The Maha-Mantra

The Maha-Mantra

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 which delivers our mind from material afflictions and situates it on a spiritual platform.

The Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare mantra is called maha-mantra. The prefix maha used to describe this mantra refers to something ‘great’ or ‘mighty’, indicating that this mantra reigns supreme among all other mantras. Indeed, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra originates directly from the spiritual abode of the Lord, as is described by the great seventeenth-century Vaishnava saint Narottama dasa Thakur, golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana: the transcendental sound of the holy name of the Lord has its origin in the spiritual world.

The Meaning And Signicance Of The Maha-Mantra

The word Hara is the form of addressing the energy of the Lord, and the words Krishna and Rama are forms of addressing the Lord Himself. Both Krishna and Rama mean “the supreme pleasure,” and Hara is the supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, changed to Hare in the vocative. The supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, Srimati Radharani, helps us to reach the Lord.

These three words, namely Hare, Krishna, and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra. The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His energy to give protection to the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother’s presence. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the Lord Father’s grace, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.

Meditation For The Modern Age

Whatever name of God or process of religion we may accept; all the scriptures enjoin us to chant God’s name for spiritual purification. This is the recommended process of self-realization for the present age. The entire Vedic civilization aims at satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This was possible in Satya-yuga (Golden Age) by meditation upon the Supreme Lord within the core of one’s heart and in Treta-yuga (Silver Age) by the performance of costly yajnas. The same goal could be achieved in Dvapara-yuga (Copper Age) by worship of the Lord in the temple, and in this age of Kali (Iron Age) one can achieve the same goal simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

The Potency Of The Maha-Mantra

In the Narada-pancharatra it is stated that all the Vedic rituals, mantras, and understanding are compressed into the eight words Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Similarly, in the Kali-santara Upanishad it is stated that these sixteen words, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare are especially meant for counteracting the degrading and contaminating influence of this materialistic age of Kali. The process of chanting is, therefore, not only the sublime method for practical perfection of life, but an authorized Vedic principle.

Some Benefits Of Chanting

• Evokes love of God
• Links one directly with the Lord
• Revives one’s dormant, eternal Krishna consciousness
• Eradicates material desires and sinful activity
• Cleanses the heart and frees one from material contamination
• Liberates one from the miseries of material existence
• Protects one from danger and fear
• Improves one’s power of concentration and memory
• Relieves stress and depression
• Helps one get rid of anxiety
• Helps one to understand & realize Krsna
• Fixes the mind
• Brings enlightenment
• Qualifies one to return home, Back to Godhead