This nAma occurred earlier (nAma 36). At that time we had indicated
that the name can be interpreted as One who has unlimited aiSvarya, or
One who can do whatever He wills (IshTe). AiSvarya means might or
power, sovereignty, affluence or wealth, etc. Sri Sankara seems to
interpret the first occurrence of this nAma as One who has unlimited
might, and the next one as One who has unlimited power. Sri Bhattar
interprets the first occurrence as One who has supreme power of
rulership over all beings, and seems to interpret the second one as
One who does whatever He wills - yatra kAma gamo vaSI - He has
self-control and goes wherever He wants. Sri ChinmayAnanda interprets
the first occurrence as One who has the ability to do whatever He
wants and the second occurrence as One who is Omni-potent or
All-powerful, with control over all forms of Sakti - kriyA Sakti,
icchA Sakti, and jnAna Sakti. However, all of them seem to use the two
variants we have covered under nAma 36.
a) The most courageous, The most powerful.
b) One who has the "Special" footsteps viz. Vamana
Vikramah Souryam, tadyogAt vikramI - vikrama is courage; He who is
ever a courageous One, is vikramI. Sri Bhattar points out that the
name signifies that it is His nature that it dispels all possibility
of anything going against His will or desire.
Sri ChinmayAnanda gives the additional interpretation which uses
the meaning of krama as steps, and interprets the nAma as One who has
"Special" footsteps, referring to the vAmana incarnation.
The wielder of the bow.
Dhanurasya asti iti dhanvI.
He is the wielder of the divine bow Sarnga. It is well-known that
in His incarnation as Sri Rama, He had to dedicate a substantial part
of His life wielding His bow. In the GitA, Sri KrshNa says -
rAmah Sastra bhrtAmaham - I am Rama among the wielders of the bow.
One who is capable of powerful memory.
Sri Sankara gives the following definition -
"medhA bahugrantha dhAraNa sAmarthyam, sa yasya asti sa
medhAvI - medhA is the ability to grasp several ideas on different
subjects at the same time; One who has this ability naturally is
Sri RadhAkrshNa Sastri points out that BhagavAn is Isvara, vikramI,
dhanvI, etc., because He is a medhAvI, one who can command the
knowledge of anything at any time as desired.
a) One with great strides (see nAma 76), such as in the vAmana
b) One who rides on the king of birds, the Garuda.
The first meaning has been explained under the earlier nAma 76. The
second is derived as follows: vi refers to the king of birds, Garuda;
krama refers to His sancAra playfully on the Garuda who is the
embodiment of the three vedas, around the world.
a) One who is the basis for the order in the Universe
b) One who controls and bestows the power of movement
c) One who is highly prosperous
Krama can refer to systematization, sequence, ordering etc. (The
word kramam is commonly used in Tamil as a word acquired from Sanskrit
with this meaning). It can also refer to steps, as we indicated under
vikramI, virkramah, etc., and as a result, motion.
Based on the meaning as ordering or sequence, He is the one who
makes the events of the world conform to an order, for eg., night and
day following each other.
Based on the meaning as steps or motion, He is responsible for the
power of His creatures having the power of motion or movement.
According to PaNini sUtra 1.3.38, which reads "vrtti-sarga-tAyaneshu
kramah", krama also can indicate continuity, energy, or good
progress or development. Sri Bhattar uses the last of these, and gives
the meaning "One who has great prosperity".
One for whom there is nothing superior or better.
na vidyamAna uttamo yasmAt sah anuttamah - One for whom nothing
superior is known.
The nirukti summarization of Sri Bhattar's vyAkhyAna is uttamo nAsti
yasmAt sah anuttama udAhrtah.
daityAdhibhih dharshayitum na sakyata iti durAdharshah -
One who cannot be overcome by the demons and others.
One who is grateful.
Sri Bhattar gives the following references from the GItA in support
of this interpretation:
api cet sudurAcAro bhajate mAm anayabhAk |
sAdhureva sa mantavyah samyag vyavasito hi sah || (9.30)
A portion of the translation of the bhAshya of Sri RAmAnuja for the
above sloka is: "If even the most sinful man worships Me with
undivided devotion, with worship as the only purpose, such a person
must be considered highly righteous. He is eminent among the
worshippers of VishNu - a great Sri VaishNava (vaishNava SreshThasara
eva mantavyah are Sri RAmAnujA's own words). He must be esteemed as
fit for honor."
BhagavAn is so grateful that the mere worship of Him with sincerity
is sufficient for Him to forgive all other sins committed by the
The second support given by Sri Bhattar for the gratefulness of
BhagavAn for a devotee who cried for help with full surrender to Him
is from the MahAbhArata -
govindeti yadAkrandat krshNA mAm dUravAsini |
rNam pravrddhamiva me hrdayAt na apasarpati || (MB 3-58-22)
"That cry for help uttered aloud by Draupadi even from a
distance, calling me "GovindA" - that cry is never away from
my mind like a debt that has increased with the interest accumulated
Sri Sankara points out that He confers emancipation (moksha) on
those that offer to Him in worship even such common objects as a leaf
or flower - patrapushpAdyalpamapi prayacchatAm moksham dadAti.
Another explanation given for this nAma is that BhagavAn is One who
knows the actions of all the other beings, good and bad - prANinAm
puNya apuNya Atmakam karma krtam jAnAti iti krtajnah. He is the one
Knower who knows all physical activities, all emotional feelings, and
all intellectual thoughts and motives. Sri ChinmayAnanda points out
that He knows the exact depth of sincerity, the true ardency of
devotion, the real amount of purity in the heart of His devotees, and
as a result of His gratitude, He brings joy and bliss to their hearts
because He is a krtajna.
One who is the cause of the virtuous act of His devotees.
In the previous nAma we saw that BhagavAn has great gratitude for
the good acts of His devotees. Through the current nAma it is pointed
out that in reality BhagavAn is really the cause behind the good
deeds, and all we can and should do is practice pure and sincere
devotion. Sri Bhattar points out that BhagavAn alone makes us do
virtuous acts when He wants to lift us up from the worlds of material
existence. The virtuous act of the Jiva owes its origin to the Lord
when He is pleased - tacca teshAm sukrtam asmAdeva prasannAt iti krtih.
The real Owner and Controller of the souls of those who do these
The basic elemental fact that stands out from the last three nAmas
is that it is not we who bring about our salvation through our effort
or actions; it is He who makes it happen based on the sincerity of our
devotion, trust, and surrender to Him as the sole cause of our
salvation. He is the krtajna who, just pleased immensely by our small
effort of sincere devotion, will cause our souls which He owns, and
divert it towards actions that He will then use as the hetu or reason
or pretext for conferring His blessings on us.
Another explanation Sri RAdhAkrshNa SAstri gives for this nAma is
One who is not dependent on anything else for His actions - for
example when He killed PUtanA the demoness, He drank the same milk
that she gave Him to bring about her destruction.