Kali Yuga means the age of darkness. There are two words: Kali and Yuga. Kali means darkness and Yuga means an age.
We can divide the history of the human civilization depending on the behaviour of people towards other people and the ecosystem in which they are living. The whole existence means God and there is no separate God. And in every thing in the universe there lies God’s presence at the center of the thing. At the center of our being lies the God’s presence called the Atma.
The above age is reckoned on the basis of how much the humanity is closer to the center of their own being. When a larger humanity is closer to the center of their own being, it is called Satya Yuga, the age of truth. The Hindus compare this division of age or Yuga with an example of a chair of four legs. These four legs are nothing but the four major components of our own being – body, mind, heart, and soul. In Satya Yuga or the age of truth the larger humanity was closer to their soul. And hence there was more purity and transparency in their actions. Ethics and morality prevailed at its optimum in all their actions. Then slowly, by and by, this chair of values started falling apart. The first leg fell. And the ethical and moral principles started falling apart. The humanity went away from their own center or the soul. The chair is standing on three legs. The human being is standing on three components, that is, the body, mind and heart but without a soul. This age is called Treta Yuga. That is, an age where the morality and ethics has been reduced to 3/4th of the total value. The individual has started moving away from his own center called the soul.
Then the second leg fell. The chair is now standing on two legs. The soul has fallen and the heart has also fallen. Now there is no emotion and no empathy towards other people and the whole ecosystem. The moral and ethical principles have fallen to 2/4th of the total value. This age is called Dvapar Yuga. Dvapar literally means two legs. The chair is totally imbalanced. The chair is standing only on two legs. We can not sit on this chair. It is totally imbalanced. The human being has further gone away from his center. His being is now standing only on two components, that is, the body and the mind.
Then the third leg also has fallen. The chair is now standing only on one leg. The ethical and moral principles have further fallen. The humanity has gone far away from their own center. It is now living only with the body and without any mind, heart, and soul. This is the darkest age of our times. And this age is called the Kali Yuga. As we further move into time, this darkness will become thicker and thicker. There will be a point of total darkness. And this can be a point of no return. The whole humanity may perish forever. And this is the greatest danger.
Just look at the humanity !! There is every sign that the fourth leg may also be fallen. And this age will be an age of machines – robots and cyborgs. The humanity will reach to a stage where it will start functioning with only an artificial intelligence. The scientists are also talking about creating an artificial consciousness. It will also be very difficult to distinguish between artificial consciousness and real consciousness. And this human being will be without a body, mind, heart, and the soul. This will be an age of total darkness. The only question that will arise: Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? The chances are almost not there. There does not appear to be any possibility of revival. Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists. He was once asked this question: What weapons will be used in the Third World War? He said, “I do not know what weapons will be used in the Third World War but I can definitely tell you what weapons will be used in the Fourth World War”. And he said, “Stones and spears”. And I think everything is perfectly moving towards how he has seen the future. The signs and symptoms of Kali Yuga are very simple. Every individual has to ask this basic question. Is he moving closer to his own center or is he moving away from his own center? This a simple test to know in which Yuga or age we all are living.
The above chair of four legs is just a symbol of Principle Centered Leadership. And as the legs fall, the Principle Centered Leadership deteriorates. And the revival becomes a greatest leadership challenge.