Sahasranama Archana - 1008
Lovingly compiled by Reet
Light and Love to all
Swami´s explanation concern to 1008 Names of God.
The hridaya chakra has eight petals. God is the Lord of the
eight-petaled hridaya chakra. These eight petals are regarded as eight
consorts of the Lord. In this context, the Lord is adored in the form
of the Sun. The world cannot survive without the Sun. The solar system
is derived from the Sun. Hence, the Sun is worshipped as Divine...
sages adored the eight petaled divine centre in the heart and thereby
reached the sahasraara chakra and enjoyed supreme bliss.
The sahasraara chakra has a thousand petals. Each petal carries
sixteen phases (kalas). Thus the sahasraara chakra is said to
represent 16,000 cowherd maidens (gopikas), while the eight petals of
the hridaya chakra are adored as the eight consorts of Krishna....
The ancient sages reached the thousand petaled Sahasrara through
the adoration of the Lord in the eight-petaled lotus of the heart.
They used all their God-given intelligence for this spiritual goal.
...The sages considered cultivation of virtues, good qualities, and
righteous conduct as true education.
What do the eight petals of the heart represent? They are: love
(prema), truth (sathyam), forbearance (sahanam), sacrifice (thyaga),
compassion (daya), beauty (sundaram), bliss (aanandha) and peace (saanthi).
To realize the bliss of the Divine, all the other qualities have to be
fostered. God is the embodiment of all these eight attributes.
Sacrifice is the most important of them. (Sathya Sai Baba Divine
Discourse: "Promotion of Unity: Students' Duty" 14 Jan 1998. Prasanthi
is the most powerful thing in the world... All the yogas are included
in the path of love, and whoever attains this love, attains God" -
Sathya Sai Baba. ''It is the power that moves the sun and other stars,"
More deeply to acknowledge the essence of Swami`s Teachings
and Vedic wisdom (to which more and more will become closer the modern
science) to the person from the North is necessary to work. Stimulus
is here some internal pulse which appears it is not known whence and
does not quieten, while a following excerpt has done.
One of the
topic of interest is 108, 1008 names of gods and closely connected
with them mantras. There is done a compilation from books, Swami`s
works, sites entwined with own thoughts. But the different sources
explain the same phenomenon in various ways and it is possible to be
mistaken if to everything to trust. Having taken for a basis Swami`s
explanations with addition of thoughts which base on references, the
present contribution has made.
I`m thankful to all, who find the time to discuss on these theme
and to show my possible mistakes or misunderstandings. It seems that
this problem is significant, because mantras, names of gods are
carrying the energy not only by Vedic knowledge but by modern science
too. That is why Swami so often repeats the significance of bhajans,
chanting the names of gods. Among the various spiritual activity
chanting the Divine Name is the basis of all others.
It may not be possible for you to undertake rigorous spiritual
practises like meditation, penance, Yoga, etc. It is enough if you
chant the Divine Name. Do not undertake practises which you do not
understand. Take to the simplest path, i.e., Namasmarana. In Krita
Yuga, meditation was prescribed as the means to liberation. In Treta
Yuga it was Yajna. In Dwapara Yuga, people performed Archana (worship),
and in this Kali Age, Namasmarana is the prescribed path to
liberation."In this Kali Age, chanting of the Lord's Name alone can
grant you liberation. There is no greater path than this."(sanskrit
sloka) So,sing His glory and cross this ocean of worldly life.
Namasmarana is the basis of all spiritual practises. ( Sanathana
Sarathi - March 2002 page 87).
Nama-Sankirtan means the adoration of God, calling upon Him by
various Names, each describing His glory. His achievements, His
relationship with the individual. The Names are many. or even
countless. It is so in all languages. We have many groups of thousand
and eight Names, which can be used for God, as the Vedas declare, has
a 'thousand heads', a thousand eyes. and a thousand feet. Devotees can
adore Him and derive bliss through that adoration, filling each Name
with the meaning and significance it carries. ( Sathya Sai Baba. SSS.
Vol. 10. pp. 68 - 69).
When the Puja (worship) with 108 or 1008 names is progressing, do
not be satisfied when the sound falls on the ear. Try to grasp the
meaning too, so that you can ruminate over the glory which each name
denotes. ( Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 7. p. 287).
When the Name is pronounced...it draws the aspirant toward God
and His grace, whatever may be the Bhaava (emotion), whether the Leela
(sports) or Guna (attributes) is associated with the Sam-Kirtana or
not. The Name (of God) has a strength, a power, a capacity to redeem,
cure and save, alone and unaided, they aver. (Sathya Sai Baba, SSS.
Vol. 6. p. 219).
Hinduism is as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith, the style of
life full of responsibility before the Nature and creatures in it.
There are large number of gods, deities in Hinduism.
Hinduism has no compulsions - all ways lead to One God, Who has
many (infinite) number of names, reflections in the form of deities,
gods. Hinduism is the best base for Swami`s Teaching about unity of
religions in the earth. (Hinduism was jet a basis for world religions
- Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Bahaism).
Vedanta (the basis of Hinduism) declares that the 'impersonal' God,
universal soul, is Brahman, the Absolute Truth. Brahman is the
creator, the maintainer, and the destroyer all in one. (This can be
viewed as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, respectively). Vedanta states that
the individual human soul (jiva-atman) originates and merges with the
Brahman. This philosophy expound on the cosmic attributes of the
Divine and near to the special streams of modern science or vice
By Vedanta the world hasn`t been created as a stable formation.
All are in moving and has cyclic nature. The position of modern
science is also near to this. As a cat of Schredinger * the world
exists and does not exist: it is as a relative reality for humans.
Besides the philosophical scriptures, there are stotra-s and
bhajans (devotional songs and hymns). Among the large number of
stotras, Sahasranamams - 1008 names of each deity - Sahasranama
Archana -is a form of archarana or worship offered to the deity with a
recital of 1008 names. The more worshipped great Hindu gods from Vedic
history are Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver) , Shiva (Destroyer).
The Brahmans (Dwaitham, Adwaitham, Vishishtaathvaitham - a groups
within Brahmans) worship Sri Krishna who is known through His 1008
names. Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Lalita Shri Krishna, Shri Sathya
Sai Baba, etc. is known through their 1008 names. (About Swami`s 1008
names was one of the previous e-letter).
Lord Shiva - as a God`s Absolute`s aspect of transformation - is
responsible for creation, regeneration and destruction. He is also
known as Rudra. The last is said to be derived from rud (dravayita) -
he who drives away suffering, sin. Eight properties of nature are as
manifestations of Rudra - Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space, The Sun,
The Moon and the Life Force. (Shiva`s one name is Neelkantha, the
blue-throated. To save the world Shiva drank poison what is stayed in
Sahasranama Archana worship dedicated to the different Gods is
widely used in sacred buildings, places, homes individually every day
or during different holy festivals. Swami in His Discourses (see above)
has indicated to the significance of this Puja as a way to have
mental connection with Divine. In different places in India this Puja
has been performed with different names which hidden behind them the
legends of Gods, their protection of good against evil.
Below are some short different examples of history of
Sahasranama Archana worship. The references with short keywords are
below the e-letter.
A. Mother Ganga has 1008 names, she is the river that flows in
heaven, on the earth, under the earth. It flowed from Shiva's hair
and across the earth - from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of
Bengal in the south. On the way from the Himalayas to the Bay of
Bengal, Ganga saw the beautiful, shining city of Varanasi. So
beautiful was Varanasi that Ganga simply would not flow onward. The
King had to lure Ganga into flowing down to the underworld. The bend
in Ganga there at Varanasi looks like a half moon. That is where all
the people and all the gods bathe and rinse themselves....
B. Festival of Navaratri is known as Durga Puja in Bengal. After
these nine days comes the Dashami, the tenth day, which is the day of
the famous festival of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami ( the tenth day of
victory ). This is the day Lord Rama had killed Ravana, signifying the
victory of good over evil. Navratri, is celebrated as the festival of
nine nights, and is celebrated differently in different parts of
India. Swami has dedicated many discourses to this festival.
The total period of worship lasts for nine days out of which the
first three are dedicated to Durga ( the Goddess of Valour ), the next
three to Lakshmi ( the Goddess of Wealth ) and the last three to
Saraswati ( the Goddess of Knowledge ). Durga has 1008 names or
epithets but is worshipped in her nine forms which are sometimes
interchangeable since basically they represent only her.
In Tamil Nadu,
the first three days of the festival are dedicated to Lakshmi, Goddess
of Beauty and Prosperity; the next three days to Durga, Goddess of
Righteousness, and the last three days to Saraswati, Goddess of Music
and Learning. These goddesses are the consorts of Vishnu, Shiva and
C. Sri Venkateswara Swami, or Tirupati Balaji, is the presiding
deity of theTirumala temple. (Vem-kata means one who can remove away
one's sins). It is believed that attachment to the deity's image
detaches the devotee from samsara, this world, and enables him to
realise the supreme being as Narayana. The same result is when one to
be connected with divine sanction for Archa worship. The earlier yugas
or eras, offered a tough yogic path of penance, mental concentration
and meditation. Archa is to enable all in Kaliyuga, the present era of
D. The Vishnu Sahasranamam is one of the most beloved texts of
India and provides a rare glimpse at the glory of the universal spirit
in the form of the "Thousand Names of the Lord". The word "Sahasra" in
Sanskrit means a "thousand" (the thousand names of Vishnu).
The history behind Vishnu Sahasranamam is fascinating and
unique. Grandsire Bhisma was on his deathbed in the famous battlefield
of Kurukshetra. He had a boon that enabled him to choose the time of
his death. As he was waiting for an auspicious time, his nephews who
were gathered round him were asking him questions and drinking at the
fountain of his wisdom. Particularly persistent was Yudhistirar or the
eldest of the Pandava brothers. He asks Bhisma 6 questions and in
providing an answer to these questions, Bhisma imparts the knowledge
of the purest of the pure mantras to the world in the form of the 108
verses of the Vishnu Sahasranamam. Initially, Bhisma exhausted from
the battle, requests Lord Krishna to answer Yudhistira's questions.
Lord Krishna declines saying that Bhisma would be the appropriate one
to do so and future generations would revere him for providing such a
powerful hymn to the world. "All glory and fame will go to you, O
Bhisma and future generations will thank you for this service" says
Lord Krishna. And so in the presence of Universal Intelligence
represented by Lord Krishna, Bhisma extols the 1008 names of the Lord
and provides us with a manuscript for attaining peace, prosperity and
happiness. To this day, on Bhisma Ekasdeshi day, the Sahasranamam is
chanted all over the world.
E. The divine creation of Lord Subrahmanya, also known as
Skanda (or Kanda, in Tamil), Karthikeya or Murugan, to alleviate the
sufferings of the Devas is believed to have occurred on Vaikasi
Visakam. Every year, Vaikasi Visakam is observed as the birthday of
Lord Subrahmanya, during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (Mid May - mid
June). In homes, Vaikasi Visakam is celebrated with a special puja -
Sahasranama Archana -1008 names to Lord Murugan and Sarkarai Pongal is
offered as Neivedyam. Kanda Sashti Kavacham, Subrahmanya Bhujangam and
Shanmukha Kavacham are some of the religious verses that are read with
all devotion in some homes. It is the firm belief of devout Tamilians
that these Kavachams are real a armour to protect us from the evil
spirits. Shortly by R. Bharathi.
What say science about Sahasranama Archana?
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
- Albert Einstein.
* `Exist and does not exist` - such state in the modern
physics is pictorially called "cat of Schredinger".
References: Bansi Pandit. The Hindu Mind. Glen Ellyn, Illinois: B & V
Enterprise. 1991. The Compact Guide to World Religions by Dean C
(about classifications, subject matters and philosophy of Vedas,
differences between various philosophical streams. Hinduism - as a
style of life, a path of Dharma).
http://home.eunet.no/~wsether/shining.htm (a nice story for
children about Ganga and its 1008 names).
http://members.fortunecity.com/jayantr/ (a beautiful site about
Vishnu Sahasranamam and Bhisma, who extols the 1008 names of Lord).
Namaste - Reet