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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 41 (Names 401 to 410)

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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 |

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वैकुण्ठः पुरुषः प्राणः प्राणदः प्रणमः पृथुः ।
हिरण्यगर्भः शत्रुघ्नॊ व्याप्तॊ वायुरधॊक्षजः ॥ ४४ ॥
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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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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 40 (Names 391 to 400)

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391) parardhdhi: (परर्द्धिः)

Thence the divine deed of bhagavAn in his greatest incarnation as SrI rAma, which is capable of reviving a dying soul, is hailed. Although possessing all wealth, since his divine auspicious qualities are highly opulent, he is called ‘parardhdhi:’.

Although bhagavAn is the only supreme entity ruling over all others, he is compared to some lowly demigods for a miniscule of his original qualities in his incarnation as SrI rAma.

For instance, SrImath rAmAyanam hails rAma’s qualities thus:

“He greatly resembles vishNu in valor. In his affable appearance, he resembles the moon”, etc.

The same SrImath rAmAyanam later hails his absolute supremacy thus:

“SrI rAma’s qualities cannot be described with mere words. his greatness never diminishes. He is perceptible only by the highest vEdhas, and resides in the hearts of all dhEvas and all other entities. He is indeed the one who destroys all our enemies”, et al.

The manthra varNas hailing SrI rAma address him as ‘bhagavAn’ – indicating opulence of all divine and auspicious qualities in him.

Etymology: Since SrI  rAma is ever filled with an abundance of superior and auspicious qualities, and shows his absolute supremacy at all times.

कल्याणानां पराणां च गुणानां ऋद्धिदः सदा |
परावस्थतया चैव परर्द्धिरिति कथ्यतॆ ||

392) paramaspashta: (परमस्पष्टः)

To elaborate further, the same point is reinforced with this divine name ‘paramaspashta:’. His absolute supremacy can be clearly seen in various occasions.

This is shown in SrImath rAmAyana by mandodari when her husband rAvana was killed by SrI rAma. While grieving her husband’s death, she praises rAma thus: “This rAma is clearly showing himself as verily the supreme and eternal godhead nArAyaNa”.

The same SrImath  rAmAyana also hails rAma thus: “He is verily the sun to even the sun god”, et al.

Etymology: The one whose absolute supremacy is very clearly seen even in his incarnation as SrI rAma is called ‘paramaspashta:’.

साक्षात्-दृष्टस्वपारम्यः परमस्पष्ट उच्यतॆ |

393) thushta: (तुष्टः)

bhagavAn rejoices his attainment of the status of being daSaratha’s son much more than his absolute supremacy itself. Thus, he is called ‘thushta:’.

The SriImath rAmAyana says thus about bhagavAn:

  • “At that moment, bhagavAn vishNu delighted in choosing daSaratha as his would-be father”
  • “SrI rAma greatly delights in practicing his own varNASrama principles of the kshathriya community”
  • “I consider myself as a human; the son of daSaratha, rAma by name”, et al.

Etymology: The one who is highly contented with his attainment of the status of being daSaratha’s son, ruling over the kingdom of ayOdhyA and acting like an ordinary human being (more than his absolute supremacy itself) is called ‘thushta:’.

लाभाद्दाशरथित्वस्य जगतः पालनस्य च |
मनुष्यत्वॆsपि यः प्रीतः स तुष्ट इति कथ्यतॆ ||

394) pushta: (पुष्टः)

Since SrI rAma is resplendent with an abundance of such great qualities, he is called ‘pushta:’. The SrImath rAmAyana says “…that SrI rAma, who is full of auspicious qualities”.

Etymology: The one who is replete with great qualities such as benevolence and the like is called ‘pushta:’.

गुणैर्यॊ ह्यानृशंसाद्यैः पूर्णः पुष्ट इतीरितः |

395) SubhEkshaNa: (शुभॆक्षणः)

SrI rAma possesses wide, pacific, benign, long and red hued auspicious lotus-like eyes, betraying his supreme nature said hitherto. Hence, he is called ‘SubhEkshaNa:’. 

This is as said in Srimath rAmAyanam thus:

“SrI rAma has nice eyebrows and long lotus-like reddish eyes, akin to vishNu himself”.

Alternately, SrI rAma is hailed as ‘SubhEkshaNa:’ since his eyes are looked by each and every soul, and he looks at each and every soul. Again, SrImath rAmAyana supports this view thus: “He – who does not see rAma and whom rAma doesn’t see – shall be the most ill fated soul in this world, to the extent that he is disliked by himself the most”.

Etymology: The one who possesses pacific, long and wide lotus-like reddish eyes that show his excellence in disposition is called ‘SubhEkshaNa:’.

सौशील्यैश्वर्यपिशुनं शीतलं दीर्घमायतम् |
ताम्रं च लॊचनं यस्य स शुभॆक्षण ईरितः ||

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रामॊ विरामॊ विरतॊ मार्गॊ नॆयॊ नयॊsनयः ।
वीरः शक्तिमतांश्रॆष्ठॊ धर्मॊ धर्मविदुत्तमः ॥ ४३ ॥
==============================

396) rAma: (रामः)

The one who attracts every soul with his divine forms and auspicious qualities is called ‘rAma:’. SrImath rAmAyana says thus:

  • “rAma is the greatest of entities that generate happiness among souls”
  • “…that rAma, who is a storehouse of auspicious qualities…”
  • “SrI rAma is dark complexioned, youthful, red-eyed, and like a bull among elephants.”
  • “SrI rAma shone with his great qualities just like the sun shines with its bright rays, attracting every citizen of ayOdhyA with his love, and verily embodying daSaratha’s love.”

The manthra varNas hailing SrI rAma say thus: “…that SrI rAma, who is attractive with his dark complexioned body like a beautiful water-lily blooming in the autumn season”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn delights the individual souls with his auspicious sight, divine form and great qualities, he is called ‘rAma:’.

शुभॆक्षणॆsस्मिन् स्वगुणैः रम्यतॆ राम ईरितः |

397) virAma: (विरामः)

The grantor of boon – the four faced brahmA, the boon itself – the boon of immortality, and the seeker of such boon – the ten headed rAvana – all finally rest in SrI rAma’s actions. Hence, he is called ‘virAma:’ – the resting abode.

hanuman praises rAma’s valor thus in front of rAvana: “Even if the four faced brahmA, three eyed Siva, the thousand eyed indhra, and others come together in opposition, SrI rAma still remains invincible by all of them”

Etymology: The one who is causes the various entities to rest, such as the grantor of boon – brahmA, the seekers of boon – rAvaNa and others, and the boon itself – the boon of immortality and invincibility – is called ‘virAma:’.

वरप्रदैः ब्रह्ममुख्यैः अवध्यत्वादिभिर्वरैः |
यस्मिन् विरम्यतॆ इति स विरामः परिकीर्तितः ||

398) viratha: (विरतः) (also repeated in 367), mArga: (मार्गः)

Since SrI rAma is unattached to material pleasures such as rule of kingdom and the like, he is called ‘viratha:’.

SrI vAlmIki maharishi beautifully describes this glorious attribute of SrI rAma thus:

  • “Just as the darkness of night cannot diminish the radiance of the cooling moon, so also the loss of kingdom rule does not take away the naturally great wealth of his pacific nature”
  • “rAma considers obedience to his father daSaratha superior to his coronation itself”
  • “There was not a least bit of fear in the face of rAma when he gave up the rule of kingdom for the sake of dharma and took me to the forest by walk”, etc.

Further, he is called ‘mArga:’. Here, it means that he is sought after by all the sages such as bharadhvAja maharishi and others.

Thus, these two names can be seen separately.

Alternately, the two words can be seen together to refer to a single divine name ‘virajOmArga:’ as well. This means he is the one who shows the individual souls the faultless path of mOksha.

This is shown in SrImath rAmAyana thus:

  • “Oh jatAyu, tread that greatest path and reach the supreme abode of SrI vaikuNtam, which is otherwise treaded by pious men practicing the highest dharmas”.
  • “rAma’s bow enabled vAli to reach the highest destination”, et al.

Etymology: By nature, since rAma is unattached to the material pursuits such as kingdom rule and the like, he is called ‘viratha:’. Also, since he is constantly sought after by sage bharadhvAja and others, he is called ‘mArga:’. In another version, the two words are combined into a single divine name ‘virajOmArga:’, meaning he is the one who shows us the faultless path of mOksha.

निसर्गनैरपॆक्ष्यॆण राज्यादॆः कृपणाद्धि यः |
विरागी विरतः स स्यात् सप्तार्णवः परमाद्भुतः ||

मृग्यमाणतया मार्गॊ भरद्वाजादिभिः सदा |
पाठॆ तु विरजॊ मार्ग इति पन्थाः प्रदर्शितः ||
निर्दॊषॊ यॆन विरजॊ मार्गः सन्मार्गदर्श्यसौ ||

399) nEya: (नॆयः)

SrI rAma subjects himself to the orders of pious men and obeys them. Hence, he is called ‘nEya:’.

In the Srimath rAmAyana, it is shown thus:

  • “Oh sages, I am at your behest”
  • “Having accepted all your orders, I now wish to stay here in this forest…”
  • “The one who wishes to gain long lasting wealth must approach learned men, no matter how intelligent he is”

In the sabhA parva of SrI mahAbhAratha, bhagavAn declares thus:

“Oh yudhishtira, perform the yajna that you so desire. When I am here to do good to you, you can appoint me for any work; I shall do everything that you order me to do”

In the udhyOga parva, he says: “Oh mighty one! I am at your behest. Tell me what I can do for you, and I shall do all that you order”

In the Srimath rAmAyana, it is also said about lakshmana thus:

“With the friendly attitude and extreme devotion of hanuman, lakshmana allowed himself to be easily lifted by that monkey, who is not even shaken by others otherwise.”

Etymology: The one who subordinates to his dearest pious devotees is called ‘nEya:’.

नियॊगयॊग्यः सुहृदां यॊsसौ नॆयः स उच्यतॆ |

400) naya: (नयः)

Although bhagavAn subordinates himself at the behest of the pious sages, yet the sages remain to be protected by bhagavAn only. This is shown in this divine name ‘naya:’.

In Srimath rAmAyana, the sages pray thus:

“Oh rAma, although we perform fierce penance, yet we are under your protection just like an infant under the protection of its mother in her womb”

Similarly the pANdavas declare thus, although krishna says he is at their behest: “Oh krishNa, you are our lord, and we are in your refuge”.

Etymology: Since all sages are lead and protected by rAma, he is called ‘naya:’.

यस्मिन् तपॊधना नित्यं नीयन्तॆ इति वै नयः |

Thus ends the fourth centum (chathurtha Sathakam) in SrI bhagavath-guNa-dharpaNa, which is an explanation of SrI vishNu sahasranAma, by the scion of SrI hAritha clan, the son of SrIvathsAnga mishra (kUraththAzhvAn) – SrIranganatha by name, also called SrI parASara bhatta, who wrote this glorious commentary at the behest of SrI rangarAja.

The fourth centum is completed.

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 39 (Names 381 to 390)

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381) kAraNam (कारणम्)

Furthermore, bhagavAn is only the cause for all organs to act as per their natures – such as the eyes seeing, the ears hearing, etc. he only enables them to act accordingly. Hence, he is called ‘kAraNam’.

Etymology: The one who enables the sense and action organs of all individual souls born in this creation to act is called ‘kAraNam’.

जीवानां चक्षुरादीन् यॊ हॆतून् कारयतीति सः |

प्रॊच्यतॆ कारणम् |

382) karthA (कर्ता) (also repeated in 317)

The one who is originally not bound by any of such actions is called ‘karthA’.

Although the individual souls are purely causal for their own actions, fruits and enjoyments, bhagavAn considers all of them as his own out of his love towards the souls.

The SrImath rAmAyaNa hails this great quality of bhagavAn thus: “In sorrows of all humans, rAma would be sad for them even before the victims themselves. In happiness of all humans, he would be happier than them just like a loving father”

“bhagavAn never enjoys solitude, and hence he decided to multiply”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is actually aloof from the results of such actions (but volunteers to own them) is called ‘karthA’.

कर्ता स्वतन्त्रः परिकीर्तितः ||

383) vikarthA (विकर्ता)

Since bhagavAn voluntarily takes on the ownership of enjoyments of fruits thus, and hence experiences joy and sorrows – thereby showing transformations, he is called ‘vikarthA’.

It is absolutely clear that bhagavAn originally isn’t affected by any of these results of various actions, since all such actions and results are driven by the karma of individual souls. However, it is out of sheer compassion and his boundless love towards such fallen souls that he owns such enjoyments of fruits. This is purely his greatness, and not a shortcoming that affects his absolute supremacy. After all, if he were not to be so compassionate towards us, how would such divine auspicious qualities befit him? Is it even wrong to empathize with other grieving souls?

Etymology: The one who is subject to transformations of mind due to the experience of joy and sorrows (of his devotees), he is called ‘vikarthA’.

विकुर्वाणॊ विकर्ता यॊ हर्षशॊकादिभिः स्मृतः |

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

Thus, bhagavAn identifies himself with every individual soul – mixing well with each of their knowledge levels, enjoyments, nature of actions, etc, as if he was never separate from them anytime. Since the depth of such great qualities of bhagavAn cannot be fathomed, he is called ‘gahana:’ – the unfathomable.

The scriptures hail thus: “Although he resides amidst the dhEvas, they do not know his true nature”

The antharyAmi brAhmaNam hails this feat of bhagavAn thus: “He who resides within this earth, but the earth doesn’t know….. he who indwells every soul, but the souls do not know….” etc.

The Subala upanishath says thus: “nArAyana is verily the eyes, as well as the object of vision”.

bhagavAn declares thus in bhagavath-gIthA: “arjuna, there are five entities playing their roles in every deed – the physical body, the individual soul, the mind, the life breath, and the supreme soul”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is unfathomable due to his great quality of completely identifying himself with the fallen souls is called ‘gahana:’.

बुद्ध्यायतन-भॊगॊपकरणादिषु दॆहिनाम् |
तदभिन्नाभिमानात्म-महागुणगणॆsपि च ||

गहनॊ हय्तिभूमित्वात् |

385) guha: (गुहः)

Since bhagavAn protects each and every devotee thus, he is called ‘guha:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘guha:’ since he protects his devotees.

रक्षतीति गुहः स्मृतः |

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व्यवसायॊ व्यवस्थानः संस्थानः स्थानदॊ ध्रुवः ।
परर्द्धिः परमस्पष्टस्तुष्टः पुष्टः शुभॆक्षणः ॥ ४२ ॥
==============================

386) vyavasAya: (व्यवसायः)

Thereafter, the manifestation of bhagavAn vAsudhEva in the dhruva maNdalam is hailed. bhagavAn binds the planetary groups and constellations in an amazing formation in the dhruva maNdala. Hence, he is called ‘vyavasAya:’.

The abode of all such planets and constellations – the dhruva mandala – is verily bhagavAn’s divine form of the supreme sky. Thus he holds all such entities as his body.

That is only the reason why the manthra varNas hail bhagavAn as ‘the one whose form is verily the sky’.

The meditative SlOka on bhagavAn hails him as “the lord who bears the constellation cycles”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn firmly binds the constellations and planets in the dhruva maNdala (his own body), he is called ‘vyavasAya:’. he is the very support for all such entities.

ज्यॊतिश्चक्रं ध्रुवॆ नित्यं सीयतॆ बद्ध्यतॆ यतः |
व्यवसायस्ततॊ ज्ञॆयः भूगणाधारमूर्तिमान् ||

387) vyavasthAna: (व्यवस्थानः)

The basis for determining the different positions of such constellations and planets is time. This time is divided by bhagavAn into different units such as kalA, kAshtA, muhUrtha, etc. All these units of time reside in bhagavAn only. He is verily the indweller of such time.

Thus, he is called ‘vyavasthAna:’.

Etymology: Since the various units of time such as kalA, muhUrtha, etc are firmly established in him, he is called ‘vyavasthAna:’.

कलामुहूर्तादिमयॊ ध्रुवॆ कालॊsवतिष्टतॆ |
यस्मात् तस्मात् व्यवस्थानः ह्यष्टार्णः स्थानदॊ मनुः ||

388) samsthAna: (संस्थानः)

At the end of creation, since all these entities – constellations, planets, time, etc get merged in him, he is called ‘samsthAna:’.

Etymology: Since all the entities merge into the dhruva maNdala (bhagavAn’s divine body) at the end of creation, he is called ‘samsthAna:’.

ध्रुवॆ समाप्यतॆ सर्वमिति संस्थान उच्यतॆ |

389) sthAnadha: (स्थानदः)

Since bhagavAn only grants the highest abode of SrI vaikuNtam to dhruva mahArAja, he is called ‘sthAnadha:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn alone is the grantor of the supreme abode SrI vaikuNtam, he is called ‘sthAnadha:’.

स ऎव परमाकाशप्राप्तौ हॆतुत्वतः सदा |
प्रॊच्यतॆ स्थानद इति सप्तार्णॊ मनुनायकः ||

390) dhruva: (ध्रुवः) (also repeated in 55)

bhagavAn bestowed upon the little boy dhruva a magnificent position in the dhruva maNdala. It is due to this great deed that bhagavAn himself is called ‘dhruva:’ – the one who permanently establishes his devotees in great positions. This clearly indicates that he alone pervades all entities and all places at all times.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘dhruva:’ since he bestowed upon an ordinary soul – dhruva mahArAja – verily the highest position in the dhruva maNdala and established him firmly for a long time.

अर्वाचीनं ध्रुवमपि तुङ्गस्थानप्रदानतः |
ध्रुवी चकार यस्माद्धि ध्रुवस्तस्मात् प्रकीर्तितः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 38 (Names 371 to 380)

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371) mahIdhara: (महीधरः) (also repeated in 319)

Since bhagavAn only reduces the load on this earth by destroying all evil entities, he is called ‘mahIdhara:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bears the world by reducing the load (by destroying all evil entities), he is called ‘mahIdhara:’.

भूभारनाशनॆन ज्याधरणात् धरणीधरः |

372) mahAbhAga: (महाभागः)

Since bhagavAn showed the fortune of winning over the gOpikAs, neeLA dhEvi, the sixteen thousand maidens, rukmiNi, sathyabhAmA, jAmbavathi, et al, with all of them voluntarily willing to marry him, he is called ‘mahAbhAga:’.

Etymology: mahAbhAga: is the one who possesses lofty attributes that are desired by many great women such as rukmiNi, sathyabhAmA, and others, and was married by them.

रुक्मिण्यादि बहुस्त्रीभीः महाभागः स्वयंवृतः |

373) vEgavAn (वॆगवान्)

Although born as a human, since bhagavAn shows his invincible supreme lordship even in his incarnations, he is called ‘vEgavAn’. The ‘mathup’ (मतुप्) adjunct used in this divine name indicates extremity of such qualities.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn displays his inseparable supreme lordship even during his human incarnation right from childhood, he is called ‘vEgavAn’.

दुर्वारपरमैश्वर्यप्रसारत्वात् विशॆषतः |

मनुष्यधर्मॆ बाल्यॆsपि वॆगवानिति शब्द्यतॆ ||

374) amithASana: (अमिताशनः)

How or where has he displayed such feats? This is illustrated here with this divine name ‘amithASana:’ – the one with unlimited appetite.

bhagavAn swallowed all the unlimited quantities of food prepared by the cowherds for indhra (in the name of gOvardhana parvatha). The scriptures say that the cowherds (gOpas) were extremely astonished at this extraordinary feat and doubted if he was any god, or a demon. Such are his divine plays.

Etymology: He who ate the unlimited quantities of food prepared by the cowherds with the intent of offering it to indhra without leaving any traces is called ‘amithASana:’.

इन्द्राय कल्पितं गॊपैरमितं चाशनं स्वयम् |
भुक्तवान् यश्च निःशॆषं प्रॊच्यतॆ स अमिताशनः ||

===============================
उद्भवः क्षॊभणॊ दॆवः श्रीगर्भः परमॆश्वरः ।
करणं कारणं कर्ता विकर्ता गहनॊ गुहः ॥ ४१ ॥
================================

375) udhbhava: (उद्भवः) (also repeated in 796)

With his numerous divine deeds such as getting tied with a rope by yaSOdhA etc, since bhagavAn uplifts the fallen souls from the shackles of death (samsAra), he is called ‘udhbhava:’ – the one who uplifts fallen souls from samsAra.

This is as hailed by the scriptures thus: “…that dhAmOdhara, who was tied with a rope, but who unties the fallen souls from the shackles of death”

Etymology: He is called ‘udhbhava:’, with whose grace the fallen individuals are uplifted from this samsAra.

समुद्गतॊ भवॊ यस्मात् उद्भवः परिकीर्तितः |

376) kshObhaNa: (क्षॊभणः)

bhagavAn is called ‘kshObhaNa:’ since he mixes up the individual souls and the prakruthi (nature), which are otherwise different from each other. He binds the individual souls in different bodies (made of nature) at the time of creation, and thus combines the two different entities.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn binds the fallen individual souls (eligible to be bound due to their karma) in the lower nature, he is called ‘kshObhaNa:’.

प्रकृतिं बन्धनार्हांश्च क्षॊभयन् क्षॊभणः स्मृतः |

377) dhEva: (दॆवः)

bhagavAn ties the individual souls with his rope called ‘mAyA’ just like trapping tigers and wild boars, and plays with them in this creation. Hence, he is called ‘dhEva:’ – the one who plays. It comes from the root ‘dhiv’ (दिव्), to mean ‘sport’ in this context.

Etymology: Just like trapping and caging a tiger and other wild beasts, since bhagavAn binds the individual souls (bound by karma) in this creation with his rope called ‘mAyA’ and plays with them, he is called ‘dhEva:’.

व्याघ्रादिवज्जीवततॆः मायापाशॆन बन्धनम् |
कृत्वा नित्यं क्रीडति यः स दॆवः परिकीर्तितः ||

378) SrIgarbha: (श्रीगर्भः)

bhagavAn – along with SrI mahAlakshmi – play thus with all these creations, and since his divine wealth constantly grows with such divine sport, he is called ‘SrIgarbha:’.

As the scriptures say, SrI mahAlakshmi is the one who never gets separated from bhagavAn.

Etymology: He is called ‘SrIgarbha:’, who constantly engages in divine sport with SrI mahAlakshmi and enjoys.

श्रीगर्भः श्रीरॆन भॊगक्रीडा साह्यॆन पॊष्यतॆ |

379) paramESvara: (परमॆश्वरः)

Thus, the one who possesses absolute supremacy purely due to his association with SrI mahAlakshmi, who married him out of her own wish, is called ‘paramESvara:’.

The SrImath rAmAyana says thus: “rAma glittered with sIthA by his side, just as the lord of all beings – vishNu – shines forth with SrI mahAlakshmi by his side”.

Etymology: Owing to SrI mahAlakshmi who voluntarily married bhagavAn, since he possesses absolute supremacy and lordship over every entity, he is called ‘paramESvara:’.

श्रीस्वयंग्रहसार्थात् स्वात् ऐश्वर्यात् परमॆश्वरः |

380) karaNam (करणम्)

Since bhagavAn is himself the tool helpful in attaining him, he is called ‘karaNam’ – the tool. It is indeed from just a very small fraction of such bhagavAn’s power that all of our sense organs such as eyes, ears, etc, action organs such as hands, legs, etc get their power to act as tools for knowledge and action.

The scriptures say thus:

“nArAyaNa is verily the eyes, and the object of vision. nArAyaNa is indeed the ears, and the object of hearing”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is himself the tool for all individual souls in the pursuit of attaining him is called ‘karaNam’.

स्वप्राप्तौ साधकतमं जीवानां करणं विदुः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 37 (Names 361 to 370)

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361) havirhari: (हविर्हरिः)

Just as declared in the vEdhas as “Only till such time I am not released from the bondages of samsAra, I cycle in this samsAra. The day I earn bhagavAn’s grace and get released from this cycle, I attain verily that supreme brahman and prosper”, bhagavAn knows and waits for the right time to grace each one of his dear devotees, and finally unites with such devotees in SrIvaikuNtam and also gives himself to them for mutual enjoyment. Thus, he is called ‘havi:’. The root ‘hu’ (हु) means to exchange – give and take. It gets the ‘isi:’ (इसिः) adjunct per grammatical rules, resulting in the word ‘havi:’.

Furthermore, bhagavAn only dispels all obstacles in the way of attaining him, and hence he is called ‘hari:’ – the one who steals (removes) the obstacles.

Since bhagavAn thus gives himself to his devotees, unites with such dear devotees, and also dispels obstacles in the way of such union, he is called ‘havirhari:’.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

“hari steals (clears off) all sins of his dear devotees, even if they were known to be the most evil minded souls before, although they did not yearn for such divine grace. This is like fire displaying its nature of burning although touched without knowledge”.

‘havirhari:’ is thus a single name, and not two names.

bhagavAn himself declares thus: “I accept a part of the fire oblations, and hence called ‘hari:’. Also, I am called ‘hari:’ due to my greenish hue”.

Since bhagavAn thus accepts the oblations (havis) in the sacred fire, he is called ‘havirhari:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘havi:’ since he knows when the time is ripe and gives away himself to his dear devotees and also unites with them. He is called ‘hari:’ since he only removes the obstacles in the way of such divine union. Thus, he is called ‘havirhari:’.

Alternately, since bhagavAn accepts the oblations given in the sacred fire (directly as well as in the form as indweller of lower demigods to whom such oblations may be directed), he is called ‘havirhari:’.

भक्तॆभ्यः स्वात्मदानाय यॊ ज्ञात्वावसरं मुदा |
दीयतॆ चादीयतॆ च तैर्यॊsसौ तु हविः स्मृतः ||

हरिश्च तद्विघ्नहरॊ यद्वा क्रतुषु दीयतॆ |
यद्धविस्तस्य हरणात् हविर्हरिरिति स्मृतः ||

362) sarvalakshaNa-lakshaNya: (सर्वलक्षणलक्षण्यः)

Thence, bhagavAn vAsudhEva’s form as the consort of SrI mahAlakshmi is hailed. bhagavAn possesses an auspicious divine body showing insignia of great prosperity due to his constant embracing of his consort SrI mahAlakshmi. Hence he is called ‘sarva-lakshaNa-lakshaNya:’ – the one who possesses all auspicious insignia.

Such divine auspicious insignia are shown in the scriptures thus:

  • “One should meditate upon that consort of SrI mahAlakshmi, who possesses the hue of a lotus, and is stationed in a divine lotus sporting the divine discus (chakra) in both of his hands”
  • “Oh lotus eyed one, the ocean of all auspiciousness and bliss…” etc.

Etymology: sarva-lakshaNa-lakshaNya: is the one who sports the insignia of his divine union with SrI mahAlakshmi.

सर्वलक्षणलक्षण्यॊ लक्ष्मीलक्षण-चिह्नितः |

363) lakshmIvAn (लक्ष्मीवान्)

Thus he is also called ‘lakshmIvAn’ – the one who is eternally united with SrI mahAlakshmi.

bhagavAn himself declares thus:

“When I held the hand of SrI mahAlakshmi in marriage (to enact our marriage for all individual souls to enjoy), I playfully disclosed her eternity just like myself (without another cause). I have taken shelter in her ever since, and she has sought my refuge. So we are mutually inseparable for eternity”.

The word ‘prakruthi’ in this sloka verily refers to SrI mahAlakshmi, who is the mother of all worlds.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is ever united with SrI mahAlakshmi, he is called ‘lakshmIvAn’.

लक्ष्म्या च नित्ययुक्तत्वात् लक्ष्मीवान् इति कथ्यतॆ |

364) samithinjaya: (समितिञ्जयः)

Ever united with SrI mahAlakshmi who is the mother of all worlds, bhagavAn becomes the father of every entity. Since the duo thus takes on the responsibility of their children (individual souls born in this creation) in bestowing all happiness upon them, and dispelling the confusions from their minds regarding their eternal natural subservience unto them, bhagavAn is called ‘samithinjaya:’ (read as samitinjaya:).

As the manthra varNas hail, bhagavAn is the one who wins over all sorrows of his devotees (in terms of confusions regarding their subservience, and all other types of obstacles that stop them from attaining him).

Etymology: Having united with SrI mahAlakshmi, since bhagavAn dispels the confusions from the minds of his dear devotees regarding their eternal and natural subservience unto the duo, and thus since he dispels the root of all their sorrows and bestows all auspiciousness, he is called ‘samithinjaya:’.

चॆतनानां स्वदासत्वविवादं जयतीति सः |
समितिञ्जय आख्यातः सर्वदुःखशमाश्रयः ||

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विक्षरॊ रॊहितॊ मर्गॊ हॆतुर्दामॊदरः सहः ।
महीधरॊ महाभागॊ वॆगवान् अमिताशनः ॥ ४० ॥
===============================

365) vikshara: (विक्षरः)

As described hitherto, since bhagavAn never lets his love towards his dearest devotees diminish, he is called ‘vikshara:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s divine love towards his devotees said hitherto never diminishes, he is called ‘vikshara:’.

उक्तस्नॆहस्य अक्षरणात् विक्षरः परिकीर्तितः |

366) rOhitha: (रॊहितः)

bhagavAn possesses a reddish hue as in the calyx of a beautiful lotus flower, due to his eternal union with SrI mahAlakshmi. Hence, he is called ‘rOhitha:’ – the one with a beautiful reddish hue.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses a reddish hue as in the calyx of a lotus flower, he is called ‘rOhitha:’.

पद्मस्य गर्भाभतया रॊहितः परिकीर्तितः |

367) mArga: (मार्गः) (also repeated in 398)

Since he is sought by all of his dear devotees, he is called ‘mArga:’ – the one who is sought after.

As said in the manthra varNas, bhagavAn is the one who is most liked by the devotees.

Etymology: The one who is constantly sought after by his devotees for fulfilling all their desires is called ‘mArga:’.

उपासकैर्मार्ग्यमाणॊ मार्गॊ वाञ्छितसिद्धयॆ |

368) hEthu: (हॆतुः)

bhagavAn is also called ‘hEthu:’ since he remains as the cause for the fulfillment of such desires of all of his dear devotees.

The root ‘hi’ (हि) refers to movement, which gets the ‘thu:’ (तुः) adjunct, resulting in the divine name.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn bestows the desired fruits upon all devotees and thus remains the cause for all their attainments, he is called ‘hEthu:’.

वाञ्छितार्थनिदानत्वात् हॆतुरित्यभिदीयतॆ |

369) dhAmOdhara: (दामॊदरः)

Since all the worlds (dhAmAni) reside in the belly of bhagavAn, he is called ‘dhAmOdhara:’. This divine name represents his disposition as primordial creator with SrI mahAlakshmi. The scriptures say thus: “The worlds by name ‘dhAma’ shine forth in his belly, due to which he gets the name ‘dhAmOdhara:’”.

Alternately, he is called dhAmOdhara: since he bestows happiness upon all the dhEvas. The word ‘dhAma’ in this context refers to bliss.

Also, he is called ‘dhAmOdhara:’ since he was tied with a rope in his belly by his mother yaSOdha to a grinding stone. The word ‘dhAma’ in this context means a rope.

Thus, although highly clever as loved by even SrI mahAlakshmi herself, bhagavAn voluntarily gets bound by his dear devotees (like yaSOdha, and other gOpikas) in their faultless devotion. He stands tied to a grinding stone with tears rolling down his cheeks, and thus displays his incomparable simplicity, although being the only supreme entity. This divine name shows this extraordinary simplicity and affection of bhagavAn.

Etymology: The one who houses all worlds (dhAma) in his belly is called ‘dhAmOdhara:’. Alternately, he is also popularly called dhAmOdhara: since he was easily tied by yaSOdha with a rope in his belly. Also, he is called ‘dhAmOdhara:’ since he bestows all happiness upon the dhEvas with his infinite bliss.

दामानि लॊकनामानि ह्युदरॆ यस्य सन्ति सः |

दामॊदरॊ मतॊ यद्वा यशॊदा दामबन्धनात् |
दॆवानां सुखशंसित्वात् दामात् दामॊदरॊsपि वा ||

370) saha: (सहः)

Although being the consort of verily SrI mahAlakshmi herself (indicating his absolute supremacy), since he happily puts up with all the tying, scolding, threatening etc by yaSOdhA, he is called ‘saha:’ – the one who endures.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn endures the acts of tying, scolding etc by yaSOdha, he is called ‘saha:’.

यशॊदाकृत-बन्धादि सहनात् सह ईरितः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 36 (Names 351 to 360)

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351) SarIrabhruth (शरीरभृत्)

Sporting such auspicious forms thus, since bhagavAn nourishes his devotees who are verily his divine body, he is called ‘SarIrabhruth’. He nourishes every individual soul with his adorable qualities.

The vishNu purANa says thus: “When bhagavAn resides in the heart of a devotee, that devotee shines forth with a very pleasant demeanor in this world”

The chAndhOgya upanishath also says thus: “Oh SvEthakEthu, your face is glowing as though suggesting that you have completely understood the supreme brahman”.

The devotees of bhagavAn who sincerely worship him as laid down by bhagavAn himself in various scriptures are indeed the body of bhagavAn. At the same time, bhagavAn considers such pure devotees themselves as verily his soul. Such an intimate relationship exists between bhagavAn and his true devotees, with which bhagavAn nourishes them.

Etymology: Situated in the middle of the lotus of heart of his true devotee (yOgi), since bhagavAn bears such an individual soul like his own body and nourishes it, he is called ‘SarIrabhruth’.

यॊगिहृत्कञ्जमध्यस्थः स्वदॆहं तं बिभर्ति यः |
शरीरभृत् स कथितॊ वस्वर्णॊ भुक्तिमुक्तिदः ||

352 and 353) mahardhdhi: (महर्द्धिः), rudhdha: (ऋद्धः) (also repeated in 279)

Thence, bhagavAn’s divine wealth in his manifestation as vAsudhEva is hailed.

bhagavAn’s divine wealth is expansive enough to look after the ‘yOga’ (attainment of wealth) and ‘kshEma’ (retentiveness of such gained wealth) of all of his devotees. Thus, he is called ‘mahardhdhi:’ – the one who bestows great prosperity upon his devotees.

Furthermore, bhagavAn himself experiences completeness from the progress of such true devotees. Hence, he is also greatly prosperous himself, and aptly called ‘rudhdha:’ – the greatly prosperous one.

This is as shown in the SrImath rAmAyaNa, where it says rAma was extremely happy after coronating vibhIshaNa as the ruler of lanka.

Etymology: The divine wealth of that vAsudhEva is hailed thereafter. bhagavAn looks after the possessions of his devotees with his unbound supreme wealth, due to which he is called ‘mahardhdhi:’. Also, he is feels greatly prosperous himself with the progress of such true devotees, and hence called ‘rudhdha:’.

स ऎवाथॊ विव्रियतॆ वासुदॆवॊ विभूतिभिः |
तद्यॊगक्षॆमवहन-निर्मर्यादविभूतितः ||
महर्द्धिस्तत्स्मृद्ध्या यः समृद्धः स्वृद्ध उच्यतॆ ||

354) vrudhdhAthmA (वृद्धात्मा)

bhagavAn’s nature is so magnanimous that all such greatness as shown in the previous divine names is reduced to merely a handful measure when compared to his divine natural self. Hence, he is called ‘vrudhdhAthmA’ – the magnanimous one by nature.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn’s divine nature is so great as to reduce all other greatness to merely a handful measure, he is called ‘vrudhdhAthmA’.

महिमानं चुलकयन् प्रवृद्धः सर्वतॊsधिकम् |
आत्मा स्वरूपं यस्यॆति स वृद्धात्मॆति कथ्यतॆ ||

355) mahAksha: (महाक्षः)

The word ‘mahAn’ refers to being venerable. The word ‘aksha:’ refers to the pivot or axle of a vehicle. Since the venerable garuda himself is used as bhagavAn’s vehicle, bhagavAn is called ‘mahAksha:’ – the one who possesses a venerable chariot.

In this context, the word ‘aksha:’ is used to represent the vehicle / chariot (ratha) of bhagavAn. A parallel can be drawn between the vehicle and garuda – who is verily the form of vEdhas – due to their common functionality of transporting.

Etymology: garuda is called ‘aksha:’ to mean ‘chariot’, since he acts similar to a chariot by carrying bhagavAn around. Since such a chariot of bhagavAn – garuda – is most venerable, bhagavAn is called ‘mahAksha:’.

अक्षस्तु तार्क्ष्यॊ वहनात् रथावयवसाम्यतः |
महान् पूज्यः स यस्यास्ति स महाक्ष इति स्मृतः ||

356) garudadhvaja: (गरुडध्वजः)

bhagavAn possesses the same garuda as his identifying flag as well. Hence he is called ‘garudadhvaja:’. The ‘garuda flag’ itself is one of the most uniquely identifying characteristics of bhagavAn showing his absolute supremacy.

Etymology: The one who possesses the same garuda as his flag as well is called ‘garudadhvaja:’.

स ऎव तु ध्वजॊ यस्य स उक्तॊ गरुडध्वजः |

================================
अतुलः शरभॊ भीमः समयज्ञॊ हविर्हरिः ।
सर्वलक्षणलक्षण्यॊ लक्ष्मीवान् समितिञ्जयः ॥ ३९ ॥
=================================

357) athula: (अतुलः)

The one who is thus incomparable is called ‘athula:’. They vEdhas say thus: “There is no other entity like him”

Etymology: Due to his possession of garuda as his flag, bhagavAn is incomparable and hence called ‘athula:’.

गरुडध्वजत्वाद्धि स अतुलॊsनुपमः स्मृतः |

358) Sarabha: (शरभः)

bhagavAn punishes those entities that act beyond their limits, and hence called ‘Sarabha:’ – the punisher. This divine name comes from ‘SruNAthi’ (शृणाति), referring to punishment. The root ‘Sru’ (शृ) means to destroy. It gets the ‘abhach’ (अभच्) adjunct by grammatical rules, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn punishes those individuals who disobey his divine orders (in the form of SAsthras), he is called ‘Sarabha:’.

स्वाज्ञातिलङ्घिनः पुंसः शिक्षणात् शरभः स्मृतः |

359) bhIma: (भीमः) (also repeated in 948)

bhagavAn is also called ‘bhIma:’ since he induces fear among those who disobey his divine orders. The root ‘bhI’ भी (fearing) gets the ‘mak’ (मक्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. In this context, it means the one who instills such fear.

With such fear of bhagavAn alone do the dhEvas such as vAyu, indhra, et al remain in their limits of action, bound by bhagavAn’s orders. This is clearly shown by vEdhas when they declare “out of his fear does the wind flow”, etc.

They also declare thus:

  • “All sentient entities in this creation fear bhagavAn greatly, as much as they see a rasied vajrAyudha (the weapon called ‘vajra’) – ready to attack”
  • “With fear of bhagavAn only the fire burns. With his fear alone the sun produces heat. With his fear, indhra, vAyu, yama – the lord of death – and others run around to be identified as obedient servants”, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘bhIma:’ since he instills fear of punishment in the lower demigods such as vAyu, indhra, et al if they dare to disobey his orders.

भीमॊ यस्मात् बिभ्यति तु शरभात् पवनादयः |

360) samayagya: (समयज्ञः)

Thus, the one who clearly knows the behavior of his servants such as agni, vAyu, et al (to know how they behave at various times) is called ‘samayagya:’ – the one who knows the time. The vEdhas declare thus: “bhagavAn created these sun, moon, etc just as they were in the previous creation cycle”.

Alternately, he knows exactly when the time is ripe for him to give himself to his dearest devotees. He knows exactly when he can protect them, and provides his shelter of protection (abhayam) accordingly.

Etymology: The one who knows the behaviors of his servants such as agni and others at various times is called ‘samayagyna:’.

अग्न्यादीनां च समयम् ऊर्ध्वाग्रज्वलनादिकम् |
यॊ जानात्यधिकारं स समयज्ञः प्रकीर्तितः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 35 (Names 341 to 350)

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341) SUra: (शूरः) (also repeated in 650)

bhagavAn’s desire to win over all entities is shown in this divine name ‘SUra:’. It means ‘the one who is capable of winning’.

The root ‘Su’ (शु) represents going and winning over his opponents. It gets the ‘kran’ (क्रन्) adjunct by grammatical rules along with the dIrgha, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is ever desirous and capable of triumphing over all the opponents (explained in the previous divine names), he is called ‘SUra:’.

विजिगीषुतया जैत्रः समर्थः शूर उच्यतॆ |

342) Sauri: (शौरिः) (also repeated in 649)

bhagavAn’s special quality of him voluntarily going to his devotees and protecting them (as against his devotees seeking his refuge for their protection) is shown in this divine name ‘Sauri:’. bhagavAn gets this divine name since he is the son of vAsudhEva.

Etymology: The one who is born as the son of vAsudhEva (who is also called ‘SUra:’) is called ‘Sauri:’.

शूरस्य वसुदॆवस्य यॊsपत्यं शौरिरुच्यतॆ |

343) janESvara: (जनॆश्वरः)

bhagavAn is a vast ocean of radiant wealth capable of uplifting all the fallen souls from the swirls of samsAra. Hence he is called ‘janESvara:’ – the lord of all the souls born in this samsAra.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn exercises his lordship over all the fallen souls born in this samsAra by uplifting and enlightening them, he is called ‘janESvara:’.

प्लवनॊज्वलनैश्वर्यमहौघः स्यात् जनॆश्वरः |

344) anukUla: (अनुकूलः)

Due to his natural greatness, bhagavAn voluntarily remains subjugated to limits by repressing his wonders, pride, respect, etc regarding his supremacy. Hence he is called ‘anukUla:’ – the one who abides by the limits.

The word ‘kUla:’ (कूलः) means shore. The one who abides by the limiting shores (just as a vast ocean does not generally cross the shores although potent) is called ‘anukUla:’.

This divine quality of bhagavAn is hailed in the SrImath rAmAyanam thus:

“Although rAma is called ‘vIryavAn’ – the valorous one, he is not carried away by his own valor”

Alternately, bhagavAn is the one who abides by his devotees’ whims.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

“The only refuge of all devotees – capable of holding their hands in times of distress – is janArdhana, who is bought over by them in exchange for utter devotion”

When yaSOdha ties krishna to a grinding stone, she scolds him thus:

“Oh krishna, you are a very mischievous boy! Free yourself from this knot if you can, and go where you want”, etc.

Etymology: Although great and potent by nature, since bhagavAn gives up all his pride, bewilderment, etc., and always abides by his devotees whims, he is called ‘anukUla:’.

स्वभावतॊ महत्वॆsपि मदविस्मयवर्जनात् |
भक्तैकप्रवणॊ नित्यम् अनुकूल इति स्मृतः ||

345) SathAvartha: (शतावर्तः)

bhagavAn is also called ‘SathAvartha:’. He possesses hundreds of swirls. The ‘swirls’ (आवर्ताः) in this divine name represent his expansive wealth.

Although beyond limits, bhagavAn voluntarily abides himself by a certain limit (His devotees’ whims). This is like a wide river flowing through a narrow gorge, thus causing a lot of swirls in the flowing water. Thus, a parallel can be drawn between the swirls in the flowing water (caused by a narrow gorge) and the swirls in bhagavAn (caused by his devotees’ limits).

Etymology: bhagavAn possesses hundreds of swirls due to the flow of his unbounded wealth being constrained by the limits of his devotees (as per their capacities), and hence called ‘SathAvartha:’. He is the ocean of wealth, and the provider of both material benefits as well as liberation.

ऐश्वर्यजृम्भिताभिख्या आवर्ता यस्य नित्यशः |
शतं सन्ति शतावर्तः वस्वर्णॊ भुक्तिमुक्तिदः ||

346) padhmI (पद्मी)

Having thus explained the divine qualities of vAsudhEva, thence his divine forms are being hailed.

Since bhagavAn – as vAsudhEva – always sports a lotus in his hand (called ‘leelApadhma’ लीलापद्म), he is called ‘padhmI’.

Etymology: The divine qualities of bhagavAn in his manifestation as vAsudhEva were hailed till now, and thence his divine forms are hailed. Since bhagavAn sports a lotus in his hand at all times, he is called ‘padhmI’.

गुणतॊ वासुदॆवत्वमुक्तं रूपादिरुच्यतॆ |
लीलापद्मधरॊ नित्यं पद्मीति परिकीर्त्यतॆ ||

347) padhmanibhEkshaNa: (पद्मनिभॆक्षणः)

bhagavAn’s eyes are like faultless lotuses in appearance. They are extremely attractive, and capable of quenching one’s weariness at the same time. Thus, he is called ‘padhmanibhEkshaNa:’.

Etymology: The one who possesses attractive eyes resembling the freshly blossomed lotus in clear waters – which are also capable of quenching the weariness of his devotees – in order to protect them at all times is called ‘padhmanibhEkshaNa:’.

स्वच्छाम्बुजातसदृशम् ईक्षणं श्रमहारि च |
यस्यास्ति भक्तरक्षायां स स्यात् पद्मनिभॆक्षणः ||

==============================
पद्मनाभॊsरविन्दाक्षः पद्मगर्भः शरीरभृत् ।
महर्धिरृद्धॊ वृद्धात्मा महाक्षॊ गरुडध्वजः ॥ ३८ ॥
==============================

348) padhmanAbha: (पद्मनाभः) (also repeated in 48 and 198)

bhagavAn’s navel also resembles a beautiful lotus. Hence he is called ‘padhmanAbha:’.

Etymology: The one whose navel is also like a lotus is called ‘padhmanAbha:’.

नाभिश्च पद्मवद्यस्य पद्मनाभः स उच्यतॆ |

349) aravindhAksha: (अरविन्दाक्षः)

bhagavAn’s eyes are as beautiful as red lotuses. Hence he is called ‘aravindhAksha:’.

Etymology: The one who possesses beautiful eyes like the red lotuses is called ‘aravindhAksha:’.

रक्तारविन्दनयनस्तु अरविन्दाक्ष ईरितः |

350) padhmagarbha: (पद्मगर्भः)

bhagavAn situates himself in a beautiful lotus – as tender and fragrant as himself. Alternately, he situates himself in the lotus of heart of his devotees who sincerely worship him. Thus, he is called ‘padhmagarbha:’ – the one who is situated in a lotus.

The root ‘gru’ गृ (to establish) gets the ‘bhan’ (भन्) adjunct, resulting in the word ‘garbha:’.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

  • “The subtle, faultless lotus that houses the lord himself in it, and which is situated in the center of the body….”
  • “bhagavAn resides in that subtle lotus of the heart of his devotees”
  • “bhagavAn is seated on a beautiful lotus”, etc.

Etymology: The one who resides in the lotus of heart of his devotees (yOgis) is called ‘padhmagarbha:’.

यॊगिहृत्पुण्डरीकस्थः पद्मगर्भः स उच्यतॆ |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 34 (Names 331 to 340)

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331) dhurya: (धुर्यः)

As the manthras hail bhagavAn as “the one who bears the entire creation”, he is called ‘dhurya:’ – the one who bears the worlds. The root ‘dhura’ (धुर) gets the ‘yath’ (यत्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name. In this context, ‘dhura’ is understood to mean ‘load’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is the one who has borne the worlds, he is called ‘dhurya:’.

भुवनं धृतवान् धुर्यः |

332) varadha: (वरदः)

bhagavAn bestows boons even upon dhEvas – who are different and lower to himself, and who bear different works in this creation. Thus, he is called ‘varadha:’ – the bestower of boons.

Etymology: The one who bestows the desired fruits is called ‘varadha:’.

वरदॊsभीष्टदः स्मृतः |

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

bhagavAn propels the air, which is like a life force in this creation. Hence, he is called ‘vAyuvAhana:’.

Etymology: The one who causes the movement of air which is like the life force in this creation is called ‘vAyuvAhana:’.

जगत्प्राणं वहति यॊ वायुवाहन उच्यतॆ |

334) vAsudhEva: (वासुदॆवः) (also repeated in 700 and 714)

Thence, the ensuing twelve names construe the natural divine qualities of bhagavAn. He is called ‘vAsudhEva:’ in this context.

bhagavAn is both ‘vAsu:’ (वासुः) and ‘dhEva:’ (दॆवः). He is called ‘vAsu:’ since he resides in every iota of this creation. Just as the sun’s rays pervade the entire world, and just as a bird protects its offspring under its own wings, so also bhagavAn embraces and pervades the entire creation, resides in every iota of this creation and constantly protects every entity in this creation. Hence, he is called ‘vAsu:’. Further, he is full of playfulness, victory, splendor, praiseworthiness and action. Hence, he is called ‘dhEva:’. Thus, he is called ‘vAsudhEva:’.

bhagavAn himself claims thus:

“I cover up this entire world just like the sun covering up the entire world with his rays. I am thus the indweller of every entity in this creation. Hence, I am known popularly as ‘vAsudhEva:’”.

The vishNu purANa hails thus: “Since bhagavAn indwells every entity in this creation, and since all the entities reside in him, he is called ‘vAsudhEva:’”.

Further elucidation of this divine name is restrained since this is considered to be one of the most secret divine names among the manthras. So the readers are implored to approach their AchAryas for a complete elucidation.

Etmology: The one who indwells in every creature is called ‘vAsudhEva:’. The root ‘dhivu’ (दिवु) is used to mean ‘playfulness’, ‘victory’, ‘splendor’, etc. Residing in every entity and also keeping all entities within him, the one who plays blissfully is called ‘vAsudhEva:’.

सर्वभूतान् वासयति वासुः स परिकीर्तितः |
दिवुधातॊरपि क्रीडाद्यर्थकत्वात् विशॆषतः ||

सर्वभूतॆष्वपि वसन् स्वस्मिन् भूतानि वासयन् |
यः क्रीडति मुदा यद्वा वासुदॆवः स उच्यतॆ ||

335) bruhadhbhAnu: (बृहद्भानुः)

The same trait of bhagavAn is further elucidated. bhagavAn glows magnificently in his glorious forms in SrIvaikuNtam. His effulgence is both magnificent and eternal. Hence, he is called ‘bruhadhbhAnu:’.

Etymology: The one whose effulgence is magnificent is called ‘bruhadhbhAnu:’.

बृहन्तॊ भानवॊ यस्य स बृहद्भानुरुच्यतॆ |

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

At the same time, bhagavAn is also the one who playfully creates, sustains and destroys the lower material creation comprising all these worlds. Since he is the primordial creator of all such material creation, he is called ‘AdhidhEva:’ – the primordial creator.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “Assembling and separating all entities in this creation, bhagavAn plays with his own free will”
  • “bhagavAn vishNu is incomprehensible, and absolutely independent. He moves about in all places according to his own free will. He creates, sustains and destroys all of these material worlds and enjoys playfully just like a small child playing with its toys”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn plays with this material world – which is just as much as a quarter of SrIvaikuNtam, he is called ‘AdhidhEva:’.

(In other words, since bhagavAn possesses creation, sustenance and destruction of this material world itself as a sport, he is called ‘AdhidhEva:’).

क्रीडतीत्यादिदॆवः सॊ पादात्मकविभूतिभिः |

337) purandhara: (पुरन्दरः)

With the ensuing four names, bhagavAn’s quality of eliminating the evil souls who stand as an obstruction to the progress of other entities by causing afflictions is hailed.

bhagavAn tears apart the cities of asuras, and hence he is called ‘purandhara:’.

With this divine quality, bhagavAn shows his capacity to ward off fears from the minds of his devotees caused due to asuras, piSAchas, lightning, planets, etc.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘purandhara:’ since he tears apart the cities of asuras.

पुरन्दर इति ख्यातॊsसुराणां पुरदारणात् |

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अशॊकस्तारणस्तारः शूरः शौरिर्जनॆश्वरः ।
अनुकूलः शतावर्तॊ पद्मी पद्मनिभॆक्षणः ॥ ३७ ॥
==============================

338) aSOka: (अशॊकः) (also repeated in 637)

bhagavAn eliminates the spiritual obstacles (caused due to the one’s own limitations) in the path of attaining bhagavAn such as sorrow, delusion, hunger, etc. Hence he is called ‘aSOka:’ – the one who represses sorrows caused due to one’s own limitations.

Etymology: He is called as ‘aSOka:’, who is the destroyer of sorrows, delusions, etc.

अशॊकः शॊकमॊहादिनाशकः परिकीर्तितः |

339) thAraNa: (तारणः)

bhagavAn also eliminates natural obstacles (caused due to the limiting nature in this prakruthi) such as enemies, thieves, ailments, and all other types of fears. Hence, he is called ‘thAraNa:’ – the one who represses natural obstacles.

Etymology: He is called ‘thAraNa:’, who saves us from the fears of enemies, ailments, etc.

तारणॊ यस्तारयति वैरिव्याध्यादि भीतितः |

340) thAra: (तारः) (also repeated in 968)

With his mere presence, since bhagavAn eliminates fear of samsAra from the minds of his devotees, he is called ‘thAra:’ – the eliminator of fears.

In the atharva Siras, it is said thus: “bhagavAn enables us to overcome the greatest fears of birth, ailments and death in this mighty ocean called samsAra, and hence called ‘thAra:’”.

Other vEdhic hymns such as the one from chAndhOgya upanishath that says “bhagavAn is free from sins (and all kinds of karma), aging, death…..” support this statement.

Etymology: He is called ‘thAra:’, who lifts us out of the fear of samsAra once and forever.

तारः संसारभयतॊ नित्यं तारयतीति सः |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 33 (Names 321 to 330)

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

Full Series

<< Part 32

321) prathitha: (प्रथितः)

Since bhagavAn is popularly known to hold his greatness at all times, he is called ‘prathitha:’ – the popular one.

This is as said in the scriptures thus:

  • “…His name is widely known”
  • “He is the only one who is bound to succeed in everything”, etc.

Etymology: The one who is popular in this world due to his being ‘achyutha’ (as explained in the previous divine name) is called ‘prathitha:’.

अच्युतत्वॆन लॊकॆsस्मिन् प्रख्यातः प्रथितः स्मृतः |

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

The one who is verily the life force for all souls in this world is called ‘prANa:’. (In the 67th divine name, bhagavAn’s nature of being dear to the nithyasUris as much as their very life force was expounded. In this divine name, bhagavAn being the life force for all individual souls in this world during his incarnations is said)

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “I am verily the life force, and the knower. Know me to be the life of all, and verily the nectar, and worship me”
  • “bhagavAn is the nectar for all dhEvas, and he is verily the life of all souls”
  • “bhagavAn is called ‘prANa:’, since he is the life force in every entity”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is like the life force in every individual soul, he is called ‘prANa:’.

पुंसां जीवितरूपत्वात् प्राण इत्यभिदीयतॆ |

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

Thereafter the ensuing divine names hail the kUrmAvathAra (incarnation as the great tortoise) of bhagavAn.

Since bhagavAn bestowed the dhEvas with all energy necessary to churn the magnificent milky ocean, he is called ‘prANadha:’ – the bestower of power.

In the manthra varNas, bhahavAn is hailed as “the one with immense power”.

Etymology: The one who bestowed the dhEvas with all necessary energy to churn the mighty milky ocean during his incarnation as the great tortoise is called ‘prANadha:’.

मरुतां बलदानाद्धि समुद्रमथनॆ भृशम् |
प्राणदश्च समुद्दिष्टः कूर्मरूपतया हि सः ||

324) vAsavAnuja: (वासवानुजः)

Since bhagavAn was born as the younger brother of indhra – who desired for the lost wealth and nectar by churning the milky ocean, he is called ‘vAsavAnuja:’.

The root ‘jan’ जन् (to be born) is prefixed with the word ‘anu’ अनु (following), due to which it gets the ‘da:’ (डः) suffix, resulting in the word ‘anuja:’. Since bhagavAn incarnated as the brother of indhra, he is called ‘vAsavAnuja:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn was born as the younger brother of indhra, he is called ‘vAsavAnuja:’.

वासवस्यानुजत्वॆन जातत्वात् वासवानुजः |

325) apAmnidhi: (अपांनिधिः)

The one who supported the mighty ocean during its churning is called ‘apAmnidhi:’.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘apAmnidhi:’ due to his supporting of the mighty ocean that was being churned.

अपांनिधिः मथ्यमान-महार्णव-विधारणात् |

326) adhishtAnam (अधिष्ठानम्)

At the same time as he supported the mighty ocean, he also supported the mandhara mountain that was used as the churning rod by holding it firmly from above. Thus, he is called ‘adhishtAnam’ – the supporting base.

Etymology: The one who firmly held the moving mandhara mountain in the churning waters is called ‘adhishtAnam’. he is indeed the one who supports every entity.

भ्राम्यमाणं मन्दराद्रिं धृतवान् यॊ महाजलॆ |
अधिष्ठानं तमॆवाहुः अधिष्ठानप्रदॊ मनुः ||

327) apramaththa: (अप्रमत्तः)

Since bhagavAn is ever cautious in protecting his devotees thus, he is called ‘apramaththa:’ – the one who never falters.

Etymology: The one who is extremely mindful in protecting his devotees is called ‘apramaththa:’.

अत्यन्तावहितस्त्राणॆ ह्यप्रमत्तः प्रकीर्तितः |

328) prathishtitha: (प्रतिष्ठितः)

Since bhagavAn does not need another support for himself and stands firm in his own greatness, he is called ‘prathishtitha:’.

The chAndhOgya upanishath raises a question and also provides an answer thus: “Where does that bhagavAn rest? He rests in his own greatness”

Even the vishNu dharma says thus: “…that supreme lord, who is ever established in his own greatness…”

Etymology: The one who is established in his own greatness (without an expectation of any external support) is called ‘prathishtitha:’.

स्वॆ महिम्नि स्थितॊ यस्तु स प्रतिष्ठित उच्यतॆ |

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स्कन्दः स्कन्दधरॊ धुर्यॊ वरदॊ वायुवाहनः ।
वासुदॆवॊ बृहद्भानुरादिदॆवः पुरन्दरः ॥ ३६ ॥
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329) skandha: (स्कन्दः)

Since bhagavAn withers the asuras during his incarnation as mahA kUrma, he is called ‘skandha:’ – the one who destroys.

Etymology: The one who slays or destroys or withers the asuras is called ‘skandha:’.

असुरादीन् शॊषयति स्कन्दः स्कन्दयतीति यः |

330) skandhadhara: (स्कन्दधरः)

Since bhagavAn supports even the commander-in-chief of dhEvas – subrahmaNya (skandha), he is called ‘skandhadhara:’. After all, even subrahmaNya is also included in bhagavAn’s wealth of entities (vibhUthi).

As bhagavAn himself declares in the bhagavath gIthA, he is ‘skandha’ among commanders.

Etymology: The one who supports even the six headed subrahmaNya is called ‘skandhadhara:’.

स स्कन्दधर आख्यातः षडाननविधारणात् |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 32 (Names 311 to 320)

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Full Series

<< Part 31

311) SishtEshta: (शिष्टॆष्टः)

Since bhagavAn is thus most desired by the scholarly men like mArkandEya and others as the ultimate goal of attainment, he is called ‘SishtEshta:’ – the one who is liked by learned men.

In the same AraNya parvaA of mahAbhAratha, bhagavAn is quoted to have said thus:

“All those learned men who are eternally stationed in saththva guna and have given up the body-mindedness continuously contemplate upon me, and worship me in all ways”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is desired as the supreme goal of attainment by foremost of all learned men and Brahmins such as mArkandEya et al, he is called ‘SishtEshta:’.

मार्कण्डॆयद्विजादीनां पण्डितॆष्वग्रयायिनाम् |
उत्कृष्टपुरुशार्थत्वॆन इष्टः शिष्टॆष्ट उच्यतॆ ||

312) SikhaNdI (शिखण्डी)

As shown in the scriptures that say “I see that lion among men seated, who is radiating immense effulgence”, bhagavAn possesses his immense, inviolable, and ruling effulgence itself as an ornament on his head. Hence, he is called ‘SikhaNdI’ – the one who possesses his greatness itself as his ornament.

Etymology: The one who possesses immense, inviolable and supreme effulgence itself as an ornament on his head is called ‘SikhaNdI’.

अत्यप्रधृष्यमैश्वर्यं परं यत्तॆज आस्थितम् |
तच्छिखण्डं तु यस्यास्ति तं शिखण्डीति चक्षतॆ ||

313) nahusha: (नहुषः)

bhagavAn binds the individual souls with his ‘mAyA’ (a strange power). Thus he is called ‘nahusha:’ – the one who binds. The word ‘nahyathi’ (नह्यति) means to bind. Thus, the etymologists indicate the meaning of this name as ‘the one who binds’.

As the SvEthASvathara upanishath puts it, “All of these are bound in his mAyA”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn always binds the individual souls with his power of ‘mAyA’, he is called ‘nahusha:’.

जीवान् स्वमायया नित्यं नहुषॊ नयतीति सः |

314) vrusha: (वृषः)

The same bhagavAn – who binds the individual souls in this material creation with his strange power called ‘mAyA’ – also revives such souls stuck in the interiors of this ocean (called samsAra) with his nectarine words and charming beauty, and revitalizes them with his nectarine showers of love. Thus, he is called ‘vrusha:’ – the one who sprinkles/showers.

This divine name comes from the root ‘vruSh’ (वृष्), meaning ‘to shower’.

mArkandEya maharishi says thus in the AraNya parva of mahAbhAratha: “Thence that boy with lotus-like eyes, a chest adorned with a mark called ‘SrIvathsa’, and a divine body full of effulgence spoke pleasing words to me thus: ‘Oh mArkandEya, I have known you. You are exhausted, and you need some rest’”

Etymology: Residing like nectar amidst the individual souls fallen into the ocean of samsAra, the one who revives such fallen souls with his charming beauty and sweet words and thus showers his love generously on such souls is called ‘vrusha:’.

सागरस्यॊदरॆ नित्यं वसन्नमृतरूपया |
स्वदॆहकान्त्या वाचाsपि सम्यगाश्वासयन् मुहुः ||
बहुशः सिञ्चति तु यः वृषः स परिपठ्यतॆ ||

315) krOdhahA (क्रॊधहा)

Thence, the incarnation of bhagavAn as bhArgava-rAma or ‘paraSurAma’ is hailed. Having uprooted twenty one generations of unruly kshathriyas, since bhagavAn as paraSurAma subdued his anger at the behest of kashyapa, he is called ‘krOdhahA’ – the one who subdued his anger.

Etymology: The one who subdued his anger that splay ill upon the kshathriyas, at the behest of kashyapa, is called ‘krOdhahA’. This six syllable manthra dispels anger of the chanters.

काश्यपस्य प्रार्थनया यः क्रॊधं क्षत्रहानिदं |
हतवान् क्रॊधहा प्रॊक्तः षडर्णः क्रॊधनाशकः ||

316) krOdhakruth (क्रॊधकृत्)

The one who was roused with anger at the unruly kshathriyas earlier is called ‘krOdhakruth’.

Etymology: ‘krOdhakruth’ is the one who was earlier roused with anger against the kshathriyas (for a full 21-generation period).

क्रॊधकृत् क्षत्रियॆभ्यॊ यः पुरा क्रॊधं करॊति सः |

317) karthA (कर्ता) (also repeated in 382)

The one who killed kArthavIrya who actually triggered such fierce anger in him is called ‘karthA’. The vishNu dharma says, “paraSurAma is the one who dispelled kshathriyas from the face of this earth”.

Etymology: The slayer of kArthavIrya, who was the main reason for triggering fierce rage is called ‘karthA’.

क्रुद्धॆतॊर्कार्तवीर्यस्य छॆत्ता कर्तॆति शब्द्यतॆ |

318) viSvabAhu: (विश्वबाहुः)

Since bhagavAn’s hands are thus beneficial to the entire world by removing thorns is called ‘viSvabAhu:’.

Etymology: The one whose hands are beneficial to the entire world is called ‘viSvabAhu:’.

विश्वस्मै यस्य बाहू स विश्वबाहुः प्रकीर्तितः |

319) mahIdhara: (महीधरः)

The one who bears the entire world by eliminating the weight in the form of evil people is called ‘mahIdhara:’.

Etymology: The one who reduces the load (by eliminating evil people) of this earth and bears it is called ‘mahIdhara:’.

भारावतरणं कृत्वा गां धत्तॆ स महीधरः |

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अच्युतः प्रथितः प्राणः प्राणदॊ वासवानुजः ।
अपांनिधिरधिष्ठानमप्रमत्तः प्रतिष्टितः ॥ ३५ ॥
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320) achyutha: (अच्युतः) (also repeated in 101, 557)

bhagavAn is hailed by brahmA, indhra, varuNa, and other dhEvas thus: “Oh lord, you are the one who never falter from your position (of protector). Thus, you are hailed by everyone as ‘achyutha:’ ”.

Since bhagavAn doesn’t give up his greatness even during his incarnations (births in various species) unlike the other demigods such as brahmA, rudhra, et al, he is called ‘achyutha:’.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn doesn’t lose his greatness even in his incarnations amidst the demigods such as brahmA, rudhra et al who are bound to lose their positions some day, he is called ‘achyutha:’.

साधर्म्यॆणावतारॆsपि ब्रह्मॆन्द्रवरुणादिभिः |
न स्वैश्वर्यात् प्रच्युतॊ यः सॊsच्युतः परिकीर्तितः ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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