The symptoms of the Kali Yuga include:
Base men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
People will prefer to choose false ideas.
The Indian scholar Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair translates a description of the Kali Yuga from the Vishnu Purana as:
The doctrine and dogma of anyone will be scripture.
(Vishnu Purana VI.1)
If you are reading this, you most likely have come to an understanding that the Church in the west revised the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to suit their own purposes. While I have great respect for the parables of Jesus and for anyone’s heartfelt faith, it cannot be lost on one who endeavors to learn about Jesus, that there is – as Rene Guenon says - very little about him that can actually be known. In my understanding, the confusion of realities and dogma around Jesus is a result and symptom of the Kali Yuga.
Therefore as I have been in the process of reading the Sanskrit texts, the thought has often crossed my mind that there is no reason these texts should not also have been vulnerable to the obscuring energies of this cycle of time. I have often said that we live in a miasma of amnesia and as the Sanskrit texts predicted, people in the Kali Yuga prefer false ideas.
Being aware of the possibility that the later Sanskrit texts had been invaded by the confusing frequencies of the Kali Yuga, I endeavored to read the older texts, such as the Vedas which are very difficult to penetrate (with the exception of Shyam Ghosh’s illuminating translation of the Rig Veda), the Upanishads (especially the Brihadaranyaka), and the Mahabharata with its superbly supernal Bhagavad Gita.
At first I read the Puranas more as if they were encyclopedias of Indian history, as some translators suggested. I loved the stories, especially of Krishna. One cannot help falling in love with the poetic beauty of the Bhagavata Purana. These endearing stories enticed me to avoid, overlook, and simply move on when I came across ideas that didn’t agree with my own more western heart. The bow-down-and-worship concept does not resonate in my being. I prefer to see the God-within as my friend and my Beloved. The scholar Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair uses the term partnership, as Arjuna is Krishna’s close friend and constant comrade in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair suggests that the kind of devotion that belittles man and exalts deity leads to authoritarian creeds and to pathology.
In his book, The Betrayal of Krishna, Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair points out that when man becomes the devout slave of God, there is no possibility for us to Become, to evolve into the divine spark and particle of the God that is within us. Krishna, the hero in the Bhagavad Gita, says that God offers man the possibility to for the divinisation of himself and history through attaining similitude (SADHARMYA) with deity.
God dwells within each and every one of us, and simultaneously permeates the universe. God is All -VASUDEVA SARVAM ITI. The first step is to realize that God dwells within you and that you have the possibility of having an authentic, empowering, enlightening relationship with the God-within you without the help of any other man, meaning a priest or any other intermediary.
Intuitively our common sense tells us that we do not possess all the powers of the Creator. Most of us can barely control our own nature, the wild horse gunas, and we are owned by our compulsions of fear, anger, and greed. We are not free. This is why we need for a time to withdraw from the world, to meditate in silence and solitude on a higher meaning, and listen to that eternal spark in the Heart, which waits for us to turn and listen. The God-within us knows us better than anyone and in fact possesses everything we ever wanted. Only the God-within can give the real lasting Love, Peace, and Knowledge that all of us long for sooner or later.
Even in an enlightened state, would we be capable of holding the entirety of the God Force within our consciousness and Being? Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair says no, that no man could ever be the totality of the Creator. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that this entire universe is supported “with but a single portion of mine.” (Book 10, Verse 43) Therefore accepting and realizing the truth that God dwells within us does NOT mean that we have already Become divinity. It does mean that we have the possibility to Become that divinity through, frankly, constant vigilance and as Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair says, “by immense striving.”
This is where the partnership between you and God begins to take effect, and also answers the post-ecstasy question - What now? The idea that once you become enlightened you live in a kind of ecstatic trance where you await the final exit from this vale of tears has according to Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair “led to the neglect of the world, of historical and social existence, the sense of community, the need to work hard and incessantly for the welfare of the world.”
Every culture on this planet is suffering under the delusion and density of the Kali Yuga. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that India is a land of extremes, with enormous problems – such as the world’s biggest slum Dharavi in Mumbai, the millions of widows (many in Vrindavan) who are callously abandoned under the guise of being Krishna’s devotees, or the strange demonic stories of utter lawless brutality that come forth out of Bihar.
Not that my own culture is something to emulate. It cannot be entirely baseless that in the last few years America has become the object of hatred and derision around the world. Certainly I would not be arduously reading the sacred Sanskrit texts if there were anything in my own western culture that could answer my inner quest for knowledge and truth.
For me there is nothing as powerful and enlightening as the Bhagavad Gita. Most scholars agree that the Gita was written down around 200 BC, but this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t transmitted through memory for centuries before. In his book, The Betrayal of Krishna, Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair shows step by step how the Sanskrit texts which were written years after the Bhagavad Gita, misunderstood, misinterpreted and altered the Gita’s brilliant, very subtle elucidation of the world and man’s place therein.
Because this book, The Betrayal of Krishna, is quite difficult to get, I am going to review it in a very thorough way and share with you the intensely illuminating, courageous insights of Mr. Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair. He must have ruffled a few feathers in India! My feeling is that everyone who has an interest in Hinduism should read this book. I hope it is reprinted and made more available soon.
Before we have an in depth discussion of Krishna Chaitanya’s book, The Betrayal of Krishna, Vicissitudes of a Great Myth, let us look at his idea of liberation, of moksha as it is termed in Sanskrit.
In an earlier book, ‘The Mahabharata, A Literary Study’ (1985), this eminent Indian scholar concludes his study of the great Sanskrit epic poem with a chapter on Moksha. Bear in mind that the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of God) is contained within the Mahabharata. Krishna’s timeless conversation with his friend Arjuna is usually published here in the west as its own separate book; when in fact as every Hindu knows, the Gita is pivotal to the story of the Mahabharata, “which is 100,000 stanzas and about eight times the size of the Iliad and the Odyssey put together.” (Krishna Chaitanya, A New History of Sanskrit Literature, 1977)
Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair uses his razor-sharp intellect and excellent writing skills to make clear the point that heaven is possible in the here and now. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna as deity tells Arjuna, VASUDEVA SARVAM ITI, God is ALL, everyone, everything, everywhere. Thus the highest form of freedom, meaning moksha/liberation, is being in the body and knowing, feeling, living, perceiving, and being the realization that God is ubiquitous, within and all around you, in the sky, the trees, the birds, the Earth and her oceans, rivers, and streams. God is within the people you love and the people you hate. God is within tyrants and beggars, wise men and fools.
This consciousness is not easy to achieve, but the possibility of its Realization is open to us as human beings and in fact is the ultimate goal, aim, and object of life. The enlightened consciousness of knowing and seeing God dwelling within the All fills us with joy and strength. This is why we are urged not to judge others; such judgments instantly rob us of our heightened state of awareness, and throw us back into polarity, the ego’s false sense of I and mine. Krishna tells Arjuna that the great soul (mahatma) who thinks that God is All, Vasudeva sarvam iti, is hard to find. (Bhagavad Gita, Book VII, Verse 19)
Because we are always living within the One, swimming in waveforms, an ocean of splendor and bliss, there can always be, beyond the bondage of the five senses and guna-maya, as Krishna Chaitanya says, moments of time that can break into eternity. At any moment we may realize, access, and touch our Source, at least that part within us. At any moment we may feel that we are Home and that feeling, that immense Love, can be here and now in the human body, which is designed and intended to have such experiences.
The possibility to experience heaven is in the Now, and Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair feels that this opportunity is very much dependent on the natural world, on Nature herself. He understands that as we destroy Nature, so we destroy the unique and sublime opportunity to Become in communion and union with the Creator.
For centuries Western art was primarily committed to expressing the ideals of Christianity. There are thousands of paintings of Christ being tortured and crucified; along with thousands more of the martyred saints whose excruciatingly ingenious tortures are depicted in great and gruesome detail. Western religion tends to emphasize the pain of redemption. We are sinners and life here is suffering.
As much as I love Cimabue, Masaccio, and Raphael, this acceptance of life as sin and pain is not real for me. Of course I can see suffering all around me, in own my life, and in every life. But I have also known great joy. I have loved and I have played. I have experienced grand adventures, fun and fulfillment along with heartbreak, disappointment, and hopelessness. I do not agree with the religions that see all life as suffering and this is one reason why I am so attracted to Hinduism.
Hinduism sees life as desire (kama), enjoyment (bhoga), and play (lila). God is complete and needs nothing, but chooses to create the world for sport, for play, the Divine Lila. God is a child, a baby lying on a green leaf in the ethers at the end of a kalpa after the destruction of the world. There is no reason for God to create this “world-sport and world-delight” (visva-krida-rati-prabhu), as Krishna Chaitanya calls it, other than to delight in, relish, cherish, and enjoy it!
I do not believe that God created this splendidly beautiful world and all of us who live in it, so that we might suffer endless and untold agonies. I do believe that as we move down through the Cycles of Time into the Kali Yuga, the good times, when we Remembered the God-within, are pretty much behind us and we are left to our own resources at what might be metaphorically named a sort of Demon’s Ball. In the Kali Yuga the Light is mostly hidden and the Darkside, the demonic, rules – you might say, it’s their turn. They are as much a part of this polarity universe as the Light. Like an atom that needs both positive and negative charge, the universe would fall apart without the demonic.
Therefore here and now, in the Twilight of the Kai Yuga we are playing in a world drama that is seemingly ‘starring’ the demonic. But if we can touch the divine within us, or perhaps allow It to touch us, and realize that we never left Home and that we are playing the ultimate metaphysical game, the Divine Lila, then we have to opportunity to win our own liberation and to help others as well.
By the act of our own self-generated enlightenment we may become filled with the strength, as beauty and splendor, of the Creator - and that realization of the Light and goodness within us will spread out to others. That inner strength will give us the courage to work from the Heart in our local communities for the poor and hungry with humility.
As Jesus said, “… I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:35-40).
We will work for the perilously endangered environment, our Mother Earth, because we know that without her beauty to inspire our souls, and without her clean healthy soil, water and air to support and feed us, there is no future for life.
Because we cannot know the Creator’s master plan, we must work without attachment or expectation. We work to keep the tyrants aware that we have not succumbed to a drugged-like state of apathy. We are not asleep, but rather we are well aware. We see their heinous deeds; we see beyond the lies and the false promises of endless consumption; we see their fear and greed.
With the knowledge and wisdom of the God-within us, we can, as Krishna Chaitanya says, work for the weal (welfare) of the world – lokasamgraham - and for the well-being of all beings – sarvabhuta-hiterata.
More on ‘The Betrayal of Krishna’ to follow …
The Betrayal of Krishna, Vicissitudes of a Great Myth
Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair
Clarion Books, 1991, Delhi
The Mahabharata, A Literary Study
Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair
Clarion Books, 1985, 1993, Delhi
A New History of Sanskrit Literature
Krishna Chaitanya/KK Nair
Ramesh C. Jain, Manohar Book Service, 1977, New Delhi
The Betrayal of Krishna
Here’s what reviewers in India had to say:
Profoundly important book … breath-taking in its intellectual sweep, breadth and depth of scholarship … It would make compulsive reading for anyone interested in our (India’s) religious and philosophical traditions, and their relevance to our time.
The Hindustani Times:
Krishna Chaitanya has almost completely exhausted the possibilities of research on the Krishna theme … in this fabulous encyclopedia of Hindu philosophy, modern science, and anguished ego consciousness … The positive affirmative philosophy of both personal and social virtue is something which is insisted upon by Chaitanya throughout this book.
After the colossal labor involved in the authorship of forty or more volumes, Krishna Chaitanya, almost an institution by himself, had the feeling that the Krishna of Vyasa’s epic (the Mahabharata & Bhagavad Gita), the Krishna that holds the key to the solution of world problems, has been grossly devalued in post Vyasa times …Krishna Chaitanya has done well to utter the grave warning that to acquiesce in the betrayal will be colossally suicidal, whereas an affirmation of faith in the true and eternal Krishna may yet prove a solvent of the lunacies of our time.
About the Author from exoticindiaarts.com:
Krishna Chaitanya (b. 1918) graduated from the Madras University standing first both in B.A. and M.A. with Biology as his specialty in the former and English Literature in the latter. He has retained this interest in both sciences and humanities in his subsequent career. He is the author of a serial history of science in Malayalam of which two volumes have already appeared; a well-known music critic; member of the Publication Committee of Sangeet Natak Akademi; a well-known art critic; author of several books on Indian painting; member of the International Association of Art Critics, Paris and of the Advisory Committee of the College of Art, New Delhi: Vice-President of the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society; Editor of Roopa Lekha, India's oldest extant art journal; author of several children's books which retell Sanskrit classics; member of the Akhil Bharatiya Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan; and author of a serial history of world literature of which nine volumes have already appeared in English and five Indian languages. He is at present working on a pentalogy on the philosophy of freedom, of which three volumes have been published. His interdisciplinary studies earned for him an invitation from the Institute of International Education, New York, for a lecture tour of the U.S.A. for six months as a 'Critic of Ideas', and a special award from the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. He has also extensively toured Afghanistan, Thailand, China and Japan and visited several European countries.
Krishna Chaitanya whom Edward Goldsmith, leading international campaigner on environment and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize refers to in his book The Way: An Ecological World View, as "possibly the greatest polymath of an time" and the national media have rated as "one of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century" (Hindustan Times), "our nearest approximation to the Renaissance Man" (Indian Express), a writer who has made "singular contribution to the advancement of thought, art and science in our times" (Time of India) and as "one of the most prolific and luminous intellects of our times" (Economic Times), has written over forty books outline summaries of all of which are available in Krishna Chaitana, a Profile and Selected Papers edited by Suguna Ramachandran (Konark, 1991).
The main categories are: a five-volume philosophy of freedom, which critics have compared to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, the French Encyclopedists, Herbert Spencer, Bergson, Whitehead and Teilhard de Spencer, Bergon, Whitehead and Teilhard de Chardin; a ten-volume history of world literature; Indological works including a book on Indian culture, a history of Sanskrit literature, a literary study of the Mahabharata, the most comprehensive book so far on Sanskrit poetics and a translation and commentary of the Gita; and books on Indian art. He got the "Critic of Ideas" award of the Institute of International Education, New York in 1964, the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 1978, Honorary Membership of the International Cultural Society of Korea, Seoul in 1982, D.Litt. (honoris Causa) of the Rabindrabharati University in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1992 and the Kalidasa award of the International Institute of Indian Studies, Ottawa in 1993.
Described by national periodicals as "one of the most original and stimulating minds writing in the subcontinent today" and as "our nearest approximation to the Renaissance man, versatile in interests and depth of learning", Krishna Chaitanya is the author of over thirty books whose multidisciplinary range got him the "Critic of Ideas" award of the Institute of Interspecial award from the Kerala Sahitya Academy. The major categories are: a five-volume philosophy of freedom for which he got a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship and which has been compared by critics to the work of Thomas Aquinas, the French Encyclopedists, Herbert Spencer, Bergson, Whitehead and Teilhard de Chardin; and ten-volume history of world literature in English and several Indian languages several books on Indian culture; books for children, one of which got the Federation of Indian Publishers' award for the best children's book.
He was for over a decade Chairman of the All India Fine arts and Crafts Society and Editor of Roopa-Lekha, India's oldest extant art journal, and has been member of the Publication committees of the National Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art, National Book Trust, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Indian Council for Cultural Relations. He is Art Critic of the Hindustan Times and Western Music Critic of Times of India.
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