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Maha Mantra

HARE KRISHNA, HARE KRISHNA,
KRISHNA KRISHNA, HARE HARE,
HARE RAMA, HARE RAMA,
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE



The Maha Mantra (Great Mantra), also referred to as the Hare Krishna mantra, is a 16 word Vaishnava mantra which is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad associated with the Krishna Yajurveda. It rose to importance in the Bhakti (devotion) movement of the 15th century following the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Since the 1960s, the mantra has been made well known outside of India by Swami Prabhupada and his International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

HARE

refers to Hari, another name of Lord Vishnu. Hare also refers to He who removes illusion. Hare can also refer to the energy of God.

KRISHNA

refers to Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

RAMA

refers to Ramachandra (Lord Rama), the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, one's original consciousness and goal of life is pure love of God (Krishna). The sixteen syllables of the Maha Mantra are destructive of the evil effects of Kali (the angry form of Siva, the destroyer). As per the Padma Purana, all the grievous sins are removed for one who worships Lord Sri Hari, the Lord of all lords, and chants the holy name, the Maha-mantra. It is said that when the sixteen names and thirty-two syllables of the Hare Krishna mantra are loudly vibrated, Krishna dances on one's tongue.

The mantra is repeated, either out loud (kirtan), softly to oneself (japa), or internally within the mind. The Maha Mantra is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness - namely sensual, mental, and intellectual.

 
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