SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 50 (Names 491 to 500)

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

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

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

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

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

आदिदॆवॊ हि भवति ब्रह्मादिभ्यॊ विशॆषतः |

492) mahAdhEva: (महादॆवः)

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

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

ब्रह्मादिभिः क्रीडति यॊ महादॆवः स उच्यतॆ |

493) dhEvESa: (दॆवॆशः)

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

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

ब्रह्मादीनां च दॆवॆशॊ यथार्हविनियॊजकः |

494) dhEvabhruth (दॆवभृत्)

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

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

ब्रह्मशक्रयमादीनां भरणात् दॆवभृत् स्मृतः |

495) guru: (गुरुः)

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

The scriptures hail thus:

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

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

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

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

ब्रह्मॆन्द्रवरुणादीनां गुरुर्वॆदॊपदॆशनात् |

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

496) uththara: (उत्तरः)

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

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

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

आपदुद्धरणाद्यॊsसौ ब्रह्मादॆरुत्तरः स्मृतः |

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

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

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

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

छन्दॊभाषावॆदवाचां निर्वाहात् गॊपतिः स्मृतः |

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

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

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

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

पालनात् सर्वविद्यानां गॊप्तॆति परिकीर्तितः |

499) gynAnagamya: (ज्ञानगम्यः)

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

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

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

परया विद्यया वॆद्यॊ ज्ञानगम्य इति स्मृतः |

500) purAthana: (पुरातनः)

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

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

विद्याप्रद्यॊतनाद्यॊsसौ प्रतिकल्पं पुरातनः |

Thus ends the fifth centum (panchama Sathakam) in SrI bhagavath-guNa-dharpaNa, which is an explanation of SrI vishNu sahasranama, by the scion of SrI hArItha clan, the son of SrIvathSanka miSra (kUraththAzhwan) – SrIranganatha by name, also called SrI parAsara bhatta, who wrote this glorious commentary at the behest of SrI rangaraja.

The fifth centum is completed.

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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