Monthly Archives: December 2019

SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 92 (Names 911 to 920)

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

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911) SabdhAthiga: (शब्दातिगः)

bhagavAn’s glories cannot be hailed completely even by AdhiSEsha (or ‘anantha’) – who possesses infinite tongues or the vEdhas – which are thousands (of SAkhAs) in number, or even by saraswathi herself – who is popularly considered as the goddess of speech.

Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘SabdhAthiga:’ – the one whose glories are unbounded by speech.

Etymology: He, whose glories cannot be sung (easily or completely) by the vEdhas which has thousands of SAkhAs, or saraswathi who is considered as goddess of speech, or even by AdiSEsha who has thousands of heads (and so many tongues), is ‘SabdhAthiga:’.

अनन्तशाखैराम्नायैः वाग्दॆव्यानन्तभॊगिना |
वक्तुं ह्यशक्यॊ महिमा यस्य शब्दातिगॊsस्ति सः ||

912) Sabdhasaha: (शब्दसहः)

Thence the gajEndhra mOksha incident is hailed.

bhagavAn bears even the cry of distressed animals – whose words are nothing but unclear sounds – like a huge burden. Thus, he is called ‘Sabdhasaha:’.

This is as said in the vishNu dharma thus: “…remembering his devotion very well…”

Etymology: He, who bears the unclear sounds (calls of distress) of even the animals as a great burden, is called ‘Sabdhasaha:’. This eight lettered manthra is one of the best.

अतिभारमिवास्पष्टं तिरश्चां शब्दमार्जितम् |
सहतॆ यः शब्दसहः वस्वर्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

913) SiSira: (शिशिरः)

Immediately after he heard the elephant’s call of distress, bhagavAn rushed to protect it. Thus, he is called ‘SiSira:’ – the swift one.

The root ‘SaSa’ (शश) is used to mean ‘running fast’. It gets the ‘rak’ (रक्) adjunct by grammatical rules.

The vishNu dharma hails thus: “Having heard the elephant’s distress call, the wielder of chakra and gadhA made his presence in the pond at that instant”.

[NOTE: It is notable that the commentator – SrI parASara bhattar – befittingly salutes this speed of bhagavAn in his sthOthra, where he says “bhagavatha: thvarAyai nama:”. In this SlOka, he shows how bhagavAn rushed to protect the elephant – not even waiting to accept the hand holding of vishvaksEnar, or the gem studded sandals that he usually gives, or even without waiting to ascend the garuda vAhanam, leaving the entire dwelling in utter commotion and setting everyone (including his consorts) thinking as to what happened]

Etymology: He who rushed in order to protect the elephant is called ‘SiSira:’.

गजॆन्द्रपालनार्थं यः शिशिरस्तरसा गतः |

914) SarvarIkara: (शर्वरीकरः)

The root ‘SruNAthi’ शृणाति (to cut into pieces) gets the ‘Svarach’ (श्वरच्) and ‘~jeesh’ (ञीष्) adjuncts, resulting in this divine name.

The word ‘SarvarI’ (शर्वरी), therefore, means the weapons that are violent / causing pain. It refers to the five divine weapons (Sankha, chakra, gadhA, khadga and dhanus) of bhagavAn slaying enemies with ease. Since he holds all these five weapons in his hands (kara: करः), he is called ‘SarvarIkara:’ – the one with the five deadly weapons in his hands.

Etymology: The word ‘SarvarI’ denotes violence (in the form of slaying enemies). The five deadly weapons which slay the oppressors are always present in the hands of bhagavAn. Hence, he is called ‘SarvarIkara:’.

उच्यतॆ शर्वरीशब्दात् हिंसा परविदारिणी |
पञ्चायुधी करॆ चास्यॆत्युदितः शर्वरीकरः ||

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अक्रूरः पॆशलॊ दक्षॊ दक्षिणः क्षमिणांवरः ।
विद्वत्तमॊ वीतभयः पुण्यश्रवणकीर्तनः ॥ ९८ ॥
=============================

915) akrUra: (अक्रूरः)

Even though bhagavAn had all the needed weapons in his hand to deliver the elephant from its distress, he did not kill the crocodile at once either. Thus, he is called ‘akrUra:’ – the non-cruel one.

The root ‘kruth’ कृत् (to cut) gets the ‘rak’ (रक्) adjunct, and changes its form to ‘krU’ (क्रू), resulting in the word ‘krUra:’ (क्रूरः). That means the cruel one who desires to cut apart (the enemy into pieces).

The vishNu dharma says thus: “The lord of unfathomable compassion – madhusUdhana – uplifted both the elephant, which was caught by the crocodile, and the crocodile itself from the pond.”

Etymology: He, who deferred slaying the crocodile even while having all the weapons ready in his hand, is called ‘akrUra:’.

यॊsसौ धृतायुधैर्ग्राहम् अक्रूरॊ मङ्क्ष्वकृत्तवान् |

916) pESala: (पॆशलः)

When bhagavAn came running to protect gajEndhra – the elephant, all of his divine ornaments and robes were scattered and disordered in his rush. These disordered robes and ornaments themselves turned out to be great decoration for him, and he looked beautiful. Thus, he is called ‘pESala:’.

Etymology: He who looked beautiful even with disordered robes and ornaments – which were scattered in his great rush to protect gajEndhra – is called ‘pESala:’.

त्वरातिशयतः स्रस्तस्रग्भूषाम्बरसुन्दरः |
गजॆन्द्ररक्षासमयॆ यॊsसौ स्यात्पॆशलः स्मृतः ||

917) dhaksha: (दक्षः) (also seen in 424)

bhagavAn came running to protect the elephant when it called. Thus, he is called ‘dhaksha:’ – the diligent one.

Etymology: He is called ‘dhaksha:’, who came running (diligently) to protect the elephant.

दक्षॊ यॊ द्रुतमागन्ता रक्षणाय स उच्यतॆ |

918) dhakshiNa: (दक्षिणः)

Even after coming promptly thus, bhagavAn showed his greatness by saying “Down upon myself! I was so far away from you that I delayed in protecting you”. Speaking thus, bhagavAn pacified the distressed elephant gajEndhra, and spoke soothing words to him. Thus, he is called ‘dakshiNa:’ – the one who is most courteous or well mannered.

The word ‘dhaksha’ is used in the context of growing (beyond words, by his deeds). This gets the ‘inan’ (इनन्) adjunct by grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

This is shown in the vishNu dharma thus: “That loveable lotus eyes lord madhusUdhana, who is most affectionate towards the surrendered souls, spoke nectarine soothing words to the elephant”.

Etymology: He who was loveable to the elephant gajEndhra, who surrendered unto him, is called ‘dhakshiNa:’.

गजॆन्द्रस्य प्रपन्नस्य यः प्रियॊ दक्षिणस्तु सः |

919) kshamiNAmvara: (क्षमिणांवरः)

bhagavAn was pacified only after seeing the elephant (with the satisfaction of having come to protect him). Thus, he is called ‘kshamiNAmvara:’.

The vishNu dharma hails thus: “The lord of all dhEvas appeared there, and only then he was satisfied”

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘kshamiNAmvara:’ since he calmed down only after seeing gajEndhra – the elephant.

गजॆन्द्रदर्शनॆनासौ धृतात्मा क्षमिणांवरः |

920) vidhvaththama: (विद्वत्तमः)

bhagavAn was adept at treating the wounds of the elephant. Thus, he is called ‘vidhvaththama:’ – the skilled one.

This is as said in the vishNu dharma thus: “Having spoken soothing words thus, bhagavAn madhusUdhana touched the elephant with his hands…”, etc.

Etymology: The one who was skilled / adept at treating the wounds of the elephant is called ‘vidhvaththama:’.

गजॆन्द्रार्तिचिकित्सायां विद्वान् विद्वत्तमः स्मृतः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 91 (Names 901 to 910)

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

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901) svasthidha: (स्वस्तिदः)

In this way, bhagavAn bestows great auspiciousness upon the liberated souls.  Thus, he is called ‘svasthidha:’.

Etymology: The one who bestows auspiciousness upon his dear devotees is called ‘svasthidha:’.

भक्तॆभ्यॊ मङ्गलं स्वस्तिददानः स्वस्तिदः स्मृतः |

902) svasthikruth (स्वस्तिकृत्)

With his boundless auspicious qualities, bhagavAn bestows himself for the experience of the liberated souls. Hence, he is called ‘svasthikruth’ – the one who does good for the soul.

Etymology: He who gives the divine experience of his auspicious qualities for the liberated souls – which is termed as ‘svasthi’ or wellness for that soul – is called ‘svasthikruth’.

स्वस्ति भॊगाशिषं यस्तु करॊति स्वस्तिकृत् च सः |

903) svasthi: (स्वस्तिः)

bhagavAn is himself the greatest auspicious entity. Thus, he is called ‘svasthi:’.

The word ‘svasthi:’ is generally used in the context of meaning ‘auspiciousness’ or ‘blessing’.

The root ‘as’ (अस्) gets the ‘su’ (सु) adjunct and the ‘thi’ (ति) suffix as per grammatical rules, which results in this divine name.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘svasthi:’, since he is himself the greatest auspicious entity.

महामङ्गलरूपत्वात् स्वयं स्वस्तीति कथ्यतॆ |

904) svasthibhuk (स्वस्तिभुक्)

bhagavAn further protects / enhances all auspiciousness said till now. Thus, he is called ‘svasthibhuk’. The word ‘bhunakthi’ (भुनक्ति) is used to mean protection in this context.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn protects and enhances auspiciousness, he is called ‘svasthibhuk’.

पालनात् मङ्गलस्यैव स्वस्तिभुक् चॆति गम्यतॆ |

905) svasthidhakshiNa: (स्वस्तिदक्षिणः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn carries out this action of giving away himself (स्वात्मदानम्) to the liberated souls as a long term yAgam (दीर्घसत्रम्), which goes on forever. He gives away himself unto the liberated souls. The liberated souls are his officiating priests in this yAgam. He possesses extraordinary wealth that he gives away to these priests as dhakshiNA (donations or gifts), such as a divine body which is eligible and capable for his service, the required powers to carry out such eternal service, etc. Thus, he is called ‘svasthidhakshiNa:’ – the one who donates auspicious things.

Etymology: He, who possesses auspicious offerings such as powers, divine body, his eternal service etc to be given away as donations in the great yAgam of ‘submitting himself’, is called ‘svasthidhakshiNa:’.

शक्त्याद्याः प्रकृतिः स्वस्ति स्वात्मदानं च दक्षिणा |
आत्मार्पणाख्ययागॆ तु यस्यास्ति स्वस्तिदक्षिणः ||

================================
अरौद्रः कुण्डली चक्री विक्रम्यूर्जितशासनः ।
शब्दातिगः शब्दसहः शिशिरः शर्वरीकरः ॥ ९७ ॥
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906) araudhra: (अरौद्रः)

Although possessed with unbounded wealth and mastership over all entities, bhagavAn is ever cool with his auspicious qualities. Thus, he is called ‘araudhra:’ – the calm one.

Etymology: He, who is cool due to his auspicious qualities, although being the master of all entities, is called ‘araudhra:’.

सर्वैश्वर्यॆsपि सुगुणः शीतलॊsरौद्र उच्यतॆ |

907) kuNdalee (कुण्डली)

bhagavAn possesses beautiful ear ornaments (and all other ornaments) at all times, befitting to his divine beauty. Thus, he is called ‘kuNdalee’.

Etymology: The one who is bedecked with divine ornaments (befitting to his matchless beauty) is called ‘kuNdalee’.

दिव्यभूषणवान् यॊsसौ कुण्डलीति प्रकथ्यतॆ |

908) chakrI (चक्री) (also seen in 995)

Similarly, he also wields divine weapons such as the sudharSana chakra, etc. Thus, he is called ‘chakrI’.

Etymology: The one who holds divine weapons at all times is called ‘chakrI’. [NOTE: All these divine names are still referring to bhagavAn’s manifestation in SrIvaikuNtam]

नित्यदिव्यायुधश्चक्री स्यात् |

909) vikramI (विक्रमी) (also seen in 76)

Since bhagavAn shows divine and profound pastimes that are befitting of his high stature and divine qualities, he is called ‘vikramI’.

Etymology: The one who possesses pastimes befitting of his divine stature is called ‘vikramI’.

विलासी तु विक्रमी |

910) UrjithaSAsana: (ऊर्जितशासनः)

bhagavAn’s divine orders cannot be disobeyed even by brahmA, indhra, et al. Thus, he is called ‘UrjithaSAsana:’ – the one with powerful orders.

Etymology: He, whose orders cannot be disobeyed even by brahmA and others, is called ‘UrjithaSAsana:’.

ब्रह्माद्यलङ्घ्यस्वाज्ञॊ यः स स्यादूर्जितशासनः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 90 (Names 891 to 900)

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

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891) naikadha: (नैकदः)

The one who gives just one thing is called ‘Ekadha:’. The opposite of this is ‘naikadha:’ – meaning, the one who gives aplenty.

bhagavAn is the master of divine apsaras (said to be about five hundred in number) who decorate the liberated soul in SrIvaikuNtam with infinite garlands, lampblack for the eyes, robes, etc – generally referred to as ‘brahma-alankAra’. He is therefore called ‘naikadha:’.

The kaushIthaki upanishath says: “That liberated soul (after crossing the viraja river) is surrounded by five hundred apasras. Hundred(s) of them decorate the soul with garlands. Hundred(s) of them come with lampblack in their hands”, etc.

The same is hailed in short elsewhere in kaushIthaki upanishath thus: “That soul is then decorated with ‘brahmAlankAra’”.

Etymology: The master of divine apsaras who decorate the liberated souls with brahmAlankAra is called ‘naikadha:’.

ब्रह्मालङ्कारदायिन्यॊ मुक्तॆभ्यश्च पदॆ पदॆ |
दिव्यास्त्वप्सरसॊ यस्य नैकदः स च कथ्यतॆ ||

892) agraja: (अग्रजः)

bhagavAn finally manifests in front of such a liberated soul (who has undergone the journey in archirAdhi mArga as said so far) along with his divine consort SrI mahAlakshmi – the mistress of all – seated on the serpent throne as detailed in the paryanka vidhyA of upanishaths, in the most desirable form to the soul. He is, therefore, called ‘agraja:’ – the one who manifests in front of the soul.

After all, it is well known that the paryanka vidhyA of upanishaths have hailed this feat beautifully. They start by saying “The soul then approaches the supreme lord seated on the serpent throne with infinite effulgence”, and continue to expound thus: “The supreme lord seated along with his consort SrI mahAlakshmi is approached by that soul. The soul then ascends the lap of bhagavAn by stepping on the serpent throne by his feet! The supreme lord asks the soul ‘who are you?’ and the soul replies ‘I am your manifestation’”, etc. Finally, it concludes by saying “The soul begets the same (fully blossomed) knowledge and (infinite) bliss as that of the supreme brahman and resides with him forever in his service”.

Etymology: He, who manifests out of utter compassion before the liberated souls who have attained the supreme abode, along with his divine consort SrI mahAlakshmi – as detailed in the paryankA vidhya of upanishaths – with the most desirable form, is called ‘agraja:’.

स्वस्याग्रॆ प्राप्तमुक्तानां सर्वॆश्वर्या श्रिया सह |
यथा पर्यङ्कविद्यं च करुणाविष्टचॆतसा |
तद्भॊग्यॊ जायतॆ यश्च सॊsग्रजः परिकीर्तितः ||

893) anirviNNa: (अनिर्विण्णः) (also seen in 436)

In this way, bhagavAn uplifts the fallen souls who have surrendered unto him from the huge pit of samsAra, and makes them attain him. He is thus ridden of his anxiety about that soul (!!!), and rests peacefully looking at the soul for eternity. He is, therefore, called ‘anirviNNa:’ – the one who is devoid of worries.

This emotion of being ridden of anxiety is as seen in SrI rAmAyaNa SlOka, which says “Having coronated vibhIshaNa as the ruler of lankA, rAma felt satisfied that he completed his duty, and rejoiced as if he was ridden of a haunting fever!”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn uplifts the surrendered souls from the huge pit of samsAra and makes them attain him, and thus feels satisfied as if ridden of a fever, and since he keeps looking at those souls for eternity with bliss, he is called ‘anirviNNa:’.

महता प्रणिधानॆन ह्युत्तार्य भवगर्ततः |
प्रापय्य च तमात्मानं कृतकृत्यश्च विज्वरः |
पश्यत्यशॊच्यमॆनं यॊ ह्यनिर्विण्णः स ईरितः ||

894) sadhAmarshI (सदामर्षी)

Thence (since the soul has attained paramapadham), bhagavAn accepts the ‘kainkaryam’ or service of such a liberated soul with great joy, and endures all of their services. Thus, he is called ‘sadhAmarshI’ – the one who accepts the services.

The thaiththirIya upanishath hails thus: “The soul, thereafter, attains all its desires, and resides with the supreme brahman, serving him at all times”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s nature is to endure and joyfully accept the servitude of liberated souls at all times, he is called ‘sadhAmarshI’.

कृतप्रतिकृतं त्वस्य निर्वॊढुं मर्षितुं भवॆत् |
सर्वदा शीलमस्यॆति सदामर्षीति कीर्तितः ||

895) lOkAdhishtAnam (लॊकाधिष्ठानम्)

As hailed in chAndhOgya upanishath, which says “In those extraordinary worlds (in SrIvaikuNtam), which have nothing superior to them…”, bhagavAn is verily the support for all the worlds (which make them supreme) where the liberated souls serve bhagavAn for his enjoyment. Therefore, he is called ‘lOkAdhishtAnam’ – the support for all worlds.

Etymology: The one who is the support for all worlds where the liberated souls serve bhagavAn is called ‘lOkAdhishtAnam’.

लॊकानां मुक्तभॊग्यानां लॊकाधिष्ठानमाश्रयः |

896) adhbhutha: (अद्भुतः)

In the same sense, he is also called ‘adhbhutha:’. The root ‘ath’ (अत्) gets ‘bhu’ (भु) added, with a ‘duthach’ (डुतच्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

It means that bhagavAn – although being endlessly experienced by every soul (liberated and ever-liberated) in every way at every instant – is still amazing as though he has never been experienced before!

Etymology: Although being experienced by every (liberated/ever-liberated) soul in every way at every instant, the one who still appears amazing as though he has never been experienced before is called ‘adhbhutha:’.

सर्वदा सर्वथा सर्वैः भुज्यमानॊsप्यपूर्ववत् |
स्मयनीयॊsद्भुतः प्रॊक्तः |

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सनात्सनातनतमः कपिलः कपिरव्ययः ।
स्वस्तिदः स्वस्तिकृत्स्वस्ति स्वस्तिभुग्स्वस्तिदक्षिणः ॥ ९६ ॥
=====================================

897) sanAth (सनात्)

bhagavAn is collectively hailed by the liberated souls who take turns in serving him in various ways. Thus, he is called ‘sanAth’. This word is derived from ‘gaNa’ (group) of ‘sana:’ (सनः).

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sanAth’ since the liberated souls take turns to serve him (and distribute the service amongst them).

तॆषां सम्भजनात् सनात् |

898) sanAthanathama: (सनातनतमः)

Similarly, he is called ‘sanAthanathama:’ as well. The word ‘sanA’ (सना) is used to mean ‘ancient’ (पुराणः); and the word ‘sanAthana’ suggests that bhagavAn’s form is eternal (which has been existing forever). The word ‘purANa:’ means that which appears new although existing for a long time (evergreen). That means, although bhagavAn exists for eternity (and has been present for a long time), he is experienced like a new entity created just then by the liberated souls.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sanAthanathama:’, since he is experienced by the liberated souls newly at every instant (since he provides a new experience to them at every instant).

नित्यनूतनभॊग्यत्वात् सनातनतमः स्मृतः |

899) kapila: (कपिलः)

How is that form of bhagavAn, which was mentioned in the previous divine name (sanAthanathama:)? It shines with a dazzling colour like an encompassing dark cloud with a streak of bright lightening in the middle. Thus, he is called ‘kapila:’.

(NOTE: The dark cloud is bhagavAn, and the streak of bright lightening in the middle is SrI mahAlakshmi on his chest)

Etymology: He who shines like an encompassing dark cloud in the middle of lightening is called ‘kapila:’. This seven lettered manthra is considered to be one of the greatest.

विद्युन्मण्डलमध्यस्थॊ नीलमॆघवदुज्ज्वलः |
कपिलः स समाख्यातः सप्तवर्णॊ महामनुः ||

900) kapiravyaya: (कपिरव्ययः)

bhagavAn also experiences such unbounded bliss (as seen in the previous divine names) himself. Thus, he is called ‘kapiravyaya:’. The word ‘pAthi’ (पाति) is used to mean ‘enjoys’ in this context.

All dhAthus (roots of verb) get the ‘in’ (इन्) adjunct as per grammatical rules; and the dhIrga of ‘pA’ goes off, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: bhagavAn also enjoys the eternal bliss of experiencing himself, and hence called ‘kapiravyaya:’.

नित्यं सुखं स्वानुभवं पात्ययं कपिरव्ययः |

Thus ends the ninth centum (navama Sathakam) in SrI bhagavath-guNa-dharpaNa, which is an explanation of SrI vishNu sahasranAma, by the scion of SrI hArItha clan, the son of SrIvathsAnka miSra (kUraththAzhwan) – SrIranganAtha by name, also called SrI parASara bhatta, who wrote this glorious commentary at the behest of SrI rangarAja.

The ninth centum is completed.

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi nURRandhAdhi – 44 – Ura ninaindha

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Essence of thiruvAimozhi 5.4

Introduction

In this pAsuram, mAmunigaL is following AzhwAr’s pAsurams of speaking as a nAyaki (heroine, pirAtti, consort of SrIman nArAyaNa) who is suffering in separation due to the lengthy night and is mercifully explaining it.

How is that done? In this manner, AzhwAr, as said in “confusing the true nature of self and emperumAn, we should attain emperumAn even by illegitimate means” becoming bewildered to have great urge in quickly attaining the result, having his clarity subdued by the darkness of ignorance which leads one to other upAyams which are based on self-effort, goes through struggle. This state of AzhwAr is explained by him through the words of a consort who is suffering in separation, and who sets out to perform madal. But by the divine will of providence, the sun set, and in midnight, as there is no scope for the senses to spread out, the suffering in separation became intense; there was no sign of dawn, and the desire for madal subdued and the desire to die increased. But even that was not possible; mAmunigaL mercifully explains these words in the mood of a pirAtti who is suffering in separation in the lengthy night which are explained in thiruvAimozhi 5.4 “UrEllAm thunji” starting with “Ura ninaindha“.

pAsuram

Ura ninaindha madal Uravum oNNAdhapadi
kUr iruL sEr kanguludan kUdi ninRu pErAmal
thIdhu seyya mARan thiruvuLLaththuch chenRa thuyar
Odhuvadhingu enganEyO

Listen

word-by-word meanings

Ura ninaindha – that which was set out to be performed
madal – madal
Uravum oNNAdhapadi – to be unable to
kUr iruL sEr kangul – very dark night
udan kUdi ninRu – along with its associates
pErAmal – without moving away
thIdhu seyya – causing harm
mARan – AzhwAr’s
thiruvuLLaththuch chenRa thuyar – sorrow which reached his divine heart
ingu Odhuvadhu – to explain here
enganE – how is it possible?
O – alas?

Simple Translation

Alas! How is it possible to explain here the sorrow which reached the divine heart of AzhwAr where the very dark night along with its associates caused harm, without moving away, to not allow him to perform the madal which he set out to perform?

Highlights from vyAkyAnam

  • Ura ninaindha madal – The madal which he thought of performing as said in thiruvAimozhi 5.3.9kudhiriyAy madal UrdhumE” (be a shameless girl who cannot be controlled by anyone and will engage in madal).
  • Ura oNNAdhapadi – Unable to engage in the madal since the sun set, all of those who speak pleasing words, those who give advice and those who throw accusations, went to sleep, and darkness surrounded.
  • kUr iruL sEr kanguludan kUdi ninRu pErAmal thIdhu seyya – Further, the night with great darkness, along with its army of associates, caused harm, without moving away. That is, as said in sIthAp pirAtti’s actions in fear of rAvaNa’s illusory acts, as seen in SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28.18 “sIthAtha vENyudhgrathanam gruhIthvA” (thereafter, sIthA holding her braid of hair looking like a hanging rope) and SrI rAmAyaNam sundhara kANdam 28.16 “vishasaya dhAthA nahimE’sthi kaSchich chasathrasya vA vESma ni rAkshasasya” (To me, none is there, who is a giver either of a poison or of a sharp weapon in the house of rAvaNa). The night, along with darkness, is causing great harm as said in:
  • Ur ellAm thunji ulagellAm naLLiruLAy nIr ellAm thERi Or nIL iravAay nINdadhAl (The whole town is asleep; the whole world is filled with abundant darkness; the water bodies are all quiet, without any tides; there is just night with no difference between day and night, where the night is extended and stretched so that there appears no end to it) [1st pAsuram]
  • mAvikAramAy Or val iravAy nINdadhAl (The lengthy night which is having a well developed state and is very dense, extended without an end) [2nd pAsuram]
  • Oyum pozhidhilllai UzhiyAy nINdadhAl (the already extending night is not having the ending time and is appearing to be stretched like a kalpa) [3rd pAsuram]
  • oNsudarOn vArAdhoLiththAn (The radiant sun which is attractive during the time of dawn is not coming and hid himself ) [4th pAsuram]
  • munninRirA Uzhi kaN pudhaiya mUdiRRAl (the night which is like a kalpa, is standing in front of me to conceal my vision by covering my eye) [6th pAsuram]
  • kangiruLin nuN thuLiyAych chEtpAla thUzhiyAych chelginRa kangul vAy (very lengthy passing night which is like a kalpa having abundant darkness and tiny misty droplets) [7th pAsuram]
  • Or iravu Ezh UzhiyAy (One night comes to the forefront and stands, and makes me feel like seven kalpa) [8th pAsuram]
  • vIngiruLinuN thuLiyAy (The current night which is having huge darkness and tiny mist droplets) [9th pAsuram]
  • selginRa kangul vAy (the night which is continuing) [10th pAsuram]

Since, this is the current state,

  • mARan thiruvuLLaththuch chenRa thuyar Odhuvadhu ingu enganEyO – mAmunigaL is saying this. mARan thiruvuLLaththuch chenRa thuyar means the sorrow which was felt in AzhwAr’s divine heart as revealed in:
    • pAr ellAm uNda nam pAmbaNaiyAn vArAnAl Ar ellE valvinaiyEn Avi kAppAr iniyE (emperumAn who kept the whole earth which was in danger due to praLaya, in his stomach and protected it, who is having thiruvanthAzhwAn, his servitor as his bed and protecting him, who is the refuge for us, has not arrived and protected us; alas! now, when the protector has not helped, who is the protector for this AthmA, that is, I who am a sinner, having very strong sins? ) [1st pAsuram]
    • Avi kAppAr iniyAr (who is the protector for my life?) [2nd pAsuram]
    • nIyum pAngallai kAN nenjamE! mAyum vagai aRiyEn val vinaiyEn peN piRandhE (Oh heart! you, the main cause for all actions, are not obedient; the already extending night is not having the ending time and is appearing to be stretched like a kalpa; SrI rAma, chakravarthi thirumangan who is having the cruel SrI SArnga [bow] which roasts the enemies of his devotees and who is born in the family heritage which gives great importance to helping others, has not helped me like he helped sIthA, the divine daughter of king SrI janaka; I who am having great sins, having been born as a woman, don’t know the ways to finish myself.) [3rd pAsuram]
    • eN periya sindhai nOy thIrppArAr ennaiyE? (who will eliminate the great mental anguish of mine which is beyond the conception of thoughts?) [4th pAsuram]
    • pEr ennai mAyAdhAl val vinaiyEn pin ninRE (standing behind me, the very strong sins are not allowing me to die and making me exist only for namesake; this being the case, who will protect me?) [5th pAsuram]
    • inninRa nILAvi kAppAr Ar ivvidaththE (in this situation who is the protector for this eternal AthmA which is not weakened even after experiencing sorrows eternally?) [6th pAsuram]
    • thIppAla val vinaiyEn dheyvangAL en seygEnO? (Oh dhEvathAs! What shall I, who am having very strong sins which are burning like fire, do?) [7th pAsuram]
    • enadhAvi melivikkum (weakens my prANa) [8th pAsuram]
    • nenjidar thIrppAr iniyAr? ninRuruguginREnE (now, who is the destroyer of the suffering in my mind?) [9th pAsuram]
  • Continued – Such sorrow can only be spoken by AzhwAr himself and no one else. His sorrow is beyond speech. Hence mAmunigaL becomes immersed in emotions thinking “how can we speak about that which cannot be spoken about?” enganEyO can also be considered as indicating a colloquial way of wondering how to speak.

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 89 (Names 881 to 890)

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881) jyOthi: (ज्यॊतिः)

bhagavAn himself becomes the first step called ‘light’ or archis (अर्चिस्) in the ascension of an individual soul to the supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam (thence, the divine route called archirAdhi mArgam to ascend to SrIvaikuNtam is hailed). Thus, he is called ‘jyOthi:’ – the divine light. It means that everything (specifically, the way to SrIvaikuNtam) is enlightened by him.

The root ‘dhyuthi’ द्युतिः (light) changes form to ‘dyOthi:’ (द्यॊतिः) gets the ‘dha’ (द) replaced by ‘ja’ (ज), resulting in this divine name.

The chAndhOgya upanishath hails thus: “They (the learned souls who are about to be liberated) get into the path of light”

bhagavAn, who is pleased with an individual soul’s devotion unto him in this material world, has deployed some agents who help the soul cross the ocean of samsAra and reach the other shore called SrIvaikuNtam. These agents (called ‘athivAhika’s अतिवाहिकाः) are verily the archis and others, which we would see in the forthcoming divine names.

Even the brahmasUthras discuss this in detail in the aphorisms such as these:

  • “The individual soul takes the archirAdhi mArga, as ordained in the SAsthras’.
  • “They are called AthivAhikas’ by their disposition”, et al.

Etymology: He who is the first step called ‘light’ (or shows the first step called ‘light’) in the path of an individual soul in attaining him is called ‘jyOthi:’.

स्वप्राप्तॆः साधनत्वाद्यः स्वयं नित्यं विशॆषतः |
अर्चिरादिगतॆर्ज्यॊतिः प्रथमं पर्व कथ्यतॆ ||

882) suruchi: (सुरुचिः)

The word ‘ruchi:’ (रुचिः) means to exhilarate with sunrise. Since bhagavAn himself is of the form of such exhilaration, and divine in nature, he is called ‘suruchi:’. This represents the second step in archirAdhi mArgam, called ‘aha:’ अहस् (day).

The chAndhOgya upanishath says “… from the path of light, the soul then moves on to the path of day (the path of the abhimAni devatha of daytime)”

Etymology: He who possesses the auspicious path called ‘day’ (or who is of the form of ‘day’ for reaching SrIvaikuNtam) is called ‘suruchi:’.

अहः शुभं यस्य स वै सुरुचिः परिकीर्तितः |

883) huthabhugvibhu: (हुतभुग्विभुः)

The partaker of fire oblations that turn into nectar – sOma or chandhra – attains completion (becomes ‘vibhu’) during the bright fortnight called ‘Sukla paksha’, only due to bhagavAn’s grace. bhagavAn is, therefore, called ‘huthabhugvibhu:’.

This divine name talks about the third step in archirAdhi mArgam called ‘Suklapaksha’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath says “From the day, the soul further moves to Suklapaksha or the bright fortnight”.

Etymology: He, in whose association chandhra – the partaker of oblations that turn into nectar – attains completion, is called ‘huthabhugvibhu:’.

हुतं सुधापरिणतं भुञ्जानश्चन्द्रमास्तथा |
विभुः पूर्णॊ भवॆत् यस्मिन् स वै स्यात् हुतभुग्विभुः ||

884) ravi: (रविः)

bhagavAn is praised through the period of time called ‘uththarAyaNa’, which is the duration when the sun moves towards north – a period considered to be the ‘waking time’.

Thus, he is called ‘ravi:’. This is the fourth step in the archirAdhi mArga, called ‘uththarAyaNam’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath continues thus: “From the path of bright fortnight, the soul then moves onto the path of six months called uththarAyaNa”.

Etymology: He who is celebrated by the period of time called ‘uththarAyaNa’ is called ‘ravi:’. This manthra confers praise upon the chanters.

यश्चॊत्तरायणद्वारा रूयतॆsत्र प्रशस्यतॆ |
स वै रविः समाख्यातः प्राशस्त्यफलदॊ मनुः ||

885) virOchana: (विरॊचनः)

bhagavAn manifests as a ‘samvathsara’ or a year, which comprises of the two ayanas – representing the movement of sun throughout the year. He illuminates even the sun in his chariot during those ayaNas. Therefore, he is called ‘virOchana:’ – the illuminator.

This divine name represents the fifth stage in the archirAdhi mArga, called ‘samvathsara:’ or ‘year’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath continues thus: “From the six months of uththarAyaNa, the soul further moves onto the path of ‘year’”.

It is also said thus in the thaiththirIya nyAsavidhyA : “This sun is verily the one who manifests as a year”.

Etymology: He who causes the sun to shine in the two ayaNas (and thus manifests as a year) is called ‘virOchana:’. This manthra confers effulgence upon the chanter.

अयनद्वयगत्याsर्कं यॊ विरॊचयति स्वयम् |
विरॊचन इति ख्यातः प्रकाशफलदॊ मनुः ||

886) sUrya: (सूर्यः)

bhagavAn is called ‘sUrya:’, because the wind flows only because of him.

This divine name is derived from the forms of ‘rAjasUryasUrya:’ and the likes. The ‘kruth’ (कृत्) adjunct is used, which shows the desirability of the said object in all places.

This divine name shows the sixth level in the archirAdhi mArga, called ‘vAyulOka’.

The kaushIthaki upanishath says “The soul then enters the vAyulOka or the world of wind god”.

Etymology: He, by whom the wind flows, is hailed by the six lettered manthra with the divine name ‘sUrya:’.

वायुः सरति यस्माद्धि तस्मात् सूर्यः षडक्षरः |

887) savithA (सविता) (also seen in 969)

bhagavAn is instrumental in producing rain, crops, etc through sunshine (his manifestation as the sun). Thus, he is called ‘savithA’.

This represents the seventh stage in archirAdhi mArga, called ‘sUrya maNdala’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath says “From the path of the ‘year’, he moves on to the path of ‘sun’”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn produces rain, crops, etc through sunshine, he is called ‘savithA’.

वृष्टिसस्यादिकं सूतॆ सवितॆति रवॆर्मुखात् |

888) ravilOchana: (रविलॊचनः)

With the effulgent rays of the sun, bhagavAn illuminates the moon, lightening and the god of showers – varuNa. Thus, he is called ‘ravilOchana:’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath says: “From the path of the sun, the soul then moves on to the path of the moon; from the moon, he moves further up to the path of lightening. He then reaches the world of varuNa”.

This divine name shows the eighth, ninth and tenth levels of archirAdhi mArga in that order (moon, lightening and varuNa).

Etymology: Since bhagavAn constantly illuminates the moon, lightening and varuNa with the effulgent rays of the sun, he is called ‘ravilOchana:’.

सूर्यस्य रश्मिसम्बन्धात् विद्युद्वरुणचन्द्रकान् |
निरन्तरं लॊचयति रविलॊचन ईरितः ||

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अनन्तहुतभुग्भॊक्ता सुखदॊ नैकदॊsग्रजः ।
अनिर्विण्णः सदामर्षी लॊकाधिष्ठानमद्भुतः ॥ ९५ ॥
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889) ananthahuthabhugbhOkthA (अनन्तहुतभुग्भॊक्ता)

The one who accepts the oblations offered in the sacred fire is called ‘huthabhuk’. This name represents the king of dhEvas namely indhra.

The one who procreates and looks after the creatures in this creation is called ‘bhOkthA’. This name represents the four faced brahmA.

Since bhagavAn is the master of these souls like indhra, brahmA et al, he is called ‘ananthahuthabhugbhOkthA’.

The kaushIthaki upanishath says: “He then moves to the world of indhra. Then he moves to the world of the four faced brahmA”.

These represent the eleventh and twelfth levels in the archirAdhi mArga respectively.

Etymology: indhra is called ‘huthabhuk’, and the four faced brahmA is called ‘bhOkthA’. The master of these two entities at all times is called ‘ananthahuthabhugbhOkthA’.

मरुत्त्वान् हुतभुग्भॊक्ता यॊ भुनक्ति प्रजा विधिः |
सॊsनन्तहुतभुग्भॊक्ता महान्तौ यस्य तौ सदा ||

890) sukhadha: (सुखदः) (also seen in 460)

bhagavAn – with his divine touch through the agent named ‘amAnava’ (अमानवः) – removes the binding of a soul in this samsAra completely, and bestows the joy of uniting with him in his eternal abode. He is, therefore, called ‘sukhadha:’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath says: “He is called ‘amAnava’. He is the one who takes these souls to the supreme lord SrIman nArAyaNa”

Etymology: He, who removes the shackles of samsAra and gives the joy of attaining himself (in his eternal abode) by means of amAnava’s touch, is called ‘sukhadha:’.

अमानवकरस्पर्शात् भवमुत्सार्य सत्वरम् |
स्वप्राप्तिलक्षणसुखं ददाति सुखदश्च सः||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 88 (Names 871 to 880)

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

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सत्त्ववान् सात्त्विकः सत्यः सत्यधर्मपरायणः ।
अभिप्रायः प्रियार्हॊsर्हः प्रियकृत् प्रीतिवर्धनः ॥ ९३ ॥
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871) saththvavAn (सत्त्ववान्)

Thence, bhagavAn’s divine quality of ‘saththva’ is hailed. The divine quality of saththva, which acts as the root for attaining mOksha by enabling a soul attain the treasure of bliss easily through complete enlightenment, is based entirely in bhagavAn. Thus, he is called ‘saththvavAn’ – the possessor of saththva.

The scriptures hail thus:

“He is indeed the great lord; the bestower of all desires. He is indeed the one who enhances saththva in the individual souls”

The other two qualities of rajas and thamas – or their mixture thereof – are found in the four faced brahmA and Siva respectively. This is reinstated by Siva himself in SrI varAha purANa thus: “An individual soul is released from the bondage of samsAra only by developing saththva. This liberating quality of saththva is owned by nArAyaNa. When this saththva is mixed with rajas, the soul becomes materially rich and famous. This quality (mixture of rajas and saththva) is found in the four faced brahmA, as seen in all scriptures. When both rajas and thamas mix with saththva, then the resulting quality is seen in me. There is no doubt about it.”

Etymology: He, who is verily the base for the divine quality of saththva – which acts as the root for attaining mOksha by enabling a soul attain the treasure of bliss easily through complete enlightenment – is called ‘saththvavAn’.

प्रकाशलाघवसुखसम्पदा मॊक्षसाधनम् |
सत्त्वं साक्षादधिष्ठॆयं यस्यासौ सत्त्ववान् स्मृतः ||

872) sAththvika: (सात्त्विकः)

bhagavAn is also the master of saththva because he is the one who bestows the fruits of dharma or righteousness, knowledge, renunciation, wealth etc, which are the outcomes of the quality of saththva. Thus, he is called ‘sAththvika:’.

Since bhagavAn is only eligible of bestowing such fruits, the word ‘saththva’ gets the ‘tak’ (ठक्) adjunct as per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: He, who bestows the fruits in the form of knowledge, wealth, renunciation and righteousness to the seekers – which are all a result of saththva guNa, and hence is fit to be called as the abode of saththva, is called as ‘sAhtthvika:’.

विज्ञानैश्व्यर्यवैराग्यधर्मरूपफलं स्वयम् |
नियम्यार्हति सत्त्वं यः सात्त्विकः परिकीर्तितः ||

873) sathya: (सत्यः) (also seen in 107, 213)

Since bhagavAn is hailed by the sAththvika SAsthras, and since he thus possesses true glories, he is called ‘sathya:’. SrI mahAbhAratha says thus in this regard: “krishNa is established in truth, and truth is established in krishNa. That supreme lord gOvindha is also present in both the sentient and insentient entities. Therefore, the learned men call him ‘sathya’ ”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses true glories as hailed in the sAththvika SAsthras, he is called ‘sathya:’.

यथार्थवैभवः सत्यः श्रुतः सात्त्विकशास्त्रतः |

874) sathyadharmaparAyaNa: (सत्यधर्मपरायणः)

The people who practice the highest dharma which instigates saththva, without any expectations in return, are most dear to bhagavAn. Thus, he is called ‘sathya-dharma-parAyaNa:’. The word ‘parAyaNam’ (परायणम्) in this context is understood to mean ‘extremely endearing’ (परमप्रीणनम्).

Etymology: He, unto whom the sincere devotee – who practices the lofty ‘dharma’ that instigates saththva, without any expectations in return – is very dear, is called ‘sathyadharmaparAyaNa:’.

उपाधिरहितः सत्त्वमुख्यॊ धर्मः परायणम् |
परमप्रीणनॊ यस्य सत्यधर्मपरायणः ||

875) abhiprAya: (अभिप्रायः)

bhagavAn is also the dearest to those devotees, who abide by true ‘dharma’ with a pure mind, and desire the association of bhagavAn unconditionally. Therefore, he is called ‘abhiprAya:’ – the one who is on the mind of his devotees.

Etymology: He, who is dearest to the person who follows the principles of scriptures in their true purport with unconditional love for him, is known by the divine name ‘abhiprAya:’. This eight lettered manthra is one of the best.

स्वच्छॆन धर्मनिष्ठॆन यॊsभितः प्रॆयतॆ पुनः |
निरुपाधिकमुद्दॆश्यतयाsसावभिसंहितः |
अभिप्राय इति ज्ञॆयॊ वस्वर्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

876) priyArha: (प्रियार्हः)

bhagavAn befittingly has such devotees who hold him close to their hearts as his worthy possession. Thus, he is called ‘priyArha:’. After all, bhagavAn is known to be inclined towards the knowledgeable souls (ज्ञानिनः) who show single minded devotion towards him. He only caters to the other three categories of people namely desperate souls who want to regain lost wealth (आर्ताः), ambitious souls who want to gain new wealth (अर्थार्थिनः) and inquisitive souls who want to experience themselves (जिज्ञासवः) due to sheer force of his compassion (and not out of his voluntary liking).

bhagavAn himself declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Out of the four categories of people who worship me, oh arjuna, I like the knowledgeable souls (pure hearted devotees) the most, and those noble souls hold me dear to them”

Etymology: He who holds such a noble soul (who shows single minded devotion as shown in the previous divine name) as his prized possession is called ‘priyArha:’.

एतदर्थ्यज्ञानिनं यः प्रियार्हः प्रियमर्हति |

877) arha: (अर्हः)

Even for the devotees who have single minded devotion unto bhagavAn, he is only the most befitting destination. Thus, he is called ‘arha:’ – the prized possession of devotees.

bhagavAn declares this, again, in the bhagavath gIthA: “That devotee comes to me considering that I am the only ultimate destination for him”.

Etymology: He is called ‘arha:’, who is the befitting master of the devotees having single minded devotion unto him.

अनन्यॆच्छावतां पुंसां यॊग्यः सॊsर्ह इति स्मृतः |

878) priyakruth (प्रियकृत्)

bhagavAn also makes himself dear to those who worship other demigods by granting their desires and alluring them slowly. Thus, he is called ‘priyakruth’.

The scriptures quote bhagavAn thus: “Although a person is highly material-minded earlier, when he comes to me for refuge, I shall eventually make him practice all actions without expectations of any fruits (and desire only me)”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn makes himself dear to even the worshippers of demigods by granting all of their wishes and alluring them into his fold, he is called ‘priyakruth’.

भक्तान् अन्यपरान् एवं स्वप्रियान् कुरुतॆ सदा |
छन्दानुवर्तनॆनॆति प्रियकृत् स निगद्यतॆ ||

879) prIthivardhana: (प्रीतिवर्धनः)

bhagavAn also increases the new found love towards himself amongst such devotees by showing them his unbounded qualities incrementally.

bhagavAn himself declares thus: “I eventually bestow the maturity in knowledge (devotion) upon those people who sing my praise with love”

Etymology: He, who increases the love towards himself amongst the devotees by showing them more and more of his divine qualities (which are infinite and auspicious), is called ‘prIthivardhana:’.

गुणाविष्करणान्नित्यं उत्तरॊत्तरतॊsधिकम् |
यस्तु प्रीतिं वर्धयति प्रीतिवर्धन ईरितः ||

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विहायसगतिर्ज्यॊतिः सुरुचिर्हुतभुग्विभुः ।
रविर्विरॊचनः सूर्यः सविता रविलॊचनः ॥ ९४ ॥
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880) vihAyasagathi: (विहायसगतिः)

For all such devotees who have eventually turned to bhagavAn and matured to a level of having single minded devotion in him, bhagavAn only becomes the cause for their attainment of the supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam. Thus, he is called ‘vihAyasagathi:’. The word ‘vihAyasa’ (विहायसः) means the supreme sky (also called paramavyOma, or paramapadha, which refers to SrIvaikuNtam), and ‘gathi:’ represents ‘the means’.

bhagavAn himself declares thus: “Having enjoyed all the desired fruits in this samsAra, you shall finally remember me on your death bed and attain my supreme abode by my grace”.

The brahma sUthras also opine thus: “The noble soul (who has attained the knowledge about the supreme brahman) will be shown the path of liberation with the divine light (archis). Finding this path is not difficult for such a learned soul, for he would find it with his knowledge and bhagavAn’s grace (bhagavAn waits as an indweller in every soul just to show this route). He then gets to remember bhagavAn at that final moment, and exits the mortal body through the 101st nAdi (energy channel) called ‘sushumnA’”.

Etymology: He, who is the cause for such devotees who have eventually developed devotion towards him to finally attain the supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam (called ‘vihAyasa’), is called ‘vihAyasagathi:’.

निरूढभक्तियुक्तैर्हि नित्यं यस्मात्तु गम्यतॆ |
विहायसः परं व्यॊम विहायसगतिस्तु सः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 87 (Names 861 to 870)

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

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धनुर्धरॊ धनुर्वॆदॊ दण्डॊ दमयितादमः ।
अपराजितः सर्वसहॊ नियन्ता नियमॊ यमः ॥ ९२ ॥
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861) dhanurdhara: (धनुर्धरः)

bhagavAn himself holds a mighty bow in order to protect such devotees who have earlier deviated from the path of yOga, but now desire to come back to him. Therefore, he is called ‘dhanurdhara:’ – the wielder of bow.

This is shown in SrI rAmAyaNa thus:

  • “… (Only in order to protect the sages in this forest) I wield this bow”
  • “A bow shall be held by kshathriyas, ready to be wielded, so that there is no distress call at anytime”

Etymology: He, who wields a bow at all times in order to remove the obstacles in the path of his devotees who worship him with love, is called ‘dhanurdhara:’.

उपासकानां भक्तॆर्यः प्रत्यूहविनिवृत्तयॆ |
धनुषॊ धारकॊ नित्यं स्वयं स स्यात् धनुर्धरः ||

862) dhanurvEdha: (धनुर्वॆदः)

The other dhEvas and the human rulers also learn the art of archery from bhagavAn through the related scriptures given by him. Therefore, he is called ‘dhanurvEdha:’ – the provider of scriptures for archery.

Etymology: He, from whom even the rulers of dhEvas, manushyas et al obtain the skills of archery through the scriptures provided by him, is called ‘dhanurvEdha:’. This eight lettered manthra benefits in the learning of archery.

सुरॆन्द्राद्याः धनुःशास्त्रं यस्मात् विन्दन्ति स श्रुतः |
धनुर्वॆदॊ ह्यष्टवर्णॊ धनुर्वॆदप्रदायकः ||

863) dhaNda: (दण्डः)

bhagavAn punishes the evil souls through the virtuous rulers who always protect the dharma expounded in the vEdhas. Therefore, he is called ‘dhaNda:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘dhaNda:’ since he punishes the evil souls through the virtuous rulers who safeguard the dharma expounded in vEdhas.

वॆदधर्मारिष्टतातिनृपादिमुखतः खलान् |
दण्डनीत्या दण्डयतीत्यसौ दण्डः प्रकीर्तितः ||

864) dhamayithA (दमयिता)

Not stopping with controlling the bad elements through righteous rulers, bhagavAn also controlled the evil minded rAvaNa and others in his own form. Thus, he is called ‘dhamayithA’.

Etymology: The slayer of rAvaNa and other evil minded souls in his own form is called ‘damayithA’.

ताच्छील्यात् रावणादीनां हर्ता दमयिता स्वयम् |

865) adhama: (अदमः)

While bhagavAn controls every soul thus (as seen in the previous divine name), there is none who can control bhagavAn. Thus, he is called ‘adhama:’ – the one who is beyond anyone’s control.

This is hailed thus in SrI mahAbhAratha: “janArdhana can turn the entire world into ashes by his mere thought. But even if the entire world came together, nothing can be done to him!”

Etymology: He who has no controller is called ‘adhama:’.

कश्चिद्दमयिता नास्ति यस्यासावदमः स्मृतः |

866) aparAjitha: (अपराजितः)

While bhagavAn controls all individual souls thus in all aspects, he is himself invincible by anyone, anywhere, anytime and in anyway. Thus, he is called ‘aparAjitha:’ – the invincible.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “…that krishNa, who is invincible…”
  • “What is not won by him, who has verily bhagavAn janArdhana – the supreme lord SrI hari who is the supreme master of all worlds – as his minister, protector, and a close confidante?”

Etymology: He, who has no impediments whatsoever from anyone anywhere and anytime while he controls all souls, is called ‘aparAjitha:’.

क्वचित्कदाचित्कस्माच्चित् सर्वतॊमुखशासनॆ |
यस्य प्रतिहतिर्नास्ति स वै स्यादपराजितः ||

867) sarvasaha: (सर्वसहः)

By his orders, bhagavAn makes even other dhEvas eligible of worship by ignorant souls. he is therefore called ‘sarvasaha:’. The root ‘sah’ (सह्) in this context means to bear/hold in position.

Etymology: He who holds all dhEvas (demigods) as fit for worship by ignorant souls is called ‘sarvasaha:’.

मन्दाधिकारिणां सर्वम् आराध्यत्वॆन दैवतम् |
बिभर्ति सहतॆ यस्तु स सर्वसह ईरितः ||

868) niyanthA (नियन्ता)

bhagavAn also stimulates the interests of such ignorant souls to worship the lowly demigods as per their individual tastes, and thus exercises his control over all of them. He is thus called ‘niyanthA’ – the controller.

bhagavAn himself declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Oh arjuna! In whichever form (through whichever dhEvatha) a devotee would desire to come to me, I steady their faith in the same form”

Etymology: He who controls the individual souls by engaging the ignorant souls in worship of the demigods as per their interests is called ‘niyanthA’.

दैवतॆषु च सर्वॆषु तत्तदिच्छां प्ररॊचयन् |
मन्दाधिकारिणॊ यॊsसौ नियन्ता स्यान्नियच्छति ||

869) niyama: (नियमः) (also seen in 163)

When such ignorant souls worship the demigods, it is indeed bhagavAn who manifests as the indweller of such demigods and bestows the fruits of worship such as longevity, wealth etc.

The root ‘yam’ (यम्) gets the ‘ni’ (नि) suffix and ‘ap’ (अप्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

bhagavAn himself declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Oh arjuna! Having worshipped the demigods for temporary fruits, the worshipper would beget those fruits from me only – who manifests in the form of their deities”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows the fruits of wealth etc to the worshippers of demigods (by being their indweller), he is called ‘niyama:’.

भॊगादिकं नियम्यास्मिन् लम्भयन् नियमः स्मृतः |

870) yama: (यमः) (also seen in 164)

bhagavAn is the one who conducts the demigods by giving them the power to bestow the desired fruits such as wealth, long life, etc. Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘yama:’.

Verily the god of death – yama – says thus in the vishNu purANa: “bhagavAn vishNu is the one who controls even me”

In this way, bhagavAn controls the souls who are filled with qualities of rajas and thamas.

Etymology: He is called ‘yama:’, who controls even the demigods such as yama et al – who bestow the desired fruits.

यमादीन् यच्छति यमस्तत्तत्फलनियामकान् |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 86 (Names 851 to 860)

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

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भारभृत् कथितॊ यॊगी यॊगीशः सर्वकामदः ।
आश्रमः श्रमणः क्षामः सुपर्णॊ वायुवाहनः ॥ ९१ ॥
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851) bhArabhruth (भारभृत्)

bhagavAn is indeed the one who has borne the entire responsibility of the liberated souls, in terms of freeing such individual souls (interested in attaining mOksha) from the bondages of samsAra, and bestowing their true identity and thereby enabling them to attain him for eternity. Therefore, he is called ‘bhArabhruth’ – the one who takes on the responsibility.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bears the responsibility of liberating the bounded souls (desiring mOksha) from the shackles of samsAra and eventually enabling them in attaining him, he is called ‘bhArabhruth’. The chanting of this seven lettered manthra bestows the strength to carry out the desired works for the chanter.

मुक्तानां बन्धमॊक्षादिभारस्य भरणाद्धि सः |
भारभृत् सप्तवर्णः स्यात् कार्यनिर्वाहशक्तिदः ||

852) kathitha: (कथितः)

All auspicious qualities that have been expounded till now, as well as those that shall be expounded hereafter, are shown to be found in bhagavAn. This is evident from all the scriptures, which hail the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn immensely. This attribute of bhagavAn is shown in this divine name ‘kathitha:’, which means he is the one who is immensely hailed by the scriptures.

This can be illustrated thus from the scriptures:

  • “Oh bhagavAn, you are hailed in all vEdhas, upanishaths, all limbs of the vEdhas, purANas, ithihAsas, etc”
  • “Oh scion of the bharatha clan, bhagavAn vishNu is glorified in the beginning, middle and end of (in other words, throughout) the various scriptures such as vEdhas, SrI rAmAyaNa, SrIman mahAbhAratha, etc”
  • “He is the one who is hailed by every word in the scriptures”, etc.

Etymology: He who is hailed by the scriptures for his possession of all auspicious qualities is called ‘kathitha:’.

उक्तः शास्त्रॆषु कथितः यः सर्वगुणवत्तया |

853) yOgI (यॊगी)

bhagavAn is called ‘yOgI’ because he is capable of making all these (the feats expounded till now) happen. The word ‘yOga:’ (यॊगः) means that with which two things are united. It is also a great capability of making impossible things happen. This attribute is present in bhagavAn to a great extent at all times, which is why he is called ‘yOgI’ – the one with yOga.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “Oh arjuna, see my yOga (powers) in its entirety” (viSvarUpa pradharSanam)
  • “…where the lord of all yOgas – krishNa – resides…”
  • “…that yOga, which is obtained by the lord of yOgas – krishNa himself…”
  • “The supreme lord hari is a great master of all yOgas”, etc.

Etymology: The word ‘yOga:’ means to accomplish a feat which is otherwise impossible for anyone else. He, who possesses this distinguished capability to the fullest at all times, is hailed as ‘yOgI’.

यॊगॊ ह्यघटितार्थस्य घटनं तॆन सर्वथा |
यस्यास्ति नित्यसम्बन्धः स यॊगी परिकीर्तितः ||

854) yOgISa: (यॊगीशः)

bhagavAn is the master of even the bounded souls who are yOgis (who were/are bounded and born in this material creation) such as sanaka et al, who are naturally engrossed in samAdhi (communion with bhagavAn). He is therefore called ‘yOgISa:’.

The vishNu purANa hails thus: “bhagavAn is the one who further sanctified the already pure souls such as sanandhana, et al.”

Etymology: The master of all yOgis such as sanaka, sanandhana, et al is called ‘yOgISa:’.

यॊगीशः सनकादीनां यॊगिनां धुर्य उच्यतॆ |

855) sarvakAmadha: (सर्वकामदः)

bhagavAn is himself the one who bestows the desired lowly material rewards such as the eight siddhis (aNima, mahima, etc) even for those who slip from the discipline of ‘yOga’ (of single minded contemplation on bhagavAn without desiring such lowly benefits). Thus, he is called ‘sarvakAmadha:’ – the bestower of all desires.

bhagavAn himself claims thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “… (such souls with a desire in heart) shall enjoy the pleasures in the higher worlds (heaven, etc) for a long time, and shall be reborn in the house of an austere devotee after fulfilling all their desires”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows all the desired benefits such as aNima, etc (the eight sidhdhis) upon those who slip away from the discipline of yOga – as a break in their endeavour to attain mukthi, he is called ‘sarvakAmadha:’.

अणिमादीन् सर्वकामान् यॊगस्खलितयॊगिनाम् |
अन्तरायतया मुक्तॆः ददत्स्यात् सर्वकामदः ||

856) ASrama: (आश्रमः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn himself pulls back such deviated souls (who strayed away from the path of yOga, as seen in the previous divine name) from wrong ways and places them in the houses of vaishNavas – who are well versed in the knowledge pertaining to the supreme brahman. In this way, bhagavAn puts such souls to rest. Thus, he is called ‘ASrama:’.

As seen before, bhagavAn himself declares thus in bhagavath gIthA: “… (such yOgis who have enjoyed the material benefits for a while amidst their endeavour) shall eventually be born in the houses of the learned scholars”

Etymology: He, who provides asylum to the souls – who had gone astray from the path of yOga – in the house of learned SrI vaishNavas who are well taught about the supreme brahman, is called ‘ASrama:’.

तॆषां तु यॊगभ्रष्टानां हॆतुर्वैष्णवसद्मसु |
सुभिक्षपरविद्यॆषु विश्रान्तॆराश्रम स्मृतः ||

857) SramaNa: (श्रमणः)

Although the deviated souls have desired for some temporary material benefits amidst their samAdhi, bhagavAn still retains their ‘samskAra’ (the subtle impressions) of samAdhi and resumes their endeavour from where they left – without any difficulties. Thus, bhagavAn becomes instrumental in making such fallen souls resume their journey on the path of samAdhi. Therefore, he is called ‘SramaNa:’.

The root ‘Sram’ श्रम् (to exert) gets the ‘ana’ (अन) adjunct, which changes to ‘aNa’ (अण) as per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

bhagavAn says thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Having born in such pious families of vaishNavas, such souls shall regain their knowledge from where they left in their earlier births”

Etymology: bhagavAn resumes the spiritual endeavours of deviated souls in their subsequent births by retaining their impressions of earlier samAdhi – which are never lost even when they are enjoying the lowly temporary fruits for a while. Thus, he is called ‘SramaNa:’.

अक्षीणपूर्वसंस्कारैः जन्मनाsनुभवॆन सः |
श्रम्यतॆsभ्यस्यतॆsनॆन  श्रमणः परिकीर्तितः ||

858) kshAma: (क्षामः) (also seen in 444)

In this way, bhagavAn enables even the fallen individual souls who deviate from the path of yOga to cross the mighty ocean of samsAra – even if they just show their willingness to be in communion with himself later. Thus, he is called ‘kshAma:’.

The root ‘ksham’ क्षम् (capacity) gets the ‘ghanj’ (घङ्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

bhagavAn declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Oh arjuna! No individual soul who has practiced yOga (samAdhi) before shall be doomed at any cost (even if they seem to deviate for some time)”

Etymology: He, by whom the fallen souls who have deviated from the pursuit of yOga (communion with bhagavAn) are also enabled to resume their practice and cross the ocean of samsAra – merely upon showing their willingness to come back, is called ‘kshAma:’.

यॊगाभिमुख्यमात्रॆण यॊगभ्रष्टा अपि स्वयम् |
यस्मात् क्षमन्तॆ स क्षामॊ भवाब्धितरणाय वै ||

859) suparNa: (सुपर्णः) (also seen in 194)

Having accomplished the complete state of samAdhi thus, and by maturity of such samAdhi, the individual soul crosses the darkness of material creation (samsAra) and reaches the supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam. bhagavAn is the one who leads the souls in this endeavour. Thus, he is called ‘suparNa:’.

The maula samhitha gives the meaning of this divine name thus: “bhagavAn is the one who leads the individual souls unto his abode”

bhagavAn himself declares thus: “Having matured in samAdhi over several births, the individual soul eventually attains the supreme state”.

Etymology: The one who leads the accomplishers of samAdhi beyond the darkness of ignorance (to the supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam) – merely by virtue of their maturity in samAdhi – is called ‘suparNa:’.

प्रत्यापन्नसमाधीन् यः समाधॆः परिपाकतः |
नयतॆ तमसः पारं सुपर्णः स च कीर्तितः ||

860) vAyuvAhana: (वायुवाहनः) (also seen in 333)

Even if such fallen souls have deviated from the path of samAdhi due to strong reasons which cannot be avoided by them easily, bhagavAn still uplifts them by riding on his vehicle garuda, who flies with a blazing speed. Thus, he is called ‘vAyuvAhana:’.

This is shown in the scriptures in the case of a devotee (a ‘vasu’ born in the celestial world), who came down to earth due to a rishi’s curse. Such a cursed soul was also uplifted by garuda, after which he regained his position in the upper worlds – only to be called ‘uparicharavasu’ (उपरिचरवसुः) later (the ‘vasu’ who moves above the ground).

Sri vishNu thaththva also says thus: “Thereafter the king of birds – garuda – comes with a blazing speed and takes the soul to the abode of his beloved master (bhagavAn)”

Etymology: He who uplifts the fallen souls who have deviated from the path of samAdhi with the help of garuda – who flies with blazing speed – is called ‘vAyuvAhana:’.

वायुना गत्वरॆणॆव कर्मणः पतितान् सतः |
गरुत्मता वाहयति यः स स्यात् वायुवाहनः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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thiruvAimozhi nURRandhAdhi – 43 – mAsaRu sOdhi

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

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Essence of thiruvAimozhi 5.3

Introduction

In this pAsuram, mAmunigaL is following AzhwAr’s pAsurams of performing madal due to not enjoying the physical beauty of emperumAn which was spoken about previously and is mercifully explaining it.

How is that done? AzhwAr, after reforming others and performing mangaLASAsanam to them, thought about emperumAn’s saundharyam etc as said in thiruvAimozhi 5.2.11maliyum sudaroLi mUrththi mAyap pirAn kaNNan” (krishNa, who is having radiant splendorous form, amazing qualities and activities), started feeling his earlier pain, and became stunned due to the overwhelming taste in the result (of enjoying him), thinking “even by engaging in illegal ways, even by harming both (him and me), let us unite with him”, remained teary-eyed. This state of AzhwAr is explained by him in the mood of a pirAtti (consort of emperumAn) who united with him and separated, being anguished, without realising what is being done, to be blamed by everyone, set out to perform madal saying “I will cause disrepute to him, and destroy both him and me”; mAmunigaL mercifully explains this principle explained in thiruvAimozhi 5.3 “mAsaRu sOdhi” starting with “mAsaRu sOdhi“.

pAsuram

mAsaRu sOdhi kaNNan vandhu kalavAmaiyAl
Asai migundhu pazhikkanjAmal – EsaRavE
maNNil madal URa mARan orumiththAn
uNNadungath thAn piRandha Ur

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word-by-word meanings

mAsu aRu sOdhi – one who has unblemished splendour
kaNNan – emperumAn
vandhu kalavAmaiyAl – due to not coming and uniting
Asai migundhu – the love increased
pazhikku anjAmal – not fearing for the accusations (of townspeople)
Esu aRa – crossing the boundary of being scolded
thAn piRandha Ur – the people in the town in which he was born
uL nadunga – to have their hearts tremble
maNNil madal Ura – to perform madal on this earth
mARAn orumiththAn – AzhwAr set out

Simple Translation

AzhwAr set out to perform madal on this earth to cause trembling in the townspeople of the town in which was born, not fearing for the accusations and after having crossed the boundary of being scolded, as his love increased towards emperumAn who has unblemished splendour and who did not come and unite with AzhwAr.

Highlights from vyAkyAnam

  • mAsaRu sOdhi kaNNan vandhu kalavAmaiyAl Asai migundhu – krishNa who has a very attractive form as said in thiruvAimozhi 5.2.11maliyum sudaroLi mUrththi mAyap pirAn kaNNan” (krishNa, who is having radiant splendorous form, amazing qualities and activities), “en seyyavAy – mAsaRu sOdhi – maNikkunRam” (reddish mouth, unblemished form and mountain made of precious stones) [1st pAsuram], “nam kaNNan” (our obedient krishNa) [4th pAsuram], matching his true nature, did not come forward on his own and give enjoyment to AzhwAr; due to that, AzhwAr’s love greatly increased as he mercifully said in:
    • pAsaRaveydhi (having lost freshness/complexion in my body) [1st pAsuram]
    • en seyya vAyum karungaNNum payappUrndha (my reddish mouth and blackish eyes have acquired a pale complexion) [2nd pAsuram]
    • pErndhum peyarndhum avanOdanRi Or sollilen (I am not having any word other than being with emperumAn) [3rd pAsuram]
    • kAdhal kadal puraiya viLaiviththa (abundant ocean like devotion to occur) [4th pAsuram]
    • kodiya en nenjam avan enRE kidakkum (my cruel heart will remain considering “he is the only refuge”) [5th pAsuram]
    • maNivaNNan vAsudhEvan valaiyuL – agappattEn (I have been caught in an inescapable manner in the web of emperumAn who is the son of vasudhEva and who is having an attractive blue gem like beautiful form) [6th pAsuram]
    • thalaiyil vaNangavumAngolO (can we bow our head to emperumAn?) [7th pAsuram]
    • ennAL kolO? yAm uRuginRadhu (when will we attain him?) [8th pAsuram]

Due to such increased love,

  • pazhikkanjAmal – The townspeople, mothers et al stop her, seeing that she [parAngusa nAyaki] is setting out to perform madal, saying “this will cause disrepute to our whole clan”. Since she would only become more focussed on her goal on hearing such accusations, she did not fear and she considered those accusations as her support. That is, when sIthAp pirAtti was stopped from accompanying SrI rAma to forest by him mercifully saying as in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 28.8 “sIthE thasmAdhdhu:khamathO vanam” (Oh, sIthA! That is why living in forest is uncomfortable), as said in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 27.6 “agrathasthE gamishyAmi” (I shall go [to forest] before you) and in SrI rAmAyaNam ayOdhyA kANdam 33.8 “yAnaSakyApurAdhrashtum bUthairAkASakairapi | thAmadhya sIthAm paSyanthi rAja mArga gathA janA:||” (That sIthA who could not be seen by the great elements too, could be seen even by people walking on the royal route), she did not care for the words which stop her, as said in
    • Uravar kavvai thOzhi en seyyum (What will the shouting that is fixed on scolding/blaming me by the citizens, do [to me]?) [1st pAsuram]
    • en seyyum Uravar kavvai thOzhi ini nammai (Oh friend! Now, what will the accusations of the people do to us?) [2nd pAsuram]
    • thIrndha en thOzhi en seyyum Uravar kavvaiyE? (Oh friend who is having a fixated heart which reflects mine! What will the accusations of the people do to me?) [3rd pAsuram]
    • Uravar kavvai eru vittu annai sol nIr paduththu (used the accusations of people as manure and mother’s constant advise as water) [4th pAsuram]
    • annai en seyyumE? (What will my mother do? ) [5th pAsuram]
    • annai en seyyil en Ur en sollil en? thOzhimIr! (Oh friends! What does it matter for whatever my mother does? What does it matter for whatever the people of the town say?) [6th pAsuram]
  • pazhikkanjAmal EsaRavE – Having crossed the boundary of fearing for others’ scoldings which could cause disrepute. Alternatively – to have everyone in anguish. Alternatively, it is recited as “EsavE“, to be scolded by them with accusations.
  • maNNil madal URa mARan orumiththAn uL nadungath thAn piRandha Ur – That is, as said in “kudhiriyAy madal UrdhumE” (be a shameless girl who cannot be controlled by anyone and will engage in madal) [9th pAsuram] and “nAdum iraikkavE – yAmadalUrndhum” (Without shyness matching our femininity in any manner, we will even engage in madal) [10th pAsuram], to agitate the whole world, AzhwAr set out to perform madal. To cause trembling in the hearts of the people of the town where he took birth on seeing his extraordinary act. As mAmunigaL also incarnated in this town, he too is trembling thinking “where will this end?”

adiyen sarathy ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 85 (Names 841 to 850)

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

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841) kruSa: (कृशः)

Being lighter than cotton, air and other light objects, bhagavAn is capable of moving to any place of his wish. Therefore, he is called ‘kruSa:’.

The root ‘kruS’ (कृश्) means to permeate. By grammatical rules, it gets the ‘ka’ adjunct, resulting in this divine name. Contextually, this attribute of ability to permeate everywhere (kruSimA कृशिमा) is known to connote the attribute of bhagavAn being very light (laghimA लघिमा).

This attribute of bhagavAn is hailed in SrI mahAbhAratha thus: “He (bhagavAn) is beyond comprehension and control of lowly mortals. He is the one who controls every entity, and is capable of reaching any place of his desire”.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘kruSa:’ due to his incomparable lightness with which he moves about freely to all places (without any hindrance).

सर्वत्राव्याहतगतिर्लघिम्ना कृश ईरितः |

842) sthUla: (स्थूलः)

Even while stationed in one place, bhagavAn can still touch every entity anywhere without any obstacles or limitations. For instance, he can touch the moon even while being on the earth. Due to this special power, bhagavAn is called ‘sthUla:’. (NOTE: This divine name represents the power of bhagavAn called ‘garimA’ (गरिमा), which means to possess a huge form)

By grammatical rules, the root ‘stha’ (स्थ) gets the ‘ulach’ (ऊलच्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

The vEdhas say thus: “He is the one who stands firmly, having acquired every entity”

Etymology: He, who possesses the great power to touch every entity in every place even while being stationed in a single place, is called ‘sthUla:’.

स्थित्वैकत्राखिलं स्प्रष्टुं शक्तिर्या महती सदा |
तया प्रकृष्टया शक्त्या विशिष्टः स्थूल उच्यतॆ ||

843) guNabhruth (गुणभृत्)

With his mere thought, bhagavAn bears the entire creation as easily as his own qualities. Therefore, he is called ‘guNabhruth’. This shows his distinct mastership over all entities.

This is as per the scriptures, which hail thus: “He is the controller of all; and also the master of all”.

Etymology: With his mere thought, the one who bears the creation in its entirety as easily as his own divine qualities is called ‘guNabhruth’.

सङ्कल्पात् स्वगुणीभूतसर्वावस्थमिदं जगत् |
कुर्वन् बिभर्ति नित्यं यॊ गुणभृत् स स्मृतॊ बुधैः ||

844) nirguNa: (निर्गुणः)

Although bhagavAn bears the entire creation thus, he is not influenced by the blemishes therein. So he is untouched by the mixture of three qualities (namely saththva, rajas and thamas) inherent in this material creation. This supreme independence is shown in this divine name ‘nirguNa:’ – the one who is untouched by faulty qualities.

This divine name only indicates his supreme mastery.

The vEdhas hail thus: “He is the one who controls the entire world”

The vishNu purANa also hails thus: “The mixture of qualities namely saththva, rajas and thamas do not exist in that supreme brahman. These (mixture of qualities) are inherent only to this material nature”

Etymology: Although associated with the material world so closely (as seen in the previous divine name), since bhagavAn is still untouched by the blemishes (of mixture of qualities) therein, he is called ‘nirguNa:’. This seven lettered manthra confers purity upon the chanter.

स्थितॊsप्यतद्वश्यतया जगत्यस्पर्शनात् गुणैः |
उक्तः स निर्गुण इति सप्तार्णः पावनत्वदः ||

845) mahAn (महान्)

Furthermore, bhagavAn manifests and disappears in this material world as and when he wishes, just like taking a dip in water bodies. None of his desires go unfulfilled. Since he shows this trait in a very manifest way in all his incarnations, he is called ‘mahAn’.

This is as shown in the scriptures thus:

“In this world full of entities that can either be united or separated, bhagavAn Sowri – the son of vasudhEva – does all that he wishes, without the least bit of effort (he does it by his mere thought, called ‘sankalpaSakthi’)”

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘mahAn’, since he shows his abject mastery in fulfilling his desires by manifesting in this material world (as and when he desires), as though taking a dip in a great pond. The chanting of this six lettered manthra confers all desires upon the chanter.

भूम्यां महानीर इव ह्युन्मज्जननिमज्जनात् |
महान् प्राकाम्यसंपूर्त्या षडर्णस्तु महत्त्वदः ||

846) adhrutha: (अधृतः)

How does bhagavAn fulfil his desires in this material world (in other words, How does he manifest)? There are four ways identified for this purpose. They are as follows: a) Getting close to a person like their own shadow, and controlling them; b) getting into the minds of those who meditate upon him; c) getting into the physical body – both when an individual soul is present within it, as well as after it has left the body; and d) manifesting in his own accord (in various places with his divine supernatural body, as well as in the form of archA or worshipped idols). The learned have identified these four ways in which bhagavAn fulfils his desire of manifesting in this world.

With such a magnanimous trait – representing his universal form, bhagavAn shows that he is not controlled even the slightest bit by any external agency. Thus, he is called ‘adhrutha:’ – the one who is not supported by anyone else. Such abject independence is indeed one of his supreme traits as the master of all.

It is with this abject independence that our elders have shown that the children of a vaidhika (brahmin) were taken by bhagavAn to his eternal abode SrIvaikuNtam (which is otherwise impossible to reach by an ordinary soul bound by karma), from where he brought them back to this material world at the request of the brahmin (which is again not possible by ordinary souls on their own accord after they have reached SrIvaikuNtam).

Furthermore, his abject independence is shown to the extent that he can even destroy the sentient and insentient entities altogether if he so desires. But it is also shown in the same scriptures that he would not do this at any cost, also out of his own free will. This proves the eternity of sentient and insentient entities (in terms of existence) as well.

Etymology: He who is not controlled by anyone is called ‘adhrutha:’.

यश्चानियाम्यः कॆनाsपि ह्यधृतः स तु कीर्तितः |

847) svadhrutha: (स्वधृतः)

bhagavAn’s possession of the said eight sidhdhis (connoted in the last eight divine names) is different from the ‘sidhdhi’s or powers gained by ordinary bounded souls (badhdhAthmAs) in the sense that these are natural traits of bhagavAn; whereas the bounded souls (in this samsAra) would need to take the help of various external means such as contemplation (thapas), herbs (Oshadhi) and communion (samAdhi) to master these powers.

This natural possession of these powers by bhagavAn is shown in this divine name ‘svadhrutha:’, which means he has all these powers by himself.

Etymology: He, who possesses the eight special powers naturally, is called ‘svadhrutha:’.

स्वभावतॊ धृतैश्वर्यः स्वधृतः परिकीर्तितः |

848) svAsya: (स्वास्यः)

Thereafter, the divine name ‘svAsya:’ differentiates bhagavAn’s position from the liberated souls (mukthAthmAs).

The word ‘AsyAm’ (आस्याम्) means ‘position’. This word gets the ‘anj’ (अञ्) adjunct, resulting in the word ‘Asya:’. Since the position of bhagavAn is very auspicious (in comparison with the liberated souls), he is called ‘svAsya:’ (su+Asya:).

How is the position of liberated souls inferior to that of bhagavAn? It is because the status gained by such liberated souls due to the complete expansion of knowledge in the liberated state (which is natural to any individual soul) is still faulty in the sense that the same knowledge was covered or bound by ignorance in samsAra at some point in time. But such fault is not to be found with bhagavAn’s powers. Therefore, his position is superior to that of the liberated souls.

Etymology: He is called ‘svAsya:’, whose position is auspicious/superior (in comparison with that of the liberated souls).

आसनं शॊभनं यस्य स स्वास्य इति कथ्यतॆ |

849) prAgvamSa: (प्राग्वंशः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn’s position is differentiated from that of even the ever liberated souls (nithyAthmAs).

As hailed in the purusha sUktha which says “in that place, where all dhEvas (nithyasUris) reside from time immemorial”, the ever liberated souls (nithyas) are referred to as the eternal souls (प्राञ्चः). bhagavAn is referred to as their ‘vamSa’, which means he is the basis for the manifestation of such eternally liberated souls. Therefore, he is called ‘prAgvamSa:’.

It is a proven fact beyond any doubts that everything and everyone is under the control of bhagavAn at every instant.

All this (said in the last three divine names) is summarized in the vishNu purANa concisely thus: “Oh maithrEya, how shall I hail the divine powers and qualities of bhagavAn, which are natural to him, unparalleled and supreme?”

Etymology: The eternally liberated souls are called ‘prAncha:’ (प्राञ्चः). He, who is the base for their tribe, is called ‘prAgvamSa:’.

अनादिमुक्ताः प्राञ्चॊ यस्तॆषामुद्भवभूमिदः |
प्राग्वंश इति विख्यातः सप्तार्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

850) vamSavardhana: (वंशवर्धनः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn is the one who nurtures the tribe of nithyasUris. Hence, he is called ‘vamSavardhana:’. The word ‘vamSa’ (वंशः) here refers to the tribe of nithyasUris mentioned in the previous divine name, who are all verily his children. This divine name shows that bhagavAn fosters such eternal individual souls.

The scriptures have hailed thus: “I bow to that supreme lord, who has infinite children (nithyasUris)”.

Etymology: The class of nithyasUris is called ‘vamSa:’, who are all his children. Since bhagavAn is the one who fosters them all, he is called ‘vamSavardhana:’.

नित्यसिद्धस्य वर्गॊ यॊ वंशं सन्तानलक्षणम् |
तं वर्धयति यश्चासौ वंशवर्धन उच्यतॆ ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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