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Whenever there is a withering of the law
and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides,
then I manifest Myself.
For the salvation of the righteous
and the destruction of such as do evil,
for the firm establishing of the Law,
I come to birth, age after age.
~ Bhagavad Gita, Book IV, Sutra 5, 7, 8
The famous quotation from the Bhagavad Gita, which is the holy book of the Hindus, is the basis of their belief that God (Lord Vishnu) takes birth on the earth as an Avatar or incarnation and as a saviour of the humanity in order to cleanse the world of evil and re-establish Dharma or Law when the human society reaches the nadir of moral and cultural values, and lose all awareness of what is right and wrong. The Hindu texts called Puranas tell the story of various Avatars of Vishnu, including his last avatar Buddha. The texts also prophesize of a future Avatar of Vishnu called Kalki who will appear at the end of the present age called the Age of Koli (untruth) or Koli Yug. Hindus believe that time revolves in a cyclical manner beginning with Satya Yug or the Age of Truth. Then comes Treta Yug, Dwapar Yug and finally Koli Yug. After that comes annihilation and re-initiation of the Satya Yug or Kritya Yug - the age of purity.
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