Thursday, July 23, 2009
Vishnu Sahasranama is the anecdote to ultimate liberation where the soul can be lead to Mukthi. It is the greatest gem when uttered with true devotion is a splendorous ornament to decorate the Lord. ‘Sahasra’, in Sanskrit means a thousand and ‘namah’ means name. Each name eulogizes one of His countless great attributes.
Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada emphasized in his commentaries that Naama Sankeerthana is the best way of devotion and recitation of his innumerable names.
Swami Sankaracharya wrote a definitive commentary on the Sahasranama. Additionally, Parasara Bhattar, a follower of Ramanuja has also written a commentary.
In the poem Lord Sri Vishnu is referred by 1000 names, which constitute his imminent attributes. The Lord is endless, all-knowing-omniscient, all pervasive-omnipresent, all powerful–omnipotent.
There is absolutely no single specific benefit that cannot be derived by chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama. Vaishnavites major part of the prayer consists of Sahasranama, who are the ardent followers of Vishnu. They believe the other form of God such as Shiva and Shakti aspects are manifestation of their chosen Lord Vishnu.
Shaivaites give prominence to Shiva, but Sri Rudram one of the sacred prayers describe Vishnu as an aspect of Shiva. Adi Sankara has interpreted this to mean that Vishnu and Shiva are the same and it is Vishnu that is praised by worship of Shiva.
Parasara Bhattar has interpreted the name "Shiva" and "Rudra" in vishnu sahasranama to mean a quality or attribute of Vishnu. The great Vaishnavite devotee and philosopher Sri Parasara Bhattar, who was granted the rarest of the rare privileges of conversing with Sri Ranganatha personally and directly at Srirangam, has written a scholarly and authoritative commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama, titled 'Bhagavad Guna Darpana' meaning 'the mirror' (Darpana) that reflects the transcendental glory of the Lord.
Mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama which has the thousand names of the one All-Pervading Eternal Supreme Being who is the master of all the worlds, supreme over the Devas and who is Brahman. All the demi-gods, devas, asuras and every living being knows Him alone as the sustainer and sings his praise. He alone is worthy of Praise and none else.
Both the Vaishnavites and the Shivaites follow the recitation of the Sahasranam with adept devotion and love praising the Lord.
As per Hindu mythology the grand sire while he was on his death bed, after the 18 days battle at Kurukshetra as explained in the epic Mahabharata uttered the Sahasranama and handed over the same to Yudhistra which was taught to him by Sage Vyasa.
Sahasranama has a total of 108 Slokas, in Sanskrit brings out the versatility of the language its lucid flow and the rhythm with which it is uttered. Lord Vishnu is considered as the universal aggregate of all Hindu deities such as Shiva, Brahma, etc who emanate from Him alone.
In this cosmic aspect, Vishnu is also called Mahavishnu (Great Vishnu.).
The followers of the Advaitan philosophy in particular, Smartas believe that Vishnu and Shiva are the same and are hence different aspects of the one Supreme Being.
Vishnu is the all-inclusive deity, known as Purusha or Maha Purusha, Param Atma or Supreme Soul, Antaryami the in-dweller and He is the Totality in whom all souls are contained or get merged.
Recitation of the hymn Sahasranama an illustrious composition of Sage Vyasa brings calmness of mind, complete freedom from stress and eternal knowledge. Nothing evil or inauspicious will befall a man here or hereafter who daily hears or repeats these names devoted to Vasudeva, with a mind that is concentrated on Him, that man attains to great fame, leadership, wealth that is secure and the supreme good unsurpassed by anything. He will be free from all fears and be endowed with great courage and energy and he will be free from diseases. Beauty of form, strength of body and mind, and virtuous character will be natural to him.
Those persons that worship and adore the Lord of the universe, that deity who is inborn and possessed of blazing effulgence, who is the origin or cause of the universe, who knows no deterioration, and who is endued with eyes that are as large and beautiful as the petals of the lotus, - ‘Aravindalochana’ , will never meet with any discomforts in life.
Never will defeat attend on a man who adores the Lotus-Eyed One, who is the Master of all the worlds, who is birthless, and out of whom the worlds have originated and into whom they dissolve.
Here, is my humble attempt to bring the glory of the Lord narrated in the Vishnu Sahasranama where every word is a treasure and worthy of being glorified, referring the imminent attributes of the Lord Sri Vishnu.
Every word has a beautiful story behind it and which when read will be relished by all and cherished as divine memories.