SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam phala Sruti - 1.
iti idam kIrtanIyasya keSavasya mahAtmanah |
nAmnAm sahasram divyAnAm asesheNa prakIrtitam || (1)
The above is addressed by bhIshma to yudhisThira at the end of the 107 Sloka-s containing the 1000 nAma-s of bhagavAn. The meaning is: "Thus, the thousand divine names of bhagavAn keSava, the Supreme Being, Who is worthy of being praised, have been sung in their entirety". SrI BhaTTar comments that the word `kIrtanIyasya' has been chosen to indicate that bhagavAn richly deserves the praise, and that by using this word, bhIshma is telling yudhishThira that he should begin the recitation of the names right away. The reason for the same is given by the choice of the name keSava (the Creator of brahmA and Siva see the interpretation for the nAma keSava nAma-s 23 and 654), and mahAtmanah (He is the Supreme Being). The word `divyAnAm' (divine) applied to the nAma-s signifies that the nAma-s are worthy of being sung in this world as well as in SrI vaikunTham. The word `aSesheNa' is used to denote that nothing that is significant or important has been left out by bhIshma in his communication to yudhisThira, and everything that needs to be known has been taught.
SrI Sa'nkara explains the word `aSesheNa' to mean `a-nyUna, an- atirikta' neither less, nor more, but exactly thousand nAma-s. The implication is that the choice of the thousand names by bhIshma are significant, and are not randomly chosen. SrI Sa'nkara also refers us back to one of the initial six questions kim japan mucyate jantuh (see Introduction for detailed meanings), and points out that these 1000 divine nAma-s are the ones that are the object of `japa' referred to therein. He points out that `japa' consists of three kinds - ucca, upAmSu, and mAnasa loud, whisper, or in the mind (trividha japo lakshyate uccaA, upAmSu, mAnasa lakshaNah trividho japah). The words prakIrtitam in the current Sloka answers that all three means chanting loudly, through a low tone, or by contemplating in the mind, can be used in singing His praise (kIrtana).
This Slokam emphasizes that these nAma-s are divine, and are sung in SrI vaikunTham by the nitya sUri-s themselves. They are specifically selected as sung by the Rshi-s (Rshibhih parigItAni see the Introductory section). This stotram is unlike any other stotram that we know of. It was first revealed in Lord kRshNa's presence.
ya idam SRNuyAt nityam yaScApi parikIrtayet |
nA'Subham prApnuyAt ki'ncit so'mutreha ca mAnavaH || (2)
In this Sloka, the qualifications for reciting the stotra, and the result from recitation are declared in general terms. "Nothing inauspicious or unwelcome will accrue to that man in this world or in the world beyond, when one hears this daily or recites it".
SrI BhaTTar comments that he, who according to his qualification and ability, hears it or meditates on it in his mind, will encounter nothing inauspicious in this world, or hereafter. Note that the benefit is attained by chanting, as well as by listening.
By the term `hereafter (amutre ca)', lesser worlds than SrI vaikunTham, such as svargam, brahma lokam etc. are meant. SrI Sa'nkara points the case of yayAti and his father nahusha, both of whom ended up suffering after reaching brahma lokam and indra lokam respectively, because they committed sins against brAhmaNa-s after reaching these higher worlds. Such inauspicious instances won't happen to those who chant or hear this divine stotram yayAti nahushAdivat aSubha prApti abhAvam.
vedAnta-go brAhmaNah syAt kshatriyo vijayI bhavet |
vaiSyo dhana samRddhah syAt SudraH sukham avApnuyAt || (3)
The next few Sloka-s declare the benefits attained by chanting the hymn, hearing it chanted etc. SrI BhaTTar has categorized the benefits as follows:
- The current Slokam declares the benefits attained by people of the four varNa-s, when they chant the stotram without necessarily directing their chanting for any specific benefit, and do so without necessarily following any special discipline etc. - The next Slokam (Slokam 4 in this sequence) declares the benefits attained by those who chant the stotram with specific benefits in mind. - Sloka-s 5 to 8 declare the benefits attained by those who chant the hymns following discipline such as getting up early in the morning, taking a bath etc., before chanting.
The organization along the above lines will be clearer as we see the meanings of the Sloka-s, in particular, Slokam 5 etc.
Thus, there is benefit that is bestowed by the recitation of the hymn, whether it is done by those with intense devotion or is chanted without necessarily following any specific discipline, whether specific benefits are sought by the person chanting the hymn or not, etc. (Note: Based on Slokam 2 of this sequence, whatever benefit is described for chanting the hymn, equally applies for listening to the hymn being chanted).
The current Sloka declares that by reciting this hymn or hearing it being chanted, (without necessarily following any specific rules etc., and without specifically seeking any benefit), still certain benefits are attained by people belonging to the four varNa-s. Thus, a brAhmaNa reaches the knowledge of the vedAnta-s, in other words, the knowledge of the self and its relation to the Supreme Self. If he is a kshatriya, he will be victorious in war. A vaiSya (businennman) will attain immense wealth, and a SUdra will be bestowed with great happiness.
SrI Sa'nkara gives an elaborate explanation for the words `vedAnta-go brAhmaNah syAt', and using the meaning "The brAhmaNa will get KNOWLEDGE of the vedAnta-s, he proceeds to argue that sage vyAsa is declaring through this Slokam that simply reciting the hymn is not the means to salvation (japa karmaNA sAkshAt mukti Sa'nkAyAm, karmaNAm sAkshAt mukti hetutvam nAsti, api tu j~nAnenaiva moksha iti darSayitum `vedAntago brAhmaNah syAt' ityuktam) , but the knowledge obtained by the recitation is the path to salvation. We won't go into elaborate details of SrI Sa'nkara's argument on this point in the vyAkyAnam for this Slokam; however, this is one instance of how the vyAkhyAna-kartA-s orient their vyAkhyAna-s so that they can establish their philosophy, and argue that important works such as this one by veda vyAsa can be `shown' to support their system of philosophy. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan explains that the knowledge that is attained by chanting the hymn is the realization of the eternal relationship between the soul and the Supreme Soul as servant and Master (not the realization that everything is imaginary and non- existent, except Brahman, as SrI Sa'nkara defines true knowledge).
One commentator adds that this Slokam by referring to the benefits attained by all the four varNa-s, implies that there is no constraint in anyone chanting the hymns. Some AcArya-s have asked the women among their followers to refrain from chanting the hymn either in part or in full. The instructions vary from being allowed to chant only the 107 Sloka-s starting from "viSvam vishNuh" up to "Sa'nkhabRn- nandakI", not chanting anything, chanting the stotra in its entirety, etc. To my knowledge, there is no restriction listening to the hymn, which is as powerful in conferring benefits as chanting the hymn. In all cases, one's own AcAryan's instructions should be rigorously followed.
dharmArthI prApnuyAt dharmam arthArthI cArthamApnuyAt |
kAmAn avApnuyAt kAmI prajarthI cApnuyAt prajAm ||
In this Slokam, it is declared that those who desire righteousness (dharma), will be blessed with that; those who desire wealth will be blessed with wealth; those who are after the pleasures of life, will be bestowed with all pleasures of life; those who desire progeny will be blessed with children.
SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - phala Sruti - Part 2.
bhaktimAn yah sadotthAya Sucis_tad-gata mAnasaH |
sahasram vAasudevasya nAmnAm etat prakIrtayet || (5)
SrI BhaTTar groups the four Sloka-s, 5 to 8, as a statement of the benefits
accruing to a devotee (bhakta) who recites the nAma-s as a japa (chanting)
in accordance with the rules laid down for the same. SrI BhaTTar's words are: "atha niyama viSeshavat japa rUpa sa'nkIrtane bhaktasya sarva samRddhim Aha".
From the previous two Sloka-s, it is noted that the act of chanting either aloud or in a whisper or in the mind, or just listening to others chanting the stotram, leads to benefits, either explicitly desired and sought, or those consistent with the varNa dharma-s of the one who chants or listens to the stotram. Now vyAsa points out that if a person gets up early in the morning, purifies himself with a bath and the observance of the rites and rituals consistent with his dharma as laid down in the SAstra-s (according to his varNa and ASrama), and recites the thousand nAma-s of vAsudeva with his mind firmly fixed on Him, he will be bestowed with salvation itself (anuttamam Sreyah prApnoti Slokam 6).
SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is: "bhaktimAn ityAdinA bhaktimatah Suceh
satatam udyuktasyaikAgra cittasya SraddhAlorviSishTAdhikAriNah phala viSesham
The special benefits accruing to one who is devout, pure, ever persevering with one-pointed attentive meditation, and with faith, are revealed next.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes that the benefis stated next are those that
accrue to one who has single-minded devotion to vAsudeva,
meditates on him constantly, is pure in thought, word and deed, and chants the thousand nAma-s of vAsudeva as laid down in this Slokam.
In order to reinforce the thoughts embedded in this Slokam, let us look at the individual meanings of a few words in the Slokam:
- bhaktimAn A devotee.
Specifically, it refers to the devotee of vAsudeva (vAsudevasya nAmnAm). Single-minded devotion is of importance here, as noted in the above.
anya devatA worship resort to other devatA-s, is to be avoided. -
sadA utthAya always getting up early in the morning. -
Sucih Purifies himself. The purity referred to is both external and internal. The external purity involves taking a bath etc.
The other aspects of purification involved here are the strict observance of nitya karma-s as laid down in the SAstra-s for the devotee the varNASrama dharma-s.
Our AcArya-s repeatedly emphasize that any activity undertaken without observing the nitya karma-s will end up as wasted effort. - tad-gata-mAnasaH The mind of the devotee should be concentrated on bhagavAn vAsudeva. This is a re-emphasis on the single-minded devotion to vAsudeva that was mentioned under `bhaktimAn'. - prakIrtayet kIrtana specifically refers to chanting, recitation.
The specific benefits that such a devotee will attain are specified in the next three Sloka-s:
yaSah prApnoti vipulam j~nAti prAdhAnyameva ca |
acalAm Sriyam Apnoti Sreyah prApnoty_anuttamam || (6)
na bhayam kvacit Apnoti vIryam tejaSca vindati |
bhavaty_arogo dyutimAn bala rUpa guNanvitah || (7)
rogArto mucyate rogAt baddho mucyeta bandhanAt |
bhayAn mucyeta bhItastu mucyrtApanna ApadaH || (8)
SrI BhaTTar has given his interpretation for the above Sloka-s in two short
"anuttamam Sreyah muktih | anye abhyudaya viSeshAh ||" -
`anuttamam Sreyah in Slokam 6 means `salvation'; all the other fruits mentioned are fruits of success in this world'.
Prof. Srinivasa Raghavan has given the following translation for the above Sloka-s:
"He becomes endowed with great reputation and becomes the foremost among
his kith and kin.
He acquires wealth that never diminishes in this world, and he also gets unexcelled prosperity in the next (namely, salvation).
"There is no fear for him from any quarters. He acquires valor and
power. He is never unwell, and always shines.
He becomes endowed with strength, a healthy body, and noble qualities.
"He who is suffering from any disease will get over it. He who is in
bondage will be relieved of it.
He who is affected by fear will become free from it, and he who is in difficulties will become rid of them".
SrI Sa'nkara also does not comment on the above Sloka-s.
The idea is that both SrI BhaTTar and SrI Sa'nkara consider that the meaning is self-explanatory.
The most important benefit is the one that SrI BhaTTar has commented on anuttamam
The other benefits can all be understood as aid to this most important, and in fact the only phalan that such a devotee will aspire for.
Thus, for instance, being rid of fear in this world can be understood as the full confidence that bhagavAn will definitely redeem us from the ocean of samsAra at the end of our current birth in this world, -
mahA viSvAsam; acalAm Sriyam undiminished wealth in this world the opportunity and blessing to be involved in kai'nkaryam to Him always the ka'inkarya SrI;
rogArto mucyate rogAt the devotee will be rid of the greatest of
diseases, namely attachment to the worldly and materialistic objects of this
and, above all, the attachment to this body and to all the things associated with the body;
bhayAn mucyeta bhItah the devotee will be rid of the greatest of all fears the fear of repeated births, the fear of samsAra; yaSah prApnoti the devotee will be known for his single-minded devotion to vAsudeva, as his greatest accomplishment;
dyutimAn, tejaSca vindati the tejas of such a devotee will be self-revealing, as we can feel in the presence of our AcArya-s.
SrI vishNU sahasra nAmam - phala Sruti - Part 3.
Next, it is stated that if a person is exclusively devoted to SrI kRshNa and his only desire is to attain Him, all his difficulties will automatically vanish even though he does not pray to the Lord for any relief from them.
durgANi atitarati ASu purushah purushottamam |
stuvan nAma sahasreNa nityam bhakti samanvitah || (9)
"That person, who, with devotion, praises the Supreme Being (purushottaman) reciting his thousand nAma-s daily, surmounts all difficulties very easily.
SrI BhaTTar comments that the next two Sloka-s speak of the attainment of the Lord by such devotees.
vAsudeva ASrayo martyo vAsudeva parAyaNaH |
sarva pApa viSuddhAtmA yAti brahma sanAtanam || (10)
na vAsudeva bhatAnAm aSubham vidyate kvacit |
janma mRtyu jarA vyAdhi bhayam vA api upajAyate || (11)
"That man, who has taken resort to vAsudeva with the thought that vAsudeva is the highest goal to be reached, becomes cleansed of all sins and his mind becomes pure. He finally attains the Eternal Brahman.
"Nothing inauspicious ever occurs to the devotees of vAsudeva. Nor do they have any fear from birth or death or old age or disease".
imam stavam adhIyAnah SraddhA bhakti samanvitah |
yujyeta Atma sukha kshAntih SrI-dhRti-smRti-kIrtibhih || (12)
"The person who chants this hymn with zeal and devotion, is blessed with happiness of the self, forbearance, riches, firmness of mind, excellent memory, and great fame".
SrI BhaTTar comments niyamavato bhaktasya anusha'ngiNIm abhyudaya siddhim Aha For the devotee who recites the names in accordance with scriptural injunctions, there is attainment of prosperity of all kinds that come as a matter of course". He explains the term SraddhA as sa-gaurava tvarA Eagerness associated with respect. He also comments that bhakti is a result of highly meritorious acts - bhagavati bhaktih mahatah su-kRtasya phalam. . Thus a true devotee should chant the stotram with sincere devotion and interest, and should accompany the chanting with other meritorious acts as part of his way of life. SrI BhaTTar further adds: govinda bhaktyabhyadhikam SreyaSca anyat na vidyate There is no act superior to devotion to Lord govinda.
SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam for Sloka-s 5 to 8 was "atha niyama viSeshavat japa rUpa sa'nkIrtane bhaktasya sarva samRddhim Aha". For the current Sloka, his interpretation is "niymavatah bhaktasya anusha'ngiNIm abhyudaya siddhim Aha". Thus the interpretations in both cases describe the benefit for a `bhakta' or devotee who follows `niyama' or rules as laid down in the scriptures. Slokam 5 refers to the bhakta who follows niyama and does prakItanA (praising, extolling, lauding) of bhagavAn through the stotram, whereas the current Slokam refers to the bhakta with niyama who is `adhIyAnah' (a student, or one who goes over the stotra either as a student or as a teacher). SrI v. v. rAmAnujan has used the term anusandhAnam (which means inquiry, investigation, scrutiny etc.), in the context of this Slokam. Thus, the difference between the two, if one were to look for a difference, is that the first discusses the benefits attained by the bhakta who chants the stotram, and the second about the benefits attained by the bhakta who propagates or delves deep into the meanings etc.
One translator of SrI Sa'nkara bhAshyam has grouped the Sloka-s from 5 (bhaktimAn
to 12 (imam stavam
) into one group, and has ascribed SrI Sa'nkara's short
commentary as follows, for all these Sloka-s as one group " bhaktimAn
ityAdinA bhatimatah Suceh satatamudyuktasyaikAgra cittasya SraddhAlorvivishTa
adhikAriNah phala viSesham darSayati" "In the verses beginning with
bhaktimAn etc., the stated results are promised to one who is devout, pure,
ever- persevering with one-pointed attentive meditation, with faith". SrI
Sa'nkara further explains:
"SraddhA Astikya buddhih | bhaktih bhajanam tAtparyam | Atmanah sukam Atma-sukham | tena ca kshAnyatibhiSca ucyate |" .
This is translated as: "Faith means belief in God; bhakti refers to worship; Atma sukham means spiritual bliss by this term, other qualities such as patience, forgiveness etc. are also meant".
na krodho na ca mAtsaryam na lobho nAsubhA matih |
bhavanti kRta puNyANAm bhaktAnAm purushottame || (13)
"Neither anger nor jealousy, neither greed nor evil thoughts haunt the minds of those people who are devotees of purushottama (The Supreme Being) and who have acquired merit by virtuous deeds".
SrI BhaTTar comments that as a matter of natural course, these defects by themselves keep away from the devotees. SrI Sa'nkara emphasizes the point that in the Slokam, krdha, lobha and aSubhAmatih occur without a `ca', whereas mAtsarya occurs with a `ca'. He explains that this means that not only krodha, lobha and aSubhA mati anger, lust and evil thoughts) are absent in these devotees, but also jealousy is absent.
SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - phala Sruti - Part 4.
dyauH sa-candrArka nakshatrA kham diSo bhUh mahodadhiH |
vAsudevasya vIryeNa vidhRtAni mahAtmanaH || (14)
"The firmament, along with the moon, the Sun, the stars, the sky, the
directions, Earth, the great sea
are all supported by the valor of vAsudeva, the Supreme Lord".
Untold benefits have been mentioned in previous Sloka-s, including moksham,
for those who chant the stotram with devotion etc.
SrI BhaTTar points out that there may be those who, because of their misfortune, may indulge in illogical reasoning, and doubt the above statements about the fruits.
He stresses that this view is incorrect, and there is nothing to doubt about the power and greatness of bhagavAn vishNu, as described in the current Slokam and the next few -
na ayam phala artha vAdah Sa'nkyah nir-bhAgyaih ku-tArkikaih bhagavat-prabhAvasya asambhAvya abhAvena ativAda apavAdayoh asambhavAt iti abhipriyan, tasya tam prabhAvam Aha.
SrI Sa'nkara has made the comment with regard to the purpose of this Sloka ||
`dyauh sa-candrArka nakshatrA' ityAdinA stutyasya vAsudevasya mahAtmya kathanena uktAnAm phalAnAm prApti vacanam yathArtha kathanam na artha vAda iti darSayati ||
By the verse `dyauH' etc., it is indicated that the effects of reciting this hymn as laid down are literally true and not merely glorifying utterance or hyperbole.
Note that both SrI Sa,nkara and SrI bhaTTar make similar comments for this Slokam rejecting the positions of non-believers.
A matter of grammatical interest is made here by SrI bhaTTar || vidhRtAni
nAnAli'ngAnAm "napumsakam a-napumsakena ekavat ca asya anyatarasyAm" (ashTAdhyAyI
Words in different gender (firmament, moon, Sun, etc) occur in the Sloka. VidhRtAni is a word in neuter gender that qualifies the words in different genders.
The grammatical rule stated says that the participle form of a neuter verb is put in the neuter gender when one verb qualifies several words in different genders, one of which is in neuter gender.
Having thus stated that everything functions by the power of bhagavAn, next it is stated that He is also their Controller.
sa-surAsura gandharvam sa-yakshoraga rAkshasam |
jagad-vaSe vartatedam kRshNasya sa-carAcaram || (15)
"This world along with all the sentient and non-sentient objects, with gods, asura-s, gandharva-s, as well as yaksha-s, serpents, and rAkshasa-s, is under the control of SrI kRshNa".
SrI bhaTTar notes that the joining of the words vartata and idam into the
compound word `vatatedam' is Arsha prayogam (ancient usage);
according to strict grammatical rule, the pATham should be `vartata idam', alternatively, the pATham could be `avartata idam', meaning `this was'.
SrI Sa'nkara does not provide a vyAkhyAnam for this Slokam separately.
indriyANi mano buddhih sattvam tejo balam dhRtiH |
vAsudevAytmakAni AhuH kshetram kshetraj~na eva ca || (16)
"The sense-organs, mind, intellect, the quality of sttva, power
strength, firmness, as well as the body and the individual soul
all of them have vAsudeva as their AtmA or Inner Soul. So it is stated (by the SAstra-s)".
vAsudevasya AtmakAni - all of them are His bodies. SrI BhaTTar comments that
this state of all things being under the control of vAsudeva
is particularized as the body-soul relationship between all objects and bhagavAn in this Sloka.
This relationship between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul as one of body-soul relationship is a key aspect of the viSishTAdvaita siddhAnta.
SrI bhaTTar comments that in this Slokam, it is pointed out that all the tattva-s (Realities) are under the control of bhagavAn, as declared by the SAstra-s, which are themselves under the control of bhagavAn. In the next Slokam, it is pointed out that all the SAstra- s that declare the injunctions for the practice of rites etc., including AcAra that forms the basis of all rites, are also under His control. In other words, tattva SAstra-s as well as anushThAna SAstra-s are under His control.
sarvAgamAnAm AcArah prathamam parikalpyate |
AcAra prabhavo dharmo dharmasya prabhur-acyutah || (17)
"Right conduct is the foremost discipline to be observed by all the scriptures.
SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - phala Sruti - Part 5.
Rshayah pitaro devAh mahAbhUtAni dhAtavah |
ja'ngamAja'ngamam ca idam jagat nArAyaNodbhavam || (18)
"All the Sages, the departed ancestors, the different gods, the great elements, their effects, the moving and the non-moving objects that comprise the Universe, all have their origin on nArAyaNa".
This Slokam and the next one declare that everything that exists, has existed
and will ever exist have as their origin and support bhagavAn SrIman nArAyaNa.
SrI bhaTTar notes that anything and anyone that is under the influence and control of dharmam has bhagavAn as their origin ||
dharmAnubandhinAmapi tad-udbhavatvam Aha.
SrI bhaTTar provides word-by-word explanation: -
Rshayah || manvAdayah, tasya smartArah, anushThAtAraSca (Manu and others; the
writers of smRti-s as well as those who practice them);
- pitarah, devAh || avAntara || ArAdhyAh || The Manes and the gods who are the subsidiary divinities that are to be worshiped.
- mahA bhUtAni || viyadAdIni || The five great elements (air, water, fire, earth and ether)
- dhAtavah - tat-kAryANi, tvak carmAdIni etAni karma phala bhoga uapakaraNAni || skin etc., that are provided as the means of enjoyment of the fruits of karma
- ja'ngama aja'ngamam ca idam jagat || This world of beings both moving and non-moving, that enjoy the fruits of karma-s.
- nArAyaNa udbhavam || all originated from nArAyaNa.
yogo j~nAnam tathA sA'nkhyam vidyAh SilpAni karma ca |
vedAh SastrANi vij~nAnam etat sarvam janArdanAt || (19)
"The knowledge of yoga, sA'nkhya, other branches of learning, arts, works, Vedas and SAstra-s || a knowledge of all these springs from bhagavAn janArdana".
The Critical Edition has the pATham "SilpAni", and SrI bhaTTar has used the pATham "SilpAdi". Also, SrI bhaTTar seems to have used the pATham yoga j~nAnam instead of `yogo j~nAnam'. The former would mean `knowledge of yoga' sprung from janArdana, and the later would mean `yoga and j~nAna' originated from janArdana.
The previous Slokam declared that bhagavAn is the source and origin of all
cetana-s and acetana-s (sentient and insentient beings).
This Slokam declares that bhagavAn is the Source of all knowledge as well. Again, SrI bhaTTar gives word-by-word meanings.
- yoga j~nAnam || yogasya j~nAnam; j~nAnam || SAstram. yogo dvi- vidhah
samAdhi yogah, karma yogaSca | (j~nAnam = SAstra-s; yoga is of two kinds ||
bhakti yoga and karma yoga. So yoga j~nAnam means the knowledge of the SAstra-s related to bhakti yogam and karma yogam.
- sA'nkhyam || sa'nkhyayA tattvAnAm avadhAraNam sA'nkhyam || The science by which the nature of the Realities is arrived at by means of sankhyA or intellect.
- vidyAh || vyAkaraNAdi a'nga vidyAh, dhanur, Ayur, gAndharva prabhRtIni dRshTArthAni upa-vidyAh - The subsidiary branches of knowledge such as grammar, archery, medicine, music, dancing etc. (veda-s are considered the foremost among sciences, as we see below).
- Silpa Adi || Sculptures, architecture, etc.
- karma || sarvatra anushTheyam karma - Observance of duties in all places.
- vedAh || pradhAna vidyAh - The foremost among all sciences.
- SAstrANi || smRti, itihAsa purANAni|| smRti, itihAsa-s and purANa-s.
- sarvam etat vij~nAnam || all these SAstra-s
- janArdanAt (udbhavanti) || All these sciences are born of janArdana.
The greatness of BhagavAn as revealed by His possession of all things and beings in both the nitya vibhUti (SrI vaikuNTham) and the leelA vibhUti (all the other Universes), is sung in the next Slokam.
eko vishNur_mahad-bhUtam pRthak-bhUtAnyanekaSah |
trIn-lokAn vyApya bhUtAtmA bhu'nkte viSva-bhuk avyayah || (20)
"vishNu is the unique and unparalleled Deity in that He pervades the
many, various, and different objects of the three Universes, and the three
worlds of souls.
Remaining as the Inner Soul of everything, He protects and enjoys the Universe, and yet remains untouched by their foibles and defects".
Again SrI bhaTTar provides word-by-word meanings and interpretation.
- ekah - svayam ekah san, Being the Supreme Deity above all else
- vyApya || teshAm niyama SeshitvAdibhih AtmA bhavan || By pervading, by being the Inner Soul of, Controller of, and Master of
- anekaSah pRthak bhUtAni - asa'nkhyeyatayA rUpa-prakAra- pariNAma-prayojana bhedena pRthak ca sthitAni mahAnti bhUtAni - The great Elements that are of countless forms, manners, mutations, and utility which are distinct and different from one another.
- trIn lokAn ca || baddha mukta nityAn cetanAn || and of the three worlds of souls, namely, the bound souls, Released souls, and Eternal angels.
- viSva-bhuk || sarvathA paripAlakah; and by being the Sole Protector of everything in all the Universes;
tathA'pi || Even so,
- avyayah || tad-doshaih aparAmRshTah, punaSca para vibhUtyA || being untouched by the faults of any of the souls whose AtmA He is.
- mahad-bhUtam || avA'ng-manasa gocaraSca bhavan || His greatness is beyond description through words, imagination by the mind, etc.
- bhu'nkte || leelA bhoga rasam anubhavati || and He enjoys the pleasure of Divine Sport and Divine Bliss.
SrI Sa'nkara has not commented on this Slokam. However, SrI T. S. Krishnamoorthy, who has provided a translation for Sa'nkara bhAshyam, provides the following translation:
"vishNu, the one great Being, pervades innumerable individual beings and the three worlds; and being the undecaying Self and enjoyer of all, He experiences everything (and also protects)". He has essentially echoed the translation provided by SrI R. Anantakrishna Sastry.
An interpretation that is more reflective of the advaitic philosophy is given by SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri, a rough translation of which follows:
"Lord vishNu who permeates everywhere, became mahat, the basis for all the three worlds. Then He became many, took different forms, and filled all the worlds with these forms; He is the soul of all things that appeared thus. He is enjoying these worlds without being distinct from them in the slightest way. He ultimately contains everything within Himself. (He is the One who performs creation, protection, and destruction)".
SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - phala Sruti - Conclusion.
This posting formally concludes this project on SrI vishNu sahasra nAma that
adiyEn started on May 7, 1997.
Little did aDiyEn expect at that time that it would take close to 10 years to complete. Whatever little adiyEn knows about our sampradAyam, is completely owed to this effort over a period of 10 years.
It was of immense benefit to me in taking me a tiny bit closer to the life's ultimate goal. In our sampradAyam, our AcAryan is our Lord in real life.
Today is the
SatamAna utsavam (centenary celebration) of our great AcAryan SrImad
tirukuDanthai ANDavan, and aDiyEn is delighted to present this concluding
write-up with the sweet memories
of the few moments in my life when aDiyEn was blessed with his kaTAksham, and place this work at the Lotus feet of asmad AcAryan SrI ra'nga rAmAnuja mahA deSikan.
imam stavam bhagavato vishNor-vyAsena kIrtitam |
paThed-ya-icchet purushah Sreyah prAptum sukhAni ca || (21)
"That person, who desires to obtain supreme bliss and the pleasures of the world, should read this stotra of bhagavAn vishNu sung by the great sage vyAsa".
SrI bhaTTar's comment can be summarized thus:
"This stotra sings the praise of Lord vishNu, possessed of unlimited greatness. The one who praises him through this stotra is none other than Sage veda vyAsa, who has drunk this greatness in full, and who has no shortness of words to describe that greatness. This gem of a Hymn has the greatness of the One who is praised as well as the one who is praising Him. This world that is filled with destitution, is eminently qualified to benefit by the chanting of this Hymn, which is capable of redeeming this world from its destitution. Thus, everything is perfect about this hymn |||||||||| the person who is sung, the person who sings, and the beneficiary who is qualified to benefit by singing His praise. Therefore, any person desirous of supreme Bliss or material pleasures, whoever he may be, can resort to it". Some of the original words used by SrI bhaTTar in giving his summary above are: `stava ratnam' to describe the vishNu sahasra nAma stotram, `mahA dAridRyam idam jagat' to describe the deplorable state of this world which is straying away from dharma, `nirviSa'nkah sevatAm' |||||||||| the benefits will be attained without any doubt. The Sloka itself declares that both Sreyas (denoting moksham), and the lesser pleasures (sukhAni ca) are attained by the chanting of this Hymn.
SrI Sa'nkara provides the following commentary for the Sloka:
stavam ityAdinA sahasra SakhAj~nena sarvaj~nena bhagavatA kRshNadvaipAyanena
sAkshAt nArAyaNena kRtam iti sarvaireva arthibhih sAdaram paThitavyam sarva
phala siddhaya iti darSayati" ||||||||||
By the verse beginning with `imam stavam', bhIshma indicates that this hymn is composed by the revered kRsh dvaipAyana, the omniscient, the knower of the thousand branches of veda,
who is nArAyaNa Himself, and hence this hymn is to be recited by all with faith, in order to achieve all the ends.
viSveSvaram ajam devam jagatah prabhavApyayam | bhajanti ye pushkarAksham ne te yAnti parAbhavam || (22)
"The Lotus-eyed bhagavAn is the birthless Supreme Deity, the Ruler of
the Universe, and the Cause of the creation and destruction of the Universe.
Those who sing His praise will never meet with disrespect or discomfiture of any kind".
We will first look at SrI Sa'nkara's commentary for this last Slokam, and conclude with SrI bhaTTar's words of conclusion.
SrI Sa'nkara stresses the importance of worshiping Hari for the fulfillment
of all that is desired, for the removal of all deficiencies in all karma-s
performed with benefit as the objective, etc.
He then points out that worship of Hari will bestow moksham itself |||||||||| release from the bondage of samsAra. He concludes by dedicating his bhAshyam at the Lotus Feet of Hari.
He gives the following Sloka-s in support of his vyAkhyAnam:
pramAdAt kurvatAm karma pracyavetAdhvareshu yat |
smaraNAdeva tad-vishNoh sampUrNam syAt iti Srutih || (garu. PurA. 230.50)
"The Sruti-s say that any acts that have been carelessly performed, such
as irregular procedures in sacrifices etc., are rendered perfect by meditating
(Note the Slokam |||||||||| "kAyena vAcA manasA |||||||||| nArAyaNayeti samarpayAmi" .that is always chanted at the conclusion of any karma by the followers of any sampradAyam of the Hindu faith).
SrI Sa'nkara quotes another Slokam from vyAsa:
AdareNa yathA stauti dhanavantam dhanecchayA |
tathA ced-viSvakartAram ko na mucyeta bandhanAt ||
"If one praises the Creator of the Universe with the same ardor with which one praises a rich man to get wealth from him, would not one be relieved from the bonds of samsAra||"
SrI Sa'nkara concludes his vishNu sahasra nAma bhAshyam with the following Sloka of his own:
sahasra nAma sambandhi vyAkhyA sarva sukhAvahA |
Sruti smRti nyAya mUlA racitA hari-pAdayoH ||
"This commentary of sahasra nAma which brings happiness to all, and which was written consistent with the Sruti, smRti and nyAya, is dedicated to Hari (laid at His Feet)".
SrI bhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is:
"evam svabhAvata eva samasta-dvandva- pratidvandvi ||||||||||
sakala kalyANa guNAkaram, prapanna pArijAtam, puNDarIkAksham, lakshmI-patim, bhagavantam bhajamAnAnAm sa eva sarvasvam iti,
tad-sampado vAcAm agocarAh | kutah sAmsArika- paribhava-prasa'ngah iti paryAptayati |||||||||| visveSvaram iti || "
bhagavan nArAyaNa, the Consort of lakshmI and the Lotus-eyed Lord, is by
nature opposed to all kinds of unwelcome things (like happiness and sorrow, good
and is the mine of all auspicious qualities. He is like the celestial pArijAta tree for those who have resorted to Him. They consider that He alone is their wealth.
Therefore the riches and well being of those people are beyond words. This being the case, where is there any occasion for them for dishonor or disgrace||
Sage vyAsa concludes the Hymn with the oath repeated twice:
"na te yAnti parAbhavam ||||||||||.. na te yAnti parAbhavam"
"NEVER DO THEY MEET WITH ANY DISRESPECT||||||||||. NEVER DO THEY MEET WITH ANY DISRESPECT".
SrI bhaTTar concludes his bhagavad guNa darpaNam with the following
asmAkam atra ca paratra'nca sarva duhkham unmIlya sampadam aSesha vidhAm
SrI ra'ngarAja mahishI sa ca vaishNavAnAm sa'ngAt sukham saha jayena sadA kriyAstAm ||
"May both SrI ra'nganAyaki, the Queen Consort of SrI ra'ngarAja, along
with SrI ra'ngarAja, root out all the distress here and hereafter,
confer wealth of all kinds on us, and always bless us with the company of the devoted SrI vaishNava-s, happiness and victory.".
SrI kRshNArpaNamastu ||||||||||
Dedicated in all humility to Lord kRshNa.