Different Mantras

Hare Krishna,


   Is the Maha Mantra the only recommended mantra or are there other mantras that are acceptable?  It is hard for me to pronounce the mantra in japa but it if fine in kirtan?  

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  • Hare Krishna Willam Prabhu,

    There are mantras to chant.. but these like om namo narayanaya and om namo bhagavate vasudevaya .. the mantras which start with om and end in Namah.. are to be chanted only when you get intitated to such mantras by a guru. You cannot chant "Om" mantras simply at any place.. in any circumstances. You need to maintain.. purity of place.. You must sit in an asan and must be chanting properly and follow some rituals.

    But Mahamantra there is no such restrictions.. that is why it is prescribed for Kaliyuga. Becoz, most of us are not really following any rules and regulations.. even when you not initiated you can start chanting this mantra. Narad muni at the end of dwapar yuga when Kali entered.. asked Brahma.. what is the mantra that these fallen people in kaliyuga so that they can chant even when their are in most impure conditions.. but still be delivered. Then Brahma replied only Lord's names can save them. Narad muni inquired further.. which lord's name.. then Brahma ji said.. 16 words and 32 syllable mantra. The Mahamantra.

    Even when a person is dying they can simply chant mahamantra even on deathbed.. there is no restriction of cleaning the place...or sitting upright.. or doing any ritual to start the mantra even when you are most inconvinent locations in circumstances where you have not even had chance to take a bath also.. This Mahamantra can be chanted.

    In Kaliyug most of us are usually unclean.., many times we don't follow strict vaishnava principles .....some of you are not even initiated.. some even take onion garlic and intoxicants but still can chant mantra. This is not the rule in case of other mantras.

    Without a guru initiation other mantras cannot be chanted it becomes a sin.  Thats the difference between nama mantras and om mantras..

    purely taking names can be done by anyone.

    Purely taking names of Lord Sri Krishna itself purifies the place... and makes you clean internally and externally and makes you eligible to chant Rama name also.

    Hare Krishna.

    • Do  initiated devotees also chant the Mahamantra or do they chant other mantras?

      • E-Counselor

        Yes, initiated devotees also chant mahamantra. There are 2 initiations in ISKCON. First initiation or harinaam initiation devotees chant mahamantra. Second initiated or brahman initiated devotees chant Gayatri mantra thrice a day in addition to mahamantra.

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      • Well, Brahmins who have undergone..sacred thread ceremony only are to be chanted Gayatri mantra.. The mantra is told in the ear to the recipient.

        Even a guru mantra is told in the ear of the recipient. When they are initiated. 

        I don't see it as a sin myself. But ya some restrictions are there to chant these old mantras which belong to Satyuga and Treta Yuga.. These mantras in those ages were good for the age as at that time..Suchi ( cleanliness )and Austerity was at the peaks.. Now a days.. we r not so clean ..  I see people chanting sitting on sofa .. and chanting sitting one chair .. or even bed also. 

        This age no one is clean.. In those days people used to take 3 times bath. Nowadays there is water restriction also... climatic conditions also not very favourable.

        Everything is going as per convenience.. 

        Well.. Even If I am chanting om namo narayanaya mantra.. Also.. I will have to chant Mahamantra before. to cleanse me.

        even to take Rama name we need to be clean bahya antar suchi.. it is called.

         अपवित्रः पवित्रो वा सर्वावस्थां गतोऽपि वा ।
        यः स्मरेत्पुण्डरीकाक्षं  बाह्याभ्यन्तरः शुचिः ॥
        Om Apavitrah Pavitro Vaa Sarva-Avasthaam Gato-[A]pi Vaa |
        Yah Smaret-Punnddariikaakssam Sa Baahya-Abhyantarah Shucih ||


        We need to have some cleanliness and austerity to take other mantras which belonged to Sat and Treta Yuga.. Becoz those people in those ages .. had those virtues and qualities.

        Kaliyug people are nowhere close them..for them.. taking "Nama mantras" is just enough for deliverance.

        I don't myself feel it is a sin.. but to take such Om mantras.. you need to first chant Mahamantra and cleanse urself first AS SRI KRISHNA NAME IS LIKE AN ACID WASH. It will clean you internally and externally then it's okay to chant other mantras also. 

        Hare Krishna.

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna,


    While the Srimad Bhagawatam states that in Kaliyuga, only Harinaam is capable of delivering the fallen souls, the mahamantra as such is not mentioned. However, in Kali Santaran Upanishad and elsewhere, this Mahamantra has been mentioned and most importantly -  when the lord appears in Kaliyuga in the form of his own devotee to deliver us, as Sri Chaitany Mahaprabhu, He has recommended chanting of this mantra. 

    Other mantras like Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevayah or Hari Om, or Om Namo Narayanayah are not recommended for this age. LIke if we have headache, we can take any pain killer. But if we want to cure our particular medical condition, we have to take the medicine as prescribed by a medical practitioner. Same way, for Kaliyuga, this mahamantra has been recommended.

    If you are facing difficulty in chanting mahamantra, maybe you could slow your pace (since you can chant in kirtans), or you could chant Pancha Tattva mantra as already posted by someone else. 

    Sing in kirtans prabhu. Srila Prabhupada mentioned once that the entire philosophy, all the books he has written, is simply to make us chant. 


    YOur servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

  • How about the mantra-

    Om namoh bhagwate vasudevaya?

    Is it acceptable?

    I was watching Vishnu Puran on TV and pralhada was uttering this mantra.

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      • Very informative answer.  Thank-you for taking the time to write and it helps me on my spiritual journey. 

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