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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