Thursday, January 26, 2012

End of the world in 2012?

Apocalypse: A prophetic revelation usually about the end of the world and the ensuing establishment of a heavenly kingdom. Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings appeared between 200BC and 150AD.

Armageddon: The site or time of a final and conclusive battle between the forces of good and evil.

Saptasuryaudgamana: The rising of seven suns, spelling the end of the world. This is an oriental prophecy.

At a party, at the office or while travelling, someone might suddenly take you on: “Say, will the world end on December 21, 2012?”

This may perhaps bewilder you, or you may have a ready-made response.

But, if I were you, I will come back pat: “No, the world will not end in 2012.”

I fully admit, that such a stance has a tinge of cynicism to it. When I unhesitatingly say, that the world will not end on December 21, I have a cynical assumption. If the world actually ends on that day, there will be no one around to point a finger at me and taunt; “You guessed wrong.”

Cynicism apart, let us ponder somewhat profoundly, about this current concern related to the end of the world. In the first place, how did this topic enter the domain of global dialogue, with such amazing pre-eminence?

To my mind, it all began with the pervasive impact of mass media. In the past few years a shattering series of cinematic works was foisted upon the cinema-goers world-wide.

A predominant work in this recent wave of apocalyptic films was “2012.” In its aftermath, whole streams of rumours and myths flooded the popular discourse as news of impending disaster, can be troublingly unsettling.

The disaster messages emanating from formal media works, set off mass rumour worldwide, leading to an intriguing communication phenomenon. The mass concern centered on the possibility of the end of the world, eventually influenced individuals and institutions at a high level.

The impressive outcome of all this was the alertness of the whole world to the end-of-the-world threat. By the time 2012 dawned, many entered the new year hesitatingly, lest the world will come to an end in December.

The end-of-the-world story acquired an added piquancy, when the “Prophecy” of the Maya Calendar Sharpened the interest.

The Mayas are an American Indian race, who authored a brilliant civilisation, about 2,400 years ago (Incidentally, it is now known that to characterise them as Mayans, is a linguistic misnomer. They are Mayas). Ruled by priest-kings, the Mayas had evolved intricate systems to measure time. They were versatile in mathematics and astronomy.

The Mayas are recognised as highly sophisticated formulators of calendars. The rumour spread around the world during the past two years, that the Maya Calendar stops at December 21, 2012.

This gave rise to the alarm, that the Mayas ended their calendar at December 21, 2012, because the world comes to an end on that day.

Sustained discussions with scholars of Maya culture, have now revealed that, there is no Maya prophecy of an end of the world on December 21, 2012.

On the other hand, the Mayas of old had given the moderns some very good news. What their calendar says is, on December 21, 2012, the 13th Bak time period will end.

That is the end of a 5125-year cycle. With the end of that period, all the evil eras will be gone and on December 21, 2012, a Brave New World of Prosperity, Harmony and Peace will dawn.

The wholesome prophecy left to the moderns by the Mayas as a blessed legacy, has been pathetically misconstrued by someone, who misinterpreted its significance.

But, the inescapable truth is, that, many ancient religious systems and past civilisations have proclaimed end of the world prophecies.
Moral degradation

The core intent of some of these is moral and didactic.

When spiritual leaders observed the moral degradation of men and women, they pointed to the end-of-the-world prophecies, that forecast the survival of only those who do good deeds.

Apocalypse and Armageddon embody that spirit.

The end-of-the-world prophecies come within two categories:

(a) Those that forecast the end of the human race - partially or completely. 
(b) Those that prophecy the end of the total planet.

While on this, I am keen to focus on a Sri Lankan prophecy. This is enshrined in a thin Sinhala publication titled Anagathawansa Desana (Discourse on the future). This is not a direct work in Buddhist scriptures. It is an ancillary work. But, it is an exquisite piece of prophetic literate. I wholeheatedly commend this book to our readers).

While discussing the future developments of mankind, the work says that there will come a time when evil will dominate. Murderers and criminals will be esteemed as heroes. The author says Kamavacara Devatas. (Worldly deities’ - I think these could be sages like Arthur C Clarke).

Then warn mankind: Seven days from today a disastrous rain (Murgasan Varusa) ‘rain transforming men to Brutes’?)

Avoid this. If that rain drenches you turn into brutes.

You see others as enemies. Even a blade of grass in your hand will become a lethal weapon. Avoiding this down-pour remain indoors - or in caves”.

Some heed the warning and remain indoors.

Those who scoff, get drenched in the rain.

After seven days when those who took shelter come out, they see the world turned into one vast abattoir. Mass massacre had happened.

Those who remain, flourish. They build a kingdom called Kethumathi (The realm of sky-scrapers). Here when the citizens walk about, and need to answer a call of nature covered toilets appear (public toilets). On either side of the road you have ‘Wish conferring trees” (Vending machines). They can get anything they need.

This is a remarkable work, worth deep study. As for the end of the world, scientifically, the planet can end, when the sun burns out and its fires engulf the solar system. This will be in about a billion years.

In the Jurassic Age the dinosaurs became suddenly extinct about 65 million years ago. This is the outcome, according to some scientists of the impact of an asteroid.
Dust clouds

The impact raised dust clouds miles thick obscuring the sun. The whole earth was covered by thick layers of snow, some smothering all life into extinction.

Prof. Paul Crutzen, in his theory about ‘Nuclear Winter” states, that if man use nuclear bombs in future wars, the smoke from those explosions will obscure the sun resulting in a snow-cover that will bring about the extinction of all life - forms including humans.

Scientists say that in the foreseeable future, there is no threat to Planet Earth, from objects coming from space. If humans suffer extinction it will be entirely due to their own evil acts.
Courtesy - Sunday Observer By Kalakeerthi EDWIN ARIYADASA