Astrology | Remedies | Stotra


Home | Astrology | Remedies | Stotra

Sahastra Naam

Previous | Next

Sahastra Naam

There are many Sahastra Naam hymns (thousand names hymns) to various deities like the Sri Lalitaa Sahastra Naam or the Shiv Sahastra Naam, which Sage Paraashar also recommends in the Brihat Paraashar Horaa Shastra. But of all remedial measures like Poojaa (worship), Yagya (fire ceremony), Mantra recitation, giving charities, he gives primary importance to the Vishnu Sahastra Naam.

Lalitaa Sahastra Naam
This Sahastra Naam is for Devee. It is said that once Agastya Muni requested Hayagreev to tell him the intricacies of 1,000 names of Devee if He thought that he was eligible (Arhat) for that. Then He told him the Lalitaa Sahastra Naam. It is normally recited on Tuesdays and Fridays. Normally Shree Chakra Yantra is often kept and worshipped for Lalitaa Sahstra Naam. Those find it difficult to recite can get a DVD/VCD or MP3 and play it regularly. Singing before regular Poojaa is ideal in the morning or in the evening.

Vishnu Sahastra Naam
The Vishnu Sahastra Naam was mentioned in the great epic text The Mahaabhaarat. The 1000 names were handed down to Yudhishthir by Bheeshm while he was on his death bed in the battlefield of Kuru Kshetra. Yudhishthir asked Bheeshm the following questions:
1. Who is the one Lord of all in this universe?
2. What is that one supreme goal which one should seek to attain?
3. Who is the one Divinity by praising and by worshiping whom a man attains good?
4. Which is that highest form of Dharm that is capable of bestowing salvation and prosperity on man?
5. What is that by reciting which any living being can attain freedom from cycle of births and deaths?

Bheeshm answered by stating that mankind will be free from all sorrows by chanting the Vishnu Sahastra Naam. He said, "That man who hears the names every day or who recites them every day, never meets with any evil either here or hereafter." This quote suggests that it's not necessary to recite the Sahastra Naam oneself to get the benefit, but can simply be listened to on an audio recording.

Vishnu Sahastra Naam is one of the five scriptural texts chosen by the ancients for constant repetition and meditation. These five texts are  - UpanishadThe Bhagavad Geetaa, told to His own Sakhaa Arjun by Krishn, The Vishnu Sahastra Naam, Shree Rudram and Purush Sooktam. There are a few Vishnu Sahastra Naam available but the most popular one is recited by Bheeshm to Yudhishthir in Anushaasan Parv of Mahaabhaarat.

(1) In the classic texts - the Brihat Paraashar Horaa Shaastra, the Sage Paraashar frequently recommends the recitation of the Vishnu Sahastra Naam, the thousand names of Vishnu, as the best remedial measure for planetary afflictions. Vishnu means "the all-pervading Divinity." See the following verse:
"The most effective and beneficial remedial measure for the prolongation of longevity and to obtain relief from other evil effects is recitation of Vishnu Sahastra Naam." [ch 56 verse 30]

Sage Paraashar mentions this practice on at least 10 different occasions in his text. Here's another verse:
"The remedial measure to obtain relief from the above evil effects, is recitation of Vishnu Sahastra Naam." [ch 59 verse 77]

(2) Even in Charak Sanhitaa, written by the famous Ancient Indian Physician Charak, it is said that "If all the medications (recommended or non-recommended) fail in providing relief, then one should recite Shreei Vishnu Sahastra Naam as a last resort." This is present in Chikitsaa Sthaanam, Chapter 8, Verse 311 of Charak Sanhitaa. The verse is given here under :

Vishnum Sahastra Moordhaanam Charaachara patim vibhum |
stavan naam sahastren jwaraan sarvaan vyapohati ||
which means when one propitiates Lord Vishnu, who is Lord of the entire Universe, through this Shree Vishnu Sahastra Naam, all types of Jwar (fever, ill health, illness) will leave them at once.

(3) Also, in Mantra Mahaarnavam, one of the standard works of Mantra and Tantra, it is said that

anen maamtritam bhasm vish graha mahaa bhayaan |
naashayet achiraat Evam vishnornaam prabhaavata: ||
which means when one sanctifies the sacred ash (Bhasm or Vibhooti) with Shree Vishnu Sahastra Naam, and when this ash is consumed as medicine, all the poison, ghosts, Graha will perish and one will be fearless of the above.

(4) Sri KN Rao is also a strong proponent of this practice. Not only does he recite it everyday himself but he regularly recommends it to his clients too. Traditionally, students of Sanskrit were often required to memorize the Vishnu Sahastra Naam. It takes about 20 minutes to recite depending on the speed of recitation. While recitation is preferred, just listening to the recitation by an audio recording also gives great benefit. Another form of practice is to read the text along with the translation so that the meaning also becomes integrated. Another practice is just to take one name and meditate on it's meaning. For instance, the first of the thousand names is "Vishwam" which translates as "the All," and one could contemplate the meaning of this name as a meditative practice.

Although Vishnu Sahstra Naam can be recited any day, but people prefer it on Saturday and Monday. Both men and women can chant it. Those chant it regularly, chant it as Mannat to fulfill some desire. Most people chant it for their Saubhaagya and overcoming hardships and obstructions. It is surprising to know that many names are common in Vishnu Sahastra Naam and Shiv Sahastra Naam.

Ved mention 33 deities - 8 Vasu, 11 Rudras, 12 Aaditya, Indra and Prajapati. All these came from Hiranyagarbh. Aditi, Ushaa and a few other female deities also find a place. Surprisingly, anger, belief and such other feelings and even a grinding stone are also deitified. The 12 Aaditya include Mitra, Savitr, Aaryaman, Daksh, Bhag, Ansh, Twashtraa, Pooshaa, Shaktra, Vaivaswat and Vishnu. These are the 12 spokes of the wheel of time (Kaal Chakra) .Thus Vishnu was a minor deity representing one aspect of Sun. By about 2nd century BC, Naaraayan of the Dravidic origin got added to Vishnu. Almost at the same time, the name Krishn was also added to this. The devotees of this deity were called Bhaagavat or Vaishnav. By 6th century AD, a few Vaishnav scriptures including Bhaagavat Puraan came into existence, and by about 12th century AD this started growing fast. By 17th century AD, it reached its climax. Vishnu literally means one who pervades everywhere. He is predominantly Saatwik and is responsible for preservation. To protect Dharm and to punish A-Dharm, he takes incarnations - Matsya (fish), Koorm (tortoise), Varaah (boar), Narasinh (man-lion), Vaaman (dwarf), Parashuraama, Shree Raam, Shree Krishn and finally Kalki (yet to come). Some people add Balaraam or Buddha also to this list.

It may be observed that this tallies with the Darwinian theory of evolution. The thousand names of Vishnu are found in Padm Puraan, but the one found in the Anushaasan Parv of Mahaabhaarat is more popular. Shankar says, "Vishnu Sahastra Naam is easy to practice, yields happiness and several benefits. (Sakal Purushaarth Saadhanam, Sukh Sampadyam, Alpa Praayasham Analpa Phalam). He also says that the Sahastra Naam should be sung along with Bhagavad Geetaa (Geyam Geetaa Naam Sahstram). In order to impress that God is one, this Sahastra Naam contains names of Shiv, Skand, Ganesh, Soorya, Agni etc also. Not only these, but even of Rishabh,Vardhamaan etc. are also mentioned in it. Some 15 great teachers have written explanatory notes (Bhaashya) on it. Raamaanujaachaarya says that the names represent different aspects of Almighty and that there is connectivity and continuity in the meanings. Madhwaachaarya asserts that Mahaabhaarat represents the essence of all Shaastra and Bhagavad Geetaa and Vishnu Sahastra Naam is the essence of Mahaabhaarat.

Some Sahastra Naam

Prayers which recite 1000 names of various Gods is a very popular form in Stotra literature. There are called Sahastra Naam (thousand names) and they are available for almost all important Gods. Most of the Sahastra Naam are from the different Puraan or Mahaabhaarat.

(1) Vishnu Sahastra Naam
Vishnu Sahastra Naam by MS Subbulakshmi.

(2) Lalitaa Sahastra Naam
Lalitaa Sahastra Naam with Priya sisters is good.
Or listen to by Nityasantoshi and Guru Sri Ganapathi Sachchidanand Swami (more vibrant).
Or Sivanandam Vijayalakshmi
Or this one -
It has lyrics and also the meaning in English and she says it slowly enough for me to understand it. Although the words are a bit off from what she says, you get it. Whole recital for 21 days initially will do good.

Finally, a Naivedya to be offered at least sweet candy or Kishmish.



Home | Astrology | Remedies | Stotra


Previous | Next

Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on 05/18/2008 and Updated on 12/03/2012