Question 1: Kim ekam daivatam loke?
Who (“kim“) is the greatest (“ekam“) Lord (“daivatam“) in the world (“loke“)?
Bhisma’s Answer # 1
Pavitraanaam pavitram yo Mangalaanaam cha mangalam
Daivatam devataanam cha Bhootaanam yo avyayah pitaa.
He who is (“yo“) the very sanctity (“pavitram“) that sanctifies all sacred things (“pavitraanaam“); he who is most auspicious (“mangalam“); he who is the god (“devataa“) of gods (“daivatam“); he who is the eternal (“avyayah“) father (“pitaa“) of all creatures (“bhootaanaam“) is the one god – VISHNU.
Question 2: Kim vaapyekam paraayanam?
Who is the one (“ekam“) refuge (“paraayanam“) for all?
Bhisma’s Answer # 2
Paramam yo mahat-tejah Paramam yo mahat-tapah
Paramam yo mahat-brahma Paramam yah paraayanam.
He who is the great (“mahat“) effulgence (“tejah“); He who is the Great controller (“tapah“); He who is the Supreme All-Pervading Truth; (“brahma“) he who is the Highest (Param) Goal (Ayanam)-the Lord Vishnu.
Question 3: Stuvantam kam praapnuyuh (Maanavah subham)?
By glorifying (“sthuvantah“) whom (“kam“) can man (“manavah“) reach the Auspiciousness (“shubam“) (peace and prosperity)?
Bhisma’s Answer # 3.
Jagat-prabhum deva-devam Anantam purushottamam
Stuvan naama-sahasrena Purushah satatotthitah.
The supreme (“uttamam“) Purusha, who is ever up and dong for the welfare of all, the Lord (“prabhum“) of the world (“jagat“) the endless (“anantam“) – Sri Maha Vishnu.
Question 4: (Kam archantah) praapnuyuh Maanavaah subham?
By worshipping (“archantah“) whom can a man reach auspiciousness (peace and prosperity)?
Bhisma’s Answer # 4.
Tameva cha archayan nityam Bhaktyaa purusham avyayam
Stuvan naama-sahasrena Purushah satatthitah.
By meditating upon (“sthuvan naama“), by (“cha“) worshipping (“archayan“) and by prostrating at the same Purusha, man can reach true Auspiciousness.
Question 5. Ko dharmah sarva-dharmaanaam Bhavatah paramo matah?
What (“ko“) is, in your opinion, the Greatest Dharma?
Question 6. Kim japan muchyate jantuh Janma-samsaara-bandhaaat?
By (“kim“) doing japa of what can “creatures” (jantu) go beyond (“mutchyate“) the bonds (“bandhanaath“) of samsara?
Bhisma’s Answers # 5&6
Anaadi-nidhanam vishnum Sarvaloka-maheshvaram
Lokaadhyaksham stuvan nityam Sarva-duhkha-atigo bhavet.
Both questions are answered here: – the greatest Dharma is the one Vishnu, who has neither a beginning (Aadi) nor an end (Nidhanam), the supreme Lord (“maheshwaram“) of the world. All creatures can go beyond the bond of samsara, “and he goes beyond all sorrows” who daily (“nityam“) chants (“stuvan“) the sahasranaamas and within glorifies “the knower of the world” (Lokaadhyaksha).
The Supreme is described as that from which the whole world of names and forms had risen in the beginning (of the creation), that in which the world continues to exit, that into which alone the world merges back during the ‘dissolution’ (Pralaya); that Supreme is VISHNU.
After thus answering all 6 questions, Bhishma, said “I shall now advise you. Please listen to them with all attention”. This is how the Sacred Hymn, called as “The thousand names of Lord Vishnu”, is introduced in the Mahaabhaarata.