This course on Vishnu Sahasranama stotra, will prepare students to chant the slokas with clear pronunciation. And furthermore, explore the meaning and essence of thousand names of Lord Vishnu expressed in the 108 slokas (verses) in the stotra. A brief background of Vishnu Sahasranama in the context of the ancient Mahabharata epic, will also be discussed with the introductory verses (Purva Bhaga) and the benefits of chanting Vishnu Shasranama in the concluding verses, the phala stuti (Uttara Bhaga). Essence of the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu in the context of the three aspects or lakshanas of the Lord Vishnu, renders the chant a meditative quality.
Vishnu Sahasranama means the “Thousand Names of Vishnu” which is embedded in 108 slokas of the stotra. The stotra was strung together by Sri Veda Vyasa, the author of the Puranas. This ancient stotra comes from the 135th chapter of Anushasan Parv in Mahabharata. It is chanted in a rhythmic meter form called Anushtup chanda. The stotra is a conversation between Prince Yudhisthira, the eldest of the pandavas and Bheeshma Pita Maha, at the end of the Mahabharata war. The mighty grandsire of the Kuru family Bheeshma was lying on the bed of arrows, awaiting the sacred hour of his departure at the feet of the lord. Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas approached Bheeshma and asked six questions related to the ultimate goal of life. In response to that we find the “Thousand Names of Lord Vishnu” introduced in the immortal ancient classic of the Hindu epic, the Mahaabaarata.
Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will –
1. Systematically learn chanting of 10-15 slokas weekly, completing the Vishnu Sahasranama with correct Sanskrit pronunciation
2. Understand the brief historical background of this great ancient Sanskrit stotra
3. Examine the meaning of the thousand names of Lord Vishu embedded in the slokas
4. Discuss the essence of the thousand names of Lord Vishnu in the context of the three lakshanas or aspects of Lord Vishu
5. Gain a meditative quality to daily chanting of Vishnu Sahasranama with the above understanding
The course is a 90-minute weekly class hour with a 75-minute chanting/lecture interaction and 15-minute Q&A, pertinent to the course content. Students’ evaluation will be tri-weekly on the level of their ability to chant and understand the meaning of the slokas.
Reading Material: Will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Prerequisites: Beginner reading level of Sanskrit and Admission into a Program of Study
Required / Elective: Elective
Faculty / Instructor: Acharya Mrityunjay Mani Trivedi
Start Date: July 16, 2022
End Date: September 24, 2022
Time: 4:30 pm EST – 06:00 pm EST
Quarter Offered: Summer 2022