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I came across a topic in which it is explained that 1000 times chanting Vishnu equals chanting rama's name 3 times and I have a subsequent question.

I have heard in the temple that chanting Krishna's name is more powerful than chanting Rama's name x number of times (I think x was 1000 but I am not sure). Where is this mentioned in the scriptures?

  • I found it, it is mentioned here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/19815/… – Wikash_ Dec 24 '18 at 2:51
  • I have direct quotes of comparison also, I will post some time later. I have to dig them out. – user16618 Dec 24 '18 at 17:06
  • hmm... the mantras should posses same power ,aren't they the pots made from same mud – Akash. B Dec 25 '18 at 6:21
  • @RaRe please post when you can get hem. – Wikash_ Dec 25 '18 at 19:09
  • It probably comes from the number of "kalas" - Krishna was "God incarnate" i.e., with all 16 kalas. Rama was with 14 kalas and was an "avatar" so to speak. Krishna can offer Moksha (per the Gita) but Rama cannot. Also, in the Gita, Krishna says "pray/worship me since I'm God" but Rama hasn't ever claimed that. Hence it's likely that it's considered by many that chanting Krishna's name is superior IMHO – PhD Apr 3 at 19:40
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This comparison is actually unfair and made famous from some particular sects only. This is same how they started saying "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare" instead of Kali-Santarana Upanishad version "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare" i.e. reciting Hare Krishna before Hare Rama in the mantra.

There is not a direct comparison. This is indirectly mentioned in two sources:

  1. Lord Shiva said in Padma Purana,

    The holy name of Rama is equal to one thousand holy names.

  2. Sesha said in Brahmanda Purana,

    By a simple repetition, a single name of Krsna yields that fruit which is yielded by repeating three times the thousand holy names.

Both sources are different and the personalities who said are different. Further, neither of the verses mention Vishnu-Sahasranama, it simply says thousand holy names. So 1000 holy names of first source might be different from 1000 holy names of second source, hence, no fair comparison.

Though first source says in some other place that "Lord Rama's Name alone is more superior than a thousand Names of Lord Vishnu." but thousand Names of Lord Vishnu also not unique across scriptures, they differ from scripture to scripture.

Now, first of all there is no direct comparison between these two names. Also, रामः (raamah) and कृष्णः (krishnah) indeed part of few versions of Vishnu Sahasranama.

So, such lines are just eulogy to the God and should not be used for direct comparisons.

  • I think rama and krishna will be part of all Vishnu sahasranamas, so the assumption should be excluding the names of Rama and Krishna in the stotra. – user16618 Dec 24 '18 at 7:03
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I will be answering it based on the Krishna Sandarbha by Jiva Goswami where in he discussed this as part of the actual subject that Krishna is the source of all incarnations which I answered here.

First, he quotes from Brahmanda Purana.

yasmad evam sarvato 'pi tasyotkarshas tasmad evanyatas tadiya-namadinam api mahimadhikyam iti gati-samanyantaram ca labhyate. tatra namno yatha brahmanda-purane shri-krishnashöottara-shata-namamrita-stotre

sahasra-namnam punyanam trir avritya tu tat-phalam ekavritya tu krishnasy namaikam tat prayacchati iti vyakti-kriyate cadhikam phalatvam krishna-namna

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His holy names, qualities, and pastimes are sublime and unequaled. That no other holy name of the Lord is equal to the name of Krishna is confirmed in the following verse from the Shri Krishnashöottara-shata-nama-stotra, found in the Brahmanda Purana:

"By chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna only once one achieves the same purifying effect obtained by chanting other names of the Supreme Lord three thousand times."

[Next, someone may present the following objection:] Is it not so that the Brihat-sahasra-nama-stotra (in the 71st Chapter of the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana) Lord Shiva says to Parvati: "O beautiful goddess, a single utterance of the holy name of Rama is equal to a thousand utterances of these other names of the Supreme Lord."

[To this objection we reply:] This statement of Lord Shiva certainly explains the superior position of the name of Rama. But it does not specifically state that the name of Krishna is secondary. We may also note that in other verses from the Vedic literature the primary importance of the name of Krishna is revealed.

We may note that because the word "sahasra-namnam" is in the plural, we cannot interpret it to be a dvigu-samasa, and thus mean "of thousands of names of Krishna". For this reason the word "sahasra-namnam" should be interpreted to mean "of those prayers containing a thousand names of the Lord".

He mentions that assuming Rama's name is dropped from sahasra nama stotra because all versions of saharsra namas contains Rama and Krishna names. Though he doesn't explicitly mention dropping Krishna's name, that is understood since in other places in scriptures, Krishna's name is declared the most important. Else, the statement of Padma Purana and Brahmanda Purana's have no meaning if we keep Rama and Krishna's name inside the Vishnu sahasranamam.

Now the verse about direct comparison is quoted:

padme patala-hande shri-mathura-mahatmye shri-mahadevasyaiva vakye tarakaj jayate muktih prema-bhaktis tu pavakat iti. purvam atra mocakatva-prema-datvabhyam taraka-pavaka-samjne rama-krishna-namnor hi vihite. tatra ca rama-namni mocakatva-shaktir evadhika. shri-krishna-namni tu moksha-sukha-tiraskari-premananda-datritva-shaktih samadhiketi bhavah

In the Mathura-mahatmya section of the Patala Khanda of the Padma Purana, in the description of the holy names of Krishna and Rama, Lord Shiva says: "From one holy name liberation is obtained, and from the other holy name purification and love of God are obtained." In other words, by chanting the holy name of Lord Rama, one attains liberation, and from chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna, one attains pure love of God, which makes the happiness of liberation seem very insignificant.

Next follows a quote from Vishnu Dharmottara purana:

ittham evoktam vishnu-dharmottarre yac chakti nama yat tasya tasminn eva ca vastuni sadhakam purusha-vyaghra saumya-krureshu vastushu. iti.

The potency of the holy name of Shri Krishna is also described in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana: "O best of men, on both saints and the cruel hearted(demons) , chanting the holy name of Krishna has equal potency[both attain love of God]"

Next comes a quote from Prabhasa purana(which is a upapurana whose information is given here) which clearly says Krishna's name is the most important.

kim ca, shri-krishna-namno mukhyatvam nigadenaiva shruyate prabhasa-purane shri-narada-kushadhvaja-samvade shri-bhagavad-uktau

namnam mukhyatamam nama krishnakhyam me parantapa iti.

That Shri Krishna is the most important of all holy names of the Lord is described by Lord Krishna Himself. As recorded in the conversation between Narada and Kushadhvaja in the Prabhasa Purana, Lord Krishna said:

"O Arjuna, of all My holy names, the name Krishna is the most important."

Gaudiya Vaishnavas think that the original order of the mantra in Kali Santarana Upanishad would be 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.....'. The oldest surviving manuscript we have of Kali Santarana Upanisad is a 17th century copy with the commentary by the Advaitin scholar Brahmayogin Ramacandrendra Sarasvati. But, Gaudiya Vaishnavas had been chanting the mantra that begins with Hare Krishna for nearly 2.5 centuries before that. Gaudiya Vaishnav acharyas have given six commentaries on the mantra that begins with Hare Krishna.

By natural assumption that Rama appeared first, while copying or putting in writing form, the order would have been reversed and thus in some manuscripts we find Hare Rama first.

Also, there are cross references for the same mantra in other scriptures, which you can see here.

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Chaitanya Charitamrit, by sril krishnadas kaviraj (C.C. set of 9 vols., in Madhya Lila).

During His south india pastimes, Lord Chaitanya visited many south indian ancient temples. The vaishnava devotees there are telling Him that after His presence, they are realizing that chanting Krishna once is equal to chanting Rama thrice and chanting Lord Vishnu thousand of times.

There is a very beautiful verse in Brahma-samhita:

"Rama adi murtishu kalaniyamen tishathan, nana avataram karod bhuvneshu KINTU; Krishnah svayam sambhvat paramah pumanyo, Govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami." - (ch#5).

And in a simple way, vishnu has sahatranam (thousand names) and Ram has three (Lord Ram, Lord Parshuram, Lord Balram).

Krishna, the all attractive, has the one eternal identity. Lord chaitanya has said Krishna is the supreme master. Everyone is the eternal servant, "nitya-das" of krishna. He is the supreme controller and everyone is controlled. He is the supreme cause of every cause, either Ram or vishnu.

The topmost of the Rasa is the Madhurya and is only present in Sri Krishna.

"bhaje shveta-dvipam tam aham iha Golokam iti yam vidantaste santah kshiti viral charah katipaye".

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