SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – palaSruthi

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The Glorious Commentary on SrI Vishnu Sahasranamam – palaSruthi

इतीदं कीर्तनीयस्य कॆशवस्य महात्मनः ।
नाम्नां सहस्रं दिव्यानामशॆषॆण प्रकीर्तितम् ॥ १ ॥

Thus a thousand among infinite divine names of the supreme lord kESava are sung in succession, glorifying his divine qualities completely (to the extent of expounding all that must be essentially known).

Having sung thus, bhIshma beheld the greatness of the thousand names in his mind, and continued to lecture yudhishtira saying “ithIdham” (इतीदं).

The word ‘kIrthanIyasya’ (कीर्तनीयस्य) indicates that the lord who is praised by these thousand names is eligible of being praised by hymns.

The reason for such eligibility of bhagavAn is shown in the next phrase ‘kESavasya mahAthmana:’ (कॆशवस्य महात्मनः). [NOTE: The word ‘kESava’ indicates that bhagavAn has both physical beauty as well as the power to dispel all our sorrows. The word ‘mahAthmA’ indicates that he is the one who abides by his words of protecting his devotees. For the same reason, he is eligible of worship by everyone.]

The word ‘dhivyAnAm’ (दिव्यानाम्) shows that the divine names of bhagavAn are fit of being chanted in both material world (samsAra / prakruthi) as well as in the supreme abode (SrIvaikuNtam / paramapadham).

Finally, bhIshma adds the adverb ‘aSEshENa’ (अशॆषॆण) to indicate that he had sung all the divine qualities of bhagavAn that must be essentially known by yudhishtira.

य इदं श्रुणुयान्नित्यं यश्चापि परिकीर्तयॆत् ।
नाशुभं प्राप्नुयात्किञ्चित् सॊsमुत्रॆह च मानवः ॥ २ ॥

Thence, bhIshma concludes on the people who are eligible of chanting these divine names, and the fruits accrued thereof – with the SlOka starting as ‘ya idham’ (य इदं). The general fruit of chanting these divine names is shown to be ‘auspiciousness’ (or ‘dispelling inauspiciousness’) both here and nether, by just listening to and contemplating on these divine names as far as possible.

वॆदान्तगॊब्राह्मणः स्यात् क्षत्रियॊ विजयी भवॆत् ।
वैश्यॊ धनसमृद्धस्स्यात् शूद्रः सुखमवाप्नुयात् ॥ ३ ॥

Purport: With the chanting of these thousand names, a brAhmaNa begets the knowledge of vEdhAnthas and cows in plenty. A kshathriya becomes victorious. A vaiSya grows his wealth and a Sudhra attains happiness.

Commentary: In this SlOka, bhIshma expounds the fruits that each of the four varNas (people) beget with the chanting of these thousand names, although they are not firm in their devotion towards bhagavAn. He says, these fruits (mentioned in the purport) are begot even without them asking for it.

धर्मार्थी प्राप्नुयाद्धर्मम् अर्थार्थी चार्थमाप्नुयात् ।
कामानवाप्नुयात्कामी प्रजार्थी चाप्नुयात्प्रजाः ॥ ४ ॥

Purport: The seekers of dharma attain dharma. The seekers of wealth attain wealth. The seekers of desires realize their desires. The seekers of progeny beget children.

Commentary: In this SlOka, bhIshma explains the ‘desired fruits’ begot by the people of all four varnas.

भक्तिमान् यः सदॊत्थाय शुचिस्तद्गतमानसः ।
सहस्रं वासुदॆवस्य नाम्नामॆतत्प्रकीर्तयॆत् ॥ ५ ॥

यशः प्राप्नॊति विपुलं ज्ञातिप्राधान्यमॆव च ।
अचलां श्रियमाप्नॊति श्रॆयः प्राप्नॊत्यनुत्तमम् ॥ ६ ॥

न भयं क्वचिदाप्नॊति वीर्यं तॆजश्च विन्दति ।
भवत्यरॊगॊ द्युतिमान् बलरूपगुणान्वितः ॥ ७ ॥

रॊगार्तॊ मुच्यतॆ रॊगाद्बद्धॊ मुच्यॆत बन्धनात् ।
भयान् मुच्यॆत भीतस्तु मुच्यॆतापन्न आपदः ॥ ८ ॥

Purport: He, who religiously reads these thousand names every morning after purifying himself – with his mind resting in vAsudhEva, shall attain success in all endeavours, and fame. He shall attain abundant wealth here, and will also be liberated hereafter. He shall not have the least fear about anything, and will be blessed with great effulgence. He shall be freed from all diseases, and will have great power, beauty and qualities. The one who is suffering from diseases will be freed from all ailments. The one who is bound in shackles of this material world will be freed from them. The one who has great fears will be freed from those fears. The one who is in great dangers will be released from those dangers.

Commentary: In these four SlOkas, bhIshma talks about the fruits obtained by those who are abiding by the rules of studying these thousand names – such as japa, sankIrthana, etc. It says that such devotees beget all prosperity. The word ‘anuththamam SrEya:’ refers to mOksham. All other fruits are in this material world only.

दुर्गाण्यतितरत्याशु पुरुषः पुरुषॊत्तमम् ।
स्तुवन् नामसहस्रॆण नित्यं भक्तिसमन्वितः ॥ ९ ॥

Purport: The devotee who sings the thousand names of the supreme lord with devotion at all times shall overcome all obstacles with ease.

Commentary: Then, the removal of obstacles for the dear devotees of bhagavAn as a result of chanting the thousand names – even when they have not asked for it – is shown in this SlOka.

वासुदॆवाश्रयॊ मर्त्यॊ वासुदॆवपरायणः ।
सर्वपापविशुद्धात्मा याति ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।। १० ॥

न वासुदॆवभक्तानाम् अशुभं विद्यतॆ क्वचित् ।
जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिभयं नैवॊपजायतॆ ॥ ११ ॥

Purport: The mortal who has fixated his mind in vAsudhEva, and has taken refuge under the lotus feet of vAsudhEva, shall be freed from all sins and purified. He shall then attain the supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam and reach the supreme brahman. There shall be no inauspiciousness for the dear devotees of bhagavAn vAsudhEva. Such devotees will not have the fear of the cycles of birth and death, or of aging and ailments.

Commentary: Then, the eventual attainment of bhagavAn by such intimate devotees is shown in these two SlOkas.

इमं स्तवमधीयानः श्रद्धाभक्तिसमन्वितः ।
युज्यॆतात्मसुखक्षान्ति-श्रीधृतिस्स्मृतिकीर्तिभिः ॥ १२ ॥

Purport: The one who studies this sahasranAma sthOthra with a firm belief and unwavering devotion in bhagavAn shall attain peace of mind, tolerance, wealth, intellect, remembrance (of bhagavAn) and fame.

Commentary: This SlOka expounds the material benefits attained by devotees who chant the thousand names with laid down regulations. The word ‘SradhdhA’ refers to ‘respectful urge’ to sing his divine names. The word ‘bhakthi’ has already been explained in great detail before. The word ‘AthmA’ refers to ‘an individual’. The fruit of great fortune is verily the devotion towards bhagavAn. After all, it is popularly said “There is no greater fruit than the development of deep devotion towards gOvindha”.

न क्रॊधॊ न च मात्सर्यं न लॊभॊ नाशुभामतिः ।
भवन्ति कृतपुण्यानां भक्तानां पुरुषॊत्तमॆ ॥ १३ ॥

Purport: The virtuous devotees of the supreme lord shall have no anger, no jealousy, no greed or no ill mindedness.

Commentary: This SlOka shows that factually all the blemishes said herein will be dispelled by themselves. Nothing external is needed to dispel them.

द्यौः स चन्द्रार्कनक्षत्राः खं दिशॊ भूर्महॊदधिः ।
वासुदॆवस्य वीर्यॆण विधृतानि महात्मनः ॥ १४ ॥

Purport: The sky, with all of the moon, sun and the stars, the celestial world(s), the ten directions, the earth (or land) with all the mighty oceans are all borne by a mere fraction of bhagavAn vAsudhEva’s splendour.

Commentary: Further, bhIshma expounds the greatness of bhagavAn in this SlOka, so that the ill informed faulty logicians do not turn away the aforesaid fruits as ‘mere exaggerations’; because, the prowess of bhagavAn never ceases to exist, and thus there is no room for exaggerations or exceptions.

Although words of both masculine and neuter gender are used in this SlOka, the word ‘vidhruthAni’ is used in the neuter gender, owing to the grammatical rules (whenever a neuter gendered word is read with a non-neuter word, the entire collection is addressed as a neuter gendered object).

ससुरासुरगन्धर्वं सयक्षॊरगराक्षसम् ।
जगद्वशॆ वर्ततॆदं कृष्णस्य सचराचरम् ॥ १५ ॥

Purport: All these worlds consisting of all dhEvas, asuras, gandharvas, yakshas, Uragas (or nAgas), rAkshasas, et al – inclusive of all sentient and insentient entities – are bound to be functioning under the control of krishNa.

Commentary: Having expounded bhagavAn’s prowess in bearing all the worlds with a mere fraction of his divine splendour, this SlOka goes on to show all entities that are thus borne by him (and are in his control).

The word ‘varthathEdham’ (वर्ततॆदम्) is picked from the Arsha samhithA (used by rishis). It can be split as ‘avarthatha idham’ (अवर्तत इदम्) also.

इन्द्रियाणि मनॊ बुद्धिः सत्त्वं तॆजॊ बलं धृतिः ।
वासुदॆवात्मकान्याहुः क्षॆत्रं क्षॆत्रज्ञ एव च ॥ १६ ॥

Purport: All of the senses, mind, intellect, saththva (quality), effulgence, power, conscience, the body and the soul itself are said to be verily the properties of bhagavAn vAsudhEva.

Commentary: All the said entities act as per the direction of bhagavAn due to their body-soul relation with bhagavAn. This is shown in this SlOka.  The word ‘vAsudhEvAthmakAni’ (वासुदॆवात्मकानि) indicates that these are the bodies of vAsudhEva. The word ‘Ahu:’ (आहुः) means ‘have said’. The word ‘SAsthrANi’ must be assumed here (for, the body-soul relationship is shown in the Sasthras only).

सर्वागमानाम् आचारः प्रथमं परिकल्पितः ।
आचारप्रभवॊ धर्मॊ धर्मस्य प्रभुरच्युतः ॥ १७ ॥

Purport: Practice is considered as the primary purpose in learning all scriptures. The outcome of such practice is ‘dharma’, and the lord of dharma is bhagavAn achyutha.

Commentary: Till now, it was expounded that all philosophical texts are hailing bhagavAn (in theory). Henceforth, it shall be expounded that the texts prescribing rituals also hail only bhagavAn, in order to dispel the fears of ill informed souls who take to strict rituals to reach him. This SlOka is for this purpose only.

  • ‘sarvAgamAnAm’ = amongst all dharma pramANas (rulebooks for dharma)
  • ‘AchAra:’ = Saucha and other rituals.
  • ‘dharma’ = the derivative of such rigid practices, also abiding by vEdhas

‘achyutha’ = the supreme lord, who is worshipped by such rigid practices, the bestower of fruits thereof, and also the supporter of such practices.

ऋषयः पितरॊ दॆवा महाभूतानि धातवः ।
जङ्गमाजङ्गमं चॆदं जगन्नारायणॊद्भवम् ॥ १८ ॥

Purport: The rishis, pithrus, dhEvas, the five elements, the seven dhAthus, and all movable and immovable (or sentient and insentient) entities in general are all born out of nArAyaNa.

Commentary: The birth of the entities tied to dharma is expounded in this SlOka.

  • ‘rushaya:’ = manu and other rishis – who remember the injunctions of vEdha and put them into practice
  • ‘pitharOdhEvA:’ = the intermediate entities who are worshipped by many
  • ‘mahAbhUthAni’ = the five great elements viz., sky, wind, water, fire and earth
  • ‘dhAthava:’ = the resultants of the five elements, such as epidermis, endodermis, etc.

All these (together making up the body) are the tools to enjoy the fruits of dharma.

The enjoyed objects are the movable and immovable entities in the world.

यॊगज्ञानं तथा साङ्ख्यं विद्याः शिल्पादि कर्म च ।
वॆदाः शास्त्राणि विज्ञानम् एतत्सर्वं जनार्दनात् ॥ १९ ॥

Purport: yOga, SAnkhya and other schools of philosophy, sculpting, rituals, vEdhas, other scriptures including sources of mundane knowledge etc – all of these are also emanating from the lord janArdhana himself.

Commentary: bhagavAn being the source of all forms of knowledge as well is shown in this SlOka.

  • ‘jnAnam’ = SAsthras / scriptures
  • ‘yOgajnAnam’ = The source of yogic knowledge / scriptures expounding yOga. Such yOga is of two types – samAdhi yOga and karma yOga.
  • ‘sAnkhyam’ = cognizance of entities by sheer knowledge
  • ‘vidhyA:’ = all supportive sources of knowledge, such as grammar and the like, apart from knowledge of archery, medicine, music, etc. These are called ‘upavidhyas’. All these are indicated with the word ‘shilpAdhi’ (sculpturing, etc).
  • ‘karma’ = the rituals that must be observed at all places at all times
  • ‘vEdhA:’ = main sources of knowledge
  • ‘SAsthrANi’ = smrithis, ithihAsas and purANas

All of these – including the sources of mundane knowledge – emanate from janArdhana. The word ‘udhbhavathi’ (emanates) must be assumed in this SlOka.

एकॊ विष्णुर्महद्भूतं पृथक्भूतान्यनॆकशः ।
त्रीन् लॊकान् व्याप्य भूतात्मा भुङ्क्तॆ विश्वभुगव्ययः ॥ २० ॥

Purport: bhagavAn vishNu is the single supreme lord, with many individual souls servile to him. He is the one who pervades all three worlds with the entities therein, and also enjoys them all. He is the eternal one.

Commentary: With this SlOka, bhIshma shows the great wealth of bhagavAn vishNu, and the way he conducts the entire creation.

bhagavAn is alone. The individual souls are many in number, manifestations, forms, transformations and purposes of birth. bhagavAn pervades all three worlds – including all of badhdhas (bounded souls), mukthas (liberated souls) and nithyas (ever liberated souls), and becomes their indwelling soul thereby showing his mastership (controlling ability).

The word ‘vishvabhuk’ shows that he is the protector of every single entity in all ways at all times. Even then, he is free from blemishes arising out of his association with such lowly entities. This is shown in the word ‘avyaya:’.

With such supreme disposition, his transcendence from words and thoughts is shown in the word ‘mahadhbhUtham’.

The word ‘bhunkthE’ indicates that he enjoys all of these as a mere sport.

इमं स्तवं भगवतॊ विष्णॊर्व्यासॆन कीर्तितम् ।
पठॆद्य इच्छॆत्पुरुषः श्रॆयःप्राप्तुं सुखानि च ॥ २१ ॥

Purport: He who desires fame and happiness should recite this sahasranAma stOthra strung by vEdha vyAsa, which hails the glories of the lord bhagavAn vishNu.

Commentary: The supreme lord with infinite greatness is the one worthy of praise. bhagavAn Vyasa is the one who is capable of comprehending that supreme lord and praising him with lofty words. This gem of a sthothra – SrI vishNu sahasranAma adhyayam – has the greatness of the auspicious association with both of these men – vishNu and  vyAsa. All great poverty should be dispelled by studying this sthothra. Thus, it is concluded that the entire world (people therein) are the eligible candidates for studying it. This SlOka indicates that any individual (irrespective of their birth/qualifications/etc) who desires for material or spiritual benefits may study this sthothra without any doubt in mind about its potency.

विश्वॆश्वरमजं दॆवं जगतः प्रभुमव्ययम् ।
भजन्ति यॆ पुष्कराक्षं न तॆ यान्ति पराभवम् ॥ २२ ॥

न तॆ यान्ति पराभवम् ऒम् नम इति

Purport: Those who praise the supreme lord – the master of all worlds, and the eternal one, the lotus eyed krishNa – shall never fail in their endeavours.

Commentary: The lotus eyed supreme lord who is most benevolent unto the surrendered souls – the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, who is by nature free from duals (blemishes such as anger/passion, joy/sorrow, etc), and the ocean of all auspicious attributes – is himself everything for those who surrender unto him and hail his glories at all times. The fortune of such devotees who have him as everything is untold! That being the case, how would mundane failures affect such superior souls? This SlOka exactly shows this greatness of the dear devotees of the lord.

Just to emphasize on such greatness of the fortunate souls, vaisampAyana (the original narrator of the entire SrI vishNu sahasranAma adhyAya / mahAbhAratha) exclaims ‘na thE yAnthi parAbhavam na thE yAnthi parAbhavam’ (‘they shall never fail… they shall never fail’) and ends with that high note.

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

अस्माकमत्र च परत्र च सर्वदुःखम्

उन्मूल्य संपदमशॆषविधां विधाय

श्रीरङ्गराजमहिषी स च वैष्णवानाम्

सङ्गात्सुखं सह जयॆन सदा क्रियास्ताम्

May the divine couple – SrIranga nAchchiyAr and her consort SrIranganAtha – dispel all our sorrows both here and hereafter, and enhance our fortune in infinite ways. May the divine couple keep us in company of qualified SrI vaishNavas at all times, thereby bestowing us with happiness and victory in all our endeavours.

Sarvam SrI Krishnaarpanam       सर्वं श्री कृष्णार्पणम्

श्रीमतॆ रामानुजाय नमः
श्री वादिकॆसरी सौम्यजामातृमनयॆ नमः

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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