I started my first version of La rueda del
tiempo (in English, "The Wheel of Time") I was
motivated by very special circumstances. A most
precious, monumental Hindu holy scripture, the Third
Canto of Bhagavata Purana, had come to
my hands as if by accident, and I was marveled to
learn that in very remote times the Hindus were
already familiar with such advanced concepts as the
expansion of the universe and the space and time
relativity, both of them notions that the modern
scientists would only become acquainted with
from the Twentieth Century onwards. But what really
amazed me were the huge lengths of time mentioned in
relation to cosmic cycles. For instance, the
Kali-yuga o "Dark Era," a cycle which clearly
corresponds to the Age of Iron of the Greek and
Roman traditions, would actually extend over 432,000
terrestrial years, a tenth of a human cycle of
4'320,000 years; and if its start was in 3102 BC, as
recorded by Hindu astronomical texts, its end would
arrive as late as 429,000 AD, without doubt a
reassuring date in times of enormous global crisis
as we are living now, but which does not absolutely
correlate with data from other traditions announcing
an imminent end for our troubled civilization.
What the "disciples" of Guénon had to say
By then, various articles by “disciples” of René Guénon had started to appear, mainly on the Internet, in which they claimed the following:
(1) The length of the full human cycle is 64,840 years, equivalent to five half cycles of precession of equinoxes (5 x 12,960 years); this calculation had been suggested (but only suggested!) by Guénon in the aforementioned article, as well as the following point.
(2) The year 720 of the Kali-yuga (which
would last 6,480 years, or a tenth of the above
figure) would have coincided with that of the
beginning of the Jewish Era, traditionally
established as 3761 BC; therefore, also based on
other tempting elaborations by Guénon in various
articles, the Kali-yuga would have started in
the year 4481 BC.
Well, concerning the doctrine of cosmic cycles, the first thing that we have to understand is the word millennium is not equivalent, as might be thought, to a thousand common years, but to an indefinite length of time usually referred to any major cosmic cycle. This is a point that will never be stressed enough, and it surely is an elemental principle that the aforementioned authors seemed to have forgotten. Even worse, not only did they evidence their inability to let go of the literal sense of the term, but also a certain proclivity to the kind of hysteria that usually attacks the masses as the end of any major cycle draws near, not to mention such frightening cycle as the one that was about to visit us.
Under these terms, the fact that the year 2000 arrived painlessly – in other words, without any fatal outcome to regret – did, by far, not mean that the validity of the doctrine of cycles became dubious. On the contrary, it merely denoted that it was all misconceived. Looked at in retrospect, on the other hand, it did not mean either that our planet had got rid of the atrocious cataclysms that usually escort the end of all major cycles, as quite obviously such end, should the doctrine remain valid, would be yet to arrive.
Be it as it may, sure as I was that Guénon would have never approved of such excesses – though still doubting whether or not his “suggestions” had been made on purpose so that such calculations failed – I set myself to the task of publishing a third edition of La rueda del tiempo with a view to clarify this point as much as possible, at the same time that correct any omission, make some points more specific, and even improve the general appearance from the previous editions.
It has only been now, however, that I have been able to finish this task. And curiously enough, the most remarkable fact about it is that I have not had to substantially modify the previous editions, apart from correcting one or two wrong references, adding some data and refining a bit writing and syntax. On the other hand, I have hesitated as to the convenience to keep some sections, such as, for instance, the description of the Egyptian “Divine Year”, which could deviate the attention from the main subject, and I even was tempted to completely suppress a certain chapter that could seem little convincing. But I was dissuaded by the fact that, while such sections are not essential to a better understanding of the matter, they can be profitably read, in particular the latter, which briefly depicts the Kali-yuga of the present cycle – virtually the history of our so-called civilization.
Now, it is understandable that this particular view of history will frontally crash with that of the majority of readers, who, save for one or two exceptions, know very little about oriental doctrines. In this sense, it is essential to understand the concept of maha-yuga, the Hindu cycle of four yugas or decreasing ages whose lengths are proportional to 4, 3, 2 and 1 and which can, in fact, be assimilated to any temporal cycle, as another fundamental point of the doctrine is that there exists a total correlation among them all; and then stop at the concept of Manvantara, this one referred to the total human cycle and whose length must be calculated as two cycles of precession of equinoxes or a total 51,840 common years. One more step, and it must become clear that if the yugas sum up proportionally 10 (because 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10), the length of the Kali-yuga will be one tenth of that total, i.e. 5,184 common years. Yet another step, consistent with the previous one, will make us understand that the characteristics of the present Kali-yuga, by virtue of the correlations to which I have referred, reflect accurately – yet in a more incisive way – those of the full cycle of 51,840 years; this, in practice, will give us a small-scale image of this cycle, including, also in a small scale but with lengths always proportional to the scale 4, 3, 2 and 1, that of the four descending yugas. The last step will be to focus on the last of them, which we may call the kali-yuga of the present Kali-yuga: a period of time of little more than five hundred years, extremely rich in historical events and great material achievements but which unfortunately, precisely by reason of their being merely material, would appear to be leading us towards disaster at an ever increasing speed...
Thinking therefore about the Western readers, who in their great majority tend to believe in a brilliant future for mankind, I have seen it convenient to commence this study by reviewing certain passages from the Bible that they may be me more familiar with, and starting from this point and from the unbelievable coincidences between those and other sacred texts from all over the World – coincidences that strangely prefigure the most recent discoveries of modern Astrophysics – to usher them through ancient universal myths such as the "Four Ages of Mankind" and the "Seven Eras of the World", to finally arrive at disquieting conclusions about the present moment and the near future of our planet – a turning point in time towards which there appear to be converging, in a most threatening fashion, cosmic cycles of various orders and magnitudes...
Lima, November 2010
A Message from The Author
Luis Miguel Goitizolo
All rights reserved