The Stages of Chanting or Mantra Meditation

The Three Kings of All Mantras in Kali Yuga:

(1) 5-syllable Haladhara Balarama Mantraraja: "Nityananda"
(2) 4-syllable Gaura Gopala Mantraraja: "Gauranga"
(3) 32-syllable Hare Krishna Mahamantra:
"Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

(The Pancha Tattva Mantra to be chanted before Mahamantra:
"Shri Krishna Chaitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Shri Advaita Gadadhara, Shrivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda")


Levels of Chanting and Initiation

No of daily rounds each of the Nityananda & Gauranga
No of daily rounds of the Hare Krishna
No.of Holy Names Chanted Daily  Recommended to Avoid
00 Nitai Gaura Ashraya 10 -


01 Gauranga Ashraya 10 01


02 Nityananda Ashraya 10 04 9072 Grains on Ekadasi
03 Gaura Nama Ashraya 10 10 19440 #Basic things
04 Hari Nama 16 16 31104 *Five things
05 Gaura Hari Nama 64 16 41472 *Five things

Ardha Laksheshvara

64 32 69120 *Five things
07 Laksheshvara 64 64 124416 *Five things
08 Nityananda Priya 128 64 138240 *Five things
09 Gauranga Priya 256 64 165888 *Five things
10 Dvi Laksheshvara 256 96 221184 *Five things
11 Tri Laksheshvara 368 128 300672 *Five things

Level 5: Minimum ideal recommended lifetime goal for serious chanters is 64 rounds of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily.

Level 7: Ultimate ideal goal recommended by the Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu to complete the chanting of His 100,000 Names daily.

#Basic things: No grain food on Ekadashi twice a month, no meat eating, no smoking and drinking, and no sex outside marriage.

*Five things: No grain food on Ekadashi twice a month, no kind of non-veg food including eggs, onion, garlic etc, no intoxication including smoking, drinking, non-medicinal drugs, tea, coffee etc, no gambling and no illicit sex life (sex outside marriage etc.).

The Pancha Tattva Mantra: "Shri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nityananda, Shri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda" should be chanted once or thrice before beginning each round of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The Pranama Mantras of Shrila Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be chanted before beginning the chanting daily once or thrice.

Those who chant 64 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra along with the Pancha Tattva Mantra in the beginning of each round also complete the chanting of 100,000 Holy Names daily and are also known as Laksheshvaras as per the order of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

Ideally separate rounds of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas have to be chanted with one Mantraraja on each bead since they are two separate Mantras. But those devotees who chant a lot of rounds of each of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas may chant four (one grantha) of each or both of the Mantrarajas on one bead of rosary of 108 beads for practical purposes, so that the fingers may not pain due to excessive movement during prolonged chanting since the chanting the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas requires rapid movement of the fingers unlike that of the chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra where the fingers get some rest on bead since one Mahamantra takes a longer time to chant. 

The seven kinds of Gayatri Mantras to be chanted ten times thrice a day will be imparted on the level of Gaura Hari Nama Mahadiksha or Hari Nama Diksha in specific cases.

One round of either of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas is equal to 1 x 108 = 108 Holy Names of the Lord since Nityananda or Gauranga is One Holy Name of the Lord.

Since there are sixteen Holy Names in one Hare Krishna Mahamantra, one round of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is equal to 16 x 108 = 1728 Holy Names of the Lord.

For Audio of the Japa Meditation by His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada, please hear and download the fast and slow Japa Audio files.

For pictures on how to chant on Tulsi Japa beads please check this url:

For further information and points on chanting and Mahadiksha, check the Things to Know section in the Mahadiksha category.