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from the Hindu: The Divine names can be recited by all

From: Shree (
Date: Wed Feb 18 1998 - 05:48:06 PST

The Divine names can be recited by all 

              Date: 18-02-1998 :: Pg: 24 :: Col: c 

              Cl: Religion 

              CHENNAI, Feb. 18. 

              The Supreme Being is beyond the ken of the
              senses and the intellect and hence it is not possible
              to fathom His glory. Even the Vedas which
              describe His nature and are the ultimate scriptural
              authority, mention that they have failed to exhaust
              His splendour. The names which denote Him are
              also infinite like His attributes and auspicious
              qualities and hence it is only for the sake of
              convenience that the scriptures describe the
              Almighty as having a 1000 names. But He cannot
              be confined to these names. 

              Human understanding of the nature of the Almighty
              is limited and it is often said that he who claims to
              know the Supreme One does not know Him at all.
              It may appear conflicting that saints and the
              God-realised have all in unison expressed their
              inability to comprehend His glory. When this fact is
              appreciated one will be able to understand how
              limited the span of human life and understanding is,
              to realise God. 

              But paradoxically, it is possible to realise God and
              perform service to Him only in this world. So birth
              as a human being is blessed indeed.
              Tondaradippodi Alwar expresses the fine
              sentiment that if the Lord should bless him with the
              lordship of the heavens he would not want it but
              would wish to be born here in this world to be in
              His service. Andal similarly praises those who
              have been privileged to be born in this world in
              one of the verses of the Tiruppavai. 

              In his introductory discourse on the Vishnu
              Sahasranama Mukkur Sri
              Lakshminarasimhachariar said, each name in this
              hymn was capable of different interpretations
              according to one's capability to understand. Just as
              the different schools of Vedanta like Advaita,
              Visishtadvaita and Dvaita, have been established
              by interpreting the scriptural statements variously,
              every name of the Lord also lends itself to different

              Each name in the Vishnu Sahasranama has been
              culled from a mantra in the Vedas and thus the
              recitation of these Divine names is capable of
              conferring the same result as recitation of the
              mantra. It is not possible for all and even to those
              well-versed in the Vedas to recite the mantras
              regularly because there are stringent rules to be
              followed while handling them, whereas the
              recitation of this hymn does not have any
              restriction. Any person can recite it and there are
              no constraints about the time or place to recite it. 

              The Supreme Being is referred to by the name
              Vishnu from which this hymn derives its name and
              this name denotes that He is the ultimate cause of
              this entire creation. It also indicates that the
              Almighty resides as the Antaryamin within every
              created being.