In Hinduism, Kalki (or
Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Mahaa Avataar (great incarnation) of
Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction known
as Kali Yug. The name Kalki is often a metaphor for eternity or time. It should
be noted here that Kali Yug is supposed to have been started in 3102 BC and will
be there till its 432,000 years are passed. This Avataar is also said to be Poorn
(Full) Avataar - all-inclusive, full potency of 16 Kalaa (5 of these He shares with
animals - 5 Gyaan Indriyaan and 4 are to be shared with human beings - mind, heart,
intelligence and Tureeya Avasthaa; plus 7 more which will make Him Super human being
or Avataar - see Avataar
for these qualities).
The origins of the
name probably lie in the Sanskrit word "kalk" which refers to mud,
dirt, filth, or foulness and hence denotes the "destroyer of foulness",
"destroyer of confusion", "destroyer of darkness", or
"annihilator of ignorance". Other similar and divergent interpretations
based on varying etymological derivations from Sanskrit - including one simply
meaning "White Horse" - have been made. It has been said about Him that
He will come riding the white horse and carrying a shining sword to destroy all
sinners and establish new kingdom of Sat Yug. So His popular images depict
him riding a white horse with wings known as Devadatt (God-given). In these images,
Kalki is brandishing a sword in his right hand and is intent on eradicating the corrupt
destitution and debauchery of Kali Yug.
lists ten avatars, with Kalki being the tenth.
Initially lists 22 Avataar, but mentions an additional three for a
total of 25 Avataar. He is presented as the 22nd Avataar
in this list.
One of the earliest mentions of Kalki is in the Vishnu Puraan. It says -
"When the practices taught in the Ved and institutes of law have nearly
ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be near, a portion of that
Divine being who exists of His own spiritual nature, and who is the
beginning and end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon
earth. He will be born in the family of Vishnuyash, an eminent Braahman of
Shambhal village, as Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman faculties. By
His irresistible might he will destroy all the Mlechchh and thieves etc..
He will reestablish righteousness upon earth, and the minds of those who
live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as clear
as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time
shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who
will follow the laws of the Krit age or Satya Yug, the age of purity. As
it is said, "When the Sun and the Moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and
the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krit age shall return.'" (Chaturth,
He is mentioned n Agni Puraan also. The Agni Puraan explains that when the
evil men who pose as kings begin devouring men who appear righteous and
feed on human beings, Kalki, as the son of Vishnuyash, and Yaagyavalkya as
His priest and teacher, will destroy these evil men with His weapons. He
will establish moral law in the form of the fourfold Varn, or the suitable
organization of society in four classes. After that people will return to
the path of righteousness. (16.7-9) The Agni Puraan also relates
that Hari, after giving up the form of Kalki, will go to heaven. Then the
Krit or Sat Yug will return as before. (16.10)
The Bhaagavat Puraan states, "At the end of Kali Yug, when there exist no
topics on the subject of God even at the residences of so-called saints; and
when nothing is known of the techniques of sacrifice, even by word, at that time
the Lord will appear as the supreme chastiser. (2.7.38) It further describes Kalki's
activities as follows: "Lord Kalki, the Lord of the universe, will mount His
swift white horse Devadatt and, sword in hand, travel over the earth exhibiting His
eight mystic opulence and eight special qualities of Godhead. Displaying His unequaled
effulgence and riding with great speed, He will kill by the millions those thieves who
have dared dress as kings." (12.2.19-20) Its 12.2.18 Shlok says that He will be
born in Vihnuyash and Sumati's house in Shambhal Graam.
The Padm Puraan relates that Kalki will end the age of Kali and will kill
all the wicked Mlechchh and, thus, destroy the bad condition of the world.
He will gather all of the distinguished Braahman and will propound the
highest truth. He will be the only ruler of the world that cannot be
controlled, and will be the banner of victory and adorable to the world.
A later work, the Kalki Puraan, a minor Puraan, is an extensive exposition
of expectations and predictions of when, where, and why it is said he will
come, and what he is expected to do. The Kalki Puraan combines all of the
elements from the Puraan above. He is one who has power to change the
course of time stream in favor of the good. He will be one to whom the
power to change the destiny of the world will be given. It states the evil
family of the demon Kali will spring from the back of Brahmaa. They will
descend to earth and cause mankind to turn towards depravity. When man
stops offering Yagya to the gods, Vishnu himself will descend to Earth to
rid the world of evil. He will be reborn as Kalki to noted Braahman family
in the city of Shambhal. He will be mentored in the arts of war by
Parashuraam, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. He will then set out across
the world battling evil kings and false prophets. He finally defeats Kali
and brings about the Sat Yug. Having completed His mission, He will assume
his four-armed form and return to heaven as Vishnu.
It is written there
(in 1.2.15) that He will be born on 12th of Shukla Paksh of Maadhav Maas (Chaitra
Maas of Indian Lunar calendar).
Mahaahaarat is also not silent on this issue. On being asked by Yudhishthir,
the sage Maarkandeya describes the Kalki Avataar - "Inspired by the
Supreme Spirit, in a certain village called Shambal, a son will be born in
the house of Braahman named Vishnuyash, and this boy's name shall be
Kalki Vishnuyash. The Braahman boy shall be extremely powerful, intelligent
and valiant personage. He shall get all weapons and armies etc at will. He
shall not only re-establish the rule of Dharm, but shall also herald the
advent of the Golden Age (Sat Yug) of the next cycle of Time."
A few other minor
Puraan also mention him.
In the Buddhist "Kaal Chakra" tradition, some 25 rulers of the legendary
Shambhal Kingdom have the title of Kalki, Kulik or Kalki-king.