Audio


SLOKA 6


 

46. aprameyah  
47. hrshIkesah
   
48. padma-nAbhah
   
49. amara-prabhuh
  
50. viSva karmA
  
51 manuh
  
52. tvashTA
  
53. sthavishThah
  
54. sthavirah
 
55. dhruvah
  


 46. aprameyah

One who cannot be defined, explained, measured, etc. through logical means, (but who can only be experienced)

pramAtum na yogya: aprameyah -

He is beyond reach through normal means because

  • He is beyond sense organs (pratyaksha) such as our mortal eyes, ears, etc.;
  • nor through inference (anumAna) because he is devoid of the marks leading to inference
    (e.g., the presence of fire can be inferred through smoke but, for this inference, one should have witnessed fire and smoke together at least once.
    No one has seen the Lord with or without anything associated);
  • nor through analogy or comparison (upamA), because He is without parts and everything else is only parts, and hence no comparison can be made;
  • nor through Apta vAkya or shabda pramANa (someone else who has seen Him telling us, or through sacred texts) because no one can see Him,
    since even the muktAs only experience Him.

Sri Bhattar goes on to point out that BhagavAn is aprameya because He is beyond the sense organs of even Brahma and other gods.
(Sri RAdhAKrshNa Sastri points out that the means of sensing is the same for Brahma and other gods as it is for people).
He is not describable as This or That, like this or like that, or inferred because of this or because of that, etc., and so He is aprameya.

47.  hrshIkesah

a) The controller of the sense-organs of all including Brahma, Rudra etc.
b) One who, in the form of the Sun and the Moon, makes this world happy through His rays

The two interpretations are derived by looking at this word as hrshIkA + Isa or hrishI + kesa.
The first explanation is derived from "HrshIkANAm Isah hrshIkesah - the Lord of the sense-organs.
The second interpretation is given based on kesa - rays, hrshI - that give happiness.

Sri Sankara gives the following support from MahAbhArata, Moksha dharma, SAnti parva for the second interpretation:

"sUrya candramasoh SaSa vadamSubhi: keSa samjnitaih |
bodhayan svApayanScaiva jagadutthisThAte prthak ||
bodhanAt svApanAccaiva jagato harshaNam bhavet ||
agnIsoma krtairebhih karmabhih pANdunandana |
hrIkeSo'hamIsAno varado lokabhAvana:
||

"The sun and the moon through their kesa or rays always uphold the world by awakening it and causing it to sleep. By such awakening and sleeping, the world is delighted.
It is in consequence of this act of fire (Sun) and Soma (Moon) who uphold the universe that I have come to be known as HrshIkeSa...".

Sri T.S. Krishnamurthy, who has written an English translation to Sri Sankara bhAshya, has taken this guNAnubhava one more step by saying that the keSa - hair of the Lord
in the form of the rays of the sun and the moon give delight (harsha), and thus He is HrshIkeSa.

48.  padma-nAbhah

One from whose navel the lotus (the cause of the Universe) emanates.
Sarva jagat kAraNam padmam nAbhau yasya sa padmanAbhah -

Sri Bhattar points out that this name substantiates or summaries all that has been said through the previous nAmas about BhagavAn being the creator or cause of Brahma (e.g., dhAtA, vidhAtA, dhaturuttamah).

Sri RadhAkrshNa Sastri gives a beautiful and simple explanation to enable the appreciation of this nAma. In our normal life, the child before and at birth is connected to the mother through the navel chord, and gets its nourishment from the mother through this chord. Similar is the chord from the Lord's navel, which is nothing but the Universe in its prakrti form, and which looks like a lotus which has not expanded. This is prior to its expansion through Time, and He is the nourisher of this creation of His (which is none other than Brahma).

48.  amara-prabhuh

The Lord of the immortal gods.

AmarANAm prabhuh amaraprabhuh.

The Lord is amaraprabhu because He created the different devatAs and entrusted them with acts such as creation, destruction, etc., made them immortal because of their functions, and directs them in their functions.

Sri Bhattar quotes the following words ascribed to Brahma in Uttara kANda in RAmAyaNa -

"mahArNave SayAnau'psu mAm tvam pUrvam ajIjana: |
prAhApatyam tvayA karma sarvam mayi niveSitam
|| (104-4)

"You were lying on the waters of the great ocean and you first of all created me. The entire duty of the PrajApati (the rulership of the beings) was entrusted to me by you".

Also, the following from MahAbhArata is given -

"etau dvau vibudha SreshThau prasAda-krodhajau smrtau |
tadAdarSita panthAnau srshTi samhAra kArakau
||(169-19)

"These two great gods (Brahma and Rudra) are said to have emerged from the sweet temper and wrath of BhagavAn respectively. They carry out the duty of creation and destruction in the way shown by Him".

50.  viSva karmA

a) One who is the agent of all actions with regard to the Universe.
b) The Creator of the Universe

viSvam karma jagad-vyApArah yasya sa viSva karmA.
Sri Bhattar points out that this name signifies that all the entire work with regard to the affairs of the Universe are His alone either before or after the creation of Brahma.
In other words, He is the director and controller.

Among the many passages in the sruti that support the interpretation are:

"so'kAmayatabahu syAm prajAyeya iti -
He willed: "I shall become many, I shall take birth" - taittirIya AraNyaka - 6.

"so'bidhyAya SarIrAt svAt sisrkshu: vividhAh prajA: -
Brahman willed to create different kinds of beings out of Its body and so It did" -

51.  manuh 

The Great Thinker: MananAt manuh -

In the BrhadAraNya upanishad, we have

"nAnyo'to'sto mantA -
There is no thinker but Him" - (B.U. 3.7.23)

To mentally conceive an act prior to the act itself is mananam. BhagavAn has to but think and not do anything else in order to achieve what He wills. The creation of the cosmos was only a minute part of His will. Sri Bhattar uses the word sankalpa lava mAtrAt - by the mere fraction (lava mAtrAt) of His will, to explain this.

52.  tvashTA

One who created all the different forms and names in this Universe.

This name is dervied from the root tvaksh - to pare, to reduce, to chisel. Sri Bhattar uses this meaning to interpret this nAma to mean that BhagavAn has "chiseled"
so many diverse forms and names of gods, man, birds, plants, insects, etc., and thus He is tvashTA. He gives the taittirIya araNyaka (3-11) in support -

tvashTAram rUpANi vikurvantam vipascitam.

Sri Sankara uses the same meaning to interpret this name as indicating that BhagavAn pares down all the beings or makes them shrink at the time of cosmic dissolution or pralaya. It is interesting to note that the first interpretation refers to the creation of forms and shapes from the primordial matter, and the second interpretation refers to the dissolution of forms and shapes back into primordial matter.

53.  sthavishThah

One who is exceedingly huge in size.

The name is derived from the two words sthUla and ishTha - One who willed to be huge.

Sri Bhattar points out that this huge size is the manifestation of BhagavAn as the brahmANda (the egg-shaped
universe) with the fourteen worlds, which are the places of residences for all the beings that He has created, as
well as its sheath, and the sense-organs of all the beings, as well as the sound, touch, and other qualities that
are the objects of these sense-organs, as well as their effects. The fourteen worlds are referred to by Sri Ramanuja
in his Sri VaikuNTha-gadyam (caturdaSa bhuvanAntaram aNdam daSa guNitottaram ....) in his reference
to Sri VaikunTham's location far, far beyond the limits of these fourteen worlds.

54.  sthavirah

One who has always existed, older than the oldest.

The name is derived from the root stha - tishThati - to stand. This nAma signfies that BhagavAn is not constrained by Time. All His creation goes through the cycle of creation and pralaya, and He uses Time for His creation and dissolution, but He is not constrained by it. Thus He is older than the oldest.

55.  dhruvah 

One who is unaffected by Time, Unchanging, Permanent.

The word is derived from the root dhr - to carry, maintain, preserve, to be eternal, immovable - (sthiratvAt dhruvah). The previous nAma indicated that BhagavAn is the oldest of the oldest. This nAma signifies that He is unchanging while Time keeps moving.

Perhaps because both the nAmas sthavira and dhruva refer to the quality of BhagavAn being beyond the influence, effect, or control of Time, Sri Sankara has chosen to interpret the two words as one nAma - sthaviro dhruvah - One who is unchanging and older than the oldest. Thus the sequence number for the nAmas that follow start differing from this nAma between Sri Sankara bhAshya and Sri Bhattar's vyAkhyAna.