This page has been fully proofread once and needs a second look.

scattered throughout the Paurānic literature. The most
important of these stotras are the Sahasranāmas of Devī,
Vishnu and Śiva.
When we speak generally of the Sahasranāmas, they
refer only to the Sahasranāmas of the above mentioned
Deities which are found in the Mahābhārata and in the
eighteen principal Purānas of Vyāsa. There are also
hymns of this sort found in some of the Āgamas; but
these are not recognised as authoritative by sects other than
those to whom the particular Āgama especially belongs.
The Vishnu Sahasranāma, containing 142 verses, is
extracted from the Ānusāsanika Parva in the 149th
Chapter[^1] of the Mahābhārata, in the dialogue between
Bhīshma and Yudhishtira.
It is held in great veneration all over India, from Cape
Comorin to the Himālayas and is recited by persons of all
stations in life, by the prince and the peasant, by the
ignorant devotee and the fortunate Yogin, on every occasion
of joy or sorrow, fear or hope. Miraculous virtues
are attributed to it and are assured by the author Vyasa
The ancient custom, still observed in the village parts,
especially of the South, is to repeat each name of the
Sahasranāma, offering Tulasi petals or any available flowers
of the season before the idol of Vishnu in his various
incarnations of Rāma, Krishna, etc. This is done for the
fulfilment of one's desires, or to ward off the evil influence
of planets. Many merely repeat the whole book sitting
before the idol with Bhasma (sacred ashes) in a plate by
[^1]The number of the Chapter is differently given in some
commentaries and in some manuscripts, e.g., Parāsara Bhatta.