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SLOKA 9

75. ISvarah  
76. vikramI
  
77. dhanvI
  
78. medhAvI
  
79. vikramah
  
80. kramah
  
81. anuttamah
  
82 durAdharshah  
 
83. krtajnah
  
84. krtih
  
85. AtmavAn


75.  ISvarah

The Ruler.

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.

76.  vikramI

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.

77.  dhanvI

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.

78. medhAvI

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 medhAvI".

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.

79. vikramah

a) One with great strides (see nAma 76), such as in the vAmana incarnation
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.

80. kramah

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".

81.  anuttamah

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.

82.  durAdharshah 

daityAdhibhih dharshayitum na sakyata iti durAdharshah - 

One who cannot be overcome by the demons and others.

83.  krtajnah

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 worshipper.

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 on it".

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.

84.  krtih

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.

85.  AtmavAn

The real Owner and Controller of the souls of those who do these virtuous acts.

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.