Kalki – The 10th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu – Appearance, Legends and Rituals
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Kalki Jayanti (28-Jul-2017)
Kalki Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the expected arrival of Lord Kalki, the tenth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Among the ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu (video), nine have already incarnated, while the final incarnation Kalki is yet to manifest. Lord Mahavishnu is expected to take form as Kalki in this Kali yuga to eliminate adharma and to revive the Satya Yuga back. Hence Hindus around the world, celebrate Kalki Jayanthi anticipating the arrival of the Lord in this world.
The name “Kalki” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Kalka” which means filth or dirt. Thus “Kalki” refers to the one who destroys all the dirt or filth from this world. Lord Vishnu is believed to incarnate as Kalki to annihilate evil and dark forces, thereby establishing dharma (righteousness) back into this world.
According to traditional Hindu calendar, Kalki Jayanti is observed on the 6th day of the shukla Paksha fortnight in the month of Shravan. This revered day falls on the 28th of July in the year 2017.
Legend of Kalki Avatar
Ancient Hindu scriptures such as the Vishnu Purana and Garuda Purana mentions about the manifestation of Kalki in the Kali yuga. The previous nine incarnation of the Lord has been in different forms and sizes and also during different sagas. While it is predicted that Kalki avatar would manifest in the Kali Yuga, the size of the manifestation still remains unclear. However, the revered Bhagavatha Purana mentions that Kalki would incarnate in a village called Sambhala in India.
The details regarding Kalki avathar could be vividly found in the ancient text called Kalki Purana. According to this scripture, Kalki would be born in a village called Sambhala to a couple named Vishnuyasha and Sumati. Kalki would also have three brothers called –Sumanta, Prajna and Kavi. He would also have Yajnabalkya as his Guru. Parashurama, who is one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu and also a Chiranjeevi( immortal) is said to await the return of Kalki, in order to mentor the later to combat and eliminate evil and dark elements from his world.
Scriptures also describe the appearance of the Kalki avatar, who is believed to ride a white horse with wings. This unique horse would be known as Devadutta, meaning “God given”. Kalki also carries a sword in his hand which is believed to be the weapon he uses to annihilate evil beings. The manifestation of the avatar is said to be accompanied by devastating natural calamities such as thunderstorms, heavy rain and other natural calamities, that would put a complete end to life on earth.
Kalki Avatar also finds mention in scriptures of other religion such as Buddhism and Sikhism too. The revered Sikh saint, Guru Gobind Singh in his work named “Sri Dasam Granth” reveals that Kalki would manifest with brandishing his sword, and would blow the trumpet before destroying everything that is evil.
Rituals Of Kalki Jayanti
1.People observe vrat (fast) on Kalki Jayanthi throughout the day from dawn until dusk.
2. Devotees chant holy mantras like the Vishnu Sahasranama, and Narayana Mantra for 108 times.
3. Pooja starts with the chanting of Beej mantra followed by offering a seat to the Lord (asana).
4. The deity’s vigraha is anointed ceremoniously with water and panchamrit ( a mixture of fruits and honey).
5. Many undertake to recite the 108 holy names Lord Vishnu.
6.Offerings are made to the in the form of flowers, lamps, Tulsi leaves and incense. Sweets are also prepared at households and offered to the Lord.
7. Worshipping the almighty with utmost trust and devotion is believed to bring innumerable benefits to the worshipper.
8. Donating food to Brahmins on this day is considered a noble act.
Celebration of Kalki Jayanti in Temples
Several temples in South India that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu celebrate this auspicious occasion with great pomp and fervor. A few among them are Tripati Sri Venkateswara Temple (District Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh), Sri Rangam Ranganatha Swamy Temple (district Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu), Udupi Sri Krishna Temple (Udupi, Karnataka), Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple (district Thrissur, Kerala) , and Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple (district Khammam, Telangana) . There is just a single temple in India that is exclusively dedicated to Lord Kalki. This temple is situated at the city of Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. Grandeur festive celebrations are organised here commemorating the occasion of Kalki Jayanthi.
-Radhika T V
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