What is true dharma in this Kali Yuga?

Chanting & distributing Lord's Holy Names.

The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yoga lasts 1,728,000 years. Satya Yuga people meditated on Lotus feet of Supreme Lord.  It was possible because their mind was not agitated. They were pure. They lived for 1 lakh years. 

 In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. Tretā-yuga people performed yazna – ghee, mantras and all items to be offered were pure and was available. Priests were also pure.  They lived for 10,000 years.

In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. Dvāpara-yuga people performed deity worship – wealth and prosperity were there. Cleanliness were maintained.  So, it was possible.  They lived for 1,000 years.

And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga mind was so agitated – not pure – no pure ghee – not even pure water available.  No wealth and prosperity – no cleanliness.

People in general, especially in this Age of Kali, are enamored by the external energy of Krishna, and they wrongly think that by advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. This age of Kali is the most condemned age due to its quarrelsome features, most of the population is foolish and not adequately educated to understand Vedānta philosophy.

It is not possible for an ordinary man to leave home and go to a secluded place in the mountains or jungles to practice yoga in this Age of Kali. The present age is characterized by a bitter struggle for a life of short duration. People are not serious about self-realization even by simple, practical means, and what to speak of this difficult yoga system, which regulates the mode of living, the manner of sitting, selection of place, and detachment of the mind from material engagements.

As a practical man, Arjuna thought it was impossible to follow this system of Ashtanga yoga, even though he was favorably endowed in many ways. He belonged to the royal family and was highly elevated in terms of numerous qualities, he was a great warrior, he had great longevity, and, above all, he was the most intimate friend of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Five thousand years ago, Arjuna had much better facilities than we do now, yet he refused to accept this system of yoga. Therefore this system must be considered generally impossible in this Age of Kali.

In the Age of Kali, the saṅkīrtana-yajña (the chanting of the names of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, Unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Chaitanya has announced, according to the scriptural injunctions for this Age of Kali, that in this age no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the chanting of the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.  Chanting The Hare Krishna Maha-mantra is the Yuga-Dharma for Kali-yuga.

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is mentioned in various scriptures as the only means of deliverance in this age of Kali:

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (12.3.52):

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ

tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ

dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ

kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt


“Whatever result one obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet one can also obtain in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.”

Kali-santarana Upanisad from Krishna Yajur Veda:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam

natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate


“The sixteen names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. This is the conclusion of all the Vedas.”

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Srimad-Bhagavatam, 6.2.14:

sanketyam parihasyam va

stobham helanam eva va


asesagha-haram viduh


“One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.”

Brahmanda Purana 6.59-60:

nama sankirtana deva tarakam brahma drsyate

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare


“The nama sankirtana(public chanting) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra delivers a complete revelation of all of spiritual reality.”


Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 3.257:


mukti-hetuka tāraka haya ‘rāma-nāma’

‘kṛṣṇa-nāma’ pāraka hañā kare prema-dāna


“The holy name of Lord Rāma certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Kṛṣṇa transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa.”


Padma Purana, Svarga Khanda 50.6:

harir eva samaradhyah sarva deve suresvarah

hari nama maha mantrair nasyatpapa pisacakam


“All the grievous sins of one who worships Lord Sri Hari, the Lord of all lords, and chants the holy name, the maha-mantra, are removed. “



hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi

kalau yuge maha-mantrah sammato jivatarane

varjayitva tu namaitad durjanaih parikalpitam

chandobaddham susiddhanta viruddham nabhyaset padam

tarakam brahma-namaitad brahmana gurunadina

kalisantaranadyasu sruti-svadhigatam hareh

praptam sri brahma-sisyena sri naradena dhimata

namaitad-uttamam srauta-paramparyena brahmanah

utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram ye tvanyat kalpitam padam

mahanameti gayanti te sastra-guru langhanah

tattva-virodha-sanprktam tadrsam daurjanam matam

sravatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare


“Hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare: This sixteen-name, thirty-two syllable mantra is the maha-mantra in the age of Kali by which all living beings can be delivered. One should never abandon chanting this maha-mantra and take to other so-called  purificatory processes which are practiced by rascals, or engage in chanting other metrical compositions of the name of Krishna that are against the pure conclusions of the scriptures, or are filled with rasabhasa. About this divinely spiritual maha-mantra, which delivers one from material existence, the original guru, Lord Brahma, has said, kali-santararadi srutite, “The srutis have declared this mantra to be the best means of deliverance in the age of Kali”. Having all heard this from Brahma, the sons and disciples of Brahma, beginning with Narada, all accepted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and, having meditated on it, attained perfection.”


Sri Vrindavana Mahimamrta by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati 17.89:

hare krishna krsneti krsneti mukhyan


krpa-murti-caitanya-deva upagitan

kadabhyasya vrndavane syan krtarth


“When will my heart become satiated by perfecting the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in Sri Vrndavana Dhama, which the most merciful Sri Caitanyadeva personally chanted and distributed to the fallen souls out of compassion?  This wonderful maha-mantra is mixed with the mellows of love and is the chief and the perfection of all other mantras. They are full of spiritual energies and glories.”


Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Susloka-Satakam 23:

hare krishna rama nama gana dana karinim

soka moha lobha tapa sarva vigna nasinim

pada padma lubdha bhakta vrnda bhakti dayinim

gaura murtim asu naumi nama sutra dharinim


“He makes the gift of the song of the names ‘Hare, Krishna and Rama’, and destroys all obstacles such as sorrow, delusion, greed and suffering. He gives the devotional service of Lord Krishna to the multitude of devotees who are eager for the shelter of His lotus feet. I fall down swiftly to offer my prostrated obeisances to the Lord in His golden form, who holds a string of meditation beads.”




Naradiya Purana, Prahlada-vakya:

japato hari namani sthane sata-gunadhikah

atmanam ca punaty-uccair-japan srotrn-punati ca


“Compared to that person who is attached to chanting japa, the person who performs loud chanting of the holy name of Sri Hari is one hundred times better. This is because the person who chants japa purifies himself, whereas the person who chants the holy name loudly in kirtana purifies himself, all those who are with him, and everyone else who hear the holy vibration.”


Chaitanya-bhagavata 1.16:

pasu-paksi-krma-adi balite na pare

sunile se harinama ta’ra saba tare

japile se krishna-nama apani se tare

ucca-sankirtane para-upakare kare

ata eva ucca kari’ kirtana karile

sata-guna phala haya sarva-sastre bole


“The animals, birds, and insects cannot chant the holy name, but by hearing the holy name chanted they can benefit. Chanting the japa of the holy name of Krishna purifies oneself, but the loud sankirtana of the holy name of Krishna benefits all living beings. Therefore, loudly chant the holy name of Krishna in kirtana, and you will get one hundred times the benefit of chanting japa. This is the verdict of all the sastras.”


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