Maha Mantra - Hare Krishna Hare Rama

English Name

English Spelling: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Transliteration: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

Sanskrit Name

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे, हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे

Phonetic Spelling: ha-ray krish-na ha-ray krish-na, krish-na krish-na ha-ray ha-ray, ha-ray rah-mah ha-ray rah-mah, rah-mah rah-mah ha-ray ha-ray

Translation: "O Krishna, O Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, O Hare, O Rama, O Rama, Rama, Rama, O Hare"

Meaning and Significance

The maha mantra is a twelve-word Vaishnava mantra composed of the names of the Supreme Being.

Chanting the maha mantra is a central practice in Bhakti yoga, used to help the practitioner attain spiritual enlightenment, inner peace, and a sense of divine presence.

The repetition of Krishna and Rama's names invokes their qualities of love, compassion, and strength. The Maha mantra connects us to Vishnu, the supreme preserver, through his avatars.

Historical Context and Origin

The maha mantra gained prominence through the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and has become an integral part of the devotional practices within Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

The maha mantra is chanted in a call-and-response format in temples and during kirtans (devotional singing), creating a powerful communal experience that enhances spiritual connection and devotion.

It's common in Kirtan yoga in the West as well as an individual mantra yoga practice of many Bhakti yogis.

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