Twelfth Skanda

The Age of Deterioration

The end of emperor Parîkchit, Mârkandeya Rishi
and Kali-yuga described:

Chapter 1: The Degraded Dynasties and Corrupt Nature of the Rulers of Kali-yuga

(0) S’rî Parîkchit said: ‘Please o sage can you tell me whose dynasty ruled over the earth after Krishna, the jewel of the Yadu dynasty, had left for His heavenly abode?’ [*]

(1-2) S’rî S’uka said: ‘The last descendant there will be of Brihadratha in the future [see 9.22: 49] is named Purañjaya [not the one in 9.6: 12]; but his minister S’unaka will assassinate his master to make his own son named Pradyota [historical: Bimbisâra] king. His son Pâlaka will have Vis’âkhayûpa as his son with Râjaka next as the king to be. (3) His son will be Nandivardhana; these five Pradyotana kings will enjoy the earth for one-hundred-thirty-eight years. (4) Then S’is’unâga will take birth and Kâkavarna will be his son, from whose son Kshemadharmâ, Kshetrajña will be born. (5) The son Vidhisâra [of Kshetrajña], will have Ajâtas’atru as his son and Darbhaka will be his son of whom Ajaya will be the successor. (6-8) From Ajaya there will be [another] Nandivardhana whose son is Mahânandi. These ten S’is’unâga kings, o best of the Kurus, will rule over the earth in the age of Kali for three-hundred-and-sixty years. O King, the son of Mahânandi, a certain Nanda, taking birth from the womb of a working class woman, will, powerful as he is as a master over millions, be the destroyer of the royal class; the kings will then, falling to irreligion, be not better than s’ûdras. (9) He, that ruler over millions [also known as Ugrasena], will as the single lead over the entire earth be undefied and in his sovereignty of rule be like a second Paras’urâma [see 9.15 & 16]. (10) The eight sons headed by Sumâlya who so will take birth from him, will enjoy as kings this earth for a hundred years.(11) A certain twice-born brahmin [called Cânakya] who is trusted by the nine Nandas will overturn them, and with them being gone the Mauryas will rule the earth in Kali-yuga [**]. (12) The brahmin will put Candragupta on the throne and his son Vârisâra will next be succeeded by As’okavardhana. (13) Suyas’â will be born to him; Sangata, Suyas’â’s [grand-] son [born to his son Das’aratha] will be S’âlis’ûka of whom next there will be Somas’armâ who will father S’atadhanvâ from whom there will be Brihadratha. (14) These ten Maurya kings, o eminent hero of the Kuru-dynasty, will rule the earth in Kali-yuga for over one-hundred-thirty-seven-years. (15-17) From Agnimitra [the son of Pushpamitra, the general who murdered Brihadratha] will follow Sujyeshthha from whom there will be Vasumitra with next Bhadraka and his son Pulinda. His son will be Ghosha to whom Vajramitra will be born; to him Bhâgavata will be born to whom there will be Devabhûti, o eminent Kuru. These ten S’ungas will enjoy the earth for more than a hundred [112] years after which this earth will fall under the rule of the Kânva-dynasty poor in qualities, o ruler of man. (18) Vasudeva, a most intelligent minister from the Kânva-family, (through a female slave) killing the lusty S’unga king Devabhûti, will then himself assume rulership. (19) His son will be Bhûmitra and his son Nârâyana. These Kânva kings will rule the earth for three-hundred-forty-five more years in Kali-yuga. (20) A low class man of the Andhra race called Balî will as a servant kill Sus’armâ, the [last] Kânva king and most degraded rule the earth for some time. (21-26) His brother, named Krishna, will then become the next ruler of the earth and the son of S’ântakarna, his son, will be Paurnamâsa. After Lambodara, his son, Cibilaka will be the king and after Cibilaka will be born Meghasvâti to whom there will be Athamâna followed by Anishthakarmâ. To Hâleya, his son, Talaka will appear to the son of whom named Purîshabhîru next Sunandana will be born to be the king. Cakora [his son] will be followed by the eight Bahus, among whom S’ivasvâti will be a great subduer of enemies. To Gomatî, his son, there will be born Purîmân, whose son will be Medas’irâ. S’ivaskanda born to him will have Yajñas’rî for his son after whom next Vijaya, his son, will father Candravijña along with Lomadhi. These thirty kings will rule the world for four-hundred-fifty-six years, o son of the Kurus [***]. (27) From the city of Avabhriti then will follow seven Âbhîra kings, ten Gardabhîs, and sixteen Kanka kings who as earthly rulers will be most greedy. (28) Then will eight Yavanas follow, fourteen Turushkas and furthermore ten Gurundas and eleven Maulas. (29-31) These [first six dynasties] will rule the earth for one thousand ninety-nine years, and the eleven Maulas will rule for three hundred years, my dear. With them all dead and gone in the city of Kilakilâ for one-hundred-and-six years the kings Bhûtananda followed by Vangiri with next S’is’unandi and then his brother Yas’onandi and Pravîraka will rule. (32-33) To them [the Kilakilâs] thirteen sons will be born called the Bâhlikas after whom Pushpamitra and next his son king Durmitra as well as also seven Andhras, seven Kaus’alas and also the rulers of Vidûra and the Nishadhas then in the same period will reign. (34) In the province of Mâgadha Vis’vasphûrji will appear, who like another Purañjaya will turn the people of all classes into inferior Pulindas, Yadus and Madrakas [low-class, uncivilized men, see *4]. (35) The unintelligent king, who protected in the city of Padmavatî will rule over the earth from the source of the Gangâ to Prayâga, will, predominantly being unbrahminical with the citizens, ruin the almighty class of the kshatriyas. (36) The twice-born living in the provinces S’aurâshthra, Avantî, Âbhîra, S’ûra, Arbuda and Mâlava will [at that time] fall away from their vows and the ones ranking first among the people will become no better than s’ûdras. (37) The lands at the river Sindhu, as well as the districts of Candrabhâgâ, Kauntî and Kâs’mîra, will be ruled by uncivilized men [mlecchas], s’ûdras and others who, lacking spiritual strength, deviate from the standard.

(38) O King, these mostly ignorant earthly caretakers dedicated to irreligious and unrealistic practices will, with fierce tempers [competing to rule] at the same time allow their subjects hardly any freedom [economically]. (39) Destroying the lives of women, children, cows and converted people, they, then elated, then moderate and [then again] depressed, will, coveting the wives of other men, mostly miss the goodness and have short lives [or careers]. Lacking in sacrifice not being fit for the job they, these ignoramuses posing as kings, under the sway of passion and ignorance, will virtually devour the citizens. (40) The people in the cities will, led by these rulers their character, behavior and speech, plagued by these so-called ‘kings’ and by each other, find their lives ruined [in wars, economic collapse and natural disasters, see also kles’a, Kali-yuga and B.G. 16: 6-12].’