Chanting Hare Krishna (Japa)

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Japa

Chanting a mantra or hymn softly and slowly is called japa, and chanting the same mantra loudly is called kīrtana. For example, uttering the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) very softly, only for one’s own hearing, is called japa. Chanting the same mantra loudly for being heard by all others is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.” (from Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9)

click on link; Srila Prabhupada Chanting

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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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The Meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra

Srila Prabhupada room conversation

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.

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In the Beginning Was the Word

…”In the beginning was the Word.” This indicates that before creation, transcendental sound existed. That word or transcendental sound is not like material sound, for if we associate with the transcendental sound Hare Krsna, we become purified and thus become transcendental. To give a crude example, if we put an iron rod into a fire, it will gradually become warmer and warmer until it becomes red hot. When it is red hot, it will no longer be iron; it will be fire. How has it become fire? By association with the fire. Therefore if you simply keep yourself in touch with God through the transcendental sound, gradually you will become godly, and as soon as you become godly, you will become the same in quality as God full in riches, full in power, full in knowledge and everything else. Therefore the Vedic instruction is, “Don’t keep yourself in darkness. Come to the light.”

In the Beginning Was the Word
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
From Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Vol. 10, No. 1

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for kindly participating in this sankirtana movement, which is a movement for the vibration of transcendental sound. Sound is the origin of all creation. That is admitted in the Bible also. We are reading a passage from the Bible:

[A disciple reads] The Gospel According to Saint John. Chapter 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

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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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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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