Friday, February 8, 2008

Chant Vishnu Sahasranama

Krishna Preaching Arjuna
Vishnu Sahasranamam
Vishnu Sahasranamam (Sa-ha-sthra) is another great composition in theHindu literature by "Grandsire" Bhishma, the senior most member of the Kaurava race in Mahabharata. In the decisive battle that ensues between the Pandavas and Kauravas in this epic, the legandary Bhishma puts up achivalrous fight against the heroic Arjuna, the master archer of thePandavas but is defeated in the end and lays on a bed of arrows ("saratharpa") waiting for an auspicious moment to breathe his last. It is then that Lord Krishna unfolds himself in his universal form ("Vishwarupa") and Bhishma sings 1000 names in the Lord's praise that came to be known as Vishnu Sahasranamam. The lyrics are read as a poem or as "namavali" (literally means name calling). The names may not be distinguished in the poem form but come up individually in "namavali".
Temples all across the country (India and US) have devotees that chantVishnu Sahasranamam on a daily or weekly basis. There are cassettes and books available if you are interested.

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