Acaryas’ Meaning of the Maha-mantra
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
The sastras state that chanting mantras and harinama will not give the full benefit unless one knows the meanings of the mantras. One may derive the results of bhukti (sense enjoyment) or even mukti, but he will not attain krṣṇa-prema. While chanting japa a progressive devotee will always try to remember the meanings of the maha-mantra given by the great acaryas like Gopal Guru Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada. Conceptions of the mahā-mantra vary according to the different levels of spiritual consciousness. Each devotee will develop a personal conception of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra based on the instructions of his spiritual master and his own realizations.
Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda confirms this point: “Those on the bhāva platform may discover their own particular mood within the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and taste rasa in every līlā.” (Harinama-cintamani)
This section presents bonafide transcendental conceptions of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, which may reflect the reader’s existing conception, or create and inspire a new idea. In this japa technique, one chants the maha-mantra while meditating upon the different meanings given here.
An excerpt from the book Art of Chanting
Hare Krishna Swami Maharaj
I have about about chanting th holy name
1) There are 2 different terns are used first is kirtan and second is Mantra in bhakti rasamarit sindu
When we take naam it is in kirtan catagory
And when we chant kama Gayatri or Gopal mantra it is in mantra
Then when we hare Krishna maha mantra
Is is in kirtan or mantra we are chanting?