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SRI VISHNU SAHASRANAMA STOTRAM -I

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Published on Nov 20, 2009

The Vishnu sahasranama as found in the Mahabharata is the most popular version of the 1000 names of Vishnu. Another version exists in the Padma Purana. Each name eulogizes one of His countless great attributes.

According to the 149th chapter of Anushāsanaparva in the epic Mahabharata, the names were handed down to Yudhisthira by the famous warrior Bhishma who was on his death bed at the battle of Kurukshetra. Yudhisthira asks Bhishma the following questions:[1][2]

kimekam daivatam loke
kim vāpyekam parāyaṇam
stuvantaḥ kam kamarcantaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ subham
ko dharmaḥ sarva dharmāṇām bhavataḥ paramo mataḥ
kim japan mucyate jantuḥ janmasamsārabandhanāt In this universe who is the one Deva of all? (i.e., at whose command all beings function?, or who is God of all?. Who is the one greatest refuge for all? Who is the one Divinity by praising and by worshipping whom a man attains good? Which according to you is that highest form of Dharma (capable of bestowing salvation and prosperity on man)? What is that by uttering or reciting which any living being can attain freedom from cycle of births and deaths? —Verses 7:8

Bhisma answers by stating that mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the Vishnu sahasranāma' which are the thousand names of the all-pervading Supreme Being Vishnu, who is the master of all the worlds, the supreme light, the essence of the universe and who is Brahman. All matter animate and inanimate reside in him and he in turn resides within all matter.

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