The Sahasranama Stotras address to some particular Deity and invoking him with a thousand names or less are found scattered in the Epics and Puranas. Several of them are about Ganesa, Subrahmanya, Sivva and Devis, but there is only one Sahasranama Stotra in praise of Visnu. It is found in Chapter 149 of the Anusasanika Parva of Mahabharata in the dialogue between Bhisma and Yudhisthira. It consists of 142 slokas. Any mention of Sahasranama generally pertains to Visnu Sahasranama on account of its popularity and perspicuity of expression.
There are over fifteen commentaries on Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram. Only those of Sankara and Parasara Bhatta are very popular. Sri Adi Sankara’s commentary is the earliest of them. Sri Parasara Bhatta, a disciple of a disciple of Sri Ramanuja, has written a detailed commentary. These two commentators have expounded in a very admirable manner the tenets of their respective system of philosophy through the medium of the Sahasranama. Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram, along with the Bhagavad Gita, is an integral part of the epic Mahabharata composed by Sage Vedavyasa.
Visnu Sahasranama is a stotra par excellence from all points of view. Vedavyasa has himself guaranteed all kinds of fruits to the reciters. It is fervently hoped that a critical and reverent study of the stotra with the illustrious commentaries of Sankara and Parasara Bhatta will stimulate in seekers an unquenchable thirst for the joy of God- Knowledge.