Q. I worship Radha-Krishna deities at my place. The other day I found ISKCON site which laid rules for deity worship. I would like to know the importance of the mula mantra as it is stated in the site that those who have been initiated should only chant the mantra. I would be obliged if u can throw some light on it.
A. Mula-mantra is that part of a mantra that is chanted when invoking the deities for a specific action. For example, while putting the deities to rest, a particular mula-mantra is chanted along with the specific deity name. The mula-mantra remains constant while only the deity name changes. (This applies only if you have more than one deity on your altar, say Gaura-Nitai, Radha-Krishna, Jagannath-Baladev-Subhadra, etc.) The mula-mantra is different when waking up the deities after rest.
Since worship of Radha-Krishna Deities is very complex and elaborate and needs great care and attention, Srila Prabhupada established that only devotees who have received brahminical initiation (second initiation) can be qualified to worship Them. For regular devotees, Prabhupada recommended worship of Gaura-Nitai Deities, which can be done simply by the congregational chanting of the holy names.