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It is said that all Vaidik rites and the results of all other spiritual practices are found within the holy names of the Hare Krishn Mantra. Thus, it is the easiest and most effective process for spiritual enlightenment and liberation. The Vaidik literature leaves no doubt, as stated in the Skand Puraan (Chaaturmaasya Mahaatmya section), that the most perfect process of spiritual elevation that can be executed is the chanting of the holy names of Shree Hari. Such performance of Sankeertan can please the Supreme Being, especially in the age of Kali.
It is also for this reason that Brahmaa said to Krishn in Bhaagavat Puraan (11.6.24) that in the age of Kali pious and saintly persons will easily cross over the darkness of this age if they hear about and praise Your transcendental qualities and activities.
The Kali Santaaran Upanishad specifically states, "After searching through all of the Vaidik literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age of Kali Yug than the chanting of Hare Krishn."
The Shree Chaitanya Chcaritaamrit (Aadi-leelaa, 17.22) also says, "In this age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, in the form of the Hare Krishna Mahaa-Mantra, is the incarnation of Krishn. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Supreme directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered." In other words, it is this Mantra that provides the doorway which leads directly to the spiritual realm. Furthermore, the use of it means that we change the vibrations of our own consciousness and the environment in which we exist. This can cause the manifestation of that spiritual vibration and atmosphere in this material world.
The Bhaagavat Puran (12.3.51) goes on to say that this process of reawakening one's spiritual awareness is the most important advantage of Kali Yug. It also states (11.5.36-37) that enlightened persons who are advanced in knowledge can appreciate the real value of this fallen age of Kali Yug because in this age all perfection can be attained easily by the process of Sankeertan. For materially embodied souls wandering in this material world, there is no higher gain than coming in contact with the Supreme Being's Sankeertan movement by which one attains supreme peace and freedom from the cycle of repeated birth and death.
In the Padm Puraan (5.80.2-8) we find a conversation between Shiv and Paarvatee, in which Shiv specifically says that Kali Yug does not harass those who utter the name of Hari or chant Hare Raam, Hare Krishn. One can be freed from worldly existence just by remembering Vishnu's names, no matter whether one is pure or impure.
The point is that because this age of Kali is so difficult, polluted and disturbing - taxing our consciousness with so many distractions - all other forms of religion and processes of spiritual realization either lose their effectiveness or offer only incomplete knowledge; thus, they simply fail to produce the needed results. They may produce some peace and forgiveness, some moral standards and understanding, but they do not deliver the higher principles of spiritual realization. Shuk Dev says in the Bhaagavat Puraan (12.3.45-49) that although all objects, places, and persons in Kali Yug are polluted, the Supreme Being can remove such contamination from one who hears or chants about, meditates upon, glorifies, or simply offers respect to the Supreme. Therefore, by remaining ever aware and focused on the Lord in the heart, the contamination from many thousands of lifetimes can be removed. Such awareness is many times more potent than any other process; such as austerities, breath control, strict vows, or bathing in holy places. Anyone who maintains this concentration at the time of death will certainly attain the supreme destination in the spiritual world.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/13/12