SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 29 (Names 281 to 290)

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281) manthra: (मन्त्रः)

The etymologists show the purport of the word ‘manthra:’ to mean the one which protects those who meditate upon it. Since bhagavAn also protects his devotees who constantly meditate upon him, he is called ‘manthra:’.

In the brahma purANa, nAradha maharishi asks bhagavAn as to who would be capable of contemplating on bhagavAn in the final painful moments on a death bed. bhagavAn replies thus: “he who has constantly meditated upon me (all through his life) would be capable of contemplating on me in those final moments and thus cross the dreadful ocean of samsAra filled with thirst, hunger, etc.”

In the varAha purANa, bhagavAn – in the form of mahA varAha (the great boar) – instructs thus to bhUmA dhEvi: “Oh bhUmA! When a man’s mind and body are in good condition with all the vital constituents of the body in perfect proportions (such as blood, bones, flesh, etc), if he mindfully contemplates upon me – who is in the form of verily the universe and who doesn’t take births out of karma, then I shall remember that man and lead him to my supreme abode ‘SrIvaikuNtam’ during his final moments in this material world, although he lies inanimately in his death bed like a log of wood without being able to remember me!”

(NOTE: The last quote from the varAha purANa is popularly called ‘Sri varAha charama SlOkam’, which holds a very important place in our SrI sampradhAyam. The original SlOka of that translation is given below for the readers’ benefit. The readers are requested to approach their AchAryas for a more detailed exposition.

स्थितॆ मनसि सुस्वस्थॆ शरीरॆ सति यॊ नरः
धातुसाम्यॆ स्थितॆ स्मर्ता विश्वरूपं च मामजम्
ततस्तं म्रियमाणंतु काष्टपाषाणसन्निभम्
अहं स्मरामि मद्भक्तं नयामि परमां गतिम्

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘manthra:’ since he protects his devotees who meditate upon him.

मन्तारं त्रायतॆ इति मन्त्रश्चाप्यभिदीयतॆ |

282) chandhrAmSu: (चन्द्रांशुः)

bhagavAn wards off all weariness and refreshes them with his divine effulgence that is as cool as the moon rays. Thus, he is called ‘chandrAmSu:’ – the one who has refreshingly cool effulgence like moon rays.

The root ‘chadhi’ (चदि) comes in the context of ‘refreshing’ or ‘gladdening’. It is suffixed with the ‘ran’ (रन्) adjunct, resulting in the name ‘chandra:’. ‘amSu:’ refers to the rays. Thus originates the divine name ‘chandrAmSu:’. 

In SrImath rAmAyaNa, vAlmeeki describes rAma’s arrival in the ASramas of the hermits thus: “Those sages saw rAma coming, like the moon rise in clear skies”.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses refreshingly cool effulgence (like the moon rays) that is capable of quenching all weariness in this samsAra and bestowing appeasement to his devotees who constantly meditate upon him, he is called ‘chandrAmSu:’. This manthra bestows peace and happiness upon his devotees.

क्लमहारि महाह्लादतॆजस्करतयापि च |
मन्तृणामॆव चन्द्रांशुराह्लादफलदॊ मनुः ||

283) bhAskaradhyuthi: (भास्करद्युतिः)

At the same time, bhagavAn possesses fiery effulgence that can clearly defeat all of his opponents. Hence he is also called ‘bhAskaradhyuthi:’ – the one with fiery effulgence like the sun.

In the bhagavath gIthA, arjuna exclaims thus: “All the rAkshasas are running helter-skelter fearing bhagavAn’s glorious universal form (while the dhEvas are all delighted to behold the same form)”

sIthA says thus to hanuman in SrImath rAmAyaNam: “Oh hanuman! rAma – who is like the bright sun surrounded by rays of fiery arrows – is surely going to dry up the ocean of enemies/rAkshasas (and protect me)”

In both of these places, it clearly shows bhagavAn’s unique feat of displaying his fierceness to his opponents and his moon-like appeasing effulgence to his devotees at the same time. This is very clearly mentioned in the mahAbhAratha thus: “Thus, krishNa – the lord of all worlds – causes fear in the minds of asuras and joy in the minds of suras at the same time. He is the one who instills fear as well as wards it off”.

Etymology: bhagavAn is characterized by his divine effulgence that is capable of destroying all opponents. Hence he is called ‘bhAskaradhyuthi:’. This manthra bestows clear vision.

परप्रभाव-अभिभवलक्षण-द्युतिमांश्च सः |
स भास्करद्युतिः प्रॊक्तः नॆत्रवैमल्यदॊ मनुः ||

अमृतांशूद्भवॊ भानुः शशबिन्दुः सुरॆश्वरः ।
औषधं जगतःसॆतुः सत्यधर्मपराक्रमः ॥ ३१ ॥

284) amruthAmSUdhbhava: (अमृतांशूद्भवः)

Even the gladdening moon that is capable of quenching all heats – which is like the divine nectar that is capable of revitalizing dead entities – is born from the coolness of bhagavAn’s mind and thus possesses a relationship with bhagavAn, he is called ‘amruthAmSUdhbhava:’ – the origin of the cool moon.

The purusha sUktha hails thus: “chandhra was born from the mind of bhagavAn”.

Etymology: Since the moon – that is extremely cool and quenching all heats, and like the revitalizing nectar – is born from bhagavAn (born from the cool mind of bhagavAn), he is called ‘amruthAmSUdhbhava:’.

सर्वतापहरस्यैवं मृतसञ्जीवनस्य च |
अमृतांशॊर्हि तज्जत्वात् अमृतांशूद्भवः स्मृतः ||

285) bhAnu: (भानुः) (also repeated in 126)

With his extreme effulgence, he lights up even the effulgent sun. Hence, he is called ‘bhAnu:’ – the one who lights up the sun.

The vEdhas hail this feature of bhagavAn thus: “…He whose effulgence lights up even the sun”.

Etymology: bhagavAn is called ‘bhAnu:’, since he bestows effulgence even to the effulgent sun.

रवॆस्तॆजस्करत्त्वाच्च भानुरित्यभिदीयतॆ |

286) SaSabindhu: (शशबिन्दुः)

Similarly, he is also ‘SaSabindhu:’ – the eliminator of evil. The root ‘SaSa’ (शश) means the one who treads crooked paths. The word ‘bindhu:’ (बिन्दुः) refers to the evader. The root ‘bidhi’ (बिदि) in this context means to part. It gets the ‘u’ (उ) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

Etymology: The word ‘SaSa’ refers to crooked paths. The word ‘bindhu:’ refers to the eliminator of people who tread such crooked paths (opponents). Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘SaSabindhu:’, because he destroys his opponents who tread crooked paths.

शशः प्लुतगतिः प्रॊक्तः बिन्दुस्तस्य निवर्तकः |
कौटिल्यगतिविध्वंसी शशबिन्दुरुदाहृतः ||

287) surESvara: (सुरॆश्वरः)

Similarly, he is also the one who leads people who are on the righteous track. Thus, he is called ‘surESvara:’. The word ‘sura’ (सुरः) in this context means the one who treads the righteous path (and not necessarily dhEva).

The mahAbharatha says thus: “All evil leads to mortality (indicating the cycles of birth and death), while all righteousness leads to the supreme abode of bhagavAn”.

Etymology: The one who bears and leads all those who tread the righteous track is called ‘surESvara:’.

धर्ता ऋजुगतीनां यः स सुरॆश्वर ईरितः |

288) aushadham (औषधम्)

Since bhagavAn is like a nectarine medicine that cures the dreadful poison of samsAra, he is called ‘aushadham’ – the medicine.

This is as hailed in the scriptures thus:

  • “He whom the dhEvas and dhEvarishis know as the medicine to all sorrows…”
  • “Oh bhagavAn, you are indeed the only medicine for this poison of saMsAra, who is begotten with a focused mind (constant contemplation)”, etc.

Etymology: He who wards off the dreadful poison of samsAra is popularly called ‘aushadham’.

भवतीव्रविषं हर्ता ह्यौषधं यः स उच्यतॆ |

289) jagatha:sEthu: (जगतःसॆतुः)

Thus, bhagavAn stands against the mixing up of the good and evil categories. He stands against the mixing up of actions and fruits of various souls. He stands as a bridge that separates out the two ends so as to maintain order in this creation. Hence, he is called ‘jagatha:sEthu:’.

This is as per the scriptures that hail thus:

“He is the bridge that keeps the different worlds separated so as not to mix up the different practices”.

That is how one can never experience voidance of fruits for actions and undesirable fruits for inactions (one can neither see the fruits of actions that are done being lost, nor the bestowing of wrong fruits for actions that are never done). Just as a mother cow accurately reaches her calf even amongst thousands of calves, so also the fruits of actions accurately reaches the person who performed a certain action.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn stands as a bridge separating out the two ends of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, he is called ‘jagatha:sEthu:’.

निरॊधाज्जगतःसॆतुः सदसद्वर्गसङ्गतॆः |

290) sathyadharmaparAkrama: (सत्यधर्मपराक्रमः)

The word ‘dharmA:’ (धर्माः) in this divine name refers to the auspicious qualities of bhagavAn. So also, the word ‘parAkramA:’ (पराक्रमाः) refers to the divine deeds of bhagavAn. The one who truly possesses such auspicious qualities and divine deeds is called ‘sathyadharmaparAkrama:’.

The scriptures hail thus:

  • “Oh kESava, I consider every detail to be true – which you have described till now”
  • “vishNu is indeed the one with innumerable divine deeds”
  • “All the sentences and paragraphs of vEdhas and upanishaths, and more so the divine music of vEdhas hail the true divine deeds of bhagavAn in all their glory”, etc.

Etymology: The one who truly (sathya) possesses innumerable auspicious qualities (dharma) and extraordinary divine deeds (parAkrama) is called ‘sathyadharmaparAkrama:’.

सत्याह्यवितथा धर्माः गुणा यस्य पराक्रमाः |
चॆष्टितानि च सन्तीति सत्यधर्मपराक्रमः ||

भूतभव्यभवन्नाथः पवनः पावनॊsनलः ।
कामहा कामकृत्कान्तः कामः कामप्रदः प्रभुः ॥ ३२ ॥

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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