Japa of Mahamantra
by Swami Sivananda
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare;
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
At the end of Dvapara-Yuga, Narada went to Brahma and addressed him thus: "O Lord, how shall I, roaming over the earth, be able to cross Kali?" To which Brahma thus replied: "Well asked. Hearken to that which all Srutis (the Vedas) keep secret and hidden, through which one may cross the Samsara (mundane existence) of Kali. He shakes off (the evil effects of) Kali through the mere uttering of the Name of the Lord Narayana, who is the Primeval Purusha. " Again Narada asked Brahma: "What is the Name?" To which Hiranyagarbha (Brahma) replied thus: (the words are) "1. Hare, 2. Rama, 3. Hare, 4. Rama, 5. Rama, 6. Rama, 7. Hare, 8. Hare, 9. Hare, 10. Krishna, 11. Hare, 12. Krishna, 13. Krishna, 14. Krishna, 15. Hare, 16. Hare. These sixteen Names (words) are destructive of the evil effects of Kali. No better means than this is to be seen in all the Vedas. These (sixteen Names) destroy the Avarana (or the veil which produces the sense of individuality) of Jiva surrounded by the sixteen Kalas (rays). Then like the sphere of the sun which shines fully after the clouds (screening it) disperse, Parabrahman alone shines. "
Narada asked: "O Lord! what are the rules to be observed with reference to it?" To which Brahma replied that there are no rules for it. Whosoever in a pure or an impure state, utters these always, attains the same world of, or proximity with, or the same form of, or absorption into Brahman.
Whosoever utters three and a half crores - This number can be reached by uttering the Mantra completely within one year if uttered at the rate of a lakh per day; and within ten years if uttered at the rate of 10, 000 per day. -Kalisantarana Upanishad (or thirty-five million) times this Mantra composed of sixteen Names (of words) crosses the sin of the murder of a Brahmin. He becomes purified from the sin of the theft of gold. He becomes purified from the sin of cohabitation with women of low caste. He is purified from the sins of wrong done to Pitris, Devas and men. Having given up all Dharmas, he becomes freed at once from all sins. He is at once released from all bondage. That he is at once released from all bondage is the Upanishad.