Thursday, April 23, 2009


When the chanting of the Name of the Lord is done individually or incompletely it is called 'kirtan'. But all the same Kirtan or Samkirtan is always meant for chanting of the Name of the Lord and never means a debating society of mundane words. Samkirtan is however the greatest common formula of universal religion acceptable in the present age of quarrel, called the 'Kali yooga'.

In the Puranas it is stated that the process of knowing God, in the Satya yooga or Golden Age, is by concentration and meditation. Men would live during that age for one lac of years and it is said that Mohamuni Valmiki attained siddhi or perfection after 60,000 sixty thousand years of meditation before he was able to compose Ramayana. (So Ramayana is not a mundane poets' speculation.) The process of knowing God in the Treta-yooga or silver-age, was the performances of big sacrifices such as Aswamedha yajna, that in the Dwapara yooga or Bronze-age, was by worshipment with all paraphernalia and that in the Kali yooga, i.e., in the present age of quarrel (iron-age) the process is by performances of congregational chanting of the names of the Lord. The injunction in the scripture is as follows:-

Kritejat dhyayate Vishnu tretayam yayata makhoin
Dwapare paricharyayam Kaloutat Hari samkirtanat

In the present age of quarrel therefore, when all conclusions are arrived at by an assembly of fighting men, the chance of realisation of the Absolute conclusion is very little by other processes such as, works, knowledge, re-union or meditation except by the process of congregational chanting of the Name of Hari.

About 450 years ago, Lord Chaitanya, the father of Samkirtan movement, appeared Himself in Bengal in the district of Nadia and inaugurated first the system of congregational chanting of the name of the Lord. He made a vigorous transcendental propaganda work for this purpose. As a result of that movement, the whole of Bengal, Orissa and Southern India, was over-flooded with His transcendental propaganda work and many eminent personalities like Rupa and Sanatan the then ministers of the Nawab of Bengal and Ramananda Roy the then governor of Madras and scholars like Vasudeva Sarbabhouma or Sanyasis like Prakashananda Saraswati all became His disciples amongst many other thousands of disciples at that time.

[Except from "The Science of Congregational Chanting of the Name of the Lord (Samkirtan)" Originally printed in the BTG Magazine, 1944, by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founder Acarya for ISKCON]


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