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Now, the redemption which we as yet await (continued Imlac), will be that of Kalki, who will come as a Silver Stallion: all evils and every sort of folly will perish at the coming of this Kalki: true righteousness will be restored, and the minds of men will be made as clear as crystal. ~ James Branch Cabell

Kalki (Devanagari: कल्कि; also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki), in some Hindu traditions, is the tenth and final great avatar (appearance or incarnation) of Vishnu prophesied to end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. The name Kalki is often used as a metaphor for eternity or time. The origins of the name might lie in the Sanskrit word "kalka" which refers to mud, dirt, filth, or foulness hence denoting a "destroyer of foulness," "destroyer of confusion," "destroyer of darkness," or "annihilator of ignorance." In Buddhist traditions Kalki (or sometimes "Kalika'" or "Kulika") is the title given to numerous kings of Shambhala. This page is for quotes from the myths and prophecies about Kalki, people who have claimed to be the avatar, or characters in stories which are based upon the prophecies or legends.

For the Tamil writer whose primary pseudonym was Kalki, see: Kalki Krishnamurthy
For the modern Indian actress often referred to simply as Kalki, see: Kalki Koechlin


  • "Be not afraid, O Dharma," said Kalki reassuringly. "Now Satya Yuga has started casting his shadows. I am also supported by these noble kings like Manu and Devapi who assumed form under Brahma's guidance to enhance your influence. At Keetaka City I have already trounced the Buddhist forces which never believed in God. I am also planning to get rid of those who are not followers of Vishnu and who also defy your norms. My forces are ready to depart...."

Quotes about Kalki

The themes that Vidal addressed straightforwardly in Messiah (1954) — religious hysteria and manipulation of the popular will by the commercial media — are expanded surrealistically in Kalki. ~ Susan Baker and Curtis S. Gibson
And who is Kalki, madame? ~ James Branch Cabell
Kalki is a horse of another color. ~ James Branch Cabell
It is you, isn't it, Kalkin? … This is your sort of war. Those were your lightnings striking friend and foe alike. You did live, somehow, eh? ~ Roger Zelazny, in Lord of Light
The full power of Kalkin? … That has never been released, oh Death. Not in all the ages of the world. ~ Roger Zelazny, in Lord of Light
  • When Kalki was published in 1978, it looked to be something of an artistic retrenchment for Vidal, an improbable entertainment in the sci-fi genre that afforded him the opportunity to exercise his spleen on some old friends — grasping politicians, the popular media, and credulous religionists. In retrospect however the novel seems a remarkably insightful cautionary tale and, further, represents an important developmental phase in the Vidal canon. For instance the themes that Vidal addressed straightforwardly in Messiah (1954) — religious hysteria and manipulation of the popular will by the commercial media — are expanded surrealistically in Kalki. These concerns will later be addressed comically, and more effectively yet, in Live from Golgotha (1992). The more serious his purposes, it seems, the more extravagant are Vidal's conceits.
    Briefly, Kalki is a futuristic affair with a messianic prophet of doom who would save the planet by annihilating the human race.
    • Susan Baker and Curtis S. Gibson, in a review of the very dark satire based upon the Kalki prophecies, Kalki : A Novel (1978) by Gore Vidal, in Gore Vidal : A Critical Companion (1997), p. 161
  • Jurgen returned again toward Barathum; and, whether or not it was a coincidence, Jurgen met precisely the vampire of whom he had inveigled his father into thinking. She was the most seductively beautiful creature that it would be possible for Jurgen's father or any other man to imagine: and her clothes were orange-colored, for a reason sufficiently well known in Hell, and were embroidered everywhere with green fig–leaves.
    "A good morning to you, madame," says Jurgen, "and whither are you going?"
    "Why, to no place at all, good youth. For this is my vacation, granted yearly by the Law of Kalki—"
    "And who is Kalki, madame?"
    "Nobody as yet: but he will come as a stallion. Meanwhile his Law precedes him, so that I am spending my vacation peacefully in Hell, with none of my ordinary annoyances to bother me."
    "And what, madame, can they be?"
    "Why, you must understand that it is little rest a vampire gets on earth, with so many fine young fellows like yourself going about everywhere eager to be destroyed."
  • Is it not a pity, Guivric, that this Kalki will not come in our day, and that we shall never behold his complete glory? I cry a lament for that Kalki who will someday bring back to their appointed places high faith and very ardent loves and hatreds; and who will see to it that human passions are in never so poor a way to find expressions in adequate speech and action. Ohé, I cry a loud lament for Kalki! The little silver effigies which his postulants fashion and adore are well enough: but Kalki is a horse of another color.
    • James Branch Cabell, in The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), the character Horvendille, in Book Six : In the Sylan's House, Ch. XXXIX : One Warden Left Uncircumvented
  • From Hellwell to Heaven he went, there to commune with the gods. The Celestial City holds many mysteries, including some of the keys to his own past. Not all that transpired during the time he dwelled there is known. It is known, however, that he petitioned the gods on behalf of the world, obtaining the sympathy of some, the enmity of others. Had he chosen to betray humanity and accept the proffers of the gods, it is said by some that he might have dwelled forever as a Lord of the City and not have met his death beneath the claws of the phantom cats of Kaniburrha...
  • "I knew him a long time ago," said Rudra.
    "He wasn't then. Wasn't much of anything, politically. He was one of the First, though, one of those who had looked upon Urath."
    "He distinguished himself in the wars against the People-of-the-Sea and against the Mothers of the Terrible Glow." Here, Rudra made a sign in the air. "Later," he continued, "this was remembered, and he was given charge of the northern marches in the wars against the demons. He was known as Kalkin in those days, and it was there that he came to be called Binder. He developed an Attribute which he could use against the demons. With it, he destroyed most of the Yakshas and bound the Rakasha. When Yama and Kali captured him at Hellwell in Malwa, he had already succeeded in freeing these latter. Thus, the Rakasha are again abroad in the world."
  • "There are only demigods and men upon the field," said Death. "They are still testing our strength. There are very few who remember the full power of Kalkin."
    "The full power of Kalkin?" asked Sam. "That has never been released, oh Death. Not in all the ages of the world."

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