SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 23 (Names 221 to 230)

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

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221) grAmaNI: (ग्रामणीः)

In his supreme abode of SrI vaikuntam, since bhagavAn leads the individual souls (his devotees) into an assembly of all the liberated and ever-liberated souls (nithyasUris and mukthAtmAs), he is called ‘grAmaNI:’. The word ‘grAma’ here refers to the divine assembly of liberated and ever-liberated souls at SrI vaikuntam.

Etymology: The one who ultimately leads his devotees into a divine assembly of nithyasUris and the liberated souls at SrI vaikuntam is called ‘grAmaNI:’.

ग्रामं समाजं सूरीणां नयति ग्रामणीश्च सः |

222) SrImAn (श्रीमान्) (also repeated in 22, 180)

As the scriptures hail, bhagavAn clearly showed his absolute supremacy even in his incarnation as fish with his lotus eyes. The scriptures say ‘bhagavAn as mathsya possesses lotus eyes’ (मत्स्यः कमललॊचनः).

Etymology: Even in his form as mathsya, bhagavAn is called ‘SrImAn’ due to his possession of lotus like eyes.

मत्स्यरूपावतारॆsपि श्रीमान् कमलनॆत्रतः |

223) nyAya: (न्यायः)

Since bhagavAn is the one who does only things that are befitting, he is called ‘nyAya:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘nyAya:’ since he does only such things that are favorable and befitting – especially to his devotees.

न्यायॊ हि युक्तकारित्वात् भक्तॆष्वॆष विशॆषतः |

224) nEthA (नॆता)

Since bhagavAn completes the work of his devotees, he is called ‘nEthA’. This divine name shows bhagavAn’s capacity of steadfastness in completing his devotees’ works.

After all, it was most befitting for him to drown under water in order to safeguard his great devotees and take them ashore.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn diligently does even the work delegated to him by his devotees, he is called ‘nEthA’.

भक्तैर्नियुक्तं यत्कर्म नॆता तत्कारणादपि |

225) samIraNa: (समीरणः)

The one who displays adorable deeds is called ‘samIraNa:’. The root ‘Ira’ (ईर) gets the meaning of ‘movement’ in this context. The scriptures hail thus:

“Taking up the form of a fish, bhagavAn immediately entered the rasAthala (one of the fourteen worlds) and recovered the vEdhas from the asuras. He is truly the form of vEdhas. his divine auspicious qualities such as knowledge etc adore bhagavAn’s divine fish body in the form of his fins. his pride born out of his absolute supremacy shines forth as the horn on that fish (as in a unicorn). One should always essentially contemplate upon that mathsya mUrthy, who – at the time of praLaya – lead the boat containing the manu, rishIs and some important herbs to safety by tying it to his horn and swimming across. His divine form is comparable to a pure pearl. It is completely faultless. bhagavAn doesn’t close his eyes in his form as a fish. He is the one with controlled talk.”

Etymology: bhagavAn is hailed as ‘samIraNa:’ due to his tendency to act as per his devotees’ wishes.

भक्तॆष्टचॆष्टाशीलत्वात् समीरण उदाहृतः |

226, 227, 228, 229) sahasramUrdhA viSvAthmA sahasrAksha: sahasrapAth (सहस्रमूर्धा विश्वात्मा सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात्)

Thence, the divine forms of bhagavAn as described in the texts expounding the supreme soul such as in purusha sUktha etc are hailed in the forthcoming divine names – starting with ‘sahasramUrdhA’.

sahasramUrdhA means the one who possesses thousand(s of) heads. The mention of ‘mUrdhA’ (head) is indicative of other senses and limbs such as eyes, legs, etc,  which are tools for knowledge and action. This is explicit in the two names ‘sahasrAksha:’ and ‘sahasrapAth’ as well. The word ‘sahasra’ (thousand) doesn’t limit it to the numeral ‘one thousand’; rather, it intends to show ‘infinite’ heads, eyes, limbs etc.

These names remind us of the vEdhic declarations that say:

  • “bhagavAn has eyes all over, and he sees everything at once”
  • “bhagavAn’s hands and legs are all around, his eyes, heads are all around” etc

All these statements and more only show us bhagavAn’s unbounded capability of knowing everything and doing every action at all places at all times. This is not only befitting of his stature, but also well accepted by all SAsthras.

With such unbounded knowledge and actions, since bhagavAn permeates the whole creation, he is called ‘viSvAthmA’ – the indweller of the world. The purushasUktha hails thus, in support of this: “Having permeated the whole world, covering it from all sides…”

The scriptures further declare thus:

  • “… in all these creatures he stands as the indweller”
  • “… by whom all of this creation is sewed and held together”
  • “Oh arjuna, I am indeed the indweller of every creature”, etc.

Etymology: The word ‘sahasra’ is said to indicate infinity. Thus, the one with infinite heads is called ‘sahasramUrdhA’. He is the one who is hailed by this divine name (sahasraSIrshA) in the purushasUktha and other vEdhic hymns. The words ‘akshi’ (eye) and ‘pAdha’ (leg) are indicative of bhagavAn’s faculties collectively (both sense and action respectively). The one who possesses infinite knowledge and actions with such faculties is hailed by the divine names ‘sahasrAksha:’ and ‘sahasrapAth’. The one who permeates the entire creation with such infinite knowledge and actions born out of his infinite faculties is called ‘viSvAthmA’.

सहस्रशब्दॊ ह्यानन्त्यलक्षकः समुदाहृतः |
सहस्रमूर्धा सॊsनन्तशिरस्कः कीर्त्यतॆ ततः ||

सहस्रमूर्धा स स्याद्वा पुंसूक्ताद्युक्तनामवान् |
आभ्यां च ज्ञानकर्माभ्यां विश्वात्मा व्यापनात् स्मृतः ||


दपदॆ ज्ञानकर्मॆन्द्रियनिदर्शकॆ |
तॆनानन्तज्ञानकर्मा सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात् ||

आवर्तनॊ निवृत्तात्मा संवृतः सम्प्रमर्दनः ।
अहःसम्वर्तकॊ वह्निरनिलॊ धरणीधरः ॥ २५ ॥

230) Avarthana: (आवर्तनः)

Since bhagavAn spins the cycle of samsAra (creation and destruction), he is called ‘Avarthana:’. The scriptures hail thus:

  • “This wheel of brahmA (creation) is run by him”
  • “…making all the creatures move about…”
  • “bhagavAn kESava revolves the wheels of time, creation and destruction with his own powers, running them in cycles”, etc.

Even the purushasUktha expounds the same when it says “from him was born the four faced brahmA” etc.

Etymology: The one who runs the cycle of samsAra as in spinning a wheel is called ‘Avarthana:’.

सम्साराख्यघटीयन्त्रॆ परिवर्तनशीलतः |
चक्रवच्च विशॆषॆण ह्यावर्तन इतीरितः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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