SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 22 (Names 211 to 220)

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211) gururguruthama: (गुरुर्गुरुतमः)

Thence the incarnation as the great fish – mathsyAvathAra – is hailed. bhagavAn is called ‘gururguruthama:’, since he is the foremost preceptor of all knowledge.

He is hailed by hiraNya garbha as ‘the preceptor of even the fore preceptors’.

The word ‘guruthama:’ (biggest) is just an adjective to the word ‘guru:’ (preceptor), and not an independent name by itself.

This divine name ‘guru: guruthama:’ is an exact reflection of the word ‘guru: garIyAn’ as seen in the bhagavath gIthA (hailed by arjuna when he saw bhagavAn’s viSvarUpam) (पितासि लॊकस्य चराचरस्य त्वमस्य पूज्यश्च गुरुर्गरीयान्).

Etymology: Thence the expounding of thousand names continues with the hailing of mathsyAvathAra  – the incarnation as a great fish. Since bhagavAn is the foremost preceptor of all knowledge when he incarnates as the fish, he is called ‘gururguruthama:’.

अथ मत्स्यावतारस्य प्रस्तावस्तु प्रतन्यतॆ |
अशॆषविद्याचार्यत्वात् स्मृतॊ गुरुतमॊ गुरुः ||

212) dhAma: (धामः) (also repeated in 622)

Since bhagavAn was the refuge of the boat that housed the seeds of all moveable and immoveable (sentient and insentient) entities (the rishis and seeds of flora), he is called ‘dhAma:’.

(NOTE: During the naimiththika praLayam, when up to the three worlds – bhU:, bhuva: and suva: – were covered with water, bhagavAn incarnated as the great fish ‘mathsya’ with a single horn. All the seven rishis and SrAdhdha dhEva (manu) were made to enter a boat, along with the seeds of all required plants. The boat was tied to the horn of the great fish using the serpent called vAsuki. bhagavAn protected them all in the form of the fish till the praLayam ended. At the same time, the four faced brahmA had lost the vEdhas while he slept. mathsya mUrthi also protected the vEdhas from the demon named ‘hayagrIva’ and returned them to brahmA. This is the story behind the incarnation of mathsya. All these divine names hailing the incarnation of fish fit into this context).

Etymology: The one who supported both the sentient and insentient entities during the naimiththika praLaya is called ‘dhAma:’.

चराचरधारतया धामॆति परिचक्षतॆ |

213) sathya: (सत्यः) (also repeated in 107, 873)

The one who favored manu (SrAdhdha dhEva) and others who sought his refuge at the time of praLaya is called ‘sathya:’ – the favorable one for his devotees.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sathya:’ since he was most favorable for his devotees such as manu and others, who sought refuge in him.

मन्वादिष्वपि साधुत्वात् सत्य इत्यभिदीयतॆ |

214) sathyaparAkrama: (सत्यपराक्रमः)

bhagavAn’s words and deeds towards manu and others were never deceitful. Hence he is called ‘sathyaparAkrama:’. The word ‘sathya’ means non-deceitful. parAkrama means act (noble-act).

Etymology: The one whose deeds are non-deceitful is called ‘sathyaparAkrama:’.

वृत्तिर्ह्यकैतवा यस्य स स्यात् सत्यपराक्रमः |

(NOTE: The non-deceitfulness in words and deeds referred here is thus: bhagavAn was born as a small fish and reached the hands of SrAdhdha dhEva, and asked him to protect it. When it grew rapidly beyond comprehension, SrAdhdha dhEva enquired who it was. Then bhagavAn revealed his divine form as the fish and advised him that the naimiththika praLaya would ensue on the seventh day from then. He also promised that he would protect them on a boat in the waters of praLaya. Since he kept up his word, and showed his prowess in the mighty waters of praLaya, he is called ‘sathyaparAkrama:’).

215) nimisha: (निमिषः)

Since bhagavAn closes his eyes towards the opponents of his devotees and doesn’t even glance at them, he is called ‘nimisha:’ – the one who closes his eyes.

Etymology: The one who doesn’t even glance at the opponents of his devotees (and hence doesn’t bless them) is called ‘nimisha:’.

विरॊधिनः सतां यॊsसौ नॆक्षतॆ निमिषश्च सः |

216) animisha: (अनिमिषः)

Who is such a one? He is ‘animisha:’ – the one who never closes his eyes! Since bhagavAn is ever alert in protecting his devotees and never closes his eyes even for a fraction of a second to blink, he is called ‘animisha:’. He is the one who sports the divine form of a fish (fish never closes its eyes).

Etymology: The one who is ever awake and alert in protecting his devotees is called ‘animisha:’.

सद्रक्षणॆ जागरूकः स्मृतॊ ह्यनिमिषश्च सः |

217) sragvI (स्रग्वी)

Although born in a thiryak yOni (animal birth) as a fish, since bhagavAn is inseparably associated with the garland named vaijayanthI – which is indicative of his supremacy, he is called ‘sragvI’ – the decorated one.

The root ‘sraj’ (स्रज्) gets the ‘vini’ (विनिः) adjunct as per the aphorism ‘अस्मायामॆधास्रजॊ विनिः’, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: The ornament (garland) called vaijayanthI (वैजयन्ती) is an indicator of absolute supremacy. Since bhagavAn is inseparably adorned with such vaijayanthI (irrespective of his births), he is called ‘sragvI’.

परत्वसूचिनी या च वैजयन्तीति कीर्तिता |
तया प्रजा नित्ययॊगात् स्रग्वीति परिकीर्त्यतॆ ||

218) vAchaspathi: (वाचस्पतिः) (also repeated in 579)

Since bhagavAn fortified the vEdhas by propounding SrI mathsya purANa, he is called ‘vAchaspathi:’ – the master of words.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vAchaspathi:’ since he detailed the vEdhas by propounding the mathsya purAna.

वॆदॊपबृंहणात् वाचस्पतिर्मात्स्यपुराणतः |

219) udhAradhI: (उदारधीः)

The one who is omniscient – possessing the required knowledge to uplift all the fallen souls in this material creation – is called udhAradhI:.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘udhAradhI:’ since he possesses a stretched knowledge required to uplift all the fallen souls.

सर्वॊपजीव्यसार्वज्ञात् उच्यतॆ स उदारधीः |

अग्रणीर्ग्रामणीः श्रीमान् न्यायॊ नॆता समीरणः ।
सहस्रमूर्धा विश्वात्मा सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात् ॥ २४ ॥

220) agraNI: (अग्रणीः)

Since bhagavAn leads every individual soul to his supreme abode thus, he is called ‘agraNI:’ – the one who leads.

Etymology: With his boundless compassion, since bhagavAn leads every devotee to his supreme abode as the foremost goal, he is called ‘agraNI:’. He is verily the grantor of mOksha to his dear devotees.

महॊदारतया भक्तान् अग्रिमं पश्चिमं पदम् |
नयतीत्यग्रणीः प्रॊक्तः भक्तमॊक्षप्रदॊ मनुः ||

महॊदारतया भक्तान् अग्रिमं पश्चिमं पदम् |
नयतीत्यग्रणीः प्रॊक्तः भक्तमॊक्षप्रदॊ मनुः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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