WHAT IS MANTRA MEDITATION?
The mind is always busy, restless and cannot be stopped. Meditation and yoga help us rise above the mind’s chatter. What we meditate on now creates our future life.
In fact the very word “Mantra” means that which delivers us (tra) from the mind (man).
Mantra meditation involves the repetition of a mantra (sacred Vedic sound in Sanskrit) in prayer, meditation, or incantation and concentrating the mind on that sound vibration.
There are two types of mantra meditation, Japa and Kirtan. Japa is a quiet and personal meditation where one chants on prayer beads. Kirtan on the other hand is a joyous congregational meditation on the same sound vibration, in a call-and-response style, with pulsating musical instruments.
There are many mantras, but of all, the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is particularly recommended as a means of deliverance for this age.
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
iti sodasakam namnam kali-kalmasa-nasanam
natah parataropayah sarva-vedesu drsyate
“The sixteen words of the Hare Krsna Mahamantra are especially meant for counteracting the sins of age of Kali. To save oneself from the contamination of this age there is no alternative but to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Kåñëa.” (Kali-Santarana Upanisad 5-6)
The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is made up of three words – Hare, Krishna, and Rama:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare – the beautiful energy of the Lord
Krishna – the all attractive one
Rama – the one who gives happiness to all
These simple yet profound words help attune our consciousness to the treasure of spiritual happiness that already exists in our hearts.
The Maha Mantra descends from the spiritual world – “Golokera prema dhana harinam sankirtana”. This chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra is enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness—namely sensual, mental, and intellectual. There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need for mental speculation nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha -mantra. It is automatic, from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in the chanting without any previous qualification. In a more advanced stage, of course, one is not expected to commit offenses on the grounds of spiritual understanding. (Srila Prabhupada – Founder Acarya of ISKCON)