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Gopala Guru Gosvami's explanation
of the Mahamantra
Translated by Jagadananda Dasa

(1)
hare - he hare, mac-cittam hrtva bhava-bandhanan mocaya |
Hare! O Hari, steal my mind and deliver me from bondage to this material world.
 
krsna - he krsna, mac-cittam akarsaya |
Krsna! O Krsna, attract my mind.
 
hare - he hare, sva-madhuryena mac-cittah hara |
Hare! O Hari! Capture my mind with the sweetness of your name, form and pastimes.
 
krsna - he krsna, sva-bhakta-dvara bhajana-jnana-danena mac-cittam sodhaya |
Krsna! O Krsna! Send me the association of your devotees who will purify my mind through instructions about your devotional service.
 
krsna - he krsna, nama-rupa-guna-liladisu man-nistham kuru |
Krsna! O Krsna! Give me unflinching faith in your name, form, qualities and pastimes.
 
krsna - he krsna, rucir bhavatu me |
Krsna! O Krsna! Give me a taste for your name, form, qualities and pastimes.
 
hare - he hare, nija-seva-yogyam mam kuru |
Hare! O Hari! Make me worthy to engage in your service.
 
hare - he hare, sva-sevam adisaya |
Hare! O Hara, Radha! Order me personally in the service you wish me to perform.
 
hare - he hare, sva-presthena saha svabhista-lilam sravaya |
Hare! O Hara, Radha! Give me the opportunity to hear about your own favorite pastimes with your beloved Lord
 
rama - he rama, presthaya saha svabhista-lilam mam sravaya |
Rama! O Rama! Give me the opportunity to hear about your own favorite pastimes with your beloved Radha.
 
hare - he hare, sva-presthena saha svabhista-lilam darsaya |
Hare! O Hara, Radha! Give me the opportunity to see your intimate pastimes with your beloved Lord.
 
rama - he rama, presthaya saha svabhista-lilam mam darsaya |
Rama! O Rama! Give me the opportunity to see your intimate pastimes with your beloved Radha.
 
rama - he rama, nama-rupa-guna-lila-smaranadisu mam yojaya |
Rama! O Rama! Engage me in hearing, chanting and remembering your name, form, qualities, pastimes.
 
rama - he rama, tatra mam nija-seva-yogyam kuru |
Rama! O Rama! As I enter into those pastimes by the path of meditation, make me worthy to engage in your service.
 
hare - he hare, mam svangikrtya ramasva |
Hare! O Hari! Please accept me and take pleasure from the service that I offer you.
 
hare - he hare, maya saha ramasva |
Hare! O Hari! Take pleasure in me and enjoy with me.

(2)
hare - krsnasya mano haratiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! Radha is known as Hara because she steals Krsna's mind. I call out to her, O Hare! O Radhe!
 
krsna - radhaya manah karsatiti krsnah, tasya sambodhane he krsna |
Krsna! The Lord is known as Krsna because he attracts Radha's mind. Therefore I call out to him, O Lord! O Krsna!
 
hare - krsnasya lokalajjadhairyadi sarvam haratiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! Radha steals Krsna's sense of public shame and his self-possession. She steals everything of his and is thus known as Hara. I therefore call out to her, O Radhe! O Hare!
 
krsna - radhaya lokalajjadhairyadi sarvam karsatiti krsnah, tasya sambodhane he krsna |
Krsna! He drags away all of Radha's sense of shame and her self-possession. Therefore I call out to him, O Lord! O Krsna!
 
krsna - yatra yatra radha tisthati gacchati va tatra tatra sa pasyati krsno mam sprsati balat kancukadikam sarvam karsati haratiti krsnah, tasya sambodhane he krsna |
Krsna. Wherever Radha is standing, or wherever she happens to be going, she thinks, Krsna is watching me, he is touching me, he he is pulling on my bodice. He is pulling on me. I call out to him, O Lord! O Krsna!
 
krsna - punar harsatam gamayati vanam karsatiti krsnah, tasya sambodhane he krsna |
Krsna! Then Krsna makes her feel a thrill of excitement as he pulls her to the woods. I call out to him, O Lord! O Krsna!
 
hare - yatra krsno gacchati tisthati va tatra tatra pasyati radha mamagre parsve sarvatra tisthatiti hara, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! Wherever Krsna goes, wherever he is situated, he sees Radha in front of him, by his side, all around him. In this way she disturbs his mind. I call out to her, O Radhe. O Hare!
 
hare - punas tam krsnam harati sva-sthanam abhisarayatiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! She once again steals Krsna away, making him come to her kunja. She is thus known as Hara. I thus call out to her, O Radhe! O Hare!
 
hare - krsnam vanam harati vanam agamayatiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! She once again steals Krsna away, making him come to her kunja. She is thus known as Hara. I thus call out to her, O Radhe! O Hare!
 
rama - ramayati tam narma-niriksanadiniti ramah, tasya sambodhane he rama |
Rama! Krsna is known as Rama because he brings Radha pleasure with his joking words and his loving glances. I thus call out to him, O Krsna! O Rama!
 
hare - tatkalikam dhairyavalambanadikam krsnasya haratiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! She robs Krsna of the momentary self-control he is able to muster in her presence. She is thus known as Hara, and so I call out to her, O Radhe! O Hare!
 
rama - cumbana-stana-karsanalinganadibhi ramate iti ramah, tasya sambodhane he rama |
Rama! Krsna delights in kissing Radha, in touching her breasts and in embracing her. He is thus known as Rama, and so I call out to him, O Lord! O Rama!
 
rama - punas tam purusocitam krtva ramayatiti ramah, tasya sambodhane he rama |
Rama! Krsna causes Radha to reach the pinnacle of sexual excitement, so that she becomes aggressively active in the love battle, like a man. He is thus known as Rama, and so I call out to him, O Lord! O Rama!
 
rama - punas tatra ramate iti ramah, tasya sambodhane he rama |
Rama! All this brings extra delight to Krsna. He is thus known as Rama, and so I call out to him, O Lord! O Rama!
 
hare - punah rasante krsnasya mano hrtva gacchatiti hara radha, tasyah sambodhane he hare |
Hare! Once again, at the end of the Rasa dance, as she leaves to return home, she steals Krsna's mind and takes it away with her. She is thus known as Hara, and I therefore call out to her, O Radhe! O Hare!
 
hare - radhaya mano hrtva gacchatiti harih krsnah tasya sambodhane he hare |
Hare! Krsna also steals Radha's mind, taking it with him as he leaves. He is thus known as Hari, and I call out to him, O Krsna! O Hare!
 

 

Hare Krsna Mantra -- meaning of the mantra


Meaning as explained by Gopala Guru Gosvami, disciple of Svarupa Damodara of Puri:


The word "hare":


hari harati papani dusta cittair api smrtah

anicchayapi samsprsto dahaty eva hi pavakah

vijnapya bhagavat tattvam cid ghanananda vigraham

haraty avidyam tat karyam ato harir iti smrtah


"Just as the fire, on contacting an object, automatically burns it, so the name of Hari takes away (harati) or burns up all ht esins of the people with materialistic hearts. It removes (harati) all ignorance and reveals the transcendental, blissful form of the Lord. Also, 'hari' means that personality who attracts (harati) the minds of all the people in the universe when they hear stories of His transcendental qualities; or, He who attracts the minds of people by His beautiful youthful form. 'Hari' in the grammatical form of address, the vocative, or calling out to a person, becomes 'hare'."


The word 'hare' has another meaning:


svarupa prema vatsalyair harer harati ya manah

hara sa kathyate sadbhih sri radha vrsabhanuja


Hara is Srimati Radhika, daughter of Vrsabhanu, who steals (harati) the mind of Hari, Krsna, by her unalloyed love. Hara, in the form of address, also becomes 'hare'.


The word 'Krsna':


krsir bhu vacakah sabdo nas cananda svarupakah

tayor aikyam param brahma krsna ity abhidhiyate


"The word 'krsna' is composed of the root 'krsi' meaning 'bhu,' the shelter of all existence and the word 'na' meaning 'nivriti' or the form of supreme bliss. Combined they form the word 'krsna' which signifies the param brahma, the supreme personality of Godhead with blissful form."


Krsna in the form of address remains as 'krsna.'


The word 'Rama':


ramante yogino 'nante nityanande cidatmani

iti rama padenaiva param brahmadbhidhiyate


"The param brahma is known as Rama because the yogis take pleasure (ramante) in meditating on His eternal, blissful form."


vaidagdhi sara sarvasva murti liladbhidevatam

sri radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate


"The Supreme Lord is called Rama because He carries out pastimes of pleasure with the most beautiful Sri Radha."


Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


Oh Radha, please attract my mind, and free me from this material world.

Oh Krsna, please attract my mind.

Oh Radha, attract my heart by showing your sweetness.

Oh Krsna, purify my mind by giving knowledge of how to perform worship of You through Your pure devotee.

Oh Krsna, give me steadiness to appreciate Your name, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Krsna, may I develop a taste for serving You.

Oh Radha, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, please instruct me on how I can serve you.


Oh Radha, let me hear of your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama (Krsna), let me hear of Your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Radha, reveal to me your pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama, reveal to me Your pastimes with Your beloved.

Oh Rama, engage me in remembering Your name, form, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Rama, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

Sri Harinamartha-ratna-dipika

by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami

translated by Jagadananda das


ekada krsna-virahad dhyayanti priya-sangamam |
mano-baspa-nirasartham jalpatidam muhur muhuh ||
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare |
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare ||

 
One day, Radha was feeling separation from Krsna and was meditating on the reunion she hoped to have with him. In order to rid herself of the depression she felt in his absence, she began to repeatedly chant his names. hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.
 
he hare sva-madhuryena mac-ceto harasi |
 
O Hare! You steal my mind with your sweetness.
 
tatra hetur he krsna iti krs-sabdasya sarvarthah nas ca ananda-svarupa iti svarthe nah sac-cid-ananda-svarupaka iti sviyena sarva-dik-paramanandena sarvadhika-paramanandena va pralobhyeti bhavah |
 
With her next utterance of the name Krsna, she explains how that is possible. The name Krsna comes from the combination of the syllables krs, which means everything, and na, which means an identity steeped in bliss. Thus Krsna is the form of eternity, knowledge and bliss who attracts and tempts everyone in every direction with the supreme joy of his own being, a joy which is superior to any other.
 
tatas ca he hare dhairya-lajja-guru-bhayadikam api harasi ||
 
So, Hari, you take away even my most strongly held character traits, like self-control, shame, and fear of my superiors.
 
tatas ca he krsna sva-grhebhyo vanam prati mam akarsasi ||
 
Then, Krsna, you draw us out of our houses and into the forest.
 
tatas ca he krsna vanam pravistaya me kancukim sahasaivagatya karsasi ||
 
Then, when I have entered the woods, you suddenly appear out of nowhere and start pulling on my blouse.
 
tatas ca he krsna mat-kucau karsasi ||
 
Then, Krsna, you start touching my breasts.
 
tatas ca he hare sva-bahu-nibaddham mam puspa-sayyam prati harasi
 
Then, O Hari, you wrap me in your arms and lead me off to the bed of flower petals.
 
tatas ca he hare tatra nivesitaya me antariyam api baladd harasi ||
 
Then, O Hari, while I am sitting there helplessly, you tear off my skirt as well.

tatas ca he hare antariya-vasana-harana-misenatma-viraha-pidam sarvam eva harasi ||
 
And so, O Hari, by taking my clothes off my body, you take away all the sufferings accumulated in my soul as a result of my separation from you.
 
tatas ca he rama svacchandam mayi ramase ||
 
Then, O Rama, you enjoy with me to your full satisfaction.
 
tatas ca he hare yad avasistam kincin me vamyam asit tad api harasi ||
 
By so doing, O Hari, whatever little recalcitrance was left in me, that too was stolen by you.
 
tatas ca he rama mam ramayasi svasmin purusayitam api karosi ||
 
And so, O Rama, I become so frenzied with passion that I take the initiative in lovemaking, like a man.

tatas ca he rama ramaniya-cudamane tava navina-vaktra-madhuryam api nihsankam tad atmanam tava ramaniyakam man-nayanabhyam dvabhyam evasvadyate iti bhavah ||
 
Then, O Rama, you who are the crest-jewel of the charming! Without any interference, I can now relish the beauty of your youthful face, indeed the very beauty of your very soul with both of my eyes.
 
tatas ca he rama na kevalam ramana-rupenapi ramana-kartr-ramana-prayojakah |
kintu tad-bhava-rupa rati-murtir iva tvam bhavasiti bhavah ||

 
Then, O Rama, not only do you engage me in lovemaking by actively taking the role of a lover, even though this is true. It is as though you were also incarnate in the very act of love itself as its essence.
 
tatas ca he hare mac-cetana-mrgim api harasi, ananda-murccham prapayasiti bhavah ||
 
Then, O Hari, you who are like a lion, capture the deer of my mind. In other words, your loving makes me faint.
 
yato he hare simha-svarupa tad api rati-karmani prakatita-maha-pragalbhya iti bhavah ||
 
Because you are a lion, O Hari, you have shown such self-confidence, proficiency and boldness in the art of love.
 
evambhutena tvaya preyasa viyukta ksanam api kalpa-kotim iva katham yapayitum prabhavamiti svayam eva vicaraya iti nama-sodasakasyabhiprayah | tatas ca namabhis cumbakair iva krsnah krsnaya sahasaivakrsto milita-paramananda eva | tasyah sva-sakhinam tat-parivara-vargasya tad-bhava-sadhakanam arvacinanam api sri-radha-krsnau manasam sampurayatah ||
 
Being separated from you, my dearest lover, it seems that even a moment is like a million millennia. How then will I be able to suffer through this age-long separation? Please consider this fact. This is the summary meaning of the sixteen names of the Mahamantra. Having chanted them in this spirit, Krsna is attracted by Radha's chanting of these magnet-like names and he suddently appears to experience the ecstasy of union. May the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna fulfill the desires of her sakhis, his cowherd friends, as well as of all those who today are engaged in the practices of devotional service in the hope of one day attaining the same mood of love.

Hare Krsna Mantra -- meaning of the mantra

 

Meaning as explained by Gopala Guru Gosvami, disciple of Svarupa Damodara of Puri:

 

The word "hare":                

 

                hari harati papani dusta cittair api smrtah

                anicchayapi samsprsto dahaty eva hi pavakah

                vijnapya bhagavat tattvam cid ghanananda vigraham

                haraty avidyam tat karyam ato harir iti smrtah

 

"Just as the fire, on contacting an object, automatically burns it, so the name of Hari takes away (harati) or burns up all ht esins of the people with materialistic hearts. It removes (harati) all ignorance and reveals the transcendental, blissful form of the Lord. Also, 'hari' means that personality who attracts (harati) the minds of all the people in the universe when they hear stories of His transcendental qualities; or, He who attracts the minds of people by His beautiful youthful form. 'Hari' in the grammatical form of address, the vocative, or calling out to a person, becomes 'hare'."

 

The word 'hare' has another meaning:

 

                svarupa prema vatsalyair harer harati ya manah

                hara sa kathyate sadbhih sri radha vrsabhanuja

 

Hara is Srimati Radhika, daughter of Vrsabhanu, who steals (harati) the mind of Hari, Krsna, by her unalloyed love. Hara, in the form of address, also becomes 'hare'.

 

The word 'Krsna':

 

                krsir bhu vacakah sabdo nas cananda svarupakah

                tayor aikyam param brahma krsna ity abhidhiyate

 

"The word 'krsna' is composed of the root 'krsi' meaning 'bhu,' the shelter of all existence and the word 'na' meaning 'nivriti' or the form of supreme bliss. Combined they form the word 'krsna' which signifies the param brahma, the supreme personality of Godhead with blissful form."

 

Krsna in the form of address remains as 'krsna.'

 

The word 'Rama':

 

                ramante yogino 'nante nityanande cidatmani

                iti rama padenaiva param brahmadbhidhiyate

 

"The param brahma is known as Rama because the yogis take pleasure (ramante) in meditating on His eternal, blissful form."

 

                vaidagdhi sara sarvasva murti liladbhidevatam

                sri radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate

 

"The Supreme Lord is called Rama because He carries out pastimes of pleasure with the most beautiful Sri Radha."

 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Oh Radha, please attract my mind, and free me from this material world.

Oh Krsna, please attract my mind.

Oh Radha, attract my heart by showing your sweetness.

Oh Krsna, purify my mind by giving knowledge of how to perform worship of You through Your pure devotee.

Oh Krsna, give me steadiness to appreciate Your name, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Krsna, may I develop a taste for serving You.

Oh Radha, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, please instruct me on how I can serve you.

 

Oh Radha, let me hear of your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama (Krsna), let me hear of Your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Radha, reveal to me your pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama, reveal to me Your pastimes with Your beloved.

Oh Rama, engage me in remembering Your name, form, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Rama, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

 

MahA-mantrartha-vyakhya

by Jiva Goswami


hare kRSNa hare kRSNa kRSNa kRSNa hare hare |
hare rAma hare rAma rAma rAma hare hare ||


 
(1)

sarva-ceta-haraH kRSNas tasya cittaM haraty asau |
vaidagdhI-sAra-vistArair ato rAdhA harA matA ||

Krishna steals everyones mind, but Radharani steals even His when She makes use of Her divine talents. Therefore She is known as HarA.
(2)
karSati svIya-lAvaNya-muralI-kala-niHsvanaiH |
zrI-rAdhAM mohana-guNAlaGkRtaH kRSNa Iryate ||

Because He forcibly pulls Radha from Her home with the sound of His flute filled with His loveliness, that Lord of all enchanting virtues is known as Krishna.
(3)

zrŁyate nIyate rAse hariNA hariNekSaNA
ekAkinI rahaH-kuJje hareyaM tena kathyate ||

It is heard that doe-eyed Radha was taken by Krishna during the Rasa dance to spend time with Him alone in a secret grove in the forest. She is therefore known as HarA.
(4)

aGga-zyAmalima-stomaiH zyAmalIkRta-kAJcanaH |
ramate rAdhayA sArdhaM kRSNo nigadyate ||

The black effulgence of Krishnas body turns even the gold of Radharanis skin to black when He embraces Her. He is thus known as Krishna.
(5)

kRtvAraNye saraH-zreSThaM kAntayAnumatas tayA |
AkRSya sarva-tIrthAni taj-jJAnAt kRSNa Iryate  ||

When Radharani ordered Krishna to build the most beautiful water tank in the world (as a penance for killing Arishtasura), He called all the holy rivers and tanks to bring water to fill it. Thus He is known as Krishna.
(6)

kRSyate rAdhayA premNA yamunA-taTa-kAnanam |
lIlayA lalitaz cApi dhIraiH kRSNa udAhRtaH ||

Because He is forcibly attracted into the forests on the Yamunas banks by Radhas ecstatic love, where He becomes Her playful lover, He is known by the wise as Krishna.
(7)

hRtavAn gokule tiSThann ariSTaM puSTa-puGgavam |
zrI-haris taM rasAd uccai rAyatIti harA matA ||

While living in Gokula, Krishna destroyed the powerful demon known as Arishta. At that time, Radha called out to Him with great emotion. Doing so, she stole His mind and so is known as HarA.
(8)

hy asphuTaM rAyati prIti-bhareNa hari-ceSTitam |
gAyatIti matA dhIrair harA rasa-vicakSaNaiH ||

Filled with sweet affection, Radha sometimes glorifies Krishnas pastimes quietly, and sometimes She sings them aloud. Thus those who know the secrets of divine rasa call Her HarA.
(9)

rasAveza-parisrastAM jahAra muralIM hareH |
hareti kIrtitA devI vipine keli-lampaTA ||

Sometimes Krishna becomes so absorbed in Radhas love that His beloved flute slips from His hand. Mad with the desire to enjoy pastimes in the forest bowers with Krishna, Radha steals Krishnas flute. That goddess is thus known as HarA.
(10)

govardhana-darI-kuJje parirambha-vicakSaNaH |
zrI-rAdhAM ramayAmAsa rAmas tena mato hariH ||

When Krishna, the expert embracer, makes love with Radha in the forest bowers or the caves of Govardhan, He is known as Rama.
(11)

hanti duHkhAni bhaktAnAM rAti saukhyAni cAnvaham |
harA devI nigaditA mahA-kAruNya-zAlinI ||

Radha most compassionately destroys the miseries of Her devotees and gives them great joy every single day. Therefore she is known as HarA.
(12)

ramate bhajato cetaH paramAnanda-vAridhau |
atreti kathito rAmaH zyAmasundara-vigrahaH ||

Krishna, with His beautiful blackish form, submerges the minds of those who worship Him in an ocean of supreme bliss. Therefore He is known by the name Rama.
(13)

ramayaty acyutaM premNA nikuJja-vana-mandire |
rAmA nigaditA rAdhA rAmo yutas tayA punaH ||

In a temple forest groves, Radharani brings the infallible Krishna to the pinnacle of joy with Her love. Therefore She is called RAmA. Since Krishna is always by Her side, He is known as Rama.
(14)

rodanair gokule dAvAnalam azayati hy asau |
vizoSayati tenokto rAmo bhakta-sukhAvahaH ||

When Krishna heard the cries of the Vrajavasis, who were afraid of the forest fire, He quickly swallowed it up, drying their tears. By giving them joy in this way, He is known as Rama.
(15)

nihantum asurAn yAto mathurA-puram ity asau |
tadAgamad rahaH-kAmo yasyAH sAsau hareti ca ||

Krishna left Vraja for Mathura in order to slay the demons, but later returned, drawn by the desire to be alone with Radha. Because She attracted Him back to Vraja, She is known as HarA.
(16)

Agatya duHkha-hartA yo sarveSAM vraja-vAsinAm |
zrI-rAdhA-hAri-carito hariH zrI-nanda-nandanaH ||


When the son of Nanda returned to Vraja after many years in Mathura and Dvaraka, He took away all the distress of its residents. His every action steals the heart of Srimati Radharani, and so He is known as Hari

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLANATION OF THE MAHA-MANTRA

by Gopala Guru Gosvami

Translated by Jagadananda Dasa



(1)

hare - he hare, mac-cittam hrtva bhava-bandhanan mocaya |

Hare! O Hari, steal my mind and deliver me from bondage to this material world.
 
krsna - he krsna, mac-cittam akarsaya |

Krsna! O Krsna, attract my mind.
 
hare - he hare, sva-madhuryena mac-cittah hara |

Hare! O Hari! Capture my mind with the sweetness of your name, form and pastimes.
 
krsna - he krsna, sva-bhakta-dvara bhajana-jnana-danena mac-cittam sodhaya |

Krsna! O Krsna! Send me the association of your devotees who will purify my mind through instructions about your devotional service.
 
krsna - he krsna, nama-rupa-guna-liladisu man-nistham kuru |

Krsna! O Krsna! Give me unflinching faith in your name, form, qualities and pastimes.
 
krsna - he krsna, rucir bhavatu me |

Krsna! O Krsna! Give me a taste for your name, form, qualities and pastimes.
 
hare - he hare, nija-seva-yogyam mam kuru |

Hare! O Hari! Make me worthy to engage in your service.
 
hare - he hare, sva-sevam adisaya |

Hare! O Hara, Radha! Order me personally in the service you wish me to perform.
 
hare - he hare, sva-presthena saha svabhista-lilam sravaya |

Hare! O Hara, Radha! Give me the opportunity to hear about your own favorite pastimes with your beloved Lord.
 
rama - he rama, presthaya saha svabhista-lilam mam sravaya |

Rama! O Rama! Give me the opportunity to hear about your own favorite pastimes with your beloved Radha.
 
hare - he hare, sva-presthena saha svabhista-lilam darsaya |

Hare! O Hara, Radha! Give me the opportunity to see your intimate pastimes with your beloved Lord.
 
rama - he rama, presthaya saha svabhista-lilam mam darsaya |

Rama! O Rama! Give me the opportunity to see your intimate pastimes with your beloved Radha.
 
rama - he rama, nama-rupa-guna-lila-smaranadisu mam yojaya |

Rama! O Rama! Engage me in hearing, chanting and remembering your name, form, qualities, pastimes.
 
rama - he rama, tatra mam nija-seva-yogyam kuru |

Rama! O Rama! As I enter into those pastimes by the path of meditation, make me worthy to engage in your service.
 
hare - he hare, mam svangikrtya ramasva |

Hare! O Hari! Please accept me and take pleasure from the service that I offer you.
 
hare - he hare, maya saha ramasva |

Hare! O Hari! Take pleasure in me and enjoy with me. 
 

 

 

Explanation of the Mahamantra by associate of Sri Caitanya and disciple of Svarupa Damodara, Gopal Guru Gosvami (translated by Bhanu Swami):

Oh Radha, please attract my mind, and free me from this material
world.
Oh Krsna, please attract my mind.
Oh Radha, attract my heart by showing your sweetness.
Oh Krsna, purify my mind by giving knowledge of how to perform worship
of You through Your pure devotee.
Oh Krsna, give me steadiness to appreciate Your name, qualities and
pastimes.
Oh Krsna, may I develop a taste for serving You.
Oh Radha, please make me qualified for your service.
Oh Radha, please instruct me on how I can serve you.

Oh Radha, let me hear of your intimate pastimes with your beloved.
Oh Rama, let me hear of Your intimate pastimes with your beloved.
Oh Radha, reveal to me your pastimes with your beloved.
Oh Rama, reveal to me Your pastimes with your beloved.
Oh Rama, engage me in remembering Your name, form, qualities and
pastimes.
Oh Rama, please make me qualified for your service.
Oh Radha, be pleased with me.
Oh Radha, be pleased with me."

 

Hare Krsna Mantra -- meaning of the mantra


Meaning as explained by Gopala Guru Gosvami, disciple of Svarupa Damodara of Puri:


The word "hare":


hari harati papani dusta cittair api smrtah

anicchayapi samsprsto dahaty eva hi pavakah

vijnapya bhagavat tattvam cid ghanananda vigraham

haraty avidyam tat karyam ato harir iti smrtah


"Just as the fire, on contacting an object, automatically burns it, so the name of Hari takes away (harati) or burns up all ht esins of the people with materialistic hearts. It removes (harati) all ignorance and reveals the transcendental, blissful form of the Lord. Also, 'hari' means that personality who attracts (harati) the minds of all the people in the universe when they hear stories of His transcendental qualities; or, He who attracts the minds of people by His beautiful youthful form. 'Hari' in the grammatical form of address, the vocative, or calling out to a person, becomes 'hare'."


The word 'hare' has another meaning:


svarupa prema vatsalyair harer harati ya manah

hara sa kathyate sadbhih sri radha vrsabhanuja


Hara is Srimati Radhika, daughter of Vrsabhanu, who steals (harati) the mind of Hari, Krsna, by her unalloyed love. Hara, in the form of address, also becomes 'hare'.


The word 'Krsna':


krsir bhu vacakah sabdo nas cananda svarupakah

tayor aikyam param brahma krsna ity abhidhiyate


"The word 'krsna' is composed of the root 'krsi' meaning 'bhu,' the shelter of all existence and the word 'na' meaning 'nivriti' or the form of supreme bliss. Combined they form the word 'krsna' which signifies the param brahma, the supreme personality of Godhead with blissful form."


Krsna in the form of address remains as 'krsna.'


The word 'Rama':


ramante yogino 'nante nityanande cidatmani

iti rama padenaiva param brahmadbhidhiyate


"The param brahma is known as Rama because the yogis take pleasure (ramante) in meditating on His eternal, blissful form."


vaidagdhi sara sarvasva murti liladbhidevatam

sri radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate


"The Supreme Lord is called Rama because He carries out pastimes of pleasure with the most beautiful Sri Radha."


Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


Oh Radha, please attract my mind, and free me from this material world.

Oh Krsna, please attract my mind.

Oh Radha, attract my heart by showing your sweetness.

Oh Krsna, purify my mind by giving knowledge of how to perform worship of You through Your pure devotee.

Oh Krsna, give me steadiness to appreciate Your name, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Krsna, may I develop a taste for serving You.

Oh Radha, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, please instruct me on how I can serve you.


Oh Radha, let me hear of your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama (Krsna), let me hear of Your intimate pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Radha, reveal to me your pastimes with your beloved.

Oh Rama, reveal to me Your pastimes with Your beloved.

Oh Rama, engage me in remembering Your name, form, qualities and pastimes.

Oh Rama, please make me qualified for your service.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

Oh Radha, be pleased with me.

Mahamantra-vyakhya

Commentary on the Mahamantra

compiled and translated by Jagadananda Das
 
 
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

 
 
 
(1)

The Lord's divine qualities revealed in the Mahamantra


harati tri-vidham tapam janma-koti-satodbhavam
papam ca smaratam yasmat tasmadd harir iti smrtah

 
The Lord is known as Hari because He takes away the sins  and three types of suffering accumulated over millions of births, of those who remember him.
 
krsir bhur-vacakah sabdo nas ca nirvrti-sucakah
tayor aikyam param brahma krsna ity abhidhiyate

 
The root krs indicates the supreme attractiveness of the Lord, the suffix na indicates the supreme joy. Thus, the name Krsna indicates the Supreme Brahman who is the acme of these two characteristics.
 
ramante yogino'nante satyananda-cid-atmani
iti rama-padenasau para-brahmabhidhiyate

 
The yogis take pleasure in the Supreme Self which is
existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. Therefore that truth, known as the Param Brahman is also called Rama.


(Rama-tapaniyopanisad, 1.6)
 
 

(2)

Mahamantrasya madhuryamayi vyakhya

The Lord's intimate qualities revealed in the Mahamantra


vijnapya bhagavat-tattvam cid-ghanananda-vigraham
haraty avidyam tat-karyam ato harir iti smrtah

 
The Lord is known as Hari because he takes away the ignorance of his devotees by revealing to them the actual nature of the Supreme Lord and his personal spiritual form.
 
harati krsna-manah krsnahlada-svarupini
ato harety anenaiva sri-radha parikirtita

 
Because she steals Krsna's mind, because she is the incarnation of Krsna's joy, Radha is also known by the name Hara.
 

anandaika-sukha-svami syamah kamala-locanah
gokulanandano nanda-nandanah krsna iryate
 
The dark, lotus-eyed lord, the only master of the highest joy, who brings pleasure to Gokula, the son of Nanda, is known as Krsna.
 
vaidagdhya-sara-sarvasvam murta-liladhidaivatam
sri-radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate

 
Krsna is also known as Rama because the joys of conjugal life are the essence of his being, because he is the titulary deity of loving sports incarnate, and because he brings pleasure to Srimati Radharani.
 
 

(3)

Mahamantrasya yugalasmaranamayi vyakhya

Remembering the Divine Couple through the Mahamantra



mano harati krsnasya krsnahlada-svarupini
tato hara sri-radhaiva tasyah sambodhanam hare

 
Because she steals Krsna's mind and because she is the embodiment of Krsna's divine joy, Radha is known as Hara.

Hare is the vocative form of that name.
 
apagrhya trapam dharmam dhairyam manam vraja-strinam
venuna karsati grhat tena krsno 'bhidhiyate

 
Because he robbed the women of Vraja of their shame, their religious principles, their self-possession, and their pride, and through the playing of his flute drew them out of their homes and into the forest, he is known as Krsna.
 
ramayaty anisam rupa-lavanyair vraja-yositam
manah-pancendriyaniha ramas tasmat prakirtitah

 
Krsna is glorified by the name Rama because he constantly causes the Vraja cowherd women's minds and senses to enjoy the charms of his beauty.

Maha-mantra Tika


- Explanation of the Maha-mantra by Srila Jiva
Gosvami

Translated by Bhakti-vaidurya Madhava Swami

1. By His uncommon beauty, Sri Krsna Candra takes
away the mind of everyone.
However, when Sri Radha expands Her own
cleverness, She also captures Sri
Krsna's mind. Therefore She is called "Hara"

2. By His loveliness and by the sweet sound of
His flute, Sri Krsna, who is
decorated with the most captivating qualities,
attracts Radha. Therefore He
is called "Krsna."

3. It has been heard from the mouths of great
souls that Lord Hari led away
the fawn-eyed Radha from the Rasa dance to
secluded bower. Therefore Radha
is called "Hara."

4. As He sports with Radha, His blackish
effulgence causes shiny gold to
also appear blackish. Therefore He is called
"Krsna."

5. In pursuance of the wishes of His beloved Sri
Radha, He constructed in
the forest near Govardhana a lake named
Syama-kunda and then drew the waters
of all holy bathing places there. Those who know
this call Him "Krsna."

6. By Her unsurpassed love, Sri Radha attracts
Him who is the performer of
wonderful pastimes to the Vrndavana forest on the
banks of Yamuna River.
Those of steady intellect therefore call Him
"Krsna."

7. One day while Krsna was in Vrndavana, He
killed the demon Arista, who was
disguised as a bull. At that time Radha
affectionately called out to Him "O
Hari!" Therefore She is known as "Hara."

8. Sometimes due to excessive love, Sri Radha's
voice becomes faint when She
sings the glories of Sri Krsna's pastimes.
Therefore those who are expert in
discerning spiritual sentiments call Her "Hara."

9. Once, in the forest of Vrndavana, Sri Krsna
dropped His flute due to the
intense experience of loving sentiments. All that
time Radha snatched up His
flute. Therefore She is called "Hara."

10. Once Sri Krsna put His arms around Sri Radha,
took Her into a bower
shaped like one of the caves at Govardhana Hill
and there enjoyed with Her.
Therefore He is called "Rama".

11. Everyday the most merciful Sri Radha bestows
(rati) happiness upon
Krsna. Therefore She is called "Hara."

12. The minds of the devotees always find
pleasure in Sri Krsna, who is an
ocean of transcendental bliss. Therefore that
beautiful dark form of Krsna
is called "Rama."

13. Radha is called Rama because She enjoyed
Acyuta through loving pastimes
in a forest pavilion made of flowering creepers.
Because Krsna is with that
Rama, He is called "Rama".

14. When all of Gokula was filled with wailing
because of a forest fire, Sri
Krsna extinguished it, thus greatly pleasing the
Vrajavasis. Therefore He is
called "Rama".

15. Sri Krsna went to Mathura to kill the demons
headed by Kamsa. By Her to
enjoy confidential pastimes with Krsna, Sri Radha
brought Krsna back to
Vrndavana. Therefore She is called "Hara".

16. When Sri Krsna came back to Vrndavana, He
took away the suffering of the
Vrajavasis and by His wonderful pastimes
captivated Radha's mind. Therefore
the son of Nanda is called "Hari".

Mahamantra-vyakhya: Explanation of the Maha-mantra

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

(1)

The Lord's divine qualities revealed in the Mahamantra

harati tri-vidham tapam janma-koti-satodbhavam
papam ca smaratam yasmat tasmad harir iti smrtah

The Lord is known as Hari because He takes away the sins and three types of suffering accumulated over millions of births, of those who remember Him.

krsir bhur-vacakah sabdo nas ca nirvrti-sucakah
tayor aikyam param brahma krsna ity abhidhiyate

The root krs- indicates the supreme attractiveness of the Lord, the suffix -na indicates the supreme joy. Thus, the name Krsna indicates the Supreme Brahman who is the acme of these two characteristics.

ramante yogino'nante satyananda-cid-atmani
iti rama-padenasau para-brahmabhidhiyate

The yogis take pleasure in the Supreme Self which is existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. Therefore that truth, known as the Param Brahman is also called Rama. (Rama-tapaniyopanisad 1.6)

(2)

Mahamantrasya madhuryamayi vyakhya

The Lord's intimate qualities revealed in the Mahamantra

vijnapya bhagavat-tattvam cid-ghanananda-vigraham
haraty avidyam tat-karyam ato harir iti smrtah

The Lord is known as Hari because he takes away the ignorance of His devotees by revealing to them the actual nature of the Supreme Lord and His personal spiritual form.

harati krsna-manah krsnahlada-svarupini
ato harety anenaiva sri-radha parikirtita

Because she steals Krsna's mind, because she is the incarnation of Krsna's joy, Radha is also known by the name Hara.

anandaika-sukha-svami syamah kamala-locanah
gokulanandano nanda-nandanah krsna iryate

The dark, lotus-eyed Lord, the only master of the highest joy, who brings pleasure to Gokula, the son of Nanda, is known as Krsna.

vaidagdhya-sara-sarvasvam murta-liladhidaivatam
sri-radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate

Krsna is also known as Rama because the joys of conjugal life are the essence of His being, because He is the tutelary deity of loving sports incarnate, and because He brings pleasure to Srimati Radharani.

(3)

Mahamantrasya yugalasmaranamayi vyakhya

Remembering the Divine Couple through the Mahamantra

mano harati krsnasya krsnahlada-svarupini
tato hara sri-radhaiva tasyah sambodhanam hare

Because she steals Krsna's mind and because she is the embodiment of Krsna's divine joy, Radha is known as Hara. Hare is the vocative form of that name.

apagrhya trapam dharmam dhairyam manam vraja-strinam
venuna karsati grhat tena krsno 'bhidhiyate

Because he robbed the women of Vraja of their shame, their religious principles, their self-possession, and their pride, and through the playing of His flute drew them out of their homes and into the forest, He is known as Krsna.

ramayaty anisam rupa-lavanyair vraja-yositam
manah-pancendriyaniha ramas tasmat prakirtitah

Krsna is glorified by the name Rama because He constantly causes the Vraja cowherd women's minds and senses to enjoy the charms of His beauty.