SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 4 (Names 31 to 40)

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

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31. sambhava:  (सम्भवः)

Although well hidden thus – like a treasure-trove, since bhagavAn  manifests himself out of his urge to mingle with his devotees who seek to attain him , he  is called ‘sambhava:’ – the one who manifests. The meaning of this word is derived from the common etymology “the one who manifests everywhere”. This means to say he incarnates and manifests himself before all creatures at all times, all places and all forms – such as in mathsya, kUrma, varAha, nArasimha, vAmana, rAma, krishNa et al so as to repeat the grandeur of every incarnation many times in countless ways.

This is shown by the scriptures thus:

  • “… he  incarnates many times”
  • “Many of my births have passed…”
  • “Whenever there is downfall of righteousness, oh scion of bharatha!  I shall incarnate then to uphold it”, et al.

Etymology: Although well hidden like a treasure, the one who incarnates in many ways in all places in many forms such as rAma, krishna  et al. is called ‘sambhava:’ .

निधिवत् च अतिगूढॊsपि रामकृष्णादि भॆदतः |
समन्तात् बहुधा जातः सम्भवः परिकीर्तितः ||

32. bhAvana:  (भावनः)

Having manifested thus, since he  revives all creatures by warding off all ominous things, he  is called ‘bhAvana:’ – the one who nurtures and protects.

The bhagavath gIthA  verse says thus in this context: “In order to protect the righteous men, destroy the evil, and establish dharma , I shall be born in every  yuga”.

Etymology: The one who protects all creatures by being born is called  ‘bhAvana:’ .

जनित्वा उज्जीवयति यॊ जनान् स्यात् भावनस्तु सः |

33. bharthA:  (भर्ता)

He is called ‘bharthA’ – the one who bears, since he  gives himself unto his devotees and bears to nurture them.

Etymology: He who nurtures them (the creatures) by giving himself  unto them is called ‘bharthA:’.

यः तान् पुष्णाति आत्मदानात् स भर्ता परिकीर्तितः |

34. prabhava:  (प्रभवः)

Since all of  his births are extraordinary and magnificent, he  is called ‘prabhava:’ – the magnificently born. (अस्य भवः प्रकृष्टः इति प्रभवः)

bhagavAn  gets this name due to his births being clearly distinguished from that of the dhEvas, manushyas et al., without even the smallest connection with faults, and also since just by knowing him  in those forms, the creatures shall be rid from all of their birth cycles.

The scriptures say:

  • “He who has no birth by destiny is born many times out of his  own free will”
  • “The truly knowledgeable scholars know him  in every birth of his !”
  • “Even without getting into the womb of a mother, even without taking the various births, bhagavAn SrI krishNa  grants the supreme abode to all just by his own splendor.”
  • “yudhishtira  concluded krishNa  to be the supreme one due to his  being beyond the scriptural injunctions, eternal, the one without births – yet being born in many ways out of his  own free will.”
  • “The one who knows my divine births and deeds in all reality, he doesn’t return to this cycle of births and deaths when he leaves his current body; such a one indeed attains me,  arjuna!” et al.

Etymology: Since his  births are distinguished from those of dhEvas  and manushyas , since his births are truly magnificent, since he  is repulsive to ignorance and other faults, he is called ‘prabhava:’.

दॆवादिजनवैजात्यात् प्रकृष्टॊsत्पत्तिमत्त्वतः |
अविद्या-दॊष-वैधुर्यात् प्रभवः परिकीर्तितः ||

35. prabhu:(प्रभुः) (Also repeated in 300)

Although being born in many ways similar to human et al, which are not fully independent, he is  ‘prabhu:’– the almighty.

The adjunct  ‘du:’(डुः) is added to the root ‘bhU’, resulting in this name.

He is not attained even by the dhEvas, yet capable of conferring the various fruits such as wealth, position, and other befitting enjoyments and punishments to all creatures.

This purpose of  bhagavAn is very clear in the illustrations of  chinthayanthi, SiSupAla et al, who were all granted the attainment of mOksham, where he was united with them.

Etymology: The one who is capable of conferring all that is desired by all creatures starting from brahmA , such as material enjoyments as well as salvation, is called  ‘prabhu:’ . Thi manthra grants all desired fruits.

ब्रह्मादीनां च सर्वॆषां भॊग-मॊक्ष-समर्पणॆ |
समर्थः प्रभुरित्युक्तः सर्वॆष्टफलदॊ मनुः ||

36. ISvara:  (ईश्वरः) (also repeated in 75)

Thus, even though he  is the supreme lord , since His magnificence is of better use in  his various births, he is called ‘ISvara:’ – the one who rules.

This is as per the scriptural statements:

  • “Having taken up the body of a human…”
  • “They know my supreme nature” …”
  • “I am indeed the ruler of all creatures even in my various births”, et al.

Etymology: Even in incarnations as human and other lower births, his  splendor is of great use even to the four faced brahmA and others. Thus,  he is called ‘ISvara:’ .

मनुष्यादि अवतारॆsपि ब्रह्मादींश्च प्रयॊजनॆ |
नियतां तु ईश्वरः प्रॊक्तः प्राधान्यः फलदॊ मनुः ||

स्वयम्भूः शम्भुरादित्यः पुष्कराक्षॊ महास्वनः ।
अनादिनिधनॊ धाता विधाता धातुरुत्तमः ॥ ५ ॥

37. svyambhU:   (स्वयम्भूः)

How is such a splendor possible? It is possible since he is ‘svayambhU: – the one who is born out of his own free will. The root ‘bhU’ suffixed with the ‘kvip’ (क्विप्) adjunct as per the grammar rule ‘भुवः संज्ञांतरयॊः’ indicates voluntary indulgence.

The  supreme lord  is born in various incarnations only for the sake of displaying his  divine deeds by manifesting himself in his own extraordinary and glorious nature in various births such as  dhEva, , manushya , et al., making them his own, out of his own free will. He does not take birth like the other individual souls such as the four faced brahmA or Siva or anyone else – due to karma, and servile to some other entity.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

  • “The  supreme  one who is born out of  his own free will for the sake of his  devotees”
  • “I manifest in my own supreme nature  (prakruthi) and take birth with my own mAyA”

In this statement of bhagavath gIthA  (प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय)  bhagavAn  highlights the fact that although the lower nature comprising of the three qualities namely sathva , rajas and thamas , in addition to the individual souls being bound in it is  his own, the other nature of his – which is supreme – is exclusively for his enjoyment and ownership. That is why he uses the term ‘my supreme nature’ (prakruthim svAm).

This is further endorsed in the  SrI hari vamsam in the context of bhagavAn bringing back the lost sons of a brAhmaNa. In this context, while bhagavAn  explains his two natures to arjuna , he says thus:

“Behold! You have now seen that supreme abode of mine which is splendorous, awe inspiring and divine. I am verily that supreme entity whom you saw there, oh best of bharatha clan! That supreme effulgence of mine is eternal. That supreme nature of mine, oh scion of bharatha clan, is of two types – manifest as well as hidden. The individual souls who enter into that supreme nature are thence called ‘liberated souls “(mukthAthmA)” .

This is more pronounced in SrI  vishNu thathvam , where it first explains the five energies (पञ्चशक्ति) and thereafter says thus:

“All incarnations of that great soul such as mathsya  (fish), kUrma (turtle), varAha (boar) et al are totally comprised of these five energies only, oh best of  brAhmaNas! No incarnation of his is contrary to it.”

The vishNu purANa  clearly extols the extraordinary nature of the reason for his  incarnations, the cause of his incarnations, the time and chronology of his  incarnations etc with SlOkas such as ‘समस्ताः शक्तयश्च ऎताः’ etc.

  • SrI rAmAyanam says thus: “Verily that supreme self  who is the master of all worlds incarnated as SrI rAma  out of his desire for the wellbeing of all his subjects.”
  • “Verily that  supreme lord vishNu  was born in the world of humans on account of the prayers from the demigods – who were keen on killing rAvaNa” ”.
  • “He was born by himself…” , et al.

Etymology: The one who is born out of his  own free will (and not bound by karmas) is called svayambhU: .

भवति स्वॆच्छया यॊsसौ स्वयम्भूः परिकीर्तितः |

38. Sambhu:  (शम्भुः)

Thus, the one who displays his  beauty, excellence of disposition, and other superior characteristics, and thus generates happiness among his subjects is called Sambhu: – the giver of happiness.

This is as per the scriptural verses that say thus: “… the one who sees the whole creation, and the one who grants happiness among the creatures therein…”

This is further elaborated in other statements such as these:

“The one who steals the sight and minds of men by displaying his  transcendental form and the most auspicious qualities, that moon faced rAma  – who has the most pleasing form for the eyes of the onlookers…” et al.

Etymology: The one who grants a lot of happiness among all souls by showing the transcendental beauty of his  divine form, and his auspicious qualities is called ‘Sambhu:’ .

स्वसौन्दर्यादि गुणानां यॊ ह्याविष्कारॆण शं सुखम् |
पुंसां सम्यक् भावयति स शम्भुः परिकीर्तितः ||

39. Adhithya: (आदित्यः)

Thereafter, the source of all such manifestations is shown to be the indweller of the sun with this name  ‘Adhithya: – the one whose abode is the sun.

The grammatical rule ‘दित्यदित्यादित्यॆत्यादिना ण्यः’ used here suggests the usage of ‘Nya’ adjunct to mean ‘residence’ in this context.

The same basis is reinforced even in the brahma mImAmsA or brahma sUthra thus: “He is the indweller, since He is referred to by the qualities”.

The other scriptural statements also iterate the same thus:

  • “He is seen as the golden hued purusha, the indweller of sun”
  • “The one who indwells this individual soul, and the one who indwells this sun, they are both the same. (The indweller is only one)”
  • “The one who resides in the center of the sun is to be meditated upon”, etc.
  • Having illustrated with these statements, the chAndhOgya upanishath  finally describes him thus: “….of Him, who is the indweller of sun, and who possesses beautiful eyes like the lotus just blossomed by the fresh rays of sun”.

Etymology: The one whose abode is the sun is called  ‘Adhithya:’ .

निवासः सविता यस्य स आदित्यः परिकीर्तितः |

40. pushkarAksha: (पुष्कराक्षः)

The confluence of the extraordinary characteristics of mastership of all entities as well as the nature of being lotus eyed is indicated with this name ‘pushkarAksha:’  – the lotus eyed one. No one else possesses lotus eyes like him. Thus the suffix ‘ach’ is conjoined with the word ‘akShi’ (eyes) to result in the name ‘aksha:’.

Etymology: To whom the beautiful eyes like the lotus – ever eager to save the devotees – belong, such a one is called  ‘pushkarAksha:’.

अक्षिणी पुण्डरीकॆव भक्तानुग्रहकारिणी |
यस्यासौ पुष्कराक्षः स्यात् अष्टवर्णस्तु पावकः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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