Is Life on Earth About to End?

From Teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Volume II

There are many new sects springing up all over the world which do not have a very clear concept of the yugas. The age of this Earth is divided into four eras. The firstis Satya yuga whose age is 1,728,000 years. Then comes Treta yuga whose age is 1,296,000. Then comes Dwapara yuga whose age is 864,000. Then comes Kali yuga whose age is 432,000 years. Out of that, only 5,088 years have gone by. That means 426,992 years remain. There is no possibility of Earth colliding with another planet and being destroyed. However, shortly, a few disturbances will occur here and there, just as happened many thousands of years ago when the subcontinent of Atlantis sank into the ocean and the Himalayan mountains came up.

Since the beginning of this earth, up to the present day, the geographical map of the world has not been the same. One million years ago there were different islands, different oceans and different continents. Changes have always been occurring and they will certainly continue, but for the destruction of this whole planet you must wait 34 million years.

According to this geological calculation, the life potentiality of this planet is also great. It may continue for even more than 34 million years. Although the distance between Earth and the sun is decreasing and the temperature of the sun is also lessening, it will still take millions of years before the sun becomes sufficientlycold to affect Earth. Even then, Earth has its own internal heat. It has its own atmosphere and oxygen, so therefore the end of the earth is not a matter of a few hundred years. Thus we should not worry about it at all.

Supposing Earth is destroyed tomorrow, why should we worry? There will not be anybody left to grieve, so why have unnecessary fears? Nature created Earth and we have been living here for the last few million years, and it is really quite a nice planet. There are good people also, and as far as I can see, our future is bright.

This doesn’t mean there will be no difficulties, but the future of mankind will certainly be better because nowadays more and more people are evolving spiritually.

Throughout the world people are beginning to think in terms of equality, and there is an ever growing movement towards non-violence. The nations of the world are coming together, and although there are still fightsand wars, things are much better than they were in the past. I am an optimist; I see the silver lining on the horizon, and whenever I hear these horrible predictions, I think their proclaimers are influenced by their own personal cults.

In India there are also people who make prophecies like this. They claim the past was good and the future will be bad, but I don’t agree. I have studied history and I know about the great wars that have taken place in the last 5,000 years. People were oppressed and suppressed and many were enslaved and tortured. There was no education, no physical freedom, no intellectual freedom, and there were no democratic governments. There was only the revolver and the sword. The king was a dictator and the masses had nothing. Now the masses can think. We make the laws, we make the governments and we install the presidents and prime ministers. Things can only improve. There should be democracy in politics, in the family, in religion and in yoga also. We shouldn’t have to accept any central authority; we should be free to decide things for ourselves. So we are definitely approaching a brighter future.

What was the position of women one hundred years ago?

Hopeless! Women were only meant to be one thing, sexual objects, and of course they were babysitters too. That’s all. Now do you see the great changes that have occurred? So we have a very bright future and we should see that there are fewer destructions and massacres. In the course of many decades, the national boundaries will also vanish. You know, in India we have no frontiers with Nepal. Although Nepal is one country and India is another, we can cycle over to Nepal each morning, purchase something and come back. There is no need for a passport or a visa. The same thing should happen throughout the world.

This world belongs to man and man is one race. Africans live in a hot country so they have become very black. Scandinavians are exposed to a cold climate so they have become very white. People living in Mediterranean zones have become brown. Why should colour and language create barriers between man and man? Religions should also not separate people. What I findin Hinduism is the same in Christianity. The only difference is that the churches are made one way and the temples are constructed another way, but this is external. There are no differences in spirit. Hindus believe in one God, Muslims believe in one God and Christians believe in one God. The only difference is that Christians call him God, Hindus call him Ishwara or Deva, Muslims call him Allah and you people call him Dios. So, mankind is one, and because the world belongs to man, we can go anywhere from the North Pole to the South Pole, from Peru to Japan. Let us live as one.

—May 1980, Satyanandashram Barcelona, Spain