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The Sacrifices Of The Different Ages

God is not understood through mere words. It takes time: lifetimes and millenniums of practice. Some may get discouraged but only the sincere practitioners go to God. By sincere we mean no duplicity and no crookedness, always pure hearted and straightforward in dealings. The scriptures of the Buddhists talk about good character because unless one develops good qualities it is impossible for one to stop sinning. By being free from sins one an easily progress along the spiritual path.

Since the dawn of creation, at the beginning of Satya Yuga, there have been different types of worship to attain the supreme Lord. In Satya Yuga people were free of vice and they were following all the directions of religion. In that particular age people were going back to the spiritual world by doing meditation. People lived for thousands of years and thus were able to perfect themselves.

In the next age, Treta Yuga, the means for going back was through the performance of fire sacrifices. The performance of such a task required vast amounts of various ingredients and much wealth. Most of the ingredients are not available now. In Dvapara Yuga the method was deity worship. The rules and regulations for worship were very strict as given in Pancaratric scriptures. As the age changes, the quality of life also changes. The people become increasingly degraded. For instance, none of the above mentioned ways of worship is fit for the people of kali yuga. Lord Chaitanya came to give us the holy name of Krishna, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Through this simple process of chanting one can go back to Godhead. The process is simple but the practice is not that simple. The more one chants the holy name seriously the more one gets purified.

One should chant the holy name with utmost seriousness and concentration. This process of chanting cleanses the heart. Once the heart is clean, love of God appears. But there are obstacles on this path. Such obstacles can be offenses to the holy name, to devotees and other types of offenses. Offenses to the holy name get destroyed as one improves one’s chanting. But offenses to devotees are very dangerous. It is called the “mad elephant offense” because a mad elephant destroys everything on its way. Such offenses can be nullified if one begs forgiveness from those devotees who get offended. The more serious the offense is the worse the effect will be. So practitioners have to be very careful. Although it is the easiest way to go back to Godhead, it can also be the hardest if we don’t pay attention while chanting and while dealing with others.

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