Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (Bhāgavata Purāṇa): Canto 12: The Age of Deterioration: CHAPTER THREE: Text 51
kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet
kaleḥ — of the Age of Kali; doṣa–nidheḥ — in the ocean of faults; rājan — O King; asti — there is; hi — certainly; ekaḥ — one; mahān — very great; guṇaḥ — good quality; kīrtanāt — by chanting; eva — certainly; kṛṣṇasya — of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; mukta–saṅgaḥ — liberated from material bondage; param — to the transcendental spiritual kingdom; vrajet — one can go.
My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.
This age of Kali is considered as an Ocean of faults. We can find many faults in this material world with respect to our Government , the communication system, sometimes within our family, about our health, the weather, about our mind. So we should not be surprised by this . But there is one good thing in this age of Kali, Srila Prabupada and the Chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. It is said in this verse
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet
So Chanting Krishna’s holy name is the most important: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
By chanting we can go to the supreme destination and get free from all these problems. But we don’t really get the taste of chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra because we are still offensive. We are saying we wanted to get liberation but actually we are aiming for sense gratification. We are utilizing our time, our efforts to serve our sense, so it will take some time for us to get the real taste of chanting. The key to get the taste of Holy Name is to chant offensively and sincerely.
If we seetime is the external manifestation of the Paramatma. This is what Lord Kapila tells his mother confidentially the truth that those who look internally they see the Parmatma, the consciousness, introspection, good advice. Those who look externally they see the time factor. For the Atheist the time comes and takes everything, it acts as a great destroyer. In Bhagavad Gita when Arjuna sees the Universal form of Krishna, he sees the time. The materialist people are afraid of death to themselves and for their loved ones, but for devotees we see death as a hand of God. We see the sun as the incarnation of Krishna and that he makes everything happen so regularly. In Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9: The Most Confidential Knowledge, text 10 Krishna says
TRANSLATION: This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.
Krishna is everywhere. Srila Prabupada uses this example in Nectar of instruction, Text 8 everything can be used for Krishna. In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā. This is called śravaṇa-daśā, the stage of hearing. Sometimes we do devotional service mechanically and all the spiritual tricks to control our mind, our character, from fault finding in the association of devotees. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Kṛṣṇa and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varaṇa-daśā. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of kṛṣṇa-kathā. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaraṇāvasthā, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive kṛṣṇa-smaraṇa. At first, remembrance of Kṛṣṇa may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmṛti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmṛti one enters the stage of samādhi, or spiritual trance. After smaraṇa-daśā or samādhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is called sampatti-daśā, the perfection of life.Caitanya-caritāmṛta advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop attachment for Kṛṣṇa’s name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa even without following the regulative principles. This stage is called rāga-bhakti, or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. This is called rāgānuga-bhakti or spontaneous devotional service. We will be thinking how do the cow herd boys had lunch with Krishna, how did Mother Yasodha serve Krishna. Even though we may pretend or imitate others who are following the bhakti process, later we also will try to serve Krishna sincerely by our devotional service. When we chant and follow regulative principles we will be actually liberated. Krishna will send us the right books, right people: The Spiritual Masters. Automatically we will be seeing things as Goswami level.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has commented One who has not yet developed interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should give up all material motives and train his mind by following the progressive regulative principles, namely chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa and His name, form, quality, pastimes and so forth. In this way, after developing a taste for such things, one should try to live in Vṛndāvana and pass his time constantly remembering Kṛṣṇa’s name, fame, pastimes and qualities under the direction and protection of an expert devotee. This is the sum and substance of all instruction regarding the cultivation of devotional service. So when we associate with devotees we get freedom, peace, harmony and then we take initiation. Then we go from the Stage
2)Sadhu-sanga: association with devotees
3)Bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service
4)Anartha nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments
9)Prema: pure love for Krsna
People will be in different level of Bhakti stage. Some would have come to the stage of Nistha or Ruci because of their previous life’s devotional service so they advance quickly. Then intellectually we may be able to understand things better. Our intelligence gets purified, because we gain the intelligence to understand the knowledge of Krishna from Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita and our intelligence will act according to Krishna’s will. For this first our senses should be purified. Purification happens when we are engaging our senses in karma yoga , when we engage in bhakti yoga with our intelligence , when we engage in Dhyana yoga which is chanting as a meditation, engaging in cooking which is also a meditation then we come to pure sadhana bhakti with Bhava bhakti, pure love for God and we will be working on our motivation to be free us from selfishness, egotism, and getting back to work, to back to Golokha.
Sometimes when we are in this material world we have the tendency to find fault in others because of our envy and try to criticize others. The more we spiritually advanced we will realize that in some way we don’t want to be free from fault finding. Example) Radha Rani’s girl friends are always looking to find fault in Chandravali’s girlfriends. But this is not destructive. Radha Rani wanted everyone to advance in their service so that she can figure out how to advance her service to Krishna even more. When devotees see other devotees progressing or advancing in Krishna consciousness better than them then they should encourage them, appreciate them, and be their well-wisher instead of becoming envy or jealous of them. Still if we have the tendency to find fault in others then we need to develop the attitude to serve them in whatever way we can, but not to exploit them. When we try to serve people we automatically try to see their good qualities rather than focusing on their bad qualities. Like that way the fickleness of the mind of thinking bad about others will be reduced . Everybody has some blind spots. If we criticize others, there is a chance that in future they will get a chance to criticize us, that is how this material nature world. “Maya” will hit with the same punch. Before we criticize someone we need to understand how purified we are, what is our right position, how to criticize properly so that we are not breaking them but encouraging them to do more service. Unless there is healthy criticism, none of us are not going to get out of this material world. There will be difference of opinion regarding temple projects, regarding various services, and there will be criticism but that should be taken in a right way to improve the service , encourage each other but not to hurt anyone. Our motive should always be to serve the people, motivate or encourage the people to do more service. For that humility is needed and our mind should be free from envy.
To be successful in devotional life one must chant enthusiastically 16 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra by getting up early by 4 am during Brahma Muhurta, associate with devotees, read scriptures like Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, engage in Deity worship like that way we will advance and become in the mode of goodness, and all the question asked by us will be what the super soul telling us. So in this age of Kali the holy name of Krishna can mitigate all the problems. As we grow older we need to consolidate. We cannot be all over the places. It is time for us to focus more on our spiritual practices by reading scriptures, chanting etc. Srimad Bhagavatam is the sunlight purana, and it is not different from Krishna. By reading Srimad Bhagavatam people still can have the same effect when Krishna was present in this material world. It is the super most literature.