Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 100

ananta-rUpo_'nanta-SrIHjita-manyur_bhayApahaH |
catur-aSrogabhIrAtmA vidiSo vyAdiSo diSaH ||

om ananta-rUpAya namaH
omananta-Sriye namaH
omjita-manyave namaH
ombhayApahAya namaH
omcaturaSrAya namaH
omgabhIrAtmane namaH
omvidiSAya namaH
omvyAdiSAya namaH
omdiSAya namaH.

932. ananta-rUpaH

a) He of infinite Forms.
b)He of unending (never decaying) form.
c)He of indescribable form – extending infinitely inall directions.

om ananta-rUpAya namaH.

The nAma is explained as a) One Whohas infinite forms – e.g., throughHis different incarnations and manifestations; b) He Who hasa form that is indescribable, and extends in alldirections, e.g., HisviSva rUpam; c) He Who has form that will never decay, age, or inany way undergo any change of any kind. We willsee the detailed vyAkhyAna-sbelow.

a) anantAni rUpANi yasya saHanata-rUpaH – He Who has infinite formsisananta-rUpaH. The familiar Slokam that comes to mind is the onethat declares the purpose of bhagavAn'sincarnations, ad declared by Him:

paritrANAya sAdhUnAm vinASAya cadushkRtAm |
dharma-samsthApanArthAyasambhavAmi yuge yuge ||

"I take incarnations as needed,in every yuga, for the purpose of theprotectionof the good, the destruction of the evil, and thesustenanceof dharma". Even though three reasons are given here, theprimary reason for all His incarnations is the onestated first – the protectionof His devotees; the other two are incidental to thefirst one. The form in which He appeared at thescene of gajendra mokshamwas one such form.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is –
sadyaHsampAdyAni anantAni rUpANi asya iti ananta-rUpaH –
He Who
assumesinnumerable forms, of His own volition, straightaway as occasionarises and as necessity demands.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives nammAzhvAr'spASuram-s that sing this guNa ofbhagavAn:

eLivarum iyalvinan nilai varambu ilapala piRappAi
oLivarum muzhu nalam mudal ila kEDu ila vIDAm
teLitarum nilaimai adu ozhivilan muzhuvadum iRaiyOn
aLivarum aruLinODu agattanan purattanan amarndE. (tiruvAi. 1.3.2)

"BhagavAn takes severalincarnations that are characterized bysimplicityas needed by the circumstance. He does not care what form Hehas to take in order to help His devotees. In these incarnations,He is full of all His auspicious kalyANa guNa-s,gives the moksha anubhavamto His devotee, and is easy to attain for His devotee inthese forms, and at the same difficult to attainfor the foes of His devotees".He does not mind taking the form of a Boar, a Fish, ahalf-man and half-lion form, etc., in order tofulfill the purpose of Hisincarnation.

pala palavE AbharaNam pErum palapalavE pala palavE SOdi vaDivu paNbu eNNilpala pala kaNDu uNDu kETTuRRu mOndu inbampala palavE j~nAmum pAmbaNai mElArkkEyO. (tiruvAi.2.5.6)

"The Lord who lies on AdiSesha inthe Milky Ocean, has countless varietyin every respect – jewelry adorning Him; names – some beingrelated to valor, some related to qualities; formsof divine effulgence,yet different roles such as para, vyUhas, etc.; He canbe enjoyed in several modes – through singing,through contemplation, throughseeing, hearing, etc. He Who lies on anantan is ananta inthe aspects of His rUpa etc. as well".

SrI kRshNan interprets the nAma asreferring to bhagavAn's forms in thepara, vyUha, vibhava, arcA and antaryAmi forms, each of whichconsists of multiple forms (e.g., in vibhava, themany incarnations suchas rAma, kRshNa etc., the numerous arcA forms, the countless antaryAmiforms, etc.). All these forms are taken by bhagavAn forthe sole purpose of protecting His devotees.

SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation is –
anantAni rUpANi asya viSva
prapa'ncarUpeNa sthitasya iti ananta-rUpaH –
Endless are His forms,
sinceHe shines as the whole universe.

b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj addsanother dimension to the anubhavam ofthe nAma –
anantam SASvatam rUpam asya iti ananta-rUpaH – He has
countless forms that are also ever-lasting andpermanent. Many of theforms that He has are there eternally, and those that He takes (suchas the vibhava incarnations) are also there for us to enjoyforever.

SrI satya sandha tIrtha also uses theword ananta in the sense of ever-lasting,permanent -
a-nASAni rUpANi yasya sa ananta-rUpaH
(nASa– that which decays or is destroyed; a-nASa – that which neverdecays or gets destroyed).

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri adds anotherdimension to the interpretation– BhagavAn has a form that is endless in all dimensions– which sounds like a reference to His viSva rUpam. Hegives reference to kaivalya upanishad – acintyamavyaktam ananta rUpam(6) – that which cannot be clearly comprehended, cannot be clearlydefined, and is infinite in all dimensions.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha refers us tothe Rg vedic mantra in support:

viSvataS-cakshuruta viSvato-mukhoviSvato-bAhuruta viSvatas- pAt|
sam-bAhubhyAmdhamati sampatatrair-dvyAvA bhUmI janayan devaekaH || (Rg. 10.81.3);  (yajur.17.19)

"He Who has eyes on all sidesround about Him, mouths on all sides,armsand feet on all sides;
He, the One God, producing earth and
heaven,keeping them together, with His arms as wings..".

933. ananta-SrIH

a) He of infinite wealth, glory,power, etc..
b)He of wealth, glory, power etc., that will neverdiminish.

om ananta-Sriye namaH.

a) SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explainsthe nAma as: anantAH SriyaH yasyasaH ananta-SrIH – He Who has unending and infinite wealth is ananta-SrIH.What does He do with all this wealth? Just so that Hecan give everything that His devotees want,including the attainment ofHimself, to the devotees. SrImad ANDavan notes that in the currentinstance of gajendra episode, the crocodile got SApavimocanam by being restored to his gandharva form,and was thus given svargamby bhagavAn. Gajendra was given SrI vaikunTham by bhagavAn.This possession of infinite wealth to give away,is reflected by the nAmaananta-SrIH.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is – tebhyodeyAH sva-prApati-paryantAH anatAHSriyo'pi asya iti ananta-SrIH – He who has all wealth to giveto His devotees, at His command, including givingthe enjoyment of Himselfin full to His devotees. In the case of gajendra, bhagavAn gavehim a divine body and sent him to SrI vaikunTham. SrI BhaTTargives support from vishNu dharma 69:

tato divya vapor-bhUtvA hasti-rATparamam padam jagAma | (vishNudharma 69)

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan comments that bothHis vibhUti-s – the leelA vibhUtiin this world, and the nitya vibhUti in SrI vaikunTham, are purelyfor the benefit of His devotees. He refers us to nAcciyArtirumozhi (10.10), where ANDAL refers to emperumAnas "Selvar periyar"– One Who is full of wealth and Who is mahA purushan. PeriyAzhvAr(2.8.8) refers to perumAL as "SelvattinAl vaLar piLLai" –One, who, as child kRshNa, was growing amidstabundant wealth.

SrI kRshNan refers us to tiruma'ngaiAzhvAr's pASuram in periya tirumozhi(7.7.1) – "tiruvukkum tiruvAgiya SelvA! deivattukkuaraSA!" – "He Who is the Wealth foreven Lakshmi – the Goddess of all wealth!He Who is the Lord of all the deva-s!". SrI kRshNan alsorefers us to ALavandAr's stotra ratnam (Slokam12):

kaH SrIH SriyaH paramasattvasamASrayaH kaH kaH puNDarIka nayanaHpurushottamaH kaH |
kasyaayautAyuta Sata eka kalAmSaka amSe viSvam vicitra citacit pravibhAgavRttam ||

Who is the Deity that is the SrI forSrI (Lakshmi devi) Herself? Who isthe Deity that is the embodiment of sattva guNa? Who is the Deitythat is the Supreme Purusha of all purusha-s? Whois the One who is endowedwith beautiful lotus-like eyes? Who is the One Deity by whosetiny fragment of Power this whole Universeconsisting of the countlessforms of cetana and acetana forms are created, protected,and destroyed? (It is none other than the SupremeDeity, SrIman nArAyaNa)".

SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning "Sakti"for the word SrI, and gives the interpretation–
anantA a-parimitA SrIH = parA SaktiH asya iti ananta-
SrIH – He of infinite power and glory, becauseHe possesses countless superiorSakti-s. He quotes the Sruti in support –
parA asya SaktiH
vividhaiScaSrUyate (Sve. upa. 6.8) – His supreme Sakti is declaredto be various. SrI rAshAkRshNa SAstri commentsthat bhagavAn's infiniteSakti is the driving force for all of us in whatever we achieveduring our lives.

b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses themeaning `indestructible' - a- vinASinI,for the word ananta, and gives the interpretationas"anantA = a-vinASinI SrIH SobhA sampat yasya iti ananta-SrIH" – Hewho has eternal beauty and wealth, is ananta-SrIH.

SrI satya sandha tIrtha alsointerprets the nAma along the same lines–
anantA = nASa-rahitA SrIH avarUpa SrIH yasya sa ananta-SrIH –
He Whose wealth is by nature eternal.

SrI cinmayAnanda refers to the three`powers' that the Lord expresses inthis universe – icchA Sakti (desire-power), kriyA Sakti _actionpower), and j~nAna-Sakti (Knowledge power). Headds: "These are expressionsof His Glory at our physical (kriyA sakti), mental (icchASakti), and intellectual (j~nAna Sakti) levels.These three manifestations of His `powers', and theircontinuous interplay, togetherweave the fabric of the total dynamic expressions of life inthis world. The self, SrI nArAyaNa, is the onespringboard for all thesevibrant aspects of life".

934. jita-manyuH – He Who hasconquered His anger.

om jita-manyave namaH.

The word manyu is formed from the rootman – j~nAne – to know, to think.Application of the uNAdi sUtra 3.20 results in the addition ofthe affix yuc to the root, giving the word `manyuH',meaning `distress, sacrifice, or anger'. The word`jita' is derived fromthe root `ji – jaye, abhibhave ca – to conquer'. ThenAma`jita-manyuH' thus means "One Who has conquered anger".

 SrI BhaTTar continues hisinterpretation of the current series ofnAma-sin relation ot the gajendra moksham incident. He explains thenAma as indicating that bhagavAn controlled Hisanger at the crocodileeven after seeing that the crocodile was not letting go ofHis devotee's leg. Here was a SaraNAgata in theform of gajendra, andthis `creature' in the lake (SrI BhaTTar's words – jala-kITam – theworm in the water) was causing pain and misery to His devotee,but still He controlled His anger, and proceededwith calm to take theaction needed for relieving the pain of gajendra.

Perhaps the best example of Hiscontrol over anger is the incident wheresage bRghu kicked Him on His chest, and in response, bhagavAn calmlycomforted the sage's foot (and, of course, in the processkilled the ahamkAra of the sage).

Lord kRshNa describes how angerdevelops in us, and the consequences ofnot controlling anger:

dhyAyato vishyAn pumsaHsa'ngas-teshUpajAyate |
sa'ngAtsa'njAyate kAmaH kAmAt krodho'bhijAyate || (gItA2.62)

krodhAt bhavati sammohaH sammohAtsmRti-vibhramaH |
smRt-bhramSAtbuddhi-nASo buddhi-nASAt praNaSyati ||(gItA2. 63)

"To a man thinking aboutsense-objects, there arises attachment tothem;from attachment arises desire, and from desire arises anger".

"From anger, there comesdelusion; from delusion, the loss of memory;fromloss of memory, the destruction of the ability to discriminate;and with the destruction of discrimination, he islost (that is, he getsdeeper and deeper into actions that sink him into the ocean of samsAra)".

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes thatthere are times when bhagavAn forcesHimself to become angry, especially if the offense is suchthat the subject needs to be punished; but inthese cases, He gets Hisanger under control as soon as the object of anger is achieved. Onesuch case is when samudra rAjan did not respond to His `request'for assistance during the crossing of the ocean toSrI la'nkA.

SrI SAstri points to another nAma thathas a similar interpretation – jita-krodhaH(Slokam 49, nAma 463), and distinguishes between three terms– manyu, kopam, and krodham. manyu is the state where onefeels anger at the mental level, but this has notfound externally visibleexpression. Kopam is the state when the anger is visible throughfacial indications such as reddish eyes. krodham is thestate when this feeling finds expression throughharsh words, banging onthings, and other actions indicating the state of anger.BhagavAnhas all these states of anger under full control,and `becomes' angry only when needed, but stillfully under His control.SrI SAstri points to two incidents in SrImad rAmAyaNam wheresage vAlmIki describes Lord rAma `getting' angry.

vinamya dhanur-bhImam tUNyoScoddhRtyasAyakAn |
krodhamAhArayat tIvram vadhArtham sarva-rakshasAm ||(3.24.33)

"SrI rAma bent His bow, and setthe arrows to them, and, for the purposeof the destruction of the rAkshasa-s, got Himself angry". Inother words, He has His anger under control, andbrings it out only whenHe wants, as needed.

The second instance is when hanumanwas bleeding from the arrows of rAvaNawhile hanuman was carrying Lord rAma on his shoulders. ThenLord rAma again `got angry'. When He Himselfundergoes personal sufferingin any of His incarnations, such as the rAma incarnation, Heis in complete control of His anger. But when His devoteesuffers, He deliberately and knowingly `invites'anger to Himself – inother words, under full control of Himself, He decides to be angry.This is because He cannot tolerate His devotee's suffering.

Interestingly, SrI BhaTTar interpretsthe nAma `jita-krodhaH' in Slokam49 as "BhagavAn conquering the anger in others", insteadof "One Who has conquered anger inHimself"; in other words, when Hedeceivedthe asura-s and cheated them without giving them the amRtain His mohini incarnation, instead of gettingangry, they were confoundedand confused by His mohini form, and thus He overcame the angerin them towards the deva-s.

The reader is referred to the write-upfor nAma 463, since much of thisinformation is covered there.

SrI kRshNan comments that it wouldhave been quite understandable if BhagavAnhad indeed become angry and put additional curse on the crocodilesince it had committed bhAgavata apacAram by hurtinggajendra. But instead, He was willing to givecredit as it were, for thecrocodile to have put its head at a bhAgavata's feet, and sent itto svarga lokam instead. SrI kRshNan gives twoother instances where bhagavAngets anger completely under control once the object of angerhas been achieved. After Lord rAma killed rAvaNa,He asked vibhhIshaNa to proceed to perform the final ritesfor his brother. WhenvibhIshaNa hesitated because of the feeling of enmity, Lord rAmapointed out to him that enmity between Him andrAvaNa ended the momentrAvaNa was dead, and rAvaNa was after all a great warrior who wasundefeated until that time.

maraNa antAni variANi nirvRttam naHprayojanam | kriyatAm asya samskAromamApyesha yathA tava ||

"Enmity (between rAvana and Me)was only until rAvaNa's death. Now heis as related to Me as he is to you. The object of our effort is accomplished.Now please proceed to do the final rites for yourbrother".

SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan also refersto the above Slokam in support ofthe interpretation of this nAma in his sahasra nAma bhAshya upanyAsam.

Again, when rAvaNa hit hanuman in theforehead, and hanuman was bleeding,rAma reached the peak of anger (kopasya vAsAM EyivAn – yuddha.59.147). He attacked rAvaNa fiercely, and in a few moments,he found that rAvaNa was completely paralyzed bythe attack. At that point,instead of continuing the attack on rAvaNa, rAma calmly toldhim: "I find you are completely tired andde-stabilized, and so I willnot kill you now. I will permit you to go back to your palace, takerest and recuperate, and then come back, and then you can see Mytrue Might".

tasmAt pariSrAnta iva vyavasya na tvAmSarair-mRtyu vaSam nayAmi| yuddha. 59.153

gacchAnujAnAmi raNArditas-tvampraviSya rAtri'ncara-rAja la'nkAm| AsvAsya niryAhi rathI ca dhanvI tadA balamdrakshyasi me rathasthaH || yuddha. 59.154

SrI vAsishTha comments that angerarises towards one who is stronger ormore powerful than oneself, and in the case of bhagavAn, there isno cause for anger, since there is no one who issuperior to Him in anyrespect.

935. bayApahaH – He Who destroys thefear (of samsAra) in the mind ofthe devotee.

om bhayApahAya namaH.

bhaya means fear. The verb apahanmeans `to kill, to destroy'. bhaya-apahaHmeans "One Who destroys fear'. Both SrI BhaTTar and SrIvAsishTha refer to the pANini sUtra 3.2.49 –ASishi hanaH, which declaresthat the affix Da is added to the root han – to kill, with asense of benediction ("May He remove ourfear").

The ending `ha' means `to kill, todestroy' (from the verb han – to kill).Tha pANini sUtra 3.2.50 – ape kleSa tamasoH states that the affixDa comes after the verb han – to kill, when it is compoundedwith the preposition ap, and when the object incomposition with it isthe word kleSa – pain, or tamas –darkness. The above sUtra leadsto the words kleSApahaH – remover of pain, andtamopahaH – remover of darkness.The current nAma bhayApahaH falls in a similar category –remover of fear.

We studied the nAma bhaya-nASanaH (nAma838 – Slokam 89), that has a similarmeaning. SrI BhaTTar explains the current nAma as –asmadAdInAmapi sva-vAtsalyena tAdRSa anAthatva bhayam vadhyAt itiASamsanArhaH – By virtue of His love for Hisdevotees, He can be reliedupon to dispel our fear that we have no Protector. He can berelied on to protect us also just as He protectedgajendra, and we canpray to Him for removing our fear". SrI BhaTTar quotes – bhayemahati magnAnSca trAti nityam janAradanaH –"JanArdana always protectsthose who are drowned in the great fear (of samsAra)".

It is the trust that we can have inbhagavAn that He will surely protectus without fail if we surrender to Him (mahA viSvAsam) that isemphasized in this nAma. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives examples fromdivya prabandham where AzhvArs capture this guNathrough the use of theword "namban" – One Who can be trusted.

- nambanai naraSi'nganai" –peiyAzhvAr tirumozhi 4.4.9 – Lord nRsimhawho can be trusted (to protect us). -nambanE! …..Azhi mun Endi kamba-mA-kari kOL viDuttAnE!(periyAzhvAr.5.1.9) - He the Most Trustworthy One when it came to rakshaNamof the devotees! He came with His cakra in His hand andrelieved the pain and distress of the greatelephant gajendra.

SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAanam is –bhayam samsAra-jam pumsAm apa-ghnan bahayApahaH– He Who destroys the fear of repeated cycle of birth anddeath in this world in the case of His devotees. (SrISa'nkara's vyAkhyAnamfor the nAma `bhaya-nASanaH' – Slokam 89, was thatbhagavAnremoves the fear of those who follow the path of dharma. Inother words, these followers of dharma do not haveany feeling of fearfor anything, because bhagavAn gives them the mental maturity toaccept whatever comes as a natural result ofkarma, and so they do nothave any sorrow or fear of anything).

Sri rAdhAkRshNa SAstri comments thatfear is the state that occurs as aresult of anticipation of some problem, and its effect andintensity is even more severe and longer lastingthan the problem itself.Those who trust in the Lord do not have this fear, and when anyproblem does arise, they accept it. A true devotee is one whosees pain and pleasure without any difference –that is, he neither rejoiceswhen something good happens, nor suffers when something bad happens.This is revealed to us in several places in the gItA (sukhaduhkha same kRtva .. 2.38; duhkeshvanudvigna manAHsukheshu vigata spRhaH…2.56; etc.).

SrI kRshNan's anubhavam for the nAmais that bhagavAn not only removedthe fear of gajendra, but also that of the crocodile, whichgot the fear of the curse removed on seeingbhagavAn.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses thepATham `byAvahaH', which has a similarmeaning (avahan – to strike away, to fend off.

936. catur-aSraH – a) One Who isskilled in all aspects. b)One Who is fair to everybody. c)One from whom wishes are asked for. d)One Who pervades in all four directions.e)One Who nourishes and feeds everything in all fourdirectionsf) One Who is worshipped by the knowledgeablepeople.

om caturaSrAya namaH.

The term `catur' refers to the number4, and `aSra' or `aSri' means`corner'. catruasraH refers to the geometrical shape known as thesquare. The term has been used by some vyAkhyAna kartA-s as areference to "One Who is fair-minded, or fairto everyone". SrI cinmayAnandaexplains the nAma as "One Who deals squarely with all".The term catura also means "One Who isskilled" –a reference to one's`sAmarthya'. So He Who is skilled in all aspects is catr- aSraH.

a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning"One Who is skilled in all aspects"asthe meaning for the nAma "catur-aSraH". SrImad ANDavan explainsthat bhagavAn has this nAma indicating that Hedoes whatever is appropriatein the benefit of the devotee under any and all circumstances.In the current context of gajendra moksham, Herelieved the crocodile from it curse, He fulfilledthe desire of gajendrato perform flower kainkaryam to Him, and He demonstrated toall of us that He will definitely protect thosewho surrender to Him, allwith His one act of responding to gajendra's call the way He did.He could have taken care of the crocodile from SrI vaikunThamitself, but He did not do that. When gajendrascreamed out for help,He rushed to the scene even with all His ornaments not properlypositioned – garjate gajAya jagAma. And, Heinvited upon Himself greatanger against the meager `water-creature' – kshudra jalakITAya cukrodha;all because of His extreme concern for His devotee. Thus,all His actions are appropriate and consistentwith His real nature – `kAkkumiyalvinan' according to nammAzhvAr – One Whose real natureis that of protection.

Using the meaning `cAturya, or skillfor the word `catur', SrI VeLukkuDikRshNan gives an example of bhagavAn's cAturyam from SrImadrAmAyaNam. During vAli vadham, when vAli lieswounded by rAma's arrow,first he starts accusing rAma of unfairly hitting him while hidingbehind a tree. vAli and rAma exchange some words, and at theend, just before dying, vAli praises rAma for Hisrighteousness. It isnot easy to mortally wound someone, and then have him praise the onewho is the causing your death. This is clearly possible only forOne who is a caturasraH – skilled in allrespects.

b) SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is –nyAya sama vetaH catur-aSraH – He Whois just to everyone by distributing the fruits of their karma etc.SrI ananta kRshna SAstry gives an elaborate list of examplesand explanations for the term catura (four) in thenAma:

- dharma, artha, kAma and moksha;bhagavAn distributes these tothe deserving according to their karma-s.-The sacrificial fire is of four kinds – AhavanIya,gArhapatya,dakshiNa, (the sources I have only refer to `agni-traya,or three agni-s; so it is unclear what the fourfires are that are beingreferred to here). -He nourishes with food the four kinds of creatures – born of womb,born of egg, born of sweat, and those that come out of earth.- He protects four kinds of people – thedistressed, those desirous of knowing Him, the desirers of wealth,and the wise ones. -He is known by the Siras of the four veda-s (i.e., by theUpanishad-s).- His command is obeyed in all four corners of theworld.

c) SrI vAsishTha derives the nAma fromthe root cad – yAcane – to ask,and the application of the uNAdi sUtra cater-uran (5.58), whichstates that the affix uran comes after the rootcat, giving the word`catur'. SrI vAsishTha gives the meaning "One who asks forsomething", or "One from whom somethingis asked", to the term`catur' – catati catyate vA iti – catur.

d) e) Alternately, SrI vAsishThaderives the meaning based on the rootaS – vyAptau sa'nghAte ca – to pervade, to accumulate; or aS –bhojane – to eat. The meanings derived fromthese are: "catasro diSoaSnute caturaSraH" - One Who pervades in all four directions",or "catasRshu dikshu sthitAnAm prANinAmbhojanasya dAtA iti vishNuH" –"OneWho nourishes and feeds everything in all four directions".

f) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explainsthe nAma as – caturaiH SrIyate =sevyate iti catur-aSraH – He Who is worshipped by those who havethe knowledge to understand His greatness.

937. gabhIrAtmA – He of deep andprofound nature.

om gabhIrAtmane namaH.

SrI vAsishTha indicates the derivationof the nAma based on the uNAdi sUtra4.35 – gabhIra gambhIrau – The affix Iran comes after the rootgam – gatau- to go, and the `m' gets changed to`bh', leading to the wordgabhIra. This has the same meaning as gambhIra, whichmeans`deep' (amara koSa has `nimnam, gabhIram, gambhIram…' as equivalentwords). The term `AtmA' here refers to `sva-rUpa' orinherent nature.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as"One who has a deep and profoundnature",that is beyond the understanding of even the likes of brahmAand others – anyeshAm catur-mukha-mukhAnAmapradhRshya gAmbhIryaH gabhIrAtmA.

SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explains thenAma as One Who is of such depth*(like an ocean) that nothing and no one can disturb or perturbHim in anyway.

SrI kRshNan adds that Siva who wasfortunate enough to have borne the SrIpAda tirtham of bhagavAn (in the form of ga'ngA) in his head, orbrahmA who is the best among those who have beenendowed with knowledge(brahma vidAm varaH), are not able to see His true nature eventhough they have been performing penance for this for a long,long time. He refers us to toNDaraDip poDi AzhvAr:

peN ulAm SaDaiyinAnum piramanum unnaikkANbAn eN ilA Uzhi Uzhi tavam SeidAr veLgi niRpa ….. (tirumAlai44)

nammAzhvAr points out that brahmA canknow things that he created, butcannot have full knowledge of all things that existed long beforehe was created. Thus, his knowledge of the One whocreated all the thingsincluding brahmA, is not totally within his comprehension:

- Surar aRi arul nilai – tiruvAi.1.1.8; - uNarndu uNarndu uNarilum iRai nilai uNarvaduaridu uyirgAL (tiruvAi.1.3.6)

In fact, bhagavAn is One whosegreatness is such that even He cannotknowit – tanakkum tan tanmai aRivaRiyAn.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives severalsupports from divya prabandham:

kaTkariya piraman Sivan indiran enRuivarkkum kaTkariakaNNanai….(tiruvAi. 7.7.1)

"We humans cannot see, with ourphysical eyes, the likes of brahmA, Siva,and indra. Exactly in the same manner, they also cannot see myLord kRshNa".

tirumAl! nAnmugan, Se'n-caDaiyAn enRuivargaL en perumAntanmiyai yAr aRigiRpAr? pESi en?…. (tiruvAi. 8.3.9)

"Oh Lord who is always associatedwith SrI or Lakshmi! The likes of brahmaand Siva are incapable of fathoming Your true greatness. Whereis the need to even discuss this limitation of theirs?

ArE aRivAr – anaittu ulagum uNDuumizhnda pEr AzhiyAn tan perumaiyai?
KAr SeRinda
kaNDattAn eN-kaNNAn kANAn avan vaittapaNDait-tAnattin pati. (nAnmugan tiruvan. 73)

"Who can comprehend the greatnessof emperumAn who is like the deep ocean,and who swallowed all the Universes at the time of pralaya,and then spit them out at the time of creation? Noone! The eight- eyedbrahmA (four-faced), and Siva who has the blue neck (because heswallowed the poison), do not even know thegreatness of the surest meansto reach Him – the carama Sloka.

Sage vAlmIki describes Lord rAma as"samudra iva gAmbhIrye" - "deepas the Ocean"; bhagavAn conceals Hisgreatness such that even the deva-scan't easily recognize His greatness without deep devotion.

SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is – AtmA= svarUpam cittam vA gabhIram paricchettuma-Sakyam asya iti gabhIrAtmA – He Whose true form or mindis unfathomable. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri elaborates that Hismind is such that He never gets disturbed easily,and does not easily revealwhat is in His mind, as He considers pros and cons ofeverythingdeeply.

SrI cinmayAnanda describes theunfathomable nature of bhagavAn throughthe following words: "One Who, in His Real Nature, is toodeep to be fathomed by the frail instrument of ourmind. Depth here indicatesprofoundness – the Supreme Essence pervading the Universe isunfathomably profound in its significance and glory."

SrI vAsishTha gives interpretationsbased on the root gam –gatau- to go:gacchati gamyate = prApyate anena– He because of Whom everythingis attained, or, `gacchanti = prApnuvanti,dhyAyanti prArthayante vA sagabhIraH' - He Who is the object of attainment, meditation or worship,is gabhIraH. He is also gabhIraH since He makes everythingmove – gacchati = gamana-SilaH; He makes eventhe sthAvara-s such as plants,trees etc. move through death or decay.

938. vidiSah – a) One Whosenature, forms, and qualities are spreadoutin all directions. b) One Who can be reached from all directions.c) He Who bestows all benefits on His devotees.d) He Who pervades everywhere, and is ineverything, in all directions.e)He Who is the cause of happiness for the knowers (of Brahman) – basedon vid – to know. f)He Who has revealed all SAstra-s in elaborate detail.

om vidiSAya namaH.

This nAma and the next two nAma-s allhave root diS in them in one formor another (vidiSaH, vyAdiSaH, diSaH). The root has differentmeanings – direction, order or command, dAnam orbestowing, etc. The differentinterpreters use different permutations of these meanings intheir interpretations for the three nAma-s.

SrI vAsishTha indicates the root forthe nAma as diS – atisarjane – togrant, to allow (atisarjanam = dAnam). He takes vi- as an upasarga,meaning `vividah' – of different types.

a) SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is: "teshAmvinaya gadgada stutigirAm asyadUre vividhA diSAH deSAH iti vidiSaH" – He Who is far aboveeverything, and beyond the reach of words.BhagavAn is One Whose nature,forms, and qualities are immeasurable, as if they are spreadout in space in all directions. Even when the deva-sseek Him by praisingHim in moving words, still His kalyANa guNa-s are farbeyondtheir reach.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives referencesfrom divya prabandham in support:

- nAt tazhumba nAnmuganum IsanumAimuRaiyAl Etta (periya tirumozhi1.7.8)
– While the four-headed brahmA and Siva praise Him
till their tongues gets scars, (He does not revealHimself to them; instead,He becomes pratyaksham to devotees like prahlAda etc.). -Sivanum piramanum kANAdu aru mAl eydi aDi parava aruLai IndaammAnE – tiruvAi. 10.7.6
– Siva and brahmA are not in a position to
comprehendthe Lord in full, but still they pay homage to Him in humilityand devotion,
and the Lord does protect them in times of
need; (but without any prayer, He shows grace tothe whole universe atthe time of pralaya by protecting all the jIva-s in His stomach).
- dAmOdaran uruvAgiya Sivarkkum tiSai mugarkkum AmO taram aRiya
emmAnai (tiruvAi. 2.7.12)
– All the different Siva-s and brahmA-s
thatare created in the different yuga-s are but bodies of dAmOdaran,
and they are incapable of realizing the full greatness of emperumAn.

However, emperumAn whose greatness isfar beyond the reach of the likesof brahmA and Siva, comes readily and willingly to help gajendrajust at the mere cry of distress from him.

b) SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explainsthat the nAma signifies that bhagavAncan be reached by calling Him from far and wide
– vividhAH
diSAdeSAH yasya sa vidiSaH.

c) SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as"One Who bestows diverse fruitson deserving persons based on their diverse karma-s
vividhAniphalAni adhikAribhyo viSesheNa diSati iti vidiSah (based ondiS – atisarjane – to grant).

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj'sinterpretation is also along the same lines
– viSesheNa diSati =
dadAtibhaktebhyaH abhIshTam iti vi-diSaH – He Who bestows the desiredobjects to His devotees.

SrI cinmayAnanada echoes the sameinterpretation:
"One Who is unique
inHis giving". He is divinely liberal, magnificently benevolent infulfilling the earnest desires of all His truedevotees.

d) SrI vAsishTha comments that thenAma also signifies that bhagavAn pervadeseverything, everywhere, in all directions,
and there is no
place where He is not present.

e) SrI satya sandha tIrtha looks atthe nAma as vidi-SaH, and derives themeaning based on
vid – to know, and Sam – sukham: vidiSi =
j~nAniniSam = sukham yasmAt sa vidi-SaH
– He Who is the cause of
happiness in those who are knowledgeable (aboutBrahman).

f) SrI raghunAtha tIrtha explains thenAma as "vi = atiSayena, diSati =upadiSati iti vidiSaH – He Who shows in a special way (referring tobhagavAn showing the procedures for performance ofsacrifices etc. veryclearly - vi = atiSayena ya~jna kriyA prakArAn diSati = upadiSatiiti vidiSaH).
The explanation can equally apply to His
revelation of all the SAstra-s and the codes ofconduct.

939. vyAdiSaH – a) He Whoappoints the different gods in their respectivepositions. b) He Who bestows different benefits on devoteesbased on their karma-s. c0He Who gives directions to the different gods asappropriate.

om vyAdiSAya namaH.

`vyAdiS' means `to distribute, todivide among, to appoint, dispatch toany place or duty, direct, order, command' (Monier-Williams). Theword AdeSa means "command, instruction". The explanation of thenAma can be derived based on either of the above.

a) SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as"One Who establishes the likes ofbrahmAand rudra in their respective functions" – teshAm abhimatamtat-tat-padam atisRjati iti vyAdiSaH (teshAm hererefers back to nAma 937,where SrI BhaTTar refers to brahmA and rudra). SrI v.v.rAmAnujanrefers to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi 5.2.8, where AzhvArrefers to bhagavAn being the One who establishesthe deva-s in their respectivepositions:

iRukkum iRai iRuttu uNNa ev-ulagukkumtan mUrti niRuttinAn daiva'ngaLAga ad-daiva nAyagan tAnE …(tiruvAi. 5.2.8)

"In order to accommodate thepeople with different tastes for worship,bhagavAn formed the anya devatA-s from His body, and establishedthem in their various positions so that offerings can bemade to them, which ultimately reach Him. So it isnone other than bhagavAnwho established the lower deities in their variouspositions, so that they can collect offerings fromtheir respective devotees,and pass them on to Him".

b) SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explainsthe nAma as "viSesheNa AdiSati itivyAdiSaH" – He Who bestows the benefits to the different deitiesetc., as they deserve, according to their karma-s.

SrI kRshNan uses a different versionfor Sri BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam thanthe ones found in the available publications, but theinterpretationis enjoyable as an illustration of one more of bhagavAn'sguNa-s: tat tat abhimata deSam sRjati iti vyAdiSaH – HeWho bestows whatever is desired by the devotees.He explains that in thecase of gajendra moksham episode, gajendra got what he wanted,namely the opportunity to offer the lotus flowerat the Feet of emperumAn;the crocodile got its curse removed; BhagavAn Himself hadthe chance to demonstrate once more that for Him,the protection of Hisdevotee is the most important thing He is concerned about; all ofus get our sins removed by thinking of and listening to thisepisode. Thus, with one act, He has given Hisblessings in one form orthe other to everyone.

Sri kRshNan gives bhagavAn's vAmanaincarnation as another example: Tostart with, bhagavAn Himself was satisfied that He fulfilledindra'swish; indra was satisfied that he got his wish fulfilled;mahAbali was happy that he got the chance to givedAnam to mahA vishNuHimself; everyone in all the worlds got the blessings of HisHoly Feet; The AzhvAr-s are happy that they got tosing the praise theHoly Feet that accomplished so much for the devotees; and theSAstra-s themselves were happy that bhagavAnproved their declaration thatall the worlds belong to Him.

SrI satya devo vAsishTha uses the rootdiS – atisarjane – to grant, toallow (atisarjanam = dAnam), and explains the nAma as "vividhamAsamantAt diSati = dadAti iti vyAdiSaH – He Whobestows diverse benefitson devotees from all directions is vidiSaH.

c) SrI Sa'nkara vyAkhyAnam is –"vividhAm A~jnAm SakrAdInAm kurvanvyAdiSaH– He Who gives to indra and other deities directions,accordingto their varied functions.

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj derives thenAma as: "viSesheNa AdiSati = A~jnApayatiiti vyAdiSaH – He Who commands in s special way (becauseeveryone and everything is under His command, andthere is no exception,it is `command in a special way).

SrI bala deva vidyA bhUshaN explainsthe nAma as – "vividhAn adhikArAntasya AdiSati = A`jnApayati adhikAriNi tasmin evam eva ucitamiti bhAvaH" – He gives orders or commands to the differentdeva-s as deemed appropriate.

SrI cinmayAnanada explains the nAma as"One Who is unique in His commandingPower. One Who orders even the phenomenal powers, the deitiesand the gods".

SrI satya sandha tIrtha explains thenAma as "viSesheNa AdiSati = A`jnApayatiiti vidiSaH" – One Who has unique and special commandingpower.

940. diSaH – He Who commands.

om diSAya namaH.

SrI Bhattar uses the meaning `command'for the word diSa in explainingthis nAma. In addition to establishing the likes of brahmAand rudra in their positions, bhagavAn also commands andcontrols them in their proper functions. This isunlike His treatment of devotees such as gajendra, who aretreated with a much closerintimacy - na tAn gajendravat antara'ngI karoti, kim tu Aj~nApayatiiti diSaH. SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explains thatprapanna-s such as gajendra are the object of Hislove, whereas the karma-vaSya-s(those who are subject to the effects of their karma-s)such as brahmA, rudra etc. are the objects of Hiscommand.

SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as"diSati = Aj~nApayati veda mukhenaviSva nibandhanena ca, evam kartavyam evam na iti diSaH" – HeWho ordains through the veda-s the ways in whichthings should be done,and ways in which things should not be done.

Sri Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is –samastAnAm karmaNAm phalAni diSan vedAtmanAdiSaH. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri interprets the nAma as signifyingthat bhagavAn shows, in the form of the veda-s, what isgood and to be followed, and what is bad and to beavoided. (This woulduse the meaning diS – to direct, to show). SrI T. S.Krishnamoorthytranslates SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam as: "One Who, inthe form of the veda-s, bestows on differentbeings the fruits of all theirritualistic actions". This translation probably uses themeaning diS – atisarjane – to grant, to allow(atisarjanam = dAnam).

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explainsthe nAma as – diSati = dadAti karmaphalam iti diSaH – He Who gives the fruits of karma to the jIva-s.

SrI cinamyAnanada captures the samesense in his explanation: "One Whoadvises and gives knowledge. Lord nArAyaNa, in the form of the Srutitexts, gives to man the knowledge of the Self".

SrI raghunAtha tirtha explains thenAma as `diSyate = bhaktaiH pRcchyateiti diSaH' – He Who is sought after or enquired into by thedevotees, is diSaH.

In the beginning of nAma 938, it waspointed out that the nAma-s vidiSaH,vyAdiSaH, and diSah had similar roots. It is interesting tolook at how some of the well-knownvyAkhyAna-kartA-s have approached theinterpretation of the three nAma-s while avoiding repetition ininterpretation.

SrI BhaTTar avoids redundancy in thethree nAma-s (vidiSaH, vyAdiSaH, anddiSaH) by giving the following interpretations:

- vidiSaH – He Whose nature, formsand qualities are spread out beyonddescription in all directions or everywhere (diSaH –direction?).- vyAdiSaH – He Who has established thedifferent gods in their differentposts (vyAdiS – to appoint. -diSaH – He Who commands (diS – to command).

SrI Sa'nkara has given the followinginterpretations:

- vidiSaH – One Who distributesdifferent fruits of action to personsaccording to their karma (diSati = dadAti; diS = dAnam). -vyAdiSaH – He Who gives directions to indra and othersaccording to their various functions.- diSaH – He Who bestows fruits for the variousritualistic actions specified in the veda-s.

SrI satya sandha tIrtha:

- vidiSaH – He Who bestows sukham orhappiness to brahma j~nAni- s(vid – to know, a reference to j~nAni-s).-vyAdiSaH – He Who gives commands in a unique and special way (i.e.,everything is under His command). -diSaH – He Who transfer knowledge of dharma through analogy –dharma j~nAna atideSanAt diSaH. (vid –atisarjane– to grant, to allow)

SrI satya devo vAsishTha:

- vidiSaH – He Who pervadeseverything and everywhere in all directions.
- vyAdiSaH – He Who bestows fruits in various forms from all

- diSaH – He Who gives instructions on do's and don't's in theform of vedic injunctions.

 -dAsan kRshNamAcAryan