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From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Aug 27 1998 - 19:43:17 PDT

>From: "V. Chandrasekaran" <>
>Subject: vaisampAyanar
>Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 12:15:53 +0500 (GMT+0500)
>Dear Sri Sadagopan,
>   Namaskarams.
>   I have a question related to a character whose name appears
>in the beginning of Vishnu Sahasranamam. Sri vaiSampAyanar.
>The sthOthram his name appears as the sayer, 
>SrI vaiSampAyana uvAcha
>     s^rutvA dharmA na sESeNa pAvanAni cha sarvaSa:
>     yudhishtira SAnthanavam punarE vApya bhAshatha:
>yudhishtira uvAcha
>     kimEkam ....
>     .....
>     .....
>   I would like to know who this personality is.
Dear Sri Chandrasekaran :

I am copying the other memebrs of the group on my 
response to your question , since there may be others , 
who might like to know about the identity of 
Sage VaisampAyanar and how he fits in here . 

Sri Vishnu Sahasra Naamam is found in the AanusAsana 
Parvam of MahA Bharatham and is architected as a 
conversation between YudhishtrA -- the eldest of the 
PandavAs and the son of DharmarAjan and Kunthi dEvi --
and the dying Bhishma PithAmahar resting in a cage 
of arrows in the battle field of Kuru KshEthram .

YudhishtrA was always fond of learning about and 
performing Dharmam . YudhishtrA approached his venerable
grandsire and had a lot of clarifications on various 
kinds of codes of conduct completely ( SruhtvA dharmAn
asEshENa pavanAni cha sarvasa : ) . They were uplifting
and sanctifying to hear . YudhishtrA still had a nagging
doubt about the identity of the Lord , who should be eulogized , 
meditated upon and celebrated .Hence ,He wanted to know furhter 
as to who is that one and only Supreme Lord , who can grant 
Moksha Sukham and release the Janthus from the cycles of
births and deaths without fail ( KimEkam Dhaivatham lOkE ?
Kim vApyEkam parAyaNam ? kO dharma: Sarva dharmANAm?
Kim Japan muchayathE Janthu: ? ManavA: Kam archantha:?
ManavA: kam sthuvantha: ? ) 

The kind hearted AcharyA BhismA blessed YudhishtrA 
with the answer thru the revelation of Sri VishNu 
Sahasra Naamam and revealed the parathvam ( supermacy )
of VishNu thru that sanctifying names of the Lord .

Sage Vaisampaayanaa refers to this in the section
that you quoted:

VaisampAyanOvAcha :

SruthvA dharmAN asEshENa pavanAni cha sarvasa:
YUDHISHTRA : SAANTHANAVAM punrEva abhyabhAshatha 


kimEkam dhaivatham lOkE----samsAra BhandhanAth

Sage VaismapAyanA sets the context here as a PourANikA
to King JanamEjaya , when he narrated MahA Bharatham 
to the above king . By the way , JanamEjaya is the son 
of Parikshith , the grandson of ArjunA . He wanted to 
avenge his father's death caused by a serpent's bite due
to a curse . JanamEjaya peformed an auster penance to
eliminate the entire serpent race .Every one of the serpents
except Takshaka was destroyed in the Yaj~na Kuntam 
and latter was saved by a sage named AstikA . This
sage asked JanamEjaya to stop the Yaj~nam . Sage 
VaisampAyanA narrated the whole of Mahaa Bharatham
to JanamEjayA to overcome the sins accumulated from
Brahma Hatthi dhOsham . 

VyAsA BhagavAn ( VyAsaaya VishNu rUpAya VyAsa rUpAya
VishNavE ) composed Maha Bhaaratham . His chief disciple 
was VaisampAyanA . Sage VaisampAyanA's chief disciple was 
Sage Yaj~navalkyA of Sukla Yajur Vedaa Fame . When 
AchArya VaisampAyanA was angry at his dear disciple ,
he asked Yaj~na valkyA to give back the KrishNa Yajur
Vedam that he had taught him . Yaj~na valkya disgorged it 
and the other disciles took the form of Titthiri birds
and picked up the Vedam . Yaj~navalkyA sought the Sun God
as his next AchAryaa and blessed us with Sukla Yajur Vedam .

Vyaasa Bhagavaan's Sishya , VaisampAyanA was extremely 
skilled in the narration of PurANAs composed by his 
AchAryA . While reciting the AanusAsanikA parvam ,
he is conversing with JanamEjayA and reminds the king 
of the context of the birth of Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamams
from the mouth of the grandsire , Bhishmar .