This is the Hare Krishna mantra,
or maha-mantra, the great mantra for deliverance. Composed of three
of the holy names of God from the Sanskrit scriptures of ancient India,
it is transcendental sound vibration. It is not ordinary sound.
The word mantra comes from man
(mind) and tra (to free). A mantra is a sound or prayer that frees the
mind from the miseries of the material world.
The three holy names in the maha-mantra
are Hare, Krishna, and Rama.
Hare is pronounced “huh-ray”.
Hare means the energy of God.
The Sanskrit word for energy is shakti. Shakti has a personal, specifically
feminine, dimension to its meaning. So here, energy means the feminine
aspect of God. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada, explained that the name Hare refers to Mother Hara,
otherwise known as Radha or Radharani.
Krishna is pronounced with a short
“i”. The correct pronunciation is KRISH-na, (not KREESH-na.)
Krishna means the All-Attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There are many attractive qualities to be found in the world, and many
people have some degree of one or more of these qualities, but the one
who has all of these qualities in full and unlimited measure can only
be God. He is the source of all qualities, and in fact of all things
He is a person, the original person, and the source of all incarnations
and manifestations of Himself and of His creation, so He is called not
just God but the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Rama is pronounced to rhyme with
Rama means the reservoir of all pleasure.
If we try to find pleasure independently we will only find brief snippets
and it will be mixed with misery. But if we tap into the reservoir of
all pleasure, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, by devotional
service, we will be connected to the unlimited reservoir of all pleasure.