Vishnu sahasranama Yajna
The world today, is witnessing an unprecedented crisis in decline of human values and virtues. The neglect in adhering to Dharmic principles and the consequent erosion that has already taken place, are threatening the very existence of civilised human society.
In order to arrest this alarming trend, the problem has to be tackled at its very source.
In the individual, family, society, nation as well as the world, values at any time relate to the mind and intelligence alone. Thus ‘mind and intelligence’ become the sole focus any time for instilling and strengthening values. The immediate question before us is, therefore, to penetrate into the mind plane of people and generate sublime vibrations, infusing the treasure of values, inner strength and courage. Our age-old Vishnu sahasranama has indescribable power and influence in this regard.
It commences with the epithet ‘vishvam’, which denotes the universal inner dimension of our mind, and ends with ‘sarva-praharana-aayudhah’, signifying the shield and power to counter all kinds of external assault and impact. Even though the imperceptible power and influence of the thousand names of Vishnu transcend all external and objective spheres, they certainly reign within the direct experience of those given to practising them assiduously.
Society can be freed of its constricted and selfish notes only through infusional introspection and the most efficient and productive means for effecting this is to engage the minds of people in austere and sublime practices known to generate inner strength, expansiveness and value awareness. It was with this objective and resolve that we conducted, in 1986, the first Vishnu sahasranama Koti Archana, lasting for 8 days in Kootalmanickam Temple precincts, Irinjalakuda. Hundreds of people from far and near participated in that unprecedented austere pursuit.
In 1983, Poojya Swamiji organized and conducted a Vishnu sahasranama Yajna in the Ganapathi Temple in Wimbledon, UK.
In 1988, Poojya Swamiji started a daily one-hour lesson in the Ashram (for 41 days) on Vishnu- Sahasranama paaraayana to children below 13 years, coming from the villages around.
When the first Shrimad Bhagavata Tattvasameeksha Satram working committee meeting was held 12 years back in the Annakshetra Auditorium in Paralikad, we made it amply clear that our capital and resource for it was twofold: Lord Hari, the Supreme Abode of all felicity, on the one hand, and the unflinching devotion we have to that grand Presence and Power, on the other.
Yes, these alone were there to enrich and empower the people of Paralikad and neighbourhood ever since. And the events that followed clearly prove that these two were powerful and graceful enough to lead the annual mission so gloriously ahead. From 2002 for 11 years, more than the sense of fulfilment we organizers have, what shines most is the grandeur of Lord Mahavishnu.
Paralikad and Naimisharanyam have become dear to countless hearts and minds in India and abroad. The enchanting innocence of rural residents in and around Paralikad village, their devotional intensity as well as the unstinted collective effort stands exemplary. Emboldening this is the willing participation from a large number of truthful enquirers and devotees from far and near. Naimisharanyam Jnana Mahotsava has thus become illustrious for the hearty cooperation and mutuality of countless devotees and lovers of Dharma.
With a view to make this collective devotion-cum-wisdom endeavour more enduring and enthusing, equally to enable many more kindred souls to share in the benedictory mission, we have decided that on the concluding day of this 12th Shrimad Bhagavata Tattvasameeksha Satram we have decided to hold the 5152nd anniversary of Vishnu sahasranama as a global event. We hope our effort will be a timely tribute, homage and offering to Lord Hari, Grandfather Bheeshma, Vyasadeva as well as Lord Krishna.
Like the Vedas, Vishnu sahasranama is also beginningless, anaadi. When printing or publication was not in vogue, a few ardent souls in every generation came forth to learn, master and bequeath the treasure with faithful and wholesome fervour. Even if one of our predecessor generations had shown the least bit of indifference, reluctance or inattention, neither Bheeshma nor Yudhishtira through that great knower, or we ourselves would have been blessed to possess the holy and sublime Vishnu sahasranama treasure. This cultural, generational fidelity and bond is the incomparable distinction of Bharat, of the spiritual legacy our people have been able to cherish and preserve with such amazing zeal and allegiance.
Everyone cannot be expected to study Vedas and observe their practices. But it is immensely relieving that by reciting and memorizing these 1000 names, a vital part of Mahabharata, held as the 5th Veda, every one can derive the full benefit of Vedic observance.