Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

In the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, what does ‘Hare’ mean?

By on July 2, 2016 in Insights with 24 Comments

Meaning-Of-HareQuestion to Radhanath Swami: In the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, what does ‘Hare’ mean?

Radhanath Swami Answers: ‘Hari’ is a name of Krishna. ‘Hari’ means one who steals our hearts by his all attractive, all beautiful, and all loving qualities. And ‘Hare’ is a calling for ‘Hara’. Hara is the feminine aspect of God. In many traditions, both in the East and in the West, especially in the more mystical depths of their philosophy, there is the concept of feminine divinity. And in India the male and female aspects of the divine are inseparable. Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Laxmi-Narayan, and within the cosmic context Parvati-Shiva. These are all ways of expressing the same one truth, the male and the female aspects of God.

The female aspect of God is the supreme mother of all living beings, the male aspect is the supreme father. And the love they share for one another is the origin of all love, in all of existence. And Hara is the name of that feminine potency who in my tradition we call Radha. And as the divine mother she is the ultimate fountainhead or the source of grace, of compassion, of forgiveness. And it is through these gifts that we can awaken our true love for the divine or for God.

So we first approach Hare, ‘O my supreme beloved mother, O Radha’. And ‘Krishna’ means the all-attractive one, one who eternally processes complete beauty, knowledge, fame, wealth and humility and renunciation.


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