance of the movement, in those years still very much in a fledgling condition.
Almost all the times the idea of the Golden Age is mentioned, the occurrence is prompted by disciples wishing to know more about this encouraging prophecy7. Since the idea of a future millennium is such a popular Judaeo-Christian theme, perhaps especially so in the United States, it is easy to understand that many of Prabhupada’s American disciples were fascinated with it. After all, who wouldn’t like to imagine a glorious future, especially if faced with trouble and disappointments in the present?
Still, at least in the recorded material, Srila Prabhupada gives very few details about this Golden Age. The duration, ten thousand years, is mentioned8, that Krishna consciousness during this time is “like a wave, first increasing, then decreasing”9, or just generally that it will increase10. Moreover, Prabhupada often seemed to downplay the mythical side of the prophecy, tending to a more pragmatic view of it. For example:
Madhudvisa: Prabhupada, what was exactly predicted by Lord Caitanya when He predicted the Golden Age of Kali, the age in the Age of Kali when people would be chanting the Hare Krishna mantra?
Prabhupada: Yes. People… Just like we are now preaching Hare Krishna. In your country there was no such preaching. […] If you have taken up this formula very nicely, then you will go on preaching, and it will be spread all over the world. Very simple thing.11
Several years later, he stressed the same point to another, similarly enthusiastic disciple: “You work sincerely; it will increase, it will increase.”12 This is, as noted above, a common, post-millenarian idea. Similarly, when asked whether Iskcon would ever “take over the world,” he always answered in a very pragmatic way, saying that such a possibility would be there if the members of Iskcon were serious and sincere13. However, when the same enthusiastic disciple took up the subject of the Golden Age a few days later14, Prabhupada again replied in a similar way (“provided you keep it uncontaminated”), but this time also added some incentive:
Ramesvara: So after ten years we have gotten so many devotees and so many houses, so I can’t imagine how big this movement will be after ten thousand years.
Prabhupada: Yes. You’ll get the government.
Ramesvara: The whole world will be delivered?
Prabhupada: Yad yad acarati sresthah. America will be the best; people will follow. They are already following-skyscraper building, that’s all. Any nation in the world, they are all aspiring to have skyscraper buildings. India has done? In Bombay?
In other words, if America is converted, the rest of the world will follow. Just from reading a transcription, it is impossible to know whether or not Prabhupada’s comment about the devotees gaining world government was seriously meant, but many of his followers certainly took it in that way.
However, the thing that Prabhupada most often stresses (e.g. in 760621cr.tor) about the Golden Age is that it is the last chance for humanity to become Krishna conscious, before the evil effect of the age of Kali begins in earnest. This is also his emphasis the two times he writes about this golden age, in his purports to Srimad-bhagavatam 8.5.23 and to Caitanya-caritamrita 3.3.50.
Looking for a Scriptural Source
Now, what is the source of the whole idea of the ten thousand golden years? Allen Ginsberg asked that very question of Srila Prabhupada:
Allen Ginsberg: Where is all this?
Prabhupada: Vedic literature.
Allen Ginsberg: What…?
Prabhupada: Padma Purana, Puranas.
Allen Ginsberg: Bhagavata Purana.
Prabhupada: Bhagavata Purana. ((690513rc.col))
In other words, he seemed to not know the exact source, as is confirmed by his answer to the same question by a disciple several years later: “I have heard it, maybe in the Bhagavata”15. The alternatives Prabhupada gives are all different scriptures regarded as canonical. Since Gaudiya Vaishnavas take great pride in being a scripturally based movement, and since the Bhagavata Purana is considered the highest authority, it should come as no surprise that Prabhupada referred to it.
Within the Bhagavata, one author identified verses 11.5.38-40 as foretelling the Golden Age. However, while the verses in question do speak about how even the gods desire to take birth on earth in the age of Kali, the context shows that the verses seek to extol the greatness of nama-sankirtana, congregational praise of Krishna, as the most efficacious form of worship in Kali, or indeed any age. There is nothing in these verses, or in the Bhagavata as a whole, about a Golden Age of ten thousand years.
The Padma Purana, the other text Prabhupada mentions, is the most voluminous of all the six Vaishnava Puranas. It is divided into six parts, and contains over 56,000 verses. Searching the whole text would thus be a formidable task! I contented myself with looking for the ten thousand years in the verse index. It indeed lists no less than 11 verses beginning with dasa-varsa-sahasrani, “ten thousand years,” and two with dasa-varsa-sahasram, a period of ten thousand years. While these verses talk about subjects such as the time different sages spent in meditation, the amount of years a sudra that steals milk from a brahmana’s cow has to suffer as a worm in stool, the years of heavenly enjoyment for one who only eats what he has cooked himself during four months or only sleeps on the ground, they say nothing about a special time within the age of Kali. I have thus not been able to locate the prophecy within the Padma Purana, and neither does anyone else seem to have done so.
The Prophecy of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana
Instead, some of Prabhupada’s followers have found a passage in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana16, that seems to contain the scriptural source of the Golden Age. I am not aware of this passage having been used in any official Iskcon publications, but it is discussed by Iskcon devotee Stephen Knapp in his book on “Vedic Prophecies” and found on several web pages connected with the movement. It is referred to as stating that “there will be a 10 000-year golden age in Kali yuga” at the website of the Bhaktivedanta Archives, an official Iskcon project. And it is addressed similarly on other similar sites. Since the passage thus seems to be widely regarded as the source of the golden age prophecy, it deserves to be looked at more closely. Below, I will present the Sanskrit for the most important verses, the translation by the unnamed original translator, followed by my own comments.
50. kaleh pancasahasrani varsani tistha bhutale
papani papino yani tubhyam dasyanti snanatah
The blessed Lord said: On the earth 5,000 years of kali will be sinful and sinners will deposit their sins in you by bathing.
This translation contains a major inaccuracy, on which most of the rest hinges. What the Lord here says is not that 5,000 years of Kali will be sinful; rather, he addresses the Ganga river, ordering her to remain (tistha, second person imperative of the verb stha) on earth for 5,000 years. A better translation would thus be: “The blessed Lord said: Remain on earth for five thousand years of Kali. The sinners will give their sins to you by bathing.”
51. man-mantropasaka-sparsad bhasmibhutani tat-ksanatt
bhavisyanti darsanac ca snanad eva hi jahnavi
Thereafter by the sight and touch of those who worship me by my mantra, all those sins will be burnt.
Now, with “thereafter,” the text seems to begin talking about something else, an age beginning after the five thousand years of the Ganga mentioned above. However, looking closer, one notices that there is no such “thereafter” in the text. Instead, it says: “By the touch of those who practice my mantra, by seeing them, or indeed by their bathing, O Jahnavi [Ganga], [those sins] will immediately be burnt into ashes.”
Stephen Knapp takes the word man-mantropasaka (practitioner of my name) here to be in the singular, and thus to foretell Srila Prabhupada17. While that is grammatically possible here, later verses (e.g. 4.129.55-57) explicitly use the plural number, even for the same word.
The text then goes on to describe more of the glories of such Vaishnavas in verses 4.129.52-58. After that, we arrive at the explicit mention of the ten thousand years, the statement that probably drew the attention of the translator in the first place:
59. kaler dasa-sahasrani mad-bhaktah santi bhu-tale
ekavarna bhavisyanti mad-bhaktesu gatesu ca
For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of mine will fill the whole planet. After the departure of my devotees there will only be one varna [outcaste].
Again, the translator takes liberties with the text to make it fit his agenda. What is it that in this verse particularly describes Prabhupada’s Golden Age? That the devotees will “fill the whole planet.” Unfortunately, that is not what it says: it merely says that there “are” (santi) devotees on earth during ten thousand years.
Now, if the anonymous translator were to step forward, he might present the following objection: “It is true that I made some small additions to the text, but that was only to make the chronology clearer: first we have 5,000 years of Kali when the Ganga purifies the sinners, and then 10,000 years of the devotees, or what Prabhupada called the Golden Age. This is the inner meaning of the above verses.”
It is not. First of all, it is not reasonable. Were there no devotees before 1897 CE, when the first 5,000 years of Kali had passed? The date may be conveniently close to Prabhupada’s birth year (1896), but he himself always said that the Golden Age was begun by Lord Caitanya (e.g. in his purport to SB 8.5.23). Secondly, such an interpretation completely neglects the context of the verses given above. They occur at the very end of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, where the evils of the Kali age are being described. The description given is for the most part similar to those in other Puranas: people will have no regard for their elders, they will not offer any sacrifices to the forefathers, they will be addicted to all kinds of evils, and so on. However, the Purana, as is also common, does present some consolation. A passage in the previous chapter has this to say:
kaler dasa-sahasrsai mad-arca bhuvi tisthati
tad-ardhani ca varsanam ganga bhuvana-pavani
During ten thousand years of Kali, my image will stay on earth, and during half of those years, Ganga, the purifier of mankind.18
But what will happen to Ganga at the end of those five thousand years, or rather, what happened to her in 1896? That has been explained earlier on:
10. kaleh panca-sahasram ca varsham sthitva ca bharate
jagmus tas ca saridrupam vihaya sri-hareh padam
11. yani sarvani tirthani kasim vrindavanam vina
yasyanti sardham tabhis ca harer vaikuntham ajnaya
12. salagramo harer murtir jagannathas ca bharatam
kaler dasa-sahasrante yayau tyaktva hareh padam
And having stayed for five thousand years of Kali in India, they [the holy rivers] will give up their forms as rivers and return to the abode of Sri Hari. Being ordered, all the holy places – except Kasi and Vrindavana – will also go together with them to Hari’s Vaikuntha. At the end of ten thousand years of Kali, the Salagrama, Hari’s image and Jagannatha will give up India and go to the abode of Hari.19
The chronology is therefore not 5,000 + 10,000, as in the prophecy mentioned by Prabhupada, but 10,000 years of devotees and image worship, out of which the first half has the added benefit of the presence of the Ganga. What we have here is thus clearly not a presentation of a Golden Age, but a standard Puranic dystrophy, with the added calamity of all the holy places and people gradually leaving India. In other words, the text is exhorting the readers to take these things seriously. Time is short! In addition to that, the Purana is offering a mahatmya or description of the greatness of the devotees of Vishnu. This is particularly evident in 2.6.84-123, where a similar passage about the Ganga as the first one (4.129.49-60) launches into a very lengthy description of the glorious devotees of the Lord.
Now, as seen above, Prabhupada’s main point concerning the Golden Age was that it is the last chance for humanity to attain spiritual perfection before the full force of Kali sets in. If we consider everything else—the timely rains, Vaishnavism taking over the world, and so on – as added by somewhat fanciful disciples, we could consider this passage of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana as being the origin of Prabhupada’s idea of the Golden Age. Still, one major problem remains: the passage of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana says nothing about this age beginning with Caitanya, but has it start from the beginning of the age of Kali.
In general, the Brahma-vaivarta Purana is of dubious authority for Gaudiya Vaishnavas. While the Goswamis occasionally quote it, I have not been able to locate a single one of the verses quoted in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, a text that I have worked on, in the present edition of the text. Scholars are of the opinion that the text has been completely revamped after the time of the Goswamis. This is particularly evident in the general emphasis of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana. While classical sources characterize this Purana as being rajasic (e.g. Padma Purana 5.236.18-21), in its present form, it is a clearly Vaishnava text that presents Krishna as the Supreme, though its doctrines do not always conform to Gaudiya Vaishnavism. For example, Lord Caitanya makes no mention of the upcoming disappearance of the Ganga when he teaches Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya that in the age of Kali, Krishna is present especially in Jagannatha and the Ganga river20. As far as I know, Prabhupada also never taught that the Ganga river present today would be illusory, the real Ganga having returned to Vaikuntha, or that Varanasi and Vrindavana would be the only sacred places left on earth.
Looking for the source elsewhere
Having thus rejected these scriptures as the direct source for Prabhupada’s idea, we have to return to his own statement. “I have heard it” – if not from where, from whom? One natural source would be his own guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), but I have not been able to find the idea in his writings. Neither did Prabhupada’s godbrothers seem to subscribe to the idea. B.R. Sridhara Maharaja (1895-1988), never spoke about any Golden Age and was not interested in the prophecy when it was brought up. In his article “Origin and Eschatology of Hindu Religion,” B.H. Bon Maharaja (1901-1982) does not say anything about a Golden Age, even though it would have been the perfect opportunity21.
However, B.V. Narayana Maharaja, a disciple of a close godbrother of Prabhupada’s, B.P. Kesava Maharaja (1898-1968), teaches about a millennium, but a different one. His idea is that since Caitanya appeared in this age of Kali, it has been changed into a “fortunate Kali.” Rather than decline spiritually, humanity will gradually become more and more spiritually advanced as Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana movement spreads everywhere. Finally, when Kali reaches its end, Kalki will not have to descend, or if he does, he will simply join the sankirtana ((Broo 2003b: 212-213))! Thus, instead of lasting the ten thousand years Prabhupada always mentioned, the Golden Age here lasts almost 427,000. Narayana Maharaja may have received the idea of a “fortunate Kali” from another Gaudiya Vaishnava teacher, Kanupriya Goswami, who presented it already in 1929 in an article called “Dawn of The Age of Love”22. There are also other millenarian ideas within the larger scope of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, such as in the group following Prabhu Jagadbandhu, but they differ significantly from the one presented by Prabhupada.
One source to be investigated is B.S. Goswami Maharaja (1895-1958), another godbrother of Prabhupada’s, one that he had some co-operation with before going to the West23. Until any further findings come to light, we simply have to stick to Prabhupada’s vague “I have heard it.”
Contrary to popular belief within Iskcon, we have seen that Prabhupada’s prophecy regarding the Golden Age does not seem to have a scriptural source. While the Puranas paint a gloomy future for humanity in the age of Kali, they do give some hope, such as when the Bhagavata extols the supremely liberating power of nama-sankirtana. Nonetheless, the texts explicitly mentioned by Prabhupada do not contain any descriptions of a ten thousand-year Golden Age, neither does the passage of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana that some of his followers have brought forward. Will this finding prove a problem for members of Iskcon? Hardly. Prabhupada’s authority within the movement is unassailable. After all, the reason some of his followers brought forward the passage of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana was not to proclaim the glories of that particular text, but to shed more light on Prabhupada’s glorious words. Prabhupada is the authority that the Purana is made to support, not the other way around. If that source is found faulty in this regard, the search for a scriptural source will no doubt continue.
Does this then mean that Prabhupada imagined the whole prophecy or just made it up? No. Gaudiya Vaishnava theology believes in the possibility of further revelation, and since Prabhupada is widely respected as an empowered spiritual master within the Gaudiya Vaishnava world, to think that he would have received such a revelation should be perfectly acceptable.
- Knapp 2001: 65 [
- http://krishna.org/sudarsana/goldage.html [
- e.g. Knapp 2001: 80-81 [
- see for example Shepperson 1962: 44-45 [
- 680927le.sea [
- the poet Allen Ginsberg and the historian Arnold Toynbee, 690513rc.col and 730722rc.lon [
- e.g.760605mw.la, 760611mw.la [
- e.g. 760621cr.tor [
- 690513rc.col [
- 730722rc.lon [
- 680927le.sea [
- 760605mw.la [
- 750311mw.lo and 760706r3.wdc [
- 760611mw.la [
- 770405r2.bom [
- 4.129.49-60 [
- Knapp 2001: 67, 72-73 [
- BVP 4.128.28 [
- BVP 2.7.10-12 [
- CC 2.15.134-136 [
- Bon Maharaj 1984: 132-147 [
- Goswami 1999: 25-27 [
- Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami 1994: 172-178 [
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/vedic_prophecies.htm by Stephen Knapp.
http://harmonist.us/2013/11/a-look-at-the-golden-age by Bhrigupada dasa.
http://web.onetel.com/~kishoredadlani/papers/gvais/KanupriyaGosvamiDL0.1.pdf by Kanupriya Goswami.
http://www.dandabhanga.com/important-conversations/the-prema-yuga by Sri Sacinandan Das.
https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/12/1 translated by Hridayananda das Goswami
http://om-aditya.ru/userfiles/ufiles/purany/sri_kalki_purana.pdf translated by Bhumipati Das
A Look at the “Golden Age”
Very interesting comments from the Harmonist’s online publication of ‘A Look at the Golden Age’
November 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm
Great analysis, prabhu. All in all it is a nice and inspiring story, no doubt meant to increase our Krishna consciousness. Reminds me of the ‘fall from Vaikuntha’ story, and the story of the soon to happen world war three (some hardcore devotees are still working on their bunkers).
Coming to think of that, we could also add here the story of SP books being the law books of mankind for the next 10,000 years, and the story of SP making ISCKON the house where the whole world could live.
Satyaraja Dasa (NY)
November 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm
Nice analysis. Thank you. I was surprised, though, that you gave short shrift to Kanupriya Gosvami, who was likely the source of the 10,000 years quote. If he was not its originator, he was surely the one who popularized it.
A well-known Bengali scholar and practitioner from the early 20th century, he fell out of favor with the Gaudiya Math and was belittled by its leaders in the usual way (the unfortunate fate of the persona non grata, eh?). Perhaps this is why Prabhupada didn’t cite him as a source. In any case, Kanupriyaji spoke of “Prema-yuga,” and elaborated on it much in the same way that Prabhupada did. Where he got it from is anyone’s guess.
Here is what Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja has said on the subject:
Yes. Kanupriya Gosvami has said that after 500 years of Mahaprabhu’s appearance we observed a festival, the 500th year the fifth centennial of Mahaprabhu’s appearance. He has said it will spread more, particularly in the west. That has happened now. In Russia, you find it is banned, but there are so many Russians and they are coming to India in great numbers. That is the symptom. In the west it spreads more than in India. That is because they cannot get peace, going from the top of material enjoyment, you see, the highest level, no peace. So now it is catching up. It is spreading there.
In India it is not spreading so much. India is like the wet well [the grass is very green around it] and the west is like a dry well [the grass is very dry around it]. The west is like a dry well; the fire catches easily; but India is a wet well. Kanupriya Gosvami said this. It is because in India there are so many organizations and they all say, “O, I know”, “We know, we know”. So it is not spreading so much. But in the west it is spreading.
After the 500th anniversary of Mahaprabhu it will spread. He has said that, and it is taking place. He said that from 1986, (Mahaprabhu’s 500th anniversary, 1486 to 1986, 500 years) Mahaprabhu’s movement will spread. Devotees will come up, then Kali will become weaker, so Kali became weaker from that day in 1986. Then he said, “Still Kali will stay in the movement; he has some strength and it will last for 10 years.” That will be from 1986 to 1996. For ten years it will remain but it will become weaker and weaker. But in 1996, no more! Prema, prema – love will come. “The Prema-yuga will come”, he said. Kanupriya Gosvami also said this. He was from Navadvipa and he comes in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Nuff said. 🙂
November 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm
Srila Prabhupada’s caveat “provided you keep it uncontaminated”, mentioned in the article, speaks volumes.
From what I understand, sahajiyaism contaminated much of Gaudiya-Vaishnavism after the disappearance of the last of the Six Goswamis. The pure devotional path was still there, but greatly reduced in number. To quote the a page from the website gaudiyahistory.com: “Educated upper class Bengali society was shocked and disgusted by the practices of these heretical sects and came to identify Mahaprabhu’s religion with the lower classes, the uneducated and immoral. People of the gentle classes thus had no understanding or faith in Mahaprabhu’s true religion.” But the Seventh Goswami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, was able to bring everything back on track.
And now, almost 40 years after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, it is happening again. Contamination not by sahajiyaism, but by humanism (e.g., opening of hospitals and clinics), new-ageism (hatha yoga classes in temples) and mayavadism (consorting with professional mayavada kirtaniyas, demigod worship in temples) and ethnic Hinduism.
Kali yuga is like a river. Just as you have waves in the river, where things go up, the general trend is down, down, down. One upward wave was from the time of Mahaprabhu to the last of the Goswamis, the second wave was from Srila Bhaktivinoda to Srila Bhaktivedanta.
Unless a strong personality like Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur appears to set things straight again, I am not hopeful.
swami bv tripurari
November 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm
The real problem today is religious fundamentalism in the name of Guadiya Vaisnavism.
Regarding your lack of hope:
“This line of guru-parampara is existing up to today without any break and it will continue to exist like this in the future also. To say, ‘There is no sad-guru living in the world at present and neither will there be any in the future,’ is an atheistic opinion.”
-Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
December 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm
I suggest that you be the opposite so that all those who don’t like what you call “religious fundamentalism” can join you instead.
This would be a win-win situation. In the case of ISKCON instead of fighting among themselves could again focus fighting against maya. In your case you will swell your ranks with fellow travelers.
Seriously, canvas the ISKCON liberals to join you. Make Urmila dd a diksha guru, etc and all the liberals will jump ship over to your side.
Then both parties can go out and preach without fighting each other and may the best win.
swami bv tripurari
December 13, 2013 at 4:38 am
Do you think that there is something called religious fundamentalism that applies to any religious tradition?
I don’t make people gurus and I don’t advocate affirmative action with regard to recognizing gurus.
Iskcon is fighting with itself and its shadow in the form of its ritvik sector.
December 15, 2013 at 7:36 am
Its not about increasing membership its about increasing understanding so that devotees can make further advancement.
January 27, 2014 at 7:40 am
Your equating my lack of hope with the non-existence of an existing sad-guru is a stretch. Of course, there is always a sad-guru; but it takes an especially powerful one to put things back on track (or to keep things on track), as we have seen with Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and Bhaktivedanta Swami.
There were certainly sad-gurus before Bhaktivinoda Thakur (e.g., Jagannatha dasa Babaji, Baladeva Vidyabhusana), but still sahajiyism flourished, contaminating the public’s perception of the true followers of Mahaprabhu. This is an historical fact; who can deny it?
And as for the “real problem today is religious fundamentalism in the name of Guadiya [sic] Vaisnavism”, the real problem is deviance from the fundamentals. That is the problem, that is what leads things off track, that is the gist of Srila Prabhupada’s warning (“provided you keep it iuncontaminated”).
swami bv tripurari
January 27, 2014 at 7:56 am
To be fair, all kinds of heterodoxy flourished even while those you consider “especially powerful” were present. All one really needs is an acarya powerful enough to deliver oneself. And saving oneself is the first step in saving others.
The real problem today is a lack of understanding what the fundamental principles of the tradition are by way of misconstruing them with details that often need to be adjusted as times change. And that is characteristic of religious fundamentalism.
November 28, 2013 at 10:46 pm
Thanks for the further link to Kanupriya Goswami, Satyaraja. I haven’t seen anything else on this topic from him than the booklet I mentioned, but that doesn’t speak about the 10 000 years so prominent in Srila Prabhupada’s version. That is why I rather linked it to the “dhanya kali” idea. Another source worth examining is Sri Aurobindo, who was very influential in mid-1900 India and whom Srila Prabhupada read.
Actually, this article was republished here from the Sampradaya Sun without my knowledge, leaving out the intro and (unfortunately) the bibliography. The intro also included something important: that this is an abbreviated and slightly modified version of an article which appeared in Journal of Vaishnava Studies 13:2 (Spring 2003).
December 9, 2013 at 6:53 am
Given that there is not a specific reference for the golden age of 10,000 years maybe it could be understood that B.V. Swami Prabhupada was taking license and preaching to encourage his disciples.
I find the idea of the golden age referring specifically to ISKCON and Srila Prabhbupada’s appearance problematic. ISKCON is full of such prophecies which all support the “Jesus-fication” of Prabhupada. It appears very similar to how Christians have found so many things from the old testament predicting the appearance of Jesus. If these type of ideas are taken too far they could very well result in ISKCON being a new religion unto itself
December 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm
I am curious as to why you are so concerned about what ISKCON does when you are not part of ISKCON.
You also want to change ISKCON and criticize its policies. Why should you care?
It seems that you define yourself in terms of your opposition to ISKCON as opposed to your own ideals. It seems that without ISKCON to criticize and attack you would be nothing.
swami bv tripurari
December 13, 2013 at 4:46 am
Iskcon has been the largest Gaudiya Vaisnava mission in the world. It was founded by my guru. As it morphs into something other than what it was meant to be, that is a concern to me. Misrepresentation of the tradition and its spiritual/scriptural conclusions is of concern to anyone who is properly representing them, especially if it is widespread. But if you take the time to acquaint yourself with Sri Caitanya Sangha, you will find that it defines itself by its own contemporary presentation of Gaudiya Vedanta chaste to the tradition’s spiritual and scriptural conclusions.
Citta Hari dasa
December 14, 2013 at 5:47 am
It is a sannyasi’s duty to speak the truth, which often means challenging misconception. Failure to do so is as bad as the misconception itself. As Martin Luther King said: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
December 15, 2013 at 7:28 am
Talking about Gaudiya Vaisnavism means talking about what it is and also what it is not. That is siddhanta, what it is and what it is not. Throughout history Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas have spoken strongly about what it is not. That is necessary and appropriate. Wherever apasiddhanta appears, be it in ISKCON or in Sri Caitanya Sanga that can and should be pointed out. It is really not about what group one is associated with.
As far as being nothing, yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi, that is what it really means to be nothing.
April 2, 2014 at 6:41 am
Dasa concludes that ‘Prabhupada’s prophecy regarding the Golden Age does not seem to have a scriptural source’. Interestingly however, my own reading reveals that this idea of a ‘golden age’ is by no means peculiar to ISKCON or GV generally. One of Nammalvar’s decad’s in the Tiruvaymoli (5.2) appears to point to a similar prophecy. The decad reads as follows: ‘Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! The persisting curse of life is gone, the agony of hell is destroyed, death has no place here. The [force of] Kali is destroyed. look for yourself! The followers of the sea-coloured Lord swell over this earth, singing with melody, dancing and whirling [with joy]. We see them.’ In his commentary on that decad, Pillan writes: ‘The age of Kali is stopped for all time and only the golden age exists’. None of this, of course, is intended to countenance the suggestion that Prabhupada’s prophecy is itself foretold in the scriptures; it does however indicate that this idea of a golden age is an enduring one! (For those interested, all such references are to Carman and Narayanan’s ‘The Tamil Veda’)
Copyright © 2015 Steve M. Doyle (Soolaba)