Human beings undertake a series of physical activities to achieve ‘peace,’ while it is inherent within all of us.
We need to get to terms with ourselves to find peace, which is a part of our mind and soul, although many say that ‘true peace is elusive.’
Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Book of Hindus, has several chapters and verses that enable human beings to achieve peace and lead a life of contentment and happiness, achieving self-knowledge and self-illumination.
Among the simplest ways of understanding and attaining inner happiness is to follow the teachings of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
His simple and easy-to-understand interpretation has helped millions of people around the world to understand the meaning of the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra’ and reach the status in which they experience inner-happiness.
The Mahamantra is ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’
The Mahamantra consists of just three words, namely, ‘Hare,’ ‘Krishna’ and ‘Rama.’
Hare, a form of ‘Hara,’ is the spiritual energy or internal potency of the Supreme God (Lord Krishna) and in its utterance, we address His internal potency.
Lord Krishna offers shelter to His devotees, irrespective of their colour, caste, creed, nationality and other manmade barriers.
In Sanskrit, Krishna means ‘All-Attractive.’
Srila Prabhupada narrated a story of two ‘sannyasis’ (Hindu religious men), who were quarrelling about the meaning of Rama in the mahamantra.
One of them said that Rama means ‘Sri Balarama,’ while the other argued that it denoted ‘Lord Ramachandra.’
Srila Prabhupada citing the teachings of ‘Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava-Sampradaya,’ said that both were correct, because there is no difference between Sri Balarama and Lord Rama.
The Sampradaya refers to its tradition of succession of spiritual masters or gurus believed to originate from Lord Brahma, the Creator.
The Sampradaya is a monotheistic tradition, accounting for many forms of Lord Vishnu as reincarnations of ‘Adipurusha,’ or one Supreme God.
ISKON followers believe that Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead and that everything emanates from Him.
The meaning of Rama is unlimited happiness, which is spiritual happiness.
Krishna symbolises pleasure and leading a spiritual life is a pleasure.
The two words combined give the meaning of God.
Chanting Hare, Krishna and Rama is not a sectarian process.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a Vaishnava saint and social reformer who lived in India in the 16th Century, said that anyone can chant any name of any God, irrespective of his or her religious belief.
That is the essence of Krishna Consciousness Movement – to develop love for God and try to achieve perfection in life.
Raja Venkatesh lives in Auckland. A banker by profession, he is a volunteer at the Hare Krishna Temple and at local Christian Churches.