Therefore Indra yajña, there is sacrifice for satisfying the different demigods. Kṛṣṇa stopped this Indra yajña, you know, Govardhana. When Nanda Mahārāja was arranging for Indra yajña, Kṛṣṇa said: "My dear father, there is no need of Indra yajña." That means anyone who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, for him, there is no need of any yajña. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to perform different kinds of yajña. That was possible in the Treta-yuga. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). Makhaiḥ means yajña, performing yajña. Yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). So these formulas, these directions, nobody is following. It is not possible in this age. Therefore the śāstra injunction is: yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtanair prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ. Those who have got good brain substance, so instead of bothering with so many things, one performs saṅkīrtana-yajña.
Costly performance of sacrifices was possible in the Treta-yuga
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
This is the injunction of the śāstra, that in the Satya-yuga, when people were said to live for one hundred thousands of years, at that time yogic principle, meditation, was possible. And in the Tretā-yuga, the performance of big, big sacrifices was possible, because things were available, there were yājñika-brāhmaṇas. In this age, practically, there is no yājñika-brāhmaṇa who can perform yajña. No competent brāhmaṇa. Therefore performance of sacrifices is not possible. The only performance of sacrifice is this, as we are performing—Hare Kṛṣṇa festival.
So what was possible in the Satya-yuga by meditation, that is not possible in this age. That is not possible. Therefore the methods have been made easier. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. What was being possible, to attain perfection of life by meditation in the Satya-yuga, that was possible in the Tretā-yuga by offering of big sacrifices.
So, as the Bhagavad-gītā prescribes, that you have to perform yajña, now, don't be afraid that you have to perform the same kind of yajña as it was being performed in the Tretā-yuga or Dvāpara-yuga by offering thousands and thousands of mounds of clarified butter and grains. That is not possible. Nobody can secure all those ingredients at the present moment. Neither it is recommended. In the Kali-yuga it is recommended that one can perform the saṅkīrtana-yajña. That will give him the same result which was derived by meditation in Satya-yuga.
Now, we are discussing of the varieties of yajña. Now, so far sacrifice in the altar of fire, clarified butter and grains, it is not possible. At the present moment... Of course, formerly, we understand from the scriptures that they used to pour tons of tons clarified butter in the fire because at that time they were available. But at the present moment... Of course, we are seeing some butter sticks here in America, but from India practically butter has disappeared. So it is not possible.
The present day, Kali-yuga, is not favorable for such sacrifice which was being performed in the Satya-yuga or Tretā... Not Tretā-yuga. Sacrifice was being performed in the Tretā-yuga, second millennium. The duration of a period. Just like in a year we have got different seasons, similarly, in the existence there are different periods. According to Vedic literature, they are called Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga, Kali-yuga. Now we are passing through the Kali-yuga. The Kali-yuga, duration of Kali-yuga is four hundred thousands, four hundred twenty-seven thousands of year. Out of that, we have passed only five thousands of years. That is the Vedic calculation.
There is no other alternative. Nāsty eva, nāsty eva. There is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative. Three times. Three times means yoga, jñāna, and arcana. Yoga system as it was recommended in the Satya-yuga, kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum, that is yoga—always in meditation of Viṣṇu. That is called yoga. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). And in the Tretā-yuga, by performing great sacrifices, yajñas. And in the Dvāpara-yuga, by temple worship. Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt: in the Kali-yuga, this age...
The present age is called Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga means the age of quarrel and disagreement. Nobody agrees with any other man. Everyone has got his own theory; everyone has got his own philosophy. So therefore it is called Kali-yuga. And if I don't agree with you, you fight with me. Therefore it is called Kali-yuga. So this is the only method recommended in this age: kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. Simply by chanting the holy name of God, one can attain perfect self-realization, which was attained by the yoga system in the Satya-yuga, which was attained in the Tretā-yuga by performing great sacrifices, and which was performed in the Dvāpara-yuga by large-scale temple worship. That thing can be attained by the simple method hari-kīrtanāt. Hari means the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kīrtanāt—by glorifying Him. This is the method recommended in the śāstras.
In the Satya-yuga, they were all saintly person. So that time it was possible to meditate. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. That also Viṣṇu, meditation on Lord Viṣṇu. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ. And in the Tretā-yuga by performing great sacrifices. That is also not possible. You cannot perform big, big sacrifices. It is very costly affair. You require so much ghee, grains, and distribution of so many things. That is not possible. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ, dvāpare paricaryāyām. In Dvāpara-yuga the temple worship. Now this... We have got in India, especially in South India, many temples, more than two thousand, three thousand years old. So temple worship is very old, since five thousand, six thousand years. So that is also not possible. At the present moment people are so down that they cannot also worship. It requires very vigilance, observation, that they are doing nicely. Otherwise they fall down. There are so many temples in India, they are no more taken care. Therefore somebody, they are against opening temple. That's a fact. But still, it has to be done. Anyway... But in the Kali-yuga, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. What you attained in the Satya-yuga by meditation, what you achieved in the Tretā-yuga by performing big, big sacrifices, and what you attained by temple worship very nicely, you can attain the same result, kalau in this age, hari-kīrtanāt, by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
So yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtanaiḥ, you keep Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and perform yajña, the saṅkīrtana-yajña before Him, and you become all perfect. So easy. So easy. Because you cannot give up yajña. But in this age, Kali-yuga, people are so unfortunate, so rubbish, that it is not possible to perform the Vedic ritualistic yajña. That is not possible. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has given you the opportunity that you can perform. Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). Makha means yajña. That was performed in the Tretā-yuga. And in the Satya-yuga, meditation. In the Dvāpara-yuga, Deity worship. Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. In the Kali-yuga, simply by kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya (SB 12.3.51). And this is the śāstra's injunction.
You cannot execute all expensive yajñas or you cannot meditate, that is not possible. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum (SB 12.3.52). That meditation was possible in the Satya-yuga, kṛte. And tretayaṁ yajato makhaiḥ. And costly performance of sacrifices was possible in the Tretā-yuga. And dvāpare paricaryāyām. In the Dvāparā-yuga, it was possible to construct costly temples and worship the Deity there. But in the Kali-yuga, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. Kali, in the Kali, this age, you have to simply take this process, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Then all your desires will be fulfilled and your life will be successful. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question fourteen. "It is said that the karma-kāṇḍa in the Vedas has almost gone out of use, except for a few rites which remain in vogue for marriage, śraddhās, etc. Is it advisable to revive the karma-kāṇḍa with its stress on the performance of various yajñas?"
Prabhupāda: So that is not possible in this... Taking consideration of the time, circumstances, it is not possible. There are different kinds of karma-kāṇḍīya-yajña. It is expensive also and there is no expert brāhmaṇa to guide how to perform this yajña. So Kali-yuga, it is not possible to perform yajñas. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ (SB 12.3.52). In the Treta-yuga yajñas were possible. Dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt, that in this age of Kali-yuga the real yajña is hari-kīrtana. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32). Therefore those who are intelligent, having good brain substance, they take to this yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña. And practically we are experiencing, simply by saṅkīrtana-yajña, even the lowest person in the sinful activities, he is becoming purified. So karma-kāṇḍa is, to revive them in this age is not possible. Neither jñāna-kanda. That is also not possible. People are so fool and rascal that it is impossible. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura said... He has condemned karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa. Even it is properly done.