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Chant Hare Krishna Before Hare Rama?

Does it matter if we chant the mahamantra in the reverse order i.e. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare? Actually this is the order in which Lord Brahma gave the mantra to Narada Muni. 
 


Answer: Follow the Authorized Scriptures


2. The sastras and God Himself have given us the mahamantra with Hare Krishna first. Here are some of the many evidences:

Ananta Samhita:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varna kani hi kalau yuge mahamantrah sammato jiva tarane

“Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This hari-nama mahamantra consists of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables. In Kali-yuga this mantra can deliver all jivas.”

In the Brahma Yamala, Lord Shiva states:

harim bina nasti kincat papani-starakam kalau tasmal-lokod-dharana-artham hari-nama prakasayet sarvatra mucyate loko mahapapat kalau yuge hare-krsna pada dvandvam krsneti ca pada-dvayam tatha hare-pada-dvandvam hare-rama iti dvayam tad-ante ca mahadevi- rama rama dvayam vadet hare hare tato bru-yad harinama samud dharet mahamantram ca krsnasya sarva papa pranasakam

“He Mahadevi! Look! In Kali-yuga there is no easier way to eradicate sins than by sri-hari-nama. It is therefore essential to propagate sri hari-nama among the general populace. The people in Kaliyuga can be easily liberated from the greatest hell by performing sankirtana of this mahamantra. To chant the mahamantra, first chant Hare Krishna twice, then chant Krishna twice, then Hare twice. After that, chant Hare Rama twice, then Rama twice and again Hare twice. One should chant, articulate and perform sankirtana etc., of Sri Krishna’s mahamantra, which destroys all sins.”

In the Radhahrdya Khanda of the Brahmanda Purana, Romaharsana Suta prays to Sri Veda Vyasa as follows:

yat tvaya kirtitam natha hari-nameti sanjitam mantram brahmapadam siddhi karam

“He Vibho! He Prabhu! Please instruct me in the brahma svarupa nama mantra of Sri-Hari which is the bestower of all perfections.”

In reply, Sri Veda Vyasa gives the following instruction:

grhanad yasya mantrasya dehi brahmamayo bhavet sadhyah putah surapo ‘pi sarvasiddhi-yuto bhavet tad-aham te bhidhasyami mahabhagavato hamsi hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare iti sodasakam namnam tri-kala kalmasapaham natah parataropayah sarva vedesu vidhyate

“O my son, I will certainly instruct you in that maha-mantra, the acceptance of which a person in the bodily conception of life can be liberated and even a drunkard can quickly become purified and attain all perfection. I will instruct you because you are a maha-bhagavata and a suitable candidate. Just see! The sixteen word mahamantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

can destroy the sins of the three worlds. The four Vedas do not mention a method for achieving liberation from material bondage superior to the chanting of this mahamantra.”

The Ananta Samhita also states:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare sodasautani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi kalau yuge mahamantrah sammato jiva tarane utsrajyaitan-mahamantram ye tvanyat kalpitam padam maha-nameti gayanti te sastra-guru-lani-ghanah

“All sastras agree that the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which is composed of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables, is the illustrious mantra to deliver the jivas in Kali-yuga. Those who neglect this mahamantra and accept any other process, due to their own imagination or the imagination of others, are actually disobeying guru and sastra. If someone asks, ‘Why is this sixteen word Hare Krishna mantra the mahamantra' then the following answer is given:

‘Among all of Krishna’s names no name other than Hari can easily take away sins, great misfortune and ignorance. No name other than Krishna can deliver prema. And no name other than Rama can bestow liberation.’ 

This is why the mahamantra is composed of these three primary names. Secondly, these sixteen names are an invocation. Om, svaha, etc., are not required to make the mantra more potent. For this reason it is called the mahamantra.”

In some unauthorized editions of the scriptures the mahamantra has been reversed to start with Hare Rama instead of Hare Krishna.  But we follow the authorized scriptural editions which give Hare Krishna first.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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