Meaning of Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra

YouTube player

The Hare Rama Krishna Mantra

Naama Smarana (reminiscing the Lords names, characteristics, deeds) is prescribed as the solution to cross the Samsaara Sagara (ocean of mundane existence that leads to miseries) in this Kali Yuga.

The Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra is one of the most powerful mantras. In this Yuga (age) of Kali (the inauspicious spirit that is set out to harm the good), this mantra helps encounter ill effects and miseries, and cross this ocean of life successfully.

The Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mantra is mentioned in several scriptures.



It is recommended to recite (mediate) on this mantra 10, 16, 108 or 1008 times. It can be recited in any quiet, clean place at any time. It can also be chanted aloud or sung as a group for benefit of others. Mantra updesha (initiation into the Mantra) is always good but this mantra can be learnt by listening.

HH Vishwapriyatheertharu of Adamaru matha gives a beautiful description of this Maha Mantra. This video was circulated and has been edited to give subtitles in english for wider understanding of his upanyaasa (discourse).


  1. Kali-santarana Upanisad (Krishna Yajur Veda) describes this mantra

dvåparånte nårado brahmånaam jagåma katham bhagavan gåm paryatan kalim samtareyam iti |

sa hovåca brahma sådhu prsto ‘smi sarva sruti rahasyam  gopyam tat srnu yena kali samsaaram tariyasi |

bhagavat ådipuruasya nåråyanasya nåmoccårana måtrena nirdhûta kalir bhavatîti ||1 ||

At the end of the Dvapara Yuga, Narada went to Brahma and addressed him “O Lord, how shall I, roaming over the earth be able to overcome the effects of Kali Yuga?”

Brahma replied “You have asked well. Listen to that which all the Vedas keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the ocean of mundane existence (samsaara) during Kali Yuga. It is through the mere recitation of the names f the Primeval Personality of Godhead – Lord NARAYANA, that one transcends the evil effects of the Kali Yuga”.

nårada puna papraccha tan nåma kim iti |

sa hovåca hiranyagarbhah |

Narada asked again: “What are those names ?” Brahma (hiranya garbha) replied

hare råma hare råma råma råma hare hare |

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare ||

iti sodasakam nåmnåm kali-kalmasa nåsanam |

nåtah paratara upåya sarva vedesu drsyate || 2 ||

These sixteen names destroy negative effects of Kali.

No better solution (upaya) is in all the Vedas.

iti sodasa kalåvrtasya jîvasya åvarana vinåsanam |

tatah prakåsate param brahma meghåpaye ravi raçmi mahadalîveti ||

These sixteen names destroy the 16 shells (kala) which the jiva is enveloped (avarana). It shines similar to the sun when clouds are dispersed, and Parabrahman radiates.

punar naradar papraccha bhagavan ko sya vidhir iti |

tam hovaca nasya vidhir iti |

sarvada sucir açucir va pathan brahmana salokatam samipatam sayupatam sayujyam eti |

yadåsya sodaçakasya sårdha trikotir japatiatadå brahma-hatyaµ tarati tarati vîrahatyåm |

svarnasteyåt pûto bhavati |

vraalî-gamanåt pûto bhavati |

sarva dharma parityåga påpåt sadya sucitåm åpnuyåt |

sadyo mucyate sadyo mucyate ityupanishad || 3 ||

Narada asked again : O Lord what are the rules to follow?

Brahma replied: “There are no rules. Whoever in a pure or impure state chants this regularly attains the same world (salokya), proximity (samipya), same form (sarupya) gets absorbed into Brahman (sayujya).

Chanting this mantra of sixteen names 35 million times, sins of murdering a brahmin, a hero, theft of gold, sexual misconduct, abandoning all Dharmas is absolved resulting in liberation (moksha).

This is the Upanishad.

2. Srimad-Bhagavatam, 6.2.14 give the importance of naama smarane

sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va

vaikuntha-nama-grahanam asesagha-haram viduh

One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly, casually, musically as an entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.

3. Brahmaanda Purana 6.59-60 gives the benefits of naama sankrtana

nama sankirtana deva tarakam brahma drsyate

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare

hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

The nama sankirtana (singing and chanting) of Hare Krishna maha-mantra delivers a complete revelation of all of spiritual reality.

4. Naradiya Purana, Prahlada-vakya

apato hari namani sthane sata-gunadhikah
atmanam ca punaty-uccair-japan srotrn-punati ca

Compared to that person who is attached to chanting japa, the person who performs loud chanting of the holy name of Sri Hari is one hundred times better. This is because the person who chants japa purifies himself, whereas the person who chants the holy name loudly in kirtana purifies himself, all those who are with him, and everyone else who hear the holy vibration.

5. General Note About Mantras

The word “Mantra” has many meanings. A simple meaning from the composition of the word Mantra is Man (Mind) and Tra (to give or direct). Another translation is “mananaat traayate iti mantraH” : That which protects when reflected upon (with devotion and no deviations) is deemed a mantra.

The fundamental (and most powerful mantra) is Pranava (OMkara and SHRIMkara exclusively for women.) that describes the entire universe. There are also single syllable bija (seed) mantras, naama mantra (name of a god or energy), Mantras like Gayatri and more vigorous mantras including veda mantras and so on. Mantras typically have a Rishi (sage that concieved the mantra), chandas (metric scale of pace, rhythm) and the particular god (or energy) and a viniyoga (purpose). Depending on the purpose the procedure for chanting the mantra can be simple or elaborate. There are several interpretations for meaning of Mantra.

More details at :

Mantras typically require a upadesha (initiation) by a guru (teacher) to ensure correct procedure is adopted and energy flow is positive.