In the Age of Kali-yuga… There is Still One Good Thing…

We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:

“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.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)

Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:

“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very difficult to understand, but by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, it has been made very easy. Easy. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. It was explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to Parīkṣit Mahārāja. He described the faults of the Kali-yuga, but he encouraged by one verse. “My dear king, there is one very nice opportunity in this Kali-yuga.” Kaler doṣa-nidhe. Doṣa-nidhi: “It is the ocean of faults, but there is one very nice gain in this Kali-yuga.” What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet: [SB 12.3.51] “Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become free from all the troubles of this yuga, Kali-yuga,” and mukta-saṅga, “and he becomes liberated, and he goes back to home, back to Godhead.” So take it very seriously and make your life perfect. (Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 7.3 — Nairobi, October 29, 1975)

So in this Kali-yuga people are degrading, and the supply also will be reduced. There will be no supply of milk, there will be no supply of sugar. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There will be no supply of rice, no supply of wheat. Now you can get black market, white market, but time is coming when there will be no supply, completely. You will be forced to eat this beef. Now it is opening, beef shop, big, big beef shop. This time has already come, gradually, and it will be increasing. Unless you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. This Kali-yuga is suffering. So you cannot get comfortable life in this Kali-yuga being godless. Because Kali-yuga means godless. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ [SB 1.1.10]. (Lectures : Bhagavad-gita 13.23 Bombay, October 22, 1973 )

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, because this is a special advantage for the people in this age, that if he chants this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any offense, purely, then… There are three stages of chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. In the beginning there are full of offenses. Then it is almost offenseless. And then, when it is pure, that is perfectional stage. So by chanting, if you practice chanting, even though in the beginning it is full of offenses, but if you continue chanting… Therefore we say that “You must chant so many times.” So even there are offenses, by chanting, chanting, chanting, chanting, he will be purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So therefore, in this age we must stick to this process of chanting. That will make us perfect. If not immediately, it will do, certainly. That is special advantage for the men of this age. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. Mahān guṇaḥ. It is a great advantage. What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya: [SB 12.3.51] “Simply by chanting Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name,” mukta-saṅga, ‘he becomes free from all contamination and he becomes eligible to be promoted to the spiritual kingdom.” That is special advantage of this age. Therefore we are advising, we are preaching, that “You chant this mantra. In any condition of life, begin chanting. You will be benefited.” Yes. (Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.41-42 — Surat, December 23, 1970)

Nāma is Kṛṣṇa. So He has already come. He’s… Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni [Cc. Antya 20.12]. If you simply take harer nāma harer nāma… [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. This is the verdict of Bhāgavata. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. We have got a special concession in this Kali-yuga. We cannot execute all the instruction in the Vedas. We are fallen down. But if we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra-kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet—he becomes liberated from all the faults of this Kali-yuga and paraṁ vrajet, goes back home, back to Godhead. So Kṛṣṇa is already there. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s… Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Wherever you are staying, it doesn’t matter. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. There is very simple formula. You can become liberated simply by chanting. And if you think that you are very learned philosopher, read all these books. Two ways there are. Thing is very simple. Even a boy can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (1977 Conversations : May, 1977 : Evening Darsana — May 12, 1977, Hrishikesh)

If anyone wants God realization, then they…, he must take to this process of chanting, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also, it is said by Śukadeva Goswāmī when he was teaching it, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, about the symptoms of this kali-yuga. There are many symptom, just like you know how in the Twelfth Canto, Second, Third Chapter, the different types of faulty conditions of this yuga are mentioned there. For example, there is statement, svīkāra eva ca udvāhe: “In this Kali-yuga, simply by agreement the marriage ceremony will be performed.” That is actually happening, especially in European country. Then, lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam. In the Kali-yuga… Just see how five thousand years they predicted that are happening now. Lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam: “If one keeps long hair, then he thinks that ‘I have become very beautiful.’ ” So these things have been ensured, as practically these are being, European and American countries, the boys are keeping long hair. They have (indistinct) hair. Lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam. So there are so many symptoms, everything. Now we have to wait for the last symptom, when there will be no milk, no sugar and no grains. That day, we shall have it. The Kali-yuga is so serious. But Sri Śukadeva Goswāmī said to Parīkṣit Mahārāja, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ: “My dear King, although I have described so many faulty things in this age, there is one great benefit.” Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. Simply by chanting “Kṛṣṇa,” kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya. Especially it is mentioned, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya nāma. Not that, as you say something, any nāma you can do. No. Kṛṣṇasya. In another place also it is stated, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. (Lecture Bhagavad-gita 7.1 — Madras, February 14, 1972)

Full Text and Translation SB 12.2.51

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

kaleḥ — of the Age of Kali; doṣa-nidheḥ — in the ocean of faults; rājan — O King; asti — there is; hi — certainly; ekaḥ — one; mahān — very great; guṇaḥ — good quality; kīrtanāt — by chanting; eva — certainly; kṛṣṇasya — of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; mukta-saṅgaḥ — liberated from material bondage; param — to the transcendental spiritual kingdom; vrajet — one can go.

Translation

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 Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.

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