How to chant Hare Krsna

Pundit Roshan Singh (Rohininandan das)

How to chant on beads

Bhakti yoga practice includes chanting the Hare Krishna mantra softly to oneself. This is called japa.

While chanting, you’ll keep the sacred japa beads in a bead bag to keep them clean and off the floor. One side of the bag is large enough to insert your hand. Your index finger comes out of the smaller hole on the other side, to help you hold on to the bag. Place your beads in the bag, and you’re ready to go.

Chanting “Rounds”

Bhakti yoga practitioners decide on a minimum number of mantras they want to chant each day. The main purpose of the beads is to keep track of the number of mantras chanted. Fingering the beads also engages your sense of touch and helps to focus your mind on the activity of chanting.

There are 108 beads and one larger bead, known as the head bead, or Krishna bead. Begin with the bead next to the Krishna bead. Gently roll the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand while chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Then move forward to the next bead (pulling the bead towards you, into your hand) and repeat the mantra.

In this way, continue chanting on each of the 108 beads in the strand until you again reach the Krishna bead. This is known as one round of japa and usually takes from six to ten minutes.

It is beneficial to chant the Pancha-tattva mantra before beginning your japa meditation. Many people like to chant it before each round. This is a prayer to Krishna’s most merciful avatar, Lord Chaitanya and His associates, to help us become ecstatic and avoid offenses while chanting.

sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu-nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara
srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda

“I offer my obeisances to Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion.”

If you are going to chant more than one round of japa, then, without chanting on the Krishna bead, turn the strand around and begin the next round. (Continue pulling beads towards you, as before. Watch our helpful demonstration video: How to Practice Japa Mantra Meditation.)

If you have a string of counter beads tied to your bead bag, you can keep track of the number of rounds you have chanted by moving one counter bead for each round.

Chant clearly and try to hear the holy names with attention. Some chanters find that looking at the mantra or a picture of Krishna helps them concentrate. If that works for you, that’s fine. But remember that the goal is attentive hearing.

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Pundit Roshan Singh

Pundit Roshan Singh is a renowned and highly respected Priest. He is an ordained Pundit who has studied under various spiritual masters and teachers of India and has been initiated by His Holiness Krishna Das Swami Maharaj. He personally met and was inspired by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON. He has had personal association and was inspired by His Holiness Swami Sahajanandaji Maharaj of the Divine Life Society and His Holiness Swami Shivpadananda the spiritual head of the Rama Krishna centre. He has an uncanny depth of knowledge of most of the scriptures of many religions of the world especially the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic Scriptures. His discourses on National TV, Radio and articles in the media have always been well received by the community. He is a qualified Jyotish Astrologer and a well experienced Health Care Practitioner. It is his upright and flawless character that has endeared him to both young and the old alike. Every persons leaves him well satisfied with the love, care and support that he has to offer them in aiding them to lead a better way of life.

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