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Why Chant Hare Krishna?

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Have you ever wondered why so many people chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra and what it's all about? In this 8-minute video His Holiness Giriraja Swami explains the significance and benefit of chanting the holy names of Krishna via the Maha-mantra, or great chant for deliverance:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

For more information about chanting Hare Krishna, you may want to watch Mahatma Prabhu's videos in the Video Blogs section, and read the Mantra Meditation page.

Click to read transcript (will appear below)

According to Vedic literature and according to the personal testimony of realized souls, Krishna is the original person. And, as the original person, He is the origin of all of us. We, too, are by nature spiritual persons. Although we have physical bodies, our actual nature is spiritual.

We're spiritual and Krishna is spiritual, but the difference is that Krishna is great, and we are small. Because we're both spiritual, we can have a relationship with each other but because He's great He's the origin and we're small. The relationship is that we're dependent on Him.

Now, to actually get in touch with Krishna, we need a method. Krishna is everywhere, but still we need a method. And the method is to chant the holy names. Because Krishna is absolute, His name is identical with Him, and when we chant His name, we associate with Him. We can actually feel it. We can experience it.

Any ordinary, mundane sound becomes boring after a while. It becomes disgusting after a while. If you had to repeat, "one, two, three, one, two, three. . ." it would become disgusting. But if you keep chanting "Krishna Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare," it's ever-fresh. You want to chant more and more. And you never grow tired of it.

One great devotee prayed, "If I had millions of tongues and billions of ears, then I could begin to chant, because there's so much nectar in the holy name of Krishna."

There are different methods of self-realization and God-realization. Within the Vedic system, there are many different types of yoga. Yoga means, "to link with God." There's karma-yoga, the yoga of action, jnana-yoga, the yoga of knowledge, astanga-yoga, the mystic yoga process, but those processes are very difficult in the modern age, in the present age. They're possible, but very difficult.

But bhakti-yoga, or the yoga of love, is the most practical, and it also yields the greatest benefit. And within that practice of bhakti-yoga, the chanting of the holy names is the most important and the most essential. And if one chants the holy name in the proper way and in the proper mood—with attention, like any other type of meditation—one will develop self-realization and God realization. One will actually have direct perception of one's self within, and direct perception of God.

And when one does have that realization, he becomes fully satisfied. He feels that upon gaining this, he's attained the greatest treasure, and he feels there's nothing more to be gained. And even in the midst of the greatest difficulty in the material world, he's not shaken, because what he has—Krishna, Krishna consciousness, love for Krishna, love for God—that cannot be disturbed by any material misfortune or fortune. And, therefore, the devotee who has realized the beauty of Krishna, and the nectar of Krishna's name, he's happy and satisfied in any situation. And he can never be shaken by any calamity.

[Chanting Hare Krishna] is the greatest boon to the human society. It's been practiced by sages for thousands of years, it's recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, which is the most essential textbook for all different types of yoga, and it's being experienced on a daily basis by practitioners even today.

So I would recommend that everyone at least try it. You can make an experiment; lean the science of chanting Hare Krishna and try it. I guarantee that if it's done in the proper way, within a very short time one will feel the results.

Even otherwise, there's never any loss. It's free. We're not selling any secret mantra. We're not charging people any fee to chant Hare Krishna. It accrues to one's eternal spiritual credit, and it will gradually increase in value. And one will progressively experience more and more of the benefit of it.

Krishna came in the present age in the form of a devotee, as Sri Krishna Chaitanya. Of course, scripture and learned philosophers recognize Him as Krishna, but otherwise, even if He's taken as a great saint, He has presented this chanting.

It can be done individually, in a quieter way, as japa, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." Or, it can be sung with musical instruments, dancing and jumping and twirling. Any way one chants, one will derive immense benefit and pleasure. Hare Krishna.

On Chanting Hare Krishna

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Mahatma dasa hosts this discussion on how to move from unconsciousness to consciousness in our practice of Krishna consciousness - specifically the practice of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.

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Acharya 2

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"Acharya" is a documentary-style film on the life of Srila Prabhupada. Part 2 contains excerpts from interviews with news reporters and scholars.

Acharya 5

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Part 5 shows Srila Prabhupada instructing his leaders in money management, challenging social welfare representatives on the meaning of social welfare, and predicting the end of the world.

#2 Sadhana with Mahatma dasa

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- the importance of spiritual association (sat-sanga)

Our consciousness and behavior are certainly affected by the company we keep. This is especially true for those who want to enhance their spiritual consciousness. In this episode, Mahatma dasa explores some of the many reasons why building relationships with spiritually-focused people can profoundly help awaken our own Krishna consciousness.

#3 Sadhana with Mahatma dasa

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In episode #3 of his Sadhana series, Mahatma dasa gives many practical hints about how to develop a strong practice of bhakti-yoga. He discusses how we humans develop habits, and the benefits of becoming habituated to behavior which helps us advance in spiritual life and become truly fulfilled.

The Need for Constant Mindfulness - #95 Spiritual Warrior 5, Ch 5

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Indrani dasi hosts this hour-long program discussing chapter 5 of the book Spiritual Warrior 5 by Bhakti-tirtha Swami. As Bhakti-tirtha Swami writes, "The practice of mindfulness enables us to perceive the essence of all things. Every entity and element has its essential nature, but the ultimate essence of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Furthermore, the Godhead is so mystically creative, cleverly subtle, and extraordinarily diverse, that recognizing Him and honoring Him at every moment requires great mindfulness."

#27 Spiritual Warrior 4, Ch 3: Managing Anger

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"Mundane anger does not exist" - reading from Bhakti Tirtha Swami's book Spiritual Warrior 3 with Indrani devi dasi. Anger is one of the mind's main enemies, and being able to manage our anger can help us live much more peaceful and productive lives.

**Important Note: This video needs further editing; turn your computer's sound off for the first ten seconds, as there is some very loud feedback.

#26 Spiritual Warrior 4, Ch 3: Managing Anger

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video discussions of Bhakti-tirtha Swami's Spiritual Warrior book series


Our Spiritual Warrior video series, hosted by Indrani dasi, discusses the book series of the same name by the late Bhakti-tirtha Swami.

This episode examines a section of his book Spiritual Warrior 4, "Conquering the Enemies of the Mind," and deals with one such enemy, anger. Anger management is an essential technology for the spiritual warrior.

Why does anger develop?
What triggers it?

The Srimad-Bhagavatam says this about anger:

"A person who desires liberation from this material world should not fall under the control of anger because when bewildered by anger one becomes a source of dread for all others." (Bhagavatam, 4.11.32)

Spiritual Warrior 4 goes on to explain that envy, greed, madness, illusion, fear, and lust all lead to anger. There are ways to recognize anger and its effects. Anger causes an adverse chain reaction in our consciousness. But all anger-related troubles can be avoided simply by honoring and addressing the situation properly from the very beginning.