Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra vs Om Namah Sivaya Mantra

Please Accept My Humble Obeisances.All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.Hare Krishna.I have been in contact with many Hindus, but this one family struck a deep discussion. They were trying to make me think that chanting Om Namah Sivaya is easier and more beneficial than chanting the names of Sri Krsna.I told them respectfully that, "No, Lord Krishna is Supreme. Even Lord Shiva chants His glories on Mount Kailash. Eventually Mahadeva will lead you to Sri Krsna."Then they asked me, "Why do you feel so strongly about this mantra?" And I explained how our Divine Knowledge comes from Parampara. It is not something just given whimsically.BUT, this question they posed had me a bit baffled. They asked, "Where in the scriptures is it written that Hare Krishna Mantra is more potent than Om Namah Sivaya?"I kindve danced around that question because of my lack of knowledge.Please help me advance my knowledge in order to defeat Mayavadi philosophy.If I have offended anyone, I beg your forgiveness.Hari bol!Your ServantDavid

You need to be a member of ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT to add comments!

Join ISKCON Desire Tree | IDT

Replies are closed for this discussion.


  • Volunteer
    Hare Krsna Prabhu.
    The Satya-yuga sages who took up the process of meditation were personally purified by Krsna and given the treasure of devotional service. In the Treta-yuga, the same spiritual success crowned those who flawlessly performed opulent sacrifices to satisfy the Lord. In the Dvapara-yuga, He granted devotion to those who adhered to the path of perfect Deity worship. With the advent of the present age, Kali-yuga, Lord Krsna saw the dreadful condition of the jivas (living beings) and relinquished all hope in the processes of karma, jnana and yoga. People in the Kali-yuga are short-lived, always harassed by disease, and are born with a weak body and mind. The observance of varnasrama-dharma and the cultivation of sankhya philosophy, yoga, and empiricism will not yield the strength humanity needs to redeem itself.

    Indirect devotional paths of jnana and karma are intended to lead one to the shrine of devotional service through either the association of saintly persons during philosophical discussions, or by the ritualistic offering to the Supreme Lord of the results of work performed without desire but in Kali-yuga both paths have become contaminated. Genuine saintly persons, now rarely seen, have been displaced by crass, commercial pseudo-spiritualists. Religious duties are no longer performed for purifying the consciousness but for enjoyment of the material results of the rituals. Therefore these secondary paths are no longer beneficial.

    The Lord, considering the jivas' welfare, descended in Kali-yuga along with His holy name to propagate the yuga-dharma (the religion of the age). By taking up the yuga-dharma the jiva attains love of Krsna: he has only to remember the Supreme Lord's name (nama-smarana or japa) and chant the Lord's name congregationally (nama-sankirtana).
    The only method or means (sadhana) in this age is the holy name of the Lord. The only goal (sadhya) to be attained in this age is Krsna-prema (love of Krsna). Even in the stage of perfection, the name is not given up but is chanted all the more, for it is intrinsic to the activities of prema. Indeed, the name is not different from the Lord: it is the very embodiment of prema. If the means is the end, then the end and the means never contradict one another. If process is identical to the objective, then it is easy for the jivas to attain the desired goal of life, Krsna-prema. By the mercy of His holy name, Krsna easily delivers the jivas in the age of Kali.
    Lord Krsna and His holy name are not different; They are the one and same Absolute Truth who is the all-pervading yet supremely independent form of dynamic spirituality (caitanya vigraha), fully cognizant and full of bliss, without beginning or end. Eternally free of material imperfection (nitya mukta), always situated in pure goodness (suddha sattva), the holy name, identical (abhinna) with He who is denoted by the name (the nami, or Krsna), descends to this world as the complete incarnation of the highest sweetness (rasa).
    The holy name can be categorized in two types: principal and secondary. By taking shelter of Krsna's principal names, the jiva obtains the real boon of spiritual life. The holy names of the Lord that describe His transcendental pastimes and which contain all of the Lord's spiritual excellences are defined as principal names. They are, for example: Govinda, Gopala, Rama, Sri Nandanandana, Radhanatha, Hari, Yasomati Pranadhana, Madana-Mohana, Syamasundara, Madhava, Gopinatha, Vrajagopala, Raksala, Yadava, and so on. Anyone who chants the names of the Lord that depict His eternal pastimes can attain the Lord's supreme abode.

    The Vedas address the Lord with names that describe His affiliation with His material energy. These are His secondary names, e.g. Creator, Supersoul, Brahman, maintainer and annihilator of the world, Yajnesvara, Hara, etc. Such names of the Lord are invoked by those pursuing fruitive activities and empirical knowledge. In keeping with the Vedic directions, the chanting of such names of the Lord will result in piety and salvation. However, Krsna-prema, the most perfect result of chanting the holy name of the Lord, is attained only by saintly souls who invoke Krsna's principal names.
    Chanting with offenses (aparadha) 2. Chanting in the clearing stage (namabhasa) 3. Chanting of the pure name (suddha-nama)
    If the holy name is chanted just once, though impurely so, or if the sound is simply heard, then the living entity regardless of his high or low caste is immediately liberated. This is the declaration of scripture. And furthermore, when the holy name is chanted in the clearing stage (namabhasa Ä the stage when impurities are swept from the heart of the chanter), then the highest goal is attained after some delay.

    All other auspicious pious results including liberation can be quite easily achieved in namabhasa, but the attainment of love of Godhead is suspended for a while until the jiva reaches the summit of chanting the pure name or suddha-nama. In namabhasa, sin and unwanted desires in the heart are eventually dissipated; thereafter the devotee chants purely. Suddha-nama offers the devotee the highest spiritual success, love of Krsna.
    Chanting should be free from any form of disruption because this will result in offenses against the holy name, which in turn pose an insurmountable obstacle on the path to success. Vyavadhana or 'disruption' is of two kinds.

    The first type is known as varna-vyavadhana or disruption in the syllables. For example, in the Bengali word 'hathikari', 'ha' and the last syllable 'ri' can be put together to form 'Hari', a name of Krsna. But because the syllables 'thi-ka' are inserted in the middle, the repetition of 'hathikari' will not give actual benefit. Yet the Arabic word 'haram' is not perverted by such disruption of the syllables or varna-vyavadhana. The syllables comprising the holy name 'Ram' are uninterrupted; hence, speaking the word 'haram' gives liberation because it is namabhasa.

    The second type of vyavadhana is called tattva-vyavadhana or disruption of philosophical conclusions. This offense is much more serious. Lord Krsna's name and Lord Krsna Himself are non-different. But someone who is polluted by Mayavadi philosophy imagines them to be separate. Such an offensive conclusion is clearly against all Vedic teachings and will totally destroy one's spiritual life. It is impossible to obtain Krsna-prema from such chanting. In summary, one should understand properly that the holy name is identical to the Lord Himself. The principal names of Krsna should be chanted as suddha-nama, devoid of namabhasa and the aparadha of vyavadhana. The person who takes these considerations to heart and chants suddha-nama even once is considered a Vaisnava. He is to be served with faith and devotion.
    Anyone wanting to attain the highest spiritual success of chanting purely must approach a bonafide spiritual master and serve him carefully and sincerely. He must become free from deceit, join Lord Krsna's family of devotees and continuously chant the holy name. He should accept everything favorable for devotional service and at the same time reject unfavorable things. He should seek out the association of devotees and utilize his life in service to the Lord's holy name and the Vaisnavas. He should forgo all other religious practices and pious activities and never worship any other devata. Nor should he think anything to be independent from Krsna.

    Gradually, as all the anarthas or unwanted desires in the heart are destroyed, the transcendental name of Krsna appears and dances on the tongue of the devotee. The holy name, now nectarean in taste, cannot but be relished by the devotee at every moment. Thus spiritually intoxicated, the devotee always feels like dancing. As the holy name dances, the devotee likewise dances, and at that moment the ecstasy of love of Godhead also enters dancing into the devotee's heart. Then the entire world will dance and maya will flee away.
    The Supreme Lord has infused His transcendental name with all of His potencies and offered it to humanity. One who has sufficient faith in Lord Krsna's name is eligible to chant, and only one who chants the name is properly executing the prescribed duties of the human being. He is called an adhikari or possessor of the holy name.

    The holy name is so potent that chanting does not depend on conditions of time, place, rules, cleanliness, and so on. Pious activities, such as the giving of charity, the performance of sacrifices, the taking of ablutions, or the recitation of Vedic mantras are all regulated by stringent rules. But for the chanting of the holy name, the only prerequisite is faith. One who takes shelter of the holy name with unflinching faith will attain all perfection.
    • Thanx Prabhu ji, 
      I very much agree with your description.
      Thanx for spending your precious time.
      Hare Krishna! 

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna Prabhu.

    "The Lord's names are considered in exactly the same way; since the Lord is absolute, His name, His form, His pastimes, His paraphernalia and His quality all have the same potency. In the absolute world, the name Krsna is the transcendental sound representation of the Lord. There is no potential difference between His quality, name, form, etc. If we chant the name of the Lord, Hare Krsna, that has as much potency as the Lord Himself. There is no potential difference between the form of the Lord whom we worship and the form of the Lord in the temple. One should not think that one is worshiping a doll or statue of the Lord, even if others consider it to be a statue. Because there is not potential difference, one gets the same result by worshiping the statue of the Lord or the Lord Himself. This is the science of Krsna consciousness."

    Srimad-Bhagavatam 3:21:32 Purport 
    c.gifBhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.


    • Of Course Prabhu,
      Hare Krishna!

      Gopal Das Prabhu ji, I certainly agree with it and all lectures. But I say we must never stop Shaivites doing this. Of course, we should not follow their ways. Chanting OM NAMAH SHIVAYA is not a sin, neither is LESS effective. Rather it is not as effective as Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
      As the story above says, Lord Shiva will automatically change his devotees mind and put him to devotion of Krishna. But we are so much troubled regarding this; that's my problem.
      Let Shaivites be on their way; they are not on the wrong path. Srimad Bhagvatam says that Lord Krishna loves his devotees, but loves the devotees of his devotees more. Similarly, having such perception, Lord Krishna loves Shaivites more than Vaishnavas because "Vaishnavam Yatha SambhU".
      So we lucky Vaishnavas should not trouble Shaivites. It's said if one Vaishnava compares himself with other, then his virtues are nullified. Lord Sankar's name is no different than him!

      So my request is please stop comparing Hari and Har. Have only pure devotion to Supreme Krishna.
      Hare Krishna!! :) 

  • Volunteer

  • Volunteer

  • Volunteer

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna Prabhu.

    "This transcendental vibration--the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare | Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare - is the sublime method for reviving our Krsna consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our asociation with matter since time immemorial, our consciousness is now poluted by material atmosphere. In this polluted concept of live, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in our complexities. This illusion is called maya, or hard struggle for existence over the stringent laws of material nature. This illusory struggle against the material nature can at once be stopped by revival of our Krsna consciousness.


    Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived. And the process is recommended by authorities for this age. By practical experience also, we can perceive that by chanting this maha-mantra, or the Great Chanting for Deliverance, one can at once feel transcendental ecstasy from the spiritual stratum. When one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding, surpassing the stages of sense, mind and intelligence, one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare | Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is directly enacted from the spiritual platform, surpassing all lower states of consciousness--namely sensual, mental and intellectual. There is no need of understanding the language of the mantra, nor is there any need of mental speculation nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this maha-mantra. It springs automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in this transcendental sound vibration, without any previous qualification, and dance in ecstasy.


    We have seen it practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting, or even a dog can take part in it. The chanting should be hears, however, from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effect can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of a nondevotee should be avoided, as much as milk touched by the lips of a serpent causes poisonous effect.


    The word Hara is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord. Both Krsna and Rama are forms of addressing directly the Lord, and they mean "the highest pleasure, eternal". Hara is the supreme pleasure potency of the Lord. This potency, when addressed are Hare, helps us in reaching the Supreme Lord.


    The material energy, called as maya, is also one of the multipotencies of the Lord, as much as we are also marginal potency of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior energy than matter. When the superior energy is in contact with inferior energy, it becomes an incompatible situation. But when the supreme marginal potency is in contact with the spiritual potency, Hara, it becomes the happy, normal condition of the living entity.


    The three words, namely Hara, Krsna and Rama, are transcendental seeds of the maha-mantra, and the chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Hara, for giving protection to the conditioned soul. The chanting is exactly like a genuine cry by the chold for the mother. Mother Hara helps in achieving the grace of the supreme father, Hari, or Krsna, and the Lord reveals Himself to such a sincere devotee.


    No other means, therefore, of spiritual realization is as effective in this age, as chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare | Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."

    Purport to the Maha-Mantra 
    c.gifBhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.


  • Haribol.

    It is not as such a serious problem as you think Prabhu ji. I have seen all the comments and I see they protest that reciting Om Namah Shivaya is bad or Mayavadi Philosophy. It's not so.
    We should know,
    " Vaishnavam Yatha Sambhu " The Greatest Devotee of Lord is Sankara Himself. Why, we worship many saints of this world just as we worship Krishna. Similarly, if you think that Sankara is greatest devotee, then taking his name is no problem. Let me tell u a story mentioned in Puranas.
    Once there was a man who was a great Saivite. Glad due to his penances, The Great Lord Shiva appeared and asked him for a blessing. Devotee said that he wants to have the greatest gem of world. Sankara advised him to go to a great Vaishnava ( Name forgotten). When he reported the Vaishnava, he said that there's a Paras Pathar there in garbage. The man thought that if Parasmani is greatest then why is saint thrown it. Then he asked Him to grant him something more than that. At once, the saint grant him Mahamantra.
    This way, even a Shaivite, reached Goloka Vrindavana.
    There is also a conversation of Praphupada ji regarding this topic. When he heard that a man was chanting OM NAMAH SHIVAY, he did not disturbed him, rather encouraged him. Because, when Lord Kailashpati grants the greatest boon, he advises the devotee to recite Hare Krishna MAHAMANTRA.
    As Ashwani Prabhu says, even Vedas say to recite only Mahamantra. Because there's no other way to get Liberation.

    "Harer Nama Harer Nama Harer Nama Kevalam,
    Kalau, nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva, gatir anyatha"

    In regard to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Kevalam word is used. So there's no other way to get Liberation.

    As " Vasudeva Kutumbakam" I would say Prabhu ji that you please continue to chant Hare Krishna Mantra, eva eva eva, only only and only. But as a Vaishnava, you must not consider OM Namah Shivaya as useless or unnecessary. You should not also disturb the Shaivites. It's my Mat, Opinion.

    Keep Reciting,
    Haribol!! :)
  • hare krishna
This reply was deleted.