THE BASIC, PRIMORDIAL, TRADITIONAL SYMBOLS and archetypes of the Indo-Aryan spiritual mythos are part of a body of knowledge, dating back eons, revealed to initiates and sometimes called the ancient mysteries. The deepest roots of these hoary traditions trace directly to the Indian subcontinent, the cultural-spiritual “hive” as Godfrey Higgins called it, the nest and seedbed that brought forth many of the great civilizations and religions of the world. Among the ideas in this wealth of material is that world history is cyclical in nature, broken down by the ancient mystics and gurus into various ages or kalpas. Each rotation of the cycle is accompanied by certain cultural and spiritual developments. This is, of course, rather different from the traditional Western view of history as mostly linear and progressive (albeit with occasional setbacks, times of stagnation and dark ages).
BY HARRELL RHOME, M.DIV., PH.D.
Both Eastern and Western ideas of history are rooted in religious concepts and writings. And, some of the basic themes and concepts about “end times” events (for those who believe in end times) are similar. We invite your attention as we take a look into the most ancient of epochs for hints about the present day through a much older, and perhaps equally valid, alternative view of history and cultural events.
The goal of this exercise is to present some basic concepts to Western readers who are generally unfamiliar, or misinformed, as to our subject matter. In Dr. Annie Besant’s lectures, later published asSeven Great Religions, she said, “I have striven to sketch each religion in its best, its purest, and most occult form, and each as though I belonged to it and were preaching it as my own.”
Among world religions, end times predictions do not really differ all that greatly. Read Christian prophecies, and many others, study the Revelation/Apocalypse of St. John from whatever perspective you wish, tune into the end times doctrines of hundreds of religious sects all over the world—they essentially agree with one another more than they disagree. According to many religions and spiritual traditions, we are living in one of those “interesting times” near the closing phase of a cosmic cycle. While I might have selected from several collections of holy writ, because of my personal interest in primeval Aryana, we go back to the ethno-cultural “hive” through the prophecies of our ancient Indo-European root culture.
A basic concept is that God is deeply present in the holy rotations of time. The ancients viewed history as cyclical, each phase marked by the coming of various avatars as elements in the unfolding of world history. While the word, avatar, has entered our modern vocabulary, it is greatly misunderstood, as avatar/avatara/avataram is a Sanskrit word, not entirely translatable. It is perhaps best and most simply rendered as “descended one” or “bodily manifestation.” The symbols of the comings are always visible in special ways. For those who open their vision, the signs of the end times are already here, and the conclusion is clear—we are living in the closing stages of the Kali Yuga.1
Just as the Indo-Aryan trinity predates the Christian one by many centuries, so does the concept of the Savior/Preserver or, as Veronica Ions says, the “Universal Spirit,” manifested as Vishnu, his best-known incarnation being Cristna/ Krishna, and later as the Buddha. In the ancient scheme of events, at the beginning of a cycle, things are more or less even between good and evil. As we well know, the situation always changes, with the dark forces gaining the upper hand. This is when Vishnu intervenes, descending to this world in human incarnation to restore the balance. These appearances are not just “avatars” of Vishnu—they are Vishnu, himself.
While there are 10 in the greater age/eon/yuga, some scholars say there are 22. Perhaps they are innumerable, manifesting themselves as the need arises at specific times and places. In many instances, the Great Avatar (Maha Avatara) is recognized by only a few, or not until well after the fact. What is more, the descendings are not chance events. During each incarnation, Vishnu has a specific task to perform and role to play. Worldly terms like failure or success have little meaning in the greater divine scheme of events.
Avatars come at various times, to diverse races, nations and groups of people. Higgins’s seminal work devotes extensive study to a 6,000-year cycle of 10 avatars, appearing every 600 years. The powers and rulers of the world, whether they really believed in this or not, were aware of the cycles, just as they were/are aware of other astrologically determined dates. Sometimes this knowledge entered into certain crucial decisions.
In the 6,000-year cycle, if Jesus were an avatar, then another would come forth near 600, corresponding with Muhammad. The next was due
around 1200, parallel with the Third and Fourth Crusades. The timing of these Crusades was not coincidental at all, as the Vatican wanted to be present in the Holy Land if the Islamic Mahdi, or some other messianic figure, were to come forth. Even though nothing seemed to happen, there was a special papal throne, with both Islamic and Christian symbols engraved on it, to be used if this event actually happened, and the Roman church would then embrace Islam.
This was said to be hidden away in the Vatican basements when Godfrey Higgins wrote in the early 19th century. It may seem strange that the Catholic Church would consider this, but in today’s world, when Islam is growing rapidly, we see Pope Benedict XVI reaching out to Muslims, and we see that his papal seal contains a curious semi-Islamic symbol, the “Black Moor.”
Moreover, the previous pope, John Paul II, not only visited a mosque in Iraq, but also respectfully kissed the Koran, an unnecessary gesture unless he was trying to make a point. When the priest kisses the Bible, vestments or the altar, the meaning is clear. The great shrine of Fatima, a town in Portugal named after Muhammad’s daughter, is being controversially recreated as an “interfaith center” including Hinduism, Buddhism and, of course, Islam.
But, we must return to a point a bit earlier in the 6,000- year drama. It’s unclear who might have been the c. 1200 figure (perhaps concealed?), but another avatar would have appeared c. 1800. While it is doubtful that Napoleon really fits the description, he may have thought he was such an incarnation, and he surely knew, along with other world leaders, about the avatarial cycles. Hence, these ideas may have influenced state decisions.
This man was a very charismatic figure, guided by a strong inner strength and spirituality. As triumphant conqueror, the republican reinvented-as-emperor greatly involved himself in religious affairs. He intervened quite prominently by, among other things: conquering Rome; seizing the pope; forcing the Hapsburgs to give up the title of holy Roman emperor; and by recreating the old Judaic Sanhedrin.
Furthermore, Napoleon had a rather conciliatory approach to Islam, and admired Muhammad very much, even memorizing parts of the Koran.
If he truly thought that he was an avatar, or similar figure such as the Mahdi, it could explain his horrible defeat in Russia.
He may have believed he was invincible since he was on a holy mission. While other historical examples could be cited, space does not permit, and this is sufficient for the reader to see that Mr. Higgins’s hypothesis as to the 6,000-year cycle of avatars and their impact on world history is both possible and plausible. This 600-year cycle may have already concluded, or operates out of sight, but the greater manifestation of the 10 avatars continues.
See if this selection from Veronica Ions2 sounds like what is going on today: The kali yuga, or age of degeneration, is the one through which we are now passing. Dharma is one-legged and helpless, and . . . virtue has vanished. In this age, lasting 432,000 years [numerologically equal to 9, a number symbolizing completion], during which the deity is black, the majority of men are sudras or slaves. They are wicked, quarrelsome and beggar-like, and they are unlucky because they deserve no luck. They value what is degraded, eat voraciously and indiscriminately, and live in cities filled with thieves. They are dominated by their women folk, who are shallow, garrulous and lascivious, bearing too many children. They are oppressed by their kings and by the ravages of nature. Their misery can only end with the coming of Kalki, the destroyer [of foulness; the 10th and final MahaAvatara—Ed.].
Most of this needs no comment at all. Nowadays, we are more enslaved than ever before, and sooner than you think, like the slaves of sci-fi novels, we shall have an implant for eternal monitoring and financial transactions, surely the “mark of the beast” if ever there were one. We live in a wicked, corrupt and degraded culture, filled throughout with gluttonous eaters and substance abusers, lots of thieves in the cities, in both “high” and “low” places. While the text somewhat targets females, both sexes have ample examples of “shallow, garrulous and lascivious” people. As to “too many children,” this is strikingly obvious in more than a few examples of grossly neglected and undereducated young folk of all
races, programmed to do nothing more than slave in menial jobs under the current world order.
KALI: THE BLACK DEITY
If you are wondering about the black deity, this refers to Kali, a most misunderstood Hindu deity. Black symbolizes transcendence, and is the color into which all others merge and are absorbed. Kali is a manifestation of God as Destroyer, “Terminator” if you will. Hindus do not so much worship Kali as they acknowledge, with awe and respect, her terrible destructive power. If she is to preside over the demise of civilization, then this is not going to be good at all; Kali is just not a nice girl.
“Even more terrifying . . . is Kali, the black earth-mother, whose rites involve sacrificial killings—at one time of humans—and who is associated with dark, obscene rites and devil worship. She has black skin and a hideous tusked face, smeared with blood, the brow bearing a third eye. . . . She has four arms, and holds in one a weapon, in another the head of a giant, dripping blood; the other two raised to bless worshippers; the hands end in claws. Her body is naked except for her “ornaments,” which include earrings made of little children, a necklace of snakes, another of skulls, another of the heads of her sons, and a belt from which hang demon heads. If you think these words are scary and eerie, then you obviously have not seen a “horror” movie lately, where archetypes of evil and wickedness play over and over again for our children, no matter what hour of the day or night. So then, are we “unlucky because we deserve no luck,” because of the choices we have made, including those of indecision, immorality, sloth and slovenliness?
“Kalki (also Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara of Vishnu the Preserver. . . . The name Kalki is often a metaphor for “eternity” or “time.” The origins of the name probably lie in the word kalka, which refers to “dirt,” “filth” or “foulness” and hence denote the “Destroyer of Foulness,” “Destroyer of Confusion,” “Destroyer of Darkness, or “The Annihilator of Ignorance.” In Hindi kal ki avatar means “tomorrow’s avatar.” . . . In the Buddhist Kalachakra tradition, the Kalki (or Kulika) is the ruler of the legendary Kingdom of Shambala, where the whole of society is enlightened.”
“Several famous myths tell just how uncontrollable is Kali’s energy. Once, it was said, she dared to dance with Shiva, the Lord of the Dance. They grew wilder and wilder, more competitive in their dancing, until it seemed the world would shake itself to pieces—and so it will, For beneath all appearances,that dance continues.” —Goddesses and Heroines by P. Monaghan.
Vishnu and Kalki will make their ride at the beginning of the end phase, and Vishnu will wield his sword, not wildly and indiscriminately, but for specific tasks. It is Kali, the dark goddess, who will accomplish the total destruction and disintegration of this world order. She and Shiva, Lord of Destruction, figure in a related segment in the turnings of the cosmic cycles. The world under Kali’s feet will shatter as she finishes her Dance of Destruction, begun ages ago. The Higher Gods wrote the music, but it is Kali who will dance the dance. Are you ready for another paradox? Creation and destruction are one and the same. After the stage is cleared, a fresh new world comes forth.
If not already convinced that we live in the concluding cycle, then consider these additional words describing the times very near the end. According to the chronology, there are ten ages with 10 avatars, Buddha being the ninth. Whether you “believe in this” or not, read on and think of our present times.
“The tenth and the last incarnation of Vishnu has yet to come. It will usher in the end of our present age. Social and spiritual life will have degenerated to their lowest point. Sovereigns will set the tone for the final decline; they will be mean-minded and of limited power but during their short reigns they will attempt to profit to the maximum from their power. They will kill their subjects, and their neighbors will follow their example, and nothing will count but outward show. Even the Brahmins [priests and upper classes] will have nothing to distinguish them but their sacred thread, while the apparent wealth of materialists will be an empty display, for the real worth will have departed from everything. Truth and love will disappear from the Earth; falsehood will be the common currency of social existence and sensuality the sole bond between man and wife. . . . The Earth will be worshiped for its mineral treasures alone. The sacred rites will disappear: . . . mutual assent will replace the marriage ceremony; bluff will replace learning; and the robes of office will convey the right to govern.
“Finally, even the appearance of civilization will vanish; the people will revert to an animal existence. . . . At this point of degeneration, Vishnu will appear in person on Earth, riding a white horse, Kalki, which is the tenth incarnation. Vishnu will ride through the world, his arm aloft and bearing a drawn sword blazing like a comet. He will accomplish the final destruction of the wicked and prepare for the renewal of creation and resurgence of virtue in the next MahaYuga (Great Age).”
HORSE AND RIDER
“And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power . . . to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the Earth. . . . Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. . . . From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations. . . .” Apocalypse of St. John 6:8; 19:11, 15.
Does this sound like Jesus, who walked or rode donkeys, preached peace, love and forgiveness, even forbidding his disciples to do violence when he was betrayed and arrested, and who never made war? If not, who could the horse and rider be? While there is no room to treat the subject here, several scholars make solid linguistic arguments that ancient Sanskrit texts and later Buddhist texts form the real basis of the much later assembled Greek New Testament. The Greeks, long before Christianity appeared, called the great sky stallion Pegasus. Of course, the “Man on a White Horse” is also a secular political logo, used by the new world order loving Council on Foreign Relations.
The basic symbolism of our Indo-Aryan root culture, without dispute, predates the Christian writings by thousands of years. So, what is the most likely origin of the white horse and rider motif? Beyond this one symbol, at least some readers must realize that the scriptures and prophecies of more than a few traditions are eerily alike, pointing to similar cataclysmic events and symbols at end times.
Westerners often have difficulty understanding the symbols. Some degrade and disrespect the teachings, calling them “New Age.” Of course, there is absolutely nothing “new” about them. Sathya Sai Baba says it all in a simple, but profound way: “The advent of this avatar has been known of and predicted for thousands of years in various holy books and obscure texts including the Book of Revelation, Nostradamus in his book Centuries, The Ocean of Light(an ancient Persian
manuscript of the revelations of Prophet Mohammed), and the Shuka Naadi Granthi, containing detailed prophecies of the Kalki Avatar written on hundreds of palm leaf manuscripts by Sage Shuka over 5,000 years ago.”
TIME OF GREAT EVIL
Sai Baba had this also to say: “The time of great evil mentioned in the prophecies corresponds to the present day with its world wars, regimes of mad dictators and authoritarian rulers, nuclear weapons, famines, diseases, pollution, crime, violence, catastrophes and worldwide decline of morality.
The Western mind is capable of believing in Jesus as the Son of God, at least on the part of some of the population, but seems unable or unwilling to grasp the concept of the Avatar as an incarnation of God. By contrast, the average Indian is aware of historical divine personalities, and Eastern literature is full of descriptions of the various avatars. The Bhagavata text is precisely about the various descents of the Divine on Earth.
“The Avatar comes to reveal man to himself, to restore him his birthright of Atmic bliss. He does not come to found a new creed, to breed a new faction, to instill a new God. . . . The Avatar comes as man in order to demonstrate that man is divine, and to be within reach of man.”
Neither the guru nor I want to “convert” you, but if you agree with Godfrey Higgins and others that our deepest cultural roots are in the “hive” of India, then the material could take on a deeper meaning. But the sole purpose of this brief exercise is educational, taking a look at a most complex and dynamic theological and historical system. The actions and interventions of the Great Avatar are not always discernible when they come to pass, and are often understood but incompletely, even when they are later recognized.
“The fools scorn me when I take on human form; my essence, supreme source of beings, escapes them.” Bhagavad Gita 9:2.
We are at the dénouement of the present world order, preceding an entirely new phase of events. In the short term, it is a bleak and black scenario, but this too shall pass. In spite of the destructive days of the Kali Yuga, there is a breath of hope and optimism in the coming Maha Yuga, a Great New Order and true New Age, a “renewal of creation and resurgence of virtue.”
This is no puerile heaven of cloud-hopping harp players, waiting for their loved ones and pets to appear. The souls chosen to reincarnate in the New World, as always, have hard work ahead as they climb the stairs of greatness to even higher levels. But before this, the present day of degradation, disease and degeneration must come to a cataclysmic end.
Itmust decline, deteriorate, decompose, deconstruct and decay, passing away completely. But do not despair; keep your eye on the prize. From the ashes of destruction, like a phoenix, a new seed, a new birth, a renaissance of good and positive forces, a restored and purer way of life, begins.
The Christian Bible, the ancient scriptures and prophecies of Egypt, India, Persia, the Mayas, Incas and Aztecs, and a host of others, tell us to look for the proper signs and symbols to understand the holy mysteries of the end times. One of the most useful lessons is that the answers to the mysteries, i.e., the keys to the kingdom, are within each of us. And sometimes, both annoyingly and enticingly, the answers are “hidden in plain sight.”
“You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”—Matthew 16:3b-4
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” —John 4:48.
“The disciples say to Jesus: Tell us what our end will be. Jesus says: Have you then deciphered the beginning that you ask about the end? For where the beginning is, there shall be the end. Blessed is the man who reaches the beginning; he will know the end. . . .”—Gospel of St. Thomas, Saying 18.
Explicitly religious documents like the Bible, the Koran and others are regarded by billions of believers, not only as valid history, but for legal primacy as well. The words, archetypes and paradigms of ancient Indo-Aryana are an equally valid, but considerably older, interpretation of world events.
While the other two elements of the Hindu trinity (Brahma, the Creator; and Shiva, the Destroyer) play key roles, this ongoing cosmic drama centers on Vishnu, the Preserver and Savior.
As the Great Avatar, it is he who descends again and again, in various and sundry incarnations and names, guiding and blessing us. Vishnu has a myriad of names, but we await his triumphant materialization as he who rides at the turning time, when Vishnu-Kalki, in synchronized harmony with the dark dance of Kali, form another trinity of sorts, sweeping away the abominations and accumulated filth and trash of eons to reveal a wondrous Great Age. Creation continues and the Eternal Drama unfolds anew on a fresh stage.
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” —Louis L’Amour.
There are hundreds of books on this subject, old and new. But for a look at the more esoteric parts of history and religion, and many other fascinating topics, see Godfrey Higgins’s Anacaplysis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis, Or an Inquiry Into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions, Volumes One and Two, 1836. Also exploring the cycle of avatars are several chapters in Middle Ages Revisited by Alexander Del Mar, 1899. But of special importance and inspiration to this exposition is Indian Mythology by Veronica Ions, London, 1967, part of a series highlighting mythological systems around the world. Never reprinted, it has become a somewhat obscure volume. It is one of those “short” books (with beautiful illustrations), not many pages (141), but each one filled with information and insight for the informed reader. While the author says nothing of herself, readers need not go far before realizing they have encountered a writer truly inspired by the classic Indo-Aryan archetypes, as well as a master expositor of this often-difficult subject matter. Her renderings of the ancient texts are excellent, and in congruence with those of other translators. Also included in my article are quotations from certain religious and secular voices illustrating themes more than a bit similar to the Indo-Aryan view of history and end times.
1 The “day of Brahma” is the basic cycle called a kalpa. Each kalpa lasts for 4,320 million years. The “night of Brahma” is as long as the day. A total of 360 such days and nights form one “year of Brahma.” Brahma’s lifespan lasts for 100 such years. The current kalpa, called the Varaha kalpa, is the first day of Brahma’s 51st year. During the day of Brahma, creation is in its active phase. During the night there is a cosmic calm and life is at a standstill. Each kalpa is divided into 14 manvantaras (or secondary cycles, each lasting 306,720,000 years). In each manvantara the world is entirely recreated with a new “manu” as its progenitor. Currently we are in the seventh manvantara of the kalpa and Manu Vaivasvata is its progenitor. Each manvantara in turn contains 71 mahayugas or eons, of which 1000 form a kalpa (each lasting 4,320,000 years). Each mahayuga is further divided into four ages called yugas, namely Krta, Treta, Dvapara and Kali: the first lasting 1,728,000 years, the second 1,296,000, the third 864,000 and the last for 432,000. We are now in the 5,102nd year of the Kali Yuga of the 28th mahayuga of the 7th manvantara of the Varaha kalpa. This yuga is said to have begun in the year of the Mahabharata War. Another reference quotes the commencement of the current KaliYuga to coincide with the day of the death of Krishna.—Ed.]
2 Author of Indian Mythology, The History of Mythology, The World’s Mythology in Color, and Egyptian Mythology.—Ed.
DR.HARRELL RHOME is a philosopher and writer living in Texas. He contributes to print newspapers and journals as well as several Internet sites, and is a contributing editor for TBR. He publishes The Revisionist Observer, a print and on-line journal,http://hometown.aol.com/eaglerevisionist, and Eagle Newsletter On-Line, your nationalist news nexus, athttp://hometown.aol.com/eaglenewstips. He enjoys hearing from readers. Write him at POB 6303, Corpus Christi, TX 78466-6303 USA or EagleRevisionist@aol.com.