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Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda states in Krishna Samhita:
“The past compilers of the scriptures have established the appropriate holy names to deliver one in the different ages after analyzing the peoples’ stages of advancement. The holy names to deliver one in Satya-yuga are as follows:
narayana-para veda narayana-paraksharah;
narayana-para muktir narayana-para gatih.
The purport of this verse is that Lord Narayana is the goal of all science, language, and liberation, and He is the supreme destination. The name of the Absolute Truth mixed with opulence is Narayana. The Supreme Lord is fully realized in the form of Narayana, who is surrounded by His associates in Vaikuntha. Pure shanta-rasa* and a little dasya-rasa is found at this stage.
(*Generally, the bhakti-yogis establish a relationship with Lord Krishna in one of these five different ways: (1) shanta-rasa, engaged in devotional service in neutrality; (2) dasya-rasa, engaged in devotional service as servant; (3) sakhya-rasa, engaged as friend; (4) vatsalya-rasa, engaged as parent; and (5) madhurya-rasa, engaged as conjugal lover of the Supreme Lord.)
rama narayanananta mukunda madhusudana;
krishna keshava kamsare hare vaikuntha vamana.
These are the holy names to deliver one in Treta-yuga. The names that are mentioned in this text indicate Narayana’s prowess. At this stage full dasya-rasa and a reflection of sakhya-rasa are indicated.
hare murare madhu-kaitabhare gopala govinda mukunda saure;
yajnesha narayana krishna vishno virashrayam mam jagadisha raksha.
These are the holy names to deliver one in Dvapara-yuga. The names that are mentioned in this verse aim towards Krishna, who is the shelter of unsheltered persons. In this stage there is a prominence of shanta, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya-rasas.
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare;
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.
These are the topmost sweet names of the Lord in Kali-yuga. Provocation for all five rasas to their full extent mixed with affection, is found in this mantra. This maha-mantra reveals that a soul has an indescribable attraction for the Supersoul by the thread of love. These names are the mantra for those who are on the path of madhurya-rasa (the highest mellow in relation with God). Constant deliberation on these names of the maha-mantra is the best form of worshiping the Lord in Kali-yuga. All spiritual activities of swanlike people such as worshiping the Deity, following vows, and studying the scriptures are included in these holy names. There is no consideration of time, place, and candidate for chanting of the maha-mantra. ”