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Hare Krishna Mantra

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The Hare Krishna mantra is a chant meant for enhancing consciousness to the greatest possible degree. Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra can give peace, happiness, God realization, freedom from repeated birth and death, and total self-fulfillment. Also known as the maha-mantra—great chant—it consists of three Sanskrit names of the Supreme Being; "Hare," "Krishna," and "Rama."

The mantra is most commonly translated as, "O Lord, O Energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service." It was popularized in the sixteenth century by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and spread worldwide in the late twentieth century by Srila Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

(Pronunciation: ha-RAY, KRISH-na, RA-ma (rhymes with "drama")
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One of the Vedas' most quoted texts, the Padma Purana, says that the maha-mantra is Krishna Himself, appearing in the form of His name. Chanting Hare Krishna is meant to uplift us from the negative effects of this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, Kali-yuga, and bring us back into Krishna's association.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught that the practice of chanting Krishna's names gives one all spiritual good fortune. Other benedictions—house by the sea, fancy new car, etc.—may or may not come, but chanters of Hare Krishna throughout history say the benefits of chanting greatly exceed any temporary blessings available on earth.

The Padma Purana goes on to say that the maha-mantra is the purest of the pure, and contains all of reality—the Absolute Truth in the form of sound. It's also eternally liberated—not of this world—having descended directly from the spiritual world.

According to the logic of the Absolute Truth, Krishna and His name are the same; He is totally identical with the sound vibration of His name. By the same logic, He is personally present on the tongue—and in the heart—of anyone sincerely chanting His name with affection.

God is all-powerful, and so is His name. This mantra puts you directly in touch with the most powerful force in the universe. Don't take our word for it, though. Try chanting for yourself, and see the difference it makes in your life.

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We like to quote our sources. This page is based on the following:

  • Kali-santarana Upanishad:

    "After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Krishna.”
    - For a discussion of this verse, see Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 3.40, Purport

  • Brihan-naradiya Purana:

    "For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord."
    - For a discussion of this verse, see Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 7.76, Purport

  • Narada-pancharatra:

    “The essence of all Vedic knowledge—comprehending the three kinds of Vedic activity [karma-kanda, jñana-kanda and upasana-kanda], the chandas, or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigods—is included in the eight syllables Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. This is the reality of all Vedanta. The chanting of the holy name is the only means to cross the ocean of nescience.”
    - For a discussion of this verse, see Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, 7.76, Purport

  • Narayana-samhita:

    “In Dvapara-yuga one could satisfy Krishna or Vishnu only by worshiping Him gorgeously according to the pañcaratriki system (temple Deity worship), but in the Age of Kali one can satisfy and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari simply by chanting the holy name.”
    - For a discussion of this verse, see Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila 7.76, Purport

  • Srimad-Bhagavatam, 12.3.51:

    "My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."

  • Padma Purana:

    "The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical."
    - For a discussion of this verse, see Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 17.133

  • More scriptural references on the Hare Krishna mantra
  • Even more scriptural references on the Hare Krishna mantra

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