Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
In the pastime of Lord Vamanadeva bestowing mercy upon Bali Maharaj, when Bali Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja had departed for the planet Sutala, Lord Vishnu asked Sukracarya what the fault was in Bali Maharaja for which Sukracarya had cursed him. This is very interesting because already Bali Maharaj had left for the Sutala planet and there was no need for the Supreme Lord to ask about what was the fault in Bali Maharaj. This the Lord asks to clarify for everyone and to glorify how Bali Maharaj is faultless.
The Lord was so affectionate to Bali Maharaj that He did not want him to have the black mark that he had committed some fault because of which he was cursed. He wanted Sukracharya himself to declare loudly that Bali Maharaj is faultless. That way the Lord wanted to glorify His devotee. The Lord also wanted to reveal the glories of chanting His Holy names and this He wanted from the mouth of Sukracharya who was a strict brahmana addicted to ritualistic sacrifices. We see Sukracharya speaking the following beautiful verse in Srimad Bhagavatam 8.23.16
mantratas tantratash chidram / desha kaalaarha vastutah
sarvam karoti nishchidram / anusankirtanam tava
"There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when Your Lordship's holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless."
Srila Prabhupada makes it very clear in his purport, "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." (Brhan-naradiya Purana 38.126) In this age of Kali, it is extremely difficult to perform Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or sacrifices perfectly. Hardly anyone can chant the Vedic mantras with perfect pronunciation or accumulate the paraphernalia for Vedic performances. Therefore the sacrifice recommended in this age is sankirtana, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah (SB 11.5.29). Instead of wasting time performing Vedic sacrifices, those who are intelligent, those who possess good brain substance, should take to the chanting of the Lord's holy name and thus perform sacrifice perfectly.
Herein Srila Prabhupada mentions that hardly anyone can perfectly pronounce the Vedic mantras these days. What to talk of this degraded age of Kali yuga, we see this happening in the pastime of Vrtrasura.
Krishna willing we shall meditate further on this pastime in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,
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