I used to chant the Maha Mantra even when I circumambulate the Ganesha temple. Even if I start with Ganesha Pancharatna, automatically I would end up chanting the Maha Mantra. The same is with Shiva Temple etc. Why does this happen? This is confusing me. Please help!

The Mahamantra is the most invaluable and precious gem in the world and not to be taken lightly and discarded on the streets. You are indeed fortunate and blessed to be chanting the Maha Mantra all the time. The Lord will be definitely happy at your steadfastness. There is nothing to worry. You are definitely on the right track, or shall I say, you are only on the right track!

I am chanting maha mantra and following a normal life. How long will it take to attain the Lord? I want to know whether these sufferings will be there in my whole life.

You are already one among the blessed few, picked by the Lord Himself. Don’t get bogged down by any troubles or sufferings on your path. It might be a test for your devotion and faith on the Almighty. Hold on to the Maha Mantra strongly and continue to chant it with the same love and devotion. A sparkling bright future awaits you if you remain steadfast in your chanting.

If Mahamantra can give us everything, then is it necessary to recite other slokas?

If you have such a strong conviction and faith in the Mahamantra, then the rest are not necessary.

Mahamantra has done a lot of good to me and takes me on the right path. These days, I cannot stand the negative attitude of people around me, and this is intolerable. Is this because of the Mahamantra?

When you progress in spirituality, your mind becomes more sensitive day by day. There are a lot of negative things around us. The mind tries to observe all these negativities. What you have to do is, try to neglect such observations and do more and more Japa. It will be alright slowly.

Can the doshas that we incur in the day to day life for leading a path opposite to what is written in the Shastras be washed away completely by uttering Naama?

100%! Certainly! There is no doubt about it. You can take my word for it.

Does the Rama Nama in the Mahamantra denote Lord Ramachandra or Balarama?

It denotes both of them.

Why is ‘Aum’ not included in Mahamantra? Is it because its efficacy is already in the Mahamantra? Does Mahamantra represent all the three states (viz. wakefulness, dream and deep-sleep) that ‘Aum’ represent?

Whatever importance is accorded in the Vedanta to the ‘Aum’ syllable is accorded to the ‘Rama’ Nama in Bhakti Shastras.

Can Mahamantra be written (like Rama Nama)?

Definitely. Do it.

Do we not need a formal initiation for the Maha Mantra? I hear and read that initiation from a Guru is indispensable for one to take up a Nama and chant it incessantly and thereby attain liberation, as while initiation, the Guru transfers a part of his spiritual powers to the disciple which creates a spiritual awakening in him. So without initiation, am I without any hope for liberation?

For the un-initiated, it is important to be initiated. However, you do not need to wait until you get initiated by a proper Guru. You can start chanting the Maha Mantra. In due course, the merciful Lord will definitely send a Guru at an apt time. At that time, you can take the Mantra from Him.

Is it right to Chant the Maha Mantra using the Japa Mala or we should chant it like the Kirtan?

You can chant the Maha Mantra either way. Whether you perform Nama Kirtan or chant it with japa mala, you should do it with love and devotion. That is the most important criteria.