Devi is very troubled because of all that Varadarajan has told her. She wonders if the predictions can really come true.

Aristotle dear, I am a temple cow and what I hear around here depresses me. The talk is often about the extinction of our species. I wonder if you understand what I am going through. Let me share with you what I heard from Varadarajan.

“It is kaliyuga now, Devi!”, Varadarajan muttered as he scrubbed me clean for the morning temple rituals. He continued, “It is the age of darkness that our ancient forefathers had predicted would come. It is the fourth and the shortest in a cycle of four yugaskrita, treta, dwapara and kali. It will last for 432,000 solar years; and it started in the year 3102 BC. During this yuga men will be destroyed by their own evil. Avarice, vanity and ego will turn them into monsters. There will be quarrels within families; there will be war among nations.”

“As for you Devi, neither you nor any member of your species will be alive. The cow will become extinct in the kali yuga. It did not happen during kritha yuga, which was four times as long as the kali yuga; it did not happen during the tretha yuga, which was three times as long as the kali yuga; nor did it happen during dwapara yuga, which was twice as long.”

“End of your species will come in this yuga of darkness. However, into this evil world, they have said, will come the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu as the four-armed Kalki Vishnuyaksha. Riding a white stallion and brandishing a flaming sword, he will destroy all that is evil!”

“Then will start a new cycle of four yugas that would last 4.32 million years. Did you know, Devi, that one thousand such cycles make one cosmic day for the gods, i.e., 4.32 million x 1000 solar years is one day in the heavens!”

I do not understand all of this; but can you imagine how upset this Vedic calendar's prophecy made me? On one hand I hear that there are millions of cattle in the world. On the other hand, here is someone who is convinced of our extinction!

Can this really happen?

Devi

Reply from Aristotle

Why not, dear cow? What has happened before can happen again; if man could wipe out four or five billion passenger pigeons in one century, why can't he make your species disappear too?

Not too long ago, the eastern half of North America had been the home of stupendously large flocks of these migratory birds that flew south during winters but nested in summer in the northern forests. The migrating flocks were often a mile wide and 300 miles long, taking it a full day to cross a point! A “bird of passage”, which gave it its name. A beautiful blue-grey bird with iridescent green or purple neck feathers. When Europeans landed in North America the continent was unscarred by humans. Native people had lived for many centuries in harmony with bear and bison, passenger pigeon and bald eagle. However, with the new arrivals settling in, trouble began for the pigeons. Their nesting trees were cut down; they fell victim to new diseases; and they were hunted for food. By early 1900's, the poor birds were all gone.

Take heart, cow! Like these extinct birds, your skeleton too would be on display in museums of Natural History.