Who is the Rama in the Harekrishna Mahamantra?

There are different Rama's like Parasurama, Balarama and Dasarathi Rama. Who of these three is referred to as Rama in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra?

  • 2
    At least Gaudiya Vaishnavas, who are the main people who chant the mantra, say it’s Balarama. Mar 1, 2019 at 0:39
  • 1
    I think Rama here refers to Parasurama:) Mar 1, 2019 at 6:45
  • It can refer to Ramacandra (Dasarathi Rama) or Balarama. Perhaps it can refer to Krishna as well but that is less likely because the name "Krishna" is already there in the mantra. Mar 1, 2019 at 10:08
  • If you think logically it can only be Ramacandra. Balarama and Parsuharama are not worshipped as much. Besides Krishna and Ramacandra are full incarnations of Vishnu.
    – Wikash_
    Mar 1, 2019 at 16:34

2 Answers 2


There are different interpretations of the word 'Rama' as discussed by Dr. Mahanaamvrata Brahmachari in the second volume of Gaur-Katha:

  1. The Mahamantra is a conversation between Krishna and Balarama. Krishna is calling Balarama as 'Rama'.

  2. Its a conversation between Haraa(Sri Radhika, who is the Chitta-Haraa of Sri Krishna) and Sri Krishna (Who is the 'Rama' or the source of bliss of Sri Radhika).

  3. Its a conversation between Nityananda-Rama and Gaura-Hari, where Rama refers to Nityananda-Rama.

  4. It refers to Dasarathi Rama, as Mahaprabhu also preached the Mantra: Krishna Keshava Krishna Keshava Krishna Keshava paahi maam/ Rama RAAGHAVA Rama RAGHAVA Rama RAGHAVA raksha maam//

Another meaning we get from the opinions of Sri Radharamana Charandas Babaji and Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath.According to both,

The one who attracts the minds of devotees is Krishna, steals the sins is Hari and gives eternal bliss is Rama.So to Vaishnavas, Rama is Vishnu/Krishna/Daasarathi Rama , to Shaivas Shivas Shiva is Rama and to Shaaktas Durga/Kali/Any other form of Divine Mother is Rama and so on. In brief, one's Ishta is one's Krishna, Hari and Rama.

All the explanations are authentic to me, but I personally prefer the last two.

Thanks for your question.


Gaudiya Vaishnavas take it as representing Krishna himself and Balarama as well in few commentaries.

Jiva goswami writes in his commentary to Hare Krishna mahamantra as follows:

Krishna is glorified by the name Rama because he constantly causes the Vraja cowherd women’s minds and senses to enjoy the charms of his beauty.

Krishna, with His beautiful blackish form, submerges the minds of those who worship Him in an ocean of supreme bliss. Therefore He is known by the name Rama.

When Krishna heard the cries of the Vrajavasis, who were afraid of the forest fire, He quickly swallowed it up, drying their tears. By giving them joy in this way, He is known as Rama.

Raghunath Das goswami and Gopal Guru goswami also in their commentaries take Rama as representing Krishna.

It can represent Lord Rama as well. And other Vaishnavas prefer to take it that way.

  • one thing hear Sri Radhika is senior to Krishna by 10 years I believe while leaving brindavan Krishna is 11 yrs old.. so you cannot attribute man female conjugal thing to Radha Krishna (in human parlance) second Krishna above he sirsti is iccha matra.. no need for meagre sex.
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:15
  • @Partha vaidagdhya-sāra-sarvasvaṁ mūrta-līlādhidaivatam śrī-rādhāṁ ramayan nityaṁ rāma ity abhidhīyate
    – user2612
    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:24
  • @Partha how do you put in normal words? I have removed that and added other explanations of Jiva Goswami.
    – user2612
    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:30

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