Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama is a collection of one thousand names of Lord Maha Vishnu. It is recited both as a Stotra as well as a Namavali. It appears in the Santi Parva of Mahabharata as a conversation between Grandsire Bhishma and Yudhistira.
The context of the conversation is as follows: King Yudhistira approached grandsire Bhishma who was spending the final days of his stay on earth, with an intention to learn from him the secrets of Dharma for Bhishma was one of the 8 individuals considered to be the true knowers of Dharma.
After questioning and learning a number of other things, Yudhistira questions Bhishma thus: “What Dharma is the most superior among all Dharmas, in your opinion? By adoring whom does a living being get liberated from the samsara of birth and death?”
In reply to this Bhishma says, “Constantly worshipping and doing devotional service to Lord MahaVishnu is the greatest Dharma in my opinion”. He then explains the omnipotence of the Lord and recites His one thousand names.
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