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Bhishma Ekadasi

Bhishma Ekadashi is one of the most auspicious days and it is celebrated to mark the origin of the most powerful and well known Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram. On this day Bhishma Pithamaha who was the oldest, wisest, most powerful, and the most righteous person belonging to the Kuru dynasty (approx. over 5000 years ago) narrated the greatness of Lord Krishna through Sri Vishnu Sahsranaama to Yudhishtira who was the oldest brother of Pandavas.


Bhishmacharya
Bhishmacharya is a very important, famous and a great warrior ever to live on this planet earth. He is regarded as the symbol for righteousness (dharma) and it is mentioned in the epic Mahabharatha that even gods used to consult Bhishmacharya on the issues of righteousness. He was very wise and knowledgeable in dharamashastra (the science of righteousness), political science, strategies of war, etc. He is called Bhishma because of the prathigna (oath) that he took to be unmarried throughout his life for his father's happiness. In addition to this, Bhishmacharya also took another difficult oath of supporting and protecting the Kuru dynasty until his death. He faced so many challenges and difficulties but never broke the two promises he made. For his determination in following the path of righteousness Bhishmacharya, is considered as great role model to people of his all future generations in terms of righteousness, truthfulness and incredible valor.


Greatness of Bhishmacharya
During the Kurukshetra (the great war between Kouravas and Pandavas), Bhishmacharya took the side where there is no righteousness. Even though Bhishmacharya knew that his choice was wrong he stuck to his choice to keep the promises he made to his father. Though he had the valor of not to get defeated by anybody else except Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu he got hurt in the war and vowed to die only after securing the Kuru dynasty as promised to his father. At the end of the war all Kouravas died and Yudhishtira took over the Kuru dynasty. Yudhishtira is yet another symbol of righteousness. When Yudhishtira asked Lord Krishna to teach him the knowledge to become a good, principled, and righteous ruler, Lord Krishna advised him to seek all the knowledge from Bhishmacharya. Lord Krishna knew that Bhishmacharya was the most qualified person to give necessary education related to righteousness and duties of a good ruler.


Origin of Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama
On Lord Krishna's command Bhishmacharya answered all the questions that Yudhishtira asked with regard to the duties of a good ruler, and the principles of right and wrong. This conversation between Bhishmacharya and Yudhishtira is nothing but .Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama. Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama contains 1000 names of Lord Vishnu, and each name explains numerous attributes of the Lord in an incredible manner. Over the time, many scholars wrote commentaries on Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama. The commentary written by Parashara Bhatter and Adi Shankaracharya is the most popular one among all commentaries. Listening and reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranaamam everyday will bring great benefits in terms of wealth, health and prosperity. In fact, Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Sthothram is equivalent to many manthras that are powerful manthras. It protects all those who recite it from all kinds of problems. While explaining the greatness of Sri Vishnu Sahasranaama Parayanam, Lord Shiva said to Parvathi Devi that if one cannot recite the whole Vishnu Sahasranaama at least reciting the following sloka three times will give the same benefit of reciting the whole sthothram.


Sri Rama Rama Raamethi Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranaama Thathhulyanm Rama Nama Varanane||


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