Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, is one of the most sacred and popular stotras in Hinduism. The Vishnu Sahasranama is found in the Anushasana Parva, of the epic Mahabharata. Chanting, or even listening to these hymns, does immense benefits to the devotee. The most authentic source, for us to understand these benefits, would be the epilogue of the text itself, i.e., the phala-sruti.
The following are 10 amazing benefits of chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama, as described in the text:
1. Nothing bad will happen to the one person who devoutly listens to Vishnu Sahasranama stotra daily and (the more so) the one who recites it, whether in this world or the worlds beyond. If the person who chants these names is a seeker, he will attain Jnana; if a warrior, he will become a victorious; if a businessperson, he will acquire immense wealth, and if a laborer, he will remain happy.
2. If one recites the holy names with a righteous desire, he will achieve it. For instance, if he wishes for wealth, he will get rich; if he wants worldly pleasures, he will get them; if he wants to have progeny, he will have it. In brief, those who recite these holy names of the Lord will definitely reap the desired fruit.
3. A devotee who gets up in the morning, does daily ablutions, observes the prescribed rites and rituals, and then recites the thousand names of Lord Vasudeva, with his mind firmly fixed on him, gains great reputation and importance among his peers. He acquires abundant and imperishable wealth and enjoys everlasting bliss in other worlds. He overcomes fear and sickness, the chanter acquires valor, power and strength and is endowed with a healthy body, noble qualities, and dazzling brilliance. The one afflicted by diseases will get rid of those; the one in shackles of sorts will get disentangled and the one beset with all types of difficulties, will get relieved from them.
4. One who praises with great devotion the supreme being through the daily recital of these thousand names, surmounts, in no time, the seemingly insuperable difficulties. The one, who seeks Lord Vasudeva, considering Him as the greatest goal to be attained, gets cleansed of all sins and attains the eternal Brahman.
5. Nothing inauspicious will happen to the devotees of Vasudeva. They get liberated from the cycle of birth, disease, old age and death any longer. One who chants the thousand names of the Lord with zeal and utmost devotion, is blessed realization of the self, apart from the qualities of serenity, mental equipoise, sharp memory and great fame and wealth.
6. Nothing like anger, envy, greed, or unholy thoughts taints the minds of the truly virtuous devotees. Those who sing the Lord’s praise will never meet with disrespect or discomfiture of any kind.
7. Lord Krishna has himself said that He feels satisfied with the chanting of just one sloka if the devotee is sincerely trying to laud him with these hundred odd verses.
8. Lord Shiva has said that chanting Lord Rama’s name thrice is indeed at par with the thousand names of Lord Vishnu spelt out in this Hymn.
9. For those who meditate solely on Lord Vishnu, the Lord takes care of both the spiritual and material needs.
10. Lord Krishna has said, “Whether afflicted by dire distress or poignant grief or shattered by confusion due to fright or tormented by other maladies, if the victims, in each case, do but spell the name Narayana, they not only get rid of all these troubles but also attain everlasting happiness.”
There benefits of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama are validated by various other independent texts also. For instance, in the classic astrological text, the Brihat Parasara Horasastra, Sage Parashara frequently recommends the recitation of the Vishnu Sahasranama as the best remedial measure for planetary afflictions. Sage Parashara mentions this practice more than ten times, which shows the importance given to this invaluable hymn. In his celebrated Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, Acharya Charaka refers to the power of Vishnu Sahasranama in curing all kinds of fever. Adi Shankara says in Bhaja Govindam that the Gita and Vishnusahasranama should be chanted and the form of Vishnu should always be meditated on. He also said that the Sahasranama bestows all noble virtues on those who chant it. Thus, it’s clear beyond doubt that this hymn is a truly invaluable aid given to us by the Rishis of yore.
Well, if one is looking for a simpler method to attain the same amount of benefit as chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama, one could just chant Rama Rama Rama. This is mentioned in the Phalastuti of the Sahasranama itself.
Here’s the epic rendition of Sri Vishnusahasranama by Bharat Ratna (late) M S Subbulakshmi.
Here’s another article by TheCowherd on the benefits of fasting on Ekadashi.