SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 69 (Names 681 to 690)

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681) mahAyajvA (महायज्वा)

Worshipping bhagavAn is not only simple, but those who worship him are also much superior to the worshippers of other dhEvas. Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘mahAyajvA’ – the one whose worshippers are most superior.

The scriptures have this to say in this regard: “Amongst all such devotees of bhagavAn, those ‘EkAnthis’ – who are singly minded towards bhagavAn alone – are the most superior”.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘mahAyajvA’, since he makes those devotees who single-mindedly worship him alone as much superior to those who worship other dhEvas. This manthra grants the fruits of good deeds upon the chanter.

दॆवतान्तरयाजिभ्यः स्वयाज्युत्कर्षकारकः |
महायज्वा समुद्दिष्टः सत्कर्मफलदॊ मनुः ||

682) mahAyagya: (महायज्ञः)

What makes the worship of bhagavAn superior to the worship of other dhEvathAs? The morning waking ritual, divine bath, decorations, offering of bhOgam (sumptuous food) and sweets, etc make bhagavAn’s worship much superior to the worship of other dhEvas (who are worshipped without much flavour). Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘mahAyagya:’ – the one whose worship is superior to that of other dhEvas.

The scriptures have hailed bhagavAn’s worship in many ways thus:

  • “Of all dharmas, indeed the worship of bhagavAn vishNu is the best. bhagavAn vishNu protects his dear devotees just as a soul protects its body”
  • “bhagavAn happily accepts with his head (accepts them as the highest offering) all such deeds of his dear devotees who show single minded devotion towards him (such as all those mentioned above including waking up of the lord, giving him a ritual bath, offering decorations and sumptuous food etc)”
  • “Behold! All those ‘EkAnthis’ (devotees who possess single-minded devotion towards bhagavAn) please hari with all rituals mentioned in the scriptures, which bhagavAn hari himself accepts with utmost happiness”, etc.

Etymology: He who makes his own worship superior to the worship of other dhEvathAs is called ‘mahAyagya:’. This eight syllable manthra confers verily the worship of bhagavAn hari.

अन्यॆभ्यॊ दॆवयागॆभ्यः स्वयागॊत्कर्षकारकः |
महायज्ञः समाख्यातॊ ह्यष्टार्णॊ हरियागदः ||

683) mahAhavi: (महाहविः)

As shown in the various vEdhic statements such as “There was no killing of animal”, “There was only chanting of AraNyaka (a part of vEdhas)”, etc, bhagavAn doesn’t accept any offering involving violence. Rather, he accepts only those offerings that are sAththvik in nature as expounded in the vEdhas. Thus, he is called ‘mahAhavi:’ – the one who accepts only noble offerings.

The scriptures have said thus:

  • “The oblations of ghee, firewood, etc – which are verily the form of supreme brahman – are offered…”
  • “Some others worship me with their knowledge alone…”
  • “I shall worship that bhagavAn in just the way I am. I shall not distance myself from him – who is my master”
  • “I shall offer myself (individual soul) unto that indweller of sUryamaNdala…”
  • “I shall only offer myself”, etc.

As seen in these scriptural statements, bhagavAn is worshipped by offering oneself (mind, intellect, senses, soul, etc) unto him (which is the highest offering).

The SAnthi parva of SrI mahAbhAratha hails the greatness of one such devotee named ‘uparichara vasu’, who is hailed as a ‘paramaikAnthi’ परमैकान्ती (the one with a steadfast single-minded devotion towards bhagavAn alone). It says “He always submitted himself to bhagavAn by saying that AthmA (himself / the individual soul), his kingdom, his wealth, his relatives and all his vehicles are all meant for bhagavAn alone”

bhagavAn himself declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Worshipping me with prescribed materials is superior to mere knowledge, oh arjuna”.

Thus, bhagavAn is very easily worshipped merely by the normal actions of mind and body (and does not require any violent offerings).

Henceforth, the verbal means of worshipping bhagavAn shall be expounded.

Etymology: He who accepts noble offerings such as offering of self (AthmA), etc – which are non violent in nature – is called ‘mahAhavi:’.

अहिंस्रमात्मादि हविः यस्य स्यात् स महाहविः |

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स्तव्यः स्तवप्रियः स्तॊत्रं स्तुतः स्तॊता रणप्रियः ।
पूर्णः पूरयिता पुण्यः पुण्यकीर्तिरनामयः ॥ ७३ ॥
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684) sthavya: (स्तव्यः)

bhagavAn is eligible of being praised with hymns. Thus, he is called ‘sthavya:’ – the praiseworthy one. bhagavAn possesses virtuous, auspicious and eternal divine qualities that are always unbounded and fully meant for the sake of his dear devotees alone. There are thousands of divine names that sing his glories thus. He is thus established as the lord of all beings. Thus, he alone is worthy of praises. All other dhEvathAs – which are characterized by qualities contrary to the said nature – are not worthy of it.

The bArhaspathya smrithi says thus: “Just as mundane people praise a wealthy man and beget material benefits, who on earth wouldn’t be liberated from the bonds of samsAra if he praises the creator of all worlds?”

In this same vishNu sahasranAma, it will be said thus, later: “Thus, one thousand out of the unlimited divine names of that great supreme soul kESava – who is truly worth of such praises – have been sung”

Etymology: The ways of physical worship of bhagavAn hari by all souls has been said till now (previous divine name). Thence, the means of verbal worship (by praising him and singing his divine names) of that nArAyaNa shall be expounded. He who is worthy of all praises is called ‘sthavya:’. This six lettered manthra liberates the chanter from all bondages.

चॆतः शरीरयॊर्जन्तॊर्व्यापाराराध्यता हरॆः |
उक्ता नारायणस्याथ वागाराध्यत्वमुच्यतॆ |
स्मृतः स्तुत्यर्हणात् स्तव्यः षडर्णॊ बन्धमॊचकः ||

685) sthavapriya: (स्तवप्रियः)

bhagavAn fondly accepts the hymns praising him, which are sung by anyone who is desirous of singing the glories of his divine qualities, in anyway, and in any language – irrespective of whether such a prayer is laudable or condemnable. Thus, he is called ‘sthavapriya:’ – the one who is fond of prayers.

This is proven beyond doubt in many cases such as that of a person named ‘ghaNtAkarNa’ (घण्टाकर्णः), et al.

(NOTE: ghaNtAkarNa was a staunch devotee of rudhra and dead against bhagavAn. He had a pair of bells tied to his ears. Whenever someone praised bhagavAn, he would shake his head and chime the bells so that he wouldn’t listen to bhagavAn’s names or glories. At some point of time, due to circumstances, he was finally required to praise bhagavAn in order to seek mOksha. Even then, he wouldn’t praise bhagavAn with love, but would pray just for the sake of it – without any flavour. Yet, bhagavAn pleasingly heeded to his prayer)

Etymology: He who is extremely fond of prayers sung by anyone in any language and in anyway (irrespective of whether or not it is a laudable way of praising) is called ‘sthavapriya:’. This eight lettered manthra enhances love amongst the chanters.

यया कयाचिद्भारत्या यॆन कॆनापि जन्तुना |
यथा कथञ्चित्कथितॊ यस्य प्रियतमः स्तवः |
स्तवप्रियः स कथितॊ वस्वर्णः प्रीतिवर्धकः ||

686) sthOthram (स्तॊत्रम्)

Furthermore, bhagavAn only sings his praise using the other individuals as mere tools in his hands. Thus, he is only called ‘sthOthram’ as well.

The ‘sthu’ स्तु (to praise) gets the ‘shtran’ (ष्ट्रन्) adjunct as per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

This can be seen in the case of dhruva mahArAja.

(NOTE: The story of dhruva can be seen in SrI bhAgavatham. dhruva – a small boy – sets out to realize the supreme soul owing to various circumstances. He performs severe penance for about six months, for which bhagavAn gets pleased and appears before him. When dhruva repents for his inability to sing bhagavAn’s glories due to his ignorance, bhagavAn touches his pAnchajanya conch to dhruva’s cheeks, at which instant dhruva starts pouring out an exemplary hymn in praise of nArAyaNa. So it clearly proves that he is the one who enables us to sing his glories as well, and hence this divine name.)

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s praises are accomplished only because of his grace, he is called ‘sthOthram’.

स्वॆनैव निष्पाद्यतया स्वस्तुतॆः स्तॊत्रमुच्यतॆ |

687) sthutha: (स्तुतः)

bhagavAn gets praised by his devotees with varying ranks, such as AdhiSEsha, garuda, and other liberated and ever-liberated souls, infinite number of bounded souls such as brahmA, indhra and other dhEvas, as well as us – who are living here to this day, and also who would be born in this world in various births for a long time to come. All of these entities glorify bhagavAn in order to attain their desires (befitting their knowledge levels). Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘sthutha:’ – the one who is praised.

  • The vishNu dharma says thus: “…the pastimes of whom are glorified by infinite dhEvas including indhra, and all the big time rulers of mankind…”
  • The purusha sUktha hails thus: “He who is praised by the four faced brahmA, who is known by indhra et al, and hailed by all the humans…”
  • The word ‘pradhiSaScha-thasra:’ (प्रदिशश्चतस्रः) shows bhagavAn’s glorification by all of us – the humans at all places at all times.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sthutha:’, because he is equally glorified by all souls irrespective of their ranks – such as AdhiSEsha, vishvaksEna and other liberated and ever-liberated souls (present in the nithya vibhUthi), as well as all of the bounded souls including ourselves (present in this leelA vibhUthi).

शॆषशॆषाशनाद्यैर्यः सूरिभिश्चास्मदादिभिः |
स्तुतत्वादविशॆषॆण स्तुत इत्यभिदीयतॆ ||

688) sthOthA (स्तॊता)

Furthermore, bhagavAn possesses such simple character that he himself praises those who praise him. Thus, he is called ‘sthOthA’ – the one who praises.

The vishNu dharma glorifies this by saying thus: “Praising whom one attains the stature of being praised, and prostrating unto whom one attains the status of being prostrated…”

This character of bhagavAn is evident in the context of his praising of Siva during his kailAsa-yAthrA (NOTE: This refers to the story of krishna visiting kailAsa and praying to Siva for progeny).

Etymology: He who possesses the noble character of praising those who praise him is called ‘sthOthA’.

स्वस्तॊतारं परं स्तॊतुं शीलं यस्यास्ति सर्वदा |
स्तॊता स स्यात् पञ्चवर्णः सर्वस्तुत्यत्वदॊ मनुः ||

689) raNapriya: (रणप्रियः)

As seen from the various deeds of bhagavAn recorded in various scriptures such as SrImath rAmAyaNa, mahAbhAratha, etc, he is the one who possesses numerous divine deeds in order to please those who praise him. Thus, he is called ‘raNapriya:’ – the one who is fond of wars!

Particularly, he is called so because he has fought numerous wars in order to please his dear devotees who have prayed to him for various reasons.

This is amply clear from a SlOka in SrI rAmAyaNa that hails thus: “Thence, rAma pleased his dear friend SugrIva as well as the mighty angadha by killing rAvana in the war”

Etymology: He who wars against enemies in order to please his devotees is called ‘raNapriya:’.

सुहृत्प्रियं युद्धकर्म यस्यास्ति स रणप्रियः |

690) pUrNa: (पूर्णः)

Even in the absence of offerings made of expensive materials earned by much effort, bhagavAn is pleased by mere praising alone. How? It is possible because he is ‘pUrNa:’ – the complete one. He is the one who has attained all of his desires, and hence does not have anything that must be supplemented by external sources (this means that he doesn’t need or expect any of his devotees to offer anything to him, because he owns everything; rather, he only looks for pure devotion in his devotees).

Etymology: All of whose desires are ever fulfilled is called ‘pUrNa:’.

अवाप्तसर्वकामत्वं यस्यासौ पूर्ण उच्यतॆ |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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