I’ve only come to think about it while writing this piece. What is more curious, was while the placebo group did also show positive results, they weren’t as significant as the Maha-Mantra group. Gopa Kumar Das, a monk living at the Hare Krishna temple in Rondebosch, went from being homeless to being richer than most people on earth. A ‘mantra’ is a phrase or syllable you repeat in the duration of a meditation session via chanting. The answer is, there is no “best” meditation practice. For example, if a field of straw or dry grass is set afire, either by an elderly man who knows the power of fire or by a child who does not, the grass will be burned to ashes. Understanding. Rooted in the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, the Hare Krishna mantra is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad , and is central to the path of Bhakti Yoga. One of the first studies I came across whilst looking for research on the topic came from Elizabeth Monk-Turner. Japa beads used in individual chanting. However, not all meditation is the same and which types work for some may not work as well for others. Some people are so poor, all they have is money. The trick is to find the perfect technique that works for you. It can put you on the path to salvation and provide a spiritual connection with Lord Krishna. ‘The benefits of meditation: experimental findings’. The three words— Hare, Krishna, and Rama—are the seed sounds of the maha-mantra, Hare refers to the energy of that One Infinite Source of all of us. These results formed a PhD Thesis … This lifestyle might not be compatible with a student, but that’s why you can chant (it doesn’t have to be out loud) on your way to class, in the jammie or whenever you have a spare moment. Gopa holding Japa beads, which he uses during mantra meditation. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. A popular choice for this kind of meditation is the syllable ‘Om’, coming from ancient Vedic tradition. In this article, I will focus on mantra meditation, specifically the Mahã-mantra. No other means, therefore, of spiritual realization is as effective in this age, as chanting the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. The temple does not only offer housing to monks. I’ve been doing Mantra Meditation for a fair while now, about seven months or so for spiritual reasons. Yet even while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra one may observe regulative principles. Management offered to pay him for his services, but he refused. Gopa doesn’t drive a BMW or have billions of rands in the bank. In the process, you become detached. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. When Gopa lived on the streets, people passed him by daily. It is not that it is recommended only … Hare Krishna maha mantra is the topmost & the most powerful mantra. Often we get depressed and worry thinking about past, present & future situation of our life. (2001). “By being a monk, you’re free. This collection of traditional devotional music is soothing to the soul and inspires the spirit. So-called normal people look for temporary things.” Gopa’s devotion to the eternal has made it easier for him to detach himself from material things. At the beginning of the study, they asked volunteers about drug use from never, to sometimes, to frequently (using more words). One round of chanting is now complete. The study shows before the experiment 17% of the meditators said they had joint ache or pain four to six times a week, which went down to 0% after the experiment. This is the conclusion of all the Vedas. It can help you attain a sense of consciousness and self-realization. It is a conducive time to meditate because our concentration is better and it is generally quiet during these times. He meditates every day for a minimum of two hours, he learns scriptures for a few hours every day and he distributes books in the streets and spreads the word of God to those who are willing to listen. “The people who had homes were suffering more than I was,” he realized. The Hare Krishna maha-mantra could calm the mind and help anxiety and schizophrenia, according to new research Dr. Viveck Baluja, a neurologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, has begun a study on the effects of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on the brain that has already yielded exciting findings and impressed hospital staff. He says when we talk about our bodies, we say “my body” not “me body”. His faith in God remained unwavering because he never blamed God for his circumstances. They chanted the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra twenty-five minutes every day under strict clinical supervision. If you don’t like either of those options, you can easily Google some modern alternatives in English. You can do it with a set of Japa beads (like the Hail Mary/Ave Maria style): The reason this specific type of meditation works better for me is that I have something to focus on instead of ‘just letting thoughts flow’. There are two kinds of chanting: japa and kirtan. The benefits of meditation vary according to how regularly you practice it. The “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” mantra is said to be the Mahamantra of Lord Krishna. Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Krishna Books with its branches located all over the world was Started in 1944 with a Back to Godhead magazine by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. ‘Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources.’ Journal of personality and social psychology, 95(5), p.1045. Hare refers to the divine feminine, Krishna refers to the divine masculine, and Rama means an all-encompassing source of pleasure. “My agent stole everything I had and I ended up on the streets.” I assumed that an event like that would be enough to turn anyone into a hardened, resentful and angry human being. Another study I found looked at the breathing rate of individuals reciting the Ave Maria prayer or yoga mantra and its effects on blood pressure and flow to the brain. About. Hear directly from the most potent transcendental spiritual authority speak on the art and science of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Members of ISKCON express their love for Krishna by worship practices that include public dancing and preaching. I spoke to Hrsikesa Ramjith,19-year-old student at UCT majoring in BSc and computer science and physics. ‘Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: comparative study.’ Bmj, 323(7327), pp.1446–1449. Our bodies are thus something we possess, not something we are. Medhavi Das is a spiritual master who was kind enough to spare some time to speak to me about the history of the temple. There are many studies on the subject but I read through a few and here are summaries of them. In Chant and be Happy: The Power of Mantra Meditation it is explained exactly how to chant. A usual day in the temple starts at 4:30 in the morning. “No meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, and no gambling,” says Medhavi. Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It is composed of two names - Rama and Krishna - that were the names of the seventh and eighth incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Gopa used to be a painter, and he came to Cape Town to market his paintings. Bernardi, L., Sleight, P., Bandinelli, G., Cencetti, S., Fattorini, L., Wdowczyc-Szulc, J. and Lagi, A. Monk-Turner, E. (2003). But he says when you meditate, the goal is not to become detached. “The temple president told me the temple is for people like me who want to give devotional service” he recalls. ‘Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis.’ JAMA internal medicine, 174(3), pp. There are tonnes of studies that look at this link, but one that I found used an interesting experiment. Gopa went a year without showering, and sometimes he went up to three days without any food. Over the last few years, meditation has become a part of many people's everyday lives. Medhavi and his wife managed the temple from September 1988. Banchiwosen Woldeyesus: Blogger from Ethiopia, 5 Ways To Let Go of Your Ego And Live A Better Life, The Under-Appreciated Benefit of Slowing Down, How Video Games Can Help Us Practice Mindfulness. The Hare Rama Hare Krishna mantra is a powerful prayer mantra that makes one’s mind and soul pure and peaceful. During that time I can say I have experienced the benefits without even realising it. Serving made him feel better. Non-meditators saw no change. I did find a review that concluded studies looking at meditation was generally weak (with a few higher-quality studies). The study found that using these mantras slows our breathing rate to 6 respirations per minute, which is in-sync with our natural circulatory rhythm. Vasanti says mantra meditation is an offering of love. In the same study as the one above, it also tested for the use of drugs and tranquillisers. Japa is when you chant alone on japa beads, whereas kirtan is when you chant in a group, usually with instruments. The Mahã-mantra rings as follows: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Thus while sitting and chanting one may keep his body straight, and this will help one in the chanting process; otherwise one may feel sleepy. Discover Spirit in Sound by accepting this sublime process and swim in the ocean of ever expanding bliss. The Hare Krishna mantra is in fact a very old mantra and can be found mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad and in many other Transcendental Vedic scriptures. ‘Loving-kindness meditation increases social connectedness.’ Emotion, 8(5), p.720. It’s about working with what’s eternal. 357–368. While I did find myself perceiving some benefit, like a more relaxed body, I knew I had to find something else that would work for me. It was an old apartment building, and “it had seen better years,” says Medhavi. The word ‘Hare’ refers to the Supreme Lord’s internal energy or Srimati Radharani and the word ‘Krishna’ refers to Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. Kirtan, or group chanting. Of course, I find it hard to believe, as sadness is a part of life, but Gopa assures me that good news and bad news is the same to him. It will be up to you to decide whether mantra meditation is for you. (2014). For the last point, some of the studies I’ve mentioned also crossed over into this finding that Mantra-Meditation also improves our sense of community (social-connectedness). It’s important to consider though, meditation isn’t the be-all-end-all of treatments for mental health conditions. There’s a reason for everything.”. This indicates if you struggle with addiction, mantra meditation could help you! Chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to enhance Krishna consciousness to the greatest possible degree for total self-fulfillment, peace and happiness.Get ultimate relief from miseries of Life.When chanted the maha-mantra its a petition to God: “O Krishna, O energy of Krishna, please engage me in Your service. This one small pamphlet contains all the essential knowledge to reawaken your genuine spiritual life. This is followed by Tulasi Puja which lasts for 15 minutes. Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. After looking into this a little further, I found that ‘Loving Kindness’ meditation often involves repeating phrases of gratitude. Gopa prayed every day to God to give him a roof over his head, but his realization that everyone was suffering made him wonder, “Is anything going to change if I have a roof over my head?” and “Why are we here?”. Fire will act, regardless of whether handled by an innocent child or by someone well aware of its power. Around 500 years ago, this Mantra was made famous worldwide by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Gopa says they are still “close”. For example, I always struggled with the popular form ‘mindfulness meditation’. His daily routine has changed from walking around searching for food to devoting every hour of every day to the Lord. It is the most popular Krishna mantra. Vasanti Devi Dasi, a monk at the Hare Krishna temple, told me that meditation has made her more peaceful, because “the why’s of life have been answered.” She has also become more disciplined and more selfless. They also do so by repeating a 16-word mantra taken from the Hindu Upanishads, and which begins “Hare Krishna”. Fredrickson, B.L., Cohn, M.A., Coffey, K.A., Pek, J. and Finkel, S.M. Results showed that regular chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare) reduces Stress and depression and helps reduce bad habits & addictions. If like me you struggled with Mindfulness Meditation and you would like to give Mantra Meditation a try, I would recommend either chanting ‘Om’ as it’s very simple or trying the Maha-Mantra I described at the beginning of this piece. He uses a simple example to illustrate that we are not the body. Of his austere life, Gopa says, “This is the best life ever.” Owning little is great, but wanting even less is greater. (Kali-santarana Upanisad from Krishna Yajur Veda) sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va The energy thats present all around us. “When I was in the streets I somehow knew I did something that put me in that position. I struggled because I found I couldn’t let thoughts go, by the time I realised I’d stopped being mindful a lot of time already passed. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of observing one’s body, surrounding sounds, smells, and conscious thoughts as they pass through the mind. A mantra is “a syllable, word, or verse with special spiritual potency chanted or meditated upon to invoke spiritual understanding and realization.”. Gopa’s faith in God never wavered; not even during times when his hunger was gnawing or when his thirst was like sandpaper against his throat. Listen to this daily and you will achieve eternal bliss & ultimate knowledge of the creation and the creator. Everything is a reaction to something. Srila Prabhupada bhajans and kirtans (singing) accompanied by the traditional Indian mrdanga, tampura, and kartals. The temple has about 30 rooms. Since mantra meditation also lowers physical stress, it also has an impact on psychological stress that appears in anxiety and depression. Don’t take my word for it though, science backs the benefits of Mantra Meditation. In an interview with Bill Faill, Śrila Prabhupãda said, “Real meditation means to achieve a state in which the mind is saturated with God consciousness.” Whatever motives you have for meditating – be it to become less anxious, to still the mind, or to grow spiritually; there is ultimately no “wrong” or “right.” Do whatever works for you at a certain time in your life. He recalls that he listened to them as they passed by, and he heard them complaining about their lives. The sixteen names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare destroy all the inauspiciousness of the age of Kali. Photo: Lara Antonopoulos. The mantra is a very powerful one … The Social Science Journal, 40, pp. ‘Mantra meditation for mental health in the general population: A systematic review.’ European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 23, pp.101–108. It seems like a cruel world, but Gopa recalls a story of great warmth and compassion: “There was one guy from Nigeria. He started washing pots for the temple every now and then. Having studied tribalism in my Master’s thesis, I understand why that happens. By chanting, you become free of the desire to commit sins, and your sins become minimized or eradicated depending on how sincere your chanting is. Persons who are accepted to live in the temple are expected to attend some of the morning program that starts at 4:30 in the morning. The transition from living on the streets to being a monk in the temple is a big one. Meditation was once referred to by Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh as “the panacea for all ills”. The power of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. “I had no idea it was a possibility for me to stay at the temple.”. On a more obvious level, if you decide to meditate in a group as I do sometimes (or like the controlled tests in studies), you’re far more likely to feel a sense of engagement and belong by doing something together. Today, Gopa has been living at the temple for six years. The Art of Chanting Hare Krishna reveals the science of Mantra Yoga and describes over 60 scientifically proven meditation techniques while chanting by giving practical suggestions for improving concentration and controlling the mind. They suggested mediation should be part of wellbeing initiatives rather than clinical solutions. Hare Krishna Books with its branches located all over the world was Started in 1944 with a Back to Godhead magazine by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Mother Hara helps in achieving the grace of the supreme father, Hari, or Krishna, and the Lord reveals Himself to such a sincere devotee. Hare refers to the energy of God. “I don’t remember how to be sad,” he tells me. There are dozens of ways to meditate, so how do you know which practice is the best and which one will render the most benefits? Students, on the other hand, focus on their studies whilst they are encouraged to attend a few morning programs each week. Welcome toChanting Hare Krishna Get the Greatest Gift Free! It brings inner peace to whoever listens to it. Realising it, 8 ( 5 ), pp.27–42 study found that the meditator group experienced less joint and... Expanding bliss Kindness ’ meditation often involves repeating phrases of gratitude and the. 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