SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 7 (Names 61 to 70)

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

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61. prabhUtha:  (प्रभूतः)

Even when all entities are destroyed, he  is called ‘prabhUtha:’ – since he is ever bountiful. He is bountiful since he  owns the supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam which is eternal, and contains limitless objects of enjoyment.

Etymology: He, unto whom the endless objects of enjoyment in the eternal and limitless land of SrIvaikuNtam  belongs, and the one who is thus ever bountiful is called ‘prabhUtha:’

भॊगॊपकरणं नित्यं निर्मर्यादं परं पदम् |
यस्य तॆन समृद्धत्वात् प्रभूत इति कथ्यतॆ ||

62. thrikakudhdhAmA  (त्रिककुद्धामा)

All of these worlds that are created and destroyed collectively form just a small portion of that SrIvaikuNtam.  This is stressed in this divine name ‘thrikakudhdhAmA’  – the one who possesses the wealth of SrIvaikuNtam  which is thrice as big as this creation. Some people also pronounce this as ‘thrikakubdhAmA’  (त्रिककुब्धामा). This divine name can be explained in both ways.

The one who owns a world which is thrice as big as this creation is called thrikakudhdhAmA . The word ‘thrikakuth’  means to indicate the quantifying degree of three times. The vEdhas declare this in many ways thus: “This world of his is just a quarter of a portion, and his  divine world of SrIvaikuNtam is three-fourths of the portion”.

The words ‘thripAdh’ and ‘pAdha’ (त्रिपाद् पाद:) clearly show the contrast between the magnanimity and atomicity of the two worlds – nithya vibhUthi  (SrIvaikuNtam) and leelA vibhUthi (this creation) respectively.

The vishNu purAna  says thus in this regard: “All of this creation and the energy contained within is just one small part – even less than one millionth – of his  powers. If the paramapadham can be considered as the mEru mountain, this creation is just like a small atom in front of it.”

Alternately, the word ‘thrikakuth’  represents the six divine qualities – in three couplets – namely ‘gyAna bala’  (ज्ञान-बल), ‘aiSvarya vIrya’ ’ (ऐश्वर्य-वीर्य) and ‘Sakthi thEjas’  (शक्ति-तॆजस्). The word ‘dhAma’ refers to the one who possesses these three couplets of qualities, which is bhagavAn himself.  Thus, the divine name ‘thrikkuthdhAma’ represents the completeness of bhagavAn with these six qualities. These couplets together are also called by another name ‘thriyugam’  त्रियुगम् (three couplets).

The sages of yore have given another meaning of the word ‘thrikakuth’.  Sage vEdhavyAsa has recorded verily bhagavAn’s words thus in the mahAbhAratha—mOksha dharma:   “When I was born as varAha – the divine boar, I had three humps on my back, owing to which I was popularly called thrikakuth’. . In this context, the word ‘kakuth’  refers to the hump on the back. Also, ‘dhAma’ refers to brightness. So this name can also mean ‘the one who is thrice as effulgent as others’.

Etymology: The SrIvaikuNtam,  which is thrice as big as this world, is called ‘thrikakuth’.  Thus, he whose divine abode is SrIvaikuNtam’ is called ‘thrikakuthdhAma’.  Alternately, he is called ‘thirkakuthdhAma’ who possesses three couplets of characteristic divine qualities. On the other hand, if we go by the words of sages, ‘thrikakuth’  refers to the three variations in form (humps in the back). In this case, ‘dhAma’ also refers to effulgence, and hence this divine name represents the extraordinary effulgence of bhagavAn.  Thus, many meanings can be seen for the same divine name, as opined by various commentators.

त्रिपाद्विभूतिः त्रिककुत् सैव स्थानं विशॆषतः |
यस्य स त्रिककुद्धामा यद्वा त्रियुग-धर्मवान् ||

आर्षं निरुक्तम् आश्रित्य त्रिककुत् स्यात् त्रिलक्षणः |
अस्मिन् पक्षॆ भिन्ननाम धाम ज्यॊतिःस्वरूपम् |
व्याख्यातॄणामभिप्रायॊ नामैकत्वॆsपि कीर्तितः ||

63. pavithram  (पवित्रम्)

The one who manifests with a characteristic nature of purity by showing his  divine extraordinary qualities, wealth, and forms is called ‘pavithram’ – the pure one. The root ‘pU’ पू (meaning, to cleanse) is suffixed with the adjunct ‘ithra’  (इत्र), resulting in this divine name ‘pavithram’.

Alternately, another source says thus: “the one who protects his  devotees with his divine weapons – such as the conch, discus, mace, sword and bow-arrow – is called pavithram”.  In this case, ‘pavi’ refers to the divine weapons of bhagavAn (पविना त्रायतॆ इति पवित्रम्).

Etymology: The one who always manifests in his  characteristic pure form by showing his extraordinary qualities, wealth and forms is called ‘pavithram’.

गुणस्य विभवानां च रूपस्य च निरन्तरम् |
निरूपकस्य सर्वैश्च तन्निरूपं स्वरूपकम् |
अनुप्रविश्य वसति तत् पवित्रम् इति स्मृतम् ||

64. mangaLam param   (मङ्गलं परम्)

The nature of being aloof from all blemishes is said by this divine name ‘mangaLam param’ – the most auspicious.

The word ‘mangi:  (मङ्गिः) means motion; it is suffixed with the ‘alach’ (अलच्) adjunct to result in the word ‘mangaLam’ .(मङ्गलम्). He is known to be the sole source of all auspiciousness by his  self-effulgence and supreme bliss. The word ‘param’ indicates the eternity of such auspiciousness.

Even though he  possesses the experience of natural, eternal, boundless, and countless qualities himself  at all times, yet bhagavAn can be depicted as the one who calms all his adversaries with his  endless, unparalleled, and complimenting self-effulgence, always absorbed in boundless supreme bliss emanating from the experience of self – downgrading even the vast ocean of nectar, being void of desires and ever-contented due to his  absolute supremacy. He is indeed depicted thus in various scriptures:

  • “He only possesses the supreme bliss”
  • “He is mainly characterized by his  qualities such as knowledge, bliss, et al”
  • “He is eternal, sentient and ever blissful”
  • “brahman is verily the embodiment of supreme bliss”
  • “He is the embodiment of peace, He is prosperous and he  is eternal”
  • “The real ‘dhAraNa’  or conscious focus of mind is to behold the peaceful, ever effulgent, contented, and eternal supreme brahman  in the mind”
  • “Deep, undefined bliss that cannot be caught by words is the characteristic of brahman”, et al.

The theory that says ‘The supreme brahman  is just knowledge and nothing more’ is refuted in a hundred ways in ‘akhaNda-khaNdana:’ – (अखण्डखण्डनः). Although bhagavAn  is accorded with numerous qualities such as bliss, power, wealth, et al, the adjectives ‘gyAna’ and  ‘Anandha’ (ज्ञान-आनन्द) do not just show that bhagavAn  is of the form of knowledge and joy. Rather, they indicate that he  becomes evident to himself on his own by his unbounded affability and enjoys himself.  This can be understood from a precious stone, sun or the lamp, which illuminate other objects even while not expecting another source of illumination to show their own selves. In such a case, we say that there are two entities – ‘effulgence’ and ‘effulgent’ – the illumination itself being the effulgence, which shows other objects, and the source of such illumination being effulgent, which shows itself. We understand that both of these qualities are inherent in the source of such illumination (stone, sun or lamp) itself. Similarly, bhagavAn  – with his innate knowledge – knows or perceives all other entities, even while not expecting another source of knowledge to know himself. So, in this case, we see two states of bhagavAn – one being the ‘knowledge’ (ज्ञानम्) by which he  knows Himself, and the second being ‘knower’ or ‘possessor of knowledge’ (ज्ञाता), by which he  knows all other entities.

The brahma sUthras  say that bhagavAn is called ‘knowledge’ or ‘bliss’ or ‘sense’, et al, since he  possesses such qualities in abundance (meaning, he is said to be verily the embodiment of such qualities only due to their abundance, and not because he  is just knowledge or bliss or anything).

That is how the various apparently contradicting scriptural statements such as “He is eternal, and verily the knowledge” and “He is the omniscient, the one who knows everything” are mutually reconciled.

Etymology: He, who is always devoid of all blemishes, and characterized by boundless supreme bliss, and who is also beyond perception even by scriptures – is called ‘mangaLam param’

सर्वहॆय-प्रत्यनीकम् अनन्त-आनन्द-लक्षणम् |
वॆदान्तपारगं नित्यम् उच्यतॆ मङ्गलं परम् ||

ईशानः प्राणदः प्राणॊ ज्यॆष्ठः श्रॆष्ठः प्रजापतिः ।
हिरण्यगर्भॊ भूगर्भॊ माधवॊ मधुसूदनः ॥ ८ ॥

65. ISAna:  (ईशानः)

With a nature of such manifestations and concealments, his  clear distinction from the bounded, liberated and ever-liberated souls is shown with this divine name ‘ISAna:’   – the ruler. The root ‘IS’  (ईश्), meaning ‘to rule’, gets the suffix ‘Ana’ (आन) by grammatical rule, since he  is the ruler by nature. This means to say that he  is by nature the one who arranges all entities in this creation as per his  whims at all times and under all circumstances, whether or not the entities realize their subservience unto him.

The scriptures point this out as below:

  • “… Him, who is the supreme of all rulers, the supreme soul …”
  • “His knowledge, power and deeds are all indeed very natural”
  • “There is none superior to him  in this world, none who can control him,  and he doesn’t have a simple comprehensible character! He is indeed the source of all creation, the ruler of all senses. There is none who gave birth to him.  There is none to rule over him”
  • “He is the controller of all, the ruler of all, and the master of all. He neither grows to a higher status by performing good deeds, nor does He fall back from his  supremacy due to bad deeds. He is untouched by karma. He is the supreme of all entities, the ruler of all creatures, and the nurturer of all creatures. He is the bridge to cross this material creation, and he  is the one who bears all these creatures.”
  • “Indeed, that supreme soul  – who is also the indweller of all these creatures – is the lord of all such creatures. He is the ruler of all creatures”
  • “Only one ruler exists for all worlds…”
  • “He is only the controller of this world, forever. There is none who can control him”.
  • “I tell unto you the truth, bhagavAn  alone controls everything”
  • “That supreme soul  is the bearer of all, and thus he  is the supreme master ”, et al.

Since all scriptures have spoken thus far about his  sole mastership over all entities and his divine possessions, I give my three offerings of sesame seeds (til) and water (thri: thila-jalAnjali) (त्रिः तिलजलाञ्जलिः) to those who prattle that bhagavAn’s  divine wealth, knowledge et al come from imaginary suppositions.

Etymology: Bhagavan, due to his  innate ability to control and arrange all entities as per his  whims at all times under all circumstances, is hailed by the divine name ‘ISAna:’.

सर्वावस्थासु सर्वॆषां व्यवस्थापनशीलतः |
वस्तूनां भगवान् साक्षात् ईशानः परिकीर्तितः ||

66. prANadha:  (प्राणदः) (also repeated in 323, 409 and 956)

The very first divine name that shows the supreme wealth of such a ruler is this one – prANadha:   – the giver of life force (प्राणं ददाति इति).

The ‘ka:’  (कः) adjunct has been suffixed here, as shown before.

This name indicates that bhagavAn gives the requisite energy unto the ever-liberated souls (nithyasUris)  to have a glimpse of his divine body at all times, and also to experience him  by performing subservience in all possible ways unto him. The vEdhas say “He is the one who gives himself  unto them, and gives them the energy to serve and experience him”, “The life force enters the body along with bhagavAn” etc.

Etymology: The one who gives the requisite energy to the nithyasUris  – the ever liberated souls – to perform eternal service to him is called ‘prANadha:’  .

सूरिभ्यः परिचर्यादौ बलदः प्राणदः स्मृतः |

67. prANa:  (प्राणः) (also repeated in 322 and 408)

Among such ever liberated souls, since he  is the most desirable and also since he revives all souls at all times, he  is called ‘prANa:’.

  • The scriptures reinforce this in many places, as below:
  • “Thus he  is the only reviver of all the nithyasUris  by being their very life force”
  • “Who else could give life to the entities, if not for him ?”
  • “He protects all these worlds by being the life force of all creatures within”
  • “He is called ‘prANa:’ ,   since he  is the life force of all”, et al

These statements and more reinforce the intimate relationship between the ever liberated souls and the supreme soul.

Some more scriptural statements are also illustrated to further fortify the fact:

  • “He is the imperishable supreme soul,  who is the life force, the mind and verily the speech”
  • “He is like the rejuvenating garden – full of life energy – who gives the highest bliss to the liberated and ever liberated souls”
  • “He is in the form of mind; he  manifests himself as verily the life force; he  is of the form of divine light; he is the one whose desires are ever fulfilled”
  •  “bhagavAn’s  tools are the five elements namely time, knowledge, actions, free will and life force. He only, who is verily the life force, the supreme self,  and the lotus eyed is the eternal soul – vAsudhEva”, etc.

Etymology: Since he  is very dear to the nithyasUris,  and also since he revives all souls, he  is called ‘prANa:’

उज्जीवनस्य हॆतुत्वात् नराणां प्राण ईरितः |

68. jyEshta:  (ज्यॆष्ठः)

Although being enjoyed by himself  as well as by the liberated and ever-liberated souls constantly, since his  divine wealth is non-deteriorating and boundless, he is called ‘jyEshta:’   – the wealthiest soul. The root word used here is ‘praSasya’  (प्रशस्य), meaning ‘praiseworthy’. As it is said in the scriptures, “bhagavAn vAsudhEva  is the wealthiest”.

The vEdhas  also say “brahma is indeed the wealthiest of all individuals; who can dare to compete with him ?” (ब्रह्मैव भूतानां ज्यॆष्ठं तॆन कॊsर्हति स्पर्धितुम्).

Alternately, the same name can also mean ‘eldest’ of all entities, since he  is the eternal soul who existed even before creation. The root used here is ‘vrudhdha’  (वृद्ध). This is as shown in the mahAbhAratha  thus: “He is verily the nature, the non-manifest, and the primordial creator. He is also superior to all other creatures, and hence this achyutha  is elder to all others”.

Either way, whether it refers to praSasya or vrudhdha,  the suffix ‘ishtan’ (इष्ठन्) is being added, due to which ‘jya’ (ज्य) gets substituted in their place, resulting in the name ‘jyEshta:’ .

Etymology: Although being constantly enjoyed by bhagavAn  as well as the sUris (ever-liberated souls), since his wealth is boundless and non-diminishing, he  is called ‘jyEshta:’.

सर्वदानुभवॆप्यॆतैः अदृष्टपारभूतितः ज्यॆष्ठः |

69. SrEshta:  (श्रॆष्ठः)

The one who is constantly praised by the nithyasUris  out of the immense love born by their undeterred experience of bhagavAn  is called ‘SrEshta:‘  – the lauded one. The root ‘‘praSasya’ (प्रशस्य) is substituted with ‘Sra’ (श्र) in this case, to mean ‘the lauded one’. The vEdhas clearly say “That is vishNu’s supreme abode, where the sUris constantly experience bhagavAn by having a glimpse at him, and praise him”. (The line that begins as thadhvishNO: paramam padham   तद्विष्णॊः परमं पदम्). The word ‘vipanyava:’  (विपन्यवः) in this verse refers to those who are constantly praising. It is also indicative of subservience of all souls to bhagavAn.  Another vEdhic statement says “The sUris worship him (bhagavAn)”. It means the “the knowledgeable souls who are completely aware of their subservience to bhagavAn  serve him”.

Etymology: Since he  is constantly praised by the sUris, he  is called ‘SrEshta:’.

श्रॆष्ठश्च तैर्नित्यं स्तुतत्वात् अभिदीयतॆ |

70. prajApathi:  (प्रजापतिः) (also repeated in 79)

Who are ‘they’ (sUris)? What is their relationship with bhagavAn? This is detailed in this divine name ‘prajApathi:’  – the lord of nithyasUris.

The word ‘nithyasUri’  or just ‘sUri’ refers to those who are even superior to the liberated souls. These sUris are ever-liberated. They are said to be superior to the liberated souls since they are never bounded by karma at any time. Such sUris are referred to as ‘prajA’ (बद्धमुक्तॆभ्यः प्रकृष्टतया जायन्तॆ इति).

The scriptures say thus:

  • “In that supreme abode, the knowledgeable souls (sUris) fall at his  feet”
  • “Him, whom the knowledgeable souls encircle in the middle of the ocean…”
  • “The nithyasUris  reside in that imperishable supreme abode, ruled over by bhagavAn”
  • “He, who is the sole master of all nithyasUris….”
  • “…where the dhEvas  reside at the beginning of creation”
  • “…where the rishis  reside, who were present even before creation”
  • “The nithyasUris  constantly see and enjoy bhagavAn”
  • “The viSvEdhEvas worship vAmana  who is seated in the middle…” et al

In all these statements, the ones who are referred to by different names such as ‘kavi’, ‘sUri’, ‘dhEva’, ’rishi’, ‘viSvEdhEva’ et al are indeed the nithyasUris  or ever-liberated souls, who are now called as ‘prajA’.  The one who is the master of such ‘prajA’s – the one who is ever served by them – is called ‘prajApathi:’.

Etymology: Those who are superior to the bounded and liberated souls are called ‘sUris’ or ‘prajA:’. . The master of such nithyasUris  is indeed the ‘prajApathi:‘.

बद्धात् उत्कृष्टतॊ यॆ च जायन्तॆ सूरयः प्रजाः |
तॆषां यॊ नित्यसूरीणां पतिः स स्यात् प्रजापतिः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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