In the Satya-yuga, the duration of life was 100,000's of years. A man used to live for 100,000's of years. Then in the Tretā-yuga it reduced ten times. They used to live for 10,000 years. Then in Dvāpara-yuga, it reduced again ten times; they used to live for 1,000 years. And now, in the Kali-yuga, the duration of life is prescribed as one hundred years. But you see that it is reducing.
Everyone may note it. Perhaps your grandfather lived for hundred years. Your father lived for eighty years. And nowadays, sixty or seventy years. Gradually, it will so reduce, we shall come to that statement that if a man lives from twenty to thirty years he will be considered a very grand old man. If he lives for twenty to thirty years he'll be considered, "Oh, you have got very good life." That will come, gradually.
This is the progressive age. Progressive age for material civilization. We are proud of making advancement of our civilization, but these nice things are being reduced. That means . . . we are advancing means reducing the nice things. This is advanced. Āyuḥ and smṛtiḥ. Smṛtiḥ means memory. So these eight items will reduce gradually. You can keep it noted, and you'll see how they are being reduced. And we have already experienced. Smṛtiḥ. Then next description is:
- vittam eva kalau nṝṇāṁ
- kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi
- (SB 12.2.2)
Another symptom is how a man is respectable. He says, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, vittam eva kalau nṝṇām. Vittam means money. If you have got money, some way or other, whatever you may be, you are very respected. Janmācāra-guṇodayaḥ. Formerly, a man was respectable by his birth in a respectable family and by his behavior.
Just like a Brahmin. A Brahmin was respected because his behavior was so nice. He was truthful, he was clean, he was man of knowledge, he was faithful in scriptures, and so many qualifications. Therefore he was respected. So here it is said that janma, birth in a good family or high family, or good behavior. Janmācāra. Janmācāra, and guṇa, quality. Suppose a man is a great philosopher, or a great learned scholar. That is very good qualification.
So these things will not be considered. And if a man is very learned scholar or coming of a very respectable family and has got all good qualities, that will be neglected. Another man, if he has all the bad qualities but he has got money, he's respected. He'll be respected. This is the symptom of this age.
And dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyāṁ kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi (SB 12.2.2). Dharma. Dharma means suppose you have acted something irreligious. In every religion, and every scripture, there are many things, you do it and do not do it. So that is called following the religious principle. In every religion, either Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan, there are some rules and regulation. Just like in Mohammedan religion, drinking is greatest sin. And . . . in Hindu religion, flesh eating, especially cow's meat, is greatest sin. So these are religious principles. So dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyām.
So there are some rules and regulation according to different types of religion. So how they will be settled? Kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi: by might. If one has . . . "Might is right." That "Might is right." There is no reason. "Why you are doing against religious principle?" If I ask, if you are powerful, stronger than me, you'll say, "Yes! I can do that. What is that? What for you? What is that to you?" So balam eva hi. If anyone is powerful in power, oh, he can act against the rules and regulation of religious or scriptural injunctions. Nobody can protest. Dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyāṁ kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi.