Sahasranama

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' Sahasranāma' (Devanagari सहस्रनाम) is a Sanskrit term for a type of Hindu scripture in which a deity is referred to by 1,000 or more different names. Sahasranamas are classified as stotras, or hymns of praise, a type of devotional scripture. The word is a dvigu compound from sahasra "thousand" and nāman "name".

A sahasranama provides a terse but encyclopedic guide to the attributes and legends surrounding a deity. There are also many shorter stotras, called ashtottara-shata-nāma, which have only 108 names. 108 names of Ganesha

No Sanskrit Name Name Mantra English Name Meaning 1. गजानन ॐ गजाननाय नमः। Gajanana Elephant-Faced Lord 2. गणाध्यक्ष ॐ गणाध्यक्षाय नमः। Ganadhakshya Lord of All Ganas (Gods) 3. विघ्नराज ॐ विघ्नाराजाय नमः। Vighnaraja Lord of All Hindrances 4. विनायक ॐ विनायकाय नमः। Vinayaka Lord of All 5. द्वैमातुर ॐ द्वैमातुराय नमः। Dvaimatura One who has two Mothers 6. द्विमुख ॐ द्विमुखाय नमः। Dvimukha Lord with two Heads 7. प्रमुख ॐ प्रमुखाय नमः। Pramukha Supreme Head of the Universe 8. सुमुख ॐ सुमुखाय नमः। Sumukha Auspicious Face 9. कृति ॐ कृतिनॆ नमः। Krati Lord of Music 10. सुप्रदीप ॐ सुप्रदीपाय नमः। Supradeepa 11. सुखनिधी ॐ सुखनिधयॆ नमः। Sukhnidhi 12. सुराध्यक्ष ॐ सुराध्यक्षाय नमः। Suradhyakshaya Sovereign of the Gods 13. सुरारिघ्न ॐ सुरारिघ्नाय नमः। Surarighna The Destroyer of the Enemies of Devas 14. महागणपतयॆ ॐ महागणपतयॆ नमः। Mahaganapati Omnipotent and Supreme Lord 15. मान्याय ॐ मान्याय नमः। Manya 16. महाकाल ॐ महाकालाय नमः। Mahakaal 17. महाबला ॐ महाबलाय नमः। Mahabala Enormously Strong Lord 18. हॆरम्ब ॐ हॆरम्बाय नमः। Heramba Mother's Beloved Son 19. लम्बजठर ॐ लम्बजठरायै नमः। Lambajathara Big Bellied 20. ह्रस्वग्रीव ॐ ह्रस्व ग्रीवाय नमः। Haswagriva 21. महॊदरा ॐ महॊदराय नमः। Mahodara Having Large Abdomen 22. मदॊत्कट ॐ मदॊत्कटाय नमः। Madotkata 23. महावीर ॐ महावीराय नमः। Mahavira 24. मन्त्रिणॆ ॐ मन्त्रिणॆ नमः। Mantrine 25. मङ्गल स्वरा ॐ मङ्गल स्वराय नमः। Mangala swara 26. प्रमधा ॐ प्रमधाय नमः। Pramadha 27. प्रथम ॐ प्रथमाय नमः। Prathameshwara First Among All 28. प्रज्ञा ॐ प्राज्ञाय नमः। Pragya 29. विघ्नकर्त्र ॐ विघ्नकर्त्रॆ नमः। Vighnahara Remover of Obstacles 30. विघ्नहन्त्र ॐ विघ्नहन्त्रॆ नमः। Vignaharta Demolisher of Obstacles 31. विश्व नॆत्र ॐ विश्व नॆत्रॆ नमः। Vishwanetra 32. विराट्पति ॐ विराट्पतयॆ नमः। Viratpati 33. श्रीपति ॐ श्रीपतयॆ नमः। Shreepati The Lord of Fortune 34. वाक्पति ॐ वाक्पतयॆ नमः। Vakpati The Lord of Speech 35. शृङ्गारिण ॐ शृङ्गारिणॆ नमः। Shringarin 36. अश्रितवत्सल ॐ अश्रितवत्सलाय नमः। Ashritvatsala 37. शिवप्रिय ॐ शिवप्रियाय नमः। Shivapriya 38. शीघ्रकारिण ॐ शीघ्रकारिणॆ नमः। Shighrakarin 39. शाश्वत ॐ शाश्वताय नमः। Shashwat Adoration to the Unchanging One 40. बल ॐ बल नमः। Bala 41. बलॊत्थिताय ॐ बलॊत्थिताय नमः। Balotthitaye 42. भवात्मजाय ॐ भवात्मजाय नमः। Bhavatmajaye 43. पुराण पुरुष ॐ पुराण पुरुषाय नमः। Puranapurusha The Omnipotent Personality 44. पूष्णॆ ॐ पूष्णॆ नमः। Pushne 45. पुष्करॊत्षिप्त वारिणॆ ॐ पुष्करॊत्षिप्त वारिणॆ नमः। Pushkarotshipta varine 46. अग्रगण्याय ॐ अग्रगण्याय नमः। Agranyaye 47. अग्रपूज्याय ॐ अग्रपूज्याय नमः। Agrapujyaye 48. अग्रगामिनॆ ॐ अग्रगामिनॆ नमः। Agragamine 49. मन्त्रकृतॆ ॐ मन्त्रकृतॆ नमः। Mantrakrute 50. चामीकरप्रभाय ॐ चामीकरप्रभाय नमः। Chamikaraprabhaya 51. सर्वाय ॐ सर्वाय नमः। Sarvaya 52. सर्वॊपास्याय ॐ सर्वॊपास्याय नमः। Sarvopasyaya 53. सर्व कर्त्रॆ ॐ सर्व कर्त्रॆ नमः। Sarvakartre 54. सर्वनॆत्रॆ ॐ सर्वनॆत्रॆ नमः। Sarvanetre 55. सर्वसिद्धिप्रदाय ॐ सर्वसिद्धिप्रदाय नमः। Sarvasiddhipradaya 56. सिद्धयॆ ॐ सिद्धयॆ नमः। Sarvanetre 57. पञ्चहस्ताय ॐ पञ्चहस्ताय नमः। Panchahastaya 58. पार्वतीनन्दनाय ॐ पार्वतीनन्दनाय नमः। Parvatinadanaya 59. प्रभवॆ ॐ प्रभवॆ नमः। Prabhave 60. कुमारगुरवॆ ॐ कुमारगुरवॆ नमः। Kumaragurave 61. अक्षॊभ्याय ॐ अक्षॊभ्याय नमः। Akshobhyaya 62. कुञ्जरासुर भञ्जनाय ॐ कुञ्जरासुर भञ्जनाय नमः। Kunjarasura bhanjanaya 63. प्रमॊदाय ॐ प्रमॊदाय नमः। Pramodaya 64. मॊदकप्रियाय ॐ मॊदकप्रियाय नमः। Modakapriya 65. कान्तिमतॆ ॐ कान्तिमतॆ नमः। Kantimate 66. धृतिमतॆ ॐ धृतिमतॆ नमः। Dhrutimate 67. कामिनॆ ॐ कामिनॆ नमः। Kamine 68. कपित्थपनसप्रियाय ॐ कपित्थपनसप्रियाय नमः। Kapitthvanaspriyaya 69. ब्रह्मचारिणॆ ॐ ब्रह्मचारिणॆ नमः। Brahmacharine 70. ब्रह्मरूपिणॆ ॐ ब्रह्मरूपिणॆ नमः। Brahmaroopine 71. ब्रह्मविद्यादि दानभुवॆ ॐ ब्रह्मविद्यादि दानभुवॆ नमः। Brahmavidhyadhi-danabhuve 72. जिष्णवॆ ॐ जिष्णवॆ नमः। Jishnave 73. विष्णुप्रियाय ॐ विष्णुप्रियाय नमः। Vishnupriyaya 74. भक्त जीविताय ॐ भक्त जीविताय नमः। Bhaktajivitaya 75. जितमन्मधाय ॐ जितमन्मधाय नमः। Jitamanmadhaya 76. ऐश्वर्यकारणाय ॐ ऐश्वर्यकारणाय नमः। Ishwaryakaranaya 77. ज्यायसॆ ॐ ज्यायसॆ नमः। Jayase 78. यक्षकिन्नेर सॆविताय ॐ यक्षकिन्नेर सॆविताय नमः। Yakshakinnerasevitaya 79. गङ्गा सुताय ॐ गङ्गा सुताय नमः। Gangansutaya 80. गणाधीशाय ॐ गणाधीशाय नमः। Ganadhisaya 81. गम्भीर निनदाय ॐ गम्भीर निनदाय नमः। Gambhira-ninadaya 82. वटवॆ ॐ वटवॆ नमः। Vatave 83. अभीष्टवरदाय ॐ अभीष्टवरदाय नमः। Abhishtavaradaya 84. ज्यॊतिषॆ ॐ ज्यॊतिषॆ नमः। Jyotishe 85. भक्तनिधयॆ ॐ भक्तनिधयॆ नमः। Bhktanidhaye 86. भावगम्याय ॐ भावगम्याय नमः। Bhavagamyaya 87. मङ्गलप्रदाय ॐ मङ्गलप्रदाय नमः। Mangalapradaya 88. अव्यक्ताय ॐ अव्यक्ताय नमः। Avyaktaya 89. अप्राकृत पराक्रमाय ॐ अप्राकृत पराक्रमाय नमः। Aprakruta parakramaya 90. सत्यधर्मिणॆ ॐ सत्यधर्मिणॆ नमः। Satyadharmine 91. सखयॆ ॐ सखयॆ नमः। Sakhye 92. सरसाम्बुनिधयॆ ॐ सरसाम्बुनिधयॆ नमः। Sarasambhunidhaye 93. महॆशाय ॐ महॆशाय नमः। Mahesaya 94. दिव्याङ्गाय ॐ दिव्याङ्गाय नमः। Divyangaya 95. मणिकिङ्किणी मॆखालाय ॐ मणिकिङ्किणी मॆखालाय नमः। Manikinkini-mekhalaya 96. समस्त दॆवता मूर्तयॆ ॐ समस्त दॆवता मूर्तयॆ नमः। Samastadevatamurtaye 97. सहिष्णवॆ ॐ सहिष्णवॆ नमः। Sahishnave 98. सततॊत्थिताय ॐ सततॊत्थिताय नमः। Satatotthitaya 99. विघातकारिणॆ ॐ विघातकारिणॆ नमः। Vighatakarine 100. विश्वग्दृशॆ ॐ विश्वग्दृशॆ नमः। Viswagdrushe 101. विश्वरक्षाकृतॆ ॐ विश्वरक्षाकृतॆ नमः। Viswarakshakrute 102. कल्याणगुरवॆ ॐ कल्याणगुरवॆ नमः। Kalyanagurave 103. उन्मत्तवॆषाय ॐ उन्मत्तवॆषाय नमः। Unmattaveshaya 104. अपराजितॆ ॐ अपराजितॆ नमः। Aparajite 105. समस्त जगदाधाराय ॐ समस्त जगदाधाराय नमः। Samstajagadadharaya 106. सर्वैश्वर्यप्रदाय ॐ सर्वैश्वर्यप्रदाय नमः। Sarwaishwaryaya 107. आक्रान्त चिद चित्प्रभवॆ ॐ आक्रान्त चिद चित्प्रभवॆ नमः। Akrantachidachitprabhave 108. श्री विघ्नॆश्वराय ॐ श्री विघ्नॆश्वराय नमः। Srivighneswaraya

The role of sahasranamas in spiritual practice[edit]

Many religions include praise of the Divine Name as an important part of their tradition. In Hinduism all of the most widely known forms of the divine have sahasranama stotra devoted to them. Recitation and study of these often constitute part of the daily routine of formal worship both at home and in temples.

Among the Nine Expressions of Bhakti, usually elaborated in Hindu tradition, four have relevance to the use of sahasranamas:

  • sravana, listening to recitals of names and glories of God
  • nama-sankirtana (nāma-sankīrtana), reciting the names of God either set to music or not
  • smarana, recalling divine deeds and teaching of divine deeds.
  • archana (archanā), worshipping the divine with ritual repetition of divine names.

A Lakshārchanā involves the repetition of names one hundred thousand times. Laksha, in Sanskrit, means one hundred thousand. This is an intensive version of the Sahasra-nāma-archanā. It involves the repeated chanting of sahasranamas, multiplying the number of the performances by the number of the people who joined in the chorus.

To achieve this goal several people sit together and perform repetition of the names in chorus. This continues for a prefixed time duration, usually for several days, chanting for a certain number of hours each day. The recital of the different participants for the several days adds up to at least 100,000 repetitions of divine names.

There are occasions when a Koti archanā is also performed to the deity by counting up to 100 Lakshārchanās. Koti (crore, in English) is one hundred lakshas; that is, ten million.

Such elaborate devotions usually mean a good deal of expense and so they are usually done in temples or public organizations which can obtain the necessary sponsorship.

Notable sahasranāmas[edit]

The most well-known and widely used include the following:

  • Ganesha sahasranama has two different major versions, with subvariants of each version. One major version is based on I.46 of the Ganesha Purana.[9][10] The second major version is completely alliterative, with all of the names beginning with the letter "g" (ग्).

Tantrikas chant the Bhavani Nāma Sahasra Stuti and the Kali Sahasranāma. While the Vishnu and Shiva Sahāsranamas are popular amongst all Hindus, the Lalita Sahasranama is mostly chanted in South India. The Ganesha Sahasranama is mainly chanted by Ganapatya. The Bhavani Nāma Sahasra Stuti is the choice of Kashmiri Paṇḍits and the Kali Sahasranāma is mostly chanted by Bengalis.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swami Vimalananda. Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram. With Namavali, Introduction, English Rendering and Index. Fourth Edition. (Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam: 1985).
  2. ^ P. Sankaranarayanan. Sri Viṣṇusahasranāma Stotram. With English Translation of Srī Saṅkara Bhagavatpāda’s Commentary. (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan: Mumbai: 1996).
  3. ^ Ram Karan Sharma. Śivasahasranāmāṣṭakam: Eight Collections of Hymns Containing One Thousand and Eight Names of Śiva. With Introduction and Śivasahasranāmākoṣa (A Dictionary of Names). (Nag Publishers: Delhi, 1996). ISBN 81-7081-350-6. This work compares eight versions of the Śivasahasranāmāstotra. The Preface and Introduction (in English) by Ram Karan Sharma provide an analysis of how the eight versions compare with one another. The text of the eight versions is given in Sanskrit.
  4. ^ Swami Chidbhavananda. Siva Sahasranama Stotram. Third Edition (Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam: Tirupparaithurai, 1997). With Navavali, Introduction, and English Rendering. The version provided by Chidbhavananda is from chapter 17 of the Anuśāsana Parva of the Mahābharata.
  5. ^ Swami Tapasyananda (Editor). Śrī Lalitā Sahasranāma. (Sri Ramakrishna Math: Chennai, n.d.). With text, transliteration, and translation. ISBN 81-7120-104-0.
  6. ^ Labhashankar Mohanlal Joshi. Lalitā Sahasranāma: A Comprehensive Study of One Thousand Names of Lalitā Mahā-Tripurasundarī. Tantra in Comtemporary Researches, no. 2. (D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd.: New Delhi, 1998). ISBN 81-246-0073-2.
  7. ^ R. Ananthakrishna Sastry. Lalitāsahasranāma. With Bhāskararaya’s Commentary and English Translation. (Gian Publishing House: Delhi, 1986). First reprint edition in India, 1986.
  8. ^ Joshi, op. cit., p. 11.
  9. ^ The Gaṇeśa Purāṇa. Nag Publishers; Reprint 1993. "Introduction" in English by Ram Karan Sharma. Text in Sanskrit. ISBN 81-7081-279-8.
  10. ^ Gaṇeśasahasranāmastotram: mūla evaṁ srībhāskararāyakṛta 'khadyota' vārtika sahita. (Prācya Prakāśana: Vārāṇasī, 1991). Source text with a commentary by Bhāskararāya in Sanskrit.
  11. ^ a b Sharma, Acharya Divakar; Sushil, Dr. Surendra Sharma; Shrivastav, Dr. Vandana, eds. (2011). "Śrīgosahasranāmastotram". Ṣaṣṭipūrti (Abhinandana Grantha) (in Sanskrit, Hindi). Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India: Tulsi Mandal. ISBN 978-81-923856-0-0. Retrieved October 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ Jain Journal, Volumes 2-3, Jain Bhawan., 1967, p. 125

Further reading[edit]

  • Swami Krishnananda. A Short history of religious and philosophical thought in India. Divine Life Society. Sivanandanagar, 1970.
  • C. Ramanujachari. The Spiritual heritage of Thiagaraja. Ramakrishna Students Home, Mylapore, Chennai, 1957.
  • V. Krishnamurthy. Essentials of Hinduism. Narosa Publishing House. New Delhi, 1989.