Hari-kīrtana

Hare Krishna Mantra

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
[Adi 17.21]


This hari-kīrtana was started five hundred years ago in Bengal by Lord Caitanya. In Bengal there is competition between the Vaiṣṇavas and the śāktas. The śāktas have introduced a certain type of kīrtana called kālī-kīrtana. But in the Vedic scriptures there is no recommendation of kālī-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana. One cannot say, “Oh, you are Vaiṣṇava. You can perform hari-kīrtana. I shall perform śiva-kīrtana or devī-kīrtana or gaṇeśa-kīrtana.” No. The Vedic scriptures do not authorize any kīrtana other than hari-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana, the glorification of Kṛṣṇa.

So this process of hari-kīrtana is very simple: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Actually there are only three words: Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma. But they are very nicely arranged for chanting so that everyone can take the mantra and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Since we have started this movement in the Western countries, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Egyptians, and Japanese are all chanting. There is no difficulty. They are chanting very gladly, and they are getting the results. What is the difficulty? We are distributing this chanting free of charge, and it is very simple. Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. (from The Science of Self Realization)

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Śrī Īśopaniṣad

This begins a new series on the Sri Isopanisad (The knowledge that brings one nearer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna). It begins with the Invocation and is followed by eighteen mantras and purports by Srila Prabhupada. To purchase the book you can visit The Hare Krishna Movement or to download free pdf you can click on link at bottom of post or visit Krishna Path for free downloads and epub’s.

Śrī Īśopaniṣad
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Original text found in first edition published by ISKCON BOOKS in 1969

INVOCATION

oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

oṁ—the Complete Whole; pūrṇam—perfectly complete; adaḥ—that; pūrṇam—perfectly complete; idam—this phenomenal world; pūrṇāt—from the all-perfect; pūrṇam—complete unit; udacyate—is produced; pūrṇasya—of the Complete Whole; pūrṇam—completely, all; ādāya—having been taken away; pūrṇam—the complete balance; eva—even; avaśiṣyate—is remaining.

TRANSLATION

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

PURPORT

The Complete Whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is the complete Personality of Godhead. Realization of impersonal Brahman or of Paramātmā, the Supersoul, is incomplete realization of the Absolute Complete. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. Realization of impersonal Brahman is realization of His sat feature, or His aspect of eternity, and Paramātmā realization is realization of His sat and cit features, His aspects of eternity and knowledge. But realization of the Personality of Godhead is realization of all the transcendental features-sat, cit and ānanda, bliss. When one realizes the Supreme Person, he realizes these aspects of the Absolute Truth in their completeness. Vigraha means “form.” Thus the Complete Whole is not formless. If He were formless, or if He were less than His creation in any other way, He could not be complete. The Complete Whole must contain everything both within and beyond our experience; otherwise He cannot be complete.

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Fix Your Mind Upon the Personality of Godhead

In our previous post Om, Oṁkāra, or the Praṇava, is the Seed of Transcendental Realization Oṁkāra, or the praṇava, which is the seed of transcendental realization, and it is composed of the three transcendental letters a-u-m, was discussed. By its chanting by the mind, in conjunction with the breathing process, was a means of changing the habit of the mind, to bring the mind under control. But in this next verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends the next step in God Realization, namely to fix one’s mind in the service of the Personality of Godhead.

Gradually, as the mind becomes progressively spiritualized, withdraw it from sense activities, and by intelligence the senses will be controlled. The mind too absorbed in material activities can be engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead and become fixed in full transcendental consciousness.

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