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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > SG Translated and Main Scriptures > Maha Mantra Yoga > Ch 1 Shruti and Smriti Scriptures about the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra > Shrutis - Vedas, Upanishads and Vedanta > Ananta Samhita - Atharva Veda

Ananta Samhita

In the Ananta-samhita, the glories of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra are explained in these verses:

hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare;
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.

shodashaitani namani, dvatrimshad varnakani hi;
kalau yuge maha-mantrah, sammato jivatarane. (I)

“This mantra comprising of sixteen words or thirty-two syllables is known as the maha-mantra in Kali-yuga and is the only capable means through which the living entities can be delivered in Kali-yuga.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

Each of the 16 words in the maha-mantra is made up of 2 syllables. For eg. ‘hare’ is made up of ‘ha’ and ‘re’, ‘krishna’ is made up of ‘krish’ and ‘na’ and ‘rama’ is made up of ‘ra’ and ‘ma’. Thus the maha-mantra in Kali-yuga is the 32-syllable, 16-word mantra as established here in the Ananta Samhita. An intelligent person should thus accept and chant this maha-mantra because it has been described in the Vedic scriptures as the only authorized and bonafide mantra for the specific deliverance of the people in Kali-yuga. If one is already chanting another mantra, then one should check out whether that mantra is mentioned anywhere in the scriptures for Kali-yuga or is simply a man-made mantra. If there is no reference in the scriptures, one should simply give it up and take up the chanting of the most authorized Hare Krishna maha-mantra for achieving perfection in life, The very reason why this mantra is called the maha-mantra, is because in Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna in the form of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, has very mercifully invested the cumulative potencies of all other authorized mantras as well as His own potencies into this Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Thus if someone neglects the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, he or she is to be considered the most foolish person who is willingly drinking poison and thus wasting the most valuable human form of life.

The Vedic scriptures repeatedly state that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna personally and fully appears in Kali-yuga in a golden complexion in the transcendental abode of Mayapura in the heart of Shri Navadvipa around 130 kms. north of Calcutta, West Bengal India, alongwith His eternal associates. He is known by the names Gauranga, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Gaura, Gaurahari, Visvambhara, Nimai, etc. His elder brother, Lord Balarama appeared as Lord Nityananda (Nitai). Lord Gauranga advented as the divine son of Shrimati Shachidevi and Shri Jagannatha Mishra on the banks of the Ganges on the 18th of February 1486 (516 years ago) and displayed His superexcellent pastimes for 48 years on this planet. For 24 years He personally taught everyone by His own example how to remain as an ideal householder in bhakti-yoga and for 24 years He set the standard of an ideal sannyasi while residing at Jagannatha Puri in Orissa, India. He thus established the yuga-dharma of Kali-yuga by constantly chanting, relishing and distributing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra: hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare; hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.

Thus in Shri Prema-vivarta, Shrila Jagadananda Pandita summarizes the whole process of achieving perfection in Kali-yuga:

gaurajana sanga kara gauranga baliya;
‘hare krishna’ nama bala naciya naciya.

“Please associate continuously with pure devotees of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and always loudly chant the the Hare Krishna maha-mantra alongwith the Holy Names of Lord Gauranga, while dancing in ecstacy of love of God.”

The Pancha-tattva maha-mantra should be chanted before each round of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. By the mercy of the most merciful Pancha-tattva, the chanter will quickly achieve the platform of offenseless chanting. The Pancha-tattva maha-mantra is as follows:

shri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda;
shri-advaita gadadhara shrivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda.

How the Names, Pastimes, Abode and Associates of Lords Nityananda Gauranga help one to quickly achieve the qualification to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra purely is described in details at <>. (Purport ends)

varjayitva tu namaitad, durjanaih parikalpitam;
chandobaddham susiddhanta, viruddham nabhyaset padam. (II)

“One should never neglect or give up the chanting of this maha-mantra and take to other so-called purificatory processes which are invented by fools and miscreants. One should not engage even in chanting other metrical compostions of the names of God that are against the pure conclusions of the scriptures.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

There is always a danger of bhakti-siddhanta-viruddha abhasa or rasabhasa (misconceptions opposed to pure bhakti) in the concocted mantras which are not mentioned in the Vedic scriptures. The common man cannot identify this and he foolishly takes shelter of chanting these so-called mantras. Thus instead of progressing in bhakti, he falls down due to chanting a mantra which is offensive to the path of pure bhakti (devotional service) to the Lord. This book is specifically meant to save such unfortunate spiritual aspirants in this most degraded age where bogus and so-called secret mantras are being created everywhere. Thus in this section we have compiled a comprehensive collection of verses from the Vedic scriptures which prove the ultimate authencity and indispensability of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in Kali-yuga. (Purport ends)

tarakam brahma-namaitad, brahmana gurunadina;
kalisantaranadyasu shruti-svadhigatam hareh. (III)

“Lord Brahma and other highly advanced spiritual masters have called this maha-mantra as ‘taraka-brahma-nama’ which means this transcendental mantra is the deliverer of one and all. This mantra has been glorified in srutis like the Kali-santarana Upanishad (given below) and also by Lord Hari Himself.

praptam shri brahma-shishyena, shri naradena dhimata;
namaitad-uttamam shrauta-paramparyena brahmanah.(IV)

“After receiving through aural reception, this topmost of all mantras from their father Lord Brahma, Shri Narada and Brahma’s other sons and disciples chanted it, achieved perfection and taught it to their own disciples in the parampara system.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

How the pure Hare Krishna maha-mantra is transmitted through the disciplic succession is explained as follows:

In the Padma Purana it is stated:

sampradaya-vihina ye, mantras te nishphala matah;
atah kalau bhavishyanti, catvarah sampradayinah.

shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka,vaishnavah kshiti-pavanah;
catvaras te kalau bhavya, hy utkale purushottamat.

ramnujam shrih svi-cakre, madhvacaryam caturmukhah;
shri-vishnu-svaminam rudro, nimbadityam catuhsanah.

“Unless one is initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master in a bonafide and authentic disciplic succession, the mantra he might have received is without any effect. For this reason the Lord will reveal the four authorized Vaishnava disciplic successions, inaugurated by Lord Brahma, Lakshmi-devi, Lord Siva, and the four Kumaras. The message of these four sampradayas will be spread from the holy place of Jagannatha Puri in Orissa and thus purify the entire earth during the age of Kali. Anyone accepting initiation outside these four sampradayas is cheating himself and others. Any self-proclaimed guru outside these four sampradayas is also not bonafide and is also cheating himself and others. Lord Brahma chose Madhvacarya to represent her disciplic succession. In the same way Lakshmi-devi chose Ramanujacarya, Lord Siva chose Vishnu Svami, and the four Kumaras chose Nimbarka.”

For example if one takes medicine from an unauthorized quack, then one is sure to be cheated. It may actually do harm rather than benefit the person.

Lord Brahma instructs Shrila Narada in the Skanda Purana, Kartika-Mahatmya:

te narah pashavo loke, kim tesham jivane phalam;
yair na labdha harer diksha, narcito va janardanah.

“Unfortunate people do not accept diksha from a bonafide Vaishnava guru in any of these four sampradayas and thus they remain unqualified to worship Lord Krishna. Such people are simply like animals since there is no higher purpose for their human form of life.”

tapasvinah karma nishtha, shreshthaste vai nara bhuvi;
prapta yaistu harer diksha sarva dukha vimocani.

“Those persons who accept diksha from a bonafide Vaishnava spiritual master from any of these four sampradayas are completely delivered from all the miseries of material existence. In this world, they become superior even to the great ascetics and karma-nishtha yogis.”

The Vishnu-yamala states:

adikshitasya vamoru kritam sarvam nirarthakam;
pashu-yonim avapnoti diksha-virahito janah.

“Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master from any of the above four sampradayas, all his devotional activities are useless. A person who is not properly initiated in any of these four authorized Vaishnava sampradayas will surely descend again into the animal species in his next life.”

divyam jnanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sankshayam;
tasmat diksheti sa prokta deshikais tattva-kovidaih.

“Diksha is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksha.”

The complete knowledge of the Name, Form, Qualities, Pastimes, Abode and Associates of Lord Krishna and Lord Gauranga is transmitted to disciple by the guru in the seed form of the pure Hare Krishna maha-mantra uttered by the guru in the ear of the disciple at the time of Harinam Diksa. For this kind of transmission, it becomes incumbent that the guru himself has positive realization of the above mentioned transcendental characteristics of Lord Krishna. That is why the first and primary duty of a spiritual aspirant is to search out a self-realized and pure spiritual master in any one of the four chains of disciplic succession given in the Padma Purana.

Vishnu-yamala continues:

ato gurum pranamyaivam sarva-svam vinivedya ca;
grihniyad vaishnavam mantram diksha-purvam vidhanatah.

“That is why the prime duty of every human being to surrender to a bona fide Vaishnava spiritual master in any of the four authorized sampradayas. Giving him everything-body, mind and intelligence-one must take Vaishnava initiation from him.”

The Bhakti-sandarbha (298) gives the following quotation from the Tattva-sagara:

yatha kancanatam yati kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah;
tatha diksha-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrinam .

“By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by mercury; similarly, when a person is properly initiated by a bonafide spiritual master, he acquires the qualities of a brahmana.”

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is all powerful and thus the process of deliverance and purification by chanting the maha-mantra does not even depend on initiation but the process of initiation into the maha-mantra from an authorized and self-realized guru speedens up the process of attaining pure love of God, which is the ultimate goal of all spiritual practices. The deeper issues regarding the qualifications of the spiritual master (nama guru), disicple, the process of diksa etc. will be furthur discussed in the upcoming translation and commentary of the book Hari-nama-cintamani by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. (Purport ends)

utshrjyaitan-maha-mantram, ye tvanyat kalpitam padam;
mahanameti gayanti, te shastra-guru langhanah. (V)

“Abandoning this maha-mantra, those who recite verses or poems or songs (full of even the principal names of Lord Krishna) which have been manufactured through someone’s imagination, certainly transgress the instructions of the scriptures and the bona-fide spiritual masters.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

Neglecting or avoiding the maha-mantra in Kali-yuga, if someone simply recites mantras or hymns or songs or verses or poems composed of even the primary names of Krishna, such a person is transgressing the religious principles for this age.

Since he is not aware of the importance of the maha-mantra, he cannot become a leader or guide of anyone. If he dares to do so he is simply a cheater in the name of spirituality because he is not repeating the words of the scriptures. A preacher or guru in Kali-yuga should be considered bonafide only if he takes full shelter of the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra as per the instructions of the scriptures and Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu Himself. A bonafide spiritual master has to himself chant and preach the maha-mantra after receiving it from any one of the four authorized Vaishnava paramparas (disciplic successions) mentioned in the Padma Purana.

Since the people in Kali-yuga are especially dull-headed in the matter of self-realization, they get constantly cheated by charlatans posing as incarnations of God ready to give them some secret concocted mantra in return for a huge donation. There are innumerable such bogus incarnations presently stalking the earth for fame, wealth and followers and more such incarnations are being manufactured at every second. Each of them has a different mantra which they claim is the maha-mantra. And those of them who don’t have any particular mantra, ‘authorize’ the chanting of all or any of the so-called mantras, claiming that they all lead to the same God. But this completely is in contrast with the statements of authorized scriptures like Ananta Samhita and Kali-santarana Upanishhad, which emphatically and repeatedly state that the only mantra which effectively delivers all the living entities in Kali-yuga is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Even if a mantra is a bonafide mantra from the Vedas, it gets it strength in Kali-yuga from the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra according to Shrila Jiva Gosvami in Bhakti-sandarbha:

“The ultimate substance of all the Vedic mantras is the chanting of the names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Every mantra begins with the prefix nama om and eventually addresses by name the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the supreme will of the Lord there is a specific potency in each and every mantra chanted by great sages like Narada Muni and other rishis. All the potencies of all these mantras are present in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra which immediately renovates the transcendental relationship of the living being with the Supreme Lord.”

We can thus conclude that a simple parameter to identify a true guru from a bogus guru is that a bonafide guru should himself chant the authorized Hare Krishna maha-mantra mentioned in the scriptures, preach the glories of chanting the maha-mantra alongwith the nami Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and thus induce anyone and everyone he meets to constantly chant the maha-mantra. (Purport ends)

tattva-virodha-sanpriktam, tadrisham daurjanam matam;
sarvatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada. (VI)

“Those who are interested in their real self-interest should never accept in any form whatsoever, these concocted mantras or verses which are against the philosophical conclusions of the scriptures and which may contain subtle deviations from the Vedic knowledge.

Purport by Swami Gaurangapada:

We humbly request all the readers of this book not to accept the regular chanting of any other mantra in Kali-yuga except this Hare Krishna maha-mantra, as recommended in all the Vedic literatures. Ofcourse one can and should chant the other principal and scripturally authorized names of Lord Krishna especially those of the most merciful incarnation Lord Nitai-Gauranga alongwith the maha-mantra to achieve quick success in the chanting process and for nullifying our offensive mentality. If one does not pay attention to this warning, one will surely be cheated by some bogus guru giving a bogus mantra, and thus one will loose the valuable opportunity to realize God in this human form of life. It is a complete waste of time, money and resources to chant other concocted mantras thinking that they are also maha-mantras. Before accepting the chanting of any other ‘mantra’, we should question the giver as to where is that mantra recommended for Kali-yuga in the bonafide scriptures. These bogus gurus are very dangerous because they sometimes manufacture their own scriptures or sastras in order to justify their created mantra or their bogus method of worship. The maha-mantra is not that kind of mantra because it is directly mentioned and advocated in the bonafide scriptures like the Upanishads, Samhitas, Puranas etc. According to the scriptures, those unscrupulous people who are giving out these bogus mantras, are destined to rot in hell along with the foolish people who accept these mantras from them in good faith. To allow oneself to get cheated is as sinful as to cheat others.

Thus everyone should take full and unalloyed shelter of the chanting of the maha-mantra:

hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare;
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.