Lord Vishnu is known as “The Preserver’ in the Hindu Trinity, with Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma being the other two. As the protector of the universe, it is believed that whenever there is chaos and disorder in the world, Lord Vishnu takes an avatar to restore stability. Another name for Lord Vishnu is Vishveshwara meaning ‘Lord of the Universe’. His vehicle is ‘Garuda’, a mythological bird; and his consort is Lakshmi, goddess of wealth.
So far there have been nine avatars of Lord Vishnu, out of which Rama and Krishna are the most significant. The tenth avatar, known as Kalki, is supposed to descend on earth when the world as we know it, is about to end.
There are a number of prayers to please Lord Vishnu—Vishnu Chalisa, Vishnu Sahasranam, and Vishnu mantras, to name a few. At the core of every Vishnu prayer lies the power to grant freedom from losses, a long life, good thinking, and steadiness of mind.
The Vishnu Chalisa is one of the most popular and simplest prayers. Comprising a set of 40 verses, as denoted by the word chalisa, these are sung in his praise. It is strongly believed that chanting of the Vishnu Chalisa helps those who are suffering from losses, including loss of reputation. This prayer is often chanted by those who are encountering afflictions in different arenas of life, for instance, family, wealth, job, or health. Since Lord Vishnu represents the preserver, chanting the Vishnu Chalisa also protects the devotee and bestows a long life on him.
Paap Kaat Bhav Sindhu Utaaran, Kasht Naashakar Bhakt Ubaaran।
Karat Anek Roop Prabhu Dhaaran, Keval Aap Bhakti Ke Karan॥
(Oh Lord, destroy my sins and let my suffering vanish in front of your many forms)
This chalisa is especially beneficial for those who have a wavering nature and often find themselves confused. Dedicated chanting of the Vishnu Chalisa helps calm the mind and develop a sharp focus. This can be explained by the fact that in Vedic astrology, Vishnu stands for the planet of Mercury, which represents Buddhi (wisdom). This is the reason why people whose minds are restless and agitated are advised to pray to Lord Vishnu, with a specific desire for Sadbuddhi (good sense).
Popular belief says that the power in the verses is such that even if one doesn’t understand their exact meaning, chanting it provides desired results. People are often recommended to play the Vishnu Chalisa in their homes for creating an atmosphere of peace and serenity.
Chaahataa Aapakaa Sevak Darshan, Karahu Dayaa Apani Madhusudan।
Janu Nahi Yogya Jab Poojan, Hoy Yagya Stuti Anumodan॥
(Your humble devotee longs to worship you and get your approval, even though he may not be worthy of it.)
The early morning hours between 4–6 am are considered to be the best time to worship Lord Vishnu. Like with any other prayer, it is important to keep a goal or intent in mind before reciting this chalisa.
Known to epitomise love and kindness, Lord Vishnu sustains and governs all existence. Even a simple prayer to him daily pleases him and grants the devotee several benefits. He is also known to be the one who has the power to grant mukti or liberation to his devotees; the freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death.
The Vishnu Chalisa ends with a simple request for Lord Vishnu to end the sins and troubles of his devotee and to free him/her from this earthly bondage. The devotee asks to be a slave to Lord Vishnu’s feet and be bestowed with happiness and wealth.
Paap Dosh Santaap Nashaao, Bhav Bandhan Se Mukt Karaao॥
Nigam Sadaa Ye Vinay Sunavai, Padhai Sune So Jan Sukh Paavai॥
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