We are all children of the same God but unfortunately we decided in the past to sever our bond with him and so we came in this mortal material world. We thought we can enjoy better independently here without him. But our fantasies were mistaken and here our suffering does not seem to end.
And so all the sacred books ask us to salvage our life by getting again united with the Supreme Father. And to re-establish the lost relationship, the wisdom books unequivocally recommend chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord. Especially in this age of Kaliyuga, it is considered to be more practical and potent.
Brhan-naradiya Purana 38.126 says, "In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."
Chanting is so simple. Anyone and everyone can chant at anywhere and everywhere. People irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender, nationality can completely absorb themselves in chanting the Lord’s names and get unlimited benefit.
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.14 gives us lots of hope when it informs us that “One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins”
When sage Narada asked Lord Brahma, “How the people of the age of Kaliyuga will be delivered?” Lord Brahma replied, “Chanting the names of the Supreme Lord is the only means of deliverance in the present age.” This conversation mentioned in Kali Santarana Upanishad between two great personalities underlines the importance of chanting.
We the people of present age are not considered to be fit to perform yagnas (fire sacrifice) or do deity worship because for such religious practices many rules and regulations are prescribed. And we do not have sufficient resources and time and qualification and competency to do it.
But for chanting there are no pre-requisites, no dos and don’ts. The only requirement is our sincerity and our pure motive.
In Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51 Shukadeva Gosvami tells to King Parikshit, “My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.”
And the venerable sage further says to the king, “Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra” (S.B. 12.3.52)
Chanting the names of Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is the best and most effect means in this period.
“In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.” Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 17.22
And thousands of souls have reaped high dividends by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Jagai and Madhai are the best examples to analyse the effect of this great mantra. The two brothers were so cruel that they enjoyed seeing others suffer. They were so evil that pious people did not even look at them for fear of getting contaminated. But after taking shelter of Lord Chaitanya and chanting the holy names of Krishna they became very gentle and pure. To those people upon whom they once enjoyed inflicted pains, now the two brothers were humbly serving them and seeking forgiveness for their previous misdeeds. Their transformation of hearts surprised all. Once they were vilified scoundrels but now people were singing their glories.
Kali Santarana Upanishad extols the virtues of Hare Krishna Mahamntra: These sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables are the only means of counteracting the evil effects of the Kali-yuga. After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion for this age, so sublime as the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. (Kali Santarana Upanishad)
In Kaliyuga, chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra is the yuga dharma.
Chanting softens our heart, calms our mind and cleanses our heart. Tonnes of impurities – like lust, greed, anger, arrogance, envy - which clogs our heart preventing us from exhibiting our inner godly qualities gets flushed out if we chant with utmost sincerity.
Things of this world do not have the capability to satisfy our heart; in fact it makes us more impure. Our heart can be cleansed only if we bring Krishna in our life, our heart’s hunger can only be satiated if we enthrone Krishna in our heart. And chanting is the best means to invite our ever well - wisher, the loving Lord, in our heart; chanting enchants our heart opening the door for an eternal blissful life.
* * *
Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He blogs at http://krishnamagic.blogspot.co.uk/[ chanting ] [ maha-mantra ]