SrIvishNu sahasranAmam – 78 (Names 771 to 780)

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771) chathurmUrthi: (चतुर्मूर्तिः)

Even during his incarnation in the vibhava form, bhagavAn reminds us of his vyUha forms by taking up four forms (corresponding to vyUha vAsudhEva, SankarshaNa, pradhyumna and anirudhdha). Thus, he is called ‘chathurmUrthi:’ – the one with four forms.

The four forms attributed to bhagavAn during his incarnation in the yadhu clan are: balarAma (as SankarshaNa), krishNa (as vAsudhEva), pradhyumna (krishNa’s son, as pradhyumna), and anirudhdha (krishNa’s grandson, as anirudhdha).

Etymology: He, who possesses four forms as balarAma (balabhadhra), krishNa (vAsudhEva), pradhyumna and anirudhdha, is called ‘chathurmUrthi:’.

बलभद्रॊ वासुदॆवः प्रद्युम्नश्चानिरुद्धकः |
चतस्रॊ मूर्तयॊ यस्य स चतुर्मूर्तिरुच्यतॆ ||

772) chathurbhAhu: (चतुर्बाहुः)

bhagavAn was born to dhEvaki with his ‘para’ form (the form that bhagavAn sports in his supreme abode SrIvaikuNtam) with four hands, which is the origin of the four vyUha forms discussed before, and which itself is primordial and has no other origin. Thus, he is called ‘chathurbhAhu:’ – the one with four arms.

It is a well known fact that dhEvaki pleads to bhagavAn thus: “Oh lord of all entities! Kindly hide this four armed divine form and take the form of a normal human child with just two arms; for kamsa must not know that you are an incarnation”

Etymology: He, who was born with the ‘para’ form – which is the origin of vyUha forms, and which is itself primordial and has no other origin, and hence possessed four hands, is called ‘chathurbhAhu:’.

व्यूहमूल-परावस्था-निरुपाधिक-रूपतः |
चत्वारॊ बाहवॊ यस्य स चतुर्बाहुरुच्यतॆ ||

773) chathurvyUha: (चतुर्व्यूहः) (also seen in 140)

Even in the four forms in his krishNAvathAra (as krishNa, balarAma, pradhyumna and anirudhdha), bhagavAn possessed all the six divine qualities (gynAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakthi and thEjas) as in his vyUha forms. Thus, he is called ‘chathurvyUha:’.

Etymology: The one who is vested with all six divine qualities in their entirety in his four forms during his incarnation – just as in his vyUha forms – is called ‘chathurvyUha:’. This manthra grants all four kinds of desired fruits upon the chanters, namely dharma, artha, kAma and mOksha.

समस्तव्यस्तषाड्गुण्यव्यूहावस्थाचतुष्टयः |
चतुर्व्यूह इति ख्यातः चतुर्वर्गप्रदॊ मनुः ||

774) chathurgathi: (चतुर्गतिः)

Depending on the kind of worship by his devotees and the intensity therein, bhagavAn bestows four levels of fruits (destinations) upon them namely indhra lOka, brahma lOka, kaivalya and mOksha. Thus, he is called ‘chathurgathi:’ – the bestower of four destinations.

Etymology: He who has four destinations to be bestowed upon his devotees is called ‘chathurgathi:’.

चतस्रः प्राप्तयॊ यस्मिन् भक्तानां स चतुर्गतिः |

775) chathurAthmA (चतुरात्मा) (also seen in 139)

With the same distinction amongst the devotees (on the basis of their level of maturity of devotion), bhagavAn further manifests in four forms – both gross as well as subtle – each corresponding to the four phases of knowledge namely ‘jAgrath’ (जाग्रत् awakened), ‘svapna’ (स्वाप dreaming), ‘sushupthi’ (सुषुप्ति deep slumber) and the fourth state or ‘thurIya’ (तुरीय enlightened). [NOTE: These four forms correspond to the four vyUha forms of bhagavAn, as seen earlier (divine name 139, 140, etc)]

Etymology: Since bhagavAn manifests in four forms – both gross as well as subtle) – in four different states namely waking, dreaming, deep slumber and fully enlightened, he is called ‘chathurAthmA’. This eight lettered manthra is considered as one of the finest manthras.

जाग्रदादि स्थूलसूक्ष्मचातुरात्म्यप्रकाशनात् |
चतुरात्मा स विज्ञॆयः वस्वर्णॊ मनुरुत्तमः ||

776) chathurbhAva: (चतुर्भावः)

With such four states and four forms as seen in the previous divine names, bhagavAn manifests in sixteen ways, and conducts various activities such as protection of the worlds (including creation, sustenance and destruction), bestowing the souls with SAsthras or scriptures, etc – in both gross as well as subtle states. He has this itself as his greatest cause. Hence, he is called ‘chathurbhAva:’. The word ‘bhAva:’ or ‘bhAvanA’ means ‘to manifest’. Thus, he manifests four fold in each of his vyUha forms.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn manifests (in four fold forms of each of his vyUha forms) in both gross as well as subtle states, and conducts various activities such as bestowing of SAsthras and the like (totally sixteen in number), he is called ‘chathurbhAva:’. This manthra bestows good positions in the nether world.

शास्त्रदानादिकृत्याभिव्यञ्जनात् स्थूलसूक्ष्मतः |
चतुर्भावः समाख्यातः मन्वर्णश्च गतिप्रदः ||

777) chathurvEdhavith (चतुर्वॆदवित्)

From the ocean of greatness of bhagavAn in these vyUha and vibhava forms (as seen till now), only a small droplet is only known even to those who have mastered all four vEdhas and who have thereby tried to realize the supreme entity. Thus, he is called ‘chathurvEdhavith’.

Etymology: He who is known (albeit very less) by those who are learned in all four vEdhas is called ‘chathurvEdhavith’. This nine lettered manthra grants the knowledge of vEdhas.

चतुर्वॆदप्राज्ञनिष्ठावित्तिर्यद्विषयॆ स तु |
चतुर्वॆदविदित्युक्तः नवार्णॊ निगमप्रदः ||

778) EkapAth (एकपात्)

bhagavAn is called ‘EkapAth’ in his incarnation. This is because he incarnated as krishNa (and all other incarnations) with just a small fraction of his unfathomable splendour.

That is why it is hailed thus in many places in the scriptures such as vishNu purANa, SrI rAmAyaNa, etc:

  • “Oh brahmarishi! Know this incarnation of krishNa as just a portion of his real splendour”
  • “Having born out of just a small fraction of his real glory in this world…”
  • “The glories of vishNu cannot be fully known whatsoever”
  • “He is indeed one quarter of vishNu himself”, etc.

Etymology: Since bhagavAn incarnated with just a small portion of his real splendour, he is called ‘EkapAth’.

एकांशॆनावतीर्णत्वात् एकपादिति कथ्यतॆ |

समावर्तॊ निवृत्तात्मा दुर्जयॊ दुरतिक्रमः ।
दुर्लभॊ दुर्गमॊ दुर्गॊ दुरावासॊ दुरारिहा ॥ ८३ ॥

779) samAvartha: (समावर्तः)

With such divine incarnations and forms, bhagavAn completely shows his divine glories of his vyUha forms repeatedly in his incarnations. Thus, he is called ‘samAvartha:’ – the one who keeps cycling back.

Etymology: In this way (seen till the previous divine name), bhagavAn manifests with his divine glories of vyUha forms at all places, at all times and in all ways. Thus, he is called ‘samAvartha:’ [The one possesses such glories of vyUha forms, which are shown repeatedly is called ‘samAvartha:’]. This eight syllable manthra destroys our cycle of births.

एतादृशं हि सर्वत्र सर्वदा सर्वथाsपि च |
व्यूहस्य विभवस्यापि यस्यास्त्यावर्तनं स तु |
समावर्तः समाख्यातः वस्वर्णॊ जन्मनाशकः ||

780) nivruththAthmA (निवृत्तात्मा) (also seen in 231, 453)

Although bhagavAn is in control of all the worlds out of his sheer compassion, he still doesn’t mix with this lowly world, and stays aloof. Thus, he is called ‘nivruththAthmA’ – the one whose mind is aloof from this lowly world.

The chAndhOgya upanishath says: “bhagavAn is ever silent and indifferent…”

Etymology: He whose mind is aloof from this lowly world at all times is called ‘nivruththAthmA’.

निवृत्तात्मा मनॊ यस्य सदा जगदमिश्रितम् |

adiyen srinivasa raja ramanuja dasan

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