Why Chant Hare Krishna?

Have you ever wondered why so many people chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and what it's all about? In this 8-minute video His Holiness Giriraja Swami explains the significance and benefit of chanting the holy names of Krishna via the Maha-mantra, or great chant for deliverance:

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

For more information about chanting Hare Krishna, you may want to watch Mahatma Prabhu's videos in the Video Blogs section, and read the Mantra Meditation page.

Click to read transcript (will appear below)

According to Vedic literature and according to the personal testimony of realized souls, Krishna is the original person. And, as the original person, He is the origin of all of us. We, too, are by nature spiritual persons. Although we have physical bodies, our actual nature is spiritual.

We're spiritual and Krishna is spiritual, but the difference is that Krishna is great, and we are small. Because we're both spiritual, we can have a relationship with each other but because He's great He's the origin and we're small. The relationship is that we're dependent on Him.

Now, to actually get in touch with Krishna, we need a method. Krishna is everywhere, but still we need a method. And the method is to chant the holy names. Because Krishna is absolute, His name is identical with Him, and when we chant His name, we associate with Him. We can actually feel it. We can experience it.

Any ordinary, mundane sound becomes boring after a while. It becomes disgusting after a while. If you had to repeat, "one, two, three, one, two, three. . ." it would become disgusting. But if you keep chanting "Krishna Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare," it's ever-fresh. You want to chant more and more. And you never grow tired of it.

One great devotee prayed, "If I had millions of tongues and billions of ears, then I could begin to chant, because there's so much nectar in the holy name of Krishna."

There are different methods of self-realization and God-realization. Within the Vedic system, there are many different types of yoga. Yoga means, "to link with God." There's karma-yoga, the yoga of action, jnana-yoga, the yoga of knowledge, astanga-yoga, the mystic yoga process, but those processes are very difficult in the modern age, in the present age. They're possible, but very difficult.

But bhakti-yoga, or the yoga of love, is the most practical, and it also yields the greatest benefit. And within that practice of bhakti-yoga, the chanting of the holy names is the most important and the most essential. And if one chants the holy name in the proper way and in the proper mood—with attention, like any other type of meditation—one will develop self-realization and God realization. One will actually have direct perception of one's self within, and direct perception of God.

And when one does have that realization, he becomes fully satisfied. He feels that upon gaining this, he's attained the greatest treasure, and he feels there's nothing more to be gained. And even in the midst of the greatest difficulty in the material world, he's not shaken, because what he has—Krishna, Krishna consciousness, love for Krishna, love for God—that cannot be disturbed by any material misfortune or fortune. And, therefore, the devotee who has realized the beauty of Krishna, and the nectar of Krishna's name, he's happy and satisfied in any situation. And he can never be shaken by any calamity.

[Chanting Hare Krishna] is the greatest boon to the human society. It's been practiced by sages for thousands of years, it's recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, which is the most essential textbook for all different types of yoga, and it's being experienced on a daily basis by practitioners even today.

So I would recommend that everyone at least try it. You can make an experiment; lean the science of chanting Hare Krishna and try it. I guarantee that if it's done in the proper way, within a very short time one will feel the results.

Even otherwise, there's never any loss. It's free. We're not selling any secret mantra. We're not charging people any fee to chant Hare Krishna. It accrues to one's eternal spiritual credit, and it will gradually increase in value. And one will progressively experience more and more of the benefit of it.

Krishna came in the present age in the form of a devotee, as Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Of course, scripture and learned philosophers recognize Him as Krishna, but otherwise, even if He's taken as a great saint, He has presented this chanting.

It can be done individually, in a quieter way, as japa, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." Or, it can be sung with musical instruments, dancing and jumping and twirling. Any way one chants, one will derive immense benefit and pleasure. Hare Krishna.