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What is the Use of So Many Fire Sacrifices?

Srila Prabhupada introduced the fire sacrifice for the initiation ceremony and marriage ceremony. Nowadays we see so many devotees organizing big fire sacrifices and neglecting the performance of sankirtana yajna (congregational chanting). In this purport Srila Prabhupada explains why this is a waste of time. mantratas tantratas chidram


sarvam karoti nischidram

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.


Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended:

harer nama harer nama

harer namaiva kevalam

kalau nasty eva nasty eva

nasty eva gatir anyatha

[Cc. Adi 17.21]

"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. I have seen that many religious leaders are addicted to performing yajnas and spending hundreds and thousands of rupees for imperfect sacrificial performances. This is a lesson for those who unnecessarily execute such imperfect sacrifices. We should take the advice of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah). Although Sukracarya was a strict brahmana addicted to ritualistic activities, he also admitted, nischidram anusankirtanam tava: "My Lord, constant chanting of the holy name of Your Lordship makes everything perfect." In Kali-yuga the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies cannot be performed as perfectly as before. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has recommended that although one should take care to follow all the principles in every kind of spiritual activity, especially in worship of the Deity, there is still a chance of discrepancies, and one should compensate for this by chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our Krsna consciousness movement we therefore give special stress to the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra in all activities.

SB 8.23.16 sloka and purport

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