Chanting Ecstatic Hare Krishna Sankirtan Chanting of Hare Krishna in Germany 1974

Published on October 27th, 2015 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image

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The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra–1966 MP3 Audio Lecture



You can take the iron rod which is red hot in association with fire and touch anything; it will burn. That means it is no longer acting as iron; it is acting as fire. Similarly, if you associate with this transcendental incarnation, sound incarnation of God, then you will be gradually godly. If you want to get yourself warm, then you have to associate with fire…

Prabhupada: Now, some of you members have asked me to explain the meaning of this chanting, Hare Krishna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, this sound is transcendental sound, transcendental sound, incarnation, sound incarnation of the Absolute Truth. Just try to understand what is incarnation. Incarnation means… The Sanskrit word is avatara, and that is translated into English as “incarnation.” Of course, the root meaning of incarnation I cannot exactly explain to you, but the root meaning of the… (aside:) Somebody stop. Yes. The root meaning of avatara is “which comes from the transcendental sky, the spiritual sky to the material sky.” That is called avatara. Avatarana. Avatarana. Just like… Avatarana means “coming from up to down.” That is called avatarana. And avatara is understood that when God or His bona fide representative comes from that sky to this material plane, that is called avatara.

So this sound, this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the sound representation of the Supreme Lord. The sarvam khalv idam brahma. The whole thing, either material or spiritual, whatever we have got experience, nothing is separated from the Supreme Absolute Truth. Nothing is separated. Everything has emanated from the Absolute Truth. (aside:) Come on. Sit down. But just like… The example… Just like earth. Earth, then from earth, you have got wood, fuel. From fuel, when you get fire, first of all there is smoke. Then, after smoke, there is fire. And the fire, from fire, you can take work. Now, beginning from earth, from earth there is wood; from wood there is smoke; from smoke there is fire. There is a link between the fire and the earth. But the work of the fire, the benefit of the fire, can be had at the last stage, when there is real ignition of fire. Similarly, there is link. The whole material cosmic situation, manifestation, what we see, it is just like the smoke. The fire is behind it. That is spiritual sky. But still, in the smoke, you can feel some heat also. So similarly, this sound vibration of the spiritual world is here so that even in this material world, where there is a scarcity of that spiritual fire, we can appreciate, we can feel, the warmth of that fire.

So this is the meaning of, in a nutshell, meaning of this, I mean to say, spiritual vibration. And grammatical meaning is these, all these words, sixteen words: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, sixteen… Now, according to grammatical rules, when somebody is addressed… Just like in your English language it is, note of address is, “O Mr. such and such,” similarly, in grammar, Sanskrit grammar, the same note of address, which is called sambodhana, that is expressed in this way. So Hare, Hare is the note of address form of the sound Hara. Hara. Hara means the potency of the Supreme Lord, potency. The Supreme Lord is represented everywhere by His potency. There is a nice verse in the Visnu Purana. It is said like that: Just like a fire, the fire situated in one place, it distributes its heat and light. Just like… Take the example for the sun. The sun is located at a certain fixed-up place. That we can see. But the heat of the sun and the light of the sun is distributed all over the universe. Ekadesa-sthitasyagneh. Ah, yes. The verse is like…

ekadesa-sthitasyagner
jyotsna vistarini yatha
tatha sarvam akhilam jagat
brahmanah saktih brahmanah

Akhilam jagat. In this world, whatever you are seeing, it is nothing but distribution of the energy of the Supreme Lord. Just like you can feel the light and the heat of the sun. This light and heat of the sun are different energies of the sun. The energy and the energetic, the thing from which the energy is generated and the energy, they are nondifferent. The sunshine or the sun heat is not different from the sun. Because there is heat in the sun, therefore we feel the heat of sunshine. And there is light in the sun, therefore we see the sunshine. So this sunshine and sun heat is not different from the sun as it is. But still it is different. Still it is different. You cannot say that “Because I am feeling the heat of the sun, therefore I have approached sun.” No. Sun is far, far away from you. And because the sunshine has entered your room, you cannot say that “Sun has entered my room.” No. Still, sunshine and sun heat is not different from the sun.

Similarly, the whole creation, anything… Generally there are three things: the potent, God, and His three energies. This is the sum total: internal energy, external energy, and marginal energy. External energy is this material manifestation. Just like this body is my external energy. I am soul, so my external energy is this body. Similarly, I have got my internal energy. That is my consciousness. Consciousness is my internal energy, and this body and the mind and this material demonstration, or manifestation, is my external energy. The body has developed, the mind has developed, from me, soul, not that I, consciousness, is developed from this body. No. That is a wrong conception. That is a wrong conception. You cannot develop consciousness from this body. Otherwise a dead man could have been again revived to consciousness. Because if matter is the cause of consciousness, then the whole matter is there already. Whole matter. The dead body means, so far material substance is concerned, everything is there, present. Nothing has disappeared. If you say there is no blood–oh, that is not very difficult thing, blood, a red substance. Do you mean to say something red injected within this body will bring back the life? No. If redness is the cause of life or consciousness, then modern chemical can make immediately by chemical combination the whole thing red. Or take example: there are many natural stones, they are by nature red. If you say that “This artificial redness cannot give life; the natural redness is the cause of life,” then you take the stone. It has got natural redness, but there is no life. But there is no life. So redness is also not the cause of consciousness of life. That is a wrong theory. That is a complete… Consciousness is completely different thing, qualitatively different. Nothing is different from one to another, just like I have explained already that the earth, wood, then smoke, then fire–everything is linked up, but everything is also different from one another.

So the whole thing… The Supreme Lord is represented throughout everything, whatever you see, matter or spirit or anything, physical, chemical–whatever you can give name–there are so many things. But they are not separated from God. God is linked up in everywhere. Isavasyam idam sarvam. Just like our Bhagavad-gita, we have begun that yena sarvam idam tatam: “That thing which is present all over the body, that you are.” So this is individual consciousness: “I am present all over my body.” Similarly, the supreme consciousness, he is present all over the universe, all over. This is only a small manifestation of God’s energy, very minute. In the Bhagavad-gita you will find, ekamsena sthito jagat. This jagat… Jagat means this material manifestation. This material manifestation is a one-fourth part demonstration of this whole energy of the Supreme Lord, one-fourth part. So nothing is different from God. But there are certain philosophers, they say, pantheist or monotheist… There are so many theists. They are also be… They believe in the Supreme, but impersonal. But we followers of this Krsna philosophy, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavata, we do not follow that philosophy. What is that philosophy? The other sections, they say that “Because God is distributed all over everywhere, therefore there is no separate existence of God.” But we do not say that. We say that, the example, that because the sun is distributing his heat and energy, therefore you cannot say that there is no existence of sun. Sun is separately existing. In spite of distributing for millions of years heat, the reservation of heat in the sun is intact. It is not diminished. But everyone knows that for millions and billions of years the sun is distributing heat. Nobody knows the history, how long. Your distributing center, the powerhouse, if you fail to supply coal or oil, then after one hour the whole New York City will be dark. So just you can imagine who is supplying the fuel in the heat of the sun so that for millions and billions of years the heat of the sun is in the same temperature. So this is only one of the creation of the God, God’s creation. But just imagine. If God’s creation is so unlimited and so much energetic, then how much energetic and how much powerful is the creator? That is to be… These things are to be thought. In everything, everything, we can have God consciousness. If this watch is so wonderful workmanship and we are struck with wonder how nicely it is giving time, how the machine is adjusted, now, before appreciating this watch, how much we have to appreciate the person who has discovered this watch, how much brain he has got? Before appreciating a powerful brain in this world, one should appreciate who has given him this powerful brain. If the man has attained that powerful brain out of his own accord, then great powerful brain like Professor Einstein, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, they could create another brain like them so that in their absence there would not have been scarcity of scientist and powerful brain. But they could not do that. Therefore they are not creator of the powerful brain. The powerful brain is gift of the supreme powerful brain.

So in every respect, if we think… This is called philosophy. If we have got thoughtful propensities, if we can little think over every matter, you will find that God is present everywhere, and still, He is personally present in His own place. The same example: the sun is present everywhere by heat and light; still, sun, the sun, has its own location. That you cannot deny. Similarly, God is present everywhere. Not only everywhere… We learn from Brahma-samhita,

eko ‘py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antam
andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

This Govinda, anadir adir govindah. So the prayer is, “I worship that Govinda,” sarva-karana-karanam, karana, “who is the cause of all causes.” Cause of all causes. Now, in this verse of Brahma-samhita we find that one of His plenary portion… In the Vedic hymns we find that God has become many. Eko bahu syam. God is one without second, but He has become Himself many. We are also God. Out of that many, we are one. We are one. We are not separate from God. So, but there are amongst the “many”s there is a difference of potency, difference of potencies. Just like what you can do, I cannot do. Your workmanship may not be equal with my workmanship. Your brain work may not be equal to my brain work. There are differences. Each and every living entity, they are different from each other so far individual capacities are concerned. So in spite of many… That is God’s creation. In spite of many, each and every thing, you will find there is some difference. You can sit down at a place in New York and go on counting and seeing all people passing before you–you won’t find one man is exactly like the other man. Not only that, in court, you know, every one of you know, that they take impression of the left hand thumb impression. Now, this thumb impression… You go on taking millions and millions of thumb impression, and you won’t find one thumb impression is exactly like the other. And because there is difference of thumb impression, therefore the identity is taken in that way, that “This particular man’s thumb impression, even if he denies his signature, the thumb impression will collaborate that his signature is this.” So that is God’s creation.

Similarly, there are two kinds of expansions of the Lord. One kind of expansion is called Visnu-tattva. Visnu-tattva means the expansion, they are as equal as the God Himself. And there are expansions which are called the jiva-tattva, the living entities. This expansion of the living entities, they are not equally powerful, but the expansion of Visnu-tattva is equally powerful, as good as God Himself. So the incarnation… Incarnation of God means the expansion which is as good as God Himself. That is called incarnation. So this, I mean to, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the expansion, incarnation, sound incarnation, of God. It is expansion and a plenary expansion, sound, sound representation… Not representation. God, present Himself in this form of sound. Because we cannot see God with our present eyes, present eyes, because this is not our proper eyes. They are material eyes. You don’t think that this eye, the transparent thing which is floating in this, I mean to say, hole… That is not seeing. Similarly, if you can present, or if you take this eye… You cannot see. That cannot see. It is simply a lens only. It is only lens. So none of this body, bodily part, is actually the thing which is taking part. So therefore with these eyes, with these material eyes, you cannot see. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. The present senses, the present senses cannot have any knowledge of the Supreme God. But how then we can have knowledge? If my senses are unfit, then how can I make it fit? Oh, that is the thing. That is the thing, that you have to spiritualize, spiritualize these material sense, I mean to say, organs. And then, when you spiritualize, then you can have the spiritual vision and see God and yourself. The same example which I have recited many times: just like the iron rod. Iron rod, you put into the fire. It gets warm–warm, warmer, warmer. And when it is red hot, then it is no longer iron. Iron it is, but it does not act as iron, but it acts as fire. That iron rod which is red hot in association with fire, you can take that rod and touch anything; it will burn. That means it is no longer acting as iron; it is acting as fire. Similarly, if you associate with this transcendental incarnation, sound incarnation of God, then you will be gradually godly. You will be godly. You can become godly with God’s association, not by any other material, extraneous things. No. Just like you can have fire only in association with fire, not with water. If you want to get yourself warm, then you have to associate with fire, not with water, not with air. Similarly, if you want to spiritualize your vision, if you want to spiritualize your action, if you want to spiritualize the whole constitution of your existence, then you have to associate with the supreme spirit. And that supreme spirit is very kind because He is everything. That we have already explained. Everything is interrelated with the Supreme; therefore He is interrelated with sound also. So by God’s inconceivable potency, He can present before yourself in sound incarnation. That is His potency. That is His potency. He can do that. And therefore this name, Krsna, and the Supreme Lord Krsna, there is no difference.

So our, this sound representation of the Supreme Lord constantly will make us… Just like our association with the fire, the, I mean to say, iron rod’s association with the fire makes the rod equally qualified, exactly–not equally qualified, but almost the quality of burning it gets–similarly, by our constant association with Lord… Lord is not only incarnation in a sound form. He is incarnated in many other forms, in many other forms. Just like arca. Arca means the form of the Lord situated, I mean to say, established in some temple and worshiped. That is also incarnation of God. That is not idol worship. People do not know that this is an authorized process of realizing God, or they have never tasted or practiced it. They cannot understand. They say it is idol worship. No. It is not idol worship. It is not idol worship. I’ll give you one example. Just like in the front of your door there is a box–“U.S. Mail,” it is written. And you put your letters within that box, and after few days you get reply from your friend that “I have received your letter, and this is such and such, such and such.” Now, if somebody puts another box like that, exactly imitation: “Then why shall I spend postage to putting letters in this box, U.S. Mail? I require postage. But then why shall I not put up a box like that? Let me prepare a box like that so that it can go without postage. I want to save postage.” Now, he is going on, putting letters in that without postage. And after some times he sees all the letters are lying there; it has not been dispatched–because it is imitation. And the box which is supplied by the post office, that is authorized. In the matter, in material, you will find this box and that imitation box is the same thing. So this is a science. You see. Although we find that “This form of the Lord… The Hindus, they have established one statue in the temple, and they are worshiping as the Lord? How is that? Is it Lord is a stone? It is wood?” But he does not know that because it is authorized, because it is authorizedly worshiped, therefore even it is stone or wood, it can act. It can act. Just like the authorized post office, although seemingly it is a box which I can prepare, but it is acting because it is authorized, similarly, the authorized, authorized symbol or representation of God is also God. He’s not different from God. Then why God is like that? It is His mercy. Because I cannot see God with my these eyes–I can see stone and wood and material things–therefore God is kind enough (to appear) in a form suitable to my seeing and accept my service. It is His kindness. And besides that, if everything is God, because everything has link with the God, with the Supreme Truth, then God, being omnipotent, why He cannot represent Himself in everything? If everything is God, everything is emanation of God, then God has got the power to manifest Himself in everything. That is His omnipotency. So these are consideration.

So the explanation of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is addressing, addressing the Supreme Lord through the energy, Hara. Hara is the energy, internal energy. Just like when there is… Of course, in your country there is no sun worship, but in India there are persons who are sun worshipers. So they worship sun with so many things. And there is a lamp also. Now, this lamp is a light, but it is being offered for satisfying the sun. Now, sun is so lightful, this light is merely insignificant before the sunlight. But still, because I have no other means, I am getting a sunlight, imitation of that light, and offering, and that offering is accepted. So these are spiritual conception. When we gradually make our progressive advancement, these things will be realized. But for the present we can take this instruction from authorized scripture that,

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

The God’s name, God’s form, God’s quality, God’s paraphernalia, God’s entourage, like that, and anything in relation to God cannot be realized with our present senses. But when we are in service attitude, then God is so merciful, He is so pleased, that our tiny efforts to realize Him attracts Him, and He becomes manifested gradually as we make our progress in spiritual service or devotional service.

So this method, chanting, chanting of the transcendental name of the Supreme Lord, is a part of devotional service. There are nine kinds of devotional services, of which

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

These are different, nine processes. Sravanam kirtanam. Sravanam means hearing, and kirtanam means chanting, chanting. So by this process… Just like I chant and you hear, and you chant and I hear. Parasparam. Bodhayantah parasparam. This is the factual activities of devotion in devotional society. This bodhayantah parasparam: I chant, you hear, and you chant, I hear. So by this process, the transcendental name, the sound incarnation of the Supreme Lord, becomes manifest, manifest so that we can realize God simply by chanting and hearing. Simply by chanting and hearing that will be realized. Of course, there are some rules and regulations for chanting, but in the beginning we haven’t got to observe those rules and regulation at the present. First of all let us have the taste for chanting; then we shall be little careful that the rules and regulations are followed. In the beginning, if we stick up to the… Rules and regulations are subordinate, subordinate thing. Just like you enter into an office. You are appointed in some office to work. So on the very day, you do not know all the rules and regulations. But because you do not know all the rules and regulation, that does not mean that you cannot be appointed. First of all let yourself be appointed. Now, working, working, yourself you will know that rules and regulations: “This is the rules, and this is the regulation.” Just like in my life, I will say one instance. When I met my spiritual master, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, so as a gentleman meets as a gentleman, so he was sitting in a couch like that. So, and I also sat down on that very couch. So I did not know that what are the rules and regulations. Now, when I saw that his other disciples are coming, and they are sitting down, (laughs) so I thought myself, “Oh, I have done this wrong. I should not have sat with His Divine Grace.” So of course, I did not get down immediately, but I took it, and from next day I did not sit. So rules and regulations automatically was taught. So that rules and regulations is not very important. The important is… The thing is that we must take up. The first rules and regulation is that we must have some attachment for this. Attachment for this. Then, automatically, rules and regulation we shall learn. There will be no difficulty.

So this transcendental sound, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, you don’t think that I have come here–it is my personal manufacture. No. It is not. No. It is not my personal manufacture. It is authorized just like the post box is authorized, because all previous acaryas, all previous authorized persons in this line, they have done it. Just like see Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is chanting and dancing, chanting and dancing, you see, the same thing. This picture is before you so that gradually, when you feel ecstasy, you will also dance like Him. And when you automatically dance, then you will know that the thing is already realized. Not artificially, but when you feel, “Oh, let me dance. It is so much ecstatic. Let me dance.” Nothing should be done artificially. Let everything come automatically. And only we have to follow. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. This is a verse from scripture, that tarko apratisthah, if you simply go on arguing about spiritual matters–“This is not, this is not, this is not, yes, this is not…” I say something; you say something. No, no, no. You cannot realize spiritual objects simply by this speculation, argument. Our argument or logical, I mean to say, strength has no access in the spiritual world. The Vedic mantra says, nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena:Atma, the supreme self, cannot be realized pravacanena.” Suppose I am very expert speaker, I can present things very nicely–but without any substance. Oh, that won’t help you. Simply by jugglery of words, if I can captivate you, oh, that won’t help you. Nayam atma pravacanena. This is pravacana.

Of course, we are delivering speeches from authoritative book, Bhagavad-gita. I am not speaking before you of my own imagination. I am speaking from the authorized book. Therefore it is not exactly pravacana, neither I am squeezing out some meaning for my purpose. I am just presenting you the same principle. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. As Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached, I am trying to present the same thing before you in a different language only. That’s all. Because in India He preached in Sanskrit. He was a very learned scholar in Sanskrit. Formerly, any big man, any big scholar, they would be big scholar in Sanskrit. Sanskrit was the written language. Even in the beginning of the British period, Sanskrit was written language. It is the policy of Lord McCauley that he transformed the whole attitude. They made a plan that “If Indians remain as Indian, then we cannot rule over. Then we cannot rule over. We must make them Anglicized.” So that policy was followed for two hundred years, so India has lost its original culture. So therefore the original point is that tarko apratisthah. We cannot realize the Supreme Truth simply by argument or logical presentation or philosophical speculation. No. Tarko apratisthah srutayo vibhinna. Srutayo means scriptures. Now say, for example, Bhagavad-gita and your Bible and the Muhammadans, they’ll present Koran. So of course, this Bhagavad-gita is little different from Vedic scripture. That we have already explained. It is an independent something, universal. So Vedic scripture, Koran, Bible, or Zoroastrian… There are so many religion, Buddhist religion, so many. So there may be some difference of opinion. Srutayor vibhinna. Vibhinna means different. Now, you cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by your mundane arguments and by your logical strength, neither you can catch up the right thing by reading different scriptures. Srutayor vibhinna. Nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam. And if you follow great philosophers, great thinkers, then also you will find one thinker is different from another thinker, one philosopher is differing from another philosopher. So whom to follow? This philosopher says that God is a person; another philosopher says God is imperson; another philosopher says that God is everywhere and there is no separate existence of God. So many philosophies there are in the world. And one person is not actually philosopher if he does not differ from other philosophers. That is the philosophical basic principle. You are a philosopher. If I cannot make your philosophical conclusion null and void and make my philosophy established, then I am not a philosopher. You see? That is the way, going on. Nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam: “He is not a philosopher if he cannot present a separate theory.” He is not a philosopher.

Then how to catch up the Absolute Truth? What is the way? Now, dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam: “Therefore the Absolute Truth is concealed within your heart.” Nihitam guhayam. Now, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah: “You just try to follow the great personalities, what they are doing, what they are doing.” Now, about this mahajana, there is also difference of opinion who is mahajana. But so far our Vedic culture is concerned, there are specific mention, mahajana. And so far Lord Krsna is concerned, so there is no two opinions about His authority throughout the whole world. And so far we are concerned, Hindus, or the followers of the Vedic religion, there is no difference of opinion so far Krsna’s authority is concerned. There are five authorities, recognized authorities, in India so far this is…, spiritual life is concerned. One of them is Sri Ramanujacarya and other is Sankaracarya. The other is Madhvacarya, other is Visnuswami, and other Nimbarka, Nimbaditya (?). Principal. The whole, I mean, some of them flourished, say, two thousand years before; some of them 1,500 years before; some of them eleven hundred years before. Just like there are different ages, they have come. But all of them, in spite of their coming in different ages, they all are in one opinion–krsnas tu bhagavan vayam: “Krsna, Lord Krsna, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Just like we have cited, isvarah paramah krsnah: “The supreme controller, the Supreme Lord, is Krsna.” Now, we can see from His presentation of this Bhagavad-gita how supreme He is. He spoke this truth five thousand years before, and continually, for five thousand years, all scholars are studying this scripture, and studying very devotedly to understand it. You know our present president in India, Dr. Radhakrishnan. He is a renowned scholar of the world, Dr. Radhakrishnan. When he came to your country, your president, late Mr. Kennedy, oh, he welcomed him as his own teacher, because when Mr. Kennedy was a student in the Oxford University, Dr. Radhakrishnan was a visiting professor. In the open meeting Mr. Kennedy admitted that “Now Dr. Radhakrishnan has come as the president, but he is always my teacher. He is still my teacher.” It was very kind of him that he received him as a teacher, not as contemporary. So even that Dr. Radhakrishnan, he is also studying this Bhagavad-gita very, I mean to say, profoundly. You know your Professor Einstein. Oh, he was a profound, I mean to say, student of this Bhagavad-gita. Hitler was a great student of Bhagavad-gita. So many, in all the countries. There are so many Muhammadans in India, oh, they are devout student of Bhagavad-gita. I know one Dr. Inrai(?) of Allahabad University. Oh, he is so devoted to Lord Krsna that on the birthday of Lord Krsna he must write one nice article and publish in the paper. So this instruction, that mahajano yena gatah sa panthah… We cannot have the knowledge of the Absolute Truth simply by argument or simply by philosophy or simply by big brain or speaking power. No, no. All these things will not do. Simply we have to follow the great authority.

So Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya, He introduced this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare for this age. And He recommended, kalau… Not recommended by His own brain, but it is recommended in the scriptures:

harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

If you want to realize the Supreme Truth, then you must realize this: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, whenever you get… Harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam: “Only this.” And if you think, “Oh, only this? Why not other?” No. Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. Nasty eva means “There is no alternative.” And He repeats this: “no alternative, no alternative, no alternative,” three times. Three times. That means He is giving too much stress. So our process is like that, that we are following a great personality, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He introduced from the scripture, not in His own way. Nothing should be accepted which is not recognized. You see? So this is recognized method. Now it depends on us. Let us follow this process and see how we are making progress in the spiritual path. You see?

Thank you very much. Now, if there is any question, you can raise. (end)

[660908LE.NY Lecture on Maha-mantra New York, September 8, 1966]

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15 Responses to The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra–1966 MP3 Audio Lecture

  1. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing this audio and for sharing Lord Krishna.

  2. Krishna says:

    PAMHO,

    I cannot concentrate while chanting. So after practicing 16 rounds regularly, as I did not have concentration, I tried to reduce the number of rounds so that I could develop concentration and then reach 16 rounds. But now I have lost everything. I am confused about how to gain back to bhakthi

    • Hare Krishna

      It is not the process that you have to be able to concentrate. Obviously in the beginning you will not be able to concentrate properly on chanting Hare Krishna. That is why we have to chant the Hare Krishna mantra with numerical strength. This is the order. We must chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day without fail. And that means we have to vibrate all the words of the mantra with our tongue:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      And we have to clearly hear all these words of every mantra we chant with our ears. That’s all. Concentration will automatically come if you actually surrender to the process. And the process is to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day.

      There is no question of Krishna consciousness without these things. It is impossible to develop concentration without numerical strength in the chanting, without chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantara a day you can no develop concentration. It is impossible.

      You have to surrender to and follow the process, otherwise you can not become Krishna conscious.

  3. Karan says:

    I have realised the benefits of chanting Hare Krishna…

  4. kapil saxena says:

    DEAR brother
    if any body all of sudden feel interest in mahamantra and started doing chanting of 10 rounds of mala continuously daily for 3 months and presently in continuation and not initiated from gaudya samprada .Shall this mantra benefit that living entity in any way ? suppose I got initiated from gayatri parivar santikunj and received initiation in mantra and i am chanting it with minimum rules and regulation with minimum sadhana procedure as prescribed .later on i found interest with shri mad bhagwat gita and vedic litreture which lead me to one of ESCon devotee implementing his prampara rule aand regualation in his life .he persuaded me into hare krishna mahamantra and now I m chanting my gayatri mantra along with 10 round of mala of hare Krishna mantra also with great interest .does another initiation is required to me

    • Hare Krishna Kapil

      Just keep on chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, increase it to at least 16 rounds a day and follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day and you will not require any other initiation. Srila Prabhupada will initiate you and guide you through his books if you really surrender to reading them and following the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you through his books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. N.Govindaraj says:

    I have chant hare krishna maha mantra past 10years but my mind will not control what is the main theing please tellm

    • Hare Krishna

      There are many ‘main things’. Krishna consciousness is a process and you have to follow all the points in the process. You have to learn this process from a pure devotee of Krishna and the only obvious pure devotee of Krishna we have access to is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Advancement in Krishna consciousness is not possible by our own strength and we can not approach Krishna directly. The secret you are looking for is that Krishna is only pleased with us if we can please His pure devotees. So we have to please Srila Prabhupada by service. Krishna consciousness means devotional service. So we have to do some practical service for Krishna under the direction of Srila Prabhupada. Chanting Hare Krishna is of course the main thing, but chanting Hare Krishna is a prayer to Krishna “Please engage me in Your service.” So obviously we have to do some practical service. That is the idea…

      You should not be surprised that the mind is disturbed but the mind can be controlled easily by chanting Hare Krishna. But we have to do it actually, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads every day. My experience is that usually the people who ask this sort of question have not surrendered to the process given to us by Srila Prabhupada. So we have to surrender to all the many do’s and don’ts that Prabhupada describes in his books. We have to accept things that are favorable for our advancement in Krishna consciousness and reject the things that are not favorable. And to know what is favorable and what is not favorable we have to read Prabhupada’s books.

      The process that Prabhupada gives us is scientific and perfect and if it does not seem to be working for us we have to understand we are not following the process properly and be ready to surrender and serve and follow Srila Prabhupada… It does work if we surrender. But we don’t want to surrender. That is the problem…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Rajat says:

        Please read Srimaad Bhagwat Geeta of Sri Prabhupad swami word by word no matter how long it takes, read to your capacity, donot pressurize your mind because pressuring will led to non understanding of the words let till take from days to months to read, underline the difficult words that you dont understand ask scholars & spiritually active people like shri Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji & you will see the transformation in your life. As far as my experience tells I am a very small human being but I can understand that the Main hurdle in every ones spirtual life is KAAM. As you may also have heard KAAM, KRODH, LOBH, Moha , AHankar are the five main obstacles, but KAAM is kept first not by chance but because KAAM is the Jannani(birth giving) of the rest 4 of them. Once KAAM is controlled everthing will be under control.

        One more thing while chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra please try to Listen to it, as you listen it , it will enter your ears, throat, heart & finally enter into the place of origin of Mahamantra which is your Nabhi or some call it DHUNI . ONE CAN ATTAIN ONENESS WITH LORD KRISHNA IF HIS NABHI IS OPEN. Opening of Nabhi is done only when you bring the Mahamantra back to its place of Origin. Dont have to shout loudly , should be dont with utter peace of mind without any strain. This happens only when you concentrate on the MAHAMANTRA & forgetting all other worldy deeds. I know its very difficult but not impossible. needs a lot of practice.

        Hare Krishna To ALL

  6. Shikha says:

    What are the rules and regulations of chanting?
    I sometimes chant using japmala and complete a few rounds, but my mind is somewhere else. Is it normal?
    What’s the best time to chant?

    • Hare Krishna Shikha

      Yes, it is normal in the beginning when we are trying to chant the Hare Krishna mantra that our mind is out of control and somewhere else. The only way to overcome this problem is to be determined to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily and force yourself to chant and hear the Hare Krishna mantra like this, even though the mind is wandering here and there.

      It will not take very long if you do this in a determined way and your mind will become peaceful and under control.

      The best time to chant the Hare Krishna mantra is in the Brahma-muhurta, this is the most auspicious time in the day and it starts one and a half hours before sunrise. So anyone seriously interested in spiritual life will get out of bed early in the morning and chant the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

      Of course you can chant the Hare Krishna mantra at any time and in any place. But still this time early in the morning is specially suited to it.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      • Shikha says:

        Hare Krishna

        Please tell me the following:

        1. 16 times has to be done continuously or can do it all through the day
        2. Is it to be done aloud?
        3. Is chanting wihtout the japmala counted?

        Regards
        Shikha

        • Hare Krishna Shikha

          1. You do not have to chant all 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra at the same time. You can chant throughout the day. But the early morning time starting from 1.5 hours before sunrise is a very auspicious time for spiritual life so it is nice to be chanting Hare Krishna early in the morning. Starts the whole day on a good basis. But Hare Krishna mantra can be chanted at any time.

          2. Yes. Chanting on the japa beads is done aloud. It does not have to be very loud, but it needs to be loud enough so you can hear it yourself.

          3. The japamala is a means of counting the number of mantras you are chanting. So without the japamala how will you know how many rounds you are chanting. Srila Prabhuapda says “16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads” and also you can chant unlimitedly without the beads while you are doing any other activity. And you don’t have to stop at 16 rounds. You can chant more, as many as you like, but not less than 16 rounds.

          If you do not have a japamala there is a system of counting the number of mantras you are chanting on your fingers. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to do this. Count the number of rounds he was chanting on His fingers. So this is also possible. But the idea is numerical strength. We are making a vow to chant a certain number of names of Krishna, so to keep that vow we need some system to count the number of mantras we are chanting. And best system introduced by the acharyas for this is the japamala. But if it is not possible some other counting method can also be used. Main thing is numerical strength. We have to chant at least the 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and to do this we need some system to keep track of how many mantras we have chanted.

  7. manoj says:

    i want to know the exact meaning of this mahamantra…i means the meaning of each and every word individually..

    • Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived.

      As explained on the cover of the record album, this transcendental vibration–by chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare–is the sublime method for reviving our Krsna consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our asociation with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now poluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in our complexities. This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krsna consciousness.

      Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived. And the process is recommended by authorities for this age. By practical experience also, we can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the Great Chanting for Deliverance, one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum. When one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind and intelligence, one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower states of consciousness–namely sensual, mental and intellectual. There is no need of understanding the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of mental speculation nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration, without any previous qualification, and dance in ecstasy.

      We have seen it practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting, or even a dog can take part in it. The chanting should be hears, however, from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effect can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of a nondevotee should be avoided, as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect.

      The word Hara is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord. Both Krsna and Rama are forms of addressing directly the Lord, and they mena ” the highest pleasure, eternal.” Hara is the supreme pleasure potency of the Lord. This potency, when addressed are Hare, helps us in reaching the Supreme Lord.

      The material energy, called as maya, is also one of the multipotencies of the Lord, as much as we are also marginal potency of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior energy than matter. When the superior energy is in contact with inferior energy, it becomes an incompatible situation. But when the supreme marginal potency is in contact with the spiritual potency, Hara,it becomes the happy, normal condition of the living entity.

      The three words, namely Hara, Krsna and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Hara, for giving protection to the conditioned soul. The chanting is exactly like a genuine cry by the chold for the mother. Mother Hara helps in achieving the grace of the supreme father, Hari, or Krsna, and the Lord reveals Himself to such a sincere devotee.

      No other means, therefore, of spiritual realization is as effective in this age, as chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

      His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.


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