So this sound, this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the sound representation of the Supreme Lord.
Lecture on Maha-mantra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded September 8th, 1966, New York
Prabhupada: Now, some of you members have asked me to explain the meaning of this chanting, Hare Krishna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Now, this sound is transcendental sound, transcendental sound, incarnation, sound incarnation of the Absolute Truth. Just try to understand what is incarnation. Incarnation means… The Sanskrit word is avatara, and that is translated into English as “incarnation.” Of course, the root meaning of incarnation I cannot exactly explain to you, but the root meaning of the… (aside:) The root meaning of avatara is “which comes from the transcendental sky, the spiritual sky to the material sky.” That is called avatara. Avatarana. Avatarana. Just like… Avatarana means “coming from up to down.” That is called avatarana. And avatara is understood that when God or His bona fide representative comes from that sky to this material plane, that is called avatara.