The Maha Mantra
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The hundred-dollar bill is best, because the five-dollar bill and the one-dollar bill are included in the hundred-dollar bill. The power of all other mantras is included in the maha-mantra.
[Posted March 25, 2006]

Vedic Knowledge Compressed into 16 Syllables


Hansadutta dasa


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The Hare Krishna mantra is called the maha-mantra. Maha means great. It is the greatest mantra. The shastras state that all the conclusions of Vedic knowledge are compressed into these 16 syllables: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We may have an opinion that the law is this, and someone else may have an opinion that the law actually means something different, but the final opinion has to be taken from the law books and the judge in the courtroom. Similarly, there are opinions about what is most essential or most important, but we have to take the opinion of the shastras and acharyas. Their opinion is final. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught in this verse:

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam


In this age, no process of self-realization will be effective except harinama, or chanting the holy name of the Lord. (Brihan-naradiya Purana)

The Bhagavata Purana also states:

kaler dosa-nidhe rajan
asti hy-eko mahan-gunah
kirtanad eva krishnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet


This age of Kali is an ocean of faults, but one thing in this age is very good: simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna, one can become purified of all sinful reactions and enter the spiritual world. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51)

There are hundreds and thousands of mantras. But most importantly, there is the maha-mantra, the great mantra for deliverance. That is Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It does not matter whether we chant other mantras. Others are also nice, but this is the maha-mantra. For example, there are many currency notes—a five-dollar bill, a ten-dollar bill, a fifty-dollar bill and a hundred-dollar bill—and all of them are good, but the hundred-dollar bill is best, because the five-dollar bill and the one-dollar bill are included in the hundred-dollar bill. The power of all other mantras is included in the maha-mantra. This mantra is an eternal, transcendental sound vibration. We shall find this mantra in different shastras, and therefore it is said that all the conclusions of Vedic wisdom are compressed into these sixteen syllables: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.


Hansadutta das
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Trustee, BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
Vedic Knowledge Compressed into 16 Syllables/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
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