Questioner: The Puranas say that in the Kali Yuga, Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu, will appear. Can you elaborate on this?
Sadhguru: Kali Yuga means “age of darkness.” It takes the planet 25,920 years to make a full cycle through the zodiac. If you divide this cycle in two halves, there are two times four yugas, or eight yugas in total. Only the Kali Yugas and the Sat Yugas are paired together – there are two Sat Yugas and two Kali Yugas in succession. But each instance of the other two yugas – the Dwapara and Treta Yuga – are separated by Kali Yugas and Sat Yugas.
Kali Yuga – Age of Darkness
What distinguishes Kali Yuga is that during this yuga, human intellect is at its lowest. In the following yuga, human intelligence begins to blossom. They go to the extent of saying that human ability to understand and use the electrical and magnetic forces in the human system increases.
Your intelligence essentially depends on how your neurons crackle in the brain. If you look at a simulated image of how the brain works, you will see it is actually crackling with electricity. Looking at the physical laws that rule the solar system, physicists recently found that there is no room for further development of the human brain. The yogic sciences have been saying this for a long time.
This is so because if you increase the size of the neurons, the brain would become more capable, but it would take too much energy. Twenty percent of your energy is spent in the brain, which means it is the most energy-consuming part of the body. Suppose your brain became bigger, you would need more energy than you would be able to supply. On the other hand, if you increase the number of neurons, you could do better, but you will lose in clarity of signal. This is the case with some children – the number of neurons in their brain is higher than normal. They are brilliant but scattered. They cannot think straight. Nothing comes out of it because there is no clarity.
Neither increasing the size of the brain nor the number of neurons would work. They say that according to the physical laws, it is not possible for the human brain to evolve further – but we can learn to use it better. Right now, human beings are using it in a very mediocre way. If you use it in a more sophisticated way, you can increase your brain power many times over.
The yogic sciences have said a long time ago that human intelligence and the human body cannot be developed further because the physical laws have reached their limits. In relation to the way the earth rotates around the sun and the way the moon cycles around the earth, the human body has reached full potential. It cannot go further. But at the same time, yogic sciences once again say that your ability to use the brain can be enhanced by doing certain things. By generating the necessary energy, by raising the kundalini, by bringing your energies to full force, you can power a thousand brains around you if you want.
The End of Darkness
They say Kalki is supposed to come to end the age of darkness. Actually, the nature of time is such that no one needs to begin it, no one needs to end it – it goes on anyway. Nothing may happen to you in your life – still time will pass. This is one thing you can be guaranteed. In case you get a boon and become immortal, still you cannot stop time from passing. Therefore, no one needs to begin or end an age. When they said, “Kalki will come on a white, winged horse,” it was meant metaphorically. At the turn of the yuga, brightness will arrive and destroy the darkness.
If the hall is dark and I turn on a light, it destroys the darkness. Foolish scholars or exploiters have presented a metaphorical expression as black-and-white facts. It is a metaphorical expression. As the yugas move out of a dark phase, light arises. It will rain upon us. Even if you don’t want it, suddenly your brain will crackle and work better because you have moved into a different age. You may have heard of the expression, “I got a bright idea.” human beings have always associated intelligence with light.
Darkness is the most fragile thing, but still people cannot get rid of it because they employ wrong methods. If you just turn on a small light, darkness is destroyed. The light or the intelligence need not necessarily come from you – it arises out of a heavenly possibility. Because the solar system is moving out of the phase of Kali Yuga, as a celestial gift, your intelligence will turn bright. There are certain constellations that are seen as a flying horse. That is why they said that Kalki will descend upon you on a flying horse and destroy your darkness if you have allowed it to live within you.
Sat Yuga – Communication Through the Mind
In the different yugas, human beings use different dimensions of intelligence and communication. In Sat Yuga, the mind – not the intellect – will be most important for communication and living. That is, if I want to say something to you from a distance, I do not need a microphone, nor do I have to shout. If I think about it, you get it. In Sat Yuga, people barely spoke because the mind was the means of communication. Everything that had to be done was done mentally. They even go to the extent of saying there was no physical conception – it happened mentally.
Treta Yoga – Visual Perception
In Treta Yuga, the focus shifted from the mind down to the eyes. That the eyes became most dominant was reflected in the language people used in Treta Yuga. The basic greeting in India at that time was “I see you.” That means “I see you through and through.” They used their eyes in a powerful way. This is called netra sparsha, which means you can touch someone with your eyes.
Before I went to school, it happened to me that I started staring at everything. In that condition, when I also went to school – I stared. Initially, I heard the words; after some time, the words did not mean anything to me, because I knew that I am making up the meanings. Then even the sounds did not mean anything to me anymore. Listening to people never made any sense to me. I knew more about them by just staring at them. I was staring because when I stared keenly enough, I knew them through and through. I knew everything about them – things about their lives that they did not even know themselves. It became more and more absorbing – I would stare at something for hours on end. If I wanted to know something, I stared at it. After some time, I realized there are better ways to do it – if I want to know something, I just have to close my eyes.
Dwapara Yuga – Olfactory Perception
In Dwapara Yuga, the sense of smell became most dominant. Wherever life energies are high, the sense of smell will become very strong and sensitive. In the forest for example, your sense of smell is more important than your eyes, ears, and your brain. By sniffing, you can know what is happening with a person.
A little while ago, we had the fortune of having a king cobra as a guest in the ashram. It is one of the most magnificent creatures on the planet. It was almost 12 feet long and could stand up six feet tall. It uses its tongue to taste you from a distance. It knows your chemistry. It can move so quickly and is so deadly that if it bites you, you only have eight to ten minutes. It has enough venom to kill an elephant, but we are at ease with it because we know that if we do not create the wrong chemistry in our system, it is fine with us. All carnivorous animals, in fact almost all wild creatures are sensitive to your chemistry, but snakes in particular are super-sensitive. You can go in the wild and pick up a venomous snake if you are at total ease. If your chemistry shows a little anxiety or fear, it will go for you because it instantly perceives what is happening in your system.
The reason why yogis always keep a cobra next to them and why Shiva has a cobra next to him is, among the creatures on this planet, a cobra has a maximum amount of etheric aura around it. That means it has a fabulous perception. For perception, this particular animal is helpful, and its perception is something that yogis bow down to. Its perception is better than that of most human beings because of the etheric aura that it creates around itself. There are certain tribes in India who have the necessary sadhana to generate a certain amount of etheric aura, so that they can perceive what others cannot perceive. Only what you perceive you know – the rest is all nonsense. It may be said by me, it may be said by a god, it may be written in a scripture, but it is all nonsense unless you know it from your own perception.
Kali Yuga – Verbal Expression
Moving on from the mental, visual, and olfactory dimensions of perception – in Kali Yuga, human beings become totally verbal. Their mouth becomes the biggest thing. When the solar system is going through the yugas, if you are in tune with it, you are also going with these yugas. If you are above it, you can stay wherever you want. If you are stuck in your own things, the planet may be in Sat Yuga, but you may be in your Kali Yuga. That means every individual is still free to either transcend the yuga that he or she is in, or be trampled by the yuga, or ride the yuga as it is. All the three possibilities are there.