Sunset by the ocean, a rose garden, Mona Lisa – whatever is beautiful, we want to see it. We don’t make plans to be happy for two weeks in October, and suffer in misery for the rest of the year. We would rather be constantly happy. We want truth. We want freedom and equality. We want love. Yet none of those things exist in this world in full. Then how can we possess a desire for something that we have not ever experienced in this world? The desire springs from our deeper nature. In that deeper, spiritual realm we once experienced complete satisfaction, knowledge and relationship. By meditation one can uncover that original identity.
In the Vedas, in Kalisantarana Upanisad and several Puranas, the exclusive means for uncovering the deeper self, or atma, and for realizing and transcending the temporary nature of this world, is described as follows:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—in this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.”
Simply by hearing the sound of the mantra regularly, the natural personality of the atma is nourished, and the longing for higher happiness, love, knowledge and freedom is fulfilled. One can be freed from the samsara, or the cycle of birth and death, and return to the original, spiritual existence and activities.