Who is Krishna? Why do people dress in robes and chant His name on the streets? What is the philosophy of these Krishna devotees? What's the meaning of their chant?
Krishna is a name of the Supreme. It means "all- attractive." Anything that might attract you has its source in the Supreme. Therefore the Supreme is also known as Rama (rhymes with "drama"). "Rama" means "the highest eternal pleasure."
All of us are pleasure-seeking creatures. So you can say that directly or indirectly we are all seeking Krishna. Chanting Hare Krishna is a way of seeking Krishna directly.
As for the word "Hare" (pronounced huh-ray), it's a call to Krishna's divine energy. Just as the sun shines forth to us through its energies like heat and light, the Supreme reveals Himself through His multitude of energies. If the Supreme is the source of everything, then whatever we see--and even what we don't see-- belongs to the energy of the Supreme.
Now we're trying to exploit that energy, but the more we try the more entangled we get and the more complex our life becomes. But when we place ourselves in harmony with Krishna and Krishna's energy, we return to our natural, pure state of consciousness. This is what we call "Krishna consciousness."
Krishna consciousness is not something imposed on the mind. On the contrary, it's already inside of each of us, waiting to come out, like fire in a match. Chanting Hare Krishna brings out that natural, pure state of mind.
The chant is called a mantra, a vibration of sound that cleanses the mind, freeing it from anxiety and illusion. And this is a mantra anyone can chant. It's for people of all religions, all nations, all colors, and both sexes. No need to pay any fees, join any group, or turn your life upside down. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you can try the chanting for yourself and experience its result.
Krishna and His energy are fully present in the sound of the mantra, so even if we don't know the language or intellectually understand how it works, by coming in touch with Krishna we'll become happy, and our life will become sublime.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare