There are two types of mantra meditation: japa and kirtan. Japa is a personal and quiet meditation, whereas kirtan is a group meditation, often involving musical accompaniment. The core practice of Krishna Consciousness is the chanting of the names of God in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra:
Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is one of the most joyful and effective means of meditation for deepening our consciousness and relationship with God, Krishna.
The three words of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra (great mantra) are explained as follows:
1. Hare: from the Sanskrit root Hṛ (pronounced Hri), can either be a direct address to Hari, ‘the Lord who takes away our suffering,’ or it can be a direct address to Harā, the supreme feminine aspect of the Absolute Truth.
2. Krishna: ‘Kṛṣ’ (pronounced Krish) is a Sanskrit verbal root meaning ‘to attract’ and ‘na’ is an abbreviation of ‘nand’, meaning that which gives pleasure. Thus Krishna means ‘God, who is infinitely attractive, and the source of all pleasure.’
3. Rama: from the Sanskrit root ‘Ram’, also indicates that God is the source of spiritual pleasure.
Supportive relationships within a spiritual community are an essential ingredient for spiritual growth, because they bolster and inspire us in our spiritual journeys. Such spiritual fellowship offers deep and valuable insights from seasoned practitioners as well as opportunities to build meaningful and lasting friendships with like-minded people.
Whether you’re a dedicated practitioner of Krishna Consciousness, a spiritual seeker, a fiery ‘philosophe’, a meditation junkie, a spirited activist, a social reformer, or just plain curious, Krishna West London offers a space for everyone to come together and explore spiritual knowledge and practice. We hold regular seminars, meet-ups and interactive discussions both in person and online, and we warmly invite you to find out more and participate alongside fellow seekers toward a joyful, rational, and fulfilling spiritual life.
The practice of Krishna Consciousness is guided by sacred texts with authorised commentaries from an unbroken chain of realised teachers. By studying and reflecting upon the unrivaled wisdom found in the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and other Vedic texts, we tap into an ocean of transcendental knowledge that propels us on our journey of self-discovery. With a heightened understanding of ourselves, our relationship with God and our place in the world, we gain clarity of purpose, contentment in relationships and the empowerment to reach our fullest potential. In so doing, we not only benefit ourselves, but we also contribute toward a better world.
Vegetarian and vegan food becomes spiritualised and karma-free when it is offered back to God, the Absolute Provider, with love and devotion. This simple yet sublime practice deeply nourishes both the body and soul by cultivating the qualities of gratitude, compassion, and non-violence in one’s character. When done for someone we love, the simple act of cooking becomes an act of devotion. Similarly, by cooking with devotion to God, and offering the food to the Divine before we partake, we free ourselves from karma, advance spiritually, and sanctify our bodies. Moreover, by eating karma-free vegan/vegetarian food, we support the ultimate well-being of ourselves and the environment.