Monday, January 16, 2017

Sri Siva Siddhar Mona Swami's Sadhana Cave

Sri Siva Mona Sidhar Swami was born on October 3rd, 1962 and was given the name of Sri Narayanan at that time. He lived a rustic life in a small Tamil village and at 27 years of age agreed to an arranged marriage which resulted in the birth of a girl child. 

However his yearning for a spiritual life led him to renounce the world and enter into sannyasin. He thereupon went into the forest to perform sadhana and continued to roam about for over 15 years. One day desolate at the meaningless of life he decided to commit suicide by jumping from the summit of Kanjanakiri Mount (near Vellore District). 

He was prevented from this act by the call of sadhu who had seemingly appeared from nowhere. The sadhu invited him to a nearby temple to eat and sleep and in the middle of the night, the sadhu disappeared. Swami lived at that place for seven months drinking only a glass of milk each day. He came to an understanding of the truth of life. 

He then left and proceeded onward to Sethavarai Village where he isolated himself in a cave for 58 days. As a result of his tapas, he received a vision of the Divine and guidance as to his work in this lifetime.

To learn more about Swami and how to meet him I have many earlier postings on Arunachala Mystic and may also visit his website at this link here

New Shrine and Mandapam of Sri Poovathamman Temple

Mandapam of Sri Poovathamman Temple

Sakthi Goddess Sri Poovathamman

Old Shrine of Sri Poovathamman

Nearby cluster of rocks

Ganesha Rock outlined in white above

Close-up of Ganesha Rock

Opening to cave Swami occupied undertaking tapas

Entrance to Swami's cave

Entrance is small but inside parts of the cave are large enough to allow a person to stand

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sani Pradosham, Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar Ashram: Saturday, 26 November, 2016

The below photographs were taken during Karthikai Maatha Amavasai Sani Pradosham at Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar’s Ashram on Saturday, 26 November, 2016. 

The two monthly Pradoshams are observed very grandly at Swami's Ashram and monthly increasingly large numbers of devotees attend the abhishekam Pradosham function in the Ashram's Temple.

Carrying the God on palanquin for circumambulation of the Shrine

Beautifully adorned Nandi after abhishekam and puja

Sri Siva Jothi Mona Siddhar

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Nature of Eternity

The below is taken from "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man," by James Joyce. 

"You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. 

Yet at the end of that immense stretch time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been carried all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals – at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not even one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time, the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.” 

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 2016 Supermoon -- special Poornima

The largest, brightest full moon in nearly seven decades will be on display in the coming days, promising Earth-bound sky-watchers a celestial "supermoon" spectacle. 

The full moon will come nearer to Earth than at any time since 1948. At closest approach, the moon will pass within 216,486 miles (348,400 km) of Earth's surface, about 22,000 miles (35,400 km) closer than average. 

The moon's distance from Earth varies because it is in an elliptical (egg shape), not circular, orbit around the planet. 

A supermoon will seem even larger if viewed on the horizon

If skies are clear, the upcoming full moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than usual, making it what is called a supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the timing of a full moon overlaps with the point in the moon's 28-day orbit that is closest to Earth. About every 14th full moon is a supermoon. The next time a full moon comes as close to Earth will be in 2034. 

Moon spotters here in India are perhaps the best placed to catch the moon at its absolute largest, with full moon on November 14, 2016 and occurring at 7:22 p.m. 

To find out more about Supermoons, go to this link for 5 suprising facts about this phenomenon.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Dasha Lingams: Surya Lingam

The arrangement of the Asta Lingams around the octagonal perimeter of Arunachala reflects the geometry of a Cosmogram. The octagonal shape is surrounded by a total of eight Lingam Temples (Asta Lingams). Each of these Temples are located at the four cardinal and four inter-cardinal points. This was also believed by the ancients who originally constructed the Lingams at their eight cardinal and inter-cardinal points to represent, characterise and vitalise certain aspects and qualities of life in relation to specific fields of energy and influence. 

For more information about the asta lingams, go to this link here

The guardians of the four cardinal directions are called the Lokapalas and are the deities who rule the specific directions of space. The name for the eight deities, four of the cardinal and four of the intercardinal directions is 'Asta-Dikpalas.’ 

Asta Lingams

Indra Lingam (East) 
Agni Lingam (South East) 
Yama Lingam (South) 
Niruthi Lingam (South West) 
Varuna Lingam (West) 
Vayu Lingam (North West) 
Kubera Lingam (North) 
Esanya Lingam (North East) 

The Lingams have the dominant Navagraha of the God to whom they are associated. It is believed that placating a specific Lingam will bring various benefits that are associated with the respective Navagraha. 

As well as the Asta Lingams which I have given details of in the above link, there are two additional Lingams on the girivalam roadway which according to the oral tradition of the region are part of what is considered the “Dasha Lingams” of Arunachala. 

Those two additional Lingams are the Chandra Lingam and the Surya Lingam. My previous post gave information and photographs of the Chandra Lingam, and this posting is about the Surya Lingam located on the Arunachala Girivalam Roadway.

Surya-Arunachala Mythology 

There is a vast amount of mythology in connection with Lord Surya at Arunachala which I have written about in my Arunachala Grace Blog. In ths regard to view a fascinating post of the Surya-Arunachala mythology, go to this link here

Surya and Chandra Lingams at gateway of Arunachala Lingam

Its interesting to note the juxtaposition of Chandra and Surya Lingams in the map (above) of the Pradakshina Shrines to the map (below) of Arunachaleswarar Temple’s Moolasthanam, where the lingams are next to the Pradosha Nandi at the entrance to the inner shrine. 

Oral tradition reports that the similarity of the juxtaposition of Surya and Chandra Lingams at the gateway of the Lingam of Arunachala Hill and the Shiva Lingam at Arunachaleswarar Temple’s Moolasthanam, was created intentionally.
 Surya and Chandra Lingams at gateway of Shiva Moolasthanam

Lord Surya 

Surya, the Sun, is God incarnate in solar form, a glorious, shining golden visible every day. He is Astamurthi, one of the eight forms of Shiva. The Sun alone is the pivot of the entire Universe, the dispeller of darkness, and root cause of the three worlds. He is the deity of great brilliance and is considered the Supreme Soul. There are many names of Lord Surya and each name refers to a quality of consciousness; Aditya, Savita, Surya, Mihira, Arka, Prabhakara, Martanda, Bhaskara, Bhanu, Chitrabhanu, Divakara and Ravi. 

Surya is the chief of the Navagrahas and is often depicted riding a chariot harnessed by seven horses which represent the seven solar rays, the seven chakras of the body and the seven days of the week. 

Lord Surya on his Chariot

Surya's sons, Shani and Yama are responsible for the judgment of human life. Shani provides the results of one's deeds during one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards while Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death. 

In Vedic astrology Surya is considered a malefic on account of His hot, dry nature. Surya represents soul, will-power, fame, the eyes, general vitality, courage, kingship, father, authority figures, benevolence, generosity, grandeur, dignity, and friendliness. 

Surya has the following associations

Animals: Deer, Tiger, Lion 
Bird: Goose 
Gem: Ruby 
Metals: Copper and Gold 
Direction: East 
Food: Wheat 
Sign: Leo 
Day: Sunday 

In Tantra yoga, Surya, the planetary deity of the Sun, represents the universal male principal, while Chandra, the Moon, represents the universal female or shakti principle. Surya is also associated with Agni, the god of fire. 

The Surya Lingam 

Darshan of Arunachala from Lingam

Entrance to Surya Lingam

Moopanar Swamigal who was responsible for the restoration of the Ashta Lingams at Arunachala, did not have anything to do with restoration work at either the Surya or Chandra Lingams. 

Ancient carvings inside doorway to Lingam compound

Number of carvings at doorway

Surya Lingam in newly renovated compound

Surya Lingam is located after Gautama Ashram and before Varuna Lingam on the leftside of the Girivalam Roadway. Including two buildings connected to Lingam priests, the area on which Surya Lingam is situated on less than 1/2 an acre. In 2016 renovation work financed by a family in Chennai, was completed at the Lingam. 

Surya Lingam with Nandi in front

I hope to post more information about this Lingam shortly on my Arunachala Samudra website.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Dasha Lingams: Chandra Lingam

By the turn of the Twentieth Century many of the shrines, temples and theertams at Arunachala were in a state of neglect and decay. In the case of the Asta Lingams the areas around the shrines were filled with squatters and encroachments and the Asta Lingams shrines themselves were unmaintained and their worship ignored. 

It is believed by many that the work done by I.S.V. Arunachala Moopanar (Moopanar Swamigal) renovating and restoring the Asta Lingams and their adjacent land, was responsible for helping to re-establish the energetic power of the sacred geometry of Arunachala. To read about the life of Moopanar Swamigal and his work with the restoration of the Asta Lingams go to this link here

The arrangement of the Asta Lingams around the octagonal perimeter of Arunachala reflects the geometry of a Cosmogram. The octagonal shape is surrounded by a total of eight Lingam Temples (Asta Lingams). Each of these Temples are located at the four cardinal and four inter-cardinal points. This was also believed by the ancients who originally constructed the Lingams at their eight cardinal and inter-cardinal points to represent, characterise and vitalise certain aspects and qualities of life in relation to specific fields of energy and influence. 

The guardians of the four cardinal directions are called the Lokapalas and are the deities who rule the specific directions of space. The name for the eight deities, four of the cardinal and four of the intercardinal directions is 'Asta-Dikpalas.’ 

To read more details about the Asta Lingams and their sacred geometry as it pertains to the Arunachala energy field, visit my website Arunachala Samudra at this link here

Right-click on all below diagrams and photographs to view enlargements 

The lingams underlined on above map

Asta lingams

Indra Lingam (East) 
Agni Lingam (South East) 
Yama Lingam (South) 
Niruthi Lingam (South West) 
Varuna Lingam (West) 
Vayu Lingam (North West) 
Kubera Lingam (North) 
Esanya Lingam (North East) 

The Lingams have the dominant Navagraha of the God to whom they are associated. It is believed that placating a specific Lingam will bring various benefits that are associated with the respective Navagraha. 

As well as the Asta Lingams which I have given details of above, there are two additional Lingams on the girivalam roadway which according to the oral tradition of the region are part of what is considered the “Dasha Lingams” of Arunachala. 

Those two additional Lingams are the Chandra Lingam and the Surya Lingam. This post gives information and photographs about the Chandra Lingam on the Arunachala Hillroad. I hope to make a posting on the Surya Lingam soon. 

Chandra Lingam Kanji Road 

A Temple dedicated to Chandra Lingam has been located at the same spot on Kanji Road for what is believed to be hundreds of years. However as was the case with the Asta Lingams, the Chandra Lingam in the same way lapsed into a neglected and dilapidated condition due to lack of maintenance. In addition the Compound was also taken over by squatters. 

A devotee working as Village Administrative Officer persuaded the Municipality to evict all squatters, take back control of the Temple Compound and lands and thereupon start work on a reconstruction programme of the Shrine at the very same spot. This work which was undertaken some 10 years ago, has  been completed and the actual Chandra Lingam which was moved to the Indra Lingam Shrine on Car Street for safe keeping during Temple reconstruction, is now installed in the newly renovated Chandra Lingam’s Garbagriha. 

Chandra Lingam, Kanji Road

There are a number of interesting facts about the Chandra Lingam Shrine. One is that underneath the Lingam is an ancient magnetic rock which originates from the Himalayas. Another aspect is the statue of the White Nandi which does not face the Chandra Lingam and instead faces directly towards Arunachala—was purposely created at Kasi with horns specifically shaped in the form of moon crescents.

Newly rebuilt (in the same spot) Chandra Lingam Shrine

Chandra has the following associations: 

Colour: white 
Gender: female 
Metal: silver 
Gemstones: pearl and moonstone 
Element: water 
Direction: north-west 
Season: Winter 
Body part: blood 
Food: rice 
Taste: salt 
Day: Monday 
Guna: Sattwa 

The Sun is the indicator of the soul and the Moon is the vehicle of the mind that receives the light of the soul. Even though all the Navagrahas are represented at Arunachala, the Moon with its particular association with Lord Shiva (Chandrasekhara) has an extraordinary influence. 

Black Nandi facing the Chandra Lingam

There are a number of statues of Lord Shiva at the Shrine showing him wearing the crescent moon. Lord Shiva is also known as Chandrasekhara, which literally refers to the 'Person who wears the moon'. In some cultures the appearance of the new crescent moon has been celebrated as a return of the moon from the dead. This celestial body is a powerful influence on the human psyche. Its influence which is always available at Arunachala is celebrated in disparate ways during Sivaratri and Poornima. It is also recognised in all Pradoshams that fall on Mondays. 

Lord Chandrasekhara with crescent moon

Lord Shiva wears on his head the crescent of the fifth-day moon. Placed near his fiery third eye this shows the power of Soma, the sacrificial offering, which is the representative of Moon and signifies that Shiva possesses the power of procreation co-existent with that of destruction. 

Statues of Lord Chandrasekhara throughout Temple

Lord Chandrasekhara over doorway leading to Garbagriha

In one legend, Chandra is considered the son of the ocean as he was one of the fourteen ratnas (Jewels) that emerged from the ocean during its churning and was gifted, by the Gods and Demons to Lord Shiva, who wore the crescent moon on his head. 

Unique White Nandi created in Kasi at Shrine

Chandra is a lovable God; pleasing to children as well as elders. Sages and devotees invoke the Goddess in Chandra. A benefic Moon is often found in the charts of doctors, healers or psychologists, as well as good mothers and wives. A strong Moon can give power and creates a good administrator or leader open to the needs of his people and indicates relationship, interchange, and communication. A strong Moon also shows sensitivity, receptivity, caring for others and a nurturing attitude in life. It gives emotional maturity, responsibility and the capacity to have a beneficial effect upon society. 

White Nandi's horns shaped to look like Crescent Moons

The moon has two stages; one from new moon day to full moon day i.e. the waxing period of the moon. During this period it is considered to be particularly auspicious to undertake new ventures and celebrate functions. Conversely the period from the full moon day to the new moon day, the waning period of the moon it is considered to be best to avoid undertaking new ventures and enterprises.
White Nandi faces Arunachala not the Lingam

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Muniswaran Statues at Pachaiamman Temple: Tiruvannamalai

One of the most interesting aspects of the Pachaiamman Temple at Tiruvannamalai is of the 14 magnificient statues set in the front of the Compound. The same statues are represented inside the Artha Mandapam of the Temple. 

A regional legend of Pachaiamman (an aspect of Parvati) has it that after completing her penance at Kanchi, the Goddess started off for Arunachala. She travelled with 7 Rishis and 7 virgins (Sapta Kanniyars) as part of a protective entourage. Halfway from Kanchi to Arunachala, the entourage stopped and made camp at the village Vazhapanthal. At that place the local king tried to molest the Goddess, and the 7 Rishis became as Muniswarans (guardians) and killed the king. 

Another story passed down orally for generations is that the Muniswarans were created to protect the Goddess Pachaiamman against seven Arakar Veerars (demonic warriors—Asuras). It is also mentioned that the demons were actually 8 in number. After killing them, Vaal (knife) Muniswaran gave the head of the demons, one to each of his brothers and kept two for himself. 

The Muniswarans are usually represented as 7 brothers. They are called as Sapta Muniswarans. In the Pachaiamman Compound there are 14 statues of Pachaiamman’s warrior guardians set out in two lines, with two representations of each warrior. 

Sapta Munishwarans at Pachaiamman Temple, Tiruvannamalai

The warrior guardians from left to right are: 

Vaalmuniswaran (knife) 
Karumuniswaran (dark) 
Ladamuniswaran (playful) 
Vedamuniswaran (book) 
Jadamuniswaran (red) 
Muthumuniswaran (pearls) 
Veeramuniswaran (strength) 

Muniswarans are a class of powerful spirits. These spirits are also known as Siva Ganas. They are considered to be servants of Siva and his female half Sakthi. Due to their nature, the Munis are classified as guardian deities. 

They can be former warriors, kings or sages who achieved the status of a Muniswaran after their human death. Some of the Muniswarans worshipped were created as Muniswarans and are not of human origin. 

Muniswarans are worshipped in various ways including tree and stone worship. At Pachaiamman Temple they are worshipped in the form of Statues (Uruvam Vallipadu). According to the Rig Veda, the Muniswarans are trained in various magic arts and believed to be capable of supernatural feats. 

Since Muniswarans are spirits, it is common to have animal sacrifice as part of the worship. However, animal sacrifice is not done for each Muniswaran. It occurs usually on new moon day. 

In this Pachiamman Temple compound there are also statues of Lord Muniswaran’s vahanas (vehicles) in the form of an elephant, a dog and five horses 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sri Nanngaru Summer Visit to Arunachala

Recently Sri Nannagaru visited his Ashram at Tiruvannamalai and stayed for around 10 days. As always his darshan was sought by the many who accompanied him from Andhra Pradesh. The name Nanna Garu given to him by his devotees can be translated from the Telegu to mean “Respectable Father”. 

Sri Nannagaru was born Sri Bhupathiraju Venkata Lakshmi Narasimharaju on 23rd September 1934 at his grandparents’ house in the village of Kommara, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. He was to later settle at Jinnuru of the same District—at which place he continues to reside. 

As his father died when he was a child, he was brought up under the care of his mother and grandmother. In 1957 at the age of 23 years he had a dream of Ramana Maharshi which was to transform his life. 

Looking at Arunachala backgroud from Sri Nannagaru Ashram

Andhra Pradesh devotees waiting under Shamian

Sri Nannagaru with his Devotees

Preparing to give Discourse in Telegu to Devotees

Sri Nanngaru with Devotees at his Ashram

Below are selected teachings of Sri Nannagaru. To learn more about him, visit his website at this link here.


There is only Self and Self alone. It is Reality. It is Pure Consciousness. The world manifest is not real. Self is its substratum. It is Immortal It is Knowledge. It is Eternal Peace. It is Bliss. It is Light. It is Omnipotent, Omniscient. There are no divisions in the Self. It is Non-Dual. It is Indefinable. Water cannot wet it. Fire cannot burn it. It has no birth, no death. It shines in Our Heart. What the Jnani calls Self, a devotee calls as God. Silence alone is the best way of expounding it.

The nature of Self is Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss. That is the way we aspire for happiness, love, beauty. It does not depend upon any other object. Our fondness for independence is an offshoot of it. Just as the screen is the base on which figures are projected, so also this variegated world is a projection of It. The sense of ego masquerades as the Self. Our selfish nature covers it.

To know the Self is our goal. Constant hearing of it. Remembrance of it, and establishment in it snaps our egoistic ties. The seer of the Self alone gets himself extricated from entanglements.


The ‘I’ thought, which emanates from the source, is egoism. Only after its emergence, the rest of the thoughts emerge. The world is seen only when one is egoistic. As long as ego subsists body is taken as real, world is taken as real. God is taken as real. When ego is erased, body, world and God vanish. As long as the idea that ‘I am the body’ persists egoism does not leave us. It alone results in restlessness. Ego has no form, but it exists catching hold of a form. It is neither male nor female, but assumes such a role. 

The entire maya or illusion is a creation of the ego. Real Self is like the vast sea, whereas ego is like a bubble. There can be the sea without a bubble, but there cannot be a bubble without the sea. Identification with the little self is the cause of grief. When one identifies with the vast waters of the sea, the tiny bubbles cease to exist and with them worldly sorrows also. The figure underneath the temple Gopuram (figure sculptured at the base of a tower) feels that it is carrying the entire structure; so also, the man of ego feels that he is helping the entire world. As long as the ego and the consequent ideas of doership continue, ignorance also continues. If one enquires wherefrom the ‘I’ thought has arisen, then his look centres round the origin and then only egoism drops out.


After the rise of the ‘I’ thought the rest of thoughts originate. Mind is a bundle of thoughts, and is also termed as ‘Jiva’. Jiva does not get extinct with the death of the body. It takes up a new body. In deep sleep we do not have thoughts, and hence, mind is also absent there. There is no body, no worlds in deep sleep. When we awake, the first thought, the ‘I’ thought arises, and the rest of the thoughts follow it. Wife and children alone do not constitute ‘samsara’. Your mind is your samsara. It does not leave you if you run away from your house, wife and children. 

Mind has no form or name, but it always adheres to a form or name. Food serves as source for the mind. The world is nothing, but the mind. Just as a spider spreads its own web and gets entangled therein, and ultimately dies, so also the mind creates samsara and one gets entangled in that samsara and gets subjected to death. The mind, which has created this world, has also the power to destroy it.

The brain is like a tape recorder and the mind is the tape. Sense organs are speakers. That which is recorded in the tape is heard through speakers; likewise the latent tendencies of the mind spread and are felt through our sense organs. A true Guru pulls out the thoughts and destroys the Mind.

Previous actions constitute latent tendencies, and remain in seed form in the heart. They spread to the brain and evolve as thoughts. If the thoughts are removed one by one, there remains nothing like a mind. If the wood is removed the fire gets extinct. Without purification of the mind, knowledge cannot be had.

Mind and prana (life force) have got their origin in the same place – the heart. If the life breath is controlled, Mind gets controlled. That is why pranayama is recommended. As long as one thinks of things external, the mind oscillates. As long as the mind is externalised, the original sin remains.

God’s Grace controls the unruly elephant called ‘mind’. Surrender confers energy to the mind by a single unified attention and a purified mind turns inwards and such a purified mind merges in its source, the heart, then that mind becomes Self itself.

That is the essence of yoga.


Destiny is confined only to the body and has nothing to do with the Self. Identification with the body results in grief. Men are conferred liberty not to identify with the body. By practice identification with the body can be overcome. The body drops after the exhaustion of destiny. Don't give scope for vain thoughts, useless deeds and unnecessary desires. Utilize the freedom conferred by God. Restrain vain thoughts, and abide in the Self. Then new tendencies will not be generated, and you will be extricated from all sorts of bondage. If identification with the body is not overcome, grief results; unless the latent tendencies are dropped away, the state of happiness cannot be enjoyed. For One who abides in the Self there is nothing like destiny.


Religion is a creation of the mind. There are several religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam etc. In fact, there are as many religions as there are minds. Creeds and religions are only creating feuds, dissensions and wars, resulting in bloodshed. Religion is acting as opium instead of making people wise. Men are becoming slaves to religion. The Self is there even prior to the birth of religions. The purpose of religion is to show the path to the realization of the Self.

If the welfare of society is not the goal of a religion, such a religion is not worth its name. One may worship his own God; but his love of religion and his love of God should not make him hate others. There is no God without the Self. In the name of religion and personal Gods, men are fighting with each other, only for their own aggrandizement. Religions create narrow domestic walls. Our concepts and precepts are standing in our way of finding the Truth. There is no God higher than Truth. Change of religion does not release one, but on the other hand a change of mind does.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sadhana in the Kali Yuga

According to the Vedic scriptures, the current age we are now in, known as the Kali-Yuga, is one of spiritual darkness, violence and hypocrisy. Such Scriptures as the Srimad Bhagavatam teach that during the 432,000 year duration of the Kali Age, humanity will increasingly deteriorate and fall into barbarism. If one looks about the world we are living in, its easy to recognise the amazing accuracy of predictions made thousands of years ago. And yet it is said that because of the difficulties of this Yuga, God has ordained it to be the easiest one in which man can attain liberation. 

Situation of the Kali Yuga 
Humans begin to kill animals for food. They fall under the spell of intoxication. They lose all sexual restraint. Families break up. Women and children are abused and abandoned. Increasingly degraded generations, conceived accidentally in lust and growing up wild, swarm all over the world. Political leadership falls into the hands of unprincipled rogues, criminals and terrorists, who use their power to exploit people. Entire populations are enslaved and put to death. The world teems with fanatics, extremists and spiritual artists, who win huge followings among a people completely dazed by hedonism, as well as by cultural and moral relativism. 

"Religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, physical strength and memory diminish with each passing day."  
[Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.2.1]

Saints and sages of ancient India describe the people of this age as greedy, ill-behaved, and merciless. In this age, says the Srimad-Bhagavatam, merely possessing wealth is considered a sign of good birth, proper behavior, and fine qualities. Law and justice are determined by one's prestige and power. Marriage ceases to exist as a holy union - men and women simply live together on the basis of bodily attraction and verbal agreement, and only for sexual pleasure. 

Women wander from one man to another. Men no longer look after their parents in their old age, and fail to provide for their own children. One's beauty is thought to depend on one's hairstyle. Filling the belly is said to be the only purpose in life. Cows are killed once their milk production drops. Atheism flourishes. Religious observances are performed solely for the sake of reputation. 

Disharmony of the Kali Yuga

The Linga Purana (ch. 40) describes the human race in the Kali-yuga as a vain and stupid people "spurred on by the lowest instincts." They prefer false ideas and do not hesitate to persecute sages. They are tormented by bodily desires. 

Severe droughts and plagues are everywhere. Slovenliness, illness, hunger and fear spread. Nations are continually at war with one another. The number of princes and farmers decline. Heroes are assassinated. The working classes want to claim regal power and enjoy royal wealth. 

Kings become thieves. They take to seizing property, rather than protecting the citizenry. New leaders emerge from the labourer class and begin to persecute religious people, saints, teachers, intellectuals, and philosophers. 

Civilization lacks any kind of Divine guidance. Sacred books are no longer revered. False doctrines and misleading religions spread across the globe. Children are killed in the wombs of their mothers. Women who have relations with several men are numerous. Predatory animals are more violent. The number of cows diminishes. 

The Linga Purana says that in the Kali-Yuga, young women freely abandon their virginity. Women, children, and cows - always protected in an enlightened society - are abused and killed during the iron age. Thieves are numerous and rapes are frequent. There are many beggars, and widespread unemployment. Merchants operate corrupt businesses. Diseases, rates, and foul substances plague the populace. Water is lacking, fruits are scarce. Everyone uses vulgar language. 

Men of the Kali-Yuga seek only money. Only the richest have power. People without money are their slaves. The leaders of the State no longer protect the people, but plunder the citizenry through excessive taxation. Farmers abandon living close to nature. They become unskilled labourers in congested cities. Many dress in rags, or are unemployed, and sleep on the streets. Through the fault of the government, infant mortality rates are high. False gods are worshiped in false ashrams, in which pilgrimages, penances, charities and austerities are all concocted. 

People in this age eat their food without washing beforehand. Monks break their vows of celibacy. Cows are kept alive only for their milk. Water is scarce. Many people watch the skies, praying for rain. No rain comes. The fields become barren. Suffering from famine and poverty, many attempt to migrate to countries where food is more readily available. People are without joy and pleasure. Many commit suicide. Men of small intelligence are influenced by atheistic doctrines. Family, clan and caste are all meaningless. Men are without virtues, purity or decency. 
[Visnu Purana 6.1]

Sadhana in the Kali-Yuga 

The Sastras state that the purpose of life is to move closer to God. That the person who has reached death and has not moved closer to God, is said to have led a wasted life. In this current age of Kali Yuga the spiritual process recommended by which one can move closer to God is that of devotional service and chanting the name of God. 

Recitation of the Lord's Mantra

“Punsam ekaha vai sadhya hari bhaktih 
Kalau yuge yuga antarena 
Dharma hi sevitavya narena hi”
[Padma Purana, Svarga Khanda 61.5] 

“In Kali-yuga, a person should accept only one process, that is devotional service. According to what process is decided for a particular yuga, that should be followed by everyone without fail.” 

“Kaler dosha-nidhe rajann 
Asti hy eko maha gunah 
Kirtanad eva krishnasya 
Mukta-sangah param vrajet” 

“Although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: simply by chanting the names of God, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.”
[Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51] 

[Parts of the above, abridged from India Divine]