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In Hinduism, a Stotra is a hymn of praise.[1] These hymns praise aspects of the divine, such as Devi, Siva, or Vishnu. Relating to word "stuti", coming from the same verb, stu (to praise), and basically both mean "praise".

Stotras are a type of popular devotional literature and are not bound by the strict rules as some other Hindu scriptures, such as the Vedas. They are accessible by the everyday householder.

One type of stotra is based on chanting a litany of names for a deity. A category of stotra of that type is the Sahasranama, which is a litany of a thousand names for a particular deity. Sahasranama means "1000 names"; Sahasra means 1000 and nama means names. For example, Vishnu Sahasranama means 1000 names of Vishnu[2]. According to Hinduism, the names of God are valuable tools for devotion.

Notes

  1. ^ For definition of स्तोत्र (stotra) as "A hymn of praise, panegyric", see: Apte 1965, p. 1005.
  2. ^ Vishnu Sahasranamam on Hindupedia, the Online Hindu Encyclopedia

References

  • Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965), written at Delhi, The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary (Fourth revised and enlarged ed.), Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, ISBN 81-208-0567-4
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