1. Who is the supreme Lord?2. What is the highest goal in life?
The Vishnu sahasranamam is recited everyday by Hindus. It was composed by bheeshma on his deathbed as an advice to King Yudhishtira. It glorifies the supreme lord by detailing his thousand names.
The Vishnu Sahasranama is the combination of thousand names of Lord Mahavishnu. After the great Mahabharata war, Yudhishtira was crowned king. He did not have peace of mind due to personal loss and grief. He approached Bhishma pitamaha in the battle field and asked him a few questions. Bhishma replied in the form of mantras which were thousand names of Lord MahaVishnu.
Yudhishtira asked Bhishma pitamaha the following questions:-
3. Praise of which God will help achieve prosperity in this life and next?
4. Which mantra will help to free man from rebirth?
5. Which is the perfect means to achieve the grace of God?
Bhishma replied in the form of mantras which came to be known as the Vishnu Sahasranama. According to Bhishma reciting the Vishnu Sahasranama or the thousand names of Lord MahaVishnu helps a person to overcome his sorrows and troubles in life. A person should recite the mantras with devotion, worship the Lord, meditate upon his form, glorify him, adore him and prostrate before him. Prostrating before the Lord before and after mantra recitation symbolizes complete surrender to the will of the Lord.
Sahasra means thousand. The Vishnu Sahasranama contains 107 stanzas. Each name referred in the Sahasranama signifies the quality and characteristic of the Lord. The Lord cannot be entirely defined because he is beyond human comprehension. The Vishnu Sahasranama is an attempt to help the common man to understand the greatness of the Lord. Sri VedaVyasa , the great poet strung the names of the Lord into poetic verse.
Bhishma advised Yudhishtira that reciting mantras of God is
the easiest way of propitiating Him. Of all the ways of worshipping the Lord, selfless service and hymnal praise are the best. Praising the Lord does not cost money. A person does not have to seek help from others to repeat the name of the Lord. It does need sacrifice or effort. Any body can recite the mantra. The names of Lord MahaVishnu if chanted with devotion and self surrender will protect and guard a person.
There are no rules regarding chanting the names of the Lord. The Vedas impose rules for performing ceremonies and rituals. The ashrama i.e. bhramacharya, grihasta etc; decides the eligibility of a person who can perform these rites. Chanting the Lord’s name however does not require any qualification, special arrangements, specific time, place, purity etc; and can be recited by all. Women and people of all castes and creed can recite the name of the Lord. The only condition is that the chanting must be done with pure devotion and sincerity to achieve the grace of God.
The Vishnu Sahasranama cleanses the mind and purifies it. A person can say it even if he does not grasp the meanings of the Sanskrit words. The Lord is the supreme deity of all beings in the universe and controls the planets and stars. Chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama removes the ill effects which are caused by various influences in a person’s life and delivers him from bondage due to karma.
If one is not able to recite the mantras due to inconvenience, then one can say this mantra which is equivalent to the Vishnu Sahasranama.
Sri Rama Rama Rameti, Rame Ramae Manorame Sahasranama Tathulyam Rama Nama.