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The Enigma Of The Universe : The Topic of the Severest Aeon of Extreme Privation

Published: 21.11.2014

What would be the manifest shape and mode of the continent of Bharata in the Island of Jambūdvīpa, O Lord! in the severest aeon of extreme privation in this descending cycle?

Gautama! the period will be sorrowful, fraught with groaning of animals, tumultuous. By the influence of the time there will blow cyclonic winds, full of dry and rough dust, unbearable, storming and terrible. The directions will be continually smoky, full of dust and tainted with dusty particles, devoid of sunshine on account of the layers of darkness. On account of the harshness of the times, the moon will be colder and sun will be hotter. There will frequently be many clouds with water devoid of taste, with water of bad taste, with water of taste of baking soda, with water of taste of cow dung, with water hot like fire, with flashes of lightning, with water, vomiting poison, with thunderbolts. Water of those clouds will be undrinkable. They will produce diseases, ailments and pain. It will be unpleasant. There will be torrential rains accompanied with fierce winds. On account of those rains, in the continent of Bharata, the areas of the villages, mines, cities, places yielding no revenue, commercial places, capitals, places surrounded by mud walls, hamlets, ports, hermitages etc., the quadrupeds, the birds, the domestic and wild animals and many varieties of trees, shrubs, bamboos, creepers, clinging plants, grass, knotty creepers, green trees, herbs, tender leaves, sprouts etc. and all other vegetation will meet destruction. Excepting the Vaitāḍhya Mountain and all other mountains, hills, hillocks, mounds will be annihilated. Excepting the Ganga (Ganges) and the Sindhu (Indus) all other fountains, pools, forts, uneven lands and rough spaces will become flat.

What will be the manifest shape and mode of the land of the continent of Bharata in that aeon, O Lord?

Gautama! the land will be like charcoal, chaff-fire, hot ashes and like hot pan. The land will be hot like fire, like hot cauldron, like a burning flame, full of dust, full of dirt, full of mud, full of moss, extremely slippery. The land will be very difficult to tread on by the terrestrial creatures.

What will be, O Lord! the manifest shape and mode of the human beings in the continent of Bharata in that aeon?

Gautama! the human beings will have wicked nature, ugly colour, bad smell and bad taste and bad touch; they will be unlucky, unpleasant, unfavourable, inauspicious, disagreeable, disgusting; they will be of debased voice, of mean voice, of poor voice, of unpleasant voice, of undesirable voice, of unfavourable voice, of inauspicious voice, of disagreeable voice and of disgusting voice; their statements will be unacceptable; they will be shameless and will be engaged in forgery, deceit, quarrel, killing, capturing and enmity; they will be foremost in transgressing the mores, always indulging in bad action, and devoid of respect for the order of superiors; they will be lacking good shape, with grown nails, hairs, beard, moustache and pore hairs; they will be black, extremely rude (in behaviour) and dust-coloured in complexion; they will be with broken heads, with yellow and white hairs, and quite repulsive (loathsome) appearance due to being covered with innumerable sinews knit together, they will have every limb of their body having wrinkles; they will be like old poeple with decaying body due to ageing; they will have their rows of teeth consisting of a few and rotten teeth; they will be with narrow lips like a mouth of a jar; they will be with fearful eyes, with curved nose and with terrific face which would be oblique and worsened by the wrinkles; they will be afflicted with bad itches and oozing scabies (psora), they will be with the body having sharp and deep wounds made through itching with sharp nails; they will be with the skin rendered cracked and unsmoothed on account of the diseases like ringworm, leucoderma and severe leprosy; they will be with variegated limbs, with movement like that of a locust, with bad joint, with bad binding, with bones not duly set with bad formation, with bad structure, with unusual formation, ugly, with ugly seat, ugly bed and ugly food, with uncleansed body, with limbs suffering from many diseases, with faltering and unsteady movement, lacking enthusiasm, devoid of stamina, lacking in endeavour, lacking luster, with every limbs, full of dirty dust and dust-particles which have been scattered about by cool, hot, dry and harsh wind. Anger, pride, deceit and greed will be predominant in them. Their suffering is productive of further suffering. They will be devoid of religious proclivity and enlightened world-view. Their body will be one ratni equivalent to one cubit in length. Their maximum life-span will be sixteen or twenty years. They will have deep affection for their sons and grand-sons. Their habitat will be some burrows  in the vicinity of the great rivers Gangā and Sindhu and mountain Vaitāḍhya or they will live in caves. Only seventy-two families of these human beings will survive as a few seeds which would serve as genes for future human species.

O Lord! what kind of food will those human beings eat?

Gautama! in that age, at that time, the two great rivers, viz., Gangā and Sindhu will remain only as wide as the path of the chariot. The flow of water in them will be as thin as the hole in the axle of the wheel. That water will be infested with fishes and tortoises. The amount of water will be very meagre. Those humans will come out of their burrows, within forty-eight minutes after the sunrise and forty-eight minutes before the sunset and take out fishes and tortoises (from the river) and then, after taking them at a dry place, they will roast them in the scorching cold and heat. They will lead such life for the period of twenty-one thousand years.”

This will be the situation in the beginning of sixth ārā and it will deteriorate more and more. The end of sixth ārā will be the end of avasarpiṇī. The degradation and degeneration will be at its worst. Then will begin utsarpiṇī and natural environment will start improving, pure wind will blow, snigdha (butter-like) rain will fall, and comfortable temperature will exist. World will progress, villages and cities will come in existence. This gradual evolution and progress will reach zenith at the end of the utsarpiṇī. This way kāla-cakra (time-cycle) will be completed. In the history of nature, this periodic changes are called pralaya (total degeneration) and sṛṣṭi (new creation). In Jain tradition, pralaya does not mean end of the world, but is the peak of degeneration.

Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Avasarpiṇī
  3. Bharata
  4. Body
  5. Deceit
  6. Environment
  7. Gautama
  8. Genes
  9. Greed
  10. Jambūdvīpa
  11. Pride
  12. Snigdha
  13. Utsarpiṇī
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