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Watch mayapur kirtan (Hare Krishna)The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra (Great Mantra), is a 16 word Vaishnava mantra which is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad, and which from the 15th century rose to importance in the Bhakti movement following the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.This Mantra is composed of three Sanskrit names of the Supreme Being; Hare, Krishna, and Rama.According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, ones original consciousness and goal of life is pure love of God (Krishna).Since the 1960s, the mantra has been made well known outside of India by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas)The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of Sanskrit names in the singular vocative case: Hare, Krishna, and Rama (in Anglicized spelling). It is a poetic stanza in anuṣṭubh meter (A quatrain of four lines (pāda) of eight syllables).hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇakṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare harehare rāma hare rāmarāma rāma hare hareSanskrit is a polysemic language and as such, this mantra has multiple interpretations all of which may be considered as correct. Hare can be interpreted as either the vocative form of Hari, another name of Vishnu meaning he who removes illusion. Another interpretation is as the vocative of Harā,a name of Rādhā,Krishnas eternal consort or His energy (Krishnas Shakti). According to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Harā refers to the energy/shakti of Supreme Personality of Godhead while Krishna and Rama refer to Supreme Godhead Himself, meaning He who is All-Attractive and He who is the Source of All Pleasure. In the hymn Vishnu Sahasranama spoken by Bhishma in praise of Krishna after the Kurukshetra War, Krishna is also called Rama.It is sometimes believed that Rama in Hare Rama means Radharamana or the beloved of Radha (another name for Kṛṣṇa). The more common interpretation is that Rāma refers to Rama of the Ramayana, an earlier avatar of Krishna. Rama can also be a shortened form of Balarama, Krishnas first expansion.The mantra is repeated, either sung out loud (bhajan), congregationally (kirtan) or to oneself aloud or mentally (japa). A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami describes the process of chanting the Maha Mantra as follows:Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind; this consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived.This chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness - namely sensual, mental, and intellectual .As such anyone can take part in the chanting without any previous qualification.The mantra is first attested in the kalisaṇṭāraṇopaniṣad (Kali Santarana Upanishad), a Vaishnava Upanishad associated with the Krishna Yajurveda. In this Upanishad, Narada is instructed by Brahma (in the translation of K. N. Aiyar):Hearken to that which all Shrutis (the Vedas) keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the Samsara (mundane existence) of Kali. He shakes off (the evil effects of) Kali through the mere uttering of the name of Lord Narayana, who is the primeval Purusha.Narada asks to be told this name of Narayana, and Brahma replies:Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare; These sixteen names are destructive of the evil effects of Kali. No better means than this is to be seen in all the Vedas.The mantra was popularized by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu roughly around 1500 CE when he began his mission to spread this mantra publicly to every town and village in the world, travelling throughout India, and especially within the areas of Bengal and Odisha.Some versions of the Kali Santarana Upanishad give the mantra with Hare Rama preceding Hare Krishna(as quoted above), and others with Hare Krishna preceding Hare Rama, as in Navadvipa version of the manuscript. The latter format is by far the more common within the Vaishnava traditions.It is a common belief that the mantra is equally potent when spoken in either order.A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a devotee of Krishna in disciplic succession, on the order of his guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, brought the teachings of Sri Chaitanya from Bharat (India) and single-handedly took the responsibility of spreading them around the Western world. Beginning in New York 1965, he encircled the globe fourteen times in the final eleven years of his life, thus making Hare Krishna a well-known phrase in many parts of the world.