Competition Between the Three Modes

by Radhika Vallabh Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
SB 12.03.28
yadā karmasu kāmyeṣu
bhaktir yaśasi dehinām
tadā tretā rajo-vṛttir
iti jānīhi buddhiman

O most intelligent one, when the conditioned souls are devoted to their duties but have ulterior motives and seek personal prestige, you should understand such a situation to be the age of Tretā, in which the functions of passion are prominent.

SB 12.03.29
yadā lobhas tv asantoṣo
māno dambho ’tha matsaraḥ
karmaṇāṁ cāpi kāmyānāṁ
dvāparaṁ tad rajas-tamaḥ

When greed, dissatisfaction, false pride, hypocrisy and envy become prominent, along with attraction for selfish activities, such a time is the age of Dvāpara, dominated by the mixed modes of passion and ignorance.

SB 12.03.30
yadā māyānṛtaṁ tandrā
nidrā hiṁsā viṣādanam
śoka-mohau bhayaṁ dainyaṁ
sa kalis tāmasaḥ smṛtaḥ

When there is a predominance of cheating, lying, sloth, sleepiness, violence, depression, lamentation, bewilderment, fear and poverty, that age is Kali, the age of the mode of ignorance.

In Kali-yuga, people are almost exclusively devoted to gross materialism, with hardly any affinity for self-realization.

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