One of the striking benefits of chanting Hare Krishna is it helps resolve religious conflicts, and enables us to see other human beings also as children of the same God.
‘Krishna’ is the name of the all attractive God. As we chant prayerfully daily, over a period of time we become conscious of Krishna and recognize Him as our Supreme Father. Regulated chanting of Hare Krishna also makes the practitioner God conscious in his day to day activities. Recognizing our relationship with Krishna as His children, we begin to appreciate all other living entities in general, and human beings in particular also as children of the same God. This goes a long way in removing our ill feelings towards others who externally profess a different faith than ours. A spiritualist learns to seek the essence in all paths.
Most religious conflicts arise due to the egoistic conception of ‘my God being greater than yours ’. When a person is attracted by blind rituals rather than the substance of God consciousness, he becomes insecure in his practises and perceives a threat from others. Also when a religious practitioner doesn’t experience a loving reciprocation from God, he gets violent and condemns all other paths as being influenced by Satan. Thus he exposes his own shallow understanding of God and spirituality. Systematic pursuit of the Hare Krishna meditation fills the heart with rich spiritual experiences. A devotee is contended in his relationship with God. Therefore he perceives the presence of Krishna in the sincere practises of even other religious faiths.
Radhanath Swami’s chanting of Hare Krishna over forty years helps him see the essence in all religions. “Religious strife and friction are caused when we understand only the letter of the religious law but ignore the spirit behind it”, says Radhanath Swami, “Unity and brotherhood of mankind can happen when we transcend the external differences and focus on the spiritual essence of all great traditions.” Radhanath Swami reveals the essence of every religion to be “sincerity in cleansing our own hearts, and cultivating humility by honouring every living entity as a child of God.”
The process for cleansing the heart is chanting of God’s Holy Names. If our chanting is heart-felt, we can perceive the benefit of developing the ability to see the spiritual essence in all religions. When does our chanting become heart-felt? Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed all practitioners of the Hare Krishna yoga to chant in the mood of humility and tolerance. In one of his famous verses, Lord Chaitanya says, “One should be humble like a blade of grass and tolerant like a tree. One should be eager to offer all respects to others and not expect any respect for one self. In this mood one can chant Hare Krishna forever”
While chanting Hare Krishna, the devotee is offering service to God. He prays to be able to render service always. This mood of offering service makes the heart soft and a fit place for the Lord to reveal His grace. This is spirituality and also real religion.
Radhanath Swami expresses, “True religion is about transforming arrogance into humility, greed into generosity, hate into love, vengeance into forgiveness, and selfishness into selflessness”. Hare Krishna meditation helps us tap these godly qualities within us, and thereby appreciate the essence of all religious paths.