The Vishnu Sahasranaam was first quoted by the great warrior Bhishma in the Mahabharat. He imparted the greatness of Bhagwan Vishnu’s thousand names to Yudhishtir when he was crowned as king of Hastinapur after the battle of Kurukshetra. Bhishma was lying on his bed of arrows and was waiting for the right time to leave his mortal body and unite with the Supreme Being. When the Pandavas come visiting him, he expounds many principles of Dharma and Karma along with the Vishnu Sahasranaam which helps one stay focussed on Dharma.
Vishnu Sahasranaam is the chant of the thousand names of Vishnu. Bhagwan Vishnu means the one who pervades in the whole universe. As the one who is present in every tiny particle, his cosmic form spreads all over the unlimited Universe. The thousand names are the representations of his qualities and the best means to understand his form and faith. In simple words, it can be said that the Vishnu Sahasranaam is one of the thousand ways to worship Bhagwan Vishnu.
Chanting or praying God through mantras and sacred names of divinties has been a divine tradition followed by our Sanatana Dharma since age old times. Worship is a means to cleanse our mind which gets polluted by various thoughts. Just a cleansed body is good for our health, worship is good for the mind. When we cleanse our body, we get our body rid of all the impurities and ready to start afresh. In the same way, chanting Vishnu Sahasranaam is very beneficial to get rid of our impurities of mind and get to know the true nature of devotion and faith.
Usually Vishnu Sahasranaam is rendered in a poetic way. This method of reciting the prayer was first mentioned by Rishi Veda Vyas. Bhagwan Vishnu is the protector of the Universe and all gods are under his command for the smooth running of creation. By chanting the 1000 names of Bhagwan Vishnu, not only the Supreme Being, but all the gods too grant us their virtues giving a positive impact in life. Chanting Bhagwan Vishnu’s name sincerely with faith and devotion thus gets rid of all the negative energy in the body and soul. Being free from negative energy makes us free from all fears and sins.
Vishnu Sahasranaam is one of the chant which helps in freeing stress. The divine chant filled with the names of Vishnu spreads in our mind also in the same way as his name. Hence, its chant relieves our mind from the stress of life and keeps our mind calm. As the protector of the universe, Bhagwan Vishnu controls the nine planets and hence the chanting of his 1000 names helps us ward of planet disturbances too.
By knowing and understanding the meaning of Vishnu Sahasranaam, one gets enriched with knowledge. By learning the essence and meaning of each name of Bhgawan Vishnu in different contexts, we have deeper understanding of the Almighty and his powers. Vishnu Sahasranaam is also believed to cure us of many ill ness and bad luck and increase self-esteem, thus help us develop our personality with confidence and talent. In a complete aspect, the Vishnu Sahasranaam brings us closer to the Almighty and makes him understand at a higher level. Not only the one who chant it, even the ones who listen to it also derive unlimited benefits of health, happiness and prosperity.