Hare Krishna mantra

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The Hare Krishna mantra is the name of the most famous mantra of Gaudiya Vaishnava and is particularly known in the West through Hare Krishna followers. It is also called mahamantra ("great mantra").


Hare Krishna mantra in Sanskrit in Devanagari script

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण
कृष्ण हरे हरे हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

In more recent traditions, such as the Hare Krishna, both verses are sometimes rearranged.

The mantra is an invocation of two manifestations of the god Vishnu : Krishna and Rama . The names are in the vocative . Hare is the inflection of both Vishnu's epithet Hari and Harā . The latter is an epithet of Krishna's beloved, Radha , through whose invocation the feminine energy of God, called Shakti , is extolled.


The mantra is first recorded in the Kalisantarana Upanishad , a collection of Hindu philosophical writings. After this it was proclaimed and explained by Brahma the sage Narada at the beginning of Kaliyuga . The mantra was widely used in India by the Bengali saint Chaitanya (1486–1533), founder of Gaudiya Vishnuism , and became known in the West in the 20th century through ISKCON .

Pop Culture

The piece Be-in in the musical Hair is based on the Hare Krishna mantra. It also sounds in the background of the song My Sweet Lord by George Harrison , which took first place in several charts in 1970/71 . The German singer Nina Hagen sings the mantra in the song I love Paul and in the song Hare Krsna Hare Rama! on the CD Om namah Shivay! . Boy George uses the mantra in his song Bow Down Mister . In Stevie Wonder's song Pastime Paradise , the mantra is also sung. The doctors use the mantra in the song "Ewige Blumenkraft" on the single "Forever". The performance collective HGich.T also mentions the mantra in their song Tutenchamun , and the band Bilderbuch in their song LED go .