Category Archives: Practices In ISKCON

Tulasi Plant

Q. Why do you worship Tulasi plant?

A. Worshiping Krishna’s devotees is an essential feature of devotion to Him. Sometimes great devotees appear in forms other than the human form. One such devotee, whose worship is central to the worship of Krishna, is Tulasi. She serves Krishna in the form of a plant, and devotees worship her in that form. Full of love for Krishna, she can give it to others.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.19) explains the special position of the Tulasi plant: “Although there are numerous flowering plants full of transcendental fragrance in the spiritual realm, they are aware that Tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with Tulasi leaves.”  Continue reading Tulasi Plant

Sannyas to ladies

Q. Why matajis cannot take sannyasam?


A. The Vedic scriptures recommend that a woman needs to be protected during all stages of  her life: by her father during childhood, by her husband during youth and by her grown up son during old age. Otherwise, if she is let alone, she will be mistreated and exploited by unscrupulous men. Especially in Kali-yuga, because men are not trained how to respectfully treat a woman, women are all the more vulnerable. This is evident from the rising number crimes committed against them. Women are also easily fooled to think they have become independent.

Therefore the Vedas forbid women to take sannyasa. She simply needs to follow her husband and assist him in his spiritual duties. In fact, this is a blessing on her because without undergoing any of the strict rules a man is expected to follow to achieve perfection, a woman can achieve the same position simply by following her husband.

Pure name of Krishna

Q. How for levels of sound vaikhar• v•k, madhyam• v•k , paœiant• v•k and p•r•vak relate to the progressive chanting towards to the pure Name of Krishna?

A. Generally, the scriptures declare that upamsu-japa (chanting softly, inaudible to others) is one thousand times better vaikhari-japa (verbal chanting, audible to others, not shouting). However, manasic-japa (silent mental chanting) is ten million times better than loud chanting. Continue reading Pure name of Krishna

Difference between heart and soul

1. What is the difference between heart and soul?

1. It seems you wish to know the difference between heart and soul. Soul is the life or consciousness that we see in a living body. Soul is the real person, the individual, who animates the body. When we say “I” or “You,” we are actually referring to the soul in that body. The body is simply a dress that covers the soul.
Heart is the region of the body where the soul is located.

Meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra

Q. “What is the exact meaning of Ram and Hare in mahamantra?
If Ram is Lord Ram then how we are connecting Radha’s name with Ram?”

A. Krishna and Ram are addressed to the Supreme Lord in Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
‘Krishna’ meaning the ‘all-attractive’ and ‘Ram’ means the ‘reservoir of all-pleasure’.
‘Hara’ is the pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord, termed as ‘Hare’ in vocative.
So the meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord, who is all-attractive and reservoir of all-pleasure to enagage us in His loving devotional service.
Some other places, Srila Prabhupada refers ‘Ram’ to Lord Balaram and sometimes Lord Nityananda.

Chanting in streets

Q. Why do you chant in the streets?

A. Most scriptures of the world, and particularly the Vedas, extol the chanting of God’s names as a powerful means of spiritual realization. Someone who enjoys their spiritual life naturally feels inclined to share it with others. This enthusiasm caused the founder of ISKCON to not only teach Krishna consciousness, but to organize his early students as a formal society for the purpose of teaching others. Devotees of Krishna, therefore will often be found in public places performing sankirtana, by chanting with musical instruments, as introduced by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago.

Mantra meditation

Q. Do you meditate?

A. Members of the Hare Krishna movement practice mantra meditation. In Sanskrit, manah means ‘mind’ and tra means ‘freeing’. So a mantra is a combination of words that is meant to relieve the mind of anxieties arising from worldly entanglement. Vedic literature compares the mind to a mirror, and our present state of spiritual forgetfulness to a mirror which has accumulated dust. Mantra meditation clears the dust from the mirror of the mind so that we can see our original self. When our spiritual nature is inwardly perceived, then the anxieties caused by illusion cease, and we experience spiritual happiness.

Meaning of Hare Krishna

Q. What does Hare Krishna mean?

A. ‘Hare Krishna’ refers to the Sanskrit prayer we sing (the maha-mantra, or ‘great chant for deliverance’) and to our group. Since we are often seen chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, we are referred to as the ‘Hare Krishnas’.

Srila Prabhupada came to the United States from India in 1965 to introduce the Western world to bhakti-yoga, which features the chanting of Hare Krishna as its main spiritual practice.
Srila Prabhupada represents a lineage of teachers dating back into antiquity, but which was revitalized 500 years ago by the incarnation of God named Lord Chaitanya.

The voluminous Vedic scriptures of India contain everything we need to know about how to live happily in the world while we realize our spirituality and our relationship with God. These scriptures describe many methods of spiritual attainment, but they specifically recommend the chanting of Hare Krishna as the most effective method of God realization for the time we live in.

Since God is unlimited, He has unlimited names with different purposes and meanings. The purpose of the Hare Krishna prayer is to awaken us to our eternal nature as servants and lovers of Krishna.

The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of three Sanskrit words: Krishna, Rama and Hare. Krishna and Rama are both names for God. Krishna means “the all-attractive,” and Rama means “the supreme pleasure.” We can approach the all-attractive Supreme Lord, and experience the supreme pleasure of His company, through the help of His devotional or pleasure energy, Hare.

Placed together the words of the prayer mean “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your loving service”. By chanting Hare Krishna we become purified of material conditioning and become reinstated in our normal eternal position.

16 rounds

Why do you chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and why specifically 16 rounds?


There are four yugas i.e. Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kaliyuga and for every yuga a specific process has been recommended in the scriptures for self realization.

Satyayuga – Meditation
Tretayuga – Yajna (sacrifice)
Dwaparyuga – Deity worship
Kaliyuga – Harinaam sankirtan (congregational chanting)

The scripture Kali Santaran Upanishad mentions the specific Mahamantra (comprising of the Holy name of the Lord) i.e. “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” to be chanted as the only process required for self realization in Kaliyuga.

Moreover, this Mahamantra has been given by Lord Chaitanya who is none other than Lord Krishna himself. So as followers of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we chant this Mahamantra.

Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of ISKCON always recommended that we should chant the whole day. But seeing the restless nature and hectic lifestyle of the present yuga he mercifully reduced it to 16 rounds.