Canto Twelve: “The Age of Deterioration”

Gopīparāṇadhana Dāsa

Hridayānanda dāsa Goswami


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After compiling the Vedas, Śrīla Vyāsadeva was inspired to present their profound essence in the form of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. As “the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic literature,” the first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam makes clear that because the book is intended for people serious about spiritual progress, it will not deal with sectarian religious ideas, philosophical conjecture, or worldly concerns. The second text promises that anyone who reads the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam systematically will achieve the spiritual success meant to be attained by all human beings.

Canto Twelve, “The Age of Deterioration,” tells of the nature of Kali-yuga and lists kings that would appear in the future. Also discussed are the four types of universal devastation. King Parīkṣit’s leaving this world, and Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi’s experiences of māyā and devastation. The canto ends with a summary and glorification of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

This edition of Bhāgavatam is the only complete English translation with an elaborate and scholarly commentary, and it is the first edition widely available to the English-reading public. This work is the product of the scholarly and devotional effort of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, the world's most distinguished teacher of Indian religious and philosophical thought. His Sanskrit scholarship and intimate familiarity with Vedic culture combine to reveal to the West a magnificent exposition of this important classic.