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Rama Tapaniya Upanisad
(3) The meaning of the word ‘Rama’:
The Rama-tapaniyopanisad, 1.6 states:
ramante yogino ’nante, satyanande cid-atmani;
iti rama-padenasau, param brahmabhidhiyate.
“The yogis take pleasure in the unlimited Supreme Lord who is existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. Therefore He is known as the Param Brahman and is also called Rama.”
shri-radham ramayan nityam rama ity abhidhiyate.
“Krishna is also known as ‘Rama’ because the bliss of the conjugal mellow of pure love is the very essence of His being, because He is the titulary deity of loving sports incarnate, and because He brings pleasure to His eternal consort Shrimati Radharani.”
ramayaty anisham rupa-lavanyair vraja-yoshitam;
manah-pancendriyaniha ramas tasmat parikirtitah.
“Krishna is glorified by the name ‘Rama’ because He constantly causes the Vraja cowherd women’s minds and senses to enjoy the charms of His form and beauty.”
Thakura Bhaktivinoda in Shri Bhajana-Rahasya:
adi ‘hare krishna’-artha avidya-damana
shraddhara sahita krishna-nama-sankirtana
“The meaning of the first ‘Hare Krishna’ is that the chanting of the maha-mantra with faith destroys all ignorance.
ara ‘hare krishna’-nama krishna sarva shakti
sadhu-sange namashraye bhajananurakti
“The meaning of the second ‘Hare Krishna’ is that all of Krishna’s potencies are present in the maha-mantra. One should develop attachment to the process of accepting full shelter of the maha-mantra in the association of pure devotees.
seita bhajana-krame sarvanartha nasha
anarthapagame name nishthara vikasha“
By following this process all the unwanted things in our hearts will be destroyed. Then strong faith will awaken in the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
tritiye vishuddha-bhakta caritrera saha;
‘krishna krishna’ name nishtha kare aharaha.
“By the third chanting of ‘Krishna Krishna’, please develop this faith in chanting furthur by taking shelter of the transcendental qualities of the pure devotees.
caturthe ahaituki bhakti-uddipana;
ruci saha ‘hare hare’ nama-sankirtana.
“By the fourth chanting of ‘Hare Hare’, please cultivate the taste for chanting. This stage marks the manifestation of unmotivated desire to render devotional service to Lord Krishna.
pancamete suddha-dasya rucira sahita;
‘hare rama’-sankirtana smarana vihita.
“By the fifth rememberance of ‘Hare Rama’ arises the stage of rendering bhakti with the mood of pure servitude and strong attachment.
shashtha bhavankura ‘hare rameti’ kirtana;
samsare aruci krishne ruci samarpana.
“By the chanting of the sixth ‘Hare Rama’, one arouses one’s bhava (ecstasy or emotion) for Lord Krishna. He then develops distaste for this material world and strong attraction to surrender everything to Lord Krishna.
saptama madhurasakti radha padashraya;
vipralambha ‘rama rama’-namera udaya.
“The seventh chanting of ‘Rama Rama’ arouses strong attachment to the sweetest feature of the Absolute Truth and ultimately the desire to take shelter of the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani in the mood of separation.
ashtama vrajete ashta-kala gopi-bhava;
radha-krishna-prema-seva prayojana labha.
“While chanting the final ‘Hare Hare’, the sadhaka will achieve the ultimate goal (prayojana) of rendering pure loving devotional service in the pastimes Shri Shri Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana in one’s original spiritual body, in the mood of the gopis during the eight periods of the day”