Why should we chant Hare Krishna Maha Manthra instead of Gayathri Manthra?
In one of his lecture, Srila Prabhupada says that the Mantra “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare” is the only mantra which was passed by Brahma to Naradha and is the best of all mantra, then what about Gayatri Mantra?
Yes, Gayathri manthra is very powerful and it is the Manthra form of Krishna as said in the Vibhoodhi yoga of Bhagavad Gita.
At the same time, Bhagavan has also said that in kaliyuga, He will be available in His names.
Therefore, Hare Krishna Maha manthra is the direct mention of His Names as well as His energy and hence it is recommended.
Gayathri Manthra must be chanted by brahmanas following brahminical rules, whereas Hare Krishna Maha Mantra can be chanted by all. The rules to chant Gayathri Manthra are very strict and it can’t be chanted in all places and by all persons. It must be chanted only at a particular time and with a clean body and mind by following the rules meant for brahmanas.
And, there are some rules in the case of women in chanting Gayathri. So, Gayathri Manthra must be chanted only when we are following brahminical qualities and are 100% confident that we will not offend.
That is why, Brahmana initiation with Gayathri Manthra is not given to desiring devotees immediately, but is given by the guru only after Hari Nam initiation and only when the seeker is strictly fulfilling all the devotional practices and austerities. Only the Harinam initiation is given initially. Brahmana initiation is given only for selected people.
In ISKCON, the Brahmana initiation with Gayathri Manthra is given only after a certain months after you get Harinam initiation to maintain the standard.
Even among the Brahmanas by birth, Gayathri Manthra is chanted only after getting Brahmanical initiation in a sacred thread wearing ceremony. In Brahmana communities, after the 6 of a boy, they arrange a ceremony for UPANAYANA to initiate the boy to Gayathri Manthra regularly.
Whereas Hare Krishna Maha Manthra can be chanted at any time and by anyone and anywhere. There is no differennce between Gayathri and Hare Krishna Maha Manthra in terms of effects. The effects are the same. However, the rules are simple for Hare Krishna Maha Manthra and hence, it is recommended for kaliyuga as the people may find it very difficult to follow austerities. So, Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu has mercifully recommended Hare Krishna Maha Manthra for us to chant in this kaliyuga.
However, when you are able to follow all the rules strictly, you can chant both Gayathri and Hare Krishna Maha Manthra after getting suitable initiations from a bonafide guru.
If you like to chant Gayathri Manthra, first get the initiation for Hari Nam from a bonafide Guru and later, after about an year, if you follow brahminical qualities, get Brahmana initiation.
Once you start Gayathri Manthra, you should strictly follow four regulative principles (No meat, No Gambling, No intoxication and No illicit Sex) and also avoid onion, garlic, coffee, tea, etc.
Violation from these rules is great offence against Gayathri Manthra.
CHANT HARE KRISHNA AND BE HAPPY AND BLISSFUL! CHANT GAYATHRI MANTHRA LATER WHEN YOU BECOME CONFIDENT OF MAINTAINING AUSTERITIES AND AFTER GETTING INITIATED AS BRAHMANA.
Hope you are clear now.