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SB 11.5.37

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


na hy ataḥ paramo lābho
dehināṁ bhrāmyatām iha
yato vindeta paramāṁ
śāntiṁ naśyati saṁsṛtiḥ


na — there is no; hi — indeed; ataḥ — than this (process of saṅkīrtana); paramaḥ — greater; lābhaḥ — thing to be gained; dehinām — for embodied souls; bhrāmyatām — who are being forced to wander; iha — throughout this material universe; yataḥ — from which; vindeta — one obtains; paramām — the supreme; śāntim — peace; naśyati — and is destroyed; saṁsṛtiḥ — the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Indeed, there is no higher possible gain for embodied souls forced to wander throughout the material world than the Supreme Lord's saṅkīrtana movement, by which one can attain the supreme peace and free oneself from the cycle of repeated birth and death.


In the Skanda Purāṇa, as well as in other Purāṇas, there is the following statement: mahā-bhāgavatā nityaṁ kalau kurvanti kīrtanam. "During Kali-yuga the great devotees of the Lord always engage in kīrtana, chanting the Lord's holy names." It is the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be merciful, and He is especially merciful to those who, in a helpless condition, take complete shelter of His lotus feet. One can immediately take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord by chanting His holy names. According to Śrīdhara Svāmī, even in previous ages such as Satya-yuga it was not possible for the living entities to achieve the perfection that is available in Kali-yuga. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this as follows. In former ages such as Satya-yuga human beings were perfectly qualified and easily performed even the most difficult spiritual processes, meditating for many thousands of years practically without eating or sleeping. Thus, although in any age one who completely takes shelter of the Lord's holy name gets all perfection, the highly qualified inhabitants of Satya-yuga do not consider that merely moving the tongue and lips, chanting the Lord's holy name, is a complete process and that the Lord's holy name is the only shelter within the universe. They are more attracted to the difficult and elaborate yoga system of meditation, complete with sophisticated sitting postures, painstaking control of the breath and deep, extended meditations in trance on the Personality of Godhead within the heart. In Satya-yuga sinful life is practically unheard of, and therefore people are not afflicted with the terrible reactions seen in Kali-yuga, such as world war, famine, plague, drought, insanity, etc. Although in Satya-yuga people always worship the Personality of Godhead as the ultimate goal of life and meticulously follow His laws, called dharma, they do not feel themselves to be in a helpless condition, and thus they do not always experience intense love for the Lord.

However, in Kali-yuga living conditions are so unbearable, modern governments are so obnoxious, our bodies are so ridden by physical and mental disease, and even self-preservation is so troublesome, that the conditioned souls intensely cry out the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, begging for relief from the onslaught of this age. The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement have vivid and unforgettable experiences of the terrible contradictions inherent in human society in this age, and thus they are firmly convinced that there is nothing to be achieved except the mercy of the Supreme Lord. In ISKCON centers throughout the world we observe wonderfully ecstatic kīrtana performances in which men, women and children from all walks of life chant with startling enthusiasm the holy names of Kṛṣṇa and dance in ecstasy, becoming completely indifferent to so-called public opinion. In America a prominent professor from Oberlin College visited a Hare Kṛṣṇa center in California and was astonished by the enthusiasm with which the devotees chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in their congregational performances.

Thus, due to their helpless and pathetic condition, the living entities in Kali-yuga have great impetus to surrender fully to the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, putting all of their hope and faith in the Lord's holy name. Kali-yuga is therefore the best age because in this age, more than in Satya-yuga or other ages, the conditioned souls become disgusted with the kingdom of illusion and surrender fully to the Lord's holy name. This status of full surrender is called paramāṁ śāntim, or supreme peace.

Śrīla Madhvācārya has quoted a passage from the book called Svābhāvya to the effect that a bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession is able to understand the mentality and capability of his disciples and engage them in worshiping the particular form of the Lord suitable for them. In this way the spiritual master destroys all obstacles in the path of his disciples. The general rule is that one must worship the particular form of the Lord that appears in the current yuga. One may also offer his love and worship to other forms of the Lord that appear in other ages, and specifically one is recommended to chant the holy names of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva to get all protection. Practically all of these injunctions are being carried out within the ISKCON movement. Within the Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, men, women and children are all being engaged in worshiping the Lord according to their particular natures. In addition, according to Caitanya Mahāprabhu's order, we are worshiping Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in Dvāpara-yuga, because They are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, by chanting the Daśāvatāra-stotra, jaya jagad-īśa hare, and by reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the members of ISKCON worship all of the plenary expansions of the Personality of Godhead. And after every ārati performance devotional prayers are duly chanted to Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva for protection of this movement, which is so essential to human society.

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