Sanskrit PurAnas by Cornelia Dimmitt
[Apocalypse for the Hindu is the natural ending of the world in the fourth
age, the Kali Age. It is one of a series of apocalypses, each of which marks
the end of one cycle and the beginning of another creation. The central figure
in the story is Vishnu, the preserver God, into whose self the world is absorbed
before being born again. Vishnu has already saved humanity on a number of
occasions, symbolically appearing as a savior in many different forms. It
is said that He will appear again soon, as Kalki, a white horse, destined
to destroy the present world and to take humanity to a different, higher
"All kings occupying the earth in the Kali Age will be wanting in tranquillity,
strong in anger, taking pleasure at all times in lying and dishonesty, inflicting
death on women, children, and cows, prone to take the paltry possessions
of others, with character that is mostly tamas, rising to power and soon
falling. They will be short-lived, ambitious, of little virtue, and greedy.
People will follow the customs of others and be adulterated with them; peculiar,
undisciplined barbarians will be vigorously supported by rulers. Because
they go on living with perversion, they will be ruined.
"And Dharma becomes very weak in the Kali age, and people commit sin in mind,
speech, and actions... Quarrels, plague, fatal diseases, famines, drought,
and calamities appear. Testimonies and proofs have no certainty. There is
no criterion left when the Kali age settles down. People become poorer in
vigor and luster. They are wicked, full of anger, sinful, false, and avaricious.
Bad ambitions, bad education, bad dealings, and bad earnings excite fear.
The whole batch becomes greedy and untruthful. Many sudras will become kings,
and many heretics will be seen.
"There will arise various sects; sannyasins wearing clothes colored red.
Many profess to have supreme knowledge because, thereby, they will easily
earn their livelihood. In the Kali age, there will be many false religionists.
India will become desolate by repeated calamities, short lives, and various
diseases. Everyone will be miserable owing to the dominance of vice and Tamoguna;
people will freely commit abortion.
"Earth will be valued only for her mineral treasures. Money alone will confer
nobility. Power will be the sole definition of virtue. Pleasure will be the
only reason for marriage. Lust will be the only reason for womanhood. Falsehood
will win out in disputes. Being dry of water will be the only definition
of land. Praise worthiness will be measured by accumulated wealth. Impropriety
will be considered good conduct, and only feebleness will be the reason for
unemployment. Boldness and arrogance will be equivalent to scholarship. Only
those without wealth will show honesty. Just a bath will amount to purification,
and charity will be the only virtue. Abduction will be marriage. Simply to
be well dressed will signify propriety. And any hard-to-reach water will
be deemed a pilgrimage site. The pretense of greatness will be the proof
of it, and powerful men with many severe faults will rule over all the classes
on earth. Oppressed by their excessively greedy rulers, people will hide
in valleys between mountains, where they will gather honey, vegetables, roots,
fruits, birds, flowers and so forth. Suffering from cold, wind, heat and
rain, they will put on clothes made of tree bark and leaves. And no one will
live as long as twenty-three years. Thus in the Kali Age humankind will be
[Excerpts reprinted with gracious permission from:
Avesta: Zoroastrian Archives,
an excellent resource on the topic. Please visit that site for the complete
text and references.]
"Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an
individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body,
the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and
body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of
mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is
in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence ..."
(Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians, pg. 29)
According to Zoroastrian scripture, the end of the world will come about
when a comet, called Gochihr, strikes the earth. Its "fire and halo" will
melt all metals and minerals and will burn up the world in a general
conflagration. The resulting boiling flood of metal will flow over the earth
like a river. The righteous, as well as the wicked souls (released from hell)
will pass through it. The wicked will be purified of their sins, but the
pious will feel like they're passing through warm milk. The most detailed
description of this is found in the
30th chapter of
Frashegird (Av. "Frasho-kereti" literally making wonderful) refers
to the renovation of the universe, the last judgment. The exact date of
Zarathushtra is uncertain, but was probably around 1000-1200
Righteousness is so worthy and great and valuable, that in one place it is
revealed that Zarathushtra asked Ohrmazd: "How much time remains until the
time of Frashegird, that is the making of Frashegird and the Future Body?"
Ohrmazd said: "3,000 years." Zarathushtra was afraid and said: "A long time
remains!" Ohrmazd said: "Then do not let this time seem long to you, for
so long as the souls of the righteous are in Garothman, then this much time
of 3,000 years will seem in their sight as long a period and as easy as when
a comely maiden of 15 years and a young man of 20 years come with one another
to their house and sleep upon their soft quilts, and the young man loves
the girl with all his soul, and for them that (alone) is required: 'May night
never become day!'
"So for those also who are righteous, for them on account of the pleasure
and peace which is theirs in Garothman, then for them that (alone) is required:
'May that time never come!'" (From Pahlavi Rivayat, ch. 25. based on tr.
of A.V. Williams, 1990.)
In his Gathas (Hymns), Zarathushtra tells us of The World Savior, Saoshyant
(Pahl. Soshyant), who is to come and stop the cruelty of bloodthirsty and
wicked people, and renew the world, and end death. See Yasna 48.11-12, Yasna
43.3, The victorious Saoshyant and his helpers make the world wonderful:
Yt19.9+, Yt19.88+, Astvat-ereta rises out of lake Kansaoya, and Asha will
conquer the Druj: Yt19.92+, Dk3.102, Dk3.407.
Three saviors will be born of virgins miraculously impregnated with
Zarathushtra's seed while bathing in Lake Kansaoya: Aushedar, Aushedar-mah,
and the Saoshyant (named Astvat-ereta).
After that time when Zarathushtra came to a consultation with Ohrmazd, and
1,500 years after the time of Zarathushtra, when it is the millennium of
Religion, Aushedar will come into consultation with Ohrmazd for 50 years.
On the same day Mihr Yazad, that is, the sun, will stand at mid-day, for
ten days and nights it will stand at the zenith of Heavens.
The (members of the) wolf species will all go to one place, and in one place
they will be merged, and there will be one wolf whose breadth (will be) 415
paces and length 433 paces.
And on the authority of Aushedar they [i.e. the Mazda-worshippers] will muster
an army, and they will go to battle with that wolf.
After 400 years there will be the Malkosan rain. When it is the time for
that rain, (in) the first year the upholders of Religion will say to people:
"Store provisions, for there will be rain"; people will store provisions.
Those provisions which they have stored previously will not be required for
ten winters, and they will not store provisions any more, and (in) that year
there will be rain.
And then Ashawahist will cry out (from) above, and will speak thus: "Do not
kill those beneficent animals any more as you have killed them (up to) now!
For the beneficent animals will come to maturity so (slowly) that henceforth
they will dwindle away. Do not kill (them)!"
At the end of the millennium, Aushedar-mah will come in to consultation with
Ohrmazd for 30 years. The sun will stand at the zenith from that day for
20 days and nights.
Other Prophecies (from Zand-i Vohuman Yasht)
There will be seven ages, called the golden age, the silver age, the copper
age, the brass age, the lead age, the steel age, and the iron age.
By the winter of the tenth century, crops will not yield seed, plants will
be small, people will be stunted and lack skill or energy.
All people will worship greed and be of false religion. They become fat of
body and hungry of soul.
Clouds and fog will darken the whole sky. A hot wind and a cold wind will
come and carry off all fruits and grain. The rain will not fall at its due
Scriptures by Edward Conze
"At present Maitreya is believed to reside in the Tutshita, heaven, awaiting
his last rebirth when the time is ripe. Sariputra, the great general of the
doctrine, with compassion for the world asked the Lord, 'Some time ago you
have spoken to us of the future Buddha, who will lead the world at a future
period, and who will bear the name of Maitreya. I would now wish to hear
more about his powers and miraculous gifts.'
"The Lord replied, 'Maitreya, the best of men, will then leave the Tushita
heavens, and go for his last rebirth. As soon as he is born he will walk
seven steps forward, and where he puts down his feet a jewel or a lotus will
spring up. He will raise his eyes to the ten directions, and will speak these
words, 'This is my last birth. There will be no rebirth after this one. Never
will I come back here, but, all pure, I shall win Nirvana!'
"And when his father sees that his son has the thirty-two marks of a superman,
and considers their implications in the light of the holy mantras, he will
be filled with joy, for he will know that, as the mantras show, two ways
are open to his son: he will either be a universal monarch, or a supreme
Buddha. But as Maitreya grows up, the Dharma will increasingly take possession
of him, and he will reflect that all that lives is bound to suffer. He will
have a heavenly voice which reaches far; his skin will have a golden hue;
a great splendor will radiate from his body; his chest will be broad, limbs
well developed, and his eyes will be like lotus petals. His body is eighty
cubits high, and twenty cubits broad. He will have a retinue of 84,000 persons,
whom he will instruct in the mantras. With this retinue he will one day go
forth into the homeless life. A Dragon tree will then be the tree under which
he will win enlightenment; its branches rise up to fifty leagues, and its
foliage spreads far and wide over six Kos. Underneath it Maitreya, the best
of men, will attain enlightenment; there can be no doubt on that. And he
will win his enlightenment the very same day that he has gone forth into
the homeless life.
"And then, a supreme sage, he will... explain the four Truths, because he
has seen that generation, in faith, ready for them, and those who have listened
to his Dharma will thereupon make progress. They will be assembled in a park
full of beautiful flowers, and his assembly will extend over a hundred leagues.
Under Maitreya's guidance, hundreds of thousands of living beings shall enter
upon a religious life.
"For 60,000 years Maitreya, the best of men, will preach the true Dharma,
which is compassionate toward all living beings. And when he has disciplined
in his true Dharma hundreds and hundreds of millions of living beings, then
that leader will at last enter Nirvana. And after the great sage has entered
Nirvana, his true Dharma still endures for another ten thousand years."
New Testament -- Matthew 24: 4-21
"And Jesus answered and said to them: See to it that no one misleads you.
For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead
many. And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are
not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the
"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in
various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things
are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will
be hated by all nations on account of my name. And at that time many will
fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. And many
false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
"And because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of
the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the
nations, and then the end shall come.
"Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken for
through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place let the reader understand,
then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on
the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and
let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those
who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days!
"But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; for
then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the
beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall."
---- and Matthew 24: 37-39
[Jesus continued] "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the
days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were
eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the
day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood
came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be."
James Version of the Bible
American Standard Bible
The impermanence of the world has always been one of the chief concerns of
humankind. The oldest records of apocalyptic ideas dates back to Babylonian
times. In the Judeo-Christian theology which concerns itself with the final
events in the history of the world, creation occurred only once, and destruction
of the world as we know it will happen only once.
The final book of the New Testament, The Revelation of St. John the Divine,
is the most famous of the apocalypses. It is said to have been written by
John the Apostle around 90 CE on the Greek island of Patmos.
The central theme of the Apocalypse (Revelation) concerns a book that is
held closed by seven seals. The breaking of each seal reveals another aspect
of the apocalypse. The first four seals bring to life the infamous four horsemen
of the apocalypse: each riding a different-colored horse: white, red, black
and ashen-colored. The four horsemen personify the evils of the world: Conquest,
Slaughter, Famine, and Death. The broken fifth seal reveals martyrs who have
been slaughtered "for the word of God." They are each given a white robe
and told to rest a little longer and await the arrival of more martyrs.
A violent earthquake takes place upon breaking the sixth seal; the sun becomes
black "and the moon became as blood... and every mountain and island were
moved out of their places."
The breaking of the seventh seal is followed by silence in heaven. Seven
angels then appear and are given trumpets. The sounding of each horn brings
a new disaster on earth. Hail and fire mingled with blood are cast upon the
earth, and a third of the trees and all green grass are burned up. A third
of the sea becomes blood, and a third of the ships upon it are destroyed.
The waters of the earth are polluted by the falling star called Wormwood,
and many die from the bitter water.
When the fourth trumpet is sounded, darkness covers the sky. John sees an
angel flying above calling out, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitors of the earth,
by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are
yet to sound!"
As the fifth angel sounds the trumpet, a star falls to earth and opens the
bottomless pot, out of which comes smoke that produces locusts. They are
told to hurt "only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads."
The torment they inflict is like the sting of the scorpion and causes people
who are stung to wish for the refuge found in death, but they are denied
it. The locusts wear crowns like gold. Their faces are like the faces of
men, their hair the hair of women, and their teeth those of lions.
With the sounding of the sixth trumpet, four angels are released to lead
an army of 200 million to kill a third of mankind. The horses they ride have
heads like lions "and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone."
In Revelation 11:15: "... the seventh angel sounded; and there were great
voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdoms of our Lord... and he shall reign forever and ever." However, this
chapter also states that "the nations are angry." And in heaven occurred
lightning and thunder, "an earthquake, and great hail."
In Revelation 13, a terrible beast appears. This marks the arrival of the
"Antichrist" and deception and devastation throughout the world. It is at
this time that many fundamentalists believe the Messiah will come to save
those who have survived the trials of evil.
[From: The Book of Predictions by David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, Irving
"When the Terror descends (and none denies its descending) abasing, exalting,
when the earth shall be rocked and the mountains crumbled and become a dust
scattered and you shall be three bands...
"The ancients, and the later folk shall be gathered to the appointed time
of a known day. Then you erring ones, you that cried lies, you shall eat
of a tree called Zakkoum, and you shall fill therewith your bellies and drink
on top of that boiling water, lapping it down like thirsty camels. This shall
be their hospitality on the Day of Doom. (LVI, 1-55.)
"So, when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the
mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then, on that day,
the Terror shall come to pass, and heaven shall be split, for upon that day
it shall be very frail, and the angels shall stand upon its borders, and
upon that day eight shall carry above them the Throne of thy Lord.
"On that day you shall be exposed, not one secret of yours concealed. Then
as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall say, 'Here,
take and read my book! Certainly I thought that I should encounter thy
reckoning.' So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty Garden, its clusters
nigh to gather.
'Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the
days gone by.'
"But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say, 'Would
that I had not been given my book and not known my reckoning! Would it had
been the end! My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me.'
Take him, and fetter him, and then roast him in Hell, then in a chain of
seventy cubits' length insert him! Behold, he never believed in God the
All-mighty, and he never urged the feeding of the needy; therefore he today
has not here one loyal friend, neither any food saving foul pus, that none
excepting the sinners eat."; (LXIX, 41-39)
Translation by A. J. Arberry