Translated and edited by V.D.N. Rao, former General Manager of
India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Ministry of Commerce, Government of India The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The tradition of Sahasra nama pathana-shravana-manana (reciting- hearing-absorbing) is well-known but appears to have gained popularity by the day of late. This apparently is due to the stress and strain of daily involvements. Some mechanism to provide ventilation and relief has become necessary. There would be no better outlet available except remembering Almighty in one form or another even for a while atleast once in a way.
While very few are capable of concentrating on the Abstract, normally one worships Almighty in several forms and with different names so that focussing on the Object of worship becomes easier. Persons with broad understanding are aware that God is one but with many Forms, Names and Features. It is to that form, name and feature that one tends to worship but some times by mistaking wood for forest. After all: Akaashat patitam toyam yathaa gacchati Sagaram/ that is, rains from the high Skies finally merge into the Great Oceans. All the same, specific aspects of that Magnificence which Almighty is all about are highlighted such as Prosperity, Knowledge, Health, Longevity, Progeny, Energy, Reward, Glory and all-round Fulfillment; also their antithesis are sought to be avoided like poverty, ignorance, illness, short life, childlessness, weakness, punishment, ill-reputation and all round impoverishment and destruction. For instance one prays to Devi Lakshmi for Prosperity and avoid Poverty; to Devi Lalitha to bestow Shakti or Energy and save against Evil Forces; to Devi Saraswati to grant knowledge and wisdom and save from ignorance; to Gayatri to open up vistas of Spiritualism and Salvation without becoming a prey to the whirl- pool currents of Life; to Bhagavan Vishnu to protect, reward, and progress and to Maha Deva to grant auspiciousness and shield against negative forces. Like wise one prays to Ganesha to save from impediments and ensure success, Kumara to provide courage and resolve; Nava Grahas, Pancha Bhutas, Indra and Devas, Dikpalakas and so on to realise one’s own objectives.
It is to invoke to such a few specified- and manifold unspecified- aspects of that Avyakta- Shaswata- Ananta-Aja- Aavyaya Paramaatma that a modest effort is made in the present Dwadasha Divya Sahasra Naamas in English Transliteration from Sanskrit with meanings and a few Explanatory Notes as listed in approximate Alphebetical order for easy Reference. The coverage specifies Lakshmi and Saraswati Stotras from Skanda Purana; Devi Lalitha Stotra from Brahmanda Purana; Gayatri Stotra from Devi Bhagavata Purana; Shiva Stotras from Shiva-Linga-Brahma Puranas and Maha Bharata; Vishnu Sahasra Naamas from Padma-Skanda Puranas and Maha Bharata and Yugala Radha Krishna Naamas from Narada Purana.
I wish to dedicate this meek attempt to the lasting memory of HH Paramacharya of Kanchipura who is popular as Walking God and seek his blessings to me and all of us.
V.D.N.Rao , Chennai