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On Chanting

By Srila Prabhupada
Chanting the transcendental vibration Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness, or Krishna consciousness.
As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere, called maya, or illusion. And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion. We are trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore, although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are becoming ever more dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can be stopped at once by revival of our eternal Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear and chant the transcendental vibration Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, this consciousness is revived.
This simplest method of meditation is recommended by learned authorities for this age. By practical experience also, one can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the Great Chant for Deliverance, one at once feels transcendental ecstasy coming through from the spiritual stratum.
In the material concept of life we are busy in the matter of sense gratification, as if we were in the lower, animal stage. A little elevated from this status of sense gratification, one engages in mental speculation for the purpose of getting out of the material clutches. A little elevated from this speculative status, when one is intelligent enough, one tries to find out the supreme cause of all causes, within and without. And when one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind, and intelligence, one is situated on the transcendental plane. The chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is directly enacted from this spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness—namely sensual, mental, and intellectual.
There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of any mental speculation or intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and thus anyone can take part in the chanting without any previous qualification and dance in ecstasy. We have seen this practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting and dancing.
Of course, for one who is too entangled in material life, it takes a little more time to come to the standard point, but even such a materially engrossed person is very quickly raised to the spiritual platform. When the mantra is chanted by a pure devotee of the Lord, it has the greatest effect on hearers, and therefore this chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effects can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of nondevotees should be avoided, just as one would avoid milk touched by the lips of a serpent because it has poisonous effects.
The word Hara 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. Hara is the supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, and when addressed as Hare in the vocative, She helps us to reach the Supreme Lord.
The material energy, called maya, is also one of the multienergies of the Lord, and we, the living entities, are the marginal energy of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior to the material energy. When this superior energy is in contact with the inferior energy, an incompatible situation arises, but when the superior marginal energy is in contact with the spiritual energy, Hara, the living entity is established in his happy, normal condition.
These three words, namely Hare, Krishna, and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra. The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy Hara to protect the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother. Mother Hara helps the devotee achieve the grace of the Supreme Father, Hari or Krishna, and the Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants this mantra sincerely.
Therefore no other means of spiritual realization is as effective in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy as the chanting of the maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Hear Srila Prabhupada Chanting Hare Krishna: Japa Kirtana

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