Four Pillars of Irreligion

Srimad Bhagavatam 12.03.21-25 - Four Pillars of Irreligion (download mp3)
by Guru Gauranga Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

Text 21
tadā kriyā-tapo-niṣṭhā
nāti-hiṁsrā na lampaṭāḥ
trai-vargikās trayī-vṛddhā
varṇā brahmottarā nṛpa

In the Tretā age people are devoted to ritual performances and severe austerities. They are not excessively violent or very lusty after sensual pleasure. Their interest lies primarily in religiosity, economic development and regulated sense gratification, and they achieve prosperity by following the prescriptions of the three Vedas. Although in this age society evolves into four separate classes, O King, most people are brāhmaṇas.

Text 22
ardhaṁ hrasvati dvāpare

In Dvāpara-yuga the religious qualities of austerity, truth, mercy and charity are reduced to one half by their irreligious counterparts — dissatisfaction, untruth, violence and enmity.

Text 23
yaśasvino mahā-śīlāḥ
svādhyāyādhyayane ratāḥ
āḍhyāḥ kuṭumbino hṛṣṭā
varṇāḥ kṣatra-dvijottarāḥ

In the Dvāpara age people are interested in glory and are very noble. They devote themselves to the study of the Vedas, possess great opulence, support large families and enjoy life with vigor. Of the four classes, the kṣatriyas and brāhmaṇas are most numerous.

Text 24
kalau tu dharma-pādānāṁ
turyāṁśo ’dharma-hetubhiḥ
edhamānaiḥ kṣīyamāṇo
hy ante so ’pi vinaṅkṣyati

In the Age of Kali only one fourth of the religious principles remains. That last remnant will continuously be decreased by the ever-increasing principles of irreligion and will finally be destroyed.

Text 25
tasmin lubdhā durācārā
nirdayāḥ śuṣka-vairiṇaḥ
durbhagā bhūri-tarṣāś ca
śūdra-dāsottarāḥ prajāḥ

In the Kali age people tend to be greedy, ill-behaved and merciless, and they fight one another without good reason. Unfortunate and obsessed with material desires, the people of Kali-yuga are almost all śūdras and barbarians.

In this age, we can already observe that most people are laborers, clerks, fishermen, artisans or other kinds of workers within the śūdra category. Enlightened devotees of God and noble political leaders are extremely scarce, and even independent businessmen and farmers are a vanishing breed as huge business conglomerates increasingly convert them into subservient employees. Vast regions of the earth are already populated by barbarians and semibarbarous peoples, making the entire situation dangerous and bleak. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is empowered to rectify the current dismal state of affairs. It is the only hope for the ghastly age called Kali-yuga.

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