dhyayam krte yajan yajnaih
The Visnu-Purana (VI, ii, 17) teaches that what is gained through meditation in krta-yuga, through performing sacrificial rites in, treta-yuga, and through ritual worship in dvapara-yuga, is obtained by chanting the names of God in Kali-yuga.
kalau samkirtya kesavam.
The four yugas need not necessarily mean successive ages in physical time. The yugas are in the minds of men. The spiritual ascent is from the kali to krta Yuga, from the least evolved state of consciousness to the near-perfect state after which the mind itself will cease to be, and there will be only the non-dual experience.
Since the least evolved state is characterized by the impurities imported by passions, etc., what can serve to elevate the vast majority of people who are in that state is the Divine Name. In the Brhannardiya-purana (I, xli. 15) we read:
namaiva mama jivanam
kalau nastyeva nastyeva nastyeva gatir-anyatha.
"The Name of Hari, the Name, verily the Name is my life; in Kali there is no other means, no other, indeed no other."
It is significant that stotra itself occurs in the Visnu-sahasranama as a name of God. It is Hari alone, says Sankara, that is stotram (681) consisting of chanting the divine attributes.25 Since there is nothing other than Hari, all factors connected with stotra are also He. He is the act of chanting, stutih (682), the one who chants, stotra (683), the one who is praised in the chant, stavyah (679), and is fond of the praise-chant, stave-priyah. (680).
25. Guna - Samkirtanatmakam taddharireva tti