The chanting of Hare Krsna is the elevator by which we can come immediately to the platform of bhakti−yoga: The general progress of yoga is gradual. First one practices karma−yoga, which refers to ordinary, fruitive activity. Ordinary activities include sinful activities, but karma−yoga excludes such activities.

Karma−yoga refers only to good, pious activities, or those actions which are prescribed. After performing karma−yoga, one comes to the platform of jnana−yoga, knowledge. From the platform of knowledge, one attains to this astanga−yoga, the eightfold yoga system−dhyana, dharana, pranayama, asana, etc.−and from astanga−yoga, as one concentrates on Visnu, one comes to the point of bhakti−yoga. Bhakti−yoga is the perfectional stage, and if one practices Krsna consciousness, one attains this stage from the very beginning. That is the direct route. If one practices jnana−yoga and thinks that he has attained the ultimate, he is mistaken. He has to make further progress. If we are on a staircase and have to reach the top floor, which is the hundredth floor, we are mistaken if we think we have arrived when we are on the thirtieth floor. As stated before, the whole yoga system may be likened to a staircase, connecting or linking us to God. In order to attain the ultimate, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we must go to the highest platform, and that is bhakti−yoga.

But why walk up all these steps if we have a chance to take an elevator? By means of an elevator, we can reach the top in a matter of seconds. Bhakti−yoga is this elevator, the direct process by which we can reach the top in a matter of seconds. We can go step by step, following all the other yoga systems, or we can go directly. Since in this age of Kali−yuga people have short life spans and are always disturbed and anxious, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His causeless mercy, has given us the elevator by which we can come immediately to the platform of bhakti−yoga. That direct means is the chanting of Hare Krsna, and that is the special gift of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore Rupa Gosvami offers respects to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, namo maha−vadanyaya krsna−prema−pradaya te: [Madhya 19.53] "Oh, You are the most munificent incarnation because You are directly giving love of Krsna. To attain pure love of Krsna, one has to pass through so many stages of yoga, but You are giving this love directly. Therefore You are the most munificent."

¯The Path of Perfection

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare