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The Chaitanya-charitamrita gives the following advice on chanting the Maha-mantra. “To chant the holy name always, one should be humbler than the grass in the street and devoid of all desire for personal honor, but one should offer others all respectful obeisances.” (Cc.Adi.17.26) “One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.” (Cc.Adi.17.31)
To propagate worship in churches, temples or mosques is not so practical in the Kali-yuga, because people have more or less lost interest in religion. Institutionalized religion has the tendency to be infiltrated by materialistic persons and sinners like the sexual perverts in modern-day Christianity, who are not sincere in achieving the goal of yoga or love of God. Some simply desire the position of a priest or guru simply for self-aggrandizement and accumulation of personal wealth. Others want to control the funds of charitable institutions for their personal benefit in order to enjoy the ‘easy life’. And there are also lazy ‘good-for-nothing’ loafers who are merely interested in a free meal ticket. Fortunately, nobody needs to depend on such polluted institutions, because the wonderful feature of the sankirtan movement of Lord Chaitanya, is that it can be performed anywhere and everywhere, in ones home, in other people’s homes, in public places, in parks, or auditoriums, just about any place where people can gather with drums and cymbals, and let the kirtan rip.
It is such a sublime process that even one completely alone can also engage in chanting the holy names of the Lord. Just by rhythmically clapping ones hands and chanting Krishna’s holy names, one automatically begins to make advancement on the path of self-realization that eventually leads one directly to the Kingdom of God. According to the Vedas, absolutely nothing else is required. The Shikshastaka of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says. “O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names.” From the Ramarcana-candrika “O best of the brahmanas, even without diksha, purascarya, and nyasa-vidhi, simply by chanting the mantras of the Supreme Lord one achieves all perfection.”
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The word diksha in this verse means initiation, purascarya means the five preliminary activities to qualify for initiation, and nyasa-vidhi, means purification by various mantras associated with temple worship. The Padma Purana says. “Any Vaishnava who chants the mantra consisting of thirty-two syllables and sixteen names will attain the abode of Radha and Krishna.” In the Chaitanya-charitamrta (Anyta.3.257) it says, “The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation, but the holy name of Krishna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krishna.” The Agni Purana states. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Whoever chants this mantra, even neglectfully, will attain the supreme goal of life. Of this there is no doubt.”
In the age of Kali-yuga, the various processes of yoga are almost impossible to perform due to the degradation of human society and man’s inability to gain control over the mind and senses. In this age is very difficult to find a secluded or peaceful place for performing ashtanga-yoga. Sitting in a yoga asana for long periods, breathing in regulated rhythmical patterns, with ones spinal column in perfect alignment, and with ones neck, head and upper-body, all in a straight line, while focusing with halfclosed eyes on the tip of the nose. One has to remain in this posture for many hours without the slightest disturbance. This is an extremely difficult proposition for most people in this age of industry and technology. Beside, the mind is so restless that it can be deviated away from meditation very easily.
Therefore, the sublime process of sankirtan, simply singing and dancing in ecstatic bliss, is without doubt, the most practical means of yoga practice for the men and women of the Kali-yuga. In the Padma Purana there is the following statement on the congregational chanting of the maha-mantra. “Anyone who dances in front of Sri Hari and loudly chants the Hari nama maha-mantra will destroy all the witches of sin. Just as the water of sacred rivers like the Ganga purifies the universe, similarly those who circumambulate Sri Hari and loudly perform nama sankirtana of the 16-word maha-mantra with sweet voices and while clapping the hands, purify the entire universe.” This verse specifically refers to chanting nama-kirtan before the Deities in a Vaishnava temple and also circumambulating the Deity or the temple while chanting. This can also apply to performing parikrama of holy places like Vrindavana-dhama while chanting the holy names.
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