What is Hare Krishna?

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Who is Krishna? Why do people dress in robes and chant His name on the streets? What is the philosophy of these Krishna devotees? What is the meaning of their chant?

Krishna is a name of the Supreme. It means “all-attractive.” Anything that might attract you has its source in the Supreme. Therefore the Supreme is also known as Rāma (rhymes with “drama”). Rāma means “the highest eternal pleasure.”

All of us are pleasure-seeking creatures, so you can say that we are all seeking Krishna, whether directly or indirectly. Chanting Hare Krishna is a way of seeking Krishna directly.

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The all-attractive Lord

As for the word Hare (pronounced huh-reh), it’s a call to Krishna’s divine energy. Just as the sun shines forth to us through its energies like heat and light, the Supreme reveals Himself through His multitude of energies. If the Supreme is the source of everything, then whatever we see — and even what we don’t see — belongs to the energy of the Supreme.

We’re currently trying to exploit that energy, but the more we try to do so, the more entangled we get and the more complex our life becomes. But when we place ourselves in harmony with Krishna and Krishna’s energy, we return to our natural, pure state of consciousness. This is what we call “Krishna consciousness”.

Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. On the contrary, it’s already within each of us, waiting to come out, like fire from a match. Chanting Hare Krishna brings out that natural, pure state of mind.

The chant is called a mantra, a vibration of sound that cleanses the mind, freeing it from anxiety and illusion. And this is a mantra anyone can chant. It’s for people of all religions, all nations, all colours, and all sexes. No need to pay any fees, join any group, or turn your life upside down. Whoever you are, and whatever you do, you can try the chanting for yourself and experience its result.

Krishna and His energy are fully present in the sound of the mantra, so even if we don’t know the language or intellectually understand how it works, by coming in touch with Krishna we’ll become happy, and our life will become sublime.

Source: http://www.harekrishna.com/col/philo/phi-what.html