Transition from one stage to another is the rule of this cosmos. Change is often depicted as good, bad or neutral. I consider it simply as a path to onward journey. I reproduce here an ancient tale of forecast about present times from the Hindu myths.
One day, after the end of the Mahabharata war, Yudhishthira expressed his unwillingness to rule for the time being and insisted that he must leave for the forests to meditate. Later on, he could resume his duties. Lord Krishna smiled and said, “Then perhaps you would not be able to rule as Kaliyuga (age of downfall) has already arrived.” He asked the five brothers to go in different directions and meet him in the evening.
The five Pandavas left in different directions and each of them saw a surprise.
-Yudhisthar saw to his surprise an elephant with two trunks.
-Arjuna saw the Vedic mantras and the religious stories inscribed on the wings of a bird which was eating flesh.
-Bheem saw a cow fondly licking its calf so much so that the calf had started bleeding.
-Sahdev was amazed to see five wells filled with water, but all the wells in the middle were empty. (If there is water outside, it is implicit to have water in the inside as well.)
-Nakul saw a huge rock falling down which could not be stopped by the big trees or other rocks on the way down, but it stopped when it hit a small straw. Amazing!
In the evening, everybody spoke to Lord Krishna about their experiences.
-Lord Krishna explained that the elephant with two trunks symbolized that in Kaliyuga there would be rulers who would exploit the people from both ends.
-The story of the bird implied that though on the one hand, people in Kaliyuga will perform religious acts and duties, but on the other, they will desire for material pleasures.
-The moral of the cow and calf story was that the people in Kaliyuga would feel so possessive about their kith and kin that their capabilities and confidence would be destroyed forever.
-The empty well implied that the rich would spend a lot in show and pomp, but would not even care for their poor neighbors.
-The falling rock symbolized that though people would possess a lot of wealth, but they would have no peace of mind. Nothing would be able to hold them except chanting the small but all-powerful little name of the Lord.
Kaliyug has been here for the last few thousand years and shall continue for next many thousands of years. It is in this era that we have a world population that never existed at any stage in world history. It is also an era where half of the world population enjoys a comfort level that was not available to even one percent of world population in all times past.
I guess even the time bows to the collective wish of mankind.
A Very Happy 2014 to all friends.