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Who is Kalki and why will he appear?

Kalki, mounted on a white horse named Devadutta and with a sword in his hand, will appear to restore dharma.

Who is Kalki and why will he appear?
A sculpture of Kalki. Pic courtesy: Thinkstock image.

The tenth maha-avatar of Lord Vishnu – Kalki – is believed to be the destroyer of the Yuga (epoch) that’s full of filth. Kalka in Sanskrit means filth and hence the name. According to Hindu belief, we are currently in Kali Yuga – an era in which unrighteousness and unjustness will be at its peak.

The term is also used as a metaphor to lay emphasis on time. Time and tide wait for none and hence it is invincible. None can control it.

Kali Yuga is believed to be spread over 4,32,000 years and we have a long way ahead to complete this Yuga. Interestingly, we have just covered over 5000 years!

Here’s a simple explanation to describe Kalki’s emergence:

In Kali Yuga, Adharma (anything that is unjust, unkind, cruel, dark, inhuman) will increase manifold to an extent that will leave little to imagination. Social and moral values will get destroyed brutally and man will gradually shed his humane virtues to absorb demon-like traits.

And to annihilate evil and adharma, Kalki, mounted on a white horse named Devadutta  and with a sword in his hand, will appear to restore dharma, humanly principles, good sense and morality.

Verses 7 and 8 from Chapter four from the Bhagvad Gita remind us about the establishment of the righteousness after adharma is destroyed:

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya

Glanir Bhavathi Bharata,

Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya

Tadatmanam Srijamyaham"

Whenever righteousness is marred and there is a rise of the unjustness, I shall manifest again.

“Praritranaya Sadhunam

Vinashaya cha Dushkritam

Dharama Sansthapa Narthaya

Sambhavami Yuge Yuge"

To protect the good and destroy the evil, to restore righteousness, I shall be born again and again.