VSN #21 – Conclusion

by Sahadev Komaragiri

Meanings of the names found in the viShNu sahasra naamaM(VSN) highlight one important thing. What we know about God is just a fraction of what we do not know. But what we know from these names in itself gives plenty of means and ways to celebrate and get absorbed in Him. The names in Vishnu Sahasranama offer a lot to think about. The more we think, the more we get absorbed in the beauty it offers.

This post is part of the series on viShNu sahasra naamaM

Bheeshma is the author of the VSN. When King Yudhistir asked him five questions, he answered them in clear unambiguous terms. He validated his answers by revealing the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu in the form of the viShNu sahasra naamaM. The chanting of the 1000 names is preceded by chanting of the poorva peeThika. This is followed by the dhyaana slOka that acknowledges the rishis, the grammar, the deity, and the purpose of chanting the divinity filled sahasranaama mahamantra. This is followed by five verses that are in praise of Lord Vishnu. Over the entire VSN one finds a very wide variety of names that describe Lord Vishnu. The first name vishvaM and the second name viShNu reveal the secrets of the mighty form that pervades the entire universe. The first verse consists of nine names and the last verse consists of eight names. Between these two verses there are the names that inspire melody in bhajans, the most common names that we hear day in and day out, the names in numeric values ranging from zero to infinity, many names of Sri Krishna, great names that start with the word maha, several names that mention the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, the association of Sri Maha Lakshmi with Lord Narayana, and various other names that try to describe the indescribable forms of Lord Vishnu. In uttara peeThika we reminisce on the benefits of chanting the VSN. We offer our apologies for any mistakes committed while chanting and finally dedicate all our efforts to His Lotus Feet. When chanted in full faith and with deep conviction, we feel elated and deeply contented. This exercise leaves us in no doubt that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent consciousness represented by Lord Vishnu is too difficult to comprehend. We must transcend the limitations of our tiny minds by constantly reflecting and contemplating on the infinite forms of Sri Maha Vishnu.

kaivalya sarathi in Telugu, authored by Dr. Krovi Parthasarathy,  is a wonderful commentary on the VSN. There are several other books that I own, read and refer constantly. There are many websites that are slowly springing up with exclusive focus on the VSN. Scores of people across the continents have been organizing VSN chanting groups. They are using group chanting as a means to establishing world peace. A movement is going on around the world that will bring about a transformation in the way we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. The tools of the movement include the five human values of truth, love, peace, right conduct and non-violence that must be employed every day. The super glue that connects the tools and the people who employ them is naama smarana – the relentless chanting of His name.

It took me several years before my interest in the VSN expanded from mere chanting to knowing a little bit more about its purpose, meanings of the names and its significance. This primer on the VSN is a result of the new interest. Once I started researching and developing ideas on what to write, I realized that there is a wealth of knowledge hidden behind these thousand names. There is much to enjoy in describing the beauty of Lord Vishnu with His various names. It has been my desire to share what I have learnt in the realm of my expanded interests in the VSN. I hope you found this reading useful. The purpose of this writing is fulfilled if it helped you in garnering a greater interest and desire to chant the VSN. I offer my sincere apologies for any mistakes. I would be ever grateful to you if you would take the pains to point out any errors or omissions on my part.

For now, this series on the viShNu sahasra naamaM concludes  with a prayer to grant peace and happiness to everyone. lOkaa samasta sukhinO bhavantu – may all the beings in this world be happy. samasta lOkaa sukhinO bhavantu, may all the beings in all the worlds be happy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Harihara Krishnan December 11, 2017 at 5:52 am

Fantastic exercise. May the Gods and Rishis always bless you and may you continue with the noble spiritual efforts for a long period.


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