The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 1,763,776 words

This page describes Vishnu-sahasranama (Garland of a Thousand Epithets of Vishnu) of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the of the Avantikshetra-mahatmya of the Avantya-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Viṣṇu-sahasranāma (Garland of a Thousand Epithets of Viṣṇu)

[See previous chapter for the prelude and epilogue]

Note: This Viṣṇu-Sahasranāma [Vishnu-sahasranamam] has little in common with the Vìṣṇusahasranāma found in the Anuśāsana Parva of the Mbh. That is much superior to this in the SkP. In some of the common epithets between the two, I followed the commentary of Śaṅkara on that in the Mbh, though I know that the identification of this Śaṅkara with Ādi Śaṅkara is disputed.

In this Sahasranāma Viṣṇu is regarded as ‘All-pervader’ in the sense that as Kṛṣṇa, he is identified with all persons from Kaurava side, Pāṇḍava side and Yādavas. After all Viṣṇu is Brahman and they say: sarvam khalvidam brahma!

Śrī Mārkaṇḍeya said:

Devotion to Viṣṇu is eternal and the greatest, destroying all worries and miseries. It is meritorious and destroyer of all sins. It yields all happiness.

This Mahāvidyā (secret lore) pertaining to Brahman should not be given to all and sundry. It should not be imparted to an ungrateful fellow, to one who is not one’s pupil, to an atheist, to one who is untruthful, to one who is lustful. These people put obstacle in everything that is within it. It is the eternal Dharma. This esoteric knowledge destroys all sins. It is the holiest of all holy things, the sanctifier of all sanctifying things. The thousand names of Viṣṇu are conducive to the development of devotion to Viṣṇu, auspicious and capable of according all Siddhis. They give worldly pleasures and salvation.

Introductory Injunctions and Meditation

Om. Mārkaṇḍeya is the sage of this holy Mantra in the form of eulogy with a thousand names of Viṣṇu. The deity is Viṣṇu. The Chandas is Anuṣṭup. Its application is the Japa for the sake of the acquisition of all desired things.

Now the Meditation:

75. I extol the cowherd lad who is dark in complexion like a cloud filled with water, who has shown his nobleness, who held up the mountain (Govardhana) on his palm, who took great pleasure in playing the flute, who protected the people of Vraja, who is enamoured of sports with the loving maidens (of Vraja) and who wears the garland of big Tulasī leaves.

Garland of a Thousand Epithets of Viṣṇu

76. Om Viśvam (universe), Viṣṇu, Hṛṣīkeśa, Sarvātmā (the soul of all), Sarvabhāvana (creator of all), Sarvaga (reaching all), Śarvarinātha (the Lord of the night, the moon), Bhūtagrāmāśayāśaya (lying within the heart of the group of living beings),

77. Anādinidhanaḥ (without beginning and end), Deva (the lustrous one), Sarvajña (omniscient), Sarvasaṃbhava (the source of origin of everything), Sarvavyāpī (pervading everything), Jagaddhātā (creator of the universe), Sarvaśaktidhara (possessor of all powers), Anagha (sinless),

78. Jagadbījam (the seed of the cosmos), Jagatsraṣṭā (creator of the cosmos), Jagadīśa (Lord of the cosmos), Jagatpati (master of the cosmos), Jagadguru (preceptor of the cosmos), Jagannātha (Lord of the cosmos), Jagaddhātā (one who conceives the cosmos), Jaganmaya (one who is identical with the cosmos),

79. Sarvākṛtidhara (one who assumes all shapes), Sarvaviśvarūpī (having the form of all the universe), Janārdana, (the chastiser of wicked people). Ajanmā (unborn), Śāśvata (eternal), Nitya (permanent), Viśvādhāra (support of the universe), Vibhu (omnipresent), Prabhu (lord),

80. Bahurūpa (multiformed), Ekarūpa (single-formed), Sarvarūpadhara (possessing ail forms), Hara (destroyer), Kālāgniprabhavaḥ Vāyuḥ (wind arising from Kālāgni), Pralayāntakara (cause of end of dissolution), Akṣaya (one that has no destruction),

81. Mahārṇava (great ocean), Mahāmegha (great cloud), Jalabudbudasaṃbhava (born of water bubbles), Saṃskṛta (well-consecrated), Vikṛta (altered), Matsya (fish), Mahāmatsya (great fish), Timiṅgila (whale),

82. Ananta (endless, serpent Ananta), Vāsuki, Śeṣa, Varāha (boar), Dharaṇīdhara (holder of the earth), Payaḥkṣīravivekāḍhya Haṃsa (the swan that separates milk from water), Haimagiristhita (stationed on the mountain of snow),

83. Hayagrīva (horse-necked), Viśālākṣa (wide-eyed), Hayakarṇa (horse-eared), Hayākṛti (of the form of a horse), Manthana (one who churns and curshes), Ratnahārī (one who takes away jewels), Kūrma (tortoise), Dharadharādhara (one who supports the mountain and the earth),

84. Vinidra (sleepless), Nidrita (sleeping), Nandin (one who is delighted), Sunanda, Nandanapriya (fond of the garden Nandana), Nābhi-Nāla-Mṛṇālin (having the lotus, the stalk of which comes out of the navel), Svayaṃbhū (self-born), Caturānana (four-faced),

85. Prajāpati-paraḥ Dakṣa (Dakṣa, the great patriarch), Sṛṣṭikartā (creator of the world), Prajākara (creator of subjects), Marīci, Kaśyapa, Vatsa (v.l. Dakṣa), Surāsura-guru (the preceptor of Suras and Asuras), Kavi (Śukra, a poet),

86. Vāmana, Vāmamargī (follower of the left path), Vāmakarmā (of exquisite actions), Bṛhadvapuḥ (large-bodied), Trailokyakramaṇa (one who measured the three worlds with three steps), Dīpa (light), Baliyajña-vināśana (destroyer of Bali’s sacrifice),

87-88. Yajñahartā (destroyer of sacrifices), Yajñakartā (performer of sacrifices), Yajñeśa (lord of Yajñas), Yajñabhuk (partaker of Yajñas), Vibhu (omnipresent), Sahasrāṃśu (thousand-rayed), Bhaga, Bhānu (Sun), Vivasvān (Sun), Ravi (Sun), Aṃśumān (Sun), Tīgma-tejas (of severe brilliance), Alpatejas (one with modicum of brilliance), Karmasākṣī (witness of actions), Manu, Yama, Devarāja (Lord of Devas), Surapati (master of Suras), Dānavāri (enemy of Dānavas), Śacīpati (Indra, husband of Śacī),

89. Agni, Vāyusakha (friend of the Wind-god), Vahni, Varuṇa, Yādasāṃ Pati (lord of the aquatic beings), Nairṛta, Nādana (producing sound), Anādī (devoid of sound), Rakṣa-Yakṣodhanādhīpa (lord of Yakṣas, Rākṣasas and wealth),

90. Kubera, Vittavān (possessor of wealth), Vega (velocity), Vasupāla (protector of wealth), Vilāsakṛt (of graceful lovely action), Amṛtasravaṇa (exuding Amṛta), Soma (Moon, Soma juice), Somapānakara (imbibing Soma juice), Sudhīḥ (intelligent),

91. Sarvauṣadhikara (one who creates all medicinal herbs), Śrīmān (glorious), Niśākaradivākara (creator of night and day), Viṣāri (enemy of poison), Viṣahartā (remover of poisons), Viṣakaṇṭhadhara (one holding the poisons in the throat), Giri (mountain).

92. Nīlakaṇṭha (blue-throated), Vṛṣī (rider of bulls), Rudra, Bhālacandra (having the moon on the forehead), Umāpati (Śiva), Śiva (Śiva), Śānta (quiescent), Vaśī (having self-control), Vīra (heroic), Dhyānī (meditating), Mānī (honourable), Mānada (bestower of respect),

93. Kṛmikīṭa (worm and insect), Mṛgavyādha (hunter of the deer i.e. sacrificial fire of Dakṣa), Mṛgahā (slayer of a deer), Mṛgalāñcchana (deer-spotted), Baṭuka, Bhairava, Bāla (child), Kapālī (holding the skull), Daṇḍavigraha (staff-bodied). Daṇḍa (discipline or rod of justice incarnate),

94. Śmaśānavāsī (resident of the cremation ground), Māṃsāśī (one who eats meat), Duṣṭanāśī (destroyer of the wicked), Varāntakṛt (one who causes the destruction of the leading one), Yoginītrāsaka (one who frightens Yoginīs), Yogin, Dhyānastha (seated i.e. absorbed in meditation), Dhyānavāsana (having the inclination to meditation),

95. Senānī (commander-in-chief), Senada (bestower of armies), Skanda, Mahākāla, Gaṇādhipa, Ādideva (primordial lord), Gaṇapati, Vighnahā (destroyer of obstacles), Vighnanāśana (destroyer of obstacles),

96. Ṛddhisiddhiprada (bestower of Ṛddhis and Siddhis), Dantī (elephant or having a tusk), Bhālacandra (having the moon on the forehead), Gajānana (elephant-faced), Nṛsiṃha, Ugradaṃṣṭra (having fierce fangs), Nakhin (having claws), Dānavanāśakṛt (destroyer of the Dānavas),

97. Prahlādapoṣakartā (one who nourishes Prahlāda), Sarvadaityajaneśvara (lord of all the Daitya people), Śalabha, Sāgara (ocean), Sākṣī (witness), Kalpadrumavikalpaka (an alternative or a substitute for the Kalpa tree),

98. Hemada (bestower of gold), Hemabhāgin (sharer of gold), Himakartā (creator of snow), Himācala (Himālaya mountain), Bhūdhara (one who holds the earth), Bhūmida (bestower of lands), Meru, Kailāsaśikhara, Giri (mountain),

99. Lokālokāntara (one who is midway between Loka and Aloka), Lokī (of the world), Vilokī (onlooker), Bhuvaneśvara (lord of the universe), Dikpāla, Dikpati, Divya (Divine), Divyakāya (divine-bodied), Jitendriya (subduer of sense-organs),

100. Virūpa (deformed or of a special form) Rūpavān (comely), Rāgī (lover), Nṛtyagītaviśārada (expert in dance and music), Hāhā Hūhu, Citraratha, Devarṣi (the celestial sage), Nārada, Sakhā (friend),

101. Viśvedevāḥ, Sādhyadevāḥ, Dhṛtāśīḥ (holding blessings ready) Cala (moving), Acala (stable), Kapila, Jalpaka (prattler), Vādin (arguer), Datta (giver), Haihaya-saṅgha-rāṭ (king of the clan of Haihayas),

102. Vasiṣṭha, Vāmadeva, Saptarṣipravara (foremost among the seven sages), Bhṛgu, Jāmadagnya Mahāvīra (the great heroic son of Jamadagni), Kratriyāntakara (one who destroys Kṣatriyas), Ṛṣi (sage of vision),

103. Hiraṇyakaśipu, Hiraṇyākṣa, Harapriya (favourite of Śiva), Agasti, Pulaha, Dakṣa, Paulastya Rāvaṇa (Rāvaṇa, the son of Pulastya), Ghaṭa (one who accomplishes),

104. Devāri (enemy of the Devas), Tāpasa (sage), Tāpī (scorcher), Vibhīṣaṇaharipriya (Vibhīṣaṇa, the favourite of Hari), Tejasvī (brilliant), Tejoda (bestower of brilliance), Tejī (brilliant), Īśa (lord), Rājapati (Lord of kings), Prabhu (Lord),

105. Dāśarathi (son of Daśaratha), Rāghava (scion of the family of Raghu), Rāma, Raghuvaṃśa-vivardhana (one who makes the family of Raghu flourish), Sītāpati (husband of Sītā), Pati (lord), Śrīmān (glorious), Brahmaṇya (helpful to Brāhmaṇas), Bhaktavatsala (favourite of the devotee, favourably disposed to devotees),

106. Sannaddha (ready), Kavacī (one clad in coat of mail), Khaḍgī (one having a sword), Cīravāsas (dad in bark garments), Digaṃbara (nude), Kirīṭī (one having a crown), Kuṇḍalī (one having earrings), Śaṅkhacakrī (one having the discus and the conch), Gadādhara (the weilder of the mace),

107. Kausalyānandana (delighter of Kausalyā), Udāra (liberal-minded), Bhūmiśāyī (lying i.e. sleeping on the ground), Guhapriya (favourite of Guha), Saumitra (Sumitrā’s son Lakṣmaṇa), Bharata, Bāla (boy), Śatrughna, Bharatāgraja (elder brother of Bharata),

108. Lakṣmaṇa, Paravīraghna (slayer of the enemy warriors), Strīsahāya (a helper of women), Kapīśvara (lord of the monkeys), Hanumān, Ṛkṣarāja (king of bears), Sugrīva, Vālināśana (slayer of Vālī),

109. Dūtapriya (fond of a messenger), Dūtakārī (maker of messengers), Aṅgada, Gadatāṃvara (foremost among speakers), Vanadhvaṃsī (destroyer of forests and parks), Vanī (a forester), Vega (speed), Vānaradhvaja (monkey-emblemed), Lāṅgulī (tailed one),

110. Ravidaṃṣṭṛī (having the Sun as the curved tooth), Laṅkāha (striker of the deity of Laṅkā), Hāhākāra (making hue and cry), Varaprada (bestower of boons), Bhavasetu (bridge of the ocean of worldly existence), Mahāsetu (the great bridge), Baddhasetu (one who built the bridge), Rameśvara (lord of Ramā),

111. Jānakīvallabha (lover of Jānākī), Kāmī (lover), Kirīṭī (one having a crown), Kuṇḍālī (one wearing earrings), Khagī[1] (one having a bird), Puṇḍarīkaviśālākṣa (one having eyes as large as a lotus), Mahābāhu (mighty-armed), Ghanākṛti (having the complexion or shape of a cloud),

112. Cañcala (unsteady), Capala (fickle), Kāmī (lover), Vāmī (adverse one), Vāmāṅgavatsala (darling of the left limb i.e. wife), Strīpriya (loved by women), Strīpara (devoted to women), Straiṇa (belonging to women), Striyaḥ Vamāṅgavāsaka (making woman stay on the left side),

113. Jitavairī (one who has subdued enemies), Jitakāma (one who has conquered Kama), Jitakrodha (one who has full control on anger), Jitendriya (one who has conquered the sense-organs), Śānta (quiescent), Dānta (one who has controlled the senses), Dayārāma (garden of mercy), Ekastrīvratadhāraka (one who has undertaken the vow of having a single wife),

114. Sāttvika, Sattvasaṃsthāna (stabilized in Sattva), Madahā (destroyer of arrogance), Krodhahā (destroyer of anger), Khara (strict, firm), Bahurākṣasa-saṃvīta (surrounded by many Rākṣasas), Sarvarākṣasa-nāśakṛt (destroyer of all Rākṣasas),

115. Rāvaṇāri (enemy of Rāvaṇa), Raṇa-kṣudradaśamastakacchedaka (one who cuts off the ten heads of Rāvaṇa as if they were insignificant in battle), Rājyakārī (one who administers a kingdom), Yajñakārī (one who performs Yajñas), Dātā (donor), Bhoktā (enjoyer), Tapodhana (ascetic, one who regards penance as wealth),

116. Ayodhyādhipati (overlord of Ayodhyā), Kānta (shining or lovable one), Vaikuṇṭha (Vikuṇṭhā’s son), Akuṇṭhavigraha (of vigorous body), Satyavrata (one with the vow of truth), Vratī (observing vows), Śūra (heroic), Tapī (performing penance), Satyaphalaprada (bestower of the fruit of being truthful),

117-118. Sarvasākṣī (witness of all), Sarvaga (pervading everywhere), Sarvaprāṇahara (one who takes away the life of everyone), Avyaya (immutable), Prāṇa, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna, Samāna, Nāga, Kṛkala, Kūrma, Devadatta, Dhanañjaya (identical with all these types of vital airs), Sarvaprāṇavid (one who knows all types of vital airs), Vyāpī (pervader), Yogadhārakadhāraka (one who supports the person who maintains Yoga practice),

119. Tattvavid (one who knows truth), Tattvada (bestower of truth), Tattvī (knower of truth), Sarvatattvaviśārada (knower of all truth), Dhyānastha (stationed in meditation), Dhyānaśālī (regularly meditating), Manasvī (steady-minded), Yogavittama (best of those conversant with Yoga),

120. Brahmajña (knower of Brahman), Brahmada (bestower of Brahman), Brahmajñātā (one having full knowledge of Brahman), Brahmasaṃbhava (born of Brahma), Adhyātmavidvida (knower of one who knows the spirit), Dīpa (light), Jyotirūpa (one in the form of a luminary), Nirañjana (unstained, pure),

121. Jñānada (one who imparts knowledge), Ajñānahā (dispeller of ignorance), Jñānī (endowed with knowledge), Guru (preceptor), Śiṣyopadeśaka (guide and adviser to disciples), Suśiṣya (a good disciple), Śikṣita (well-trained), Śālī (shining one), Śiṣyaśikṣā-viśārada (expert in teaching disciple),

122. Mantrada (bestower of Mantras), Mantrahā (destroyer of other people’s secret counsel), Mantrī (one who knows Mantras), Tantrī (one who makes use of Tantra), Tantrajanapriya (one fond of the people of Tantra practice), Sanmantra (one having excellent Mantra), Mantravid (one who knows Mantras), Mantrī (counsellor, giver of advice), Yantramantraikabhañjana (sole breaker of Yantras and Mantras),

123. Māraṇa (slayer), Mohana (enchanter), Mohin (deluder), Stambhoccāṭanakṛt (one who paralyses and extirpates by magic), Khala (roguish), Bahumāya (having many black magic tricks), Vimāya (free from illusion), Mahāmāyāvimohaka (one who fascinates through great Māyā i.e. enchantment),

124. Mokṣaḍa (bestower of salvation), Bandhaka (one who causes bondage), Bandī (prisoner), Ākarṣaṇa (one who attracts), Vikarṣaṇa (one who drags away), Hriṃkāra [Hrīṃkāra?]1, Bījarūpī (one in the form of Bīja), Klīṃkāra[2], Kīlakādhipa (lord of Kīlaka i.e. ritualistic nailing),

125. Sauṃkāra (having Oṃkāra), Śaktimān (endowed with power), Śakti (power), Sarvaśaktidhara (one who holds all Śaktis), Dhara (one who supports). Akāra (letter A), Ukāra (letter U). Oṃkāra (Om), Chandas, Gāyatrasaṃbhava (originating from Gāyatrī),

126. Veda, Vedavida (knower of the Vedas), Vedī (one having the Vedas), Vedādhyāyī (one who studies the Vedas), Sadāśiva, Ṛg-Yajus-Sāmātharveśa (lord of the Ṛk, Yajuḥ, Sāman and Atharvaṇa), Sāmagānakara (one who sings the Sāma hymns), Akārī (one who is inactive),

127. Tripada (one who took three steps), Bahupādī (one with many feet), Śatapatha (name of a Brāhmaṇa text), Sarvatomukha (one having faces on all sides), Prākṛta (ordinary language), Saṃskṛta (polished and perfect), Yogin, Gītagranthaprahelika (one with musical texts and riddles),

128. Saguṇa (having attributes), Viguṇa (devoid of attributes), Chanda (self-willed), Niḥsaṅga (devoid of attachment), Viguṇa (having special characteristics), Guṇī (having good features), Nirguṇa (devoid of features), Guṇavān (one with good qualities), Saṅgī (having association), Karmī (one with action), Dharmī (one with Dharma—righteousness, characteristics), Karmada (bestower of Karma),

129. Niṣkarman (devoid of activities), Kāmakāmī (having desires), Niḥsaṅga (devoid of attachment), Saṅgavarjita (bereft of attachment), Nirlobha (free from greed), Nirahaṃkārī (free from egotism), Niṣkiñcanajanapriya (fond of penniless people),

130. Sarvasaṅgakara (causing all associations), Rāgī (liking), Sarvatyāgī (renouncer of everything), Bahiścara (moving out), Ekapāda (single-footed), Dvipāda (biped), Bahupāda (many-footed), Alpapādaka (one with very few feet),

131. Dvipada (two-footed), Tripada (three-footed), Apādī (devoid of feet), Vipādī (one with remarkable feet), Padasaṅgraha (collection of words), Khecara (sky-walker), Bhūcara (walking over the earth), Bhrāmī (wanderer), Bhṛṅgakīṭamadhupriya (fond of bees, worms and honey),

132. Kratu (sacrifice), Saṃvatsara (year), Māsa (month), Gaṇitārka (the sun who has been reckoned), Aharniśa (day and night), Kṛta (Kṛtayuga), Tretā, Dvāpara, Kali, Caturākṛti (of clever features—with four Yugas as his form),

133. Deśakālakara (cause of space and time), Kuladharma (family convention), Sanātana (eternal), Kāla (time), Kalā, Kāṣṭhā, Kalā, Nāḍyaḥ, Yāma, Pakṣa Sitāsitaḥ (black and white lunar fortnights),

134. Yuga, Yugandhara (yoke-bearer), Yogya (befitting), Yugadharmapravartaka (one who causes the traditional activities of the different Yugas function), Kulācāra (conventions and traditions of the family), Kulakara (founder of the family), Kuladaivakara (one who makes the family deity), Kulī (of noble family),

135. Caturāśramacārī (one who functions in the four stages of life), Gṛhastha (householder), Atithipriya (one who likes to have guests), Vanastha (forest-dweller), Vanacārī (forest-walker), Vānaprasthāśrama (one in the stage of the forest-dweller), Aśramī (devoid of fatigue),

136. Baṭuka (religious student), Brahmacārī (celibate), Śikhāsūtrī (one having the tuft and the sacred thread), Kamaṇḍalī (one having a water-pot), Trijaṭī (having three-plaited hair), Dhyānavān (performing meditation), Dhyānī (engaged in meditation), Badrikāśramavāsakṛt (one residing in Badrikāśrama),

137. Hemādriprabhava (one originating from the gold mountain), Haima (golden), Hemarāśī (heap of gold), Himākara (source of snow), Mahāprasthānaka (one who has undertaken the great journey), Vipra (Brāhmaṇa), Virāgī (detached), Rāgavān (having passion), Gṛhī (householder).

138. Naranārāyaṇa, Anāgaḥ (sinless), Kedārodāravigraha (having an exalted physical form in Kedāra), Gaṅgādvāra-tapaḥsāra (performing the essential penance at Gaṅgādvāra). Tapovanataponidhi (storehouse of penance in penance grove),

139. Nidhiḥ Eṣaḥ Mahāpadmaḥ (He is the esteemed treasure named Mahāpadma), Padmākaraśriyālaya (the glory of the hands of Lakṣmī), Padmanābha (lotus-naveled) Parītātmā (one whose soul is surrounded), Parivrāṭ (recluse), Puruṣottama (the supreme Man),

140. Parānanda (great bliss), Purāṇa (ancient one), Samrāṭ (emperor), Rājavirājaka (one shining with the kings), Cakrastha (stationed in the discus or circle), Cakrapālastha (stationed admidst [amidst?] the guardians of the circle), Cakravartī (emperor), Narādhipa (lord of man),

141. Āyurvedavida (one conversant with Āyurveda—medical science), Vaidya (physician), Dhanvantari, Rogahā (remover of diseases), Auṣadhībījasaṃbhūta (originating from the seed of medicinal plants), Rogī (the sick), Rogavināśakṛt (one who causes eradication or cure of ailments),

142. Cetana (sentient), Cetaka (one who induces consciousness), Acintya (incapable of being thought of), Cittacintāvināśakṛt (one causing the destruction of mental worries), Atīndriya (beyond the ken of sense-organs), Sukhasparśa (of pleasing touch), Caracārī (moving about like mobile beings), Vihaṅgama (one that goes through the sky, bird),

143. Garuḍa, Pakṣirāja (king of birds), Cākṣuṣa (visible to the eyes), Vinatātmaja (son of Vinatā), Viṣṇuyānavimānastha (seated in the aerial chariot), Manomayaturaṅgama (having a horse in the form of the mind),

144. Bahuvṛṣtikara (one who causes heavy rain), Varṣī (one who causes downpour), Airāvaṇavirāvaṇa (roaring like Airāvaṇa), Uccaiśśravas, Aruṇa, Gāmī (always on the move), Haridaśva (green-horsed) Haripriya (fond of horses),

145. Prāvṛṣa (the rainy season), Meghamālī (having the garland of clouds), Gajaratnapurandara (one who breaks through the city of excellent elephants), Vasuda (bestower of riches), Vasudhāra (pouring the current of wealth), Nidrālu (sleepy), Pannagāśana (devourer of serpents),

146. Śeṣaśāyī (lying on Śeṣa), Jaleśāyī (lying in water), Vyāsa, Satyavatīsuta (son of Satyavatī), Vedavyāsakara (one who divided the Vedas), Vāgmī (eloquent), Bahuśākhāvikalpaka (maker of many branches of Vedic texts),

147. Smṛti, Purāṇadharmārthī (seeking the piety of the Purāṇas), Parāvaravicakṣaṇa (clever in discriminating the greater and the lesser), Sahasraśīrṣa (having a thousand i.e. innumerable heads), Sahasrākṣa (having a thousand eyes), Sahasravadana (having a thousand faces), Ujjvala (sparkling),

148. Sahasrabāhu (having a thousand arms), Sahasrāṃśu (having a thousand rays), Sahasrakiraṇa (having a thousand rays), Nara (the human being), Bahuśīrṣa (having many heads), Ekaśīrṣa (single-headed), Triśiras (three-headed), Viśiraḥ (headless), Śirī (having heads),

149. Jaṭila (having matted hairs), Bhasmarāgī (having a liking for ash), Divyāṃbaradhara (wearing divine garments), Śuci (clean), Aṇurūpa (atom-sized), Bṛhadrūpa (large-sized), Virūpa (deformed), Vikarākṛti (of a handless form),

150. Samudramāthaka (one who churned the ocean), Māthī (the churner), Sarvaratnahara (one who has taken away all jewels), Hari, Vajra-vaidūryaka (having diamonds and lapis lazulis), Vajrī (having the thunderbolt or diamond), Cintāmaṇimahāmaṇi (having the great jewel Cintāmaṇi),

151. Anirmūlya (not without value), Mahāmūlya (of great value), Nirmūlya (invaluable), Surabhi (sweet-smelling), Sukhī (happy), Pitā (father), Mātā (mother), Śiśu (infant), Bandhu (kinsman), Dhātā (creator), Tvaṣṭṛ, Aryaman, Yama,

152. Antaḥstha (stationed within), Bāhyakārī (acting outside), Bahiḥstha (stationed outside), Bahiścara (moving outside), Pāvana (sacred), Pāvaka (purifier), Pākī (cooking), Sarvabhakṣī (omnivorous—eating everything), Hutāśana (consuming what is consigned to the sacred fire),

153. Bhagavān (lord), Bhagahā (slayer of Bhaga), Bhāgī (sharer), Bhavabhañja (breaker of Saṃsāra or worldly existence), Bhayaṅkara (terrible one), Kāyastha (stationed in the body), Kāryakarī (carrying out the task), Kāryakartṛ (executor of the task), Karaprada (giver of the helping hand),

154. Ekadharmā (single-featured), Dvidharmā (two-featured), Sukhī (happy), Dūtyopajīvaka (subsisting on messenger-hood), Bālaka (boy), Tāraka (redeemer), Trātā (saviour), Kāla (God of Death), Mūṣakabhakṣaka (devourer of mice),

155. Sañjīvana (enlivener), Jīvakartā (resuscitator of life), Sajīva (having life), Jīvasaṃbhava (originating from life), Ṣaḍviṃśaka (the twenty-sixth principle), Mahāviṣṇu, Sarvavyāpī (all-pervading), Maheśvara,

156. Divyāṅgada (having divine armlet), Muktamālī (wearing a pearl necklace), Śrīvatsa (the mark so-called or endearing to Śrī, Lakṣmī), Makaradhvaja (shark-emblemed), Śyāmamūrti (dark-complexioned), Ghanaśyāma (dark like a cloud), Pītavāsas (yellow-garmented), Śubhānana (of auspicious countenance),

157. Cīravāsas (putting on bark garment), Vivāsas (bereft of garments), Bhūtadānavavallabha (lover of goblins and Dānavas), Amṛta (nectar), Amṛtabhāgī (sharer of nectar), Mohinīrūpadhāraka (one who assumed the form of Mohinī),

158. Divya-ḍṛṣṭī (of divine vision), Samadṛṣṭi (impartial), Devadānava-vañcaka (one who cheats both Devas and Dānavas), Kabandha (headless trunk), Ketukārī (creator of flags or of the planet Ketu). Svarbhānu (Rāhu), Candratāpana (scorcher of the Moon),

159. Graharāja (king of Planets), Grahī (having Grahas), Grāha (alligator), Sarvagrahavimocaka (releaser from all Planets), Dānamānajapa (dāna, honour, japa), Homa (offering of sacrificial offerings), Sānukūla (favourable), Śubhagraha (auspicious Planet),

160. Vighnakartā (creator of obstacles), Apahartā (remover), Vighnanāśa (destroyer of obstacles), Vināyaka (Gaṇeśa), Apakāropakārī (helper of even those who do disservice), Sarvasiddhiphalaprada (bestower of the fruit in the form of all Siddhis),

161. Sevaka (servant), Sāmadānī (making use of the means of Sāma i.e. peaceful overtures) and Dāna (giving gifts), Bhedī (sowing dissension), Daṇḍī (meting out punishments), Matsarī (rivalling, jealous), Dayāvān (merciful), Dānaśīla (habitually making gifts), Dānī (donor), Yajvā (performer of sacrifices), Pratigrahī (accepting gifts),

162. Havis, Agni, Carusthālī (vessel of sacrificial offerings), Samidh (sacrificial twigs), Anila (wind), Yama, Hotā (performer of Homas), Udgātā (singer of Mantras), Śuci (pure or fire), Kuṇḍa (sacrificial pit), Sāmaga (singer of Sāman hymns), Vaikṛti (change and modification), Sava (sacrifice),

163. Dravya (articles of sacrifice), Pātrāṇi (utensils), Saṃkalpa (mental resolve or intention), Muśala (pestle), Araṇi (Śamī piece for making fire by means of attribution), Kuśa (Darbha grass), Dīkṣita (initiated one), Maṇḍapa (pavilion), Vedī (altar), Yajamāna (one who performs a sacrifice), Paśu (animal brought for sacrifice), Kratu (sacrifice),

164. Dakṣiṇā (monetary gift), Svastimān (hale and hearty), Svasti (offering blessings like ‘Svasti’), Āśīrvāda (blessings), Śubhapraḍa (bestower of auspiciousness), Ādivṛkṣa (primordial tree), Mahāvṛkṣa (great tree), Devavṛkṣa (divine tree), Vanaspati (vegetation),

165. Prayāga, Veṇumān, Veṇī, Nyagrodha (fig tree), Akṣayavaṭa (the banyan tree of imperishable nature), Sutīrtha (good holy spot), Tīrthakārī (maker of a Tīrtha), Tīrtharāja (king of holy places), Vratī (observing Vratas), Vrata (vow),

166. Vṛttidātā (giver of sustenance), Pṛthu, Putra (son), Dogdhā (milker), Gauḥ (cow), Vatsa (calf), Kṣīra (milk), Kṣīravaha (flowing with milk), Kṣīrī (possessor of milk), Kṣīrabhāgavibhāgavit (one who knows the divisions and sub-divisions of milk),

167. Rājyabhāgavida (conversant with the parts of the kingdom), Bhāgī (sharer), Sarvabhāgavikalpaka (assigner of all parts), Vāhana (vehicle), Vāhaka (one who conveys through vehicles), Vegī (having velocity), Pādacārī (pedestrian), Tapaścara (ascetic),

168. Gopana (one who conceals), Gopaka (cowherd), Gopī (cowherdess), Gopakanyāvihārakṛt (one who diverts himself with the cowhered lasses), Vāsudeva, Viśālākṣa (having large eyes), Kṛṣṇa, Gopījanapriya (dear to cowherd women),

169. Devakīnandana (delighter of Devakī), Nandī (delighter), Nandagopa-gṛhāśramī (living in the house of Nanda, the cowherd, as though in hermitage), Yaśodānandana (delighter of Yaśodā), Dāmī (bound with a rope around his neck), Dāmodara (bound with a rope around the belly), Ulūkhalī (having the mortar bound to him),

170. Pūtanāri (enemy of Pūtanā), Padākārī [shaking (?) the feet], Līlāśakaṭabhañjaka (breaker of the cart sportingly), Navanītapriya (fond of butter), Vāgmī (eloquent), Vatsapālakabālaka (the boy who looks after the calves),

171. Vatsarūpadhara (one who assumed the form of a calf), Vatsī (having a calf), Vatsahā (slayer of Vatsa), Dhenukāntakṛt (one who killed Dhenuka), Bakārī (enemy of demon Baka), Vanavāsī (resident of the forest), Vanakrīḍāviśārada (expert in forest sports),

172. Kṛṣṇavarṇākṛti (having a dark-complexioned body), Kānta (beautiful), Veṇuvetravidhāraka (holding a flute and a cane), Gopamokṣakara (one who bestowed salvation on the cowherds), Mokṣa (salvation), Yamunāpulinecara (one who walks on the sandy banks of Yamunā),

173. Māyāvatsakara (one who created calves through Māyā), Māyī (possessing Māyā), Brahmamāyāpamohaka (one who deluded Brahmā by means of Māyā), Ātmasāravihārajña (conversant with the sports of persons possessing strength of soul), Gopadārakadāraka (a child among the children of cowherds),

174. Gocārī (one who takes cows for grazing), Gopati (owner of cows), Gopa (cowherd), Govardhanadhara (one who held up Govardhana mountain), Balī (strong), Indradyumna (having the splendour of Indra), Makhadhvaṃsī (one who destroyed the sacrificial offering to Indra), Vṛṣṭihā (one who restrained the downpour), Goparakṣaka (protector of the cowherds),

175. Surābhi-trāṇakartā (saviour of the divine cow Surabhi), Dāvapānakara (one who drank off and quenched the forest fire), Kalī (instigator of strife), Kālīyamardana (suppressor of Kālīya), Kālī, Yamunāhradavihāraka (one who sports about in the eddy of Yamunā),

176. Saṃkarṣaṇa, Balaślāghya (praiseworthy due to strength), Baladeva, Halāyudha (one having the plough as weapon), Lāṅgalī (wielder of the plough), Musalī (having the threshing rod), Cakrī (having the discus), Rāma, Rohiṇī-nandana (the delighter of Rohiṇī),

177. Yamunākarṣaṇoddhāra (one who drags and lifts up Yamunā), Nīlavāsas (blue-garmented), Hala (plough), Halī (having the plough), Revatīramaṇa (lover of Revatī), Lola (Eagerly desirous), Bahumānakara (one who honours), Para (the great),

178. Dhenukāri (enemy of Dhenuka), Mahāvīra (great hero) Gopakanyāvidūṣaka (jester of the daughters of the cowherds), Kāmamānahara (one who destroys the pride of Kāma), Kāmī (lover), Gopīvāsopataskara (one who stole the garments of the cowherdesses),

179. Veṇuvādī (one who plays the flute), Nādī (producing musical notes), Nṛtyagītaviśārada (expert in dances and music), Gopīmohakara (the enchanter of cowherdesses), Gānī (one who sings), Rāsaka (one who performs Rāsa dance), Rajanīcara (moving about at night),

180. Divyamālī (having divine garlands), Vimālī (having excellent garlands), Vanamālāvibhūṣita (one who is embellished with garlands of sylvan flowers), Kaiṭabhāri (enemy of Kaiṭabha), Kaṃsāri (enemy of Kaṃsa), Madhuhā (slayer of Madhu), Madhusūdana (killer of Madhu),

181. Cāṇūramardana (one who crushed Cāṇūra), Malla (wrestler), Muṣṭī (Having the fist clenched), Muṣṭikanāśakṛt (one who killed Muṣṭika), Murahā (slayer of Mura), Modaka (rejoicer), Modī (rejoicer), Madaghna (destroyer of arrogance), Narakāntakṛt (one who slew Naraka),

182. Vidyādhyāyī (one who studied the lores), Bhūmiśāyī (one who slept on the ground), Sudāmāsusakhā (the excellent companion of Sudāmā), Sukhī (happy), Sakala (having attributes), Vikala (free from attributes), Vaidya (physician), Kalita (one who is counted and reckoned), Kalānidhi (storehouse of Kalās or Arts),

183. Vidyāśālī (studious in lores), Viśālī (huge), Pitṛmātṛ-vimokṣaka (liberator of father and mother), Rukmiṇīramaṇa (lover of Rukmiṇi [Rukmiṇī?]), Ramya (handsome), Kālindīpati (lord of Kālindī), Śaṅkhahā (destroyer of Śaṅkha),

184. Pāñcajanya, Mahāpadma, Bahunāyakanāyaka (leader of a host of leaders), Dhundhumāra (slayer of Dhundhu), Nikuṃbhaghna (slayer of Nikuṃbha), Śaṃbarānta (slayer of Śaṃbara), Ratipriya (beloved of Rati),

185. Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sāttvatāṃpati (lord of Sāttvatas), Arjuna, Phālguna, Guḍākeśa, (messenger or controller of sleep), Savyasācī, Dhanañjaya,

186. Kirīṭi, Dhanuṣpāṇi (wielding the bow in the hand), Dhanurvedaviśārada (an adept in the science of archery), Śikhaṇḍī, Sātyaki, Śaibya, Bhīma, Bhīmaparākrama (of terrible exploits),

187. Pāñcāla, Abhimanyu, Saubhadra, Draupadīpati (lord of Draupadī), Yudhiṣṭhira, Dharmarāja, Satyavādī (truthful in speech), Śucivrata (of pure vows),

188. Nakula, Sahadeva, Karṇa, Duryodhana, Ghṛṇī (merciful), Gāṅgeya (son of Gaṅgā), Gadāpāṇi (having the club in the hand), Bhīṣma, Bhāgīrathīsuta (son of Gaṅgā i.e. Bhīṣma),

189. Prajñācakṣuḥ [Prajñācakṣus] (with intellect for sight), Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Bhāradvāja, Gautama, Aśvatthāmā, Vikaṛṇa [Vikarṇa?], Jahnu, Yuddhaviśārada (expert in war),

190. Sīmantika, Gadī (having a club), Gālva, Viśvāmitra, Durāsada (very difficult to approach), Durvāsas, Durvinīta, Mārkaṇḍeya, Mahāmuni (the great sage),

191. Lomaśa, Nirmala (devoid of impurities), Alomī (hairless), Dīrghāyu (long-lived), Cira (of long duration), Acirī (of short duration), Punarjīvī (living once again), Mṛta (dead), Bhāvī (one who will be), Bhavya (that which is being born), Bhaviṣyaka [born(?) in future],

192. Trikāla (the three periods of time), Triliṅga (three-signed one), Trinetra (three-eyed), Tripadīpati (lord of Tripadī i.e. Gaṅgā), Yādava, Yājñavalkya, Yaduvaṃśavivardhana (one who causes the family of Yadu to flourish),

193. Śalyakrīḍī (one who played with the darts), Vikrīḍa (devoid of sports), Yādavāntakara (one who brought about the end of the Yādavas), Kali (strife), Sadaya (compassionate), Hṛdaya (heart), Dāya (share), Dāyāda (giver of share), Dāyabhāk (partner in inheritance?), Dayī (merciful),

194. Mahodadhi (great ocean), Mahīpṛṣṭha (surface of the earth), Nīlaparvatavāsakṛt (resident of the Nīla mountain), Ekavarṇa (of single hue), Vivarṇa (pale), Sarvavarṇabahiścara (moving out of all castes),

195. Yajñanindī (one who censured Yajñas), Vedanindī (one who censured the Vedas), Vedabāhya (one outside Veda), Bala (strength), Bali, Bauddhāri (enemy of the Bauddhas), Bādhaka (oppressor), Bādha (oppression), Jagannātha (lord of the universe), Jagatpati (lord of the cosmos),

196. Bhakti (devotion), Bhāgavata (devotee of the Lord), Bhāgī (partaker of share), Vibhakta (divided), Bhāgavat-priya (beloved of the Lord), Trigrāma (having three villages), Navāraṇya (of fresh forest), Guhyopaniṣadāsana (seated in the esoteric Upaniṣads),

197. Śāligrāma, Śilāyukta (joined with the rock), Viśāla (large), Gaṇḍakāśraya (one resorting to Gaṇḍaka), Śrutadeva, Śruta (renowned), Śrāvī (one who makes others listen), Śrutabodha (of well-known enlightenment), Śrutaśravas (one whose fame is well-known),

198. Kalki, Kālakala (reckoning the time), Kalka (Kalki), Duṣṭamlecchavināśakṛt (destroyer of the wicked barbarians), Kuṃkumī (having saffron), Dhavala (white), Dhīra (bold), Kṣamākara (forgiver), Vṛṣākapi,

199. Kiṃkara (servant), Kinnara, Kaṇva, Kekī (peacock), Kiṃpuruṣādhipa (lord of the Kiṃpuruṣas), Ekaromā (single-haired), Viromā (hairless), Bahuromā (having plenty of hairs), Bṛhatkavi (great poet),

200. Vijrapraharaṇa (having the thunderbolt as the weapon), Vajrī (having Vajra), Vṛtraghna (slayer of Vṛtra), Vāsavānuja (younger brother of Vāsava), Bahutīrthaṅkara (one who has caused many holy spots to flourish), Tīrtha (holy shrine), Sarvatīrthajaneśvara (the lord of the people of all the Tīrthas),

201. Vyatīpāta (the astronomical combination of that name), Uparāga (eclipse), Dānavṛddhikara (one who increases munificence), Śubha (auspicious), Asaṃkhyeya (innumerable), Aprameya (immeasurable), Saṅkhyākara (cause of reckoning), Visaṅkhyaka (countless),

202. Mihika (fog), Uttāraka (redeemer), Tāra (Oṃkāra), Bālacandra (the crescent moon), Sudhākara (nectar-rayed one), Kiṃvarṇa (of indescribable complexion), Kīdṛśa (of what sort?), Kiñcit (something), Kiṃsvabhāva (of incomprehensible nature), Kimāśraya (of unimaginable basis?),

203. Nirloka (devoid of world), Nirākārī (devoid of shape), Bhavākāra (many-shaped one), Ekakāraka (cause of one), Dauhitra (daughter’s son), Putrika (son), Pautra (grandson), Naptṛ (great-grandson), Vaṃśadhara (sustaīner of the family), Dhara (the supporter),

204. Dravībhūta (liquefied), Dayālu (compassionate), Sarvasiddiprada-maṇi (jewel that yields all the Siddhis),

205. Ādhāra (supporting base), Vidhāra (special support), Dharāsūnu (son of the earth), Sumaṅgala (auspicious, mars), Maṅgala (auspicious), Maṅgalākāra (of auspicious shape), Māṅgalya (conducive to auspiciousness), Sarvamaṅgala (all-auspiciousness).

206. This set of thousand names of Viṣṇu of incomparable brilliance causes all Siddhis. It is desirable. It is meritorious. It is in the form of Hari and Hara.

207-208. He who gets up early in the morning, becomes clean and remains with mental concentration and reads this, one who listens to this always with a steady mind in all the three Sandhyās (i.e. dawn, midday and dusk) with great faith, becomes liberated from all sins. He rejoices with sons, grand-sons and wives. He is adored by servants.

209. He attains huge fortune. He is rid of all difficulties. He obtains all desired objects. He gets great renown.

210. A Brāhmaṇa becomes learned. A Kṣatriya becomes victorious. A Vaiśya gets good profit and money. A Śūdra attains happiness.

211. He becomes victorious always in the terrible battles, disputes, business transactions and in subsidiary enterprises, always in every activity.

212. If a man reads once, ten times, hundred times, or thousand times, he obtains the benefit befittingly.

213. He who seeks sons, gets sons. He who seeks wealth, gets imperishable wealth. He who seeks salvation, gets salvation and he who seeks righteousness, gets righteousness.

214. He who seeks a virgin, attains a virgin inaccessible even to Devas. He who seeks knowledge, becomes learned and a Yogin becomes united with Yogas.

215-217. This should always be remembered by men on these occasions: during great upheavals, famine, the battles of kings, when a great pestilence like cholera is rampant, during poverty, when afflicted by miseries, in a forest, in a solitary path, in a place encircled by forest fire, when attacked by lions, tigers etc., in a forest infested by elephants, when the angry king orders something adverse, when there is an encounter with robbers and in terrible occasions of fall of lightning.

218-219. By reading or listening to it, people can avoid miseries at times of malignant Planets becoming aggressive, or when imprisoned or about to be executed or when one is in a raft in a great river or in the ocean. Even when one is afflicted with ailments and has become pale-faced with hairs, nails and skin gone, he becomes one having a divine body.

220-222. Devotees should read this in a place where there is a park of Tulasī plants, in temples, in lakes, in islands, at Badarikāśrama, in a splendid place at Gaṅgādvāra, in a penance grove, at Madhuvana, at Prayāga, at Dvārakā and in Mahākālavana. They must have great concentration. They should restrain themselves and they may desire anything. If they are devout with control over the sense-organs and read this a hundred times, they shall become Siddhas. They will then roam about on the earth bestowing spiritual powers on others.

223. When there is difference of opinion and dispute this causes excellent friendship. It is the most fascinating of all fascinating things. It is pure and sacred. It destroys sins.

224. It is an excellent thing acting as the suppressor of Bālagrahas (evil spirits affecting children). It is destructive of the evil intentions of the wicked and sinful persons.

225. A woman suffering from frequent abortions, a barren woman, a woman who has profuse bleeding, a woman who has only one son—these give birth to sons always.

226. Cows will yield plenty of good milk. Agriculture will yield plenty of good crops of grain. Servants become loyal to masters and woman becomes chaste.

227. Everywhere this should be remembered by men always during efforts made for peace and for the sake of preventing premature death and the effects of evil dreams.

228-229. If a man sits pure and alone in the presence of Viṣṇu, abstaining from food and restraining the sense-organs and avoiding anger, and reads this everyday, he gets the form with yellow garments and four arms. He gets all desires fulfilled in this world. Seated on Garuḍa, he goes to Viṣṇuloka.

230. On one (pan) there are all lores, entire penance and all piety and on the other pan the thousand names of Viṣṇu, i.e. these names are on a par with all those things.

231. If a Brāhmaṇa wants to recite a single Śloka and get the benefit of the hymn of a thousand names, he can do so with the following Śloka:

232. “Sahasrākṣa (thousand i.e. innumerable-eyed), Sahasrapāt (thousand-footed), Sahasravadanojjvala (shining brilliantly with thousand faces), Sahasranāma (thousand-named), Anantākṣa (of infinite eyes), Sahasrabāhu (thousand-armed), I do obeisance to you.”

233. The Viṣṇusahasranāma is indeed ancient and approved by the Vedas. It is the most auspicious of all auspicious things. It should be read always by the devotees.

[See previous chapter for epilogue]

Footnotes and references:


Probably a misprint for Khadgī [khaḍgī?] (one having a sword).


Hrīm, Klīm are the seeds (Bījas) of Mantras. Just as Oṃkara = Om, so Hrīṃkāra = Hrīm. Klīṃkāra = Klīm.

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