SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 53 (Names 521 to 530)

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521) ananthAthmA (अनन्तात्मा)

Furthermore, he also stands as the indweller of the giant serpent ‘anantha’ (अनन्तः) atop the kUrma base, which also constitutes the supporting structure for the entire creation. Thus, he is called ‘ananthAthmA’.

The jaya samhitha hails thus:

“One must submit himself unto that anantha, who is resplendent atop the tortoise base (AdhAraSakthi pItam (आधारशक्तिपीठः) with a faultless form holding the conch and the discus along with a mace, and who is surrounded by hundreds of flames”

Etymology: The one who is situated in the form of a serpent (as its indweller) atop the tortoise (that was said in the previous divine name), supporting the entire creation, is called ‘ananthAthmA’.

कमठस्यॊपरि जगदाधारस्तम्भ-भॊगिनः |
स्वरूपॆण स्थितॊ यॊsसावनन्तात्मा प्रकीर्तितः ||

522) mahOdhadhiSaya: (महॊदधिशयः)

The same bhagavAn further sleeps on the same serpent bed of anantha in the vast ocean during the great deluge. Hence, he is called ‘mahOdhadhiSaya:’ – the one who sleeps in the vast ocean on a serpent bed.

The root ‘Si’ शि (to sleep) gets the ‘ach’ (अच्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. The same rule is also applied in other divine names such as ‘bhUSaya:’ भूशयः (634), et al.

Etymology: He who reclines on the serpent bed (anantha or Adhi-SEsha) in the vast ocean is popularly called ‘mahOdhadhiSaya:’.

तस्मिन्ननन्तपर्यङ्कॆ समुद्रॆ शयनाच्च यः |
महॊदधिशयः ख्यातॊ दशार्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

523) anthaka: (अन्तकः)

During such deluge, since he ends everything, he is called ‘anthaka:’.

SrImath rAmAyaNa hails thus: “At the end of creation, you are seen in the water as a great serpent”

The vishNu purANa glorifies thus: “The great serpent ‘SEsha’ (or ‘AdhiSEsha’) resides in the pAthALa, being worshipped by dhEvas. All of these worlds shine like small gems on his hoods, adorning him like a beautiful flower garland. Since even the gandharvas, apsaras, sidhdhas, kiNNaras, mahOragas (great serpent gods) and others who worship him cannot see the end of his divine qualities, he is called ‘anantha’ in that form.  His valor, effulgence, divine nature and forms cannot be described or comprehended even by dhEvas. At the end of creation, he spits out mighty fire burning poisonous air, from which the destructor rudhra (Siva) emanates – with bhagavAn SankarshaNa indwelling him – and eats all of these worlds”

Etymology: He who ends the worlds (destroys / consumes them and keeps them in his belly) during the great deluge is called ‘anthaka:’.

अन्तं करॊति जगतॊ यॊsसावन्तक ईरितः |

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अजॊ महार्हः स्वाभाव्यॊ जितामित्रः प्रमॊदनः ।
आनन्दॊ नन्दनॊ नन्दः सत्यधर्मा त्रिविक्रमः ॥ ५६ ॥
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524) aja: (अजः) (also repeated in 66, 206)

Furthermore, at the time of deluge, bhagavAn is contemplated upon as the object of the syllable ‘a’ (अ) in the praNava (OmkAra, which is made of three syllables ‘a’ अ, ‘u’ उ and ‘ma’ म). This ‘akAra’ (अकारः) or the syllable ‘a’ (अ) is the root of praNava. bhagavAn is denoted by the syllable ‘a’ in the praNava.

The thaiththirIya nArAyaNam (upanishath) says this: “He who is represented by the syllable ‘a’, which is the root of praNavam that is expounded both at the beginning as well as the end of vEdhas, is the supreme lord”

(NOTE: Readers are requested to learn from their respective Acharyas for a detailed knowledge of praNava. That would greatly serve to understand this set of five divine names (524 – 528), dwelling on ‘praNava’, and appreciate the commentaries better. At this time, only that which is said by SrI parASara bhattar in his glorious commentary is being translated, with no addendum)

Etymology: At deluge, since bhagavAn is contemplated upon as the object of syllable ‘a’ (in praNava), he is called ‘aja:’.

तत्त्वावसानॆ प्रणवप्रकृतॆः सत्त्वकारतः |
स्मर्तव्यत्त्वादजः प्रॊक्तः षडर्णॊ ह्यूर्मिनाशकः ||

525) mahArha: (महार्हः)

When the dear devotees of bhagavAn submit themselves to him by dwelling on the meaning of such praNava, bhagavAn accepts it with complete eligibility for such high submission. Thus, he is called ‘mahArha:’ – the one who is eligible for a lofty submission.

The mahOpanishath preaches the individual souls to submit themselves unto bhagavAn with praNava (meditating on its divine meanings).

Etymology: By knowing the nature of self clearly through praNava, when a devotee completely surrenders to bhagavAn, since bhagavAn befittingly accepts such high submission/worship (since he is eligible of such high submissions), he is called ‘mahArha:’.

स्वरूपादिकृतार्थॆन तारॆणात्मनिवॆदनम् |
महं पूजामर्हतीति महार्ह इति कथ्यतॆ ||

526) svAbhAvya: (स्वाभाव्यः)

Also, all the souls who have realized their subservience unto bhagavAn by meditating on the meaning of the praNava manthra treat him as their true lord and approach him. Thus, he is called ‘svAbhAvya:’. The ‘Nyath’ (ण्यत्) adjunct is used here with the root.

The vishNu thathva says thus: “If you have the desire to become a realized soul and thus uplift yourself from this samsAra, then always remember your eternal servitude and hari’s eternal mastership, both of which are natural”

The SvEthASvathara upanishath also says thus: “There is no particular reason for bhagavAn’s mastership on all entities other than his natural mastership”

To sum up, it must always be remembered that the relationship between bhagavAn and ourselves is that of ‘owner and the owned’, which is natural. Thus, he is called ‘svAbhAvya:’.

Etymology: Having realized their true nature from the praNava manthra, since all his dear devotees essentially revere him as their sole master, he is called ‘svAbhAvya:’.

मन्त्रॆणानॆनात्मभिस्तु स्वभूतैराभिमुख्यतः |
अवश्यं भावनीयत्त्वात् स्वाभाव्यः परिकीर्तितः ||

527) jithAmithra: (जितामत्रः)

bhagavAn helps his devotees who meditate upon the praNava manthra (dwelling on its meanings) to win over their internal enemies namely “ahamkAra” (considering the insentient body to be ‘self’, instead of realizing that we are the sentient soul different from the body), “mamakAra” (considering the soul to be independent, or in other words – considering the soul to be the property of its own self, rather than realizing that all souls are solely owned by bhagavAn), “kAma” (desiring for pleasures for one’s own enjoyment, instead of realizing that all souls are naturally meant for bhagavAn’s enjoyment only), etc. Thus, he is called ‘jithAmithra:’ – the one who wins over the enemies.

In this case, the enemies are indeed the internal qualities of ahamkAra, mamakAra, kAma etc, and not external to any individual.

In the bhagavath gIthA, bhagavAn begins preaching to arjuna by saying “the qualities of kAma (desire) and krOdha (anger) are the outcomes of rajOguNa”, and finally instructs thus: “Oh mighty one! Kill your enemy which is in the form of kAma, which is otherwise dangerous for you”.

Etymology: Since the obstacles to the esoteric knowledge (expounded in the praNava manthra) – such as mamathA (or mamakAra) and others – are won over by bhagavAn for his dear devotees, he is called ‘jithAmithra:’.

(NOTE: In other words, since the devotees win over such obstacles with the help of bhagavAn, he is called ‘jithAmithra:’)

एतद्रहस्यविज्ञान-विरॊधि-ममतादयः |
जितास्तॆषामनॆनॆति जितामित्रॊsष्टवर्णकः ||

528) pramOdhana: (प्रमॊदनः)

bhagavAn also bestows bliss upon his devotees who meditate upon the praNava manthra, right from the first instant. Thus, he is called ‘pramOdhana:’ – the bestower of joy.

Etymology: He who creates joy amongst those devotees who are absorbed in meditating upon the praNava manthra is called ‘pramOdhana:’.

ध्यानासक्तॆषु भक्तॆषु मॊदमानः प्रमॊदनः |

529) Anandha: (आनन्दः)

Thence, the kapilAvathAra or incarnation of bhagavAn as ‘kapila maharishi’ (कपिलमहर्षिः) is expounded.

In his incarnation as kapila, bhagavAn was verily the embodiment of supreme bliss as expounded in the Anandhavalli chapter of thaiththirIya upanishath. Thus, he is called ‘Anandha:’ – the blissful one. The ‘ach’ (अच्) adjunct is in use in this divine name.

Etymology: He who is in an inexpressible (beyond words and thoughts) eternal blissful state as expounded in the Anandhavalli chapter is called ‘Anandha:’.

आनन्दवल्ली मीमांस्यस्त्ववाङ्मनसगॊचरः |
आनन्दॊ ह्यस्य नित्यॊsस्तीत्यानन्दः परिकीर्तितः ||

530) nandhana: (नन्दनः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn also engages the liberated souls in the same bliss in the state of mOksha and derives happiness thereof. Thus, he is called ‘nandhana:’.

The vEdhas declare thus:

  • “He is indeed the one who bestows the supreme bliss”
  • “It is from bhagavAn’s supreme bliss alone that every other individual soul derives its own happiness in just a small fraction”

Etymology: He who always bestows the same bliss (as in the previous divine name) upon liberated and ever-liberated souls in the state of mOksha and keeps them ever happy is called ‘nandhana:’.

तमानन्दं यथॊक्तायां मुक्तौ प्रापय्य यः सदा |
मुक्तान्नित्यान् नन्दयति नन्दनः स तु कीर्तितः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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