annād bhavanti bhūtāni
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacriﬁce], and yajña is born of prescribed duties. Bhagavad Gita, verse 3.14
Rain produce food grains, but who produces rains? “Nature”, is the common response. We’ve been abusing nature for sensual purposes. We’ve been exploiting it; manipulating it. The Vedas explain that humans should responsibly appease the demigods through the prescribed yajyas or sacrifices to bring rains. Indra, the rain god needs to be appeased to get rains. Brahmins used to offer prescribed sacrifices in the previous yugas. Kaliyuga is bereft of Brahmins. Only surnames and casts have remained.
The Vedas describe karma kanda. On the yoga ladder, karma kanda gets the lower rung. The highest rung is adorned with bhakti. Bhakti scriptures tell us that every sacrifice is meant for Vishnu or Krishna. Demigods are only intermediaries. So, devotion to Krishna—whose Vishnu is an expansion—makes sacrifices described in the Vedas optional. In a pastime on our earth, Krishna explained to Vrajavasis that they should worship the Govardhana Hill who sustains them, rather than offering sacrifices to Indra, the demigod of the rains. Vrajavasis did as Krishna said. In a fit of fury, Indra almost forgot that Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead. (Anger causes forgetfulness, verse 2.63-64). And, to cause misery to Vrajavasis, he poured torrent of rains. Each drop of water was the size of a pillar. Krishna, who was then a 7-year old boy in His leela, lifted the Govardhana hill on His little finger. Govardhana remained on the little finger of Krishna’s little hand for a week. Nature is a maid servant of Krishna. Her laws obey Krishna’s will. Krishna, Giridhari (the one who lifts a mountain), wasn’t pleased with Indra’s audacity. Krishna’s ego is true ego. No one can hurt the supreme true ego. But, Krishna can’t bear that anyone tries to cause pain to His devotees. So His anger on Indra was transcendental. It’s a beautiful pastime in which the Surabhi cow, who descended from Goloka, becomes instrumental in saving Indra from Krishna’s divine rage. This pastime teaches us the supremacy of Krishna and His love for His devotees (both Vrajavasis and cows).
Please read a couple of rain pastimes of Krishna’s devotees. Some people once questioned a disciple of Srila Prabhupada if the Hare Krishna mahamantra could produce rains. The disciple and his team were performing street kirtan of the Hare Krishna mantra in a city suffering from drought. Srila Prabhupada’s disciple answered that the chanting and kirtan of mahamantra bestows upon us divine love, and as a byproduct liberation comes with it. Those people wanted rains not divine love. Prabhupada’s disciple and His team of devotees continued the kirtan with the spirit of unconditional service. And it rained cats and dogs within an hour of the kirtan. In 1972, for a week, Srila Prabhupada delivered lectures on the glories of Krishna and His bhakti in drought-stricken Hyderabad. The rain started pouring on the 7th day.
Scriptures prescribe only one yajya or sacrifice in the age of kali. This yajya doesn’t cost a thing. It’s the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.
These sixteen words–Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare–are especially meant for counteracting the ill effects of the present age of quarrel and anxiety. (Kali-santarana Upanishad)
All mantras and all processes for self-realization are compressed into the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. (Narada-pancaratra)
Chant the holy names, chant the holy names, chant the holy names. In this age of Kali [the age of quarrel and confusion] without a doubt there is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way. (Brihan-naradiya Purana 38.126)
There are more verses in various scriptures on the glory and urgency of chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Eager souls can get a compilation of 108 verses in the appendix of Sachinandana Swami’s the Nectarean Ocean of the Holy Name.