When we are struck with a raging fever, it seems that all hope is lost. Our body’s temperature rapidly increases and it seems that there is pain everywhere. We feel chills throughout our body and it is difficult to even get up out of bed. That’s where medicine comes in. A simple over-the-counter pain killer comes to our rescue. Shortly after taking a few pills, our body produces a burst of perspiration and our fever breaks. The fever is gone and we are no longer in discomfort.
In a similar manner, we living entities have been entwined in the raging fever known as material nature since time immemorial. We persevere through good times and bad, extreme heat and cold, happiness and distress, and victory and defeat, for these are the dualities of material nature. We are constantly looking for ways to alleviate our current pains and displeasures. At the same time, we make plans to hopefully avoid suffering these same ailments in the future. Hankering after the things we want, we lament when we don’t get them. Whatever adjustments we make, material nature always manages to foil our plans and through our karma, we are forced to accept one body after another in a perpetual cycle of birth and death known as reincarnation.
The Vedas tell us that the only permanent cure to this fever is to become God conscious. One whose mind is fixed on serving the Supreme Lord no longer is bothered by the desires of the senses. In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna says:
“One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” (Bg, 18.54)
To become transcendentally situated requires practice. The best and easiest way to practice transcendental realization is to repeatedly chant God’s names in a loving way, in what is known as mantra meditation. In our everyday affairs, if we want to stay focused on a task and not let our minds be diverted, we create a mantra that we constantly recite to remind ourselves of the task at hand. In a similar manner, successfully achieving spiritual realization also requires a mantra that must be repeated. Lucky for us, the Vedas supply us with thousands of them, with the most effective one being the Maha-mantra:
"Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."
In this age, it is advisable to follow the prescriptions of the most respected spiritual doctor, Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who advised everyone, irrespective of race, creed, gender, religion, or nationality, to constantly chant this Maha-mantra. Through chanting we come into direct contact with God, and we lose our material desires. The main symptom of a fever is the unnatural increase of the body’s internal temperature. The symptom of the fever of material nature is our constant hankering and lamenting. Just as medicine returns our body to its normal temperature, the chanting of the holy names of God returns the spirit soul to the transcendental platform, which is its natural position.