Vishnu - Thousand Names of Vishnu

Thousand Names of Vishnu

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Main article: Vishnu sahasranama

Vishnu's many names and followers are collected in the Vishnu sahasranama, (Vishnu's thousand names) from within the larger work Mahabharata. The character Bhishma recites the names before Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, praising him (Vishnu) as the supreme god. These Sahasranama are regarded as the essence of all Vedas by followers of Vaishnavism, who believe sincere chanting of Vishnu Sahasranama results in spiritual well-being and a greater awareness of God.

The names are generally derived from the anantakalyanagunas (meaning: infinite auspicious attributes). Some names are:

  • Anish—Supreme
  • Achintya—Incomprehensible, beyond understanding, also interpreted as remover of all worries from devotees
  • Achyutha—infallible
  • Akshaj
  • Amar—immortal, deathless
  • Ananta—endless, eternal, infinite
  • Anirudha—One who is uncontrollable & unstoppable, one amongst the quadruple form (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha)
  • Balaji
  • Damodara—One who was tied with a cord (daama) around his waist (udara) in Krishna avatara by his mother Yasoda, One who has entire universe as his abode
  • Govinda—One who is attainable by Vedic chanting, one who is finally known by vedas, Protector of cows
  • Hari—One who takes away (all the pains & the material existence of his devotees and destroys sansara for them i.e. gives them moksha)
  • Hayagriva—horse-necked incarnation taken to save vedas
  • Jagannatha or Juggernaut —owner/Ruler of the world/universe
  • Janardana—one who is worshiped for Wealth
  • Keshava—one whose Kesa (hair) is long, uncut and beautiful, one who destroyed the asura or demon Keshi in the Krishna avatara, one who is himself the three: kah Brahma; ah Vishnu and Isha Shiva
  • Krishna—born during the third epoch or yuga, his deeds range from cow protection (go rakshya) to absolving the earth of sins
  • Madhava—Husband (Dhava) of Lakshmi (Ma i.e. Mother), Lord of Knowledge
  • Madhusudana—Destroyer of demons Madhu-Kaitabh in order to rescue Brahma
  • Narayana—The final refuge of all Nara (Jivas), one who resides (ayana) in all the jivas (nara), one who rests (ayana) on water (nara) within the universe
  • Padmanabha—lotus-naveled one, from whose navel sprang the lotus which contained Brahma, who created the universe
  • Parthasarathy—charioteer of Arjuna/Partha
  • Perumal, Thirumaal and Maalavan Tamil language—language names
  • Purushottama—Supreme Eternal Being, Purush + Uttam = Purushottama means Supreme Purusha or Supreme God
  • Ram—born during the second epoch or Yuga, his deeds primarily established the ideal living principles for a man
  • Hrishikesh—Lord of the senses or Lord within the heart; "hri" root meaning the heart
  • Satyanarayana—combination of satya and Narayana meaning 'protector of truth'
  • Shikhandee—He who wears a peacock feather.
  • Suryanarayan—the one who destroys the evil/sins and who comforts us) described in Vishnu kautuvam, Onw whose form is Sun
  • Sridhara—One who sustains Lakshmi (Shri), One on whose chest resides Lakshmi
  • Sriman—the pride of Shri or Lakshmi); Often Sriman is combined with the name, Narayana, to form a compound word, Sriman Narayana.
  • Srinivasa—the abode of Shri) (also specifically referring to his form in the temple at Tirupati). Also the form of Vishnu at Tirupati is well known as Venkateswara.
  • Trivikrama—who measured the entire universe in three footsteps in Vamana avatara
  • Vishal—immense, The Unstoppable One
  • Vamana—who took Vamana avatara to help Indra
  • Vāsudeva—One who resides in all living beings and in turn all living beings reside in him, one amongst the quadruple form (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha); it also means "the son of Vasudeva", i.e. Krishna
  • Shree-esh—one who has Shree or Lakshmi as his consort / Husband of Goddess Lakshmi
  • Guruvayurappan—Lord of Guruvayur (Temple made by Guru (Brihaspati) & Vayu deva)
  • Jagannath—something huge that cannot be stopped
  • Sohama—the most intelligent: the strongest form of Vishnu with a thousand brains and hands and lambdike

According to the Siddhartha-samhita there are twenty-four forms of Lord Vishnu. The twenty-four forms are

  • Vasudeva
  • Sankarshana
  • Pradyumna
  • Anirudha
  • Keshava
  • Narayana
  • Madhava
  • Govinda
  • Vishnu
  • Madhusudana
  • Trivikrama
  • Vamana
  • Sridhara
  • Hrishikesha
  • Padmanabha
  • Damodara
  • Purushottama
  • Achyuta
  • Nrisimha
  • Janardana
  • Hari
  • Krishna
  • Adhokshaja

Read more about this topic:  Vishnu

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