And now we are living in the dark times of the Kali Yuga, when goodness and virtue has all but disappeared from the world. But when did the Kali Yuga begin? And when does it end? In spite of the elaborate theological framework which describes the characteristics of this age, the start and end dates of the Kali Yuga remain shrouded in mystery. The popularly accepted date for the beginning of the Kali Yuga is 3102 BC, thirty-five years after the conclusion of the great battle of the Mahabharata. This is remarkably close to the proposed beginning of the current “Great Cycle” of the Mayan Long Count Calendar in 3114 BC. It is of interest to note that in both of these cases the beginning dates of the respective cycles were calculated retrospectively. The Mayans had recomputed their ancient calendars sometime between 400 BC to 50 CE, at the ceremonial center of Izapa in Mexico, and fixed the starting date of the current Great Cycle of their Long Count Calendar. And in India, sometime around 500 CE, a major review of the Indian calendric systems had taken place. It was during this time that the renowned astronomer Aryabhatta had identified the beginning date of the Kali Yuga as 3102 BC. Why was it suddenly necessary for two ancient civilizations to re-calculate dates that should have been an integral part of their calendric systems? How did such important time-markers slip out of their collective memory?
By withdrawing the human being from a close touch with the realities of Nature’s work and laws, from the everyday and obvious lessons to be learnt by watching cultivated plants and animals grow, and observing the conditions essential to their prosperity, town life must in time foster a fantastic or unrealistic attitude to life and its problems, which of itself constitutes mental or intellectual unsoundness.