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1. degeneration of time (tib.: du kyi nyig) - time of wars, peace does not last long; time of sicknesses with new diseases coming; the decline of quality of things, less nutritious food, famine; people are overwhelmed by spirit harms.
2. degeneration of sentient beings (tib.: sem cen gyi nyig ma) - refers to the decline in physical form, intellect, good health; beings are thick-skulled and difficult to subdue; the majority hold ideas that are morally wrong, many are intolerant to the point of hatred.
3. degeneration of lifespan (tib.: tshei nyig ma) - refers to the fact that the lifespan of beings declines from one hundred years all the way down to ten years.
4. degeneration of actions/views (tib.: le kyi nyig ma) - means that all sentient beings engage in the ten non-virtuous actions, people very easily believe in wrong philosophies and find it difficult to believe the right view.
5. degeneration of afflictions (tib.: nyon mong pe nyig ma) - indicates that the afflictions of ignorance, desire, anger, jealousy, pride and other delusions are becoming so strong that it is very difficult to abandon them.
Sentient beings of that time have small merit, yet, it is said that those capable of training the mind are not vulnerable to the proliferation of the five degenerations and remain contented.