The Hare Krishna Mantra is known as Maha-mantra as it is the greatest of sound vibrations. There are certain channels through which the higher spiritual frequencies become approachable by humanity, and by which the Infinite descends into this world. The Hare Krishna Maha-mantra is one such channel of pure spiritual vibration.
The Sanskrit word mantra is composed of the root ‘man’ which refers to the mind and the suffix tra which is a diminutive of trayate, literally meaning ‘delivers’ or ‘releases’. Therefore, a mantra is a combination of words that delivers our mind from material afflictions and situates it on a spiritual platform.
Caring for each other with patience, tolerance, and humility is part of what it means to walk a spiritual path. Chanting of the holy names helps one to walk through this path.
The Maha Mantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण , कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे |
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
हरे राम हरे राम , राम राम हरे हरे ||
Meaning of Hare Krishna Mantra
The Maha Mantra literally means “The All Attractive Energy of God, Please Guide Me into Your Service“.
The maha-mantra is a thirty-two syllable mantra chanted requesting Harā (another name of His supreme pleasure energy, personified by Srimati Radharani), and the Supreme Lord (given by two of His names, Krsna, the All-Attractive One, and Rama, the Reservoir of Pleasure) an opportunity to serve Them.
There are three Holy Names that make up the Maha-Mantra, Hare, Krishna, and Rama.
1. ‘Hare’ is a powerful word that directly addresses the divine energy of the Lord. This supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, when addressed as Hare, helps us to reach the Supreme Lord.
2. ‘Krishna’ is the Name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is the Possessor of every quality in and out of the universe. He also possesses these qualities in an unlimited quantity.
3. ‘Rama’ Rama is another name for God meaning” reservoir of all eternal pleasure”. By chanting this Maha-Mantra and doing service to Krishna, anyone can be linked to this reservoir and get unlimited happiness.
So the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra means,” O all-attractive, all pleasing Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your loving devotional service“.
Why chant mantra
The mantra is a point of meditation for the mind, but also a formula or transcendental sound vibration that releases its energy into one’s consciousness. Thus it can prepare a person for perceiving higher states of reality.
With continued practice with this mantra, and with the proper devotional mood, the mantra can uplift our mind in many ways, help us rise above bad habits and thought patterns, and can even reveal the Absolute Truth to the practitioner. It can also show one’s own spiritual identity and relationship that you have with the Supreme Being.
When devotee chants the name, Hare Krishna, Shri Radha, the name Krishna, the Lord directly appears within the name, and as we are chanting we are worshiping that name. We are offering our sincere intent to serve and please the Lord as we are chanting the holy names. We are offering our gratitude and love to the Lord as we are chanting the holy names.
Why chant 108 times
The number 108 has a special significance in Hinduism and yoga. Malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads. Because there are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If there is anything wrong with these changes, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the mantras.
Benefits of Chanting Hare Krishna Mantra
- Brings joy, peace, and happiness
- Cleans one’s mind and heart
- Improves one’s power of concentration and memory
- Brings enlightenment
- Relieves stress and depression
- Helps one get rid of anxiety
- Liberates one from the miseries of material existence
- Helps to achieve big
- Links one directly with the Lord
- Fixes the mind
Following the four regulative principles while chanting:
- No illicit sex life [sex is only for having children in marriage, nothing else]
- No meat-eating
- No gambling
- No intoxication