|The Pure Self - One who is untainted by the effects of karma, good or bad. pUta AtmA yasya saa pUtAtmA -
One who has the pure Atma is pUtAtmA.
Our Atmas reap the fruits of the actions that we are involved in because of their association with our body. BhagavAn is also associated with the same bodies since we are all extensions of His body. However, He is Pure Atman because He is not affected by the fruits of the association with the bodies.
Sri Bhattar gives a very simple example to make this point. A
teacher uses a stick to
strike a student. Both the teacher and the student come in contact with the same stick, but the pain of
association with the
stick is felt by the student, but not by the teacher. So also,
even though both the Lord
and the jIvAtmans are associated with the bodies of
the jIvAtmans, the Lord is not affected by the fruits of the
actions of the jIvAtmans.
In the Gita, Sri KrshNa says: "na mAm karmANi lipanti" - actions do not taint me.
Also, the sruti says: shubhAshubhah karmabhiryo na lipyati kadAcana - never tainted by actions, good or bad.
The Supreme Soul - for whom there is no other guiding or superior soul
paro mA asya saa AtmA paramAtmA -
All of us have Him as our inner soul, but BhagavAn has no one as
His inner Soul that guides Him. There is no one superior to Him.
Sri Eknath Easwaran refers to what Lord Krishna says in the Gita:
"na param puNdarIkAkshAt drsyate bharatarshabha" -
vishNurnAma sarva-vedeshu vedAnteshu ca gIyate || (VishNu purANa 6.4.10)
The Isvara above all Isvaras, the paramAtmA who is the supporter of every being,
is sung by all vedas and vedantas as Lord VishNu.
One who is the ultimate goal for all muktas or released or liberated souls.
Muktas are those who are already released from all bondage, and enjoy every bliss that the BhagavAn has. They have equality with God in the enjoyment of this Bliss. The goal that such a mukta longs for at this stage is to constantly serve the Lord, and thus the Parama purusha is muktAnAm-paramA-gatih.
The muktas are .compared to those who reside in the celestial world, the sveta dvIpa. They have no needs such as food, no wants, no desires, etc. For these people who have accomplished everything and who are equal to God in their enjoyment of bliss, the one goal that is of interest is the unceasing servitude to God, and thus God is the Supreme and Ultimate Goal for the muktas.
ParamA gati is the goal, after attaining which you won't desire
anything else. In other words, this is the limit of the goal .
Normally, the nature of any goal is such that if you attain .that
goal, then you will want to attain the next higher goal. This is not
the case with paramA gati.
Some pramANas from the srutis are the following:
Sri Bhattar interprets the next five names (13 to 17) in terms of why the muktAs
choose BhagavAn as their Supreme goal. It should be noted that Sri
Bhattar's vyAkhyAna weave a thread of continuity in the sequence of
the names occurring in the stotram, and for this reason Sri Bhattar
extends the interpretation to levels beyond what is etymologically
derived from the word. Relatively speaking, Sri Sankara seems to more
strictly adhere to the literal meaning of the word in his vyAkhyAna.
Of course, there are also the inevitable differences in interpretation
because of the visishtAdvaita vs. advaita philosophies. The reasons for the muktAs choosing Sri MahA VishNu as their Supreme
a) One who does not send back anyone who has reached Him to the
cycle of birth and rebirth .(Sri Bhattar)
Sri Bhattar's vyAkhyAna -
na vIyate - na vyapagamyate iti avyayah - He is avyaya because He does not send them back (to samsAra)
.In the Yama Smrti, we find the following:
"sattvam vahati sUkshmatvAt param nArAyaNam prabhum |
The Mukta bears a body of pure and subtle sattva and attains the Supreme Lord nArAyaNa. Once he reaches the Supreme Lord in the supreme VaikuNTha, he becomes fit for immortality and is not returned back to this world any more.
Sri Sankara's vyAkhyAna -
Sri Sankara gives a different interpretation to this name - Indestructible - based on na asya vyayah iti avyayah, where vyaya means something that can be destroyed. He gives the following pramANa from the BrhadAraNya Upanishad: "ajarah amarah avyayah - He is undecaying, immortal, and indestructible" (6.4.25).
See also the nArAyaNa sUktam - anatamavyayam kavim ..... The Immortal and Indestructible Seer.
a) One who bestows on the Muktas the enjoyment of the Bliss of
Himself in plenty.- puru sanoti iti purushah
Puru sanoti iti purushah - One who gives in plenty;
Or, purUNi phalAni sanoti - dadAti iti pururshah -
We find in the taittirIya upanisahd -
Several other explanations for this name are possible. One of these,
that is also given by Sri Sankara
"navadvAram puram puNyam etairbhAvaih samanvitam |
"Since the great Soul pervades and resides in this holy city
(the body) with nine dvAras or gates, possessed of these organs
Another alternative interpretation that Sri Sankara gives is "puri
sete iti purushah - One who dwells in this Fort city - our body".
pur is used to refer to this body, as in Gita 5-13: nava dvAre pure dehe..the fortress with nine gateways.
Sri Chinmayananda suggests that these different ways of
interpreting the meanings of the names is a way to understand more and
One who directly witnesses everything .as it is. The All-Knower, The Omniscient
BhagavAn sees everything directly by His own awareness without any
instrument for seeing (such as the sense organs) in between.
Just as the sun illumines everything but is not affected in anyway by the state of the objects it illumines, so also the Lord witnesses everything but is not affected by all that He witnesses. The jIvAtmAs see everything through some sense organ or othe other, and so the deficiencies of these organs limits what is seen. Not so in the case of the Lord.
Sri Bhattar interprets this name as indicating that the Lord witnesses the muktas enjoying the Bliss that He confers on them, and is thus happy Himself. Obviously, this give great pleasure to Mukhtas, since they are interested in His happiness, and this is one of the reasons for His being their paramA gati.
One who knows, and can lead the muktas to the exact place where the muktas will get their sought-after Supreme Bliss.
Sri nArAyaNa is the vaikunTha vAsi.
That this is a place which even the greatest of sages can realize only after intense meditation and devotion to the Lord is evident from the following passage attributed to Sage Agastya in varAha purANa -
"adyApi tam lokavaram dhyAyan tishThAmi suvrata! |
"I am even now steeped in the meditation of that supreme world. When am I going to reach that best and noblest of all worlds? This is the thought that is haunting me".
In varAha purANa, BhagavAn tells Sage Agastya:
"pasya lokamimam mahyam yo na vedestu drsyate |
" See this world which exists for my sake and which is not
seen even by the vedas. O best of Brahmins! This world has been shown
to you in order to
Sri Sankara has interpreted this name based on Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 - slokas 1 and 2, in particular. Here, the word kshetra refers to the body, and kshetrajna refers to One who knows (understands the principle or tatva behind) all the bodies and is the direct witness of the actions of all the bodies (by being directly inside the bodies and not needing any secondary means to witness these). I would like to request our Bhakti group members to elaborate on the interpretation of the word kshetrajna as it occurs in Bhagavad Gita and, in particular- if the interpretation of this term in Gita is different from the meaning that God is the soul in all the bodies. May be, kshetrajna is a guNa of the Supreme Soul, and is an elaboration of the name "bhUtAtmA".
One whose greatness never diminishes over time in spite of being
enjoyed by the muktas constantly.
His greatness is innate, and does not derive from something
external. So it never diminishes.
"sadA anubhUyamAno'pi nissIma guNa gauravAt |
Sri Sankara's interpretation is: "sa eva na ksharati iti aksharah - He alone exists without dying.
Sri Bhattar has thus explained in nAmas 13 to 17 the reason why
muktas consider the Lord as the paramA gati.