• Volunteer



      The conception of the maha-mantra as a whole, as well as each of its constituent parts (Hare, Krsna and Rama), are uniquely different in Gaudiya Vaisnavism than in any other spiritual tradition of India.

      The maha-mantra appears in the Kali-santarana Upanisad of the Krsna Yajur Veda wherein Lord Brahma is answering a question by Narada Muni:

      harih om
      dvaparante narado brahmanam jagam katham
      bhagavan gam paryatan-kalim santare-yamiti

      sa hovaca brahma –
      sadhu prsto’smi sarva sruti-rahasyam gopayam
      tacchrnu yena kali-samsaram tarisyasi bhagavata


      adi-purusasya narayanasya namoccarana-matrena nirdhuta-kalir bhavati

      At the end of Dvapara-Yuga, Narada, who had traversed the whole world, went to Brahma and addressed him thus, ‘O Lord, how shall I be able to ward off the effects of Kali?’ Brahma thus replied, ‘You have asked an excellent question. Listen to that secret which all the Vedas keep hidden, through which one may cross over material existence during the age of Kali. One becomes free from the influence of Kali by merely uttering the Names of Lord Narayana, who is the original Supreme Person.

      naradah punah papraccha tananam kimiti
      sa hovaca hiranyagarbah –

      hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare
      hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

      iti sodasakam namnam
      natah parataropayah
      sarva-vedesu drsyate

      Thus again Narada asked Brahma, ‘What are those Names?’

      Lord Brahma replied, ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. These sixteen Holy Names will destroy the sinful influences of the age of Kali. I do not see any other method

      The Kali-santarana Upanisad is one of the 108 Upanisads listed in the Muktika Upanisad, yet in some academic circles, scholars are of the opinion that the Kali-santarana Upanisad was written either by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu or one of His followers. Such scholars have no evidence for their claim other than their own opinion and that is generally not accepted amongst learned circles in India.

      One enigma surrounding the maha-mantra is whether it begins with ‘Hare Krsna’ or ‘Hare Rama’. In the oldest surviving copy of the Kali-santarana Upanisad, dated circa 1740 CE with the commentary by the Advaitin scholar Brahmayogin Ramacandrendra Sarasvati of Kanchipuram, themaha-mantra is written as:

      hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
      hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

      However, in numerous other editions of the Kali-santarana Upanisad the maha-mantra is written:

      hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
      hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

      Presented below is a statement by Srila Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja from which we might conclude that the 1740 edition of the Kali-santarana Upanisad quoted above was interpolated by Mayavadis. Since the Name of Krsna is superior to the Name of Rama, as stated by Srila Sridhara Maharaja, it stands to reason that the Vedas would present the sequence of the mantra ontologically, thus the Advaitin edition is suspect.

      Commenting on this enigma, Srila Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja has stated as follows:

      “The real importance of the Name is not to be found merely in the arrangement of its syllables, but in the deep meaning within that divine sound. Some scholars argue that in the Kali-santarana Upanisad, Lord Brahma says that the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is properly pronounced only when the Name of Rama precedes the Name of Krsna:

      hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
      hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare

      “In the Kali-santarana Upanisad, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is given in that way. But to say that the Name of Rama must precede the Name of Krsna in the mantra is a superficial understanding.

      “It is said that because it comes from the Upanisads, the Hare Krsna mantra is a Vedicmantra, and therefore, because the ordinary people may not have any entrance into Vedic mantras, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu readjusted this mantra by reversing the order of the words. In that way, it is said, the concern that it is a Vedic mantra is thereby canceled, and so Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave it to all without breaching the injunctions of the Vedas. Some devotees in Uttar Pradesh who have great affection for Sri Caitanyadeva like to give this opinion. But our faith is that the mentioning of ‘Hare Rama’ first is only superficial. It concerns the idea that since the Rama avatara appeared first and the Krsna avatara afterwards, the Name of Rama, ‘Hare Rama,’ should come first in the maha-mantra.’

      “A deeper reading will consider that when two similar things are connected together, the priority will be ordered not on the basis of historical precedent, but in consideration of the most highly developed conception. The Holy Name of Krsna is higher than the Holy Name of Rama. This is mentioned in the Puranas: three Names of Rama equal one Name of Krsna.’

      "The Name of Krsna is superior to the Name of Rama. Where the two are connected together, the first position should be given to the one that is superior. Therefore, the Name of Krsna must come first in the maha-mantra. This is one point.’

      “Another point is that within the eternal plane, everything is moving in a cyclic order. In an eternal cycle, which is first and which is next cannotbe ascertained, and so, in the eternal plane of lila, it cannot be determined whether Krsna is before Rama or Rama is before Krsna. So from that consideration also, since the Names of Krsna and Rama are eternal andunrelated to any historical event, we may begin the mantra from any place.’

      “But above these considerations, our sampradaya has given another, higher consideration. A eeper understanding will reveal that the Hare Krsna mantrais not at all concerned with rama-lila.’

      “In the Name of Rama within the Hare Krsna mantra, the Gaudiya Vaisnavas will find Radha-ramana Rama. That means, ‘Krsna, who gives pleasure (raman) to Srimati Radharani.’ In our conception, the Hare Krsna mantra is wholesale Krsna consciousness, not Rama consciousness.’

      “Sri Caitanya's highest conception of things is always svayam bhagavan, krsna-lila, radha-govinda-lila. That is the real purpose of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's advent and teachings. In that consideration, the Hare Krsna mantra does not mention the rama-lilaof Ayodhya at all. There is no connection with that in the highest conception of the Hare Krsna mantra.’

      “And the inner conception of the mantra is responsible for our spiritual attainment. When one pronounces the Name of Rama, if he means Dasarathi Rama, his attraction will take him there, to Ayodhya; if he means Parasurama, he will be attracted to another place. And if Rama means Radha-ramana Rama, he will go to Goloka. The inner conception of the devotee will guide him to his destination." (Loving Search For The Lost Servant)

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      • hare krsna Gaur Gadadhar Das prabhuji,


        I wonder how deep explanation to any issue you can give.

        I Like that and appreciate it.

        Thank you for those wonderful explanations.



      • Respected Prabhu Ji


        Dandvat Pranams


        I love Param Bhagavan Sri Radhika-Raman. The life is incomplete without this Love. I am extremely greatful to our Beloved Bhagavan to give me a unique opportunity to come in contact with Devotees who I feel have descended on earth to take fallen souls like me back Home-Back to GodHead


        I really appreciate your valuable insights into the Mahamantra & its significance. However please pardon my offence for what I need to mention -


        Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the greatest & there is no doubt to that but we should avoid comparing Bhagavan Sri Krishna & Bhagavan Sri Ram. I believe we have no authority to say who is Bigger as different people will quote from various texts to prove their point.


        Lets Love both ATI-PAVAN SWARUPAS with all our heart & pray that they bestow their Divine Grace on all of us ALWAYS. I also agree that each person has a choice to love either of them or Both (This is the Best option). Even our Spiritual Master KrishnaKripa Murti Srila Prabhupad Ji has mentioned in one of his Purports in Bhagwad Gita that one can pray to any form of Bhagavan (Be it Lord Rama or Lord Krishna)


        I am greedy so I want to love him in BOTH HIS ATI-PAVAN & MAN-BHAVAN SWARUPAS


        I again seek your forgiveness if I mentioned anything that you didn't like




        Your Servant






      • Jai Shri Krishna..


        Dear Gaur-gadadhar das, the explanation you give makes perfect sense and I agree with you 100%.


        • Volunteer

          Thanks, Prabhuji. Please give your blessing.

          It tool some time to find out appealing explanation ...


          Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

          Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This reply was deleted.