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Hare Krishna

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OM...Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare 
 

 The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra ("Great Mantra"), is a sixteen-word Vaishnava mantra made well known outside of India by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as 'the Hare Krishnas').[1] It appears within many traditions of Hinduism and is believed by practitioners to bring about a higher state of consciousness when heard, spoken, meditated upon, or sung out loud.[2] According to Gaudiya Vaishnava theology, this higher consciousness ultimately takes the form of pure love of God (Krishna)
 
The mantra

The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of Sanskrit names in the vocative case: Hare, Krishna, and Rama (in Anglicized spelling, the IAST of the three vocatives is hare, kṛṣṇa and rāma; roughly pronounced IPA: ['hɐre:], ['kɹ̩ʂɳɐ], ['ra:mɐ], see Sanskrit for pronunciation details):

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Rama and Krishna both appear as names of Vishnu in the Vishnu sahasranama and refer primarily to the 7th and 8th Maha Avataras of Vishnu[4]. "Hare" can be interpreted as either the vocative of Hari, another name of Vishnu meaning "he who removes illusion", or as the vocative of Harā[5], a name of Rādhā, Krishna's eternal consort or Shakti. According to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Harā refers to "the energy of God" while Krishna and Rama refer to God himself, meaning "He who is All-Attractive" and "He who is the Source of All Pleasure".[6] Rama can also refer to Radha-Raman, another name of Krishna meaning beloved of Radha[7], or as a shortened form of Balarama, Krishna's first expansion.[8]

The mantra is repeated, either out loud (kirtan), softly to oneself (japa), or internally within the mind. Srila Prabhupada 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 Rath-Yatra of Lord Jaggan-Nathji in Puri.
 
At the height of Indian summer, right at the beginning of the Monsoon, the Lord of Puri goes to his garden palace for the annual summer vacation. Originally the festival has its foundation in the residents of Vrindavan bringing back their Lords, Krishna, Balaram and Lady Subhadra from Kurukshetra.

Today in Puri He, the Lord of the Universe travels in some style from his temple in Puri, to his garden temple, located outside the town centre called Gundicha. Thousands of Hindus flock to see, and to pull the grand chariots from one temple to the other. The English word "Jagannaut" comes from the giant chariots of Lord Jagannath of Puri. The British were so stunned by the size of the chariots, they coined a word for it!

In Puri, Lord Jagannath is worshipped with his elder brother Bala-Rama and his sister Subhadra. Each sibling has his / her own chariot and goes to the summer residence with great pomp. Each of the chariots is covered in distinctly coloured cloth. Various symbols and signs help pilgrims distinguish between the three gods. As a mark of respect, and humbleness, the king of Puri sweeps the chariots of the Gods of Puri. Festival begins with a huge fanfare of conches, trumpets, drums and cymbals. Accompanied by music and dancers, the divine travellers begin their journey to the garden temple.

In order to accommodate the three chariots, the street leading from the main temple to the garden temple is very wide. Temples, ashrams, hotels, inns, shops and mansions of the old aristocracy line the route. All buildings are colourfully decorated with flags, buntings and awnings of bright colours. Ladies in colourful saries crowd the balconies, doors and windows decked with flowers. Men and women rush to pull the chariots along this main street of Puri. This is an exciting time in Puri. The Lord who is rarely glimpsed outside his inner sanctum, is now easily accessible to everyone in the streets of Puri !

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, away from the innumerable temple servants, away from their spouses, the siblings enjoy their "Vrindavan-like" garden retreat. The temple routine in the garden temple is very much relaxed compared to the main temple. Various festivities and fun are planned for their short stay in this leafy abode. ( Depending on the lunar cycle, this festival can last anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks. )

As the Lord has only taken his brother and his sister on this holiday, the wives are left at home! Alone and brooding, Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), seeks help from Goddess Vimala to get their husband back. Travelling by night, in a closed palanquin, she arrives at the garden temple of the Lord. She enchants the Lord and entreats him to return.

A few days later, Lord returns to his city temple. Though delighted, goddess Lakshmi orders the temple doors to be shut in His face - in the vain hope of teaching Him a lesson! In the conversation that follows, female attendants (dev-dasi) of the Goddess blame the Lord of being inconsiderate, "Jack the Lad", taking His wife for granted and being far too easily led by the in-laws (sounds familiar?).

The mood of the sevaks in Puri is that Jagannath is their friend as opposed to Him being their Master, as in other lilas. In many cases the residents of Purushottam Sri Kshetra make many comparission with their own lives in dealing with Jagannath. These intimacies reflect the overall mood, and carry the tradition of heritage of Jagannath's original coming to Puri many thousands of years before and the wonderful pastimes of the saintly Indradyumna maharaj vision of the Lord, Visvavasu the Sabara's attachment to the Lord as Nila Madhav, and finally the mystical appearance of the Dharu-Brahma from which the first Deities were carved by the architect of the devas Vishvakarma, the mystical carrying of the log by the descendant of Visvavasu (Virabhadra) that many elephants and men could not budge. Such wonderful depictive pastimes make one's hair stand in horipulations at their recitation.

Today in Puri Lord's servants explain that He really had no choice, as they bring Him back that He went against His will, He still loves Her deeply and respects Her enormously!! Eventually, the Lord offers the female gate-keepers bribess and enters the inner sanctum to pacify the Goddess Lakshmi. Such are the dramas of a married man's life! The next day, Lord and the Goddess once again appear in the public, reconciled and as loving as ever. Lord's summer vacation is over, and life in the great temple returns to its age old routine.

Of all the festivals, the Ratha Yatra of Jagannatha is the most famous. This takes place on the second day of the waxing phase of the moon of the asadha month. Jagannatha ordered King Indradyumna to take him to his birth place, the Gundica Mandira (symbolically Vrindavana), on this day.

Jagannatha's ratha is marked with a cakra and garuda, is yellow in color, with four white horses. The protecting deity is Nrsimha.

Baladeva's cart is blue, with a palm tree insignia, and four black horses. The protecting deity is Sesa.

Subhadra's cart is black, with lotus insignia, protected by Vanadurga.

Sudarsana is carried out first and placed on Subhadra's cart. In succession Subhadra, Baladeva, and Jagannatha are moved to their carts using silk ropes. After being situated on their carts they are decorated and worshipped. Midway on the journey, the carts stop, the deities are bathed in pancamrta and cool water, and naivedyam and aratrika are offered. On arrival at the Gundica Mandira, aratrika is offered, and then the deities enter the temple for rest.

On the fifth day of the lunar month, called Hera (looking for) Pancami, Laksmi comes looking for Jagannatha with Siva and her maid servants. When the servants of Jagannatha see her at the first gate of the Gundica Mandira, they close the door of Jagannatha's bhoga mandira so that she cannot see him. She becomes angry and breaks a piece of Jagannatha's ratha. After taking a meal she returns to the main temple.

On the ninth day of the moon, the return Ratha Yatra takes place, and Laksmi and her servants come to meet Jagannatha. Jagannatha gives her his garland to appease her.

Several days later on dvadasi, Laksmi closes the temple doors in anger and her servants quarrel with Jagannatha's servants. After Jagannatha concedes defeat, the doors are opened again.

Such is the reverance, the fun, the mysticism, and overall bliss of Rathyatra in Jagannath Puri.

 
 
 

GOAL OF LIFE IS GOD-REALISATION

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  9. Advice to Sannyasins
  10. Approaching the Guru By Swami Paramananda.
  11. Ayurveda—Although Ancient It Can Be Ever New
  12. Ayurveda—Theory and Practice
  13. The Call of the Absolute Teachings from Swami Krishnananda.
  14. The Call of the Real
  15. Caste Problem in India by Swami Vivekananda.
  16. Creation
  17. Dare to give up the Illusion of Time A dialogue with Swami Krishnananda.
  18. Death
  19. The Destiny of Man by Swami Chidananda.
  20. The Divine Life An interview with Swami Chidananda on chastity.
  21. Do you aspire for God Realization? A talk by Swami Krishnananda.
  22. Dream
  23. Duty and Cosmic Will By Swami Sadananda.
  24. Encountering the Powers of Nature By Swami Krishnananda.
  25. The Four Sources of Knowledge
  26. Guru-Disciple By Swami Venkatesananda.
  27. Happiness
  28. The Individual Nature By Swami Krishnananda.
  29. Knowledge as Means to Freedom By Swami Krishnananda.
  30. May the Bell Ring Swami Krishnananda recounts a classic Indian tale.
  31. Memory-Culture
  32. New Year Message (1999) By Swami Chidananda.
  33. New Year Message (2003) By Swami Chidananda.
  34. The Ontological Arguments in Philosophy and Meditational Techniques By Swami Krishnananda.
  35. Peace
  36. Positive Aids to Peace of Mind By Sri N. Ananthanarayanan.
  37. Practical Way to Self-Realisation
  38. Pratyahara (Abstraction of the Senses)
  39. A Project of Education By Swami Krishnananda.
  40. Purity By Swami Krishnananda.
  41. Rays from the Light Fountain By Swami Chidananda.
  42. The Role of Spiritual Institutions and the Functions of the Divine Life Society
  43. Sandilya-Vidya (meditation on the immanence of God) By Swami Krishnananda.
  44. Science of Relaxation
  45. The Search For Happiness By Swami Krishnananda.
  46. Self-realisation an interview with Swami Chidananda.
  47. A Simple But Powerful Spiritual Practice By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  48. Sin
  49. Some Valuable Clues to Prosperity in the House By Swami Chidananda.
  50. Tantra Sadhana By Swami Krishnananda.
  51. Vegetarianism
  52. Why Do Sadhana? By Sri N.Ananthanarayanan.
  53. Yoga—What It Is and What It Is Not By Swami Chidananda.
  54. Yoga for Health, Happiness and World Peace By Swami Chidananda.

Religion, Science & Faith

  1. God
  2. Is Modern Science a Challenge to Religion? By Swami Krishnananda.
  3. Alice in Wonderland By Swami Krishnananda.
  4. God Exists
  5. Quotes of Albert Einstein on Spirituality
  6. Religion and Science
  7. Seven Reasons Why a Scientist Believes in God by A. Cressy Morrison, former President of the New York Academy of Sciences.
  8. The Royal Science of Brahma-Vidya
  9. The Search For Truth By Swami Krishnananda.

Concentration & Meditation

  1. Concentration
  2. How to Meditate By Swami Venkatesananda.
  3. The Meaning of Meditation By Swami Krishnananda.
  4. Meditation and its Utility in Daily Life With Practical Hints By Swami Premananda
  5. Mind Control By Swami Krishnananda.
  6. The Mysterious Mind and Its Control By Swami Chidananda.
  7. Practice of Meditation
  8. Preliminaries to Concentration
  9. Raja Yoga (The Path of Meditation)
  10. Signs of Progress in the Path of Meditation
  11. What Is Meditation? By Swami Shivapremananda.
  12. Why Meditate? By Swami Venkatesananda.
  13. Yoga and Meditation By Swami Krishnananda.

Early Morning Meditation Talks at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh

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  3. The Importance of Understanding By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  4. Be a Conscious Expression of God’s Will By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  5. From the Universal to the Universal By Swami Chidananda.
  6. The Subtle Awareness By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  7. You Are Unique but Not Special By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
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  10. Gurudev's Way By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  11. Tap the Infinite Source of Energy By Swami Chidananda.
  12. The Real Cause of Suffering By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
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  14. Be Master of the Mind and Intellect! By Swami Chidananda.
  15. Back Your Will with Effort By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  16. The Key to Effort By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  17. The Necessity of Joy By Swami Chidananda.
  18. Ram Navami By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  19. Freedom from Experiences By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  20. Abide in the Light By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  21. You Are That! By Swami Chidananda.
  22. The Essence of the Spiritual Life By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  23. Being Real By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  24. Persistence and Surrender By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  25. We Are the Ultimate Knower By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  26. Always Be Positive! By Swami Chidananda.
  27. Why Do We Not Surrender? By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  28. The Wonderful News of Non-duality By Swami Chidananda.
  29. Be Like Babes By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  30. The Best New Year Resolution By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  31. Perseverance and Aspiration Leads to Success By Swami Chidananda.
  32. True Success By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  33. Spirituality Means Being Willing to Change Moment by Moment By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  34. The Good News By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  35. It Is Possible To Be in the World Yet Dwell in God! By Swami Chidananda.
  36. Spirituality Means Willingness to Change By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  37. The Right Bhav By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  38. The Rationale Behind Prayer By Swami Chidananda.
  39. Change Now! By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  40. Practise Your Conviction By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  41. Looking at Problems from a Different Angle of Vision By Swami Chidananda.
  42. The Path and the Goal Are the Same By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  43. The Practice of Truth By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  44. God Is Present in the Midst of the Human Condition By Swami Chidananda.
  45. Testing Our Spiritual Life By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  46. A New Angle of Vision By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  47. Purposefully Direct the Power Potential Within By Swami Chidananda.
  48. Affirm the Reality Wherever We Are At! By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  49. The Need for Both Dispassion and Practice By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  50. Take Refuge NOW! By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  51. The World Is Not Our Enemy! By Swami Chidananda.
  52. Our World Viewpoint By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  53. We Want Two Identities By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  54. What is Knowledge Doing for Us? By Swami Chidananda.
  55. "That’s Enough" By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  56. Living With Spiritual Paradoxes By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  57. The Best Part of Knowledge By Swami Chidananda. 
  58. The Guru is Spirit By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  59. Understanding and Controlling the Mind By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  60. Recognising the Manifestations of Ego By Swami Atmaswarupananda.
  61. The Thing To Be Known By Swami Chidananda.