Our Connection to the Divine Entity
One of the simplest yet most effective ways of connecting to the Divine is by the mere recital of slokas, stotra, and mantras, with great devotion. In Hinduism, people worship several Gods and Goddesses. The Trimurti comprising of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), and Shiva (Destroyer), are the three most important deities.
The Story behind The Vishnu Sahasranama
The Vishnu Sahasranama is an ancient script written in Sanskrit. Sahasra means thousand, and Nama means names. The Vishnu Sahasranama is a masterpiece by the extraordinary Sanskrit scholar Sage Vyasa, also the author of timeless epics, that include the Adhyatma Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagawad Gita, Puranas, and other stotra.
The epic Mahabharata has the Vishnu Sahasranama as a part of it. The eldest of the PanchaPandavas, Yudhishtir, was confused about the biggest Dharma to follow in life. He approached Krishna, but the latter did not impart the knowledge of The Gita, as he did to Arjuna. Instead, Krishna took Yudhishtir to Bheeshma Pitamah, the great warrior lying on his deathbed on the battlefield, felled by Arjuna’s arrows. On Krishna’s advice, Yudhishtir sought guidance on all aspects of life from Bheeshma with six questions, which starts the Vishnu Sahasranama. It was the essence of Bheeshma’s life. Sage Vyasa and Krishna were witnesses to this moment on the Kurukshetra battlefield.
Bheeshma answered that whoever had brought Yudhishtir to life was the Supreme Being, to whom one should surrender. Mediating on his name 1000 times would help one achieve auspicious state and free oneself of bonds and sins. Bheeshma continued saying the 1000 names of Vishnu, and this part of the Mahabharata is called Vishnu Sahasranama.
Importance of The Vishnu Sahasranama
Vishnu, the Preserver, saves, sustains life. Vishnu sustains various forms of life to thrive on earth. There are many sacred verses offering prayers to Vishnu. The most effective among all is the Vishnu Sahasranama. The Vishnu Sahasranama contains a thousand names of Vishnu. The Indian epic, the Mahabharata, has the Vishnu Sahasranama as part of the Anushasana Parva (149th chapter, verses 14 to 20). The Vishnu Sahasranama is deeply embedded in Hindu mythology and has a total of 108 slokas in AnushtupChhanda (a meter of poetry).
Humanity has always believed that for a sound mind and body, both should remain stress-free. The Vishnu Sahasranama is a purifier and savior. When all fails, we turn to God; we should remember to do so in times of happiness and give thanks. We should do Nama Japa (chanting of name) with sincere devotion, which comes with the absolute faith we place in God. Reciting the Vishnu Sahasranama or just listening to it daily, helps us keep our mental peace and stability.
Benefits of The Vishnu Sahasranama
The Supreme Deity is Vishnu, also called Vishveshwara, ruler of the universe, and the Vishnu Sahasranama holds immense power. It is a spiritual experience like none other and gives an individual great inner calm and peace. Here are the benefits of chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama.
Chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama brings endless benefits. It sets us free from the fear of poverty, disease, birth, and death. We gain a higher consciousness that makes us understand God better, and towards introspection and meditation. Done with pure devotion and perseverance, the Vishnu Sahasranama bestows an abundance of blessings from God.