What is this Hare Krsna? Hare means the energy of the Lord, and Krsna means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So it is a prayer. There are three words only: Hare, Krsna and Rama, three words. That has been arranged in sixteen words: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So our movement is that we request you to take up these sixteen words- not sixteen words, three words, Hare, Krsna, Rama. But is is arranged in such a way that there are sixteen words. So anyone can take it by heart, these three words, and chant it. It is universal.
Sometimes it appears very difficult to make advancement in Krsna consciousness, and we become impatient. If we expect immediate results and they aren’t forthcoming, we can easily become discouraged. For those of us who are unable to live in a temple (or even near a temple), this is especially true. So what’s the solution?
In November of 1969, while speaking in London’s Conway Hall, Srila Prabhupada stated the following:
“The process is very simple. Just keep a picture of Lord Caitanya with His associates. Lord Caitanya is in the middle, accompanied by His principal associates — Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. One simply has to keep this picture. One can keep it anywhere. It is not that one has to come to us to see this picture. Anyone can have this picture in his home, chant this Hare Krsna mantra, and thus worship Lord Caitanya. That is the simple method. But who will capture this simple method? Those who have good brains. Without much bother, if one simply keeps a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at home and chants Hare Krsna, then one will realize God. Anyone can adopt this simple method. There is no expenditure, there is no tax, nor is there any need to build a very big church or temple. Anyone, anywhere, can sit down on the road or beneath a tree and chant the Hare Krsna mantra and worship God. Therefore it is a great opportunity.”
Srila Prabhupäda: No, this same verse. Practice it. In this way you practice one mantra daily. Each mantra will purify you hundred yards daily. Go forward. These mantras are very powerful, given by Vyäsadeva Gosvämi, vibrated…..So we should try to learn, get it by heart, at least one shloka, two shlokas in a week. And if we chant that… Just like you are chanting so many songs, similarly, if we chant one or two verses of Srimad-Bhägavatam, that will make you very quickly advanced for spiritual realisation.
We are therefore taking so much trouble to get this transliteration, the meaning, so that the reader may take advanced step, full advantage of the mantra. It is not that to show some scholarship, that ― I know so much Sanskrit. No. It is just offered with humility to learn the mantra because one who will chant the mantra… They are all transcendental vibration. Just Hare Krishna,mantra…
This is mahä-mantra, but they are also mantras, all the verses from Bhagavad-gitä, Srimad-Bhägavatam, spoken by Krishna, spoken by…. Bhägavata also, spoken by Krishna. Vyäsadeva is incarnation of Krishna. They‘re also mantras, infallible instructions. So try to get it by heart, chanting. Either you chant by seeing the book or get it by heart, it is all the same. But try to chant one, two shlokas daily. (Lecture, April 20, 1972).
We all have our favorite quotes and slokas from the pages of Srila Prabhupada’s books. One of mine is the following:
“My dear King, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (Bhāg. 12.3.51)
Srila Prabhupada quotes this partictular verse from the Bhagavatam many times in his lectures, conversations, books etc., for instance:
“In the sastra it is said this Kali-yuga is full of faults, so many faults. It is the ocean of faults. But there is a very nice thing, asti hy eko mahan gunah, a very great quality. What is that? Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. If you simply chant Hare Krishna mantra, then you become perfect. Is it very difficult? Chant Hare Krishna and you become perfect. But we are so unfortunate, we are not even prepared to chant. This is our position. So you have to make little determination that ‘I shall chant henceforward Hare Krishna mantra.’ Then everything is all right.”