Significance of Vishnu Sahasranama Discourse
In Sanskrit, sahasra means “a thousand” and nāma means “name”. Vishnusahasranamais a list of 1,000 names of Vishnu. It is also one of the most sacred and commonly chanted stotras in Hinduism. These names were handed down to Yudhisthira by the famous warrior Bhishma who was on his death bed (of arrows) in the battlefield of Kurukshetra as means to attain relief from all bondage. Bhishma states that mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the “Vishnusahasranāma”, 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. The person who strung together the thousand names as part of the Mahabharata and preserved it for the world was none other than Sage Veda Vyasa. Great sages such as Narada, the Alvars and composers including Saint Tyagaraja have made repeated references to the “Thousand Names of Vishnu” in their devotional works. It is widely accepted that the chanting of this stotra gives relief from all sorrows and leads to happiness and peace of mind. Believers in the recitation of theSahasranama claim that it brings unwavering calm of mind, complete freedom from stress and brings eternal knowledge.