The Sanskrit term “Mantra” is composed of two words – “Man” and “tra”. “Man” means the mind and “tra” means to liberate. So, a devotional mantra is the sound vibration for liberating the mind from the anxieties and illusions of this material world, and delivering it to a spiritual consciousness.
This Hare Krishna Mahamantra (or great Mantra) comprises three words – “Hare”, “Krishna” & “Rama”. “Hare” is the energy of God, and “Krishna” & “Rama” are His names meaning “the all attractive one” and “the reservoir of all pleasures” respectively. When we chant this Mantra, we actually plead with the Lord’s energy to kindly engage us in His service. Krishna and His inconceivable energy are innately present in the transcendental sound vibration of this mantra, so even if we are incognizant of the language, by sincerely chanting this Mantra, we experience an incomparable bliss and sublimity. It has the potency to gradually awaken our dormant love for God and re-establish our lost relationship with Him.
Although there are many other authorized Vedic mantras, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is particularly endorsed and recommended for this age of Kali. This is confirmed in many Vedic scriptures, like the Kali-santaranaUpanisad, Brahmanda Purana, the Agni Purana, etc. In addition to the instructions of the scriptures, Lord Krishna Himself, when He descended as Lord Caitanya, promulgated the importance of chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
As the Kali Santarna Upanishad declares-
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna KrishnaKrishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama RamaRama Hare Hare
“These sixteen words – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare – are especially meant for completely destroying all the contaminations of Kali. Having searched through the entire Vedic literature, we couldn’t find any other remedy except the chanting of this sixteen-word mantra”.
The Hare Krishna Mahamantra is identical with Lord Krishna. Sometimes the Lord appears personally, sometimes He descends as His plenary portions, sometimes He manifests as His devotees, and sometimes as sound vibration. In the present age of Kali, the Lord has descended in the form of His Holy Name.
As the CaitanyaCaritamrta (Adi/17/22) states-
“In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered.”
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