Vishnu Sahastranam gives a 1000 names of Vishnu. These were told by Bhishma to Yudhishtir in answer to six questions put to him by Yudhishthir. Yudhishthir wanted to know who to look up to as the highest ideal. Bhishma gave him a 1000 names of God, elaborating on God's qualities, the reason for choosing God as the best friend. Chanting or singing this piece of poetry is said to have therapeutic effect on the body and mind.
Even now, Sri Vishnu Sahastranam is a standard guide for spiritual seekers. Sri Vishnu Sahastranam is the chief mantra in the sacred Soma Yagya, fire sacrifice. Adi guru Shankaracharya wrote a commentary on the 1000 names. Classical Indian music icon MS Subbulakshmi's recital of Sri Vishnu Sahastranam is popular in Indian homes and temples alike.
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