Krishna is a name of the original, unique Supreme Person, the source of all that exists. God has many names, and each describes a different aspect of His personality. Allah, Vishnu, Jehovah, and God refer to His greatness and His role as creator, maintainer of the universe, and Lord of all. The name Krishna—”the all-attractive one”—indicates the unequaled charm and beauty of the Supreme Person, as He appears to His most dear devotees.
Krishna appears as other forms of God—avatars—to create and maintain the universe, while He simultaneously enjoys loving relationships with His countless associates in the spiritual world. He visits this material world from time to time to free His devotees from material existence and to vanquish the wicked. He performs superhuman pastimes—lifting mountains, swallowing forest fires, and killing numerous extraordinarily powerful demons—as easily as a child playing with toys.
The reason why the Lord is called “Krishna” is explained in a book known as the Sri Caitanya Upanishad, which is connected with the Atharva-veda. In verse twelve it is explained: “These three names of the Supreme Lord (Hari, Krishna and Rama) may be explained in the following way: (1) ‘Hari’ means ‘He who unties [harati][/harati] the knot of material desire in the hearts of the living entities’; (2) ‘Krishna’ is divided into two syllables ‘krish’ and ‘na’. ‘Krish’ means ‘He who attracts the minds of all living entities’, and ‘na’ means ‘the supreme transcendental pleasure’. These two syllables combine to become the name ‘Krishna’; and (3) ‘Rama’ means ‘He who delights [ramayati][/ramayati] all living entities’, and it also means ‘He who is full of transcendental bliss’.
The maha-mantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) consists of the repetition of these names of the Supreme Lord. In this way, Krishna’s names represent His character and qualities, which, in this case, means the greatest and all attractive transcendental pleasure