If you read my blog last week you may remember something about the rare conjunction of the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in Pushya Nakshatra on the new moon last Saturday, which is connected to the advent of Kalki, the tenth and final incarnation of Vishnu—harbinger of the end of the Kali Yuga and the beginning of the Golden Age. I’ve been looking around for signs that some kind of monumental shift has happened, but I have to say that things seem pretty much the same here on planet Earth. Small wonder when you consider a couple of popular notions concerning the Kali Yuga. One of these is that the current Kali Yuga began with the death of Krishna around 3,000 BC and will last for 432,000 years, which means that we still have 427,000 years to go! Another conception of the yugas comes from Sri Yukteswar, the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. In his book, The Holy Science, Sri Yukteswar explains the yugas in a way that makes more sense to me. He begins by suggesting that within our galaxy there is a central point that our solar system orbits around in a 26,000-year cycle. Our journey around this central point, which Yukteswar claims is a concentration of galactic intelligence, is elliptical rather than circular—meaning that sometimes we are relatively close to it, and at other times are far away. The Golden Age, called Satya Yuga, happens when our solar system is close to the galactic center. Yukteswar estimates Satya Yuga to be 4,800 years in length, but also says that the two Satya Yugas are side by side and create a Golden Age of 9,600 years. Following Satya Yuga is Treta Yuga—lasting 3,600 years—then Dwapara Yuga for 2,400 years, and finally Kali Yuga, the age of darkness, for 1,200 years. According to Yukteswar’s calculations, Kali Yuga began approximately 700 BC, reached its peak around 500 AD (the “Dark Ages”), and was followed by an adjacent Kali Yuga that ended around 1700 AD with the beginning of Dwapara Yuga. The transitions between the ages are called sandhya times. These sandhya times are thought to span roughly a tenth of the length of a yuga, which would mean that the sandhya between the last Kali Yuga and the present Dwapara Yuga corresponds to the period known as the “Renaissance”. Following Yukteswar’s reasoning, the next Golden Age will begin around 7,700 AD. That’s a long time to wait, but not nearly as long as 427,000 years. The good news, according to Yukteswar, is that the Kali Yuga is over, and the bad news is that the next Golden Age will not happen in our lifetime.
Although there was no monumental shift this past weekend, I did notice some subtle shifts within. On Saturday while shopping at Trader Joe’s I remembered it was my ex-wife’s birthday and spontaneously purchased a gift card for her from TJ’s. She was delighted when I delivered her gift, saying that it “made her day”. Saturday afternoon I convinced my 12-year-old daughter, Leela, to go to the beach with me. This is no small feat these days with Leela on the verge of being a teenager and wanting more and more to do her own thing. We had a great time tandem bodysurfing at the beach then stopped at the Pannikin for hot cocoa and a chocolate chip cookie. Afterwards we spent some time at the listening station in Lou’s Records and bought some new music for the drive to Mt. Shasta. My wife, Carol, was out for the evening, so Leela and I had dinner at Fulano’s, our favorite Mexican restaurant. We finished off the evening snuggling on the couch and watching “Ender’s Game”. Those hours spent with Leela were like a mini Golden Age for me. Little things like spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity, spending quality time with our family, and endeavoring to take the high road in all of our actions are ways of ending our personal Kali Yuga and giving birth to our own Golden Age.