A Little Book of Prayers, Mantras and Gayatris

In the Vedic texts, you will find innumerable prayers and verses that glorify the Supreme Lord and His assistants--the demigods that help manage this universe. Much of the wisdom and spiritual knowledge that compose the Vedic literature is given in the form of prayers. You can practically pick up any Vedic book and find prayers that can be used for multiple purposes.

Before we proceed further, let me explain that it is described that the supreme mantra for progress in this age is the Maha-mantra in which all the sacrifices and other mantras found in the Vedic texts and tradition are compressed. It is this Hare Krishna mantra that is the pre-eminent mantra for spiritual progress in this time, which is why it is called the Maha or great mantra. The full mantra is very simple, which is:

I have already provided a complete explanation of the power, the effects, and the scriptural references regarding this mantra and how best to use it in the article: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, What's So Special About Chanting Hare Krishna. Please read this to understand the importance of this mantra.

The following list of mantras include prayers of surrender to God, of giving thanks for one's blessings, or for asking for protection, for seeking higher levels of guidance and knowledge or enlightenment, for expressing our confusion and need for deliverance, or our need for acquiring deeper feelings of love for God and His spiritual parts and parcels that inhabit this planet. These prayers can also offer profound insights or windows into the spiritual dimension, and are thus great vehicles for our meditation on God and understanding the supremely loving characteristics of God and the spiritual world. In this way, such prayers can be used for a variety of reasons. 

Some of these are quite ancient, such as the Brahma-samhita, the Purusha Sukta, the Isha Upanishad, and encompass the essence of Vedic thought and spiritual understanding. The Sikshashtaka contains the core philosophy of Lord Chaitanya. Others will take you into the heart of the devotional sentiment and comfort of the Supreme Being's care for us, and in knowing the fortunate position we are in by awakening to this knowledge. 

So what follows is lots of spiritual nectar in the selection of prayers that I have collected over the years. These are not the general types of prayers a person is likely to find in conventional prayer books, but are deep with significance and spiritual sentiments for Lord Krishna and His associates. Simply use the links to take you to the prayers that interest you most. You may also like to view some of the photos and prints that we have in the Krishna Darshan Art Gallery to increase your focus on the beauty of the Supreme Being, His incarnations, or the demigods. 

        ** For those who are interested, and many have asked about this, how you can get these prayers in a book form. After many requests, I have compiled most of these into the book called "Prayers, Mantras and Gayatris." So you can see this book and check out its contents on my website and see how to order it through this link Prayers, Mantras and Gayatris.

        1. Prayers to Lord Krishna. Contains an assortment of prayers and mantras to Lord Krishna, along with portions of the Atharva Vediya Gopala-tapani Upanishad,  the Mere Man Mandir, Sri Dasavatara-stotra, the 108 Names of Lord Krishna, and the Sri Nandanandanastakam (prayers to Lord Krishna as Sri Nandanandana), The Krishna Arati, and the Krishna Chalisa.  

        2. The Govindam Prayers by Lord Brahma from the Brahma-samhita to Lord Krishna.

        3. Prayers to Sri Sri Radharani and Lord Krishna. Provides a beautiful selection of verses, and Two Peerless mantras from the Sri Sanatkumara-samhita as advised by Sadashiva.  

        4. Prayers to Srimati Radharani. Here you can find Sri Prarthana-paddhati, the Radha-Stuti prayers, two versions of the Sri Radhikhastakam, Sri Radha-Kundastakam (prayers to the Radha-kund), Radha Kripa Kataksha, Sri Sri Gandharva Samprarthanastakam, Catu-puspanjalih [Stavamala], Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali, The 16 Names of Sri Radha, The 108 Names of Shrimati Radhika, the Sri Radha Sahasra-nama Stotra (The 1000 Names of Srimati Radharani), and the Sruti-phala, the result of hearing these names.

        5. Prayers to Sri Sri Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. Various mantras, and Om Jaya Jagadish Hare, and Narayana Suktam (Sahasra Sirsham Devam), Goddess Lakshmi’s mantra to Her Husband Lord Hrishikesh, and the Narayana Suktam (Sahasra Sirshan Devum) .

        6. Prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. Contains the Lakshmi-Stuti and the Sri Suktam, and 108 Names of Goddess Lakshmi.  

        7. Prayers of Surrender by Gajendra to Lord Vishnu. These are exceptional prayers from the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

        8. Prayers to Lord Jagannatha, Sri Krishna as Lord of the Universe. Contains the Jagannathastaka

        9. Powerful Prayers for Protection to Lord Narasimhadeva. Provides an assortment of powerful mantras for protection and surrender, including prayers to the Lord's weapons, the Sudarshana Nrisimha Mantra, Ugra-Nrisimha Dhyana (Meditation on the angry form of Lord Nrisimhadave), Nrisimha Gayatris, Sri Nrisimha Pranama, Nrisimha Maha-mantra, and two editions of the Sri Nrisimha Kavacha, Five Prayers by Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Sri Ahovalam Stotram, Sri Nakha Stuti, Sri Narasimha Stuti, The 108 Names of Lord Narasimahadev, Names of Sri Narasimha Yajna, the Sri Lakshmi-Narasimha karuna-rasa-stotra by Adi Shankaracharya, Lord Ramacandra's Nrisimha Pancamrita, Rina-mochana Nrisimha Stotra, Sri Nrisimhashtakam, Sri Nrisimha Ashtakam, the Sri Shanischara-krta Sri Narasimha Stuti, and the Thousand Names of Lord Narasimha, The Manyu Shutka of the Rig Veda, and the Sri Nrisimha Astottara Nama Stotram.

        10. Prayers to Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda. Provides beautiful verses to Lord Caitanya, followed by His 108 Names, and then prayers to Lord Nityananda, including the Sri Nityanandastaka (Eight Prayers Glorifying Lord Nityananda), 12 Names of the Moonlike Nityananda Prabhu by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, My Most Merciful Nitai, My Lord Nitai is the Jewel of All Transcendental Qualities, The Market Place of the Holy Name, This Holy Name is so Sweet, Sri Nityananda Prabhu Never Gets Angry, My Dear Lord Nitai! Please be Merciful to Me, and The Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda, Prayers to Nitai.

        11. Sri Sri Sikshashtaka, Prayers to Lord Krishna by Lord Caitanya, and 2 other prayers on the sacredness of the Lord's holy names, the Sri-Harer Namastakam and the Man Radhe Krishna.

        12. Prayers in Glorification of the Spiritual Master.

        13. Additional Gayatri Mantras to God, His Incarnations, the Demigods, and the Planets for Assistance. Includes additional prayers to Vishnu, Lakshmi, Narayana, Narasimha, Ganesh, Shiva, Durga, Brahma, Sarasvati, Kuvera, the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, mantras to the planets like Surya and Chandra, and mantras for each day of the week.

        14. The Purusha Sukta

        15. The Sri Isha Upanishad.

        16. Bhaja Govindam by Adi Shankaracharya, which shows the true end of Vedanta, to worship and develop devotion to Lord Krishna. 

        17. Standard Hare Krishna Prayers/Songs, contains the words to the songs used most often in the daily programs of the Hare Krishna temples, such as Obeisances to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Sri Gurvashtakam, Pancha-Tattva Maha Mantra, Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, Sri Nrisimha Pranam, Tulasi-Arati, Sri Vaishnava Pranam, Sri Sikshasthaka, Jaya Radha Madhava, Mantras chanted before class, Brahma-samhita verses sung during greeting the Deities, Sri Guru-vandana, Sri Nama-Kirtana, Govinda Jaya Jaya, Prasada-sevaya, Shri Shri Shad-goswamy-ashtaka, Nama-Sankirtana, Gaura-Arati, Shri Damodarashtaka, and Saparshada-bhagavad-viraha-janita-vilapa, Shri Jagannathastaka, Gurudeva, Savarna-sri-gaura-pada-padme prarthana, Putting on Tilok.

        18. Sri Vishnu Sahasranam, contains an introduction to the meaning of it, the 1000 Names of Vishnu, with editions in Sanskrit and the Roman transliteration for chanting, translations of the names, and links to the Sanskrit editions. 

        19. 108 Names of Lord Sri Rama, contains a selection of the names of Lord Rama for chanting on special occasions, and the Sri Ram Stuti, and Raghupati Raghava.

        20. 108 Names of Lord Shiva, is a selection of names and the translations that can be chanted on special occasions, such as Shivaratri. This page also contains the Shivastakam by Lord Chaitanya, the Shiva Chalisa, along with additional mantras that include the Shiva-Panchakashara Stotram, Siva-Shadakshara-Stotram, Linga-Ashtakam, and the Ardhanari-Natesvara-Stotram

        21. 108 Names of the Goddess Devi, especially for devotees of the Divine Mother, includes the Dhyanam of the Shri Lalita Sahasranam Stotram, and a selection of 108 names with translations from the Shri Lalita Sahasranam, the Thousand Names of Devi,  and the Bhavaanyashtakam (Prayers to Devi), and the Full Sri Lalitha Sahasranama Stotra (without translation for chanting purposes), and the Sri Lalitha Sahasranama with name translations.

        22. Hanuman Chalisa, prayers to the great devotee of Lord Rama, Hanuman, and a list of Names of Hanuman and their meanings.

        23. 108 Names of Lord Ganesh, a selection of names and the translations that can be especially used and chanted on holidays like Holi.

        24. Thousand Names of Lord Balarama, includes chapters 13, and 9 - 12 from the Garga-samhita, which are Sri Balabhadra Sahasra-nama (The Thousand Names of Lord Balarama), Sri Rama-rasa-krida (Lord Balarama's Rasa Dance), Sri Balarama-paddhati-patala (The Paddhati and Patala of Lord Balarama), Sri Balabhadra-stava-raja (The King of Prayers to Lord Balarama), and Sri Balabhadra-stotra-kavaca (The Prayer and Armor of Lord Balarama).  

        25. The Narayana-Kavacha, the protective mantric shield from Lord Narayana.

        26. The Sri Gopala-sahasra-nama, the Thousand Names of Lord Gopala (Sri Krishna) as explained by Lord Shiva to Parvati, which is most powerful and gives all success to those who chant it. Also has a description of The Glories of the Holy Names, and a text list of the names arranged in alphabetical order.

        27. The Sri Radha-sahasra-nama, The Thousand  Names of Sri Radha, along with a list of Sri Radha's names arranged in alphabetical order, with texts numbers of each verse in which they appear, and Sruti-phala, the result of hearing these names.

        28. Prayers to the Sacred Ganga River, from the Kalki Purana they explain the importance of seeing, praising or merely hearing about the holy Ganges River.

        29. Prayers for Protection, these are from the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10th Canto, 6th Chapter, verses 22-29), wherein Sukadeva Gosvami explained to Maharaja Pariksit how the cowherd women of Vrindavana chanted these mantras to protect child Krishna at the time. These same prayers are very powerful and can also protect us in a similar way.

        30. Srimad-Bhagavad-gita Dhyanam, the meditation on Sri Krishna as the source and potency of the Bhagavad-gita.

        31. Shiva's Song, These are the prayers of Lord Shiva presented to the sons of King Pracinabarhi for reaching the ultimate spiritual perfection, as presented in the Bhagavata Purana.

        32. Aarati Songs, songs sung during the aarati ceremonies of various deities, including Shri Vishnu, Shri Rama, Shiva, Ganesh, Durga, Hanuman, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati.

        33. HSS Mantras, consisting of two of the most common prayers chanted at the Hindu Svayamsevak Sangh functions, of which includes the Sangh Prarthana and the Bhojan Mantras chanted before accepting food.

        34. Sri Vrinda-devi Ashtakam, Eight Prayers Glorifying Sri Vrinda-devi by Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura.

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