The disciples sat on the ground waiting for the Old Sage to finish his meditation so that they can ask him the question that was troubling them. The Old Sage opened his eyes after some time and smiling benignly at his disciples, asked, “You have that inquisitive look on your face, my dear children. What is it that you want to know?”
The disciples replied in unison, “Gurudev, you always say that we must not believe anything without proof. So, what’s the proof that we are living in Kaliyug?”
With a twinkle in his eyes, the Old Sage replied, “I am going to tell you a story from Mahabharata. It will answer your question.”
Arjun Asks About The Kaliyug
One day, after the Kurukshetra war, Krishna visited Hastinapur. Yudhishtir was in court at that time, so he was welcomed by the remaining four Pandavas – Bhim, Arjun, Nakul & Sehdev. After having some refreshments, they started having a conversation on dharma. That’s when Arjun asked Krishna, “Keshav, what will happen to dharma in Kaliyug? How will be the life of people in Kaliyug?”
Krishna smiled and said, “Let me show you what Kaliyug will be like.” He took a bow and four arrows and shot them in four directions. He then asked the four Pandavas to fetch those arrows and make a note of what they see on the way.
Each of the four Pandavas went in the four different directions in search of the arrows.
Pandavas Witness Strange Incidents
Arjun found the arrow near a tree. When he picked it up, he heard a cuckoo singing in a very sweet voice. Mesmerized, he looked up and was astounded to see the cuckoo eating the flesh of a live rabbit while singing. The rabbit was crying in agony. He was deeply troubled by seeing such a gory act by such a divine bird and left immediately.
Bhīm found the arrow at a place where five wells were situated – one of the wells was in the center and the other four wells surrounded it. The four wells were overflowing with water but the one in the center was completely empty. Puzzled at this sight, Bhīm picked up the arrow and left for the palace.
Nakul was returning to the palace after picking up the arrow. On his way back, he saw a cow which was about to give birth. After giving birth to the calf, the cow started licking it to clean it. To his surprise, the cow continued licking the calf even after it was clean. People had to separate the two to stop the cow from licking the calf, but by then newly-born calf’s delicate skin was badly injured. Nakula was puzzled by the behavior of the cow, and thinking about the incident, he resumed his journey back to the palace.
Sehdev found the arrow near a mountain. As he was picking it up he saw a big boulder rolling down at full speed from the top of the mountain. The boulder crushed everything on its way down but was stopped by a small plant just as it was about to reach the bottom of the mountain. Sehdev was amazed by this site and decided to ask Krishna the reason behind this.
The four Pandavas soon returned to the palace and told Krishan about the strange incidents that they witnessed. Puzzled as they were, the Pandavas asked Krishna the meaning of these incidents.
Krishna Explains The Meaning Of The Incidents
Krishna smiled and started explaining:
“Arjun, the cuckoo and the rabbit that you saw denote the relationship between the priests and the devotees in the Kaliyug. The priests will have a very sweet voice and a lot of knowledge but they will exploit the devotees the same way Cuckoo was exploiting the rabbit.”
“Bhīm, the wells that you saw represents the rich and the poor in Kaliyug. The poor will live among the rich. The rich will have a massive amount of wealth that will continue to increase. They will spend it on useless things but won’t share it with the needy, just like the four wells that overflowed with water and the fifth one remained empty.”
“Nakul, the cow and the calf that you saw represent the relationship between parents and children in Kaliyug. The parents will love their children so much that it will spoil their children and destroy their lives and future.”
“Sahadev, the boulder that you saw represents the character and ethics of the people in Kaliyug. They will crush and destroy everything on their way to success. They won’t follow the path of Dharma. Only the name of God will be able to hold them from doom like the little plant saved the boulder from falling further and disintegrating into pieces.”
The Pandavas got enlightened by Krishna’s words and felt sorry for the future generations.
The Old Sage looked at his disciples and said, “Look at the world around you. Do you see these four things happening today?” And with that, he closed his eyes and went back to his meditation.