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Vishnu Sahasranamam in English

From: Malolan R Cadambi (
Date: Tue Jul 16 2002 - 22:32:15 PDT

Commentary on a hymn 

BHAGAVADGUNA DARPANA  Part III: Sri Parasara Bhatta's commentary on
Sri Vishnu Sahasranama; Published by Sri Vishnu Sahasranama
Satsangham, C-8519, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-110070. Price not

THE BEST expedient that could liberate a soul from the worldly
bondage in Kali Yuga is the constant rendering of the names of the
Lord. Though there are quite a number of Sahasranamas on several
gods, Vishnu Sahasranama holds a unique place, as it was taught by
Bhishma to Yudhishtra while answering a query from him to enunciate
what is the foremost among the eminent doctrines that could be taken
up for deeper investigation. 

These names have been carefully selected by various sages starting
from Sanaka and compiled by Veda Vyasa. This forms a part of the
Mahabharata, one of our great epics. 

It should not be misconstrued that Sahasranama is a mere arrangement
of names. But every name essentially is a connotation of a form of
the Formless, to make the ardent devotee to comprehend Him. Praise is
nothing but an expression of ecstasy from those who have experienced
the excellence of the Lord with an intent that others should also
beget His benign grace. 

The commentary of Parasara Bhatta is based on the concept of
Visishtadvaita. That of Sathyasandha Yatiswara is akin to
Madhwasampradaya. Pranava Nirukthi is an abridged version of Sri
Parasara Bhatta's commentary, containing 792 verses. 

Sri Varadachariar's research was on grammatical and etymological
aspects of the Names. According to Parasara Bhatta the names amply
illustrate the blemishless, auspicious and glorious resplendency of
Sriman Narayana, who exhibits His Supreme Soul in
Para-Vyuha-Vibhava-Avatara-Archa manifestations. They also describe
the avatars the Lord has taken and the Leelas enacted by Him to
protect His devotees, who have abjectly surrendered to Him for

The book under review is the third volume of the Bhagavadguna Darpana
published by the Satsangham. This book has taken up from Namavali 501
to the last for the present edition. As in earlier books, the verses
and their meanings are given in Devanagari script, with an English
translation. The epilogue has also been translated. 

Parasara Bhatta has arranged the names in subject-wise groups. For
example, names 503-519 refer to the incarnation of Rama; 520 to 528
to Kurma; 529 to 538 to Kapila; 539 to 543 to Varaha and 544 to 562
to Suddhasatva and so on. 

For the names Vrishabhaksha and Vrishapriya that appear at the
beginning of the seventh sathaka for explanation he has drawn the
source from Dramidacharya, echoing the view that with the sole
objective of getting the fruit of an action, the human beings resort
to please the Lord. 

He has also quoted extensively from Vedas, Upanishads, the
Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Vishnupurana in support of his
several observations. 

The book has been brought out with neat printing on quality paper.
Their attempt is laudable. These books should form part of a
cherished collection of a devotee. 


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