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The Future of the sankirtana Movement
The Future of the sankirtana Movement
We are living in a time that demands unity of mankind and religions, in order to eliminate discord and misunderstandings. This is exactly the unique contribution of nama-sanklrtana, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord: It elevates people from most differing backgrounds to a common spiritual platform where they are indeed united. The singing of the holy names is the perfect means to bring people together because:
1. It is open to everyone. External differences like age, race, sex, opinions etc. are of no importance.
2. No further remedies or paraphernalia are necessary.
3. It can be practiced at any time.
4. It can be practiced at any place.
5. No ritualistic rules are to be observed.
In 1885, SrTla Bhaktivinoda Thakura published an article with the following prophesy in his monthly magazine Sajjana-tosani
Lord Caitanya did not appear just to liberate a few people in India. His main goal was rather to redeem the living entities of all coun¬tries in the whole universe and to preach the eternal religion. Lord Caitanya says in Caitanya-Bhagavata, "My name will be chanted in every town, in every country, and in every village."
There is no doubt that this prophecy will become fulfilled. Nowadays there are many religious communities that cultivate in its purest and most mature form the goal to praise the glories of the Lord. All over the world there is a strong spiritual need, and it seems as if a pure undefiled religion will soon blossom and become the essence of all religions. Which is this religion? In the West as well as in Asia it is seen that the great religions are merely quarreling with each other. Such religions will not be able to survive in the long run. Many religions, which imply biased, contrary credos will be split up in due course of time. Only after these contradicting dogmas will have been eliminated, all religions can become united. Kir tana, the praising of the holy names of the Lord, has the potency to fulfill the part of a future world "church", since it elevates all kinds of men, regardless of their social descent, and leads them towards the supreme form of spiritual culture. This "church" will spread all over the world and replace sectarian churches that exclude outsiders.
What are the fundamental teachings by which the eternal religion should be characterized? They may be summarized in three points:
1. There is only one God for all people. He is the almighty source of all knowledge. He is free of any limit, and He is the reservoir of all good qualities.
2. All living entities are tiny conscious parts and parcels of this one God. Their eternal activity is to serve Him.
3. To chant the glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and to foster the brotherhood of all living entities—that is pure religion.
By accepting these three points, the established world religions will be freed from their peculiar contradictions, and all sectarian consciousness will disappear. Then people of all countries, classes and religious beliefs will be united in brotherly coexistence—united in nama-sarikirtana ?
Historically seen we are living in a time of big changes and upris¬ings. From the material point of view, there is not much positive to report. But according to an old prophesy, Sri Caitanya's appear ance introduced a period of 10,000 years in which the conditions of the golden age will prevail. This is described by Srlla Prabhupada:
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the sankirtana movement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue. This means that simply by accepting the sankirtana movement and chanting the Hare krishna maha-mantra, the fallen souls of this kali-yuga will be delivered .. . The krishna consciousness movement is meant to make every person fit for survival. Indeed, it is meant to stop the struggle for existence. The Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita give definite directions on how to stop the struggle for existence and how to survive in eternal life. The sankirtana movement, therefore, is a great opportunity. Simply by hearing Bhagavad-glta and chanting the Hare krishna maha-mantra, one becomes completely purified. Thus the struggle for existence ceases, and one goes back home, back to Godhead.1
In his prediction, Srlla Prabhupada refers to the Brahma-vaivarta Purana which reports a conversation between Mother Gahga and Sri krishna. At the end of krishna's transcendental pastimes on the earth, Mother Gahga appears in Dvaraka. Speaking on behalf of all the sacred rivers, Gahga-devi expressed her fears at the advent of the Age of Quarrel and the imminent departure of the Lord to the spiritual world.
Mother Gariga said, "O Lord, we can see that Your pastimes are about to end, and people are becoming more and more materialistic. You have been very merciful to us. After You leave, however, all the sinful people of kali-yuga will bathe in our waters, and we will be¬come overwhelmed with sinful reactions." Smiling, the Lord replied, "Be patient. After five thousand years My mantra-upasaka [worshipper of the holy name] will appear in this world and spread the chanting of My holy name everywhere. Not only in Bharata-varsa2 but also all over the world the people will chant Hare krishna Hare krishna krishna krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. By this chanting the whole world will have become eka-varna, one designation, namely, hari-bhaktas, devotees of Lord Hari. And because the devotees of Lord Hari are so pure, anyone who contacts them will become purified from sinful reactions. These pure devotees will visit Bharata-varsa and purify you of sinful reactions by bathing in your sacred waters. This period of worldwide chanting of Hare krishna will continue for ten thousand years."3
It is now up to us to fulfil this prophesy, by perfecting our indi¬vidual chanting, and by carrying the holy name, as its humble ser¬vants, into all parts of the world. Then the material world, the energy separated from krishna, will be re-united with Sri krishna and be transformed into Vaikuntha— a world without anxiety.
hare krishna Hare krishna krishna krishna flare Hare hare Rama hare Rama Rama Rama hare hare