#1 The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful and bestows all spiritual benedictions for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna’s name is complete and is the form of all transcendental mellows. The holy name of Krishna is not material and is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Krishna and Krishna’s names are identical and are hence free from any material laws or material qualities. Hence Krishna’s names are always liberated and spiritual. In this article we are going to discuss about the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, its Meaning, glories and significance.
Meaning of Mahamantra : Unending glories of the holy Name
#2 The Holy Name of Krishna is the means (sadhana), the end (sadhya), the method (upaya), and that which is finally accomplished by using the method (upeya). Chanting the holy name of Krishna, the living entity can easily transcend the material world and attain His divine love.
#3 The holy name is endless, beginning less, fully conscious, and inseparable from Krishna, who is the Supreme consciousness. Though descending into this material world, the name remains pure, eternal, and the embodiment of the most wondrous sweetness (rasa).
#4 The holy name is the ultimate treasure in Krishna’s storehouse since it holds within it the entire spiritual realm. The living entities who are part and parcel of Krishna, have fallen into this material world and have yielded to illusion. The holy name of Krishna has descended to this material world to deliver these fallen spirit souls.
Two types of Holy Names :
#5 Krishna’s names are of two kinds – Primary and Secondary. By taking shelter of His primary names, the living entity receives the highest benefit. Those of His names that are part of His transcendental pastimes are considered to be His primary names. Names such as Govinda, Gopala, Rama, Radhanath, and Hari reveal the eternal pastimes of the Supreme Lord, and by chanting them the living entity gains entrance into the spiritual world.
#6 The secondary names are those that define the Lord’s functions such as – Creator, Paramatma, Brahman, etc. These names award one with material elevation and liberation.
#7 Any person, irrespective of his caste, creed, gender, educational qualifications, age, etc can take up the chanting of the holy name of Krishna. But only those who have acquired faith in the holy name will seriously chant it. Thus any human being has the right to chant the holy name, but one who has developed faith becomes the practitioner of the name. There are no considerations of time, place, etc when it comes to chanting the holy name. Faith is the only necessity and whoever chants the holy name sincerely attains the highest perfection of his/her life. The holy name of Krishna is like the sun that dispels the darkness of illusion (Maya).
#8 One who accepts the holy name and practices it, though doing this with minimal restrictions, must still be mindful to perform all actions favorable to increasing devotion to Krishna, and reject all actions which hinder devotion to Krishna. He should simply remember the name of Krishna constantly while passing his days in the material world. Never should he deviate to the path of fruitive activities or engage in worshiping the demigods.
Why chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra ?
#9 Srimad Bhagavatam states that the most important quality of this age of Kali, which is otherwise an ocean of faults, is that one can be freed from all of his contaminations and be eligible to reunite with his beloved Lord, simply by chanting His holy names. It has been further stated that whatever benefits one could have previously attained in the Satya Yuga by meditating upon Vishnu (astanga yoga), in Treta by performing sacrifices, or in Dvapara by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali by simply chanting His holy names.
kaler dosha nidhe rajan, asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krishnasya ,mukta sangah param vrajet
#10 Sri Narada Muni emphasizes again in Brhan Naradiya Purana, that chanting the names of Lord Hari is the only hope for the suffering souls in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy (Kali yuga). In order to stress upon his point, he repeats thrice that there is absolutely no other way.
Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty-eva nasty-eva nasty-eva gatir anyathaa
(Brhan Naradiya Purana)
In this age of Kali the only means of deliverance is chanting of the holy name of Lord Hari. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.
#11 According to the shata-Nama stotra, one name of Sri Vishnu is superior to all the Vedic mantras and one name of Lord Rama, is even more potent than a thousand names of Sri Vishnu. Again, in the Brahmanya Purana, we find that chanting three names of Lord Rama is equivalent to chanting one name of Sri Krishna. Thus it is hereby concluded that the holy name of Lord Krishna is the sweetest and the highest of all. This is the conclusion of the scriptures.
#12 The Lord, manifesting Himself as Sri Krishna is the most complete, and in this form exhibits all of His divine qualities in full. Sri Rupa Goswami explains in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu how Lord Krishna possesses 64 qualities in all. Fifty of these qualities can be found in varying proportions among the jivas (ordinary living beings of this world). Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and other demigods may possess as much as fifty five of them. Vishnu displays up to sixty of these qualities. But the remaining four are found exclusively in Sri Krishna, escaping all the other manifestations of the Supreme. The four qualities unique to Krishna are as follows:
- Lila-madhurya: He exhibits numerous wonderful pastimes for the pleasure of His devotees.
- Bhakta-madhurya: He interacts with His loving devotees in many intimate ways.
- Venu-madhurya: He plays on His divine flute, thus attracting all souls.
- Rupa-madhurya: His beautiful form is incomparable, unrivaled in all of existence.
Hence when we chant ‘Krishna’, we are actually calling upon and associating with this Supreme primeval Lord, who is complete and the source of all His other incarnations. The supremacy of Sri Krishna underscores the superiority of love over power, sweetness over opulence.
#13 The Supreme Lord, appearing as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (also known as Gauranga, Gaurahari, etc), has inspired us one and all to incessantly chant the holy name of Krishna.He has further instructed us to make an effort and preach extensively to others ,about the glories of chanting Krishna’s holy name (yare dekho taare kaha Krishna upadesha…). In this way He has bestowed this supreme treasure of love of God, by giving to us the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra ‘ (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare), chanting which, one attains all perfection. This Hare Krishna Mahamantra also finds its mention in the Kali Santarana Upanishad, wherein it has been described as the destroyer of all inauspiciousness (iti sodasakam namnam kali kalmasa nashanam).
Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Meaning & Significance
#14 The words ‘Hare’, ‘Krishna’, and ‘Rama’ are Sanskrit words. ‘Hare’ is an address to God’s energy, known as Radharani, and ‘Krishna’ is one of the primary names of God signifying one who is attractive to everyone. ‘Rama’ means ‘one who provides pleasure and enjoys life’. The Hare Krishna Mahamantra is a petition to God praying, ‘O Krishna, O energy of Krishna, please engage me in Your loving devotional service’.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
#15 The word ‘Hare’ refers to the Supreme Lord’s internal energy or Srimati Radharani and the word ‘Krishna’ refers to Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. As Lord Chaitanya is non different from Sri Radha and Krishna (Sri Krishna Chaitanya ,Radha Krishna Nahe anya), the syllables ‘Hare Krishna’ is non different from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus Lord Gauranga (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) is also worshipped when we chant the above Hare Krishna Mahamantra. By Chanting the Maha mantra, we constantly beg for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s causeless mercy and pray so that Lord Gauranga accepts us as one of His own and engages us in His sankirtana movement.
#16 Lord Chaitanya, is Lord Krishna Himself, who had descended in order to bestow the supreme benediction of love of God upon one and all, without judging one’s qualifications. Hence Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is more magnanimous than Lord Krishna Himself. One who worships Lord Chaitanya, progresses very quickly in His devotional life and achieves the ultimate goal of ecstatic love of God. Lord Gauranga freely gives what no other incarnation of the Supreme Lord has ever given before – the ecstatic pure love of God. He does not consider one’s qualifications or background or pedigree before bestowing this supreme gift upon them, receiving which one achieves the ultimate perfection of his human life.This ecstatic love of God eludes the great demigods like Brahma, Shiva and Indra. Even Lakshmi devi, the wife of Lord Narayana, hankers to receive it. A yogi cannot achieve it , even after performing severe austerities for thousands of years. A Jnani cannot smell it even after analysing the whole of the vedic scriptures. This ecstatic love of God is extremely rare but it can be easily achieved by the causeless mercy of Lord Gauranga.
#17 Hence the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, always seek shelter of the most magnanimous Lord Chaitanya and His associates before beginning to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. So first of all we chant the below Pancha Tattva Mahamantra before we proceed to chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
‘Jaya Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda ,Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa adi Gaura bhakta vrinda’
Translation – I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara Pandit, Srivasa Thakura and all the devotees of Lord Chaitanya.
Chanting the holy name of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates bestows upon us their causeless mercy enabling us to then chant Lord Krishna’s holy names without committing any offenses.
Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Audio :