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Recently, I was watching a video by an authentic Vaishnava guru named Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (who has a YouTube channel called DharmaNation). He was doing a live Q&A session and touched upon the topic of the Hare Krishna maha mantra. Now, although he is a Shri Vaishnava, he also had a guru who was a Gaudiya Vaishnava, so he studied both the Chaitanya Charitamrita and the Chaitanya Bhagavata.

Now, he said that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did indeed espouse chanting Hari's names, but interestingly, in neither work does one find the explicit mention of the Hare Krishna mantra. He goes on to say that if Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did chant this mantra, we certainly do not know about it in written records.

Is this true? Is there any mention of the Hare Krishna maha mantra in either the Chaitanya Charitamrita or the Chaitanya Bhagavata? Other legitimate sources are fine as well. I am looking for both direct and indirect references if possible.

If not, then how exactly did the maha-mantra get into Gaudiya Vaishnavism?

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Namaskar,

The mantra does occur in the chaitanyabhAgavata. Chaitnya said it in Adi 14.145-146, and this is obvious when you see the original Bengali text as well:

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare. ei sloka nama bali laya mahamantra, solanama batrisaaksara ei tantra.

This consists of sixteen names of the Supreme Lord with thirty two syllables: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

and again in Madhya 6.117, when advaitAchArya praises chaitanya:

jaya jaya hare krsna mantrera prakasa

All glories to he who introduces the chanting of the Hare Krsna mahamantra!

There is no place where the whole text of the harekRRiShNamahAmantra is written in the chaitanyacharitAmRRita. I have searched through the text on vedabase.io and found none, although in Adi 8.26, Madhya 7.96 and 9.13, there are other long mantra texts with many repetitions of names. It is plausible that CC Adi 7.83 refers to it:

kRRiShNa-nAma-mahA-mantrera

In the text, it is said to have been given by chaitanya.

Another possible reference is CC. Antya 9.56 and 58, where somebody says to caitanya:

vANInAtha nirbhaye laya kRRiShNa-nAma ‘hare kRRiShNa, hare kRRiShNa.a kahe avishrAma

vANInAtha was fearlessly, incessantly chanting the name of kRRiShNA: "hare kRRiShNa, hare kRRiShNa"

The response to this is:

shuni.a mahAprabhu ha-ilA parama Ananda

Hearing this, caitanya became very pleased

The chaitanyaupaniShad also alludes to it, but it is only the commentary from 1887 by bhaktivinoda ThAkura that gives the complete text. Verse 11 says

sa eva mula-mantram japati harir iti krsna iti rama iti.

He chants the original mantra consisting of Hari, Krsna and Rama

There are many other texts written about chaitanya that are in Sanskrit or Bengali: I do not have access to them and cannot know if they mention the mantra. There might also be other ways to infer that chaitanya used this mantra, in which case I would appreciate some more knowledgeable responses.

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