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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 55 (Names 541 to 550)

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

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541) kruthAnthakruth (कृतान्तकृत्)

hiraNyAksha, who was like yama for all mortals, was slain by bhagavAn in the form of varAha. Thus, he is called ‘kruthAnthakruth’.

The scriptures hail thus: “The great demon hiraNnyAksha was killed by varAha bhagavAn”

Alternately, bhagavAn propounded his philosophy through various scriptures such as varAha smruthi and purANas. Thus also he is called ‘kruthAnthakruth’. In this context, ‘kruthAntha’ refers to the highest philosophy.

Etymology: The one who slew hiraNyAksha – who was like yama in prowess – is called ‘kruthAnthakruth’. Alternately, bhagavAn propounded the highest philosophy in the varAha Smrithi and varAha purANas. Thus also he is called ‘kruthAnthakruth’. This eight syllable manthra is capable of conferring all the desires of a devotee.

अन्तकाभं हिरण्याक्षं कृत्तवान् यः कृतान्तकृत् |
वाराहयॊः स्वसिद्धान्तकृतॆ स्मृतिपुराणयॊ: |
कृतान्तकृदिति ख्यातॊ वस्वर्णॊsभीष्टदायकः ||

महावराहॊ गॊविन्दः सुषॆणः कनकाङ्गदी ।
गुह्यॊ गभीरॊ हगनॊ गुप्तश्चक्रगदाधरः ॥ ५८ ॥

542) mahAvarAha: (महावराहः)

The vishNu purANa hails the varAha avathAra in a glorious statement thus: “Thence, the great wild boar ‘mahAvarAha’ – having wide lotus like eyes – lifted up the earth with his tusk from the rasAthaLa, and rose from the waters like a great blue mountain”.

As hailed thus, bhagavAn is called ‘mahAvarAha:’ – the great wild boar.

Etymology: He who lifted up the earth from rasAthaLa in a moment is called ‘mahAvarAha:’. This manthra bestows land unto the chanters.

रसातलगतामुर्वीं यश्चॊद्धृत्यॊत्थितः क्षणात् |
महावराह इति सः स्मृतॊ ह्युर्वीप्रदॊ मनुः ||

543) gOvindha: (गॊविन्दः) (also repeated in 189)

bhagavAn himself claims thus in the SAnthi parva of mahAbhAratha: “Having lost bhUmi earlier, I rescued her (as varAha) and united with her again. Thus, I am called ‘gOvindha:’”.

Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘gOvindha:’ – the one who is united with bhUmi.

Etymology: The one who reunited with bhUmi (in the form of varAha), who was lost earlier, is called ‘gOvindha:’.

नष्टां च धरणीं पूर्वं गॊविन्दः लब्धवान् इति |

544) sushENa: (सुषॆणः)

Thence the ensuing divine names reveal some secrets about the supremacy of bhagavAn. Since bhagavAn possesses an auspicious divine body made of five upanishath manthras – which is full of Sudhdha sathva, and which bhagavAn uses as an army to win over all the bounded, liberated and ever liberated souls, he is called ‘sushENa:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s divine form is made of five upanishath manthras (which he uses like an army to win over everyone), he is called ‘sushENa:’.

पञ्चॊपनिषदङ्गत्वात् सुषॆणः परिकीर्तितः |

(Note: All of our bodies – humans or animals or any other object in this world – are made of five elements namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. All of these have a mixture of qualities of sathva, rajas and thamas. Unlike these, bhagavAn’s divine body is made of five elements different from ours, namely ‘panchOpanishath’ पञ्चॊपनिषत् consisting of paramEshti: परमॆष्ठिः, pumAn पुमान्, viSvam विश्वम्, nivruththa: निवृत्तः and sarva: सर्वः, which are all purely sAthvik in nature – without even a small trace of rajas and thamas)

545) kanakAngadhI (कनकाङ्गदी)

bhagavAn is also ever associated with divine ornaments made of gold, which befit the beauty of his supernatural (अप्राकृत – which is beyond this lowly nature that we can see) divine body – as stated in the previous divine name. Thus, he is called ‘kanakAngadhI’ – the one with golden ornaments.

The ‘ini:’ (इनिः) adjunct is used in this divine name, indicating eternal association with such divine jewelry.

The word ‘kanaka’ in this divine name indicates the distinction of a supernatural material that is different from all that we can see in this world (meaning, the ‘kanaka’ doesn’t imply the lowly gold that we know of; rather, it is indicative of supernatural gold befitting bhagavAn’s divine body, that cannot be seen in this world otherwise).

Etymology: He who is always bedecked with supernatural divine ornaments made of gold is called ‘kanakAngadhI’.

अप्राकृतानि दिव्यानि भूषणानि च नित्यशः |
रौक्माणि सन्ति यस्यासावुच्यतॆ कनकाङ्गदी ||

546) guhya: (गुह्यः)

Since such a supernatural and distinct divine body of bhagavAn is made of five upanishadhic elements, it is esoteric in nature. Hence, he is called ‘guhya:’ – the one with a divine body concealed from the lower mortals.

The root ‘gu:’ गुह् (concealment) gets the ‘kyap’ (क्यप्) adjunct by grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: Since his divine body is made of five upanishadic elements, he is hidden from the public view; and hence called ‘guhya:’.

पञ्चॊपनिषदङ्गॆन गूढत्वात् गुह्य उच्यतॆ |

547) gabhIra: (गभीरः)

Befitting his absolute supremacy over all entities, bhagavAn possesses profound dignity. Thus, he is called ‘gabhIra:’.

The word ‘gabhIra:’ (गभीरः) is same as ‘gambhIra:’ (गम्भीरः), both of which stem from the root ‘gA:’ (गाह्), suffixed with the ‘Iran’ (ईरन्) adjunct and a little transformation per grammatical rules.

Just as water gets purified by adding the clearing nut (called ‘nirmalee’), so also every bounded soul gets ridden of its blemishes of ignorance – which is accumulated from time immemorial – just by its association with bhagavAn. What, then, can be spoken of about the dignity of bhagavAn himself, who is naturally radiant and devoid of all blemishes?

Etymology: The one whose divine body itself is a manifestation of profound dignity is called ‘gabhIra:’.

तद्वपुर्व्यङ्ग्यगाम्भीर्यॊ गभीर इति कथ्यतॆ |

548) gahana: (गहनः) (also repeated in 384)

Furthermore, bhagavAn’s supreme nature and qualities are unfathomable. Even if the oceanic waters were very clear and everything beneath the waters could be seen, yet the depth of the ocean wouldn’t reduce to one’s knee’s level. It would still remain extremely deep. Similarly, bhagavAn’s divine nature and qualities can be seen to some extent by everyone. Yet, that never qualifies anyone to know him in his entirety! Thus, he is called ‘gahana:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn cannot be known fully by everyone, he is called ‘gahana:’.

अन्यैर्दुरवगाहत्वात् गहनः परिकीर्तितः |

549) guptha: (गुप्तः)

He is carefully protected (concealed from others) by the fore preceptors (pUrvAchAryas) who know of his profound nature and qualities. Thus, he is called ‘guptha:’ – the well concealed one.

Etymology: He who is concealed by the preceptors who know his profoundness is called ‘guptha:’.

तद्गौरवज्ञैर्गुप्तः स गुप्त इत्यभिदीयतॆ |

550) chakragadhAdhara: (चक्रगदाधरः)

Where and how does this bhagavAn – who is well concealed by AchAryas – manifest? This is shown in this divine name chakragadhAdhara: – the wielder of divine weapons.

maNdOdhari hails rAma in the SrImath rAmAyaNa thus: “Oh lord, you are beyond the darkness of ignorance and the wielder of the conch and discus”

This indicates that bhagavAn possesses an eternal divine body which is made of five upanishadhic elements, and holds divine weapons like the chakra, etc.

Etymology: He who wields the divine powerful weapons (such as the conch, discus, mace, bow and the sword) is called ‘chakragadhAdhara:’.

यः शक्तिमद्दिव्यहॆतिः स स्यात् चक्रगदाधरः |

वॆधाः स्वाङ्गॊsजितः कृष्णॊ दृढः सङ्कर्षणॊsच्युतः ।
वरुणॊ वारुणॊ वृक्षः पुष्कराक्षॊ महामनाः ॥ ५९ ॥

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 53 (Names 521 to 530)

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

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521) ananthAthmA (अनन्तात्मा)

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

The jaya samhitha hails thus:

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

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

कमठस्यॊपरि जगदाधारस्तम्भ-भॊगिनः |
स्वरूपॆण स्थितॊ यॊsसावनन्तात्मा प्रकीर्तितः ||

522) mahOdhadhiSaya: (महॊदधिशयः)

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

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

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

तस्मिन्ननन्तपर्यङ्कॆ समुद्रॆ शयनाच्च यः |
महॊदधिशयः ख्यातॊ दशार्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

523) anthaka: (अन्तकः)

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

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

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

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

अन्तं करॊति जगतॊ यॊsसावन्तक ईरितः |

अजॊ महार्हः स्वाभाव्यॊ जितामित्रः प्रमॊदनः ।
आनन्दॊ नन्दनॊ नन्दः सत्यधर्मा त्रिविक्रमः ॥ ५६ ॥

524) aja: (अजः) (also repeated in 66, 206)

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

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

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

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

तत्त्वावसानॆ प्रणवप्रकृतॆः सत्त्वकारतः |
स्मर्तव्यत्त्वादजः प्रॊक्तः षडर्णॊ ह्यूर्मिनाशकः ||

525) mahArha: (महार्हः)

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

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

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

स्वरूपादिकृतार्थॆन तारॆणात्मनिवॆदनम् |
महं पूजामर्हतीति महार्ह इति कथ्यतॆ ||

526) svAbhAvya: (स्वाभाव्यः)

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

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

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

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

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

मन्त्रॆणानॆनात्मभिस्तु स्वभूतैराभिमुख्यतः |
अवश्यं भावनीयत्त्वात् स्वाभाव्यः परिकीर्तितः ||

527) jithAmithra: (जितामत्रः)

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

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

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

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

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

एतद्रहस्यविज्ञान-विरॊधि-ममतादयः |
जितास्तॆषामनॆनॆति जितामित्रॊsष्टवर्णकः ||

528) pramOdhana: (प्रमॊदनः)

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

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

ध्यानासक्तॆषु भक्तॆषु मॊदमानः प्रमॊदनः |

529) Anandha: (आनन्दः)

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

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

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

आनन्दवल्ली मीमांस्यस्त्ववाङ्मनसगॊचरः |
आनन्दॊ ह्यस्य नित्यॊsस्तीत्यानन्दः परिकीर्तितः ||

530) nandhana: (नन्दनः)

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

The vEdhas declare thus:

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

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

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

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 51 (Names 500 to 510)

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

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<< Part 50

501) SarIrabhUthabhruth (शरीरभूतभृत्)

bhagavAn bears all the elements (the 24 thathvas, as they are called) making up this entire creation. These elements are nothing but his body. Hence, he is called ‘SarIrabhUthabhruth’.

Beginning by saying “The sky, along with all the stars, became the head of that universal form”, the SAnthi parva of mahAbhAratha proceeds to say thus: “Verily the same bhagavAn took the form of hayagrIva, surrounded by various forms…”

With all these statements, it is shown that the 24 primary elements of creation – which are a part of bhagavAn’s body – are also borne by him.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bears the twenty four elements of creation (starting with ‘mUla prakruthi’ or primordial nature and ending in ‘pruthvI’ or Earth), which are also a part of his body, he is called ‘SarIrabhUthabhruth’.

दॆहभूतं जगत्तत्त्वं प्रकृत्यादिधरान्तकम् |
शरीरभूतभृत् प्रॊक्तॊ बिभर्तीति दशाक्षरः ||

502) bhOkthA (भॊक्ता) (also repeated in 145)

The mahAbhAratha further hails thus: “That hayagrIva, whom you earlier hailed, is verily that vishNu who slept in the great ocean before creation. He (hayagrIva) is verily the consumer of havya हव्य (oblations to Devas) and kavya कव्य (oblations to pithrus or manes).”

Thus, he is called ‘bhOkthA’ – the enjoyer of all kinds of oblations.

Etymology: He who consumes the havya and kavya (oblations to dhEvas and pithrus respectively) is called ‘bhOkthA’.

हव्यं कव्यं च यॊ भुङ्क्तॆ स भॊक्ता परिकीर्तितः |

503) kapIndhra: (कपीन्द्रः)

The same bhagavAn who thus promotes one’s adherence to the scriptural injunctions (as explained previously) also showed himself as rAma long ago. With his unparalleled divine acts in his incarnation as a human, he led a pack of monkeys who were unique in nature and incarnations of dhEvas who had surrendered unto bhagavAn. Thus, he is called ‘kapIndhra:’ – the lord of monkeys.

The SrImath rAmAyaNa itself hails thus in the yudhdha kANda: “Verily the lord of all worlds that you are, you have been surrounded by all dhEvas, who have manifested themselves as these monkeys, for the welfare of all worlds”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is the lord of all dhEvas, who – in the form of monkeys –surrendered unto him, he is popularly called as ‘kapIndhra:’.

कपिरूपप्रपन्नानां दॆवानामीश्वरत्त्वतः |
कपीन्द्र इति विख्यातॊ सप्तार्णॊ मनुनायकः ||

504) bhUridhakshiNa: (भूरिदक्षिणः)

The same bhagavAn rAma stood as an example to the rest of the world and conducted many sacrifices such as the aSvamEdha, with sumptuous donations and rewards. Hence, he is called ‘bhUridhakshiNa:’ – the one who rewards sumptuously.

Etymology: Being an example to the rest of the world, since rAma performed yajnas like aSvamEdha and others, and thereby gave away sumptuous rewards, he is called ‘bhUridhakshiNa:’.

हयमॆधादिभिर्यज्ञॆः जगदाचार्यकाय वै |
यजमानः स विज्ञॆयः सर्वदा भूरिदक्षिणः ||

सॊमपॊsमृतपः सॊमः पुरुजित् पुरुसत्तमः ।
विनयॊ जयः सत्यसन्धॊ दाशार्हः सात्त्वतांपतिः ॥ ५४ ॥

505) sOmapa: (सॊमपः)

In such yagyas, since rAma partook of classic ‘sOma rasa’, he is called ‘sOmapa:’ – the consumer of sOma.

Etymology: The one who partook of sOma rasa in the aSvamEdha is called ‘sOmapa:’.

हयमॆधॆ सॊमपीथी सॊमपः परिकीर्तितः |

506) amruthapa: (अमृतपः)

The scriptures declare thus: “Whatever oblations are given in the sacred fire are converted to nectar by agni and given to vishNu”.

bhagavAn also declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “I am only the one who consumes all the oblations in all yagyas. I am the lord of all yagyas”.

Thus, bhagavAn himself is the one who drinks the nectar derived out of the oblations in the yagyas (called ‘havis’ हविस्), and hence he is called ‘amruthapa:’ – the drinker of nectar.

Alternately, bhagavAn is the one who makes his dear devotees – who are ever contemplating on him – drink the nectar of his divine experience in the supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam. Thus also, he is called ‘amruthapa:’ – the one who makes his devotees drink nectar.

This is also supported by scriptural statements that hail thus:

  • “…in that abode, where the dhEvas (refers to nithyasUris in this case) partake of the nectar…”
  • “In that third abode, they glow with partaking of the nectar”
  • “bhagavAn is indeed the bridge connecting us with his nectarine divine abode”
  • “he, whose shadow is also nectarine…”, etc.

Etymology: The derivative of ‘havis’ or oblation is called ‘amrutham’ or nectar. Since bhagavAn drinks such nectar, he is called ‘amruthapa:’. Alternately, he who provides the liberated souls in the supreme abode of SrIvaikuNtam with the nectar of his own divine experience to drink in is called ‘amruthapa:’.

परिणामॊsस्य हविषां पीयूषमिति कथ्यतॆ |

तत्पानात् स्यादमृतपः परमॆ व्यॊम्नि वा स्थितः |
मुक्तॆभ्यॊ यः स्वानुभवं पातीत्यमृतपः स्मृतः ||

507) sOma: (सॊमः)

bhagavAn is nectarine not only for himself, but also for his devotees who are ever fixed in his divine experience. Thus, he is called ‘sOma:’ – the nectar.

In this context, the word ‘sOma’ itself represents nectar.

The scriptures reinforce this claim thus:

  • “sOma existed in the third world…”
  • “he, indeed, is like the divine nectar”
  • “Oh rAma, with great penance and noble actions, you have been begotten by dhaSaratha as his son, just like the dhEvas obtained the nectar”
  • “Just like the partaking of nectar is never satisfying, so also the sight of janArdhana is not satisfying (it makes the devotees want more of it always)”
  • “…that divine nectar, who is filled with peace”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is nectarine for the liberated souls (much aloof from the lowly nectar gotten by the dhEvas), he is called ‘sOma:’.

सॊमः सुधायमानत्वात् मुक्तानां परिकीर्तितः |

508) purujith (पुरुजित्)

bhagavAn wins over every individual by showing various qualities. For instance, SrImath rAmAyaNa hails thus: “rAma wins over all worlds by his virtue of honesty. More so, he wins over the downtrodden people with his donations. He wins over his preceptors by serving them befittingly, and wins over all of his enemies with his bow”

Thus, since he wins over everyone, he is called ‘purujith’.

Etymology: The one who wins over a multitude of individuals like the general people in all worlds, the downtrodden, the preceptors and the enemies respectively by his virtues of honesty, donations, servitude and valor (with his bow) is called ‘purujith’.

लॊकान् दीनान् गुरून् शत्रून् बहून् सत्यॆन दानतः |
शुश्रूषया च धनुषा जितवान् पुरुजित् स्मृतः ||

509) purusaththama: (पुरुसत्तमः)

hanuman declares thus in SrImath rAmAyaNa:

“Oh lord, my highest love is ever fixed in yourself. Oh valiant one, my devotion towards you is steadfast, and my feelings would never move away from you. Oh valiant one, as long as rAmAyaNa exists in this world, my prANas or life forces shall stay in my body, and I shall enjoy listening to it every time”

As shown in these statements made by hanuman, it is clear that bhagavAn rAma resides in the hearts of his dearest devotees like hanuman and others, who long to drink in the nectarine ocean of his auspicious qualities. Thus, he is called ‘purusaththama:’.

Etymology: The word ‘puru:’ here refers to great people (devotees of bhagavAn). The one who resides in the hearts of such great people like hanuman and others is called ‘purusaththama:’.

पुरुः महान् महत्स्वस्तितमः हनुमदादिषु |
पुरुसत्तम आख्यातॊ नवार्णः स्वस्तिदॊ मनुः ||

510) vinaya: (विनयः)

mArIcha and other demons are also easily subdued by bhagavAn’s prowess. Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘vinaya:’ – the one who subdues.

Etymology: He with whose prowess the demons like kumbhakarNa, mahAkAya, khara, mArIcha and rAvaNA were subdued is called ‘vinaya:’.

कुम्भकर्ण-महाकाय-खर-मारीच-रावणाः |
दम्यन्तॆ विक्रमैर्यॆन विनयः स उदाहृतः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 50 (Names 491 to 500)

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

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<< Part 49

491) AdhidhEva: (आदिदॆवः) (also repeated in 336)

The one who created even dhEvas such as brahmA, et al, and the one who is capable of attracting them towards him, is called ‘AdhidhEva:’.

The word ‘Adhi’ (आदि) refers to bhagavAn being the primordial creator, and ‘dhEva:’ (दॆवः) gets the meaning of ‘shining’.

The thaiththirIya upanishath hails thus: “With the fear of bhagavAn, the wind blows; the sun rises….”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn becomes ‘AdhidhEva:’ since he is the creator of even brahmA and others.

आदिदॆवॊ हि भवति ब्रह्मादिभ्यॊ विशॆषतः |

492) mahAdhEva: (महादॆवः)

bhagavAn uses dhEvas themselves as his toys for his divine sport. Hence, he is called ‘mahAdhEva:’ – the one who controls and uses dhEvas according to his own whims.

Etymology: He who plays with brahmA and others (using them like his toys) is called ‘mahAdhEva:’.

ब्रह्मादिभिः क्रीडति यॊ महादॆवः स उच्यतॆ |

493) dhEvESa: (दॆवॆशः)

Since bhagavAn is thus proven to be the supreme master who rules over the dhEvas as well, he is called ‘dhEvESa:’.

Etymology: ‘dhEvESa:’ is the one who utilizes brahmA and others as per his whims.

ब्रह्मादीनां च दॆवॆशॊ यथार्हविनियॊजकः |

494) dhEvabhruth (दॆवभृत्)

Apart from deploying brahmA and others in specific deeds suitable to their respective capacities, since bhagavAn also bears them and protects them, he is called ‘dhEvabhruth’ – the one who bears dhEvas.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bears brahmA, indhra, yama et al (supports and protects them), he is called ‘dhEvabhruth’.

ब्रह्मशक्रयमादीनां भरणात् दॆवभृत् स्मृतः |

495) guru: (गुरुः)

bhagavAn instructs each of those dhEvas (yama, indhra, brahmA, et al) on their various responsibilities in this creation using vEdhas as the scale.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “…unto him who instructed the vEdhas to brahmA…” (SvEthashvatara upanishath)
  • “I am in control of hari, who is the supreme preceptor” (vishNu purANa)
  • “Just as fire is the purifier of gold, so also the supreme preceptor bhagavAn is our purifier, who removes all our blemishes with the words of vEdhas” (vishNu purANa)
  • “bhagavAn is the eternal preceptor for all entities, since he is not bound by time” (yOga SUthra), etc.

This nature of being the preceptor is popular in the hayaSira upAkhyAna (the episode of hayagrIva’s advent).

It is said thus in the vishNu dharma: “Oh king, bhagavAn (hayagrIva) then brought back the vEdhas from rasAthala and gave them to the four faced brahmA. Then on, he returned to his supreme abode”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn preaches the vEdhas to brahmA, indhra, varuna and other dhEvas (and hence administers each of their responsibilities as stated therein), he is called ‘guru:’.

ब्रह्मॆन्द्रवरुणादीनां गुरुर्वॆदॊपदॆशनात् |

उत्तरॊ गॊपतिर्गॊप्ता ज्ञानगम्यः पुरातनः ।
शरीरभूतभृत् भॊक्ता कपीन्द्रॊ भूरिदक्षिणः ॥ ५३ ॥

496) uththara: (उत्तरः)

Since bhagavAn protects and uplifts the dhEvas from the distress of asuras thus, he is called ‘uththara:’ – the one who uplifts.

The mahAbhAratha SAnthi parva hails thus: “Having been glorified thus, the supreme godhead bhagavAn – the omnipresent one – gave up his divine slumber (called ‘yoga nidhra’) and rose to accomplish the task of the dhEvas”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn uplifts brahmA and other dhEvas from their distresses, he is called ‘uththara:’.

आपदुद्धरणाद्यॊsसौ ब्रह्मादॆरुत्तरः स्मृतः |

497) gOpathi: (गॊपतिः) (also repeated in 599)

bhagavAn is the master of all words represented by various languages and in various meters (chandhas). Thus he is called ‘gOpathi:’ – the master of words.

The manthra varNas hail bhagavAn thus: “…unto that master of words…”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is the master of words represented in the vEdhas as well as in various languages, he is called ‘gOpathi:’.

छन्दॊभाषावॆदवाचां निर्वाहात् गॊपतिः स्मृतः |

498) gOpthA (गॊप्ता) (also repeated in 600)

bhagavAn thus protects all knowledge, which is why he is called ‘gOpthA’ – the one who safeguards.

The manthra varnas hail bhagavAn as the one who is the master of all knowledge.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn protects all knowledge, he is called ‘gOpthA’.

पालनात् सर्वविद्यानां गॊप्तॆति परिकीर्तितः |

499) gynAnagamya: (ज्ञानगम्यः)

bhagavAn is realized through “parAvidhyA”, also known as ‘samAdhi’ or deep state of meditation. Thus, he is called ‘gyAnagamya:’.

The scriptures say thus in support of this meaning: “One must meditate upon that master of words – hayagrIva…”

Etymology: The one who is realized through parAvidhyA (samAdhi) is called ‘gyAnagamya:’.

परया विद्यया वॆद्यॊ ज्ञानगम्य इति स्मृतः |

500) purAthana: (पुरातनः)

Such enlightenment (as stated in the previous divine names) upon the individual souls by bhagavAn is not new. Rather, it has been carried on by bhagavAn in every kalpa (frame of time in a creation). This has been (and will be) carried on eternally. Hence, bhagavAn is called ‘purAthana:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn enlightens the individual souls with highest knowledge (about himself) in every kalpa, he is called ‘purAthana:’.

विद्याप्रद्यॊतनाद्यॊsसौ प्रतिकल्पं पुरातनः |

Thus ends the fifth centum (panchama 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 fifth centum is completed.

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 49 (Names 481 to 490)

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

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<< Part 48

481) asath (असत्) and 482) asathksharam (असत्-क्षरम्)

bhagavAn bestows uninterrupted chain of sorrows in the form of this samsAra upon the souls who are involved only in inauspicious and sinful acts (asuras). Thus, he is called ‘asath-ksharam’ – the one who destroys the evil.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “bhagavAn only enables the souls to do good deeds and lifts them out of the world of yama (narakam). he only enables the souls to do bad deeds as well, pushing them into the clutches of yama” (meaning, bhagavAn only thrusts the souls in the direction of their inclination based on their ‘karma’)
  • “This world has both good as well as bad elements. bhagavAn stays aloof from the two groups of elements”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows eternal sorrow in the form of ‘samsAra’ upon the evil minded souls (asuras), he is called ‘asath’ by the learned men. Also, since he eliminates evil thus, he is called ‘asath-ksharam’.

असतां यः सदानन्तभवाख्याघ-प्रदानतः |
असदित्युच्यतॆ सद्भिः तादृक् क्षरम् असत्क्षरम् ||

483) avigyAthA (अविज्ञाता)

Even after seeing the infinite mistakes of his dear devotees, bhagavAn never punishes them for their ill deeds. Rather, he just forgives them. Not just stopping at that, bhagavAn goes a step further and acts as if he never knows of any mistakes of such souls! Thus, he is called ‘avgyAthA’ – the one ignorant one.

The SrImath rAmAyaNa hails this excellent attribute of bhagavAn in the ayOdhya kaNdam thus: “Even if a person spoke harshly to rAma, he would never respond to them likewise”.

Such ignorance towards the mistakes of the surrendered souls is, after all, an extraordinary attribute (and not a blemish of being ‘ignorant’).

That is why my revered father (kUraththAzhwan) hailed bhagavAn thus in one of his works:

“Oh lord! We question your very ‘omniscience’, because, after all, you are the one who never knows the faults of your devotees who have surrendered unto you!”

Conversely, whoever attributes absolute ‘ignorance’ unto bhagavAn with this divine name, without knowing his true nature of omniscience, would only have to be categorized as being deaf to all the logic expounded by the learned men practicing abject servitude unto the vEdhas and the AchAryas expounding such vEdhas. Such ignorant souls could only be pitied, and their views – rejected.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn doesn’t consider the sins of the surrendered souls even a least bit, he is called ‘avigyAthA’ by the learned men who know his divine qualities in their true sense.

प्रपन्नकृतपापानां किञ्चिदप्यविचारणात् |
अविज्ञातॆति कथितः बुधैस्तद्गुणपारगैः ||

484) sahasrAmSu: (सहस्रांशुः)

Even as bhagavAn is being hailed as ‘avigyAthA’ – the ignorant one, he is also hailed as ‘sahasrAmSu:’, indicating his omniscience. The word ‘sahasra’ is indicative of infinity, and the word ‘amSa’ refers to knowledge (indicated by ‘rays of effulgence’). Since bhagavAn possesses infinite knowledge and knows everything, he is called ‘sahasrAmSu:’.

Does this, by any chance, mean that bhagavAn possesses infinite knowledge other than the sins of his devotees? In other words, is bhagavAn’s omniscience exclusive of the sins of the surrendered souls? If this is a doubt at all, then our answer is a clear ‘NO’.

It is just that bhagavAn ignores the faulty deeds of the surrendered souls. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know them altogether. Rather, his indifference towards such misdeeds is only hailed as his ‘ignorance’ and not the lack of omniscience therein.

The SrImath rAmAyaNa quotes rAma of having said thus: “…even if vibIshana has faults to his credit, I accept him into my fold unconditionally…”

Similarly, krishNa declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Even if a great sinner sings my glories continuously, he shall be considered a great devotee of mine”

Etymology: The word ‘amSa’s refers to the varied forms of knowledge. The one who possesses infinite count of such knowledge forms is popularly called ‘sahasrAmSu:’. he is the grantor of knowledge.

अंशवॊ बुद्धयः प्रॊक्ताः सहस्रं सन्ति यस्य तॆ |
सहस्रांशुरिति ख्यातः ह्यष्टार्णॊ धीप्रदॊ मनुः ||

485) vidhAthA (विधाता) (also repeated in 44)

Although the souls surrendered at the feet of bhagavAn have committed sinful deeds, and although every such bad deed entails its own outcome of suitable punishment adjudged by yama dharmarAja, yet the surrendered souls are not affected by such setup. This is because even yama, karma etc are also under the control of bhagavAn himself. For the same reason, bhagavAn is called as ‘vidhAthA’ – the controller.

yama himself has declared thus: “I am appointed for adjudging the good and bad deeds in the worlds by that supreme controller himself, who is worshipped by dhEvas as well”

In this context, the dialogue between yama and his servitors may be remembered, which finds a place in all of brahma purANa, vishNu purANa, vAmana purANa, narasimha purANa, linga purANa, vaishNava dharma, SrI vishNu thathtvam, bhAgavatha purANa etc.

Etymology: Since even yama and others are under the control of bhagavAn (and hence, since bhagavAn protects his devotees by not allowing them to be affected by yama’s judgements even in the case of their wrong doing), he is called ‘vidhAthA’.

तादधीन्याद्यमादीनां विधाता इत्युच्यतॆ बुधैः |

486) kruthalakshaNa: (कृतलक्षणः)

If it is true that bhagavAn tolerates the misdeeds as explained in the previous divine names, then how would he differentiate the misdeeds of his devotees (committed either unknowingly, or repenting after doing the mistake knowingly) from the misdeeds of the lowly mortals who are distant to bhagavAn? In other words, how does he differentiate between the good people and the bad people? The answer is in this divine name – kruthalakshaNa:.

bhagavAn himself lays down the characteristics to identify his true devotees.

he indicates that anyone who comes to him with a friendly demeanor is considered his devotee. This is confirmed in the scriptures thus:

  • “I shall never let go of a soul who has sought my refuge with a friendly mind, even if he is obsessed with faults”
  • “Although a soul has been extremely evil in the past, if he now relentlessly chants my name, then he shall be considered as my true devotee; for his mind is resolute on the ultimate truth”, etc.

Additionally, the physical characteristic of the Sankha-chakra-mudhrA (the symbols of the conch and the discus marked on the shoulders) is also mentioned, as shown in the following scriptural statements:

  • “Until I return to dhvArakA, only the people with the marks of chakra (and hence Sankha) on their shoulder shall enter the city. None without the mark shall enter the city” (krishNa instructing the doorkeepers)
  • “Just as a chaste wife possesses bangles, toe rings, etc as clear indications of her marriage, so also the marks of chakra and Sankha on the shoulders of every person are indicative of his/her relationship with the supreme master”

All these scriptural statements and more indicate the vaishNava characteristics – both internal and external. Anyone outside of these characteristics shall be considered as a lowly soul.

Therefore, the blemishes of discrimination and partiality do not affect bhagavAn’s nature.

Etymology: The supreme soul hrushIkESa has kept a characteristic mark with which he identifies the souls acceptable to him. Thus, he is called ‘kruthalakshaNa:’.

कृतं हि लाञ्छनं यॆन स्वॊपादॆयॆषु जन्तुषु |
परमात्मा हृषीकॆशः स तु स्यात् कृतलक्षणः ||

गभस्तिनॆमिः सत्त्वस्थः सिंहॊ भूतमहॆश्वरः ।
आदिदॆवॊ महादॆवॊ दॆवॆशॊ दॆवभृद्गुरुः ॥ ५२ ॥

487) gabhasthinEmi: (गभस्तिनॆमिः)

Devotees of bhagavAn who are identified by bhagavAn with the marks of chakra and Sankha on their shoulders shall never fear yama or his servitors; for verily that bhagavAn himself stands for their protection with the fiercely spiked and effulgent chakra.

The word ‘gabhasthi:’ (गभस्तिः) refers to radiance, and ‘nEmi:’ (नॆमिः) refers to the spiked discus. The one who possesses a divine chakra / discus with radiance and fierce spikes is called ‘gabhasthinEmi:’.

yama himself declares thus:

“He, in whose mind resides that supreme soul, shall not even be seen by us; otherwise, my power and valor shall be destroyed by bhagavAn’s chakra. Such devotees of bhagavAn indeed belong to a different world, and not mine”

Etymology: He who possesses the extraordinary discus with radiant and fierce spikes is called ‘gabhasthinEmi:’. he is indeed the one who wards off all our sins.

ज्यॊतिर्विशिष्टनॆम्या यल्लक्षितं चक्रमुत्तमम् |
गभस्तिनॆमिर्यस्यास्ति नवार्णः पापनाशकः ||

488) sathvastha: (सत्त्वस्थः)

Also, since the results of karma are not found for the true devotees of bhagavAn, there is no fear of yama either. But how could the results of karma go missing for the devotees? It is because verily that bhagavAn resides in their hearts as ‘sathvastha:’ and cleanses them. It means bhagavAn willingly resides in the hearts of his dear devotees.

The scriptures hail this attribute in many ways.

vishNu purANa says:

  • “When the eternal supreme soul SrI hari resides in the hearts of his devotees with his divine weapons such as discus, mace, etc, how can the results of karma ever stick on to such souls? How can there be darkness at all, when the sun is shining bright?”
  • “…when mahAvishNu resides in their hearts like a glittering pure gem, how can their heart be ever filled with blemishes such as jealousy etc?”

The vishNu dharma hails thus:

“The servitors of yama, or his scepter and the rope, or yama himself, or his punishments are totally incapable of afflicting the devotees of kESava, who completely depend on him”

prahlAdha says thus in the vAmana purANa:

“Then, the ruler of worlds ikshvAku said further with utmost devotion thus: the devotees of vishNu in this world have no business with yama whatsoever”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn willingly resides in the hearts of his devotees (and thus protects them from the clutches of yama), he is called ‘sathtvastha:’.

सत्त्वॆ हृदि स्थितत्वात् स सत्त्वस्थः समुदीरितः |

489) simha: (सिंहः) (also repeated in 202)

If the authorities like yama and others do not comprehend the greatness of such true devotees of bhagavAn, he even goes to the extent of punishing the authorities themselves. Hence, he is called ‘simha:’.

yama declares thus in the vishNu purANa: “vishNu is capable of controlling even me”

mArkaNdEya hails thus in the linga purANa: “Upon seeing a vaishNava – the devotee of vAsudhEva, whose blemishes are all burnt out completely – dhEvas approach him with utmost humility and fear and prostrate before him. Even when yama himself sees such a vaishNava whose sins are all completely burnt out, that son of sUrya (yama) stands up with folded palms and pays his obeisance. Hence, every person must revere the vaishNavas highly, akin to vishNu himself. If this is followed austerely, then such a person reaches the supreme abode of vishNu, and shall not be enquired for any of his actions by anyone.”

In the same linga purANa, the kauSika upAkhyana hails thus: “Having seen kauSika and others then, who sang the glories of bhagavAn, the grandsire of all worlds – the four faced brahmA – welcomed them befittingly, and paid his obeisance”

Statements such as these may be seen in abundance in all the purANas and other scriptures. One may pursue such sources (pramANas) as need be.

While describing the naraka in SrI vishNu thaththva, it is said thus: “The servitors of yama stay away from the devotees who have surrendered unto the divine feet of bhagavAn, since verily that SrI hari himself is the master of all such divine souls. All dhEvas including yama himself fear vaishNavas and abstain themselves from insulting them (by trying to punish them for any of their deeds in the naraka), since otherwise all of these worlds would be destroyed by bhagavAn. Since the inception of time (or creation), no devotee of bhagavAn has ever been taken to naraka with the fear of the supreme soul”.

The vishNu dharma hails thus: “yama picked up a soul who was being baked in naraka and asked him with a friendly tone as to why he did not worship kESava during his earlier birth. After all, kESava himself is the destroyer of all difficulties. Had he worshipped bhagavAn in his earlier birth, there would be no need for him to enter naraka at all!”

Etymology: The one who punishes (harms) yama and others who are involved in punishing the devotees of bhagavAn without comprehending their greatness, is called ‘simha:’.

हरिभक्तान् अविज्ञाय दण्डॆ प्रवणमानसान् |
हिनस्ति च यमादीन् यः स सिंहः परिकीर्तितः ||

490) bhUthamahESvara: (भूतमहॆश्वरः)

Since bhagavAn is capable of controlling yama and others as explained till the previous divine name, he is called ‘bhUthamahESvara:’.

yama, brahmA et al are called ‘bhUthESvarA:’ (भूतॆश्वराः), since they are ranked above the lower mortals. Since bhagavAn is superior to even such controllers, and controls them, he is called ‘bhUthamahESvara:’ – the supreme controller.

Etymology: he who controls even the ordinary controllers such as Yama, Brahma et al, and who is the primordial creator of all worlds, is called ‘bhUthamahESvara:’.

भूतॆश्वराणां स ब्रह्मा-यमादीनां नियन्त्रणात् |
कारणं जगतां यश्च स स्यात् भूतमहॆश्वरः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 47 (Names 461 to 470)

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461) suhruth (सुहृत्)

How is bhagavAn passionate about such high benevolence? This is answered with this divine name. This says that bhagavAn is passionately benevolent due to his natural friendly nature.

bhagavAn constantly contemplates on the best ways to help even the ungrateful people and those who do not meditate upon him, saying “What will happen of this soul if I let him go?”, “How can I correct him?” etc.

The word ‘suhruth’ is explained as possessing auspicious thoughts of always wishing the wellness of all souls.

Alternatively, since bhagavAn showed his friendliness towards dhEvas in bestowing happiness upon them during the churning of milky ocean, he is called ‘suhruth’.

Etymology: He who possesses a noble heart even towards the ungrateful souls, thinking “what can I do for this soul”, is called ‘suhruth’.

Alternately, the one who was friendly to dhEvas in bestowing happiness upon them is called ‘suhruth’.

किमस्मिन् करवाणीति अपकारिण्यपि शॊभनम् |
यस्यास्ति हृदयं सॊsयं सुहृदित्यभिदीयतॆ ||


तत्र हॆतुः सुहृत् (सुरॆभ्यः सुखप्रदानहॆतुः सुहृत्) |

462) manOhara: (मनॊहरः)

With such natural affection towards every individual soul, bhagavAn steals the minds of all such souls. Hence, he is called ‘manOhara:’. The root ‘hru’ हृ (to take away) gets the ‘ach’ (अच्) adjunct, resulting in the word ‘hara:’ (हरः).

Alternately, bhagavAn possesses an exceedingly beautiful form which can attract even the asuras towards him. Hence also he is called ‘manOhara:’. This is as per the scriptural statement that says: “One should meditate upon that bhagavAn who held an extremely beautiful form of a female that amazed all of the three worlds”

Etymology: He who takes away the minds of people with such natural affection towards them is called ‘manOhara:’.

Alternately, bhagavAn is called ‘manOhara:’ since he possesses a beautiful form that bewildered even the asuras.

ऎवं निसर्गसौहार्दात् तॆषां हृदयहारकः |
मनॊहरः समाख्यातॊ ह्यष्टार्णः शान्तिदायकः ||


असुरव्यामॊहनीयरूपत्वात् मनॊहरः |

463) jithakrOdha: (जितक्रॊधः)

bhagavAn’s devotees win over internal enemies such as anger, greed, desire, etc with the help of bhagavAn. Hence, he is called ‘jithakrOdha:’.

Alternately, in his incarnation as mOhini during the churning of milky ocean, since the asuras were absorbed in the beauty of bhagavAn and gave up their anger against the dhEvas (in other words, since bhagavAn won over the anger of asuras), he is called ‘jithakrOdha:’ – the one who absolves the anger among the individual souls.

Etymology: He – with whose grace the internal enemies such as anger, etc are won over by the devotees – is called ‘jithakrOdha:’.

Specifically during the churning of milky ocean, he – with whose grace the asuras’ anger against dhEvas was subdued – is called ‘jithakrOdha:’.

रक्षसां दॆवविषयॆ यॆन क्रॊधॊ विनिर्जितः |
स जितक्रॊध आख्यातः ह्यष्टार्णः क्रॊधनाशकः ||

464) vIrabAhu: (वीरबाहुः)

During the churning of milky ocean, bhagavAn possessed a thousand mighty hands decorated with glittering bangles and other fine jewelry. With such beautiful shoulders – which appeared to be fighting amongst themselves to come to the fore in churning the ocean with the mandhara mountain, bhagavAn looked elegant.

Thus, he is called ‘vIrabAhu:’ – the one with mighty shoulders/arms.

Etymology: The one who possesses mighty arms is called ‘vIrabAhu:’.

विक्रान्ता बाहवॊ यस्य वीरबाहुः स स्मृतः |

465) vidhAraNa: (विदारणः)

bhagavAn slashed the heads of rAhu and others with divine weapons. Hence, he is called ‘vidhAraNa:’.

The manthras praising bhagavAn hail thus: “…unto that bhagavAn who is the slayer of all terrific fears of devotees…”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn slays (the enemies) with divine and terrific weapons, he is called ‘vidhAraNa:’.

आयुधैर्दारुणैर्दिव्यैः दारणाच्च विदारणः |

स्वापनः स्ववशॊ व्यापी नैकात्मा नैककर्मकृत् ।
वत्सरॊ वत्सलॊ वत्सी रत्नगर्भॊ धनॆश्वरः ॥ ५० ॥

466) svApana: (स्वापनः)

Furthermore, bhagavAn lulled the rest of them (those who remained without being slain by him) and made them subordinated to himself with his charming smile, sweet glances and playing of his beautiful eyebrows. Thus, he is called ‘svApana:’ – the one who put everyone to sleep.

The scriptures describe bhagavAn’s beauty in this phase, thus: “…that bhagavAn, who possesses sensuous eyes and is filled with opulent youthfulness…”

Etymology: He, who completely mesmerizes (and lulls to sleep) the rest of the asuras who are not slain, with attractive glances, playful eyebrows and other manifestations of his divine beauty, is called ‘svApana:’.

कटाक्षभ्रूविलासाद्यैः नष्टशिष्टान् जनानपि |
यॊsसौ सम्यङ्मॊहयति स्वापनः परिकीर्तितः ||

467) svavaSa: (स्ववशः)

When the asuras slept thus, bhagavAn freely mingled and enjoyed with the dhEvas who were his supporters. Thus, he is called ‘svavaSa:’.

The manthra varNas hail bhagavAn as the one who is the master of all entities (and thus the one who willfully mingles with anyone he wishes, without restrictions).

Etymology: Since bhagavAn freely mingled with dhEvas with no restraints after having put the asuras to sleep, he is called ‘svavasha:’.

स्वकीयैः सह सुप्तॆषु तॆषु स्वैर विहारवान् |
भवति स्ववशः सॊsन्यान् अधीनत्वप्रदॊ मनुः ||

468) vyApI (व्यापी)

In order to successfully accomplish the goal of churning of milky ocean, and in order to energize every entity involved therein, the one who pervaded every entity such as the mandhara mountain, vAsuki serpent, et al. is called ‘vyApI’ – the one who pervades.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘vyApI’ since he pervaded all entities involved in the churning of milky ocean such as dhEvas, asuras, mandhara mountain, vAsuki serpent et al, in order to enhance their energies.

दॆवरक्षॊमन्दरॆषु वासुकिप्रभृतिष्वपि |
आप्यायनाय शक्त्या च व्यापी स्यात् व्यापनादसौ ||

469) naikAthmA (नैकात्मा)

While churning the milky ocean, bhagavAn took several forms – his natural form of vishNu (the supreme master of all), the tortoise or kUrma, the attractive woman or mOhini, and others. Thus, he is called ‘naikAthmA’ – the one who took more than one forms.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn took the forms of the supreme brahman SrIman nArAyaNa, kUrma, mOhini et al during the churning of milky ocean, he is called ‘naikAthmA’.

तदातनैर्ब्राह्मकौर्म-मॊहिन्याद्यवतारकैः |
नैकात्मॆति श्रुतः सम्यङ्मुन्यर्णॊ मनुरूपदः ||

470) naikakarmakruth (नैककर्मकृत्)

Also, with so many forms, since bhagavAn performed various actions such as churning, supporting the mountain from below, slaying of enemies, bestowing of the desired nectar, et al, he is called ‘naikakarmakruth’ – the one who did many deeds.

Etymology: The one who carried out many deeds during the churning of milky ocean is called ‘naikakarmakruth’.

समुद्रमथनॆsनॆक कर्मकृत् नैककर्मकृत्  |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 46 (Names 451 to 460)

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451) sathAmgathi: (सतांगतिः) (also repeated in 186)

Till the previous divine name, bhagavAn was shown to be the destination of all people who are engaged in action (pravruththi dharma). Thence, bhagavAn being the destination of all people who take to inaction (nivruththi dharma) is expounded.

Since bhagavAn is verily the goal of attainment for those who take to the path of inaction (absolute surrender, etc), he is called ‘sathAmgathi:’.

The vishNu purANa says thus: “Oh learned man! For all the detached souls who have controlled their senses and are free from blemishes, that divine abode of vishNu (SrIvaikuNtam) is itself the destination where they reach after having lost all their puNya and pApa karmas”.

Etymology: He who is the destination of all people who take to the path of inaction (nivruththi dharma) is called ‘sathAmgathi:’.

निवृत्तिधर्मनिष्ठानां गतिर्यः स सतांगतिः |

452) sarvadharSI (सर्वदर्शी)

As explained till now, since bhagavAn displays the greatness of overseeing the practice of both of these dharmas – pravruththi (action) and nivruththi (inaction) – equally, he is called ‘sarvadharshI’.

The root ‘dhruS’ दृश् (to see) gets the ‘Nini’ (णिनि) adjunct per grammatical rule, resulting in the word ‘darSI’ (दर्शी). This shows that the said trait is natural to bhagavAn.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses the great nature of overseeing the practice of both dharma (actions done with detachment) and adharma (actions done with attachment) (in other words, the paths of nivruththi or inaction and pravruththi or action respectively) with the same regard, he is called ‘sarvadharSI’.

धर्माधर्मौ च तौ सर्वावध्यक्षयितुमादरात् |
सर्वदा शीलमस्यॆति सर्वदर्शी ततः स्मृतः ||

453) nivruththAthmA (निवृत्तात्मा) (also repeated in 231, 604, and 780)

Of the two paths (pravruththi and nivruththi), bhagavAn incarnated as nara, nArAyaNa and in other forms to preach the nivruththi dharma. Only in order to preach complete renunciation from material desires and to completely pull back the minds of people from such mundane desires did bhagavAn incarnate in such forms.

The dhyAna SlOka of bhagavAn as nara-nArAyaNa says thus: “…the one who has turned his focus completely inward”

The manthras hail thus: “…to that AchArya who is ever contemplating on the inner self”, “…he whose mind is completely rested in the lotus of the heart”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn incarnated as nara and nArAyaNa to preach the nivruththi dharma, and is hence completely renounced from mundane desires, he is called ‘nivruththAthmA’.

निवृत्तिधर्माचार्यत्वात् विषयॆभ्यॊ निवृत्तिमत् |
मनॊ यस्य निवृत्तात्मा नरनारायणात्मकः ||

454) sarvagya: (सर्वज्ञः) (also repeated in 821)

Also, since bhagavAn knows about his own absolute supremacy in entirety, he is called ‘sarvagya:’.

This is as shown in the scriptural statement thus: “…him, who is ever absorbed in his own self in the indestructible supreme abode”

Etymology: He who knows in entirety about his own self is called ‘sarvagya:’.

सर्वात्मना स्वमात्मानं यश्च जानाति कॆवलम् |
सर्वज्ञः स तु विज्ञॆयः सप्तार्णॊ ज्ञानदॊ मनुः ||

455) gynAnamuththamam (ज्ञानमुत्तमम्)

Every individual soul begets the highest knowledge of vaishNava dharma from bhagavAn through the pAncharAthra Agama. Thus, bhagavAn is himself called ‘gynAnamuththamam’ – the source of highest knowledge.

The scriptures say thus: “…unto him, who keeps reading the scripture of pAncharAthra…”

Etymology: Since the highest knowledge of vaishNava dharma – which is the source of prosperity for every individual being – is obtained from bhagavAn, he (being the very object and source of such knowledge) is called gynAnamuththamam’.

परश्च वैष्णवॊ धर्मः सर्वॊsस्मिन् ज्ञायतॆ यतः |
सर्वॆषां श्रॆयसां मूलं तत् ज्ञॆयं ज्ञानमुत्तमम् ||

सुव्रतः सुमुखः सूक्ष्मः सुघॊषः सुखदः सुहृत् ।
मनॊहरॊ जितक्रॊधॊ वीरबाहुर्विदारणः ॥ ४९ ॥

456) suvratha: (सुव्रतः) (also repeated in 824)

As bhagavAn himself has declared in bhagavath gIthA, he does not have the obligation to do any work for his own benefit. Instead, whatever he does is purely for the benefit of others. Thus, bhagavAn possesses a very auspicious ordinance for himself – of helping other entities by all means. Hence, he is called ‘suvratha:’.

Etymology: The one who has taken up the most auspicious ordinance of acting for the sake of devotees is called ‘suvratha:’.

भक्तार्थं व्रतवान् यॊsसौ सुव्रतः स प्रकीर्तितः |

457) sumukha: (सुमुखः)

The next seven names are explained in two contexts – one generic, expounding the divine nature of bhagavAn, and one specific to the context of churning of milky ocean.

The first in the series is this divine name – sumukha:.

In one sense, since bhagavAn holds a pleasing face untouched by undulations towards the devotees who meditate upon him, he is called ‘sumukha:’ – the one with a beautiful face.

The scriptures say thus: “…meditating upon the beautiful form of pranava, visualizing the object of the manthra in the mind…”

The manthra varNa describing bhagavAn says thus: “…unto krishNa, who possesses pristine lotus-like eyes…”

In another sense, bhagavAn showed a beautiful face glowing like the moon, filled with nectar of bliss, and held a nectar pot in his hands during the churning of milky ocean (in the form of ‘mOhini’). Hence, he is called ‘sumukha:’.

Etymology: He, whose divine face is most charming (without any undulations) for all those who meditate upon him, is called ‘sumukha:’.

Alternately, he – whose face is filled with the nectar of bliss and glowing like the moon, and who holds a nectar pot in his hands – is called ‘sumukha:’.

ध्यातॄणां सुप्रसन्नं यन्मुखं स सुमुखः स्मृतः |


आनन्दामृतसम्पूर्ण-वदनॆनॆन्दुकान्तिना |
कलशाकृतिरूपॆण करस्थॆन विराजितम् || इति सुमुखः |

458) sUkshma: (सूक्ष्मः)

bhagavAn possesses a very subtle form that can be envisioned only in deep state of meditation (called samAdhi), when there are absolutely no hindrances. Hence, he is called ‘sUkshma:’.

The root ‘sUch’ सूच् (to penetrate) gets the ‘sman’ (स्मन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

Alternately, bhagavAn’s intentions could not be deciphered by the asuras during the churning of milky ocean. Hence also he is called ‘sUkshma:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘sUkshma:’ owing to his subtle form which can be envisioned only by deep meditation and not otherwise. Alternately, he is called ‘sUkshma:’, whose intentions were not known to the asuras (at the time of churning the milky ocean).

सूक्ष्मॊ दुस्साध्य यॊगैकलक्ष्य-सूक्ष्मस्वरूपतः |
असुरॆष्वथवा गूढाभिप्रायः सूक्ष्म उच्यतॆ ||

459) sughOsha: (सुघॊषः)

bhagavAn is highly praised by the divine words of upanishaths. Hence, he is called ‘sughOsha:’.

Alternately, since bhagavAn was hailed greatly by dhEvas and asuras alike while churning the milky ocean, he is called ‘sughOsha:’.

Etymology: The one who is hailed by the words of upanishaths is called ‘sughOsha:’. Alternately, since bhagavAn was hailed by the dhEvas and asuras while churning the milky ocean, he is called ‘sughOsha:’.

स्वाध्यायघॊषॊ यस्यास्ति सुघॊषः स तु कीर्तितः |


सुरासुरादि-घुष्यमाण-मथनाद्भुतत्वात् सुघॊषः |

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

As explained till now, bhagavAn makes the individual souls follow the noble path and meditate upon him, and then bestows ultimate happiness upon such devotees. Thus, he is called ‘sukhadha:’.

Alternately, bhagavAn bestowed happiness upon dhEvas by distributing nectar to them. Thus also he is called ‘sukhadha:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn preaches the practice of samAdhi (deep meditation upon himself), and bestows unlimited happiness upon the souls who stick to such practices, bhagavAn is called ‘sukhadha:’.

Alternately, since he bestows happiness unto dhEvas by fetching them their desired nectar, he is called ‘sukhadha:’.

समाध्यनुष्ठापनॆन तदनुष्ठानशालिनाम् |
सुखं बहु ददातीति सुखदः परिकीर्तितः ||


अमृतादानादिना सुरॆभ्यः सुखं ददातीति सुखदः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 44 (Names 431 to 440)

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

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<< Part 43

431) artha: (अर्थः)

bhagavAn is verily the goal of attainment for all true devotees who are full of true knowledge. Thus, he is called ‘artha:’ – the wealth.

The root ‘ru’ ऋ (goal) gets the ‘than’ (थन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

bhagavAn himself declares thus in bhagavath gIthA: “The truly knowledgeable soul surrenders unto me saying ‘vAsudhEva is everything’”

Etymology: The one who is attained as the only goal by ‘paramaikAnthin’s (परमैकान्तिनः) who have otherwise completely given up all of the other three desires (viz. dharma, artha and kAma) is called ‘artha:’.

परमैकान्तिभिर्नित्यम् एषणात्रयवर्जितैः |
स्वयं प्रयॊजनतया प्राप्यमाणॊsर्थ उच्यतॆ || 

432) anartha: (अनर्थः)

The ignorant souls desiring material benefits would not approach bhagavAn for his sake, but they approach him only for lower material benefits. Thus, he is also called ‘anartha:’.

Such ignorant souls approach bhagavAn only for the sake of gaining material wealth from him.

This is as hailed in the scriptures thus:

  • “kubEra seeks wealth from me…”
  • “Devotees of bhagavAn can be classified into three categories based on the type of fruits they desire from him (gaining material wealth, liberation from samsAra, and purely his service)”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is not sought unconditionally by the less fortunate seeker of material benefits, the learned men call him ‘anartha:’.

(In other words, since bhagavAn is sought with the sole intention of gaining lower material benefits, he is called ‘anartha:’)

अर्थार्थिनाsल्पभाग्यॆन निर्व्याजं नार्थ्यतॆ यतः |
तस्मादनर्थ नामाsसौ वॆदविद्भिः प्रकीर्तितः ||

433) mahAkOSa: (महाकॊशः)

Although bhagavAn keeps giving abundantly to everyone at every time, since his wealth never diminishes, he is called ‘mahAkOSa:’ – the one with tremendous treasure.

The immense treasure that he possesses consists of various nidhis such as ‘Sankha nidhi’, ‘padhma nidhi’, etc. (famously called ‘nava nidhis’), high mountains (such as mahAmEru – which is a golden mountain with a diamond peak), and other similar things.

Etymology: He whose treasury is filled with immense wealth made of the great Sankha, padhma and other nidhis, and high mountains (such as mEru) is called ‘mahAkOSa:’.

शङ्खपद्मादिनिधयॊ महान्तॊ रॊहणॊ गिरिः |
कॊशा भाण्डगृहा यस्य महाकॊशः स उच्यतॆ ||

434) mahAbhOga: (महाभॊगः)

The experience of lower material benefits is also given by bhagavAn only. Hence he is called ‘mahAbhOga:’.

bhagavAn declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Thereafter, he begets all material desires as ordained by me”

Etymology: He from whom the experience of great materialistic desires born out of lowly wealth is also born is called ‘mahAbhOga:’. He is indeed the one who grants all the desired wealth.

अर्थसाध्यः कामभॊगॊ यस्मादॆषां महानिति |
महाभॊगः स विज्ञॆयॊ ह्यष्टार्णश्चिन्तितार्थदः ||

435) mahAdhana: (महाधनः)

Since bhagavAn possesses immense wealth sufficient to bestow immeasurably even upon the greediest person in this creation, he is called ‘mahAdhana:’.

prahlAdha hails this attribute of bhagavAn thus:

“People like marIchi, dhaksha, and others begot the fruits of righteousness, wealth and other material desires infinitely, as bestowed by bhagavAn”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn always possesses inexhaustible wealth that can be bestowed even upon the greediest person immeasurably, he is called ‘mahAdhana:’.

अनिरूप्यातिकृपणप्रदॆयं धनमक्षयम् |
अस्यैवास्तीति सततं स महाधन ईरितः ||

अनिर्विण्णः स्थविष्ठॊ भूः धर्मयूपॊ महामखः ।
नक्शत्रनॆमिर्नक्षत्री क्षमः क्षामः समीहनः ॥ ४७ ॥

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

As explained previously, even after giving away lowly material wealth immensely to the seekers, although bhagavAn repeatedly tries to attract such souls towards him thereafter, the ignorant souls would never turn towards him easily due to their strong desires in lowly material benefits. Yet, bhagavAn never gives up. He tirelessly tries again with great earnestness (like a greedy soul working hard to amass wealth) to bring them into his fold. That tireless exertion of bhagavAn itself results in his eternal engagement with these worlds (repeated cycles of creation, sustenance and destruction). Thus he is called ‘anirviNNa:’.

The vishNu purANa glorifies this attribute of bhagavAn thus: “The eternal cycles of creation, sustenance and destruction of all these worlds are verily due to the tireless attempts of bhagavAn in bringing all souls into his fold”.

Etymology: He is called ‘anirviNNa:’ who is constantly occupied in the eternal cycles of creation, sustenance and destruction (without the least bit of despondence).

अनिर्विण्णॊ जागरूकॊ जगद्व्यापारसन्ततौ |

437) sthavishta: (स्थविष्ठः) (also repeated in 53)

Thereafter, the non-depressed tireless efforts of bhagavAn in bringing people into his fold are illustrated famously in the uththama anuvAka of svAdhyaya brAhmaNa as well as in the vishNu purANa. From this divine name, the stellar form of bhagavAn as ‘SimSumAra’, which is a constellation in the shape of a crocodile is hailed.

Since bhagavAn – in this form – is expansive as ‘SimSumAra’, he is called ‘sthavishta:’.

The vishNu purANa says thus: “The SimSumAra chakra is verily the divine form of bhagavAn – our Lord”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn always manifests in the SimSumAra chakra form as a stellar constellation in an expansive form, he is hailed as ‘sthavishta:’. He is the one who cleanses us of all our sins.

शिंशुमाराकृतितया तारारूपॆण सर्वदा |
स्थौल्यात् स्थविष्ठः सम्प्रॊक्तः सप्तार्णः पापनाशनः ||

438) bhU: (भूः)

Being in association with the dhruva star, since the SimSumAra chakra acts as the support for all entities, bhagavAn (in the form of SimSumAra chakra) is called ‘bhU:’ – the support.

The vishNu purANa says “At the end of that constellation (SimSumAra) is the dhruva star located”.

Etymology: Since the SimSumAra chakra supports every entity due to its relation with dhruva star, bhagavAn in that form is called ‘bhU:’. He is the one who grants all the desired wealth to his devotees.

औत्तानपादिसम्बन्धात् सर्वाधारतया तथा |
भवतीति च भूः प्रॊक्तॊ भक्तानां भूतिदॊ मनुः ||

439) dharmayUpa: (धर्मयूपः)

Since bhagavAn bears the dharma thathvam in a prime position as his head, he is called ‘dharmayUpa:’. The root ‘yu’ यु (to unite) gets the ‘pa’ (प) adjunct with a dhIrgha swara in the root, resulting in the word ‘yUpa’.

The scriptures support thus:

  • “Dharma takes shelter in his head”
  • “His head is verily dharma”, etc.

Etymology:  Since bhagavAn bears the entity of ‘righteousness’ as verily his head at all times, he is called ‘dharmayUpa:’.

उत्तमाङ्गतया धर्मतत्वं यौतीति सर्वदा |
धर्मयूपः समाख्यातॊ ह्यष्टार्णॊ धर्मदायकः ||

440) mahAmakha: (महामखः)

Since the ‘yagya’ itself is a limb of bhagavAn – which is also an auxiliary tool for the practice of dharma, he is called ‘mahAmakha:’.

This is since the scriptures say “yagya is itself known to be verily the dharma”.

Etymology: Since ‘yagya’ itself – which is most revered due to its being the embodiment of dharma – is the limb of bhagavAn, he is called ‘mahAmakha:’. He is the one who supports every soul in its righteous actions.

धर्मदॆहतया पूज्यॊ यज्ञॊsस्यावयवॊ यतः |
ततॊ महामखः प्रॊक्तॊ ह्यष्टार्णः कर्मकारकः ||

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 43 (Names 421 to 430)

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

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421) parigraha: (परिग्रहः)

bhagavAn holds every soul both in this world as well as nether. Hence, he is called ‘parigraha:’. This trait of holding the souls and not letting them go is shown when rAma granted paramapadham to all of his relatives, denizens of ayOdhya, their relatives, the demigods that they worshipped, gardens, trees, grass, etc.

The scriptures say that bhagavAn grants paramapadham to every soul who is affectionate about him in all of his incarnations.

This fully shows rAma’s divine quality called sauSeelyam or affability.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn holds every soul with equanimity both here and hereafter, he is called ‘parigraha:’.

इहामुत्र समं सर्वग्रहणात् स्यात् परिग्रहः |

422) ugra: (उग्रः)

Thereafter, the divine names of kalki – who is dormant in pAthALa, and who is the destroyer of all bad elements with bad character and wrongful deeds – are hailed.

At the end of this yuga (kaliyuga), when people indulge heavily in committing sins, and when the varna-ASrama dharmas decline, bhagavAn appears as kalki with a fierce form. Hence he is called ‘ugra:’ – the fierce one.

The root ‘ucha’ उच (to collect) gets the ‘ran’ (रन्) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

The manthra varNas hailing kalki bhagavAn say thus: “…to that destroyer, and the blazing fire of time…”

The paushkara Samhitha says thus: “kalki is verily bhagavAn vishNu. He incarnates when the dharmas decline with an intention to eliminate the evil minded souls from the face of this earth in this kali yuga”

Etymology: He who appears in the form of kalki when the dharmas decline and slays the evil souls and thus protects this world is called as ‘ugra:’ by the learned men.

नष्टॆ धर्मॆ कल्किरूपॊ ह्यवतीर्य महीभृतः |
म्लॆच्छादीन् हतवान् यॊsसौ उग्र इत्युच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

423) samvathsara: (संवत्सरः) (also repeated in 92)

Since bhagavAn waits for the right time, resting on AdhiSEsha in the pAthALa lOka, he is called ‘samvathsara:’ – the one who rests.

The root word ‘vasathi’ वसति (to rest or to reside) gets the ‘saM=m’ (सम्) prefix and the ‘sara:’ (सरः) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

All the scriptures hail bhagavAn thus in his meditative hymn:

  • “…him, who reclines on the serpent bed AdhiSEsha”
  • “…he who is surrounded by the embodiments of his divine weapons such as the chakra, etc”

Etymology: With all the tools for destruction, and waiting for the right time, since bhagavAn rests on AdhiSEsha in the pAthALa loka, he is called ‘samvathsara:’.

संहारस्यॊपकरणैः साकं कालप्रतीक्षया |
संवत्सरः स्यात् पातालॆsनन्तॆ संवसतीति सः ||

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

As hailed mahAbhAratha that says “kalki shall roam around in this world continuously, slaying all evil minded souls”, since bhagavAn is dexterous and quick in slaying of enemies, he is called ‘dhaksha:’ – the dexterous one. In this context, the root ‘dhaksh’ (दक्ष्) is taken to mean ‘developing’ or ‘quick’.

The scriptures hail “janArdhana is quick in actions”

Etymology: Since the root ‘dhaksh’ means ‘swiftness’, and since all the evil souls are slain by bhagavAn within a moment, that swiftly acting bhagavAn is called as ‘dhaksha:’ by the learned men.

शीघ्रार्थत्वात् दक्षधातॊः निमॆषात् दस्यवॊ हताः |
यॆन सॊsयं शीघ्रकारी दक्ष इत्युच्यतॆ बुधैः ||

425) viSrAma: (विश्रामः)

bhagavAn is finally the resting place for all the distressed souls suffering from their sins. Hence, he is called ‘viSrAma:’ – the resting abode.

In the sabhA parva of SrI mahAbhAratha, it is said thus: “In order to establish dharma, and for the welfare of the learned men, he incarnates in this world”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is the resting place for all the distressed souls who are suffering by committing sins and enjoying their fruits, he is called ‘viSrAma:’.

पापानि तत्फलान्यॆवं श्रान्ता भॊक्तुं च यॆ जनाः |
तॆषां विश्रामभूमित्वात् विश्रामः परिकीर्तितः ||

426) viSvadhakshiNa: (विश्वदक्षिणः)

How can he be considered to be favoring even the evil souls? (In the previous divine name, he is shown to be the resting place for all distressed souls, and hence considered benevolent to all souls alike. How can this impartial benevolence be justified?) This question is answered in this divine name – viSvadhakshiNa:.

bhagavAn rules over all souls in this world alike, irrespective of whether they are favorable to him or otherwise. Hence, he is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’.

The root ‘dhakshi’ (दक्षि) gets the ‘inan’ (इनन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. The word ‘dhAkshiNyam’ (दाक्षिण्यम्) is itself understood as being tolerant towards even the offending souls, and thus the meaning of this divine name.

SrI mahAbhAratha says thus: “He graces all of these worlds and takes them into his fold”.

Alternately, bhagavAn also gets this divine name since he offered the entire world as a donation in the aSvamEdha yagyam. This is as shown in the AraNya parva of SrI mahAbhAratha thus: “After having slain all the robbers, bhagavAn conducts a grand aSvamEdha yajna and dutifully offers this entire world to the brAhmaNas as a donation”.

Etymology: The one who is extremely tolerant even towards his offenders is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’. Alternately, he who offered the entire world as a donation to the brAhmaNas in the aSvamEdha sacrifice is called ‘viSvadhakshiNa:’.

अपकारिष्वतिक्षान्तॊ विश्वदक्षिण उच्यतॆ |
यद्वाश्वमॆधॆ पृथिवीं दक्षिणात्वॆन दत्तवान् |
महीसुरॆभ्यः कृत्स्नां यः स स्मृतॊ विश्वदक्षिणः ||

विस्तारः स्थावरः स्थाणुः प्रमाणं बीजमव्ययम् ।
अर्थॊsनर्थॊ महाकॊशॊ महाभॊगॊ महाधनः ॥ ४६ ॥

427) visthAra: (विस्तारः)

bhagavAn (as kalki) completely destroys kali and establishes krutha yuga again, thereby extending the scope of vEdhas. Thus, he is called ‘visthAra:’.

The root ‘sthu’ स्तृ (to extend) gets the ‘ghanja’ (घञ) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

The scriptures hail thus: “Thereafter, oh scion of the bharatha clan, the unrighteousness or adharma shall be destroyed, and the righteousness or dharma shall be firmly established – all at the beginning of krutha yuga. Then, all the people become righteous in their minds and actions”

Etymology: Destroying the kali age completely and establishing krutha yuga thence, since bhagavAn extends the scope of vEdhas thereafter, he is called ‘visthAra:’.

प्रबलं यः कलिं हत्वा प्रवर्त्य च कृतं युगम् |
विस्तार्य वॆदमर्यादां स्थितॊ विस्तार उच्यतॆ ||

428) sthAvarasthANu: (स्थावरस्थाणुः)

After having established dharma thus, since bhagavAn becomes extremely peaceful, he is called ‘sthAvarasthANu:’.

This is hailed in the AraNya parva of SrI mahAbhAratha thus: “Having established dharma and having extended the scope of vEdhas, bhagavAn becomes peaceful”.

Etymology: He who firmly establishes dharma and becomes peaceful, and who cannot be moved from his pacific state whatsoever is called ‘sthAvarasthANu:’.

स्थावरीकृत्य धर्मान् यः शमॆ स्थास्यति नित्यशः |
यॆन कॆनाप्यचाल्यः सः स्थावरस्थाणुरुच्यतॆ ||

429) pramANam (प्रमाणम्) (also repeated in 959)

Thereafter, bhagavAn looks after the welfare of all people in krutha yuga by creating the necessary guidelines and promoting them. Thus he is called ‘pramANam’. Even the usual pramANas like prathyaksha, anumAna and Agama are established with his power only.

This is as shown in the mahAbhAratha thus: “All humans in this world follow the conduct of bhagavAn”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn establishes the welfare of people in krutha yuga (by means of pramANas), he is called ‘pramANam’.

हिताहितस्थापकत्वात् प्रमाणं स्यात् कृतादिषु |

430) bIjamavyayam (बीजमव्ययम्)

Thus, since bhagavAn reestablishes dharma again and again – as and when dharma declines as in during the end of kali yuga and the like, he is called ‘bIjamavyayam’ – the seed of dharma who knows no extinction.

Etymology: He who reestablishes dharma at the end of kali yuga in order to protect his devotees is called as ‘bIjamavyayam’.

यॊ वै कलियुगस्यान्तॆ मुहुर्धर्मप्ररॊहणाम् |
करॊति भक्तरक्षार्थं स भवॆद्बीजमव्ययम् ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 41 (Names 401 to 410)

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

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401) anaya: (अनयः)

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

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

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

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

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

असुहृद्भिर्नयॊ यस्य नास्तीत्यनय उच्यतॆ |
अथवा जगतामस्मादयॊ नान्यस्ततॊsनयः ||

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

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

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

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

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

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

वीरः कम्पनहॆतुत्वात् रक्षसामतिभीमतः |

403) SakthimathAm SrEshta: (शक्तिमतां श्रॆष्ठः)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

404) dharma: (धर्मः)

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

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

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

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

Even in SrI mahAbhAratha, it is said thus:

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

The same scripture also says thus in other places:

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

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

निःश्रॆयसाभ्युदयतॊ धर्मः सर्वस्य धारणात् |

405) dharmavidhuththama: (धर्मविदुत्तमः)

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

The scriptures hail this quality of bhagavAn thus:

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

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

वसिष्ठाद्युपजीव्यॊ यॊ धर्मॆ धर्मविदुत्तमः |

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

406) vaikuNta: (वैकुण्ठः)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

प्राणः सर्वप्राणनाद्धि |

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

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

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

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

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

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

तद्दानात् प्राणदः स्मृतः |

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

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

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

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

गुणैश्चराचराणां हि नामनात् प्रणमः स्मृतः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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