Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra

Hare_Krishna_maha_mantra_old_style

In the old days, book distributors and sankirtan devotees usually carried some mantra cards like the one above to distribute. Hopefully this practice is still going on, because if there was only one piece of literature being distributed, it should be the maha- mantra, or the great mantra for deliverance.

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the Western countries. (from purport to Adi-lila, 6.19)

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Kali-yuga Is an Ocean of Faults…but There Is One Good Thing

Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement

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..Simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare simply by chanting the holy name…,” kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, “he becomes free from all these contaminations, by one thing, simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

…although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.

This is a very important sloka (verse), as can be confirmed by the number of times Srila Prabhupada has cited it. I was curious about this verse so I went to the incomparable web page Vani Quotes and did a search on the phrase kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet, and was surprised to find just how many times Srila Prabhupada used this verse in his preaching. I think this will be the next verse I try to memorize.

Full verse:

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

kaleḥ—of the age of Kali; doṣa-nidheḥ—in the ocean of faults; rājan—O King; asti—there is; hi—certainly; ekaḥ—one; mahān—very great; guṇaḥ—good quality; kīrtanāt—by chanting; eva—certainly; kṛṣṇasya—of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; mukta-saṅgaḥ—liberated from material bondage; param—to the transcendental spiritual kingdom; vrajet—one can go.

My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. (SB 12.3.510

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Krsna Consciousness in the Age of Kali

sri chaitanya mahaprabhu1

“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.” (Srila Prabhupada from Lecture)

and this from Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.23

When Kṛṣṇa appeared, He gave His orders, and when Kṛṣṇa Himself appeared as a devotee, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He showed us the path by which to cross the ocean of Kali-yuga. That is the path of The Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared, He ushered in the era for the saṅkīrtana movement. It is also said that for ten thousand years this era will continue. This means that simply by accepting the saṅkīrtana movement and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, the fallen souls of this Kali-yuga will be delivered. After the Battle of Kurukṣetra, at which Bhagavad-gītā was spoken, Kali-yuga continues for 432,000 years, of which only 5,000 years have passed. Thus there is still a balance of 427,000 years to come. Of these 427,000 years, the 10,000 years of the saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 500 years ago provide the opportunity for the fallen souls of Kali-yuga to take to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and thus be delivered from the clutches of material existence and return home, back to Godhead.

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The Appearance of Lord Caitanya

The Appearance of Lord Caitanya

Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and He is teaching how to develop love of God by a very simple method…chanting the names of the Lord. Only five hundred years ago Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, prophesied that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra would resound throughout every town and village in the world. At a time when Western man was directing his exploratory spirit toward studying the physical universe and circumnavigating the globe, in India Śrī Caitanya was inaugurating and masterminding a revolution directed inward. His movement swept the subcontinent, gained millions of followers, and profoundly influenced the future of religious and philosophical thinking, both in India and the West. In the following talk, presented in November 1969 at London’s Conway Hall, Śrīla Prabhupāda describes the divine appearance of Śrī Caitanya.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the golden avatāra, appeared in India nearly five hundred years ago. It is the custom in India that when a child is born, an astrologer is called for. When Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared five thousand years ago, Gargamuni was called by His father, and he said, “This child formerly incarnated in three complexions, such as red and golden, and now He has appeared in blackish color.” Kṛṣṇa’s color is described in the scriptures as blackish, just like the color of a cloud. Lord Caitanya is understood to be Kṛṣṇa appearing in golden complexion.

There is much evidence in Vedic literature that Caitanya Mahāprabhu is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, and this is confirmed by scholars and devotees. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is confirmed that the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, or God, in this present age, Kali-yuga, will always engage in describing Kṛṣṇa. He is Kṛṣṇa, but as a devotee of Kṛṣṇa He describes Himself. And in this age His bodily complexion will not be blackish. This means that it may be white, it may be red, or it may be yellow, because these four colors—white, red, yellow, and black—are the colors assumed by the incarnations for the different ages. Therefore, since the red, white, and blackish colors were already taken by former incarnations, the remaining color, golden, is assumed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His complexion is not blackish, but He is Kṛṣṇa.

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Srimati Radharani is the pleasure potency of Krishna, Hare

Lectures on Bhagavad-gita As It Is, (Bhagavad-gita 4.10)
Calcutta, September 23, 1974
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

By taking shelter of Krishna, one has to become absorbed in thinking of Krishna. That is not very difficult. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [ Bhagavad-gita 18.65]. It is not at all difficult. You simply chant Hare Krishna mantra. You’ll be man-maya. This is so nice thing. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended,

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha [ Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 17.21]

So our request is… Everyone who is present here… Today is Radhastami. So pray to Radharani. And She is hare, hara. This hare, this word, is Radharani. Hara, Radharani. Radha or Hara: the same thing. So Hare Krishna. So we are praying to Radharani, “My Mother, Radharani, and Krishna.” Hare Krishna. “O Krishna, O the Lord.” Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, the same thing, repetition. “O Radharani, O Krishna.” “O Radha-Krishna.” “Radhe-Krishna” or “Hare Krishna,” the same thing. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Again addressing, “O Krishna, O Krishna, O Radharani.” Hare Rama. The same thing, again. Hare Rama. Rama is also Krishna. Rama is Rama, Rama is Balarama. They are all Krishna. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

So this repetition of addressing Radha and Krishna or Hare Krishna is to pray, “My dear Lord, … and the energy, the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service.” That’s all. “I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.”

This is good sense. We are servants here. We are engaged in so many services. But it is not giving us comfort. Na trapa nopashanti. The service which we are rendering to others, they are not satisfied, I am not satisfied. This is material service. But if you give service to Krishna… Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. A little service can save you from the greatest danger. This is the formula.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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