- The Kalki Avatar
Kalki is the tenth and future incarnation of Vishnu. It is predicted in various puranas and other texts that Vishnu will incarnate himself as Kalki at the end of Kali Yuga. Kalki is predicted as the destroyer of ‘Mlechhas’
The Kalki Avatar
There is very little information available about the Kalki incarnation. Kalki Puran says that he will take birth at the end of Kali age in Parashar clan. His father’s name will be Vishnuyashas and mother’s name will be Sumati. At the age of twenty-five, mounted on a white horse named ‘Devdutt’, he will roam the whole earth. He will destroy the unjust and the evil and revive ‘Dharma’. He will become the sovereign of the world. In the end, he will end his mortal life at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna. After that, the Krutayuga will begin.
शम्भल ग्राम मुख्यस्य ब्राम्हणस्य महात्मन:।
भवने विष्णुयशस: कल्कि: प्रादुर्भविष्यति॥
– श्रीमद् भागवत १२.२.१८
Shambhal gram mukhyasyabrahmhanasyamahatmnh |
- ShrimadBhagvat 12.2.18
‘God Kalki will appear in the home of the most eminent brahmhan, Vishnuyasha of Shambhal village.’
Agni Puran says, “In the Kali Yuga, thoughtless men will make their way to hell because of their deeds, the virtue and noble way of dharma will disappear. Knowledge will be vanquished by barbarians who will continue to rule and harass people. Finally, Vishnu will appear as Kalki and destroy the barbarians. He will reestablish the pure customs and morals of the great varnashram system.
Thereafter, god will return to heaven and Satya-yuga will appear on the earth. It will be the age of purity, virtue and kindness.”
Chaturvarg Chintamani describes the image of Kalki as follows;
खड्गोद्यत्कर: क्रुद्धो हयार्धो महाबल:।
म्लेच्छोच्छेदकर: कल्कि द्विभुज परिकिर्तीत:॥
“The hand holding sword, furious, mounted on horse, possessing great strength. The two handed Kalki is the one who destroys ‘Mlechhas”
According to Vaikhanasagama, Kalki should have the face of horse and the body of a human being. His four hands will be carrying shankha, chakra, khadga and khetaka (shield). Agni Puran describes him to be mounted on a horse holding bow and arrow.
There is only one temple in India which is dedicated to Kalki. Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur, built this temple in1727 CE at the time when he was developing the city, Jaipur.
The temple can be entered through a ceremonial arch in two slopes through a ramp rather than a staircase. In a corner, a fine marble statue of a horse is situated facing the temple. The temple is built over a plinth area of 20 ft.
The temple is built in stone. Unlike other temples, it has two shikharas. The small shikhar is at the back which is known as Lakshmi Niwas. It was constructed for the image of Padmavati Devi. However, presently it has an image of Kalki.
The temple remains closed since it was built. It is waiting for the appearance of god Kalki. It is opened by the caretaker periodically only for cleaning.
The medieval period of Indian history is more or less occupied by foreign invaders and their brutal attacks all over the society. The Huns, Mangols and such tribes who invaded the country, ruled the people and tried to suppress their culture, ideologies. The belief of common Hindu people in the appearance of Vishnu in the form of Kalki is a clear response to this fierce atmosphere. As it is declared in Bhagvad Gita, they hope that a saviour will arrive from heaven and rescue the world from unjust, cruel and evil forces.
- Joshi M. 1964. BharatiyaSanskrutiKosha, Vol.II. Pune:BharatiyaSanskrutikosh Mandal.
- Rao, T. A. G., 1998(Reprint), Elements of Hindu Iconography Vol I, Part I. New Delhi:MotilalBanarasidas.