Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra ("Great Mantra"), is a sixteen-word Vaishnava mantra made well known outside of India by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as 'the Hare Krishnas'). [ [http://www.religion-encyclopedia.com/H/hare_krishna.htm Religion Encyclopedia - Hare Krishna (ISKCON)] ] This mantra appears within many traditions of Hinduism and is believed by practitioners to bring about a higher state of consciousness when heard, spoken, meditated upon, or sung out loud. [ [http://www.vedabase.net/sb/3/14/32/en1 Srimad Bhagavatam 3.14.32] " Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare can be chanted both softly to oneself or loudly"] According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, this higher consciousness takes the form of pure love of God (Krishna). [ [http://caitanyacaritamrta.com/madhya/20/340/en1 Caitanya Caritamrta Ml.20.340] ] The mantra is contained in the texts of Hinduism known as the Upanishads, which are considered by some scholars to have roots in the Vedic past. [Early Krishna-centered traditions are sometimes referred as "Bhagavatism" or "Vasudevism" - R D Ranade "Mysticism in Maharashtra: Indian Mysticism",p.3: "Vasudevism was indeed no new religion, see: Dr. Bhandarkar, as has been contended sometimes. It was merely a new stress on certain old beliefs which had come down fromt the days of the Vedas."]


The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of Sanskrit names in the vocative case: "Hare", "Krishna," and "Rama" (in Anglicized spelling, the transliteration of the three vocatives is "IAST|hare", "IAST|kṛṣṇa" and "IAST|rāma"; roughly pronounced IPA2|'hɐre:, IPA| ['kɹ̩ʂɳɐ] , IPA| ['ra:mɐ] , see Sanskrit for pronunciation details):

quote|Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

In the hymn "Vishnu Sahasranama" spoken by Bhishma in praise of Krishna after the Kurukshetra war, he is also called Rama.cite book
author=T. V. Gopal
title=Hrishikesa: Krishna - A Natural Evolution
publisher=Universal Publishers
location=Parkland, Fla
pages=p. 101
] "Hare" can be interpreted as either the vocative of "Hari", another name of Vishnu meaning "he who removes illusion", or as the vocative of "Harā", [ [http://www.salagram.net/harernam-page.html Meditations on the Hare Krishna Mahamantra] " [Hare] = O Hari!...." & "Because she steals Krishna's mind and because she is the embodiment of Krishna's divine joy, Sri Radha is known as Hara. Hare is the vocative form of that name"] a name of Rādhā,cite book
author = Rosen, S.
year = 2006
title = Essential Hinduism
publisher = Praeger Publishers
isbn = 0275990060
P.4: It was preserved in the confidential sampradayas, or esoteric lineages, that were guardian to these truths from the beginning. p.244:In a more esoteric sense, the word "Hare" is a vocative form of "Hara," which refers to Mother Hara, or Sri Radha,] Krishna's eternal consort or Shakti. According to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, "Harā" refers to "the energy of God" while "Krishna" and "Rama" refer to God himself, meaning "He who is All-Attractive" and "He who is the Source of All Pleasure". ["The word Harā is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord, and the words Krishna and Rama (which mean "the highest pleasure eternal") are forms of addressing the Lord Himself." - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. See [http://www.krishna.com/node/388 "Krishna.com"] article.] Rama can also refer to "Radha-Raman", another name of Krishna meaning "beloved of Radha", [ [http://www.gaudiya.com/index.php?topic=practice Gaudiya.com - Practice] "Rama is another name for Him [Krishna] , meaning the one who brings delight to Radha"] or as a shortened form of Balarama, Krishna's first expansion. [ [http://caitanyacaritamrta.com/adi/5/132/en1 Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-5.132] "if someone says that the "Rama" in "Hare Rama" is Lord Ramacandra and someone else says that the "Rama" in "Hare Rama" is Sri Balarama, both are correct" ]

The mantra is repeated, either out loud (kirtan), softly to oneself (japa), or internally within the mind. Srila Prabhupada describes the process of chanting the Maha Mantra as follows:


(in the translation of K. N. Aiyar):

Narada asks to be told this name of Narayana, and Brahma replies:

The mantra was popularized by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu roughly around 1500 CE when he began his mission to spread this mantra publicly to 'every town and village' in the world, travelling throughout India, and especially within the areas of Bengal and Orissa. [ [http://www.gaudiya.com/index.php?topic=history gaudiya.com] ] Some versions of the Kali Santarana Upanishad give the mantra with "Hare Rama" preceding "Hare Krishna", and others with "Hare Krishna" preceding "Hare Rama" (as quoted above). The latter format is by far the more common within the Vaishnava traditions, within which it is a common belief that the mantra is equally potent when spoken in either order. [ [http://www.prabhupadavani.org/Bhagavatam/text/368.html No Water in the Desert] Bombay, December 12, 1974: "Sometimes they first of all place "Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." And sometimes they place "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna..." There is no difference. Sometimes they say, "No, it should be Hare Rama first." Sometimes they..., "No, Hare Krsna." But that is not very important" ]

In the 1960s an elderly monk known as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, on the order of his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, brought the teachings of Sri Chaitanya from India and single-handedly took the responsibility of spreading them around the Western world. Beginning in New York, he encircled the globe fourteen times in the final eleven years of his life, thus making 'Hare Krishna' a well-known phrase in many parts of the world. [ [http://www.prabhupada.com/biography.html Biography of Srila Prabhupada] ]

"Hare Krishna" movement

From a theological perspective, Hare Krishna devotees are classified as practitioners of Bhakti Yoga. They are also referred to as Gaudiya Vaishnavas because they follow a line of gurus descending from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared in Bengal (Gauda is an old name of Bengal). Vaishnavism comes under the general banner of being a Hindu religion. [ [http://www.adherents.com/adh_branches.html#Hinduism adherents.com] ]

In terms of general diet among Gaudiya Vaishnavas, onions, garlic, and mushrooms are also generally avoided due to their purportedly adverse effects on the consciousness of the eater. [cite web
title= Culture - Food

The Hare Krishna Movement was the subject of a number of academic studies. Today it is accepted by the academics as "the most genuinely Hindu of all the many Indian movements in the West".Harvnb|Klostermaier|2000|loc=Intro] Not only Hindus or brahmanas were instrumental in the early appearance and spread of Hare Krishna movement in the 16th century. Haridasa Thakura, for example, was born outside of Hindu tradition but is considered the most famous convert of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, apart from Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami themselves, and the story of his heroism in the face of torture is told in Chaitanya Charitamrta, "Antya lila".cite journal
author = Dimock, Jr, E.C.
year = 1963
title = Doctrine and Practice among the Vaisnavas of Bengal
journal = History of Religions
volume = 3
issue = 1
pages = p.106
url = http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0018-2710(196322)3%3A1%3C106%3ADAPATV%3E2.0.CO%3B2-K
accessdate = 2008-06-02
doi = 10.1086/462474
] [cite web
title=The Mass Media and New Religious Movements ICJ
last=Dr. James A. Beckford

Hippie culture

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hare Krishnas became confused with the hippie subculture. The 1971 Hindi film "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna", written and directed by Dev Anand, was shot with many real-life hippie extras. But in fact the genuine Hare Krishna followers were a far cry from hippies. Although Prabhupada was open to anyone, members had to follow the four regulative principles, one of which is "no intoxicants". [ [http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/iskcon.html Hare Krishnas and ISKCON] "These physical pleasures, the eating of fish, meat or eggs, the use of intoxicants, illicit sex, and gambling and frivoulous sports, are called the four regulative principles." ] Elevation and joy were to be derived from chanting God's holy names.

Popular culture

The Hare Krishna mantra appears in a number of famous songs, notably those of The Beatles, John Lennon, and George Harrison, and has been at the number-one spot in the UK singles charts on more than one occasion within songs such as My Sweet Lord. One song from 1969 by the Radha Krsna Temple, simply entitled "Hare Krsna Mantra" reached no. 17 in the UK music chart and appeared on the music show "Top of the Pops". It also made the no.1 slot in both German and Czechoslovakian music charts. Less well-known but equally relevant to fans of pop music culture is the recording of Hare Krishna mantras by Nina Hagen. [ [http://www.cosmicempire.freeuk.com/radhakrsnatemple.htm Radha Krsna Temple] ]

Other scriptural references

The practice of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is recommended in the Puranas, the Pañcaratra, and throughout Vaishnava literature in general. [ [http://www.gaudiya.com/pdf/References_to_the_Hare_Krishna_Maha-Mantra.pdf References to the Maha Mantra (pdf)] ] For example:



*cite web
title=English translation of the Kali Santarana Upanishad
last=Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar
first= Copyright © 2002-2008 Celextel Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.- Vedanta Spiritual Library

first = Klaus K.
last = Klostermaier
year = 2000
author-link = Klaus Klostermaier
title = Hinduism: A Short History
place = Oxford
publisher = Oneworld Publications
isbn = 1-85168-213-9

ee also

*Bhagavan svayam
*Haridasa Thakur

External links


* [http://www.krishna.com/node/388 Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra]
* [http://www.iol.ie/~fuzzy/sng/krishna-hara.mp3 Download the Hare Krishna mp3]

Hare Krishna organisations

* [http://www.iskcon.com/ ISKCON main site]
* [http://www.iskconbangalore.org/ ISKCON Bangalore website]
* [http://www.akshayapatra.org/ Akshayapatra website]
* [http://www.folknet.in/ FOLK-Friends of Lord krishna Website]
* [http://www.iskcon.org.uk ISKCON UK website]
* [http://www.psena.com/ ISKCON Youth]
* [http://www.wva-vvrs.org/ World Vaishnava Association]
* [http://www.purebhakti.com Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti]
* [http://www.srilapurimaharaja.org Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj website]
* [http://www.scsmath.com Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math]
* [http://sreecgmath.org/ Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math]

Non Hare Krishna organisations

* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWs5iNIj5DY "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" kirtan with Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj]


* [http://www.vedabase.net Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network - Information & Books]
* [http://www.krishna.com Krishna.com - Information & Books]
* [http://srimadbhagavatam.com Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana)]
* [http://srilapurimaharaja.org/books/The_Divine_Name.pdf The Divine Name, by Raghava Chaitanya Das]
* [http://www.yogaofkirtan.com/"The Yoga of Kirtan: Conversations on the Sacred Art of Chanting" by Steven J. Rosen (FOLK Books, 2008)]


* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n228/ai_18523871 Hare Krishna's Feed the World (1996)]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2722_134/ai_n14814238 The Hare Krishna movement comes of age (2005)]
* [http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1160482 'Hare Krishna in a Chinese classroom'] , by Venkatesan Vembu, Daily News & Analysis, April 20, 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hare Krishna — 1968, title of a Hindu chant or mantra, from Hindi hare O God! + KRISHNA (Cf. Krishna), name of an incarnation of the god Vishnu …   Etymology dictionary

  • Hare Krishna — ► NOUN ▪ a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, a religious sect based on the worship of the Hindu god Krishna. ORIGIN Sanskrit, O Vishnu Krishna , a devotional chant …   English terms dictionary

  • Hare Krishna — [hä′rē krish′nə] n. [< Hindi Hari, one of the names of Vishnu + KRISHNA2] 1. a cult that holds certain Hindu beliefs and stresses devotion to Krishna: it was founded in the U.S. in 1966 2. a member of this cult …   English World dictionary

  • Hare Krishna — Altar des ISKCON Tempels in Berlin Die Internationale Gesellschaft für Krishna Bewusstsein (ISKCON, Kurzform von International Society for Krishna Consciousness), im Westen besser bekannt als Hare Krishna, ist eine von Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hare Krishna — Association internationale pour la conscience de Krishna Religions Védisme Brahmanisme Hindouisme Ajîvika …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hare Krishna — /hahr ee krish neuh, har ee/ a religious sect based on Vedic scriptures, whose followers engage in joyful congregational chanting of Krishna s name: founded in the U.S. in 1966. [from chanted phrase Hare Krishna! < Hindi hare krsna O Krishna!] *… …   Universalium

  • Hare Krishna — El término «Hare Krishna» significa: mantra Hare Krishna: oración hinduista en idioma sánscrito para adorar al dios Krisná; «los hare krishna»: expresión coloquial en Occidente, no utilizada en India, para nombrar a varios movimientos religiosos… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hare Krishna —    Known in the west as ‘ISKCON’, (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (1966)), the Hare Krishna religion originated 500 years ago in India. Based on the Bhagavad Gita, it teaches that of the four ages in a 4,300,000 year cycle,… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Hare Krishna — noun (plural Hare Krishna or Hare Krishnas) Etymology: from Hare Krishna, phrase in a chant, from Hindi hare Kṛṣṇa O Krishna! Date: 1969 a member of a religious group dedicated to the worship of the Hindu god Krishna …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Hare Krishna — Hà·re Krì·shna agg.inv., s.m. e f.inv. TS relig. agg.inv., degli Hare Krishna | agg.inv., s.m. e f.inv., che, chi appartiene agli Hare Krishna | s.m.pl., spec. con iniz. maiusc., comunità religiosa di origine indiana che riunisce i devoti di… …   Dizionario italiano

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