Photo: Indian dancer
I am the origin and also the dissolution of the entire universe.
(Bhagavad-Gita, VII. 6)
A day wherein mankind will be as thickly-scattered moths (4) And the mountains will become as carded wool (5).
(Quran, Chapter 101)
The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Quran but its mere appearance, and the mosques of Muslims will be destitute of knowledge and worship; and the learned men will be the worst people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves.
(Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)
O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to come will not believe; nothing will be left but graven words, and only the stones will tell of thy piety. And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and of worship. And so religion, the greatest of all blessings — for there is nothing, nor has been, nor ever shall be, that can be deemed a greater boon — will be threatened with destruction; men will think it a burden, and will come to scorn it. They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which he has built, this sum of good made up of things of many diverse forms, this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which he has made, ungrudgingly favoring man's welfare, this combination and accumulation of all the manifold things that can call forth the veneration, praise, and love of the beholder. Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.
As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you — all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.
And so the gods will depart from mankind — a grievous thing! — and only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven; all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb; the fruits of the earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation. After this manner will old age come upon the world. Religion will be no more; all things will be disordered and awry; all good will disappear.
But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that god who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counter-working of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with waterfloods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing. Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God.
Property will confer rank, wealth will be the only source of devotion, passion be the sole bond of union between sexes, falsehood will be the only means to success in litigation, and women will be the objects of mere sensual gratification. Earth will be venerated only for its mineral treasures;...dishonesty will be the universal means of subsistence...menace and presumption will be the subterfuge for learning, liberality will be devotion, simple ablution will be purification, mutual assent will be marriage, fine clothes will be dignity.
The age of iron came last. Straightaway all evil burst forth into this age of baser vein: modesty and truth and faith fled the earth, and in their place came tricks and plots and snares, violence and cursed love of gain. Men now spread sails to the winds, though the sailor as yet scarce knew them; and kneels of pine which long had stood upon high mountain-sides, now leaped insolently over unknown waves. And the ground, which had mountain-sides, now leaped insolently over unknown waves. And the ground, which had hitherto been a common possession like the sunlight and the air, the careful surveyor now marked out with long boundary-line. Not only did men demand of the boundaries fields the crops and sustenance they owed, but they delved as well into the very bowels of the earth; and the wealth which the creator had hidden away and buried deep amidst the very Stygian shades, was brought to light, wealth that pricks men on to crime. And now baneful iron had come, and gold more baneful than iron; war came, which fights with both, and brandished in its bloody hands the clashing arms. Men live on plunder. Guest was not safe from host, nor father-in-law from son-in-law; even among brothers 'twas rare to find affection. The husband longed for the death of his wife, she of her husband; murderous stepmothers brewed poisons, and sons inquired into their fathers' years before the time. Piety lay vanquished, and the maiden Astraea, last of the immortals, abandoned the blood-soaked earth.
And, that high heaven might be no safer than the earth, they say that the Giants essayed the throne of heaven, piling huge mountains, one on another, clear up to the stars. Then the almighty father hurled his thunder-bolts, shattered Olympus, and dashed Pelion from underlying Ossa.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: Every learning, and never able to come to knowledge of the truth.
(II. Timothy, III, 1 ff)
'Introduction To Hindu Dharma'
By Jagadguru His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal and Sankaracharya of Kanchi
Understand authentic Hinduism directly from one of the most revered Hindu spiritual leaders of the twentieth century. This book consists of selections from the more than 2,000 discourses of Kanchi Sankaracharya (1894-1994). This book has the distinction of introducing both the sage and his spiritual legacy to the Western world in the form of an irreplaceable introduction to Hinduism.