The Wonderful Effects of Chanting Hare Krishna

By Sivarama Swami, from an article in the Hungarian “Back To Godhead” magazine last year.

The names of the Lord””Hare, Krsna, and Rama””are invested with His full potencies. Singing God’s names, therefore, is to contact Him through the medium of transcendental sound. Thus, the effect of chanting is the same as the effect of directly associating with the Lord. The following beautiful verse, written by Lord Caitanya, describes the seven effects the Hare Krsna mantra has on chanters.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam

“Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krsna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.” (Sri Siksastaka 1)

Although many books have been written explaining the theological implications of this verse, the following is a simple summary of the seven effects of chanting Hare Krsna:

(1) The chanting of Krsna’s name is a purifying agent that cleanses our hearts of envy””the root cause of our descent to this world””and other bad qualities we have since acquired like lust, greed, and anger.

(2) As it purifies the heart, Krsna’s name also protects sincere chanters from any further contamination from the worldly energy and those effected by it.

(3) Chanting awakens pure devotion to Krsna, the soul’s dormant propensity to serve the Lord with love; and further chanting revives the loving devotion that qualifies one for the greatest good fortune””Krsna’s association.

(4) A result of acquiring devotion is that devotees become illuminated with spiritual knowledge. Further chanting matures that knowledge into realization, which in time reveals devotees’ original position in one of the five relationships with Krsna.

(5) As much as the heart is relieved of unwanted habits, to that degree we become devoted to Krsna; as much as devotion is firmly fixed in our hearts, to that degree we acquire realized knowledge; and as much as the heart is illumined by both devotion and knowledge, to that degree we taste spiritual happiness. In this way the ocean of bliss swells.

(6) Chanting frees conditioned souls of the illusion of identifying themselves with their body and mind, and establishes them in the cooling reality that they are eternal spiritual entities.

(7) When devotees finally achieve the perfection of chanting, they taste the full nectar of loving devotion to Krsna””a nectar that makes the bliss of liberation seem insignificant.