Questions

Sometimes during kirtan, we hear it a bit frequently; some devotees tend to glorify ‘Radha Radha Radha’ or ‘Vrindavan me Radhe Radhe Radhe’ and so on. This song is very popular amongst devotees, we also hear devotees sing similar types of mantras during kirtan. Please could you give some light on this?

You know the name of Srimati Radharani and just Srimati Radharani is so sacred, so sort of incomprehensibly sacred, incomprehensibly from the conditioned souls’ perspective that in Srimad Bhagavatam, Her name is not mentioned and indeed She is not actually mentioned directly. Indirectly there is reference on a few occasions to some “very special Gopi said something” and some of our acaryas like Srila Visvanatha Chakravati Thakur in some of those cases, they’ve explained ‘he is referring to Srimati Radharani here’, but otherwise She is so sacred that Her name isn’t mentioned and She isn’t mentioned. So we follow Srimad Bhagavatam, it is our main scripture, really. Therefore, we generally don’t say much about Radharani, we say something.

As far as kirtan, there are so many kirtans recorded of Srila Prabhupada, there are many. You never find in any one of them, he mentions Radharani. You know there’s ‘Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna’ (Sri Vraja dhama mahimamrta), Srila Prabhupada sung that a couple of times, different melodies, I think there are two recordings. Otherwise you know this ‘Jaya Radhe Jaya Radhe Jaya Radhe’ Prabhupada actually never did that. So bearing that in mind, the GBC Body a few years ago, 2 or 3 years ago, made a ruling that except for on Radhastami, except for that, devotees should not really chant the name of Srimati Radharani and even on Radhastami, it should be done in a respectable way and not in the sort of loose and very informal type of way.

When Srila Prabhupada was in Vrindavan, like walking around Vrindavan, Srila Prabhupada didn’t say ‘Jai Radhe’ back to those who greeted with ‘Radhe Radhe’ or ‘Jai Radhe’, Prabhupada said Hare Krishna. What I do, when I move in Vrindavan sometimes, well I was just there, people would say ‘Radhe Radhe’ to me personally, I say back ‘Radhe Shyam’. It is the same basically as Hare Krishna.

There are purports where Prabhupada points out that in Vrindavan people say ‘Jai Radhe’ etc, Prabhupada says this is nice, but he didn’t. He never did it, ever. We follow Srila Prabhupada. We follow his example. So that is basically what I would say on that subject.

When we chant Hare Krishna:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

That ‘Hare’ is Srimati Radharani, we are actually saying:
Radha Krishna Radha Krishna Krishna Krishna Radha Radha

That is actually what we are saying. But Hare is in the vocative case grammatically. Vocative means we are appealing to Them, addressing Them. O’ Shyamachandra!
In Vocative, when you are addressing someone, “O” like trying to attract their attention then if the noun, in the case of the feminine noun, Hara is Hare in the vocative. A feminine noun ending with ‘a’ in the vocative, the ‘a’ becomes ‘e’.

‘Hare Krishna’ is an appeal to Radharani therefore it is a little different from just ‘Radha Krishna’ It is an appeal to Radharani and there is a specific meaning to it.

Hara is like a request: Please engage me in service. And in the vocative it is: Oh please! It is an appeal. ‘Oh, please engage me in service’
So ‘Hare Krishna’ is very nice because it is not just the names of Radha and Krishna but it is the name of Radharani in the particular mood of appealing for service. Therefore ‘Hare Krishna’ is the Maha mantra.

‘Radha Krishna’ and ‘Radhe Shyam’ are just names of the Lord. There is nothing wrong with it but here is an example:

hari haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah

These are just names of the Lord, where we are offering our obeisances. So it’s nice, what can be wrong with it? But ‘Hare Krishna’ is different and special because it is an appeal: “Please engage me in your service”. Therefore it is particularly important because we need to be engaged in service. If you can’t be engaged in service, then it won’t work. We won’t be able to progress. When we chant everyday, 16 rounds or more means so many times: 16 X 108 = 1728, we are appealing to Krishna: ‘Please engage me in your service, please engage me in your service, please engage me in your service…’

If someone was to say to you, 1728 mantras and each time it’s an appeal: ‘Please engage me in your service, please engage me in your service’, if someone said to you 1728 times “Please engage me in your service” you would get the message wouldn’t you? If someone was just again and again and again, everyday, asking you for some service; you would give them service, wouldn’t you? You can’t just go on hearing that and not respond. It is out of the question. So therefore if we chant nicely and actually pronounce nicely, we chant the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra.

Prabhupada once caught a devotee chanting ‘Snick Snick Ram Ram Gey Gey Gey’, Srila Prabhupada heard this and Prabhupada said, ‘What is this ‘Snick Snick’. Prabhupada said, “Are you trying to get the mercy of ‘Snick’. Do you want to go to ‘Snick-loka’?”

There are different popular wrong ways to chant Hare Krishna that are not uncommon. That is one of them. Let me tell you of another.

We speak of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, sometimes some devotees chant the Hare Krishna mini-mantra. There are different varieties, it is quite varied.
This is the mini mantra, one version: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Hare

There is also the Hare Krishna maxi-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Hare Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Hare

But we should chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra that goes:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

So yes, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is special because it is glorification but it is not just glorification, it is a very specific appeal and not just any appeal, but an appeal for service.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *