SrIvishNu sahasranAmam

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

maNavALa mAmunigaL who is considered as yathi punaravathAram (re-incarnation of emperumAnAr (SrI rAmAnuja)) glorifies nammAzhwAr as “vEdham seydha mARan” in upadhESa raththina mAlai 14th pAsuram, explaining that nammAzhwAr presents the essence of vEdham in simple and beautiful thamizh language.

nammAzhwAr, emperumAnAr, mAmunigaL

Such nammAzhwAr highlights in thiruvAimozhi 2.5.6pala palavE AbharaNam pErum pala palavE pala palavE sOdhi vadivu paNbeNNil” (emperumAn has many many ornaments, many many names, many many forms and qualities), in thiruvAimozhi 8.1.10 “thOLgaL AyiraththAy! mudigaLAyiraththAy! thuNai malark kaNgaL AyiraththAy! thALgaLAyiraththAy! pErgaLAyiraththAy!” (Oh one with thousand shoulders! Oh one with thousand heads! Oh one with thousand lotus like pair of eyes! Oh one with thousand divine feet! Oh one with thousand names!”) and in thiruvAimozhi 9.3.1 “pErAyiram koNdadhOr pIdudaiyan” (the one who is having the unique greatness of having thousand names). This is in line with how bhagavAn is explained in the most important hymn of vEdham which is purusha sUktham, where bhagavAn is described as “sahasra SIrshA purusha: | sahasrAksha sahasra pAdh |” (the supreme lord is with thousand heads, thousand eyes and thousand feet). Here thousand indicates the countless nature of his limbs, features etc. The whole of thiruvAimozhi is focussed on emperumAn and his auspicious qualities. Each name of emperumAn is reflective of a particular quality. For example, achyutha indicates the quality of not abandoning his devotees, anantha indicates the quality of being infinite and so on.

SrIvishNu sahasranAmam is a divine hymn which is part of mahAbhAratham. bhIshma pithAmaha, laying down on the arrow bed, instructs to pANdavas, the highest principle of meditating upon bhagavAn’s auspicious qualities through his divine names.

AzhwAn, bhattar

parASara bhattar, the celebrated son of kUraththAzhwAn, one of the most important among the direct disciples of emperumAnAr, compiled an elaborate commentary for SrIvishNu sahasranAmam. This divine treatise is named as “bhagavath guNa dharpaNam” (A mirror revealing the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn). It is our desire to explore the wonderful meanings of this treatise and present an english translation of the same for the benefit of the devotees of SrIman nArAyaNa.

We pray unto the divine feet of Sriya:pathi, AzhwArs and AchAryas and begin this effort as a humble offering at their divine feet.

Translation by SrInivAsarAja rAmAnuja dhAsan

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