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According to the ancient teachings of India, there is a great repeating historical cycle of four ages, called the yugas, which lasts 24,000 years. For 12,000 years the consciousness of man rises to its height, and then begins a 12,000-year descent into darkness. Our current age, Dwapara, is in the ascending half of this cycle. It started in 1700 and will last for 2,400 years. The scale of the yugas is so large that it is hard to visualize, but if we divide by 100 it will help us see the major trends. For fun, then, let’s think of a king named Dwaparian ruling this beautiful, blue island called Earth. His reign will last 24 years. With so many people feeling hopeless about current events, it is important to realize that we are only a little over three years into his rulership.
Dwaparian is remarkably energetic, creative, and inventive. He has a keen interest in science, especially in anything having to do with energy. He travels a great deal, increasingly thinks of the whole world as his own, and is very interested in anything that can reduce the sense of space.
Unfortunately, he is not particularly high-minded, and tends to be self-focused, self-indulgent, and somewhat greedy. He puts his own interests first, and doesn’t share well, which causes lots of squabbles and fights. Here are some of the major trends of his kingship:
Energy: When he came to his kingship, the bodies of men and animals still provided most of the power. Dwaparian had a strong desire to replace physical labor with increasingly sophisticated machines, but he needed energy. First came steam power, then the discovery of oil and gasoline, and soon thereafter electricity. At the beginning of his third year, the atomic age was born.
A shrinking world: Along with the discovery of new energy sources, new forms of transportation and communication emerged, which increasingly shrank the world. Steam locomotives, and then the internal combustion engine, allowed rapid movement of goods and people. Then came airplanes, jets, and rockets, which both shrank the planet and allowed mankind to expand into space. Soon to come will be driverless cars, widely used robots, and artificial intelligence, eventually eliminating the need for physical labor and repetitive work. Ideally this should free men and women for higher pursuits.
Even more than transportation, communication devices have begun to shrink the planet. It started with the telegraph—the eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883 was telegraphed immediately and followed around the world. The telephone soon followed, then radio, television, the internet, and smartphones, connecting people instantaneously with one another. Now this trend is producing extreme miniaturization in everything from electronics to medicine.
The downside of Dwaparian: His realm is plagued by greed, insensitivity, and excessive restlessness. Greed brings economic imbalance, depressions, and class conflict. Insensitivity allows the exploitation of the environment, causing climate imbalance. And Dwaparian’s realm is becoming overly complicated and stressful. These trends will be disastrous if allowed to continue.
Man’s greatest hope: Soon after Dwaparian began his reign, God sent great avatars to help guide and uplift the world. All of man’s inventions and power mean little, and in fact pose a threat, unless the general level of consciousness can be raised. It is the mission of Paramhansa Yogananda, in particular, to serve as a way-shower for this new age. And it is the mission of Ananda to share that message. Only when Dwaparian learns to live in attunement with the Divine can he create a happy and wise kingdom.
In peace, Nayaswami Jyotish