SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 41 (Names 401 to 410)

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401) anaya: (अनयः)

bhagavAn – who subordinates himself to his devotees (as seen in the divine name ‘nEya:’) – does not yield to the words of his oppressors.  Thus, he is called ‘anaya:’ – the one who cannot be ruled.

This is as experienced by rAvaNa in the battle field. In the yudhdha kANda of SrImath rAmAyaNam, rAvaNa exclaims thus: “Alas! I could lift the himalayas by hand. I could even lift the mighty mandhara mountain by hand! Why just that, I could even lift the three worlds with all dhEvas populating it. But now I am unable to lift this younger brother of bharatha (referring to lakshmaNa)!”

Alternately, the word ‘aya:’ (अयः) refers to the deeds or entities that confer auspiciousness. Thus, the word ‘anaya:’ also means that bhagavAn is the only one who can confer auspiciousness in this world. There is no other entity for it.

This is as confirmed by the sages in SrImath rAmAyanam thus: “We are all ruled by this SrI rAma, and thus we have attained bountiful fruits for all our auspicious desires”

Etymology: The one who cannot be lead by his oppressors is called ‘anaya:’. Alternately, the only one who is capable of conferring auspiciousness (with no alternate) is called ‘anaya:’.

असुहृद्भिर्नयॊ यस्य नास्तीत्यनय उच्यतॆ |
अथवा जगतामस्मादयॊ नान्यस्ततॊsनयः ||

402) vIra: (वीरः) (also repeated in 664)

bhagavAn causes commotion among the rAkshasas and chases them away by displaying his valor. Hence, he is called ‘vIra:’ – the valorous one.

The root ‘ajh’ (अज्) refers to movement, as well as chasing. By grammatical rules, it is replaced by the word ‘vI’ (वी), and also gets the ‘rak’ (रक्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

  • “The lord of rAkshasas – rAvaNa – shuddered at the thought of rAghava’s arrows that were shot at him, which appeared fierce like the brahma-dhaNda and shone like lightening”
  • “Just as an elephant is defeated by a lion, just as a snake is defeated by an eagle, so also the lord of lanka was defeated by the great rAma”
  • mArIcha also says thus: “I see rAma adorned in bark and deer skin in every tree (due to fear), holding his mighty bow, just like the dreaded yama holding his rope”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vIra:’ since he instills fear among rAkshasas (and causes them to shiver) due to his boundless valor.

वीरः कम्पनहॆतुत्वात् रक्षसामतिभीमतः |

403) SakthimathAm SrEshta: (शक्तिमतां श्रॆष्ठः)

bhagavAn is superior to dhEvas, who are all powerful. Hence, he is called ‘SakthimathAm SrEshta:’ – the best among the powerful ones.

paraSurAma hails SrI rAma thus: “I know you as the eternal godhead, who slew the demon named madhu. I know you as the lord of all dhEvas”

Even the four faced brahmA exclaims thus in the yudhdha kANda: “After all, you are superior to all dhEvas; yet how do you claim not to know yourself?”

hanuman, while glorifying his lord in front of rAvaNa, hails thus: “Oh lord of rAkshasas! Even if all demigods, demons, gandharvas, vidhyAdharas, nAgas, and yakshas come together to fight against rAma – who is the lord of three worlds – in the battle field, they would not even be able to stand in front of him”

The same sundara kANda also hails bhagavAn thus: “That rAma is capable of destroying all the worlds with his fiery arrows. Not just that, he is even capable of recreating all the worlds as before”

Etymology: The one who is known to be superior to dhEvas – who are powerful – is called ‘SakthimathAm SrEshta:’.

सुरादीनां शक्तिमतां यः प्रशस्यतमः स्मृतः |
तस्माच्छक्तिमतां श्रॆष्ठॊ दशार्णः श्रॆष्ठदॊ मनुः ||

404) dharma: (धर्मः)

bhagavAn himself is the means for attaining both materialistic as well as spiritual desires. Hence, he is himself called ‘dharma:’.

The root ‘dhru’ धृ (to bear) gets the ‘man’ (मन्) adjunct as per grammatical rule, resulting in this divine name. The same rule applies to other divine names such as ‘sOma:’ सॊमः (507), et al.

The four faced brahmA – the best among the knowledgeable men – also says the same thing in yudhdha kANda of Srimath rAmAyana thus: “You are the best ‘dharma’ in all the worlds”.

lakshmaNa, while shooting a last arrow at indhrajith, swears thus: “If it is true that rAma is verily the embodiment of dharma, a very honest person, and unparalleled in valor, then – oh arrow! kill that son of rAvana”

Even in SrI mahAbhAratha, it is said thus:

“The scholars who know the vEdhas and the pure devotees who are involved in spiritual pursuits utter in unison that verily the great soul krishNa is himself the embodiment of eternal dharma”

The same scripture also says thus in other places:

  • “That dhvArakA (dhvAravathi) is indeed the most sacred place, since madhusUdhana resides there”
  • “He is verily the supreme soul. He is verily the eternal godhead. He is verily the embodiment of eternal dharma”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn himself bestows the fruits for all material as well as spiritual pursuits and thus bears all the individual souls. Hence, he is called ‘dharma:’.

निःश्रॆयसाभ्युदयतॊ धर्मः सर्वस्य धारणात् |

405) dharmavidhuththama: (धर्मविदुत्तमः)

rAma is the best among those who know dharma (rishis), and hence superior to them. Thus, he is called ‘dharmavidhuththama:’. He is indeed the refuge to learn about dharma even for the sages of the rank of vaSishta, vAmadhEva, mArkaNdeya, et al, although he humbly claims to be their disciple.

The scriptures hail this quality of bhagavAn thus:

  • “Just as all rivers flow towards the seas, so also all the people always ran towards rAma out of their infinite love towards him”
  • “rAma clearly knows the dharmas and he is very honest”
  • “He is well adored by the scholars of vEdhas”
  • “He knows the vEdhas with their true purport, along with all their limbs (viz. SikshA vyAkaraNa, chandhas, niruktha, jyOthisha and kalpa)”
  • “Oh rAma, you are completely incomprehensible to our senses, and invincible to your opponents. You are the one who has completely restrained the senses, and the best among the practitioners of dharma. Your glories know no bounds, and you are highly intelligent. You are very forgiving and patient like the earth, and you are the supreme one who possesses beautiful eyes like the rising sun”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is sought as refuge by sages of the rank of vaSishta, et al. in order to know about dharma is called ‘dharmavidhuththama:’.

वसिष्ठाद्युपजीव्यॊ यॊ धर्मॆ धर्मविदुत्तमः |

वैकुण्ठः पुरुषः प्राणः प्राणदः प्रणमः पृथुः ।
हिरण्यगर्भः शत्रुघ्नॊ व्याप्तॊ वायुरधॊक्षजः ॥ ४४ ॥

406) vaikuNta: (वैकुण्ठः)

bhagavAn is called ‘vaikuNta:’ since he is ever united with every soul. The word ‘kuti’ (कुठि) means ‘obstruction’. The ‘obstruction’ in this context refers to the obstacles that stop everyone from uniting with SrI rAma. The souls who are ridden of such obstructions and united with bhagavAn are called ‘vikunta:’ (विकुण्ठाः). Since bhagavAn is the one who absolves such obstacles to those souls, he is called ‘vaikuNta:’.

In the mahAbhAratha, bhagavAn declares thus: “I am called ‘vaikuNta’ since I am the one who mixes earth with water, sky with air, air with fire, etc.”

The same characteristic is seen in his incarnation as SrI rAma as well. This is shown thus in SrImath rAmAyana:

  • “The citizens of ayOdhyA refrained from hurting one another, looking at SrI rAma”. This means they never enjoyed in the company of one another in the absence of SrI rAma. Instead, all their enjoyment was purely due to company of SrI rAma. This is explicitly stated in the following verses of SrImath rAmAyaNa:
  • “You must either follow rAma to the forest, or just get away to some unknown place; but you must never come back without rAma” (wives to their husbands when rAma leaves to the forest).
  • “The elephants forsook their food. The cows didn’t feed their calves. The denizens of ayOdhyA neither rejoiced upon getting back their lost wealth, nor rejoiced upon gaining hoards of wealth. The mothers never rejoiced even when they delivered their first baby. The wives with newborns, the husbands, the brothers – everyone forsook everyone and everything for the sake of rAma, and started following him to the forest”

Etymology: The meaning of root ‘kuti’ is said to be ‘obstacles to union’. Those who are ridden off such obstacles are called ‘vikuNta’s. Since bhagavAn is the one who rid such obstacles from them, he is called ‘vaikuNta:’.

संश्लॆषप्रतिघातश्च कुठिधात्वर्थ उच्यतॆ |
विगतः स च ऎषां तॆ विकुण्ठाः स्युरुदीरितः |
तॆषामॆवैष इति हि वैकुण्ठः परिकीर्तितः ||

407) purusha: (पुरुषः) (also repeated in 14)

The vEdhas declare “He who is eternal burns all our sins, and hence called ‘purusha:'”. bhagavAn purifies his devotees by burning out their sins. Hence, he is called ‘purusha:’ – the extremely pure one.

In SrImath rAmAyana, bhagavAn is hailed thus: “You are the most pure soul in all worlds, oh scion of raghu clan”

Even Sabari says thus: “Oh rAma, I am fully purified with your gentle glance”

Alternately, the root ‘pru’ पृ (to protect or to complete) acts as the source for this divine name. The word ‘pura:’ पुरः (ahead) gets the ‘kushan’ (कुषन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

Thus, it is befitting to address rAma as ‘purusha’ in all senses. The SrImath rAmAyana hails bhagavAn thus:

“These six qualities (gynAna, bala, etc) adore SrI rAma, who is the best of all”

“The wielder of the ‘SArnga’ bow, the controller of all senses, and the one who is known as ‘purusha’ is indeed the best of all souls”, et al.

Etymology: As shown in the vEdhic statement ‘sa yathpUrvaM…’, it is evident that bhagavAn is called by the divine name ‘purusha’ due to his nature of purifying souls (by burning out their loads of sins). Alternately, the root word ‘pru’ is taken in the context of ‘protection’ and thus gets the ‘kushan’ adjunct. This means bhagavAn moves ahead of all souls and protects them. Thus, he is called ‘purusha:’ by the learned men.

स यत्पूर्वमिति श्रुत्या पुरुषः पावनत्वतः |
पृधातॊः पालनार्थाद्धि कुषन् प्रत्यययॊगतः |
सर्वपालकता लब्ध्या पुरुषः प्रॊच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

408) prANa: (प्राणः) (also repeated in 67, 322)

bhagavAn is the very life force in all entities. Hence he is called ‘prANa:’.

(Note: In the 67th divine name, bhagavAn was depicted as the very life force of all the nithyasUris in SrI vaikuNtam, and hence he was called ‘prANa:’. In the 322nd divine name, he was shown to be the very life force of all entities during the churning of milky ocean in his kUrma avathAram. Hence he was called ‘prANa:’. Here, rAma is said to be the very life force of his parents, brothers, all the denizens of ayOdhyA, as also to all the sages in the forests, the monkey troupes, the noble rAkshasas like vibhIshaNa et al. Not just that, he is indeed the life force of every single entity in this creation even today, and also at all times to come. Hence, he is called as ‘prANa:’ in this divine name.)

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘prANa:’ since he breathes life into every entity.

प्राणः सर्वप्राणनाद्धि |

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

bhagavAn bestows upon every entity the very life force called ‘prANa’. Thus, he is called ‘prANadha:’.

That is why, the plight of entities in ayOdhyA are described thus in his absence:

“All trees with buds, flowers and shoots dried up completely. All the gardens and plantations in ayOdhyA were only filled with dried up leaves and branches that had fallen down”, etc.

(Note: In the 66th divine name, bhagavAn was called prANadha: since he bestows the life force upon the nithyasUris in SrI vaikuNtam for them to experience him. In the 323rd divine name, he is called prANadha: since he bestowed upon dhEvas the life force in order to support them during the churning of milky ocean. Here, bhagavAn rAma is called prANadha: since he is verily the bestower of life force upon every entity in ayOdhyA)

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows the very life force upon every entity, he is called ‘prANadha:’.

तद्दानात् प्राणदः स्मृतः |

410) praNama: (प्रणमः) (also repeated in 957)

As shown in the vEdhas and also by etymology, bhagavAn is called ‘praNama:’ since he makes all the sentient and insentient entities bow down to him for his qualities. In the Srimath rAmAyana, it is shown thus: “He churned the hearts of all subjects by displaying his divine qualities”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn makes all entities bow down by displaying his divine qualities, he is called ‘praNama:’.

(NOTE: Some texts show this divine name to be ‘praNava:’. However, the etymology has it as ‘praNama:’ only)

गुणैश्चराचराणां हि नामनात् प्रणमः स्मृतः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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