SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 48 (Names 471 to 480)

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471) vathsara: (वत्सरः)

Thence, the form of bhagavAn as ‘dharma’ is being elucidated. In order to enable the souls in achieving their final goal, since bhagavAn resides in every entity as their indweller, he is called ‘vathsara:’. The root ‘vas’ वस् (to reside) gets the ‘saran’ (सरन्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

The manthra varNas also hail bhagavAn thus: “…unto that indweller of all entities and the very embodiment of dharma…”

Etymology: He who is the embodiment of dharma, who resides in every entity in order to establish the ultimate goal for all, is called ‘vathsara:’.

पुरुषार्थस्थापनाय सर्वान्तर्वस्नाच्च यः |
धर्मात्मा वत्सरः स स्यान्मुन्यर्णॊsभीष्टदॊ मनुः ||

472) vathsala: (वत्सलः)

Why does bhagavAn have to reside in every entity and lead them towards the ultimate goal? It is because he is ‘vathsala:’ – the affectionate one. He loves his dear children (all individual souls) who are also devoted to him. The word ‘vathsa’ वत्स (to love) gets the ‘lach’ (लच्) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.

Although bhagavAn has been associated with these individual souls for a long time, yet he is very keen on doing something good for each one of them who have surrendered unto him. This instinct to do good to his devotees is as much as the motherly instinct of a cow that has just given birth to a calf, which is extremely protective about the calf on the one hand – by driving away anyone who approaches it (thinking that they might harm the newly born calf), and at the same time overwhelmed with affection towards the calf with its lactated udder on the other. With such mixed feelings, the cow never knows how to react, and seems to be in a state of excitement. Such is the state of bhagavAn also, who is extremely caring and affectionate about his devotees who have surrendered unto him.

(PLEASE NOTE Bhattar’s stress here: that this affection of bhagavAn akin to a cow’s affection towards a “newly born” calf is manifest although his relationship with the individual soul is extremely old!)

This divine attribute of bhagavAn is well known even towards his oppressors such as rAvaNa et al. sIthA says thus about rAma to rAvaNa in the sundhara kANda of SrImath rAmAyaNa: “He is the knower of dharma. He is very affectionate towards anyone who has surrendered unto him.” (This statement comes in the context of sIthA advising rAvaNa to surrender unto rAma by giving her back to him, so that he would forgive him for all his misconducts and accept him into his fold)

Only because bhagavAn possesses such a wonderful and auspicious quality, the quality itself gains merit as being an attribute of righteousness.

Etymology: The one who possesses boundless affection towards the surrendered souls, which instigates him to be their indweller, is called ‘vathsala:’. bhagavAn’s affection towards the surrendered souls is much akin to the affection shown by a cow towards its calf.

सर्वस्यान्तर्निवसनॆ हॆतुः स्याद्वत्सलः स्मृतः |
वत्सॆ यतॊ धॆनुरिव वत्सलः शरणागतॆ ||

473) vathsI (वत्सी)

bhagavAn possesses umpteen individual souls who are thus nurtured and cared by bhagavAn as shown in the previous divine name. Thus, he is called ‘vathsI’.

The word ‘vathsa’ वत्स (dear one) gets the ‘ini’ (इनि) adjunct, resulting in this divine name.  This is indicative of the eternity and abundance of such souls with bhagavAn.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn always possesses an abundance of souls who are fondled by him (as shown in the previous divine name), he is called ‘vathsI’.

नित्यपॊष्यात्मवर्गाख्य-वत्सभूयस्त्वतः सदा |
वत्सी स्याद्धि विशॆषॆण षडर्णॊ गॊप्रदॊ मनुः ||

474) rathnagarbha: (रत्नगर्भः)

Among such intimate souls, there are also souls who desire for material benefits. Since bhagavAn possesses immense wealth so as to satiate their desires, he is called ‘rathnagarbha:’.

The scriptures hail thus: “bhagavAn holds ‘desire’ and ‘wealth’ in the form of ‘Sankha’ or conch and ‘chakra’ or discus respectively.”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn possesses immense wealth sufficient to bestow unto the materially inclined souls, he is called ‘rathnagarbha:’. He is indeed the bestower of wealth to everyone.

धनायद्भ्यॊ यथाकामं प्रदॆय धनवत्वतः |
रत्नगर्भः समाख्यातॊ ह्यष्टार्णॊ धनदॊ मनुः ||

475) dhanESvara: (धनॆश्वरः)

Since bhagavAn bestows such wealth upon the seekers instantly, he is called ‘dhanESvara:’.

This divine name is formed with the adjunct ‘varat’ (वरट्) suffixed to the root word ‘ASu’ आशु (quick).

Etymology: He is called ‘dhanESvara:’, who acts swiftly in bestowing the desired wealth upon the seekers.

तत्तदिष्टद्रव्यदानॆ शीघ्रकारी धनॆश्वरः |

धर्मगुप् धर्मकृद्धर्मी सदसत्क्षरमक्षरम् ।
अविज्ञाता सहस्रांशुर्विधाता कृतलक्षणः ॥ ५१ ॥

476) dharmagup (धर्मगुप्)

bhagavAn not only confers wealth upon the materialistic seekers, but also slowly turns them away from undesirable subjects and thus protects them by engaging them in righteous ways. Thus, he is called ‘dharmagup’ – the one who protects the dharma of his devotees.

The scriptures say thus: “bhagavAn bestows wealth and intellect upon the seekers who are stationed in righteousness”.

Etymology: Although bhagavAn confers the mundane desires of his devotees, yet he turns them away from lowly desires and upholds their righteous interests for their benefit, which is why he is called ‘dharmagup’.

कामं दत्वाप्यर्थकामौ निवर्त्य विषयान्तरात् |
ताभ्यां हितस्य धर्मस्य रक्षणात् धर्मगुप् स्मृतः ||

477) dharmakruth (धर्मकृत्)

As explained in the previous divine name, bhagavAn slowly turns his devotees towards the path of righteousness. Not just that; he further graces such righteous souls causelessly and uplifts them. Thus, bhagavAn is called ‘dharmakruth’ – the one who practices the ‘dharma’ of protecting the righteous souls. The purport here is thus: bhagavAn graces only righteous people. Hence he ensures that every individual soul practices righteousness in due course.

The scriptures proudly declare thus: “Irrespective of how learned a person is, the practice of the faultless, eternal and pervasive ‘dharma’ is impossible without the intellect blessed by bhagavAn himself”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn makes every individual soul righteous, and observes his own dharma which is to grace such righteous individual souls causelessly (without specific reasons), he is called ‘dharmakruth’.

सर्वं जनं धार्मिकयन् लीलानुग्रहलक्षणम् |
धर्मं करॊति यस्माद्धि तस्माद्धर्मकृदुच्यतॆ ||

478) dharmI (धर्मी)

Even the well established dharma is used by bhagavAn as a tool to accomplish his deeds. Hence, he is called ‘dharmI’.

Etymology: He who possesses just the dharma as a common tool to accomplish his tasks is called ‘dharmI’.

साधारणॊपकरणं धर्मॊ यस्यास्ति कॆवलम् |
स वै धर्मीति विज्ञॆयः षडर्णॊ धर्मदॊ मनुः ||

479) sath (सत्)

Since all the attributes of dharma explained hitherto are lofty in nature, bhagavAn – who possesses such attributes – is called ‘sath’.

bhagavAn himself declares thus in the bhagavath gIthA: “Oh arjuna, the word ‘sath’ is also used in the context of meaning ‘auspicious deeds’”

The auspiciousness of such attributes is due to their eternal association with bhagavAn.

Also, bhagavAn is called ‘sath’ because of his eternal existence and possession of divine auspicious qualities.

The same bhagavath gIthA hails thus: “The word ‘sath’ is used in the context of referring to eternal entities as well as auspicious qualities”

Etymology: Since bhagavAn is causeless and eternal, and always possesses divine auspicious qualities, the learned men well versed in vEdhas and upanishaths call vishNu as ‘sath’.

निरुपाधिक सद्भावात् नित्यसाद्गुण्ययॊगतः |
सत्-शब्दॆनॊच्यतॆ विष्णुः वॆदवॆदान्तपारगैः ||

480) sadhaksharam (सदक्षरम्)

As detailed in the previous divine name, bhagavAn is called ‘sath’ due to his eternal existence and his attribution of auspicious qualities. Furthermore, such divine attribution is ceaseless. Thus, the adjunct of ‘aksharam’ अक्षरम्  (imperishable) is suffixed in this divine name.

The word ‘ksharam’ (क्षरम्) means to cease to exist (to get destroyed) at some point of time or in some place. Whereas, bhagavAn’s divine attributes are hailed thus:

“His divine forms and qualities can only be described as ‘existent’ forever, which is completely free from blemishes such as fading, destruction, transformations, birth, death, etc”.

Verily this opinion is also echoed in the vEdhic statement that says “Oh young one, only ‘sath’ existed earlier to this creation”

Etymology:  The one who is free from blemishes such as fading, destruction, etc is called ‘akshara:’. Thus (in conjunction with the previous divine name), the words ‘sath’ and ‘aksharam’ get together, resulting in a single name as ‘sadhaksharam’.

अपक्षयविनाशादिवर्जितॊsक्षर उच्यतॆ |
ततॊsक्षरसदित्यॆवम् एकनाम च शस्यतॆ ||

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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