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What is the meaning of the mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

  • Possible duplicate OR strongly related to Hare Krishna Hare Ram mantra for Vishnu or Supreme God? – iammilind Dec 13 '17 at 8:42
  • It is just taking name of Lord. Like we say Hare हरे, Krishna कृष्ण, Raama राम are the vocative form of Harih हरिः, Krishnah कृष्ण: and Raamah रामः . So the Mantra is just calling name of Vishnu in vocative form. Rest commentaries just elaborate and extend the meaning of each word. But basically it is just calling Lord's name in vocative form. – user12826 Dec 16 '17 at 8:35
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This mantra is known as Hare Krishna Mantra.

According to Gaudiya Vaishnavas, this mantra is:

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

and according to Kali-Santarana Upanishad:

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

However there are three different interpretations for it.

  1. Hare = Rama = Krishna, i.e., all these three names are referring to Lord Krishna.
  2. Hare Rama = Sita and Rama, Hare Krishna = Radha and Krishna.
  3. Hare Rama = Rama (Krishna's brother) and His consort, Hare Krishna = Radha and Krishna.

Acharyas of Gaudiya Vaishnavism wrote commentaries to this mantra. I'm providing commentary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Hare: O Hare! Steal my mind and free me from bondage.
Krishna: O Krishna! Let my mind become attracted to You.
Hare: O Hare! Steal my mind with your sweetness.
Krishna: O Krishna! Purify my mind and give me knowledge of bhajana bestowed through the medium of your devotees.
Krishna:O Krishna! Make me fixed in your name, form, qualities, pastimes and so forth.
Krishna: O Krishna! Give me taste.
Hare: O Hare! Make me qualified for serving You.
Hare: O Hare! Order me in Your service.

Hare: O Hare! Let me hear about Your pastimes with your dear ones, which I aspire to attain.
Rama:O Rama! Let me hear of your pastimes with your beloved one, which I aspire to attain.
Hare: O Hare! Please let me behold Your pastimes with Your own dear one, which I aspire to attain.
Rama: O Rama! Please let me behold Your pastimes with Your dear one, which I aspire to attain.
Rama: O Rama! Engage me in remembering your name, form, qualities and pastimes.
Rama: O Rama! Please make me qualified for Your specific services.
Hare: O Hare! Make me a limb of Yours and take pleasure in me.
Hare: O Hare! Please rejoice with me.

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    Hare Rama = Radha and Krishna? How? I don't understand it, Am I missing something? – Sarvabhouma Dec 15 '17 at 2:32
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    Nice answer but seems some typos in this... – YDS Dec 15 '17 at 2:38
  • @NogShine I understand it's uncommon but u know, Krishna has so many names which describe His qualities. From those, one name is Rama. – Krishna Shweta Dec 15 '17 at 7:22
  • @NogShine I'm unable to trace where I read those 4 points. – Krishna Shweta Dec 15 '17 at 7:24
  • @YDS Thanks. I found only one, anything else? (U can edit if u want) – Krishna Shweta Dec 16 '17 at 2:03
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Kali Santarana Upanishada (at least in few versions) gives the mantra with Hare Rama preceding Hare Krishna (as mentioned in accepted answer) and Gaudiya Vaishnavas give Hare Krishna preceding Hare Rama. But it really doesn't matter because when we chant this mantra several times it becomes cyclic and it's hard to say which word is being chanted first:

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These three words, namely Hare, Krishna and Rama, are the transcendental seeds of this 16-word Mantra (also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra) with the following meaning:

Hare Rama: Rama’s energy/shakti and Rama = Sita Rama

Hare Hare: The first word is vocative form of 'Hari', another name of Vishnu meaning "he who removes illusion" & the second word has come from ‘Haran’ which means to take away (our sorrows, shortcomings, failures and pains).

Hare Krishna: Krishna’s energy/shakti and Krishna = Radha Krishna

Hence,

The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His energy, to give protection to the conditioned soul.

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Hare is a word used for addressing the Energy of the God. So Hare Krishna means addressing Energy of God Krishna and Hare Rama means addressing Energy of God Rama

Srila Prabupada says it in this video (starts at 45th second) https://youtu.be/ezr3UNOryFw

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