Thanks to the poetry of Veda Vyasa and the efforts of gurus through the ages, before and after him, wonderful conversations have been preserved for us across the millenia.
One of these wonderful conversations is that between Dharmaraja Yudhisthira and his pitamaha (grandfather) Bhishma, the son of Santanu and Ganga, the incarnation of the 8th Vasu, Prabhasa. (Prabhasa himself was the son of Prajapati, who was the son of Manu, who was the son of Brahma. He married the sister of Brihaspati (Guru), herself a Rishi and their son was Viswakarma. (Sambhava parva, mahabharata))
After listening to many dharmas, all of them purifying, Dharmaraja, himself the son of Dharma, asked Bhishma again, “what dharma, among all Dharmas, is held by you to be the highest?”
Then Bhishma said,
“This is the dharma that I accept as the highest dharma among all dharmas – that of devotedly worshipping Pundarikaksha (Vishnu) by stavas (praise)”
“He is the knower of all dharmas related to the Brahman, he increases the glory of the worlds and is their lord, the greatest being from which all beings have come.”
“That unchanging Purusha alone is to be worshipped devotedly all the time, to be meditated upon, praised and bowed to by the worshipper (yajamana)”
“A person (purusha), is always elevated by praising the lord of the moving universe, the deva of all devas, the infinite (ananta), best Purusha, with one thousand names.”
” A person crosses all sorrow, by praising all the time, the One who oversees he world (or person) (lokadhyaksha), the great One according to whose wishes all the worlds move (Sarva Loka Maheswara), the omni-present one without beginning or end.”
“The one from whom all beings come forth at the beginning of the yuga and into whom everything goes back at the end of the yuga, who is the purest of the pure and the most auspicious of the auspicious, the father of all beings and the God of all Gods.”
“His great brilliance (tejas) is supreme, his great austerity is supreme, his great spirit is supreme (mahat brahma paramam), his strength (parayanam) is supreme”.
Then Bhishma taught Dharmarajaa, Kuntiputra, Pandava, Yudhisthira, the thousand names (which destroy fear and bad consequences of actions) of Vishnu, the lord of the jagat, the most important in the world.
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