Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode's Jaiva Dharma, chapter 23
With folded hands, Vijaya Kumar said, "Benign Gurudeva, by your mercy everything is auspicious for us. Please guide us in understanding the profound significance of nama-tattva."
The face of Raghunath Das Babaji immediately lit up with joy and he began to speak: "There are two categories of harinama: mukhya and gauna. Those names of Krishna that refer to his activities in relationship with the material nature are gauna-nama, secondary names. For example, srsti-karta, "creator"; jagat-pala, "the universal preserver"; visva-niyanta, "the universal administrator"; visva-palaka, "the universal maintainer"; paramatma, "the Supersoul", and so on. The word brahman, although a name of Krishna not referring to him in relationship with the modes of material nature, is also a gauna name. Though there are immense benefits from chanting these gauna names of Sri Krishna, they rarely bring forth transcendental results. "On the other hand, the names of the Supreme Lord associated with his transcendental spiritual abode are eternal and have nothing to do with the mundane plane. These names are absolute, spiritual, and are known as mukhya-nama, principal names. Examples are Narayan, Vasudev, Janardan, Hrishikesh, Hari, Achyuta, Govinda, Gopal, Rama, and so on. The mukhya-nama are of the spiritual sky and are non-different from the Supreme Lord himself. The most fortunate Nama-tattva souls in this universe attract the attention of mukhya-nama with the purity of their bhakti, and mukhya-nama dances upon their tongues in pristine glory. "The mukhya-nama have no connection with this phenomenal plane and are endowed with the complete sakti of Sri Bhagavan. They descend to this mundane illusory sphere to annihilate maya. Therefore, the conditioned souls of this material world have no better friend and well-wisher than harinama....
Vijaya: "Which is the sweetest amongst the principal names?"
Raghunath Das Babaji: "The Sata-nama-stotra states:
visnor-ekaikam namapi sarva-vedadhikam matamtadrk-nama-sahasrena rama-nama-samam smrtam
"One name of Sri Vishnu is superior to all the Vedic mantras, and one name of Sri Rama is more potent than a thousand names of Sri Vishnu."
Then, the Brahmanya Purana states:
sahasra-namnam punyanam trir avrttya tu yat phalamekavrttya tu krsnasya namaikam tat prayacchati
"When the thousand transcendental names of Sri Vishnu are chanted three times they are equivalent to chanting one name of Krishna."
Thus, we see that 'Krishna' is the supreme name. Therefore, we should always follow the instruction of Sri Gauranga and chant the maha-mantra:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.