The Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram is one of the very popular and important hymns in the Hindu way of life. It is a hymn in praise of the Almighty God represented as Vishnu and is recited in almost every household, particularly in the southern part of India. This hymn occurs in the Mahabharata.
It was the end of the Kurukshetra war. The patriarch of the family, Bhishma Pitamaha was injured and was lying on a bed of arrows waiting for the arrival of the auspicious time of Uttarayana to leave his body and to reach the lotus feet of the Lord. Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas, meets him and there was a conversation that ensued between them on matters relating to action and righteousness.
In reply to certain questions asked by Yudhishtira, Bhishma imparts Yudhishtira the Vishnu Sahasranama. ‘Sahasra’ means thousand and ‘nama’ means name. So, Vishnu Sahasranama translates as, ‘one thousand names of Vishnu’. This comes in Section 149, verses 14 to 120 of the Anushasanika Parva of the epic.
Each of the names in the Sahasranamam is full of significance and refers to one particular quality, characteristic, or attribute of the Almighty and invokes a sense of bonding with him. The meanings of these names indicate the deep connection between the name and the Almighty. This enables one to understand the greatness of God.
The recitation of the hymn is done in three parts. There are a few introductory verses. Then comes the actual Sahasranamam listing the one thousand names. The concluding part is the phalasruti which spells out the benefits that will accrue from hearing or reciting the hymn.
Regular chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram or even listening to it daily inculcates a sense of gratitude to the Lord and helps us in many ways.
Listen or recite and get the blessings of the Almighty God.