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The Prime Religion Practice for the Kali-yuga is the Chanting of the Holy Name

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In this Age of Kali the practical system of religion for everyone is the chanting of the name of Godhead.

In the Age of Kali, however, people should simply chant the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is specifically mentioned in many Upaniṣads, such as the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, where it is said:

 

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

 

iti ṣoḍaśakaṁ nāmnā
kali-kalmaṣa-nāśanam
nātaḥ parataropāya
sarva-vedeṣu dṛśyate

 

"After searching through all the Vedic literature one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa."

Cc. Adi 3.40

 

In Kali-yuga, simply by chanting the holy name one can attain the goal of life:

" 'Those who are advanced and highly qualified and are interested in the essence of life, know the good qualities of Kali-yuga. Such people worship the Age of Kali because in this age, simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, one can advance in spiritual knowledge and attain life's goal.'  "

This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.36) spoken by the great sage Karabhājana Ṛṣi, one of the nine Yogendras. The sage was informing Mahārāja Nimi about the people's duty to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to different processes in different yugas.

Madhya 20.347

 

In Kali-yuga, one can attain liberation and return to the spiritual world by chanting the holy name.

" 'My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. ' "

Madhya 20.344

 

Sankirtan is the present yuga-dharma:

(Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Gosvami: «... In the Kali-yuga the occupational duty of the people is to chant congregationally the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.

In Kali-yuga one worships Lord Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Cc. Madhya 20.339


The only religious principe in the age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name.

(Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya: " 'In this Age of Kali there is no religious principle other than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures.'

Cc. Adi 7.74


In Kali-yuga, chanting of the holy name is the most feasible means of salvation.

In great jubilation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "My dear Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya, know from Me that chanting of the holy names is the most feasible means of salvation in this age of Kali.

Cc. Antya 20.8

 

 

The universal religious practice for the Kali-yuga is the chanting of the holy name.

The religious practice for the Age of Kali is to broadcast the glories of the holy name. Only for this purpose has the Lord, in a yellow color, descended as Lord Caitanya.

 

In this Age of Kali the practical system of religion for everyone is the chanting of the name of Godhead. This was introduced in this age by Lord Caitanya. Bhakti-yoga actually begins with the chanting of the holy name, as confirmed by Madhvācārya in his commentary on the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad. He quotes this verse from the Nārāyaṇa-saṁhitā:


dvāparīyair janair viṣṇuḥ
pañcarātrais tu kevalaiḥ
kalau tu nāma-mātreṇa
pūjyate bhagavān hariḥ

"In the Dvāpara-yuga people should worship Lord Viṣṇu only by the regulative principles of the Nārada-pañcarātra and other such authorized books. In the Age of Kali, however, people should simply chant the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Cc. Adi 3.40

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam advocates nama-sankirtana as the essence of religion in the age of Kali.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is repeatedly and clearly said that the essence of religion in the Age of Kali is the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.

Cc. Adi 3.50

 

Rather than inventing one's religious process, one should accept the approved method of religion for this age-hari-nama-sankirtana:

(Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya to King Prataparudra): Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya replied, "This sweet transcendental sound is a special creation of the Lord known as prema-saṅkīrtana, congregational chanting in love of Godhead. "In this Age of Kali, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has descended to preach the religion of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore the chanting of the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the religious principle for this age. "Anyone who worships Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu by congregational chanting should be understood to be very intelligent. One who does not do so must be considered a victim of this age and bereft of all intelligence. "

 

Rascals propose that anyone can invent his own religious process, and this proposition is condemned herein. If one actually wants to become religious, he must take up the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra... dharma, or religion, cannot be manufactured by a human being. Religion is the law or code of the Lord... dharma refers to the science of bhakti-yoga, which begins by the novice's chanting the holy name of the Lord (tan-nāma-grahaṇādibhiḥ).

 

Therefore in this Age of Kali, as recommended here in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta kali-kāle dharma-kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana: the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the method of religion approved by all Vedic scriptures.
Cc. Madhya 11.97-99

Chanting the holy name is the sum and substance of sanatana-dharma.


In this Age of Kali there are no genuine religious principles other than those established by Vaiṣṇava devotees and Vaiṣṇava scriptures. This is the sum and substance of everything.

In this age a person should not envy Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement but should chant the holy names of Hari and Kṛṣṇa, the mahā-mantra. That is the sum and substance of the eternal religion, known as sanātana-dharma.

 

Cc. Madhya 9.362


In Kali-yuga Krsna has incarnated as th holy name inorder to deliver the sinful, who are suffering greatly.

As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.7):

 

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham

 

“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.” In the present age, Kali-yuga, people are very much sinful and are consequently suffering greatly. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has incarnated in the form of His name, as found in the mahā-mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

TQK (p. 203)



Because Kali-yuga is such a degraded and miserable age, Lord Caitanya advises everyone simply to chant Hare Krsna.


According to the Vedic conception, there must be men in society who are factually brāhmaṇas, capable of expounding the real truth. If everyone becomes a śūdra, the Absolute Truth cannot be understood. It is said that at the present moment in Kali-yuga everyone is a śūdra (kalau śūdra-sambhavāḥ), and it is very difficult in this age to find qualified brāhmaṇas, for they are very rare. There is practically not a single qualified brāhmaṇa in this age.

 

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ

 

“O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.” (Bhāg. 1.1.10) The people in this age are very short-lived and slow in understanding spiritual life. Actually human life is meant for understanding spiritual values, but because everyone in this age is a śūdra, no one is interested. People have forgotten life’s real purpose. The word manda means both slow and bad, and everyone in this age is either bad or slow or a combination of both. People are unfortunate and disturbed by so many things. According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there will eventually be no rain and consequently a scarcity of food. The governments will also levy very heavy taxes. The characteristics of this age predicted by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are already being experienced to some degree. Since Kali-yuga is a very miserable age, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, advises everyone simply to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

 

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nasty eva gatir anyathā

“In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.” (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa) This process is not Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s invention, but is advised by the śāstras, the purāṇas. The process for this Kali-yuga is very simple. One need only chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
TLK (pp. 3-4)

 

 

Although God has given us all facilities to live peacefully on this earth, cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and finally to come to Him, in this age we’re unfortunate. We are short-lived, and there are so many people without food, shelter, married life or defense from the onslaughts of nature. This is due to the influence of this age of Kali. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, seeing the dreadful situation in this age, emphasized the absolute necessity for cultivating spiritual life. And how should we do it? Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives the formula:

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

“Just always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Never mind whether you are in a factory or in a hell, in a shack or in a skyscraper—it doesn’t matter. just go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. There is no expense, there is no impediment, there is no caste, there is no creed, there is no color—anyone can do it. just chant and hear.

OWK (p. 69)



Everywhere in this age of iron everything is degraded, degraded in this sense: prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ (Bhāg. 1.1.10). In this age of Kali the duration of life is diminished, and men are not moved to understand self-realization, and if they are, they are invariably misled by so many deceitful leaders. The age is very corrupt. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is the best and the simplest method.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

 

“In this age of Kali there is no other religion than glorifying the Lord by utterance of His holy name, and that is the injunction of all the revealed scriptures. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.” This verse appears in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no other alternative. Kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā. In this age, Kali, there is no other alternative for self-realization. So we have to accept it.

There is another similar verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Twelfth Canto, Third Chapter, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was informed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī of the faults of this age, and now all the symptoms of the age of Kali are apparent. In the conclusive portion, however, Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ: “My dear king, this age, Kali, is full of faulty things, but there is one good opportunity.” What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet: “Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become liberated and go back to Godhead.”

SSR (pp. 154-155



Chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the common platform for the universal religion of mankind in the Kali-yuga.

In this present age quarrels take place even over trifles, and therefore the śāstras have recommended for this age a common platform for realization, namely chanting the holy names of the Lord. People can hold meetings to glorify the Lord in their respective languages and with melodious songs, and if such performances are executed in an offenseless manner, it is certain that the participants will gradually attain spiritual perfection without having to undergo more rigorous methods. At such meetings everyone, the learned and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Englishmen and the Indians, and the caṇḍālas and the brāhmaṇas, can all hear the transcendental sounds and thus cleanse the dust of material association from the mirror of the heart. To confirm the Lord's mission, all the people of the world will accept the holy name of the Lord as the common platform for the universal religion of mankind.

SB. 1, Intro. (1:1, p.7)


The Hare Krsna mantra is espacially suitted to deliver us from the dangers of the Kali-yuga.


Only the dvijas (the brāhmaṇas) and the devas (the demigods) can be delivered from material existence by the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a mantra and is suitable for delivering the conditioned souls from mental speculation. The conditioned souls are engaged in a struggle for existence (manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati [Bg. 15.7]). Deliverance from this struggle constitutes the highest benefit, but unless one gets a mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, deliverance is impossible. The beginning mantra is the Gāyatrī mantra. Therefore, after purification, when one is qualified to become a brāhmaṇa (dvija), he is offered the Gāyatrī mantra. Simply by chanting the Gāyatrī mantra, one can be delivered. This mantra, however, is suitable only for the brāhmaṇas and demigods. In Kali-yuga, we are all in a very difficult position, in which we need a suitable mantra that can deliver us from the dangers of this age. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His incarnation as Lord Caitanya, gives us the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” In His Śikṣāṣṭaka, Lord Caitanya says, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam: “All glories to the chanting of śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana!” The mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—is directly chanted by the Lord Himself, who gives us this mantra for deliverance.

We cannot invent any means to be delivered from the dangers of material existence. Here, even the demigods, such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and the prajāpatis, such as Dakṣa, are said to be like illuminating sparks in the presence of the Supreme Lord, who is compared to a great fire. Sparks are beautiful as long as they are in the fire. Similarly, we have to remain in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always engage in devotional service, for then we shall always be brilliant and illuminating. As soon as we fall from the service of the Lord, our brilliance and illumination will immediately be extinguished, or at least stopped for some time. When we living entities, who are like sparks of the original fire, the Supreme Lord, fall into a material condition, we must take the mantra from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as it is offered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. By chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we shall be delivered from all the difficulties of this material world.

SB. 8.6.15

 

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