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 know only Maha Mantra. Is it enough if I just chant this alone to reach His abode?

You are really fortunate to know only the Maha Mantra. Ignorance of other diverse forms of worship or other Mantra Sadhanas is indeed a boon and fortune, as they distract a Sadhak from concerted efforts. Concentration on chanting the Maha Mantra alone is enough. Catch hold of it. It is more than sufficient to take you to his abode.
Great mahatmas like Bhagavan Ramana who worshipped the Arunachala Mountain as Lord Siva, Seshadri Swamigal who worshipped Sri Krishna – all have worshipped only one form of God. Since Nama (the name of the God) and the Naami (the Named, who is the Lord Himself) are one and the same, chanting the Maha Mantra day and night, all the time will certainly lead one to liberation without an iota of doubt. So continue chanting the Maha Mantra alone and Lord Krishna will take you unto His fold.

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.

I get confused as to which God’s name I need to chant. There are so many gods in our religion and hence so many Names. I used to chant the Shiva Nama and after reading Bhagavatam and Bhagavat Gita, I chant the Mahamantra. Please clear my confusion.

Do not confuse yourself. You are the child of Krishna. Chant the Mahamantra and that is enough. You can also take this as the initiation. Continue to chant the Mahamantra and you will see for yourself how Krishna brings auspiciousness and happiness into your life.

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.

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.

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.

I chant the Mahamantra only when I am unable to bear the suffering in my life. I never feel Bhakti or love towards Krishna. Will Krishna help me?

Most certainly. You come to Krishna only even for mundane worldly matters. He is your father, mother, friend, philosopher, Guru, guide and well-wisher. He loves you so much – much more than you love yourselves.

I want to chant the Maha Mantra always. In the workplace I am not able to chant properly due to my work load. Still I think about Krishna. Please let me know a solution by which I can chant the Maha Mantra always.

Chant it during your off-office hours. In due course, the Lord will enable you to chant it in your mind and still carry on with your work. You are indeed blessed to reminisce Krishna always. The lovable Lord Krishna will fill your heart with abundance of eternal pure love (‘prema’).

Will chanting the Mahamantra give the same results as that yielded by Atma Vichara?

All roads lead to the same destination called liberation. What is ‘Atma Vichara’. Contemplating in order to realize the Self. This may be done, either through Bhakti or Jnaana. In either case, the end result is the same. In the other paths, you take some effort and then wait for God’s grace. In Bhakti, you depend only on the grace of God and nothing else. That makes Bhakti an easier way to attain the end-state.
Let me give you an illustration for better understanding.
A hungry person arrives at a house. The householder welcomes him and feeds him with cooked food, and his hunger is immediately appeased.
In the second case, when a hungry person enters a house, he is accorded a welcome and given the stove , rice, vegetables, utensils and other cooking materials required to prepare the food. This person has to prepare it all by himself and then partake of the food.
The former instance can be likened to the path of Bhakti, where God take care of you.
The latter instance can be likened to the path of Jnaana, where you are required to put in effort in order to attain the goal.
In the case of Jnana Marga, the lord shows you the path to attain the goal, while in Bhakti, He verily takes you to the destination.
By chanting the Mahamantra, you are having God Himself take you to the destination.