śrī vaiśaṃpāyana uvāca
śrutvā dharmānaśeṣeṇa pāvanāni ca sarvaśaḥ |
yudhiṣṭhiraḥ śāṃtanavaṃ punarevābhyabhyāṣata || 1 ||
Vaishampayana was the traditional narrator of the Mahabharata, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of India. He was an ancient Indian sage who was the original teacher of the Krishna Yajur-Veda. The Ashvalayana Grihya Sutra mentions him as Mahabharatacharya. He is also mentioned in the Taittiriya Aranayaka and the Ashtadhyayi of Pāṇini. He was a pupil of Vyasa, from whom he learned the Jaya, the original 8,800 verses of the Mahabharata. He later expanded the Jaya to 24,000 verses under the name Bharata, which he recited to King Janamejaya at his sarpa satra (snake sacrifice). The Harivamsa is also said to have been recited by him.
Vaishampayana spoke: After asking and getting clarification about the virtues from all religions, Yugistra asked Bhishmacharya the following question.
śrī yudhiṣṭhira uvāca
kimekaṃ daivataṃ loke kiṃ vāpyekaṃ parāyaṇaṃ |
stuvaṃtaḥ kaṃ kamarcaṃtaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ śubham || 2 ||
ko dharmaḥ sarvadharmāṇāṃ bhavataḥ paramo mataḥ |
kiṃ japanmucyate jaṃturjanmasaṃsārabaṃdhanāt || 3 ||
Who does all religions extol as “The GOD”? who is the only one who protects his subjects? Who do we praise and sing to attain spiritual and materialist benefits?
Which do you think is the greatest religion and virtue among all religions and virtues? By meditating on what, human being is realized from the circle of death and life and attains salvation?
śrī bhīṣma uvāca
ಜಗತ್ಪ್ರಭುಂ ದೇವದೇವಮನಂತಂಪುರುಷೋತ್ತಮಮ್ |
jagatprabhuṃ devadevamanaṃtaṃ puruṣottamam |
stuvannāmasahasreṇa puruṣaḥ satatotthitaḥ || 4 ||
tameva cārcayannityaṃ bhaktyā puruṣamavyayam |
dhyāyan stuvannamasyaṃśca yajamānastameva ca || 5 ||
anādi nidhanaṃ viṣṇuṃ sarvalokamaheśvaram |
lokādhyakṣaṃ stuvannityaṃ sarvaduḥkhātigo bhavet || 6 ||
brahmaṇyaṃ sarvadharmajñaṃ lokānāṃ kīrtivardhanam |
lokanāthaṃ mahadbhūtaṃ sarvabhūtabhavodhbhavam || 7 ||
Without stumbling and with care the achiever should remember the owner of the Universe and who is the elder among all deities. One should always with devotion and with respect remember in mind and pray the one who is the protector and who does not diminish or neither who can be destroyed, omnipresent, the elderly, who knows all virtues, religion, and varna and the one external supreme.
eṣa me sarvadharmāṇāṃ dharmodhikatamo mataḥ
yadbhaktyā puṃḍarīkākṣaṃ stavairarcennaraḥ sadā || 8 ||
Remembering GOD’s characteristics is the most important of all faith. Vishnusahasranama is the most famous among all hymns. Reciting the Hymn with sincerity and devotion, and with belief is important of all faith. Based on our belief and characteristics the results and benefits are also reflect the same. If we do not develop belief, it is useless. Worshipping without belief and meaning is useless. Reciting the hymns with respect and belief is the most important of all faith.
paramaṃ yo mahattejaḥ paramaṃ yo mahattapaḥ |
paramaṃ yo mahadbrahma paramaṃ yaḥ parāyaṇam || 9 ||
GOD is the one who give energy to the brightest source of light. He is the ultimate for any thinking, and knowledge. Here GOD is described as ‘Parama Maha Brahma’. Here Brahma means living beings, ‘Para Brahma’ means, souls that have attained salvation. ‘Parama Brahma’ means Sree Tatva, Goddess Lakshmi who is always in the state of Salvation. ‘Parama Maha Brahma’ means Narayana. GOD Narayana is supreme authority (‘Parama’) to all superiors (‘Parayanaru’). Here superiors (‘Parayanaru’) means deities who control elements or aspects of reality that constitute human experience.
pavitrāṇāṃ pavitraṃ yo maṃgalānāṃ ca maṃgalam |
daivataṃ devatānāṃ ca bhūtānāṃ yovyayaḥ pitā || 10 ||
Pavitra means who that make one holy. If we want to be holy, we need to submit ourselves to the “The GOD”. He is sacred, mature, and supreme deity among all deities. He is the “One” Father to all souls.
yataḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni bhavaṃtyādiyugāgame |
yasmiṃśca pralayaṃ yāṃti punareva yugakṣaye || 11 ||
During creation of the universe all matter and souls (consisting of atoms and sub atoms) are created from “The GOD”. During deluge, the subatomic states reach “The GOD”. Every creation is done systematically and with calculation, noting is accidental.
tasya lokapradhānasya jagannāthasya bhūpate |
viṣṇornāmasahasraṃ me śruṇu pāpabhayāpaham || 12 ||
God will expunge our fear of sin. He will coach those who are sinners. O Emperor, please remember the 1,000 names and characteristics mentioned in Vishnusahasranama.
yāni nāmāni gauṇāni vikhyātāni mahātmanaḥ |
ṛṣibhiḥ parigītāni tāni vakṣyāmi bhūtaye || 13 ||
Sages, seers, and great souls have constantly preached and meditated on the 1,000 names and characteristics mentioned in Vishnusahasranama. Saying so, Sri Bheesmacharya in the presence of Sree Krishna, started advising Vishnushasranama to Dharmaraja.
One can observe masculine-feminine-neutral genders in Vishnusahasranama. For the one who is complete, “The GOD”, does not have the defects found in any gender. In only GOD it is possible to see the integration of all these genders.
ನಿರ್ವಿಘ್ನಂ ಕುರು ಮೇ ದೇವ ಸರ್ವ ಕಾರ್ಯೇಷು ಸರ್ವದ
ಶುಕ್ಲಾಂಬರದರಂ ವಿಷ್ಣುಂ ಶಶಿವರ್ಣಂ ಚತುರ್ಭುಜಂ
ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ ವದನಂ ಧ್ಯಾಯೇತ್ ಸರ್ವ ವಿಘ್ನೋಪ ಶಾಂತಯೇ
vakratuṃḍa mahākāya koṭisūrya samaprabha
nirvighnaṃ kuru me deva sarvakāryeṣu sarvadā |
śuklāṃbaradharaṃ viṣṇuṃ śaśivarṇaṃ caturbhujaṃ
prasannavadanaṃ dhyāyet sarva vighnopaśāṃtaye |
Let us first mediate on Lord Ganapathi, the remover of obstacles. Let us start with the name “Vishvam”, who is embodied in “Viswambara” form.
The one who control our three states Awake-Dream-Sleep is the GOD’s form “Vishva”.
Come, let Viswambara the remover of obstacles, give us state of mind to think and reflect on Vishnusahasranama. Though his 1,000 names let us think and reflect on his qualities.