Vedic Cosmology, Golden Age

The Universe of the Purāṇas

Question: Could you please shed light on how to reconcile puranic cosmology as described in the Purāṇas with that of Jyotiṣa, which is called the eye of the Vedas and which matches modern cosmology? I’ve heard answers that our senses are imperfect and hence we cannot grasp the message but this, I feel, is not proper logic, because the knowledge of Vedas has to be realized through our senses, pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam ... So how do we understand that we are not able to perceive the description of the universe as given in the Purāṇas?

Answer: It is true that the knowledge of the Vedas is meant for realization, as you have rightly mentioned. However, to realize, one needs to become qualified through sādhanā. The purposes of the Purāṇas and Jyotiṣa are different. You know fully well that the purpose of Jyotiṣa. The purpose of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which is also the purpose of other Purāṇas, is stated in SB 2.10.2.

Because their purposes are different, their descriptions are different and they are meant for a different audience.

At the beginning of each traditional book or śāstra, four things are directly or indirectly mentioned: sambandha, abhidheya, prayojanaand adhikāri. This has to be understood before one studies a book so that one is clear about the person for whom the book is written, the subject matter of the book and the purpose one will achieve by reading it. The purpose of the Bhāgavata is not to teach about the structure of the universe but about Kṛṣṇa-prema. So don’t waste time and energy trying to reconcile the Vedic cosmology with Jyotiṣa or modern cosmology.

 

Golden Age

Question: You´ve quoted some śāstra to show how with the progress of Kaliyuga, there will hardly be any devotees on earth. I´ve also heard otherwise from a senior Vaiṣṇava, saying that at the end of Kali, Gaura´s yuga-dharma will be spread and the world so much immersed in prema-saṅkīrtana, that Kalki avatāra will descend only to join such saṅkīrtana, since there will be no miscreants to chastise due to Mahāprabhu´s influence.

What´s your opinion on this (since it contradicts in some way or another, your quotations, as well as some Bhāgavata statements from 12th Canto)?

Answer: I have not heard or read anything like this but I may be wrong. What I have read in the Bhāgavataand other places is that the situation will become worse and worse and there will be hardly any devotees left at the end of Kaliyuga. Therefore, unless I see some śāstric pramāṇa for people being immersed in prema-saṅkīrtana at the end of Kaliyuga, I have difficulty to concur with this view. I am willing to accept this view if I am presented some pramāṇa in its support.

It is also my own observation that dharma in general, and vaiṣṇavadharma specifically is going downwards. I have seen this happening here in Vṛindāvan as well as outside. Therefore it is hard to accept that suddenly the world will be filled with prema-saṅkīrtana.

There are some leaders who claim that now for 10.000 years it is the Golden Age within Kaliyuga and after that, the dark age of Kali will continue. So if this is true, then it does against the previous claim.

 

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Comments ( 4 )
  1. Vic DiCara

    Re the 1st question, it is a false dillema. A) It is not really true that jyotisha cosmology is in agreement with modern cosmology. In some places they are similar, in some dissimilar. B) it is untrue that jyotisha and puranic cosmology are incompatible. C) it is not really true that jyotish is more or less compatible with modern astronomy than puranic cosmology, all three overlap and diverge, because – as Babaji said – all three have very different purposes.

  2. Vic DiCara

    And, about yugas, a point that I always find totally fascinating is that – due to yuga-sandhi, the true kali-yuga hasn’t even BEGUN yet. We are still in the transitional sandhi leading into it (the sandhi itself lasts 36,000 yearrs!)

    • Stoka Krsna Dasa

      Nice to hear from you, Vraja Kishore Prabhu ji.

      Is this Yuga Sandhi that you are mentioning different between different Yugas like between Satya & Treta, Treta & Dwapar and Dwapar & Kali? Is this from some Sastra or from Surya Siddhant? Probably that may be the reason that though Sankirtanam is mentioned as Yuga Dharma for Kali Yuga, we still have Vigraha Arcanam which is the Yuga Dharma of Dwapar in this Sandhi period.

  3. Damodara dasa

    In this Age of Kali There Are No Līlā-Avatāras (Cc Madhya 6.99 Purport)

    “In his book Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has enumerated the following twenty-five līlā-avatāras: Catuḥ-sana, Nārada, Varāha, Matsya, Yajña, Nara-Nārāyaṇa, Kapila, Dattātreya, Hayaśīrṣa (Hayagrīva), Haṁsa, Pṛśnigarbha, Ṛṣabha, Pṛthu, Nṛsiṁha, Kūrma, Dhanvantari, Mohinī, Vāmana, Paraśurāma, Rāghavendra, Vyāsa, Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha and Kalki.

    Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not mentioned as a līlā-avatāra because He is an incarnation in disguise (channa-avatāra). In this Age of Kali there are no līlā-avatāras, but there is an incarnation of the Lord manifested in the body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This has been explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.”

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