By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
When there is discrepancy in religious principles all over the world, the incarnation of the Supreme Lord comes. So Lord Caitanya says that in the Satya-yuga this incarnation of God, which is in white color, preached meditation, or dhyāna. Therefore meditation is for the Satya-yuga. Satya-yuga means when people are cent-percent pure. That is called Satya-yuga. In Tretā-yuga people are 75% pure and 25% impure and in Dvāpara-yuga 50% pure and 50% impure. Whereas in Kali-yuga, people are 75% impure and 25% may be pure. (laughter) This is Kali-yuga – and we are thinking we are advancing. Such a foolish civilization! They are less than 25% pure – they do not know what purity is – and they think that they are advancing in civilization. Civilization means to purify. The Aryans means those who are advanced in civilization. And in what way are they advanced – are they advanced in eating or advanced in sleeping? No. They are advanced in purification. And the most advanced purified person is called the brāhmana. And less than that is the Kshatriya (warrior class). And less than that is the vaiśyas (mercantile men). And less than that are the śūdras (labourer class). And less than that are candālas (dog-eaters). This is the classification of the human society. What is that classification? Due to this purity, who is pure, pure, purer, purer, and purest. So unless we become purest, we cannot approach Krishna.
satya-yuge dhyāna karma: Why perform meditation, when they were all cent percent pure in the Satya yuga? “To become purest.” Kardamake vara dilā yenho krpā kari. And He bestowed some blessings to Kardama Muni, who was a great penance taker. He worshiped this incarnation of God, and he was blessed with a son. The son, Kapila Muni was also an incarnation of God, who preached the original sānkhya philosophy. Later on, in this Kali-yuga, there was an imitation sānkhya philosophy preached by the atheistic Kapila. So there are two sānkhya philosophies: atheistic and non-atheistic. So you will find non-atheistic sānkhya philosophy preached by Kapila Muni, the son of Kardama and Devahūti, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.krishna-‘dhyāna’ kare loka jnāna-adhikārī tretāra dharma yajna’ karaya ‘rakta’-varna dhari
In the Satya-yuga, people were trained to meditate on Krishna. They had a life span 100,000 years. They used to live that long! But we cannot live that long – our limit is one hundred years only. Similarly, in the Satya-yuga the limit of living was 100,000 years. And people would meditate. There is history of meditating some fifty thousands of years. Just like Vālmīki Muni. Vālmīki Muni meditated for fifty thousands of years, and then he wrote Rāmāyana. The Rāmāyana is not an ordinary book. Therefore Rāmāyana is so popular in India. Before the appearance of Rāma, he wrote Rāmāyana – all the activities of Rāma. This Vālmīki Muni was a dacoit, a plunderer. He used to plunder innocent men on the road, kill them and take everything. That was his business. But by chance, he was associated with Nārada Muni, and he rectified him. This is the process.
When a devotee meets even a dacoit like Vālmīki Muni, he elevates him. Nārada Muni elevated so many fallen souls. This Vālmīki Muni was also delivered. So Valmiki was given this mantra, “Rāma.” but he could not chant it. Then he was advised just the opposite, marā, which means dead body. So marā marā marā. Three marā means one “Rāma” is there. So in this way he was initiated and he became a great sage. For sixty thousands of years he meditated simply on “Rāma, Rāma, Rāma, Rāma, Rāma, Rāma.” And when he was liberated, he wrote this Rāmāyana.
So this meditation is possible in the Satya-yuga, and not in this age. Therefore those who are imitating the process of the Satya-yuga, are simply wasting time. That’s all. That is not recommended. Nobody can meditate in this age. Krte yad dhyāyato vishnum tretāyām yajato makhaih [SB 12.3.52]. There are different yugas, or millenniums, and there are different processes.
In this age, this is the process – kalau sankīrtana, hari-kīrtanāt, simply chanting. Sit down anywhere, everywhere, and go on chanting, chanting, chanting.
So as the ages, either it is fallen or risen, that doesn’t matter. Just like if you go to a doctor, he has got different kinds of medicine, different kinds of treatment. There is no question of being hopeless. If we follow the injunction given in these authorized scriptures, then even in this Kali-yuga we can attain perfection. And the process is this: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered in New York on December 23, 1966 on the Chaitany Charitamrita Madhya Līla 20.300-335]