When Yudhisthira Maharaj became the emperor of Hastinapur, Lord Krsna came to visit him from Dwaraka for the last time. Two people came to Yuddhisthir quarreling with each other for justice, having a barrel of gold coins with them. While Lord Krsna watched, one of those two addressed King Yuddhisthir, saying “O Sire, this barrel of gold coins was found on my land while I was digging the foundation of the building. I want to hand over this barrel of gold coins to this man from whom I had purchased that land.” The other man said, “I had sold my land for money; after receiving the money, the land belongs to the buyer, therefore the barrel of gold coins belongs to him.” The other man replied, “I do not want the bad karma of money because money carries the bad karma of the person. His forefathers had buried this barrel of money in the land and I bought the land, not the barrel of money. I do not want the bad karma of his forefathers; therefore, oh Sire, I want to return this barrel of money to him and he is quarreling with me.” The other man replied, saying, “Oh Sire, I sold the land and the land belongs to him. If in case he would have found a barrel of scorpions, would he give the barrel of scorpions to me? If he found a snake or a ghost, would he also deliver them to me? This barrel of gold coins belongs to him. Therefore, I don’t want the barrel.”
5,000 years ago there was no paper money, only gold coins were used in all exchanges. Neither of these two wanted that barrel of money. Hearing this, King Yuddhisthir did not know what to do, thus he kept the barrel of money with the consent of Lord Krsna. This was just before Kaliyuga spread his influence on earth. When Yudhisthir took the barrel of gold coins, these people left to go to their homes. As soon as the influence of Kaliyuga began, these two people thought individually, “I must get that barrel of gold coins.” They each took a lawyer to fight with Yuddhisthir to have the barrel of money. The land owner said, “This barrel of money belongs to me because I purchased the land, I have the land papers to prove it,” and the lawyer said, “Please hand over the barrel to my client.” The other person said, “I sold my forefather’s property to this man, and unbeknownst to me, my forefather buried the barrel of their savings under the ground. I sold the ground, not what was under the ground, and the barrel was found under the ground. Therefore, this barrel belongs to me. It is my forefather’s blessings to me.” His lawyer said, “The barrel belongs to my client, please hand it over.” As Lord Krsna was not present at this incident, Yudhisthir Maharaj understood that the influence of Kaliyuga had covered these people; therefore they are fighting, having become dishonest, and not thinking about what will happen to them after their death. They should have given the barrel for spiritual services.
Yudhisthir Maharaj contemplated that in Kaliyuga most of the people will not care about what will happen to them after their death. They will only seek and work in their present to be well situated and engage in material enjoyment. The case with those who will act as devotees in Kaliyuga will be similar – they will not consider acting in such a way that their liberation after death is guaranteed. They will not care about their liberation because they will not actually believe in liberation nor will they think that such a thing as liberation actually exists after death. They will think, “Let us get worshipped now, obtain donations, and have good fame, who knows what will happen after death.” Unbeknownst to their followers, they will do everything dirty that exists in the dictionary behind the doors and come out looking as worshippable. People of Kaliyuga will also be influenced to follow such duplicitous people blindly and not be able to ask if their leader will receive liberation after their death and also help the followers to be liberated. The spiritual followers of Kaliyuga will neither have the guts nor have the required intelligence to ask their spiritual leader to prove the guarantee of their liberation. Practically everyone on the spiritual path will become blind due to Kaliyuga, thus blind leaders will lead the blind followers to hell. Neither blind followers will ask their blind leader if they have spiritual vision, nor will the blind leaders ask their blind followers to go away and take initiation from somebody else, leaving them alone so they can work for their liberation. In this way both the spiritual leader and their followers will go to hell after their death and then take birth as ghosts on earth to suffer. As Lord Siva states, “O Parvati, those who act as spiritual leaders but are not authorized by the ancient Vedic scriptures, if they give spiritual initiations to their followers and those followers who take spiritual initiation from such spiritual leaders who are not authorized by the scriptures, both of them, the leaders and the followers, go to hell and after suffering in hell they become ghosts.” But those who are lucky and not influenced by Kaliyuga will find a spiritual leader who is not influenced by Kaliyuga – in other words, one who does not compromise on the scriptural evidence and has a guarantee of proof of him receiving liberation. Only a liberated person can help others receive liberation. In this way, Yudhisthir Maharaj contemplated on how amazingly degrading Kaliyuga’s influence will be.
[Sri Krsna Balaram Swamiji, KBS5139]