Friday, 19 April 2013

Part 03 : Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam In Mahabharata

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Sri Visnusahasranamastotra - "Thousand Names of Vishnu"
, forms chapter 149 of the Anusasanaparvan (13th parvan) of the ithihasa(epic) Mahabharata. 


Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram, along with the Bhagavad Gita, is an integral part of the epic Mahabharata composed by Sage Vedavyasa (Vyasa is also the one who organized the vedas into the classifications as we know them today).

At the end of the epic Mahabharata war, Bhishmacharya was awaiting the sacred hour to depart from his physical body unto the lotus feet of the Lord. Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas, was desperately looking for the answers to matters relating to Dharma and Karma. Lord Sri Krishna, who understood Yudhistira’s uneasy mind, guided him to Bhishma (who was on the arrow bed) to learn insight in to this precious knowledge.


Yudhistira asks 6 questions to Bhishma. Bhisma answers the 6 questions and reveals the sahasra nama of Sriman Narayanan.

Sri Vedavyasa is the rishi of Sri Vishnu's one thousand names, i.e., the sage
who strung together the thousand names as they were revealed by Bhishma to Yudhishthira. 


The slogam has eight syllables per quarter (Anushtup) as its meter. 

The names reveal the great qualities of the lord being worshiped - Lord Krishna, and Lord Krishna himself was present when Bhisma told these to Yudhistra making it more unique.

Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram as printed for chanting purposes consists of 
three sections: 

1. A prolog, which gives the background on why the Stotram was imparted to the great and just Yudhishthira by Bhishma. 
2. The thousand names of Vishnu, organized in a poetic format in 107 stanzas, in the anushtup chandas, (a meter with eight syllables in a quarter), with two quarters per line, and two lines per stanza.
3. The phala sruti, or a recounting of the benefits that can accrue by chanting the Stotram.


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