Lord Shiva and Kaliyuga. Part 2
Various online websites have an annoying habit of reproducing matter that they find in sites that are similar to theirs and do not bother to provide citation of their sources, effectively indulging in plagiarism. It is our objective to provide information from verifiable sources so as to be able to engage in serious and meaningful debate even on matters of religion, especially because logically speaking, faith without introspection is sparsely more than superstition. In our last article Lord Shiva and Kaliyuga Part 1, we had discussed the most commonplace of signs, symbols and assumptions people make about doomsday in most world religions and said that Lord Shiva and Kaliyuga share a special connection.
In his article, Lord Shiva and Kaliyuga Part 2, let us look at some of facts that make us talk of this connection, both from a spiritual and secular perspective.
Renowned and distinguished French Indolgist and one of the foremost Orientalist scholars – Alan Danielou, a friend of luminaries like Stravinsky, Jean Cocteau and Nabokov spent more than two decades studying Indian music and philosophy. Inspired by Shaivite Hinduism, he wrote a book entitled ‘While The Gods Play’ which was first published in the USA in 1987. In his book Danielou quotes extensively from the Shiva Purana, Linga Purana and the Vishnu Purana- quotations one can easily verify from any of the many Hindu Shaivites around the world, in case Sanskrit is inaccessible to him/her. These scriptures categorically speak of the following things:
a) They re-affirm that the role of Shiva as the Destroyer and say that when the end comes, Shiva himself shall come to earth to carry out the dance of destruction.
b) They give the example of the destruction of the three cities of Maya by Shiva in his Pashupati Nath avatar
c) They cite the spiral form in which time progresses, with every civilization following its course of birth, adolescence, maturity and destruction
d) They hold that the end of the fourth and last Yuga or time sphere is the Kaliyuga and its end had begun since 1939 C.E and shall be completed by 2442 C.E
e) The reason for the end shall be the general loss of integrity of people and the destruction of the Dharmic ways of life in favour of a Godless, amoral, puritanical existence.
The significant contribution that Danielou makes to these theories is the comparison he makes between these ideas and the ideas of Armageddon described by Christian Gnostic gospels and those popular in the Greek tradition. He links the Greek God Dionysius with Lord Shiva and suggests that the end may be stalled only by returning to the Shaivite fold.
Scholarly as Danielou’s work is, it is also polemical. As such we need to look into the finds he has made with more objectivity and try to arrive at a more balanced and rational interpretation of the texts. Before we embark on that exercise, we need to ask ourselves what is the purpose that we shall serve by giving this topic any more of our time? Clearly this topic raises popular questions about the end of days and the destiny of the human race, but is that reason enough to imagine this exercise is anything more than yet another one of those hysteria inducing piece?
Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question. It shall be up to individual readers to decide. I am compelled to share what I have learnt and think about this topic, and if you have given my words a read so far, I would like for you to read it through to the end before you make up your mind. So I shall go ahead and write Lord Shiva and Kaliyuga Part 3