SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 6 (Names 51 to 60)

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

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51. manu:  (मनुः)

Since he  is known to create all these worlds merely by a small thought in his  mind, he is called ‘manu’. This name comes from the root ‘man’ (मन्) – meaning ‘knowledge’ in this context (मन् – ज्ञानॆ). The suffix ‘u:’  (उः) comes from the grammatical rule that says “शृस्वृस्निहि-त्रप्यसिवसि-हनिक्लिदि-बन्धिमनिभ्यः उः”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn  creates all things just by a fraction of his  thoughts, he is called ‘manu:’

संकल्प-लवमात्रात् च मननात् मनुः उच्यतॆ |

52. thvashtA  (त्वष्टा)

For all such entities thus created merely out of his  thought, since he categorizes the entities as gods, humans, animals and non-living objects by assigning them their respective names and forms, he  is called ‘thvashtA’ – the one who gives names and forms to the entities.

This divine name comes from the verb ‘thvakshathi’ (त्वक्षति) – to produce bodies. This verb is suffixed with the ‘thruch’   (तृच्) adjunct, and the ‘ka’ in ‘thvakshathi’  is dropped, resulting in the name ‘thvashtA’.  In this context, producing bodies implies producing manifest organs from the subtle nature.

Alternately, it can be said to have originated from the root ‘thvish’   (त्विष्), meaning ‘enlightening’ or ‘making known’. The root gets the ‘a’kAra  due to the ‘thrun’ adjunct being used, which results in the name ‘thvashtA’.

The scriptures reinforce this declaration thus:

  • “…that ‘thvashtA’  who is the producer of all bodies…”
  • “From all the sentient and insentient entities, he  created various forms and named them – all according to the vEdhas (meaning, similar to the forms and names of a previous creation), and hence he  is the master of all entities)”
  • “Having created all forms…”
  • “The glorification of names and forms of all the entities in this creation…”, etc.

Etymology: Since he  creates the various names and forms for entities in this creation, he  is called ‘thvashtA’.

नामरूप-व्याकरणात् त्वष्टा सृष्टस्य गद्यतॆ |

53. sthavishta:  (स्थविष्ठः) (also repeated in 437)

The next divine name of bhagavAn  is said to be ‘sthavishta:’ – the one who is manifest. The word ‘sthUla’ (स्थूल) – meaning ‘manifest’ – is conjoined with the adjunct ‘ishtAn’  (इष्ठन्). Per the pANinian  grammar aphorism “यणादि परलॊपः”, ‘la’ from ‘sthUla’ gets dropped and ‘U’ (ऊ) changes to ‘v’ (व्). This finally results in the divine name ‘sthavishta:’.

As seen earlier, with a mere thought of multiplying into many forms, bhagavAn  expanded his own form of subtle consortium of sentient and insentient entities into manifest forms of gods, humans, lower animals and non-living objects, providing them with the necessary bodies with faculties and also providing them with senses of sound, touch et al which can be experienced using such bodies, besides providing them with many modules called ‘brahmANdams’ – each containing fourteen worlds with a covering of manifest nature in seven forms – for them to reside in . This property is shown in this divine name.

The scriptures confirm this:

  • “There is no end to my expansion”
  • “The one who is the subtlest of the subtle entities expanded himself  in the form of space, water, air, fire and earth”
  • “All of these worlds are nothing but an expansion of the body of the all pervading vishNu”.
  • “You are the supreme godhead  from whom all creatures manifest”, etc.

Etymology: Having expanded his  own body into many forms, the one who gives manifestation to the subtle sentient and insentient entities – and thus who himself  is manifest – is called ‘sthavishta:’.

बहूभवंश्च सूक्ष्माणां स्थूलावस्थतया च सः |
विस्तारवत्त्वात् यः स्थूलः स्थविष्ठः परिकीर्तितः ||

54. sthavira:  (स्थविरः)

Although having been the root cause for all this creation, his  natural difference from the lower material causes such as the mud (for a pot), et al is shown in this divine name ‘sthavira:’   – the one who is constant.

The root ‘sthA’ (स्था) – meaning ‘to stand’ – is suffixed with the ‘kirach’ (किरच्) adjunct, loses the stress on ‘A’ आ and becomes hrasva or short (a अ), and gets a new word ‘vuk’ added, resulting in this name ‘sthavira:’.

The name means ‘the one who is constant at all times’. Although he  uses time as a tool for all his divine plays, he is not affected by time himself.  Thus, his natural uniqueness from the other lower materials such as milk, curds et al – which are affected by time – is shown in this divine name. He is not affected by time, since even time is in his  control.

The scriptures say: “I tell you the truth.  bhagavAn alone is the controller of time, as also death, the moveable and immoveable entities”.

“bhagavAn kESava always wields the wheels namely kAla-chakram, jagath -chakram and yuga-chakram with his  own powers.”

“bhagavAn engages time as per his desires. There (in paramapadham ), time is not the ruler”, et al.

Etymology: The one who is unique to the lower material causes such as milk, curds etc due to his  natural superiority over time is called ‘sthavira:’ (OR) the one who is constant at all times due to his  rulership over time is called ‘sthavira:’.

कालातन्त्रतया दुग्ध-दध्यादिभ्यॊ विलक्षणः |
विद्यतॆ यः सर्वकालः स्थविरः परिकीर्तितः ||

55. dhruva:  (ध्रुवः) (also repeated in 390)

Although being transformed in numerous ways in order to create this manifest world, since he  is unchanging by nature, he is called ‘dhruva:’ – the unchanging one.

The root used here is ‘dhru’ (ध्रु) and used in the context of ‘firmness’. The aphorism “नुदादिभ्यॊणल्कौ” causes the adjunct ‘kaH’ (कः) to be used to result in this divine name. This is similar to the cases in other names such as ‘guha:’  गुहः (365), ‘vrusha:’ वृषः (314), ‘nimisha:’   निमिषः (215), et al, which also end with the ‘ka:’ adjunct.

The scriptures confirm thus:

  • “… the invincible, eternal and the unchanging one”
  • “To him  who is unchanging and pure…”
  • “The one who has neither deterioration nor destruction…”, etc.

Etymology: The one who does not undergo any changes by nature at anytime is called ‘dhruva:’.

अप्रच्याव्यः स्वस्वरूपात् सदा यॊsसौ ध्रुवः स्मृतः|

अग्राह्यः शाश्वतः कृष्णॊ लॊहिताक्षः प्रतर्दनः ।
प्रभूतस्त्रिककुद्धामा पवित्रं मङ्गलं परम् ॥ ७ ॥

56. agrAhya:  (अग्राह्यः)

The one who is not ruled by anyone else – like the mud, thread, et al being controlled by a potter, a weaver et al respectively – is called by the divine name ‘agrAhya:’   – the imperceptible.

The root word is suffixed with ‘Nyath’  (ण्यत्) per the grammatical rule “ऋहलॊर्ण्यत्”. Similar is the case in other divine names such as ‘vEdhya:’  वॆद्यः (165), ‘mAnya:’  मान्यः (755), et al, which also end with the adjunct ‘Nyath’.

The scriptures say thus in describing bhagavAn:

  • “None has seen the top, middle or the bottom (representing the limits) of his …”
  • “He pervades all entities right from the four faced brahmA  downwards”
  • “He alone pervades everything”, et al.

Etymology: He is called ‘agrAhya:’  who cannot be ruled like the mud in the control of a potter (OR) he  is the one who cannot be perceived.

अग्राह्यॊ यॊsनधिष्ठॆयॊ मृत्तिकॆव कुलालकैः |

57. SASvatha:  (शाश्वतः)

Thus, he is also ‘SASvatha:’  – the eternal. He is known to be eternally present since he  is the one who continually conducts the activities of the world, as shown by the scriptures that say “the creation, maintenance and destruction of worlds happen uninterruptedly by bhagavAn ” et al.

Etymology: The acts of creation, maintenance and destruction of worlds are uninterruptedly carried out by bhagavAn,  in a constant flow, which is why he is eternal and is called ‘SASvatha:’.

अव्युच्छिन्नाः ततस्त्वॆतॆ सृष्टि-स्थित्यन्त-संयमाः |
अतः सदा प्रवाहत्त्वात् नित्यः शाश्वत उच्यतॆ ||

58. krishNa:  (कृष्णः) (also repeated in 554)

The one who is extraordinarily happy by such sport of creation, maintenance and destruction is called ‘krishNa:’  – the ever-blissful one. The sages of yore have said thus about the divine name: “the word ‘krushihi’ (कृषिः) is denotative of earth. The letter ‘Na’ (ण) is denotative of supreme bliss. The divine name ‘krushNa:’  (कृष्णः) is a combination of these two words in their meanings.

Etymology: The one who is absorbed in supreme bliss by performing the acts of creation, destruction and maintenance in solitude is called ‘krishNa:’  The word ‘krushi:’ ’ denotes earth (or creation) and ‘Na’ denotes the bliss therein.

ऎकान्त लीलारसतॊ निर्वृतः कृष्ण उच्यतॆ |
कृषिः भूवाचकः शब्दः णश्च निर्वृतिवाचकः ||

59. lOhithAksha:  (लॊहिताक्षः)

The one who sports a pair of very pleasing lotus-like reddish eyes that show off his  supreme bliss (explained in the previous name) is called ‘lOhithAksha:’   – the red eyed one.

Etymology: The one who sports a pair of reddish lotus-like eyes is called ‘lOhithAksha:’

रक्त-राजीवनयनॊ लॊहिताक्षः प्रकीर्तितः |

60. prathardhana:  (प्रतर्दनः)

The nature of being the destroyer of all is shown in with this divine name ‘prathardhana:’  – meaning the destroyer. The word ‘thardhi:’  (तर्दिः) means to slay. This is as per the scriptural statements that say thus:

  • “…for whom both the brAhmins and kshathriyas  are food”
  • “He is the eater, since he  seizes all sentient and insentient entities”, et al.

Etymology:  He is called ‘prathardhana:’ ,   to whom the class of brAhmins and kshathriyas  (and thus all entities created) are the food at the time of destruction. He is the one who destroys at the end of creation.

यस्य ब्रह्म च क्षत्रं च ह्यॊदनं भवतः सदा |
प्रतर्दनः स विज्ञॆयः संहर्तृत्वप्रदॊ मनुः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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