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As Pusta Krishna Prabhu witnessed Srila Prabhupada's correction, in our chanting

"As Srila Prabhupada’s secretary and more than once in any case, I sat before Srila Prabhupada chanting my japa. Sometimes we hear people, and myself, saying “Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare”. Srila Prabhupada would stop me and (more than once) say to me: “Chant the entire mantra” and he would proceed to do so. It is Ra-ma.
(As told by Pusta Krishna das ACBSP)

 

As Pusta Krishna Prabhu witnessed Srila Prabhupada's correction, in our chanting  we want to please the spiritual master and chant the mantra correctly.

Another important point to consider in deciding if we should chant Ram or Rama is if in our chanting we do not say the whole RAMA but just say RAM without the last "A" sound then it will not be a 32 syllable mantra.

Throughout the vedas the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra is referred to as the 32 syllable mantra.

Here are a few references:

 

The Ananta-samhita states:

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare |hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare ||
sodazaitani namani dvatrimzad varnakani hi |kalau yuge maha-mantrah sammato jivatarane ||
varjayitva tu namaitad durjanaih parikalpitam |chandobaddham susiddhanta viruddham nabhyaset padam ||
tarakam brahma-namaitad brahmana gurunadina |kalisantaranadyasu zruti-svadhigatam hareh ||
praptam zri brahma-zisyena zri naradena dhimata |namaitad-uttamam zrauta-paramparyena brahmanah ||
utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram ye tvanyat kaepitam padam |mahanameti gayanti te zastra-guru langhanah ||
tattva-virodha-saoprktam tadrzam daurjanam matam |sravatha pariharyam syadatma-hitarthina sada ||
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare |hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare ||

“‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama RamaRama Rama Rama Hare Hare’ -- This sixteen-name, thirty-two syllable mantrais the maha-mantra in the age of Kali by which all living beings can bedelivered. One should never abandon chanting this maha-mantra and take toother so-called purificatory processes which are practiced by rascals, orengage in chanting other metrical compositions of the name of Krishna thatare against the pure conclusions of the scriptures, or are filled with rasabhasa.
About this divinely spiritual maha-mantra, which delivers one from materialexistence, the original guru, Lord Brahma, has said, kali-santararadi srutite, ‘Thesrutis have declared this mantra to be the best means of deliverance in the ageof Kali’. Having all heard this from Brahma, the sons and disciples of Brahma,beginning with Narada, all accepted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and,having meditated on it, attained perfection.”

 

 

In Sri Radha Tantra it is said:

srnu matarmahamaye visva-bija-svarupini | hari namno mahamaye krama vad suresvari ||

“Hear me, O mother Mahamaya, seed of the universe personified, mistress of the gods! Please explain the sequence of Hari-nama.”

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare | hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare ||
dvatrim sadaksaranyeva kalau namani sarvadam | etanmantram suta srestha prathamam srnuyannarah ||

Tripura-devi said: “O best among sons! The maha-mantra for Kali-yuga bestows all perfection. This maha-mantra, is composed of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables: ’Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare’. Therefore, a person who desires his own welfare should first hear this Hare Krsna maha-mantra from a bonafide spiritual master.”

 

 

In the Padma Purana it is stated:

dvatrimsad-aksaram mantram nama-sodasakanvitam |
prajapan vaisnavo nityam radha-krsna-sthalam labhet ||

"Those Vaisnavas who always chant the maha-mantra composed of sixteen names divided into thirty-two syllables (Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) attain Sri Vrndavana, the abode of Sri Radha-Krsna."

 

 

In the Sri Caitanya Bhagavata (1.14.143-147) Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura describes Lord Caitanya’s instructions to Tapana Misra as follows:

sadhya-sadhana-tattva ye kichu sakala |
hari-nama-sagkirtane milibe sakala || 143 ||
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam |
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha || 144 ||
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare |
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare || 145 ||
ei zloka nama bali laya maha-mantra |
zola-nama batriza-aksara ei tantra || 146 ||
sadhite sadhite yabe premagkura habe |
sadhya-sadhana-tattva janiba se tabe || 147 ||

“Everything is accomplished by Hari-nama sankirtana, including the goal of life (sadhya) and the means for its attainment (sadhana). In this age of Kali, the only means for deliverance is the chanting of the names of Hari. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way. ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’ This verse of names is called the maha-mantra. It contains sixteen names of the Lord, consisting of thirty-two syllables. Chanting this mantra again and again will awaken the sprout of prema within the heart, and thus the goal of life and the means for its attainment is understood.”

 

 

Hopefully this article sheds some light on weather we should chant Ram or Rama.

 

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