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Thousand Names of Vishnu: A Selection With Commentary

Eknath Easwaran (Author)
Synopsis Most of the world's major religions have a tradition celebrating the Holy Names of God. Muslims have the most excellent names; Christians have commentaries and litanies. Jewish tradition preserves several lists of the Divine Names, which Jewish mystics have made the focus of meditation. The Holy, The Merciful, The Compassionate; Truth; The One. These are names which appear in each religion, emphasizing that however we call him or as in India, her - the Lord is always the same. In Hinduism, one of the most popular of these litanies is Sri Vishnu Sahasra - Nama Strotrum, the "Thousand Names of Vishnu". Hindus believe that the Lord has many forms - Shiva, Ganesha, the Divine Mother, and so on - shaped by the inner needs of those who worship. The Thousand Names praise God as Vishnu, the preserver and sustainer of life, worshipped all over India in his incarnations as Krishna and Rama. The names of the Lord are chanted one by one, with the sacred word 'Om' before each name and the world 'namah' after it. "Om Vishnave Namah". It means "I bow to Lord Vishnu", "I worship Lord Vishnu". "The Thousand Names of Vishnu" comes from the Mahabharata, an ancient epic poem which is a vast treasury of Hindu legend and literature. The Thousand Names of Vishnu is given to the philosopher - Prince Yudhishthira by a great sage Bhishma. He is called Vishva - He Who is Everything; Vishnu - He Who is Everywhere; Bhuta-krit - Maker of All Beings; Bhuta - Brit - The Support of All Creatures; Param - Atma - The Supreme Self; Dharma - The Eternal Law; Pavana - The Purifier; Gada Dhara - Wielder of the Mace; Priyarha - Lovable; Krishna - He Who Attracts; Satya - Truth; Asammita - Approachable; Deva - The Shining One; Bhagavan - Full of Glory; Anandi - Bringer of Joy; Sahishnu - Enduring and many more. Vishnu's image is found in temples, shrines and homes all over India. Usually he is represented as a handsome man of divine radiance who holds in four hands the symbol of power and beauty. A necklace of precious gems adorn his neck. When he travels he is carried by the cosmic eagle, Garuda, or rides a chariot drawn by four spirited horses. In rest he reclines upon the serpent called Infinity, floating in the cosmic waters in perfect peace, dreaming about the perfect world. The Holy Name is an infinitely powerful ally. As the mind fills with the thought of God, the heart becomes pure. The very name of the Lord is a purifying, transforming influence. Anger gradually turns into compassion, greed into generosity, lust into love. Read and experience the transformation.
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About the author

Eknath Easwaran

Born into an ancient matrilineal Hindu family in Kerala state. South India, Eknath Easwaran regards his mother's mother as his spiritual teacher. She taught him by her selfless example how to find complete fulfillment in the family context. Easwaran was chairman of the English department of a well-known Indian university when he came to the United States on the Fulbright exchange program. Here, as in India, his humor and humanness soon made him a teacher of enormous appeal. In 1960 he established the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Berkeley, California- "to move." as he puts it, "from education for degrees to education for living." As the Center's director, he continues to teach meditation in the greater San Francisco Bay Area to those who want to lead active, spiritually fulfilling lives in the midst of family, friends, and society. Easwaran brings to this volume a rare combination of literary skill, scholarship, and spiritual wisdom. His Sanskrit comes from one of the purest traditions in India, and for almost twenty years he followed a successful career as a writer, lecturer, and teacher of English literature. But it is essentially the stamp of personal experience that makes Easwaran's presentation of the spiritual life so effective. In this book, without metaphysics or philosophy, he illustrates the practicality of the Bhagavad Gita with familiar anecdotes from daily living. Besides The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, Easwaran has written Meditation, Gandhi the Man. Dialogue with Death, and Conquest of Mind. His translations of India's spiritual classics appear in The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, and The Upanishads. He has compiled God Makes the Rivers to Flow, an anthology of passages for meditation from the world's great scriptures and mystics, and writes for The Little Lamp, the journal of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.

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Bibliographic information

Title Thousand Names of Vishnu: A Selection With Commentary
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2010
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
isbn 8172245815, 9788172245818
length 326, Glossary; 22cm.