Kali (demon)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kali (Demon))
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is not exclusively about Kali (demon)'s prophesied incarnation in the present yuga.
The King and the Incarnation[note 1] of
the Kali Yuga
(the present[note 2] and the evilest age)
who, according to Hinduism, shall arise
as a Brahmin[1][2] and will eventually be vanquished by another Brahmin[3][4] namely Kalki (Vishnu's final avatar)
Kali (right) wielding a sword
in a figmental picture
Other names Kali Rakshasa
Devanagari कलि
Sanskrit transliteration Kali
Tamil script கலி
Affiliation The most demonic yuga's[4] most powerful demon, or
The Kali Yuga incarnate
Predecessor Duryodhana[note 3]
(The Kali of the Dvapara Yuga)
(a Kshatriya)
Successor Kali (demon)'s some unknown incarnation in the next Mahayuga[note 4]
Abode In general
Kali Yuga[note 5]
(5 places viz. gambling, drinking, woman, slaughter and gold)[5][6][note 6]
In particular
Vishasana city[7][note 7]
Planet Earth[8]
Weapon Sword[note 8]
Mount Donkey[9]
Texts Bhagavata Purana
Kalki Purana
Markandeya Purana
Vishnu Purana
Ethnic group Brahmin[1][2]
Personal Information
Consort Durukti (calumny)[14]
(sister-turned-wife and queen)
Alakshmi (calamity)[15]
(second(ary) wife)[note 9]
Children From Durukti
Bhaya (fear) (son)
Mrutyu (death) (daughter)
Grandchildren (From Bhaya & Mrutyu)
Niraya (hell)[10] (grandson)
Yatana (torture) (granddaughter)
Great-grandchildren (From Niraya & Yatana)
Ten thousand great-grandsons[11]
Siblings Durukti (sister)

Kali (Devanāgari: कलि, IAST: kali, with both vowels short; lit. the worst throw in dice;[4][note 10] also lit. quarrel or war;[10] or wickedness;[16][note 11] from the root kad, "suffer, hurt, startle, confuse") is an immortal[17] and powerful Hindu demon[note 12] and the personification[4] and the king of the Kali Yuga[18][note 13] whose rise is prophesied by several Hindu texts called the Puranas. His nemesis is Kalki,[19] the 10th and final avatar of Vishnu, foretold to appear to end the Kali Yuga (i.e. sometime in c. the 4300th century AD)[note 14] by terminating, mainly, the forces of the Buddhists, Mlecchas[20] and most predominately Kali[note 15] in the Indian subcontinent.

The prophetic Kalki Purana[note 16] portrays Kali's incarnation in the present yuga as a world-destroying,[21] lustful,[note 17] miserable[22] and fetid[23] man who holds his penis in the left hand[13] and who has a crow-like belly[note 18] and a dreadful mouth with a restless tongue[note 19][23] and who is accompanied by his sister-turned-wife and queen Durukti (calumny incarnate)[note 20] and their progeny,[24] who all belong to the evil lineage produced by Brahma's back.[25] In his battle against Kalki and his forces,[note 21] Kali is also described to be assisted by two extremely powerful generals Koka and Vikoka, the identical brothers who are blessed by Brahma and whose might overwhelmed even the gods[26] such as Indra and Surya. Kali is nevertheless grievously wounded in the battle and noting that his wife and progeny are dead, relentlessly laments and enters his unmanifest years.[27][note 22]

According to the Markandeya Purana, in some bygone yuga, Kali was a gandharva who, in the guise of a Brahmin, deceitfully copulated with an apsara he was smitten with[28] and later became the (paternal) grandfather of Svarocisa Manu, one of the progenitors of mankind.[29] According to the Mahabharata, (in the Treta Yuga) he was the vilest gandharva who, having been infatuated with princess Damayanti,[30] possessed her husband king Nala, forcing him to lose his kingdom in a game of dice to his brother Pushkara.[31] His most famous incarnation is king Duryodhana[4] who lost the Mahabharata War to the Pandavas (gods incarnate)[4] near the end of the previous yuga called Dvapara. The Bhagavata Purana describes Kali as a Shudra dressed like a prince, thrashing an impuissant cow and a bull, and who was consequently apprehended and later pardoned and restricted by king Parikshit to five places viz. gambling, drinking, woman,[note 23] slaughter[note 24] and gold, at the onset of the Kali Yuga.[5] It also mentions that the moment Krishna left the earth, Kali, the champion of every sort of irreligious activity, came into this world.[32][note 25] According to the Vishnu Purana, Kali is a negative manifestation of Vishnu working towards the cause of 'the end' or rather towards eventual rejuvenation of the universe.[33][note 26] According to the Varaha Purana, Kali's portended incarnation must be a Brahmin.[1][2][note 27]

Kali has an anomalous mythological history of abusing women in the wake of being rebuffed by them.[note 28] Furthermore, what Shakuni was to India in the second-most evil age,[note 29] Kali is to India in the most evil one; for the way Shakuni was the personification of the previous yuga,[34] Kali is the personification of the present one.[35][note 30]

Kali, as the most powerful demon of the Kali Yuga (the 4th and final yuga), is akin to Hiranyakashipu, Ravana[note 31] and Duryodhana, the greatest demons from the Satya Yuga (the 1st yuga), Treta Yuga (the 2nd yuga) and Dvapara Yuga (the 3rd yuga) respectively; and could, for example, be described as "The Duryodhana of the Kali Yuga" or "Duryodhana's successor" from the most demonic yuga.[note 32] Particularly which (Brahmin) man is the prophesied incarnation of Kali, however, remains to be known. Kali is also similar to the demon Kroni and his incarnation Kaliyan of Ayyavazhi mythology.


Damayanti speaking with a celestial swan.
Duryodhana delineating to Drona the soldiery marshalled for the Mahabharata War.
In the face of having been touched upon as the incarnation of demon Kali, Duryodhana does not come across as being void of momentous humanity.[note 32]
Nala and Damayanti, abiding in the forest subsequent to losing the kingdom to Pushkara.

According to the Mahabharata, the gandharva Kali became jealous when he was late to Princess Damayanti's marriage ceremony and discovered she had overlooked the deities Indra, Agni, Varuna, and Yama (and ultimately himself) to choose Nala as her husband. In anger, Kali spoke to his companion Dvapara, the personification of Dvapara Yuga:

"I am ill able, O Dvapara, to suppress my anger. I shall possess Nala, deprive him of his kingdom, and he shall no more sport with Bhima's daughter. Entering the dice, it behoveth thee to help me." [30]

Kali traveled to Nala’s kingdom of Nishadhas and waited twelve long years for the right moment to strike. Because Nala had rendered himself impure by not washing his feet before his prayers, Kali was able to bewitch his soul. Kali then appeared before Pushkara and invited him to play a game of dice with his brother, guaranteeing Nala’s downfall. Dwapara took the form of the Vrisha die that would be used in the fixed game. Kali forced Nala to lose and, each time, he would raise the stakes higher despite the protest of his advisors and wife. Finally, Nala lost his kingdom to Pushkara. Both he and Damayanti were exiled to the forest.

During their exile, Kali drove Nala to abandon Damayanti, who later enacted a curse against everyone that had caused the downfall of her husband. She eventually returned home after a short time as a hand-maiden to the Princess of Chedi. Nala, meanwhile, saved the Naga Karkotaka from fire (where he was cursed to suffer by sage Narada). Intending to exorcize the devil within him, the serpent bit Nala, injecting him with deadly poisons that forever tortured Kali. The venom also changed Nala into an ugly dwarf named Bahuka. He later became the charioteer of the Ayodhya King Rituparna, who was a master mathematician and dice player.

Years later, King Rituparna revealed to Bahuka the supreme skill of controlling the dice in exchange for horsemanship lessons. This skill awakened Nala from Kali’s control and allowed him (with the help of Damayanti’s curse and Karkotaka's venom) to exorcise the demon; vomiting him in the form of poison from his mouth. Nala forced the Kali’s trembling spirit into a Vibhitaka tree. He then counted the fruits of the tree and left in search of his wife and later regained his true form. Kali returned to his abode as well.

Kali was later incarnated as king Duryodhana, eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers. His companion Dvapara became his uncle Shakuni. The day Duryodhana was born, he unleashed a donkey-like scream which the donkeys outside the home replied to. Despite the advice from Vidura to discard the evil baby, Duryodhana's father Dhritarashtra kept the child because demons had received a boon from Shiva that the future king would be invincible.

At the onset of Kali Yuga, once king Parikshit went hunting in the forest. Just then in the middle of the way, Kali, appeared before him and asked permission to enter his kingdom, which the king denied. Upon insisting, Parikshit allowed him five places to reside: where there is gambling, alcohol consumption, prostitution, animal slaughter and gold. Kali smartly entered into Parikshit's golden crown and spoiled his thoughts. Parikshit entered the hut of a sage named Shamika as he was thirsty. He found the sage in deep meditation. He bowed to him several times but as there was no response. In anger, he took a dead snake and threw it around the sage's neck. Later when the sage's son, Shringin, heard of this incident he cursed the king to die of snake bite on the seventh day. On hearing this, the king forswore the throne for his son Janamejaya and spent his last seven days listening to the discourses of sage Shuka, compiled as the Bhagavata Purana under the banyan tree of Shukratal. As prophesied, the snake king Takshaka bit Parikshita, who left his mortal remains behind and attained Moksha.

Puranic accounts[edit]

Kali gravitates to gamble, inebriation, slaughter, gold and last but not least womankind.

The Kalki Purana describes him as a huge being, the color of “soot,” with a large tongue, and a terrible stench. From his birth, he carried an Upaasthi (worship) bone. The Kalki Purana says that this demon chose gambling, liquor, prostitution, slaughter and gold as his permanent abodes."[36] The Sanskrit-English Dictionary states Kali is "of a class of mythic beings (related to the Gandharvas, and supposed by some to be fond of gambling)".[37] The Bhagavata Purana describes him as a sudra wearing the garments of a king.[38] An early 20th century anti-beef eating pamphlet protesting the slaughter of the sacred cow in India portrays Kali as a brownish-skinned demon with a dog-like face, protruding fangs, pointed ears, long green bushy hair and wearing a red loin cloth and golden jewelry. (See Religion and politics)

The names of the four yugas of time—Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali—are named after “dice throws” from a game of dice popular during the Vedic period. Their order coincides with the favorability of each throw: Satya is the best throw, whereas Kali is considered the worst.[39][40] During the Mahabharata, king Nala exorcises the disembodied spirit of Kali to a vibhīdaka tree (Terminalia belerica), whose fruits contain nuts which were used as the dice for the vedic dice game.[41] Therefore, not only Kali’s name, but his penchant for gambling and reputation as being evil comes from this dice game.

The churning of the ocean of milk[edit]

Vishnu beheading the impersonator, demon Svarbhānu (Kali's presumable ally), seated amidst the gods in order to drink the nectar, which managed to reach his throat, making his head, called Rahu, immortal.
Kali's evil prior to the age of evil

King Duryodhana, the foolish, wicked bringer of disgrace to the Kurus, was born on earth from a portion of Kali; he was the man of ill omen, hated throughout the entire universe, who slew the whole world, the base man who sparked off the terrible enmity which led to the deaths of so many.

Mahabharata: Book 1: Adi Parva, Vyasa
(Abridged, Translator: John D. Smith)[4]

According to a lesser known Madhva version of the legend, during the churning of the ocean of milk, a great poison known as halahala was produced, which Vayu, the god of wind, rubbed in his hands to reduce its potency. Then a small portion was given to god Shiva, turning his throat blue. The rest was collected in a golden vessel and digested by Vayu. (One source states he drank the Kalakuta poison of Vasuki nāga.[42] Still others more commonly state that Shiva drank alone.[note 33]) A little portion of poison that wasn't swallowed by Shiva became the body of Kali. From this poison also came, "cruel objects like snakes, wolves, and tigers."[43]

Later, when the asura Rahu was decapitated by Vishnu's Mohini Avatar, the demon’s allies attacked her and all except Kali were killed. Having the power to possess the bodies of immortal and mortal beings, he entered the hearts of man and escaped death.[note 34] He occasionally entered Shiva and caused him to write evil scriptures, which created great confusion and misconceptions. Because Kali was “invisible, unimaginable, and present in all” the only way to correct the chaos born from the miswritten texts was to completely renew the sacred scriptures entirely. Thus Vishnu descended to earth as Vedavyasa, the compiler of the sacred scriptures Vedas and the writer of the Puranas.[43]

Markandeya Purana[edit]

According to Markandeya Purana, the Brahmin Pravara was given a magical ointment that allowed him to fly. But when he flew to the Himalayas, the ointment was washed away from the bottoms of his feet keeping him from returning home to his wife. During this time, the nymph Varuthini fell madly in love with him and begged the Brahmin to stay with her forever. But eventually, he rejected her. He prayed to Agni who returned him home safely.

The gandharva Kali was in love with Varuthini and had been rejected by her in the past. He saw how she hungered for the Brahmin, so he took on the appearance of Pravara and came before the courtesan. He led her into the bedchamber and told her to close her eyes during their sex [sambhoga]. (Another version of this tale explains the reason he told her to shut her eyes was because gods revert to their true forms whenever they do the basest of things, such as eating, sleeping, and making love (including dying for demons)). As they made love, Varuthini noticed that his body became flaming hot and believed it was because his Brahmin spirit was infused with the sacrificial fire. After climax, Kali, still-as-Pravara, left the apsara and returned to his abode. Varuthini soon became pregnant and nine months later gave birth to a human child that not only looked like the Brahmin but possessed his soul as well.[44] The authors of the book Science in Culture comment this was an example of the Sanskrit phrase "from his semen and from her thinking," meaning the child was indeed Pravara's child because she believed it was his.[45]

In another version, Kali stipulates he will only marry the apsara if she keeps her eyes closed while they are in the forest (presumably making love). However, Kali leaves after their marriage and the birth of their son Svarocisa. Svarocisa grows up to become a very learned scholar of the Vedas and learns to speak the languages of all creatures from one of his three wives. He later marries a goddess and fathers Svarocisa Manu, one of the progenitors of mankind.[46] (See Progeny)

Bhagavata Purana[edit]

Vishnu is surmised to appear in every yuga to restore dharma.[47] He appeared as Narasimha in order to obliterate the demon Hiranyakashipu in the 1st yuga, as Rama in the 2nd yuga, as Krishna in the 3rd yuga, and is vaticinated to appear as Kalki for annihilating demon Kali at the end of the 4th and final yuga which is esteemed to be the worst of all.

The Bhagavata Purana states the very day and moment avatar Krishna left this earth, Kali, "who promotes all kinds of irreligious activities, came into this world.”[48]

After setting off to wage war against the evils of the world with his armies, Emperor Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna, came across a Sudra dressed as a king who was beating a cow and an ox with a club. Parikshit immediately lead his chariot over to the scene and angrily berated the sudra for abusing the sacred cow and her mate. However, this was no ordinary sudra and these were no ordinary bovine, for the sudra was Kali and the cow and ox were embodiments of the earth goddess and Dharma. The Emperor noticed the ox was standing on one of his legs because the other three had been broken by Kali. Dharma explained his four legs represented "austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness", but he had only the leg of “truth” to stand on since the other three had been broken by kali over the preceding yugas.[38] Kali was intent on breaking all the legs that supported the reign of dharma so he could effect the expansion of his own dark reign on earth. The earth goddess cried for she had once been plentiful, but when Krishna ascended to heaven, she was forsaken and all of the prosperity left from the world. She feared evil kings like Kali would continue to lay waste to the earth.

When Parikshit raised his sword to kill Kali, the sudra stripped himself of his royal garments and prostrated himself at the emperor’s feet. The emperor knew Kali tainted the world with his evil and so had no place in it and raised his sword once more. But Kali interceded again and begged the emperor to spare his life and allow him a place to live within his empire. Parikshit decided that Kali would live in “gambling houses, in taverns, in women of unchaste lives, in slaughtering places and in gold”.[49] And as long as Parikshit ruled India, Kali stayed within the confines of these five places. This act allowed Dharma to regain his legs and the earth to be relieved of much burden. However, Parikshit was later cursed to die by snake bite after hunting in the forest and throwing a dead snake on an unresponsive sage practicing austerities. Upon the emperor’s death, “Kali made his way to other places like wild fire and established his power throughout the length and breadth of the whole world.”[49][50]

In another version of the tale, Kali enters into the Emperor’s crown when Parikshit gives him permission to reside wherever there is gold. Upon returning home after offending the sage, Parikshit says to himself, "Kali-yug’s abode is in gold; this was on my head; hence I had so evil a thought that, having taken a dead snake cast it on the sage’s neck. Therefore, I now understand that Kali-yug has taken his revenge on me. How shall I escape this grievous sin?"[51][52]

Kalki Purana[edit]

Kalki with his horse Devadatta[53] (who can go anywhere at will and assume different forms) and the omniscient, talking parrot, gifted by Shiva.[54]
Kalki is ajanbahu as well as extremely effulgent and dark blue complexioned and lotus-eyed,[55] and bears Shrivatsa and Kaustubha on his chest.[56] And unlike Rama[57] and like Krishna, he is Vishnu's purna-avatar (i.e. complete manifestation), though most of his life he purposely appears in an anthropoidal two-armed form, instead of the normal four-armed one.[58]

The beginning of the Kalki Purana describes Kali's lineage starting with the creator-god Brahma, his great-great-grandfather, and ending with the birth of his children's children. Instead of being born of poison from the churning of the ocean of milk, he is the product of a long line of incestuous monsters born from Brahma's back. (See Family Lineage below) Kali and his family were created by Brahma to hurry the dissolution of the cosmos after the pralaya period was over. When his family takes human form on earth, they further taint the hearts and minds of mankind to bring about the end of Dvapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga. During the first stage of Kali-Yuga, the varnashrama breaks down and God-worship is forsaken by man. All through the second, third, and fourth stages, man forgets the name of god and no longer offers Yajna (offerings) to the Devas. It is at this point when God Vishnu reincarnates as Kalki in the name of the Devas and all of mankind to rid the cosmos of Kali's dark influence.

The remainder of the tale describes Kalki's childhood, military training under the immortal Parashurama, his marriage, his preparation for war against Kali, and the decisive war between the two. Kalki kicks off his campaign by performing the Ashvamedha sacrifice and leading his armies behind the horse as it runs freely from kingdom to kingdom. If any evil king tries to stop the horse, Kalki engages them in combat. After defeating them, he continues to follow the horse until all evil kingdoms are vanquished. When Kali finally faces Kalki's forces, his entire family blood line is wiped out by the avatar's generals and he presumably dies from wounds inflicted by Dharma and Satya Yuga personified. Kalki, meanwhile, battles and simultaneously kills the demon's most powerful generals, Koka and Vikoka, twin devils adept in the dark arts.[36]


Kali dies one-third of the way through the Kalki Purana. During the decisive battle between Kali and Kalki’s armies, Kali tried to face both Dharma and Satya Yuga personified, but was overwhelmed and fled on his donkey because his chariot had been destroyed, leaving his owl-charged war flag to be trampled on the battlefield. Kali retreated to the citadel of his capital city of Vishasha where he discovered his body had been mortally stabbed and burned during his battle with the two devas. The stench of his blood billowed out and filled the atmosphere with a foul odor. When Dharma and Satya burst into the city, Kali tried to run away, but, knowing his family had been destroyed, coupled with his grievous wounds, he "entered his unmanifested years".[36] This might lead some to believe he died, but one version of the Kalki Purana in the book The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology states Kali does not die but, instead, escapes through time and space to live in the Kali Yuga of the next Mahayuga. The author comments, "Unlike most battles between gods and demons, however, this apparent victory is immediately undercut, for Kali escapes to reappear in 'another age'—in our age, or the next Kali Age."[59] Since he had the power to manifest himself in human form on earth, he was able to forsake his dying corporal form to escape in spirit.

Family lineage[edit]

Ravana, the most feared demon of the Treta Yuga,[note 35] the one who dwelt in the aureate Lanka and who is deemed a lascivious molester[note 36] eventually vanquished by Vishnu, is akin to Kali, the mightiest demon in the worst yuga.
Impropriety + Falsehood = Vanity and Illusion.
Vanity + Illusion = Anger and Violence.
Anger + Violence = Kali and Durukti
Kalki Purana: 1:1:16-20

Kali is the great-great-grandson of Lord Brahma. He is the son of Krodha (Anger) and his sister-turned-wife Hinsa (Violence). He is the grandson of Dambha (Vanity) and his sister-turned-wife, Maya (Illusion). He is the great-grandson of Adharma (Impropriety) and his wife, Mithya (Falsehood). Adharma was originally created from Lord Brahma's back as a Maleen Pataka (a very dark and deadly sinful object).

B. K. Chaturvedi, a modern translator of the Kalki Purana, states in a foot note that the growth of this dark sinful object into Adharma seems to, "convey the growth of Kali Yuga and its obnoxious offshoots."[36]

Vishnu Purana[edit]

Kali's family lineage is told differently in the Vishnu Purana, which is a father purana to the Kalki Purana:

The wife of Adharma (vice) was Himsá (violence), on whom he begot a son Anrita (falsehood), and a daughter Nikriti (immorality): they intermarried, and had two sons, Bhaya (fear) and Naraka (hell); and twins to them, two daughters, Maya (deceit) and Vedaná (grief), who became their wives. The son of Bhaya and Máyá was the destroyer of living creatures, or Mrityu (death); and Dukha (pain) was the offspring of Naraka and Vedaná. The children of Mrityu were Vyádhi (disease), Jará (decay), Soka (sorrow), Trishńa (greediness), and Krodha (wrath). These are all called the inflictors of misery, and are characterised as the progeny of Vice (Adharma). They are all without wives, without posterity, without the faculty to procreate; they are the terrible forms of Vishńu, and perpetually operate as causes of the destruction of this world. On the contrary, Daksha and the other Rishis, the elders of mankind, tend perpetually to influence its renovation: whilst the Manus and their sons, the heroes endowed with mighty power, and treading in the path of truth, as constantly contribute to its preservation.

In this version, Himsa is Adharma's wife instead of his granddaughter.[60]

Bhagavata Purana[edit]

Shiva, along with his wife Parvati, is divined to come face to face with Kalki with the aim of bequeathing to him the preternatural horse, parrot and sword in order to quell Kali.[61]
The deific couple is also prophesied to meet and endue Padma (Lakshmi incarnate), anterior to her inceptive tryst with Kalki, her foreordained husband.[62]

According to the Bhagavata Purana, Adharma is the husband of Mrishá (falsehood), and the father of Dambha (hypocrisy) and Máyá (deceit), who were adopted by Nirritti (Hindu god/dess of misery). The series of their descendants is also somewhat varied from our text; being in each descent, however, twins which intermarry, or Lobha (covetousness) and Nikriti, who produce Krodha (wrath) and Hinsá: their children are, Kali (wickedness) and Durukti (evil speech): their progeny are, Mrityu and Bhí (fear); whose offspring are, Niraya (hell) and Yátaná (torment).[63]

In this version, Mrisha is the wife of Adharma and not Himsa or Mithya.

Linga Purana[edit]

The Linga Purana enumerates Adharma among the Prajapatis (Lords of Creatures).[63]

Dharma personified[edit]

Since Dharma is one of the major antagonists of Kali, it is important to note this personified deity has his own line of offspring that work against the demon and his family to bring balance to the world. The following comes from the Vishnu Purana:

The progeny of Dharma by the daughters of Daksha were as follows: by Sraddha he had Kama (desire); by Lakshmi, Darpa (pride); by Dhriti, Niyama (precept); by Tushti, Santosha (content); by Pushti, Lobha (cupidity); by Medhá, Sruta (sacred tradition); by Kriya, Danda, Naya, and Vinaya (correction, polity, and prudence); by Buddhi, Bodha (understanding); by Lajj, Vinaya (good behaviour); by Vapu, Vyavasaya (perseverance). Santi gave birth to Kshema (prosperity); Siddhi to Sukha (enjoyment); and Kírtti to Yasas. These were the sons of Dharma; one of whom, Kama, had Hersha (joy) by his wife Nandi (delight).

Again, the Bhagavata Purana gives a different account of his children's names.[64]

It is described in the Mahabharata as the eldest Pandava brother, Yudhishthira was the son of Dharma.


Kali + Durukti = Fear and Death.
Fear + Death = Hell and Torture.
Kalki Purana: 1:1:20-21

Kali’s sister-turned-wife, Durukti (Calumny), gave him two offspring: a son named Bhaya (Fear) and a daughter named Mrutyu (Death).[65] His son and daughter gave him two grandchildren: a boy named Niraya (Hell)[10] and a girl named Yatana (Torture).[36] Again, there are some discrepancies here. The Vishnu Purana says Mrutyu and Bhaya are his brother and sister. Mrutyu is even represented as male instead of female.[36]

Kali's secondary wife Alakshmi, who is the deity of the most dreaded nakshatra called Mula,[66] is strongly associated with the goddess of destruction Kali, the wife of Shiva.

Kali is the grandfather of Svarocisa Manu, one of the progenitors of mankind.[46] As previously mentioned, Kali had a son named Svarocisa with the Apsara Varuthini. Svarocisa once traveld to Mt. Mandara and was met by Manorama, a cursed-woman being chased by a demon. In the past, she had made fun of a sage practicing Tapasya austerities on Mt. Kailas and was cursed to be captured by a demon. When her friends Vibhavari and Kalavati berated the sage for enacting a curse for such a minor offence, he cursed one to be a leper and the other a carrier of diseases. Manorama had knowledge of a powerful spiritual weapon, but did not know how to wield it, so she taught it to Svarocisa. When the demon leaped out of the forest and grabbed a hold of the woman, Svarocis called forth the weapon. But the demon stayed his hand and explained he was actually Manorama’s father, Indivara. He had also been cursed to become a demon by the sage Brahmamitra because he tried to covertly obtain the secrets of Ayurveda medicine without the sage’s knowledge. The sage told him that the curse would end when he was about to eat his own daughter. Once he regained his true form, Indivara taught Svarocisa the Ayurveda medication, which he used to cure Manorama’s friends. He later married the three and had three sons with them. He learned the languages of all creatures from Vibhavari and the Padmini vidya from Kalavati.

Despite his prosperity, Svarocis was unhappy in his life and could hear the ducks and deer talking about him behind his back. One day he went hunting and took aim at a boar, but a deer came through the clearing and asked to be shot in its place. When he enquired why, the deer told him that she was really the goddess of the forest and wished to marry Svarocisa. So he embraced the deer and she turned into a beautiful woman. Together, they had a son named Dyutiman, who later became the Svarocisa Manu.[46]

Mrityu, god of death, decay, and degeneration will be Alakshmi's husband and she will dwell wherever there is dirt, ugliness, sloth, gluttony, envy, rage, hypocrisy, greed and lust.

One source states, "Kali's wife Alakshmi and her sons who supervise evil also came from Kshirasagara [the ocean of milk]."[43] Alakshmi is the elder sister of the Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu.[67] Since the Kalki Purana states his wife Durukti is his sister, Alakshmi would be a second wife because she is not directly related to him.

There are a number of connections and similarities between Kali and Alakshmi. First and foremost, Alakshmi’s sister is the consort of Lord Vishnu, who sent his Kalki avatar to earth to defeat Kali.[67] Second, legends say she was born either from the churning of the ocean of milk, the poison from Vasuki (who helped churn the ocean) or the back of Prajapati.[67][68] As previously mentioned, Kali is said to have been born from the halahala poison created from churning the ocean or from a lineage created from Lord Brahma’s back.[36][43] Third, Alakshmi takes the form of an owl.[67] Kali's emblem on his war flag is of an owl.[36] Fourth, whenever Alakshmi enters a house, families fight and turn on one another.[69] The presence of Kali and his family on earth causes mankind to fight and turn on one another. Finally, Alakshmi is said to ride a donkey.[67] Kali also rides a donkey in the Kalki Purana.[36]

Role in modern communalism[edit]

The color version (c. 1912) of an anti-beef eating pamphlet (1890 CE) showing ideated Kali (far right) attempting to slaughter a sacred cow.

Kali’s image was used in several pamphlets circulated by various Agorakshanasabh (“cow protection leagues”) and “wandering ascetics” as a protest against the Muslim practice of beef-eating during the British raj.[70][71] These pamphlets were produced in a time when Hindu-Muslim riots over cow slaughter occurred in several areas of India; including Azamgarh district (1893), when a total of 100 people died in similar conflagrations throughout the empire; Ayodhya (1912–1913); and Shahabad (1917).[72] One such pamphlet entitled “The Present State” showed a cow being slaughtered by a trio of "Muhammadan" butchers.[70][71] Another portrayed Kali raising a sword above the head of a sacred cow, whose body was illustrated to be a microcosmic paradise in which all the Hindu gods resided. There were many different editions of this version. For instance, one showed a woman labeled "The Hindu" waiting with bowl-in-hand for the cow's calf to finish suckling before she could get milk. A form of Krishna labeled Darmaraj ("Ruler of Dharma") stood behind the cow and Kali was, again, harassing her with his sword. Still, a different one deleted the woman and calf and instead portrayed Dharmaraj in front of the cow pleading mat maro gay sarv ka jivan hai ("don’t kill the cow, everyone is dependent on it"), while Kali rebuts he manusyaho! Kaliyugi Mansahari jivom ko dekho ("mankind, look at the meat-eating souls of the kaligyug").[70]

Some Hindus considered Kali’s presence in the picture to be a representation of the Muslim community.[70][71] When one of the versions of these pamphlets came into the possession of a state official in 1893, he commented that the image “contained a representation of a Musalman [Muslim] advancing to slay the cow ...”.[70] One book states, “The Magistrate [at Deoria] found Muhammadans excited because they heard a picture was in circulation representing a Muhammadan with a sword drawn sacrificing a cow, and this they considered an insult.”[70] In 1915, a color version of this picture ran by the Ravi Varma Press[73] caught the attention of the colonial censors and was presumably censored in some way.[70]

In popular culture[edit]

Religion is a sensitive subject. Merely talking about it in a public space could land you in trouble. But then there is Anand Neelakantan, not simply expressing his thoughts on epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, but actually writing them, and from the villain's perspective.
The Asian Age[74]
  • Nala Damayanti (1921): This big-budget film depicts a famous episode from the Mahabharata, starting with Narada's ascent of Mount Meru. It shows Swarga, the Heaven of Indra, the Transformation in the Clouds of the Four Gods into impersonations of King Nala, Swan Messengers of Love, the Transformation of Kali into a Serpent, the Meeting of Kali and Dwarpa and the Four Gods amidst the Blue Air.[75]
  • Rise of Kali: Duryodhana's Mahabharata (2015): A book by popular Indian writer Anand Neelakantan.
    This work, however, is, in a fundamental way, out of line with the Mahabharata, and Hinduism in general; for it neither appreciates the divinity attributed to Krishna nor does it recognize the spirit of Kali (demon) ascribed to Duryodhana, or for that matter anyone else. In short, unlike (for example) the Mahabharata, contrary to its title, it does not even believe in the existence of Kali (demon), which is the very subject of this article. In the words of 48 Hrs, Hindustan Times: "Author Anand Neelakantan has done it again- turned the greatest heroes and villains from the Hindu epics into mere mortals with his new novel" In fact, like the first work by its author, viz. Asura: Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People, it appears to upbraid the Pandavas (who are adjudged by the Mahabharata as gods incarnate) as mere Indo-Aryan invaders who are traditionally chauvinistic against the Dravidian people or the lowborn such as Ekalavya.

See also (Key to Names and Glossary)[edit]

Karna, the son of the sun god, was Kali's best friend in the previous yuga.
Chiranjivi Parashurama is augured to drill and edify Kalki in Mount Mahendra in order to extirpate Kali.
Ashwatthama, Kali's true-blue man in the quondam yuga, is foreseen to well-nigh turn against him at the end.[76]
  • Alakshmi, Lakshmi's elder sister and the goddess of misfortune, and the secondary wife of Kali
  • Bhairava, the form of Shiva which appears to approximate to Kali (demon)
  • Bhanumati, Kali's consort in the previous yuga, and the demoiselle of the fairest complexion, and the only woman other than Draupadi known to be molested by him coram populo, prior to their espousal though
  • Buddhists, the followers of Buddhism centred in a city called Keekat, ruled by Jin. Kalki, it is told, shall crush the Buddhists and the Mleccha forces well before setting forth to vanquish Kali.[77]
  • Damayanti, the consort of Nala (Kali's nemesis in the Treta Yuga), and the most beautiful woman of her times, and the infatuation of Kali
  • Dharma, the personification of Dharma, who is foretold to side with Kalki in his battle against Kali[78][79]
  • Durukti, the prophesied personification of calumny, and the sister-turned-wife and queen of Kali
  • Duryodhana, the Kali of the Dvapara Yuga (the second-most evil yuga), and substantially less evil than the prevised Kali of the Kali Yuga (the most evil yuga)
  • Gambling, one of Kali's abodes; broadly intuited as a significant risk, undertaken with a potential gain. The rest of Kali's abodes are inebriation, slaughter, gold and womankind.
  • Gandharvas, the husbands of the Apsaras. A couple of Kali's few known mythological personifications are gandharvas.
  • Kali Yuga, the last and the worst of all four ages in a recurring cycle viz. Mahayuga; personified as a powerful evil being called Kali. The current yuga is supposed to be a Kali Yuga. Precisely which man on this planet is Kali (or Kali personified or Kali Yuga personified) in the ongoing Mahayuga remains, nevertheless, unknown.
  • Kalki Purana, the relatively most circumstantial, reliable biography of Kali as well as Kalki as yet
  • Koka & Vikoka, Kali's nearly invincible military generals prophesied to be vanquished by Kalki following the defeat of Kali
  • Kṛta, the personification of the Satya Yuga (the 1st and the best yuga), and Kali's antithesis, who is prophesied to side with Kalki in his battle against Kali[80][79]
  • Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity and the wife of Vishnu (Kali’s adversary), and the younger sister of Alakshmi (Kali’s secondary wife). Lakshmi is foretold to be incarnated near the end of the Kali Yuga as Padma, the consort of Kalki (Kali's nemesis).
  • Rahu & Ketu, the two demonic planets in Hindu astrology that are singularly apposite to the puranic divination about Kali (demon); for according to Hindu astrology, these two planets, along with the foremost god Surya's archenemy Shani, predominantly determine the gravity of the demonic spirit embodied in a tellurian being.[note 38]
  • Shakuni, the personification of the Dvapara Yuga (the second-most evil yuga) in the present cycle of yugas, and the counterpart of the prophesied Kali, the personification of the Kali Yuga (the most evil yuga) in the ongoing cycle
  • Varaha Purana, idiosyncratic for alluding to the incarnation of Kali humanity is forewarned of, as a Brahmin; the allusion which seems to remain uncontradicted
  • Vyasa, the biological (paternal) grandfather of Kali's incarnation in the second-worst yuga, and the author of virtually every original work on him, penned in Sanskrit


  1. ^ Put differently, "(Kali is) the personification of the Kali Yuga", the way, according to the Mahabharata, Shakuni was the personification of the previous yuga namely Dvapara. (Ref. Smith, John D., tr. in: The Mahābhārata: an abridged translation. Penguin Classics, 2009 (ISBN 978-0-670-08415-9), p. 21
  2. ^ The present yuga is the Kali Yuga in the present Mahayuga (i.e. the cycle of 4 yugas). In other words, the present yuga is "a Kali Yuga".
  3. ^ Although, according to the Mahabharata, Duryodhana was a personification of Kali (demon), he was not the personification of the Kali Yuga, since he belonged to the Dvapara Yuga, not Kali Yuga.
  4. ^ According to the Kalki Purana: 3:7:10, at the end of the Kali Yuga, Kali shall enter his unmanifest years, and he is expected to incarnate himself in some age (i.e. yuga) in the next Mahayuga. The name or the precise nature of the incarnation is, however, unknown.
  5. ^ The Kali Yuga is Kali's favourite abode, and not the only abode of its kind; since according to some of the reliable sources cited in this article, Kali notably resided, at least, in the Dvapara Yuga and the Treta Yuga as well, such as via his Duryodhana and the gandharva incarnations.
  6. ^ Unlike the Bhagavata Purana, "slaughter", however, appears missing in the Kalki Purana.
  7. ^ The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word "Vishasana" appears to be "deadly" or "hellish", which patently seems to relate to the nature of that city's description in the Kalki Purana, and which further seems to imply that the real name of that city could well be other than "Vishasana", the way the real name of the prophesied Kali of the Kali Yuga, or for that matter his consort Durukti, could be entirely different.
  8. ^ No source appears as yet to confirm that the weapon of the real, prophesied demon Kali of the Kali Yuga is indeed "sword"; and the impression that Kali's weapon is "sword" seems to have been derived from the erroneous idea of equating him with the Muslim slaughterers of the cows in India in the 19th century.
  9. ^ Be that as it may, it is important to a fault to note that unlike Durukti, no mention of Alakshmi appears in the Kalki Purana, which seems to raise a paramount question viz. "Is Durukti (lit. harsh speech) just another name of Alakshmi (lit. misfortune)?" The answer to this question may be in the affirmative given the fact that being Lakshmi's antithesis, Alakshmi could very much be a woman whose speech is indeed harsh. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely for the same Purana to refer to "Alakshmi" as "Durukti" when those two words' denotations (or literal meanings), viz. 'misfortune' and 'harsh speech', are different. And last but not least, no reliable source appears to mention that Alakshmi is Kali's wife.
  10. ^ "The worst throw in dice" broadly means 'the sort of gamble which produces the most evil outcome'. In the second most evil yuga (i.e. the previous yuga viz. Dvapara, the then most royal woman named Draupadi (who, according to the Mahabharata, was a form of Sachi, the queen of the celestials) was molested by Duryodhana (who, according to the same epic, was Kali incarnate) in front of an entire royal assembly in an unprecedented manner on grounds of an outcome of a game of dice. In the present yuga viz. the Kali Yuga, which is the most evil yuga, even worse sort of molestation of a royal woman could, therefore, be expected as a result of some form of gamble ushered in by the prophesied incarnation of Kali himself, which, in light of the Mahabharata War, could eventually result into the worst massacre of humanity ever.
  11. ^ Aside from the prophesied incarnation in the present Kali Yuga (i.e. the Kali Yuga in the present Mahayuga), there appear to be merely four known incarnations of Kali, which are mentioned in one of the following introductory paragraphs; and importantly, virtually every incarnation of the demon (such as Duryodhana) almost always appears "wicked" most conspicuously, conforming with the given meaning of his name (i.e. Kali) by the seemingly reliable source as "wickedness".
  12. ^ The more veracious term, however, would manifestly be "demonic spirit" instead of "demon", though the use of the latter is mainstream.
  13. ^ Kali is the king of the Kali Yuga in any Mahayuga, and not only the one in the present Mahayuga. Now, it is very important to note a fundamental, technical dissimilitude! The way "Vishnu" and his 8th major incarnation "Krishna", for example, are, in a way, different subjects, Kali and his prophesied incarnation in the present Kali Yuga are, in fact, different. And although the name of Kali's most powerful incarnation from the previous yuga is known to be "Duryodhana", the actual name of his foretold incarnation in this yuga is not necessarily Kali, and is yet to be known (or established) as well. Similarly, the actual name of his consort Durukti (which, in English, translates as "calumny"), or for that matter his daughter Mrutyu (which, in English, means "death"), could be completely different. Kali's incarnation as "The king of the Kali Yuga" (or "The Kali of the Kali Yuga") is, nevertheless, his most cardinal and dreadful incarnation.
  14. ^ According to most interpretations, such as Kalki Purana (Ref. 3:5:12) and Vishnu Purana
  15. ^ Kalki also terminates some relatively trifling beings such as demoness Kuthodari and her son Vikanja, via the Brahmastra, at the Himalayas (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:2:8-9, 43-45), as well as demons such as Shaiyyakarana, Ushtramukha and Ekajangha (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:4:26)
  16. ^ The Kalki Purana contains the most detailed, reliable description of Kali as well as Kalki to date.
  17. ^ Aside from the Kalki Purana: 1:1:23, there is a reliable source from an Indian language which says the following about Kali. "Even if he ever gets as many penises as the number of hair his body bears, his lust shall remain unquenched."
  18. ^ "A crow-like belly" could mean 'a ravenous appetite'.
  19. ^ "A dreadful mouth with a restless tongue" appears to mean "He who continuously speaks harsh (or evil) words", and that way it relates to Durukti (lit. harsh speech), his sister-turned-wife, as well as to his own name's (i.e. Kali's) literal meaning (i.e. quarrel).
  20. ^ "Calumny incarnate" (or "calumny personified or embodied") could mean 'she who calumnies' or 'she who is calumnied' or both.
  21. ^ Kalki's forces mainly include three kings viz. Maru and Devapi (Ref. Kalki Purana: 1:2:7) and Vishaakh Yoop (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:6:4), two individuals viz. the personification of Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga) (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:5:17) as well as that of Dharma (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:6:16-31), and Kalki's three elder brothers viz. Kavi, Pragya and Sumantrak (Ref. Kalki Purana: 3:7:32-33).
  22. ^ The literal English translation of the Sanskrit words "varshaantaram alakshitah" appears to be "(he) quietly traveled to another country", not "quietly entered his unmanifest years"; since "varsha" in "varshaantar" seems to mean "division of the earth as separated off by certain mountain ranges (e.g. Bharatavarsha)", not "year/s"; the way "deshaantar" appears to mean "another country". Nevertheless, in the present context, the aforementioned literal translation seems practically equivalent to the given translation, since in light of the seeming gravity of his bodily injuries as described in the Kalki Purana, Kali would not be expected to retain his corporeal form for very long anyway.
  23. ^ "Woman" mostly seems to mean "unattached, promiscuous woman"; and importantly, promiscuity does not imply prostitution. Nevertheless, "unattached, promiscuous woman" evidently seems to relate to Kali's secondary wife namely Alakshmi; for 'unattached, promiscuous women' are forms of Alakshmi, the way 'chaste, attached women' are forms of Lakshmi, who is Alakshmi's antithesis. Furthermore, Kali's consort Durukti must be an 'attached woman', the reason the word "mostly" exists in the very first sentence of this note.
  24. ^ According to the Mahabharata, "Women, gambling, hunting and drink have been designated as the four evils by which people are deprived of prosperity." and "Gambling is the root of all misery." (Ref. Macfie, J. M. (1993). Myths and legends of India: An introduction to the study of Hinduism. Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi. Sixteenth Impression (2011). (ISBN 81-7167-131-4), p. 203)
  25. ^ This seemingly consequential mention, however, appears to contradict the mention in the Mahabharata that Duryodhana was an incarnation of Kali; for according to the same epic, Duryodhana was being a terrible menace when Krishna was present right here on this earth.
  26. ^ According to the Bhagavad Gita: 18:61, Vishnu is indeed the sole doer in the entire existence; for in that verse, Krishna says the following. "The Lord, O Arjuna, dwells in the heart of every being, and by his delusive power spins round all beings set on the machine." W. Douglas P. Hill, tr. (1928), OUP: Second abridged edition (1953). Fourth impression (1973).
    "If you [Krishna] are Janardhana, it is you who dwell in my heart and make me do what I feel." Duryodhana in: Rise of Kali: Duryodhana's Mahabharata, by Anand Neelakantan (2015). Platinum Press. (ISBN 978-93-81576-04-5)
    Not only that, but Krishna also avers to Arjuna the following in the Gita: 11:32-33. "Doom am I, that causes worlds to perish, matured and here come forth to destroy the worlds; even apart from thee not one of the warriors drawn up in ranks opposing shall survive. Therefore arise, win glory, defeat thy foes, enjoy wide sovereignty! I have already slain these men; be thou no more than a means, left-handed bowman!" W. Douglas P. Hill, tr.
    "Freedom, in the Gīta, is an illusory liberty of choice, working within the bounds of an ultimate determinism." W. Douglas P. Hill, tr., p. 48
    "Lord Kalki (Vishnu) is the Master of universe and nothing happens against his will. He is the sole 'doer' of this universe." Raja Shashidhwaja in: Kalki Purana, by B.K. Chaturvedi, tr. (2014), Diamond Books, New Delhi (ISBN 81-288-0588-6), p. 71
  27. ^ The assertion in the Varaha Purana that in the Kali Yuga, demons take birth in the families of Brahmins appears quite logical; because "Brahmin" being the most sacred caste, would rather be expected to be most affected in the most degraded and demonic yuga (i.e. the Kali Yuga), the way in the previous yuga (i.e. the Dvapara Yuga), which was the second most demonic yuga, the second most sacred caste (i.e. "Kshatriya") got most affected since demons (such as Kali himself) took birth in the Kshatriya family (i.e. Kaurava). And the way in the previous yuga, Kali's (i.e. Duryodhana's) nemesis (i.e. Krishna) was a Kshatriya too, in this yuga his nemesis (i.e. Kalki) is foretold to be a Brahmin as well.
    According to the Laws of Manu, "A Brahmin is the lord of all created things. Whatever exists in the world is his property. On account of the excellence of his origin he is entitled to it all." and "No greater crime is known on earth than killing a Brahmin."
    According to the Mahabharata, "It is through the Brahmins that the spirits of the dead and the gods become pleased." and "There is no place of pilgrimage like the Ganges, no god like Vishnu, and no one superior to Brahmins."
    (Ref. Macfie, J. M. (1993). p. 57, 87, 47)
  28. ^ According to the Mahabharata, as Duryodhana, Kali even abducted his own wife following the outright rejection, which (the abduction) anteceded their marriage.
  29. ^ "Shakuni is often credited as the mastermind behind the Kurukshetra war." Shakuni (last visited Sept. 18, 2017)
    "His [Shakuni's] only ambition is the destruction of the kingdoms of Bharatavarsha..." Rise of Kali: Duryodhana's Mahabharata, by Anand Neelakantan (2015), p. 16
  30. ^ There appears to be a wonted propensity amongst most people to equate "Kali (demon)" with the "Kali Yuga" itself, or for that matter with "all of the irreligious individuals dwelling on this planet", which is as profoundly erroneous as equating "Shakuni" with the "Dvapara Yuga", or with "Duryodhana and the rest of the hundred of those demonic brothers" for that matter.
  31. ^ Two of Kali's abodes are gold and women. The word "Hiranyakashipu" itself means "gold and women". Ravana's abode Lanka was famously decked with gold too. Not only that, he too was notably fond of women and sex life!
  32. ^ a b The Mahabharata says the following about Duryodhana. "The evil-minded and wicked king Duryodhana, the destroyer of the fair fame of the Kurus, was born of a portion of Kali on earth. He it was who caused all creatures to be slain and the earth to be wasted; and he it was who fanned the flame of hostility that ultimately consumed all. They who had been the sons of Pulastya (the Rakshasas) were born on earth among men of Duryodhana's brothers, that century of wicked individuals commencing with Duhasasana as their first."
    However, the same epic also says the following about him! "Upon the conclusion of these words of the intelligent king of the Kurus, a thick shower of fragrant flowers fell from the sky. The Gandharvas played upon many charming musical instruments. The Apsaras in a chorus sang the glory of king Duryodhana. The Siddhas uttered loud sound to the effect, "Praise be to king Duryodhana!" Fragrant and delicious breezes mildly blew on every side. All the quarters became clear and the firmament looked blue as the lapis lazuli. Beholding these exceedingly wonderful things and this worship offered to Duryodhana, the Pandavas headed by Vasudeva became ashamed. Hearing (invisible beings cry out) that Bhishma and Drona and Karna and Bhurishrava were slain unrighteously, they became afflicted with grief and wept in sorrow."
    Also, when Bhima insults Karna for the latter’s avidity to fight the former’s younger brother Arjuna in spite of (Karna) being seemingly low-born, Duryodhana defends Karna by saying the following equitable words. "O Vrikodara, it behoveth thee not to speak such words. Might is the cardinal virtue of a Kshatriya, and even a Kshatriya of inferior birth deserveth to be fought with. The lineage of heroes, like the sources of a lordly river, is ever unknown. The fire that covereth the whole world riseth from the waters. The thunder that slayeth the Danavas was made of a bone of (a mortal named) Dadhichi. The illustrious deity Guha, who combines in his composition the portions of all the other deities is of a lineage unknown. Some call him the offspring of Agni; some, of Krittika, some, of Rudra, and some of Ganga. It hath been heard by us that persons born in the Kshatriya order have become Brahmanas. Viswamitra and others (born Kshatriyas) have obtained the eternal Brahma. The foremost of all wielders of weapons, the preceptor Drona hath been born in a waterpot and Kripa of the race of Gotama hath sprung from a clump of heath. Your own births, ye Pandava princes, are known to me. Can a she-deer bring forth a tiger (like Karna), of the splendour of the Sun, and endued with every auspicious mark, and born also with a natural mail and ear-rings? This prince among men deserveth the sovereignty of the world, not of Anga only, in consequence of the might of his arm and my swearing to obey him in everything. If there be anybody here to whom all that I have done unto Karna hath become intolerable, let him ascend his chariot and bend his bow with the help of his feet."
    The following words of Duryodhana himself from the Mahabharata unfold the gravity of his strength and worldly accomplishments. "I have studied, made presents according to the ordinance, governed the wide Earth with her seas, and stood over the heads of my foes! Who is there so fortunate as myself! That end again which is courted by Kshatriyas observant of the duties of their own order, death in battle, hath become mine. Who, therefore, is so fortunate as myself? Human enjoyments such as were worthy of the very gods and such as could with difficulty be obtained by other kings, had been mine. Prosperity of the very highest kind had been attained by me! Who then is so fortunate as myself? With all my well-wishers, and my younger brothers, I am going to heaven..."
    No reliable source, nevertheless, appears to exist as yet which, in any way, describes Kali (of the Kali Yuga) as a moral and honourable individual.
  33. ^ In another version given by Shaivites, Shiva alone drank the deadly poison, but his consort Parvati squeezed his neck to keep it from reaching his stomach. Still, some traditions state Vayu drank first and Shiva last and that Vayu himself is an aspect of Shiva.
  34. ^ The same source says Kali can never enter the bodies of Vishnu, his consort Lakshmi, or Vayu.
  35. ^ "Standing on the sky I can lift up the earth with two of my arms, I can completely gulp down any ocean, standing in war I can even put the Death to death. Indeed, I can split the Sun and splinter the earth with my splitting arrows, oh, mad woman (Sita), I can assume any form as I wish, and endow any wish you wish, such as I am, I must be your husband, behold me." (Ref. Desiraju Hanumanta Rao, tr. (1998). Valmiki Ramayana: Book III: Araṇya-Kāṇḍa: Chapter (Sarga) 49. Retrieved 21 September 2017.)
  36. ^ "As a sinister planet looks over Star Rohini when she is devoid of Moon, that extremely sinister Ravana then looked over the glorious and youthful princess Seetha.... "Glittering like the glitter of gold, silkened in ochry silks, you are like a lotus-tendril garlanded with divine lotuses as your ensemble, who are you?" Thus Ravanan started addressing Seetha.... "Your hips are beamy, thighs burly akin to elephant's trunks, and these two breasts of yours that are ornamented with best jewellery are rotund, rubbing and bumping each other, and they are swinging up and up, their nipples are brawny and jutting out, and they are smoothish like palm-fruits, thus they are covetable for they are beautiful."" (Ref. Desiraju Hanumanta Rao, tr. (1998). Valmiki Ramayana: Book III: Araṇya-Kāṇḍa: Chapter 46. Retrieved 21 September 2017.)
  37. ^ The Ramayana of Tulsidas, however, comprehends the following scornful words about Indra. "Indra is like a dog in his ways. Though king of the gods, there is no limit to his deceitfulness and villainy. He loves another's loss and his own gain. He is crafty and disreputable, and has no faith in any one." (Ref. Macfie, J. M. (1993). p. 7)
    The same source by Tulsidas also says the following censorious words about the gods in general. "The gods are a mean-spirited crew; though they dwell on high, their acts are low. They cannot endure to see another's prosperity." (Ref. Macfie, J. M. (1993). p. 15)
    "The demons were the older brothers of the gods, and were conquered by the trickery of their younger brothers." The Mahabharata (Ref. Macfie, J. M. (1993). p. 1)
  38. ^ Aside from astrology, the Ramayana says the following about Ravana, the most puissant demon of the Treta Yuga, relating him to Rahu. "That Ravana, coming within the range of arrow-shots of Rama and Lakshmana, resembled Rahu (the demon who is supposed to seize the sun and the moon), standing in the vicinity of the moon and the sun." K.M.K.Murthy, tr. in: Valmiki Ramayana. 1998. Book VI: Yuddha Kanda, Chapter 99: 17. Retrieved 17 September 2017


  1. ^ a b c "In the Kali Yuga, demons take birth in the families of Brahmins." (Varaha Purana). iskcon-truth.com. Retrieved 6 September 2017. Infiltration by Demons, Take a Guess …, by Dharmapad Das (Dean Dominic De Lucia) (13 March 2012). Brazil. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "In Kali-yuga, demons will be born in smarta Brahmin families to harass and torture the righteous devotees of the Lord." (Varaha Purana). Vaishnava Aparadha and The Path of Spiritual Caution - Introduction to "The Heart of Krsna" book, by Srila B.P. Puri Maharaja. Retrieved 17 September 2017
  3. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:16:27, 2:1:22 (Sanskrit)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, John D., tr. in: The Mahābhārata: an abridged translation. Penguin Classics, 2009 (ISBN 978-0-670-08415-9)
  5. ^ a b Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1:17:38-39. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  6. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:19
  7. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:6:36, 3:7:9
  8. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:40
  9. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:7:2
  10. ^ a b c Apte, Vasudeo Govind. The Concise Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Bombay: Motilal Banarsidass, Second Revised Edition: 1933. (ISBN 978-81-208-0152-3)
  11. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:20-21
  12. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:17-18
  13. ^ a b Kalki Purana: 1:1:18
  14. ^ Monier-Williams, Monier. Sanskrit-English dictionary. Рипол Классик, 1970. pg 261.
  15. ^ spokensanskrit.org. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  16. ^ The Vishnu Purana, Horace Hayman Wilson, tr. (1840), at sacred-texts.com, 55:14
  17. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:7:10
  18. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:23
  19. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:2:48
  20. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:1:43-44
  21. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:23
  22. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:22, 3:6:34-35
  23. ^ a b Kalki Purana: 1:1:19
  24. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:20-21, 3:6:35, 3:7:10
  25. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:14-21
  26. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:6:43-44
  27. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:7:9-10
  28. ^ The Markandeya Purana, Frederick Eden Pargiter, tr. (1904), Canto LXII. Retrieved 12 September 2017
  29. ^ Canto LXVI. Retrieved 12 September 2017
  30. ^ a b SECTION LVIII
  31. ^ Smith, John D., tr. in: The Mahābhārata: an abridged translation, p. 172
  32. ^ Bhagavata Purana: 1:18:6
  33. ^ "Chap. Vii". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  34. ^ "The mighty chariot-fighter and king who on earth was known by the name of Sakuni, that crusher of foes, thou shouldst know, O king, was Dwapara himself (the third yuga)." The Mahabharata: Adi Parva, Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr. Retrieved 18 September 2017
  35. ^ "Dvapara, the name of the second-worst throw in dice, and of the second-worst of the four ages of the world, personified as a powerful evil being." Smith, John D., tr. in: The Mahābhārata: an abridged translation. Penguin Classics, 2009 (ISBN 978-0-670-08415-9), p. 21
    "Kali, the name of the worst throw in dice, and of the worst of the four ages of the world, personified as a powerful evil being." p. 22
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chaturvedi, B.K. Kalki Purana. New Delhi: Diamond Books, 2004 (ISBN 81-288-0588-6)
  37. ^ Monier-Williams, Monier, Sir.Sanskrit-English Dictionary ISBN 0-19-864308-X
  38. ^ a b Canto 1: Creation, Chapter 17
  40. ^ Glass, Marty. YUGA: An Anatomy of Our Fate. Sophia Perennis, 2004 (ISBN 0900588292)
  41. ^ Smith, Frederick M. The Self Possessed: Deity And Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature And Civilization. Columbia University Press, 2006 (ISBN 0231137486)
  42. ^ Mutalik, Keshav M. Jagannath Dasa’s Harikathamrutasara (Quintessence of Hari’s Saga). Bombay: Focus (ISBN 81-7154-787-7)
  43. ^ a b c d Chapter X Samudra mathana
  44. ^ Doniger, Wendy. The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade. University Of Chicago Press, 2000 (ISBN 0226156427)
  45. ^ Graubard, Stephen R. and Everett Mendelsohn. Science in Culture. Ed. Peter Galison and Stephen Graubard. Transaction Publishers, 2001 (ISBN 0765806738)
  46. ^ a b c Prasad, Ramanuj. Know The Puranas. Pustak Mahal, 2005 (ISBN 81-223-0912-7)
  47. ^ Bhagavad Gita: 4:8
  48. ^ Canto 1: Creation, Chapter 18, Verse 6
  49. ^ a b Sastri, Natesa S. M. Hindu Feasts: Fasts And Ceremonies: Fasts and Ceremonies. Laurier Books Ltd., 2003 (ISBN 8120604024)
  50. ^ See chapters 16, 17, and 18
  51. ^ The Prema-Sagara: Or the Ocean of Love (PDF ONLY)
  52. ^ Bahadur, S.P. Gitavali: Complete Works of Goswami Tulsidas (Volume III). India: Prachya Prakashan, 1979 (ISBN 8121506697)
  53. ^ Bhagavata Purana: 12:2:19. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  54. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:3:25, 1:6:12
  55. ^ Kalki Purana: 2:2:20-21, 2:3:10, 3:19:3-4
  56. ^ Kalki Purana: 2:2:21, 3:19:11
  57. ^ According to the Ramayana, Rama was 50% (or one-half of) Vishnu.
  58. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:2:18-19, 3:19:21
  59. ^ O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology. University of California Press, 1980 (ISBN 0520040988)
  60. ^ CHAP. VII
  61. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:3:21-28
  62. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:5:38-41
  63. ^ a b See 55:14
  64. ^ See 55:13
  65. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:1:20
  66. ^ "Mula's deity is Nirriti ('calamity'), the goddess of dissolution who personifies evil and corruption and is sometimes known as Alakshmi, the opposite of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Nirriti either directly induces material privation or causes prosperity to deteriorate after it is attained." Svoboda, Robert E. and deFouw, Hart (1996). Light on life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India. Penguin Book India. Reprinted in 2014. (ISBN 978-0-14-019507-1). p. 237. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  67. ^ a b c d e f Pattanaik, Devdutt. Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth and Fortune-An Introduction. Vakils Feffer & Simons Ltd, 2003 (ISBN 8187111585)
  68. ^ Krishna, Nanditha. The Book of Vishnu. Penguin Global, 2001 (ISBN 0670049077)
  69. ^ Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe. Princeton University Press, 2000 (ISBN 0691049092)
  70. ^ a b c d e f g Pinney, Christopher. Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India. Reaktion Books, 2004 (ISBN 1861891849)
  71. ^ a b c Gupta, Charu. Sexuality, Obscenity, And Community: Women, Muslims, and the Hindu Public in Colonial India. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 (ISBN 0312295855)
  72. ^ Paradox of the Indian Cow: Attitudes to Beef Eating in Early India
  73. ^ A lithograph press founded by Indian artist Ravi Varma in 1894.[1]
  74. ^ Neelakantan, Anand (2015). Rise of Kali: Duryodhana's Mahabharata: Ajaya: Epic of the Kaurava Clan: Book II. Platinum Press. Mumbai. (ISBN 978-93-52019-78-6). Praise for Rise of Kali, Ajaya Book II
  75. ^ Plot Summary for Nala Damayanti (1921)
  76. ^ a b c Kalki Purana: 3:3:4
  77. ^ Kalki Purana: 2:6:40–3:2:1
  78. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:6:9
  79. ^ a b Kalki Purana: 3:7:1-2
  80. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:5:1-4
  81. ^ Kalki Purana: 3:7:11
  82. ^ Kalki Purana: 1:3:1-6


  • Das, Bhumipati, tr., Das, Purnaprajna, ed. (2006). Śrī Kalki Purāna by Vyasa. Jai Nitai Press. Available at: Scribd and harekrsna.com. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  • Hill, W. Douglas P., tr. com. (1928). The Bhagavadgītā. Oxford University Press: Second abridged edition (1953). Fourth impression (1973).
  • Shastri, J. L., tr. (1951). Linga Purana: Part 2: Chapter 6: The origin and activities of Alakshmi. Available at: Internet Archive. Retrieved 20 September 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]