Harinam literally means
the name of God or
the Holy Name — Hari, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa — the repetition of which is prescribed as the best means of spiritual progress in the age of materialism in which we now live:
There may be discrepancies in pronouncing the mantras and observing the regulative principles, and, moreover, there may be discrepancies in regard to time, place, person and paraphernalia. But when Your Lordship’s [Krishna’s] holy name is chanted, everything becomes faultless.Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 8.23.16
Modern Hare Krishnas are following the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition established by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, also called the founder of the sankirtan movement (sankirtan meaning
congregational chanting). From the beginning this movement has grown by holding sankirtan in public, and therefore this Harinam practice is still honoured today.
Why chant in public?
In order for the self-perpetuating cycle of birth and death to come to an end, all of us must first experience a spark of remembrance of God, to awaken the buried memory that our true nature is an eternal spirit soul, not a temporary body. In addition to expressing our shared joy at this realisation, our public Harinam attempts to share this spark with as many people as possible.
You will always be welcome to come and watch, listen, sing with us, and perhaps find an opportunity to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, in your own heart and the hearts of all those around us.