Q. Do you know of any place that offers good meditation class? (7.7.2009)
You would know that in this age of quarrels and fights, ignorance and hypocrisy, deception and lies, there are no other methods better than chanting. Chanting is the easiest, the best, the most efficacious system of worship recommended for this age called kali. Unfortunately, ‘meditation‘ is not meant for the great majority of us.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended chanting again and again:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” Just like it is said in the court of law, He has undersocred this three times, with so much vehemence.
In the Kalisantarana Upanisad it is stated:
iti sodasakam namnam
“…To save oneself from the contamination of Kali, there is no alternative but the chanting….”
Sukhadev Goswami says in the Bhagavatam, kaler dosa-nidhe rajan: The faults of this age are just like an ocean. If you were put into the Pacific Ocean, you would not know how to save your life. Even if you were a very expert swimmer, it would not be possible for you to cross the Pacific Ocean. Similarly, the Kali-yuga is described in the Bhagavatam as an ocean of faults. It is infected with so many anomalies that there seems to be no way out. But there is one medicine: kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet: “simply by chanting, one can be freed from the contamination of Kali-yuga and, in his original spiritual body, can return home, back to Godhead. This is the opportunity of Kali-yuga.”
Swami Sivananda says in His Introduction to Japa Yoga, “In this Kali Yuga (iron age) Japa alone is the easy way to the realisation of God.” Swami adds in ‘All About Hinduism‘, “That which is achieved through contemplation in Satya Yuga, through sacrifices in Treta Yuga, and through the worship of Lord Hari in Dvapara Yuga, may be attained through Kirtana or loud chanting of Lord Vishnu’s Name in Kali Yuga or Iron age.”
He further explains why meditation, etc., may not be suitable for the great majority of us, “In the Satya Yuga, the mind of men was generally pure. They had no distraction of the mind. There were neither cinemas, nor hotels, nor dancing halls and similar other distractions. Hence, meditation was easy and natural for them. That is the reason why contemplation has been prescribed for men of Satya Yuga. In the Treta Yuga, materials for the performance of Yajnas or sacrifices were easily available. The people had active tendencies. Therefore it was easy for them to perform Agnihotra, Jyotistoma, Darsa-Paurnimas and other Yajnas. That is the reason why Yajna has been described as the external form of Sanatana Dharma in that age. In the Dvapara Yuga, there was the manifestation of Avataras and men could easily have direct worship of God. Hence, worship was prescribed as the principal form of Sadhana in that age. In the Kali Yuga, there are many distractions for the mind. People lack in Brahmacharya, strength of will and power of enquiry or rational investigation. It is very difficult to procure materials for the performance of sacrifices. Therefore, Hari Kirtana or loud chanting of the Divine Name and selfless service of humanity have been recommended as the principal forms of Sadhana.”
Hence, give up the fanciful idea of meditation. Take to chanting.