STOTRAM - An Introductory Study :
The Introductory chapters deal with - Bhakti, prayer and divine grace, mystic power of name (nama mahima); Vishnusahasranaama and Bhagavad Gita - The two limbs of the great epic Mahabharata both deal with bhakti and Saranagati; Vishnusahasranaama fosters knowledge of God and thus strengthens Bhakti; while Bhagavad Gita emphasizes Bhakti in the language of Jnana. Brings out the glory of Vishnusahasranaama Stotram - harmony of theism and pantheism and universality, culminating in an analytical discussion of the first three verses bringing out the fact that the universe(sentient and insentient) is but the body of the Deity - The Purushottama, who Himself being the cosmic soul of this body. Chapters 7 to 12, starting dramatically with the name 'visvam'(1-1) some what abstract, proceeds gradually through several names culminating in visvamurti (77.1) - The Universe personified - the all-pervading Vishnu (1.2); discusses among others, the varied incarnations of the deity embedded in the group of names (attributes) along with significant characteristics of these Avataras, the ethical instructions contained in the groups of names - a discussion of great importance to our youths; certain important grouping of Names and their ethical, moral and philosophical implications and in the process explains the divine manifestations and the concept of visvarupa. The last two verses (106,107) are compared with the last two verses of the Gita Sermon and explains how the common stress is on - devotion, surrender and divine grace. Brings out that the phala sruti is woven in the very names (attributes) of the Lord, rendering any supplementary text on phala sruti, rather unnecessary.
Professor Vasudevan, the well known exponent of Indian Scriptures commenting on this book observed: ".... This is a book with a difference - An analytical presentation in a somewhat unique way, which is likely to impress all, especially the not-so-well initiated youth. I have no doubt that this presentation would inspire interest and would draw the youths to the original text and the classical commentaries. The Interpretation of the holy names provided in this study is unique, elaborate, explosive and highly useful to the reader and would inspire beyond measure to take to regular chanting of the hymn with Interest, Fervor and Devotion. I am much impressed by the devoted and dedicated effort made by Sri Chellaswami on the verses which is indeed the result of deep study and research. This is bound to foster knowledge of God and strengthen bhakti in the reader. Evidently the book has come out as a spontaneous outburst of devotion and dedication".
Reviewing the book in Bhavan's Journal dated October 31, 1996, Sri Charu Jaludhwala observed : " A scholarly work - a detailed analysis of 1000 names of Lord Vishnu - an interesting and intelligent comparison of Vishnusahasranaama and the Geeta. Last but not the least, some names provide certain ethical and practical instructions to devotees for internal purification and these are also grouped together and explained in a convincing manner.
Reviewing the book in the issue dated 2nd
January 1996, "The Hindu" stated :
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