Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 101

anAdir_bhUr-bhuvo lakshmIH su-vIro rucirA'ngadaH |
janano jana-janmAdir_bhImo bhIma-parAkramaH ||

om anAdaye namaH.
om bhuvo-bhuve namaH.
om lakshmyai namaH.
om su-vIrAya namaH.
om rucirA'ngadAya namaH.
om jananAya namaH.
om jana-janmAdaye namaH.
om bhImAya namaH.
om bhIma-parAkramAya namaH.

941. anAdiH –

a) He Who is not realized by many because of their ignorance etc.
b) He Who has no beginning.

om anAdaye namaH.

SrI vAsishTha derives the nAma from the root dA – dAne – to give, and gives the interpretation"na AdIyate iti anAdiH – He Who is not easily attained. The word Adi means `beginning'. One interpretation for the nAma is "He Who isbeginningless".

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as – taiH anyaparaiH na svAmitvena AdIyate iti anAdiH – He Who is not realized by the likes of brahmA and rudra as their Lord. SrI SrImushNam ANDavan explains the nAma as"na dIyate iti AnadiH" – He Who does not give Himself to the non- devotees. SrI BhaTTar comments: evam tiryakshvapi bahkteshuvivaSaH; brahmAdishu phalgu phalameva prayacchati – He gives Himself to the complete control of animals such asgajendra, but when it comes to the likes of brahmA and rudra, He gives them only meager fruits. He does not bestow the same level of benefits on the likes of brahmA and rudra as He does on His dear devotees. He gives Himself freely to the likes ofgajendra, who have surrendered to Him. But He does not give the likes of brahmA and rudra the same benefits, namely the ability to realize Him and reach Him, as He bestows on devotees such asgajendra, and so He is anAdiH.

SrI veLukkuDi kRshNan comments that even though brahmA and rudra obey the Lord, it is not necessarily out of love, but more out of fear (because of bhIti rather than prIti). BhagavAn is bound by prIti, and not by bhIti, and so the likes of gajendra can attain Him easily, whereas the likes of brahmA and rudra don't stand a chance. BhagavAn is not realized as the Supreme Deity by the likes of brahmA and rudra; they rush to Him only when they are in danger, and need His help. At other times, they long after other benefits, such as their positions, rather than devoting their efforts to attaining Him. Thus, bhagavAn is called anAdiH also because He is not realized by many as the Supreme Deity. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri expresses the thought as "One Who is not accepted by those who are driven by pride and haughtiness (Serukku).

SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as: "na AdIyate iti anAdiH" – He Who is not `given' to us though our mind,indirya-s etc. – na AdIyate = gRhyate sa-manaskaiH j~nAnendriyaiH karmendriyaiSca itianAdiH. The meaning is that He is not accessible to us through the means of the mind andindirya-s.

b) SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning `beginning' for the word `Adi', and gives the interpretation – AdiH = kAraNam asya na vidyata itianAdiH, sarva kAraNatvAt – He Who is beginningless, because He is the cause of everything.

An alternate interpretation by SrI vAsishTha is – na AdIyate = svIkriyate svodbhavAya ki'ncit aparam nimitta kAraNam anena so anAdiH – He Who does not need any other cause for His being, is anAdiH – in other words, One Who existed before anything else existed.

942. bhUr-bhuvaH –

a) He Who is the abode of those who really live (by realizing their relation to the Lord).
b) He Who supports that which supports all (namely, the earth).
c) He Who exists in Himself (with no other support).
d) He Who is the Source of all knowledge.

om bhuvo-bhuve namaH.

SrI vAsishTha derives the nAma from the root bhU – sattAyAm – to be, to live. Based on the declension of the nounbhU, the first part, bhU, is interpreted as `AdhAra - support', and the second part,bhuvaH, is taken as the 6th case – the genitive case, giving the meaning for `bhuvaH = of the support". SrI vAsishTha's explanation is: prathamo bhU Sabda AdhAra vAcakaHprathamAnto, dvitIyaSca shashThyantaH pRthivI vAcakaH. In other words, bhagavAn bhuvaH bhUH – The Support of all supports. The different interpretations can be viewed on the basis of this meaning.

a) SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as: "bhavati iti bhUH – svadAsya j~nAnena AtmalAbhavAn; tasya bhuvaH, svayameva bhUH = padam iti bhUr-bhuvaH" – A person who has the correct knowledge that he is the servant of the Lord and that the Lord is the Master, is one who is bhU – one who really lives. For that person, bhagavAn is an Abode or the Support -(bhU), and so He is referred to as bhUr-bhuvaH.

SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explains that bhagavAn is bhUmi (support) for those who have the dAsya j~nAna, namely the knowledge and realization that they are always His dAsa-s, as their bhUmi. In other words, He is the Support for those that are followers of bhakti yoga, prapatti yoga, etc.

b) SrI Sa'nkara explains the nAma as "bhuvo'pi bhUH" – He Who supports the Earth, which itself supports everything else.

SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as "bhavanti asyAm iti bhUH – pRthivI; tasyA bhUH – AdhAraH – He is the Support of the earth, and so He isbhUr-bhuvaH. He is also the Creator as well as the Sustainer of everything - bhuvayor bhAvayitA = utpAdako mUlAdhAraH sa bhUr-bhuvaucyate.

c) SrI vAsishTha gives the alternate interpretation – svayam svasmin bhavati it bhUr-bhuvaH – He Who exists in Himself isbhUr-bhuvaH. In other words, there is nothing else which is the cause for His existence, or for His creation.

d) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvaj gives the interpretation – bhuvaH –prapa'ncasya, bhUH – udgamaH (creation, sustenance etc.), bhuvo bhUH. He gives the alternate interpretation – bhuva itij~nAnam, tasya bhUH = udbhava iti bhuvo bhUH – He Who is the source or Origin of knowledge. He refers to the gItA Slokam 15.15 in support:

sarvasya cAham hRdi sannivishTo
mattaH smRtir-j~nAnam apohanam ca | (gItA 15.15)

"I am seated in the hearts of all.
From Me are memory, knowledge, and their removal as well".

943. lakshmIH – The Wealth.

om lakshmyai namaH.

SrI BhaTTar comments that bhagavAn has this nAma signifying that He alone is all the wealth for His devotees – teshAm lakshmIH – sarvA sampat ca. He gives examples from the rAmAyaNa and the mahAbhArata:

bhavad-gatam ca me rAjyam jIvitam ca sukhAni ca (yuddha. 19.6)

(vibhIshaNa says to Lord rAma): "My kingdom, my life and my happiness are all centered in You".

kRshNASrayAH kRshNa balAH kRshNa nAthASca pANDavAH |
kRshNaH parAyaNam teshAm jyotishAmiva candramA || (droNa. 183.24)

"For the pANDava-s, SrI kRshNa is the sole support. kRshNa is their strength, and kRshNa is their protector. SrI kRshNa is their sole Lord, even as the moon is to the stars".

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers to nammAzhvAr's pASuram in support:

… SElEy kaNNiyarum perum Selvamum nan makkaLum mElAt tAi tandaiyarum avarE iniAvArE. (tiruvAi. 5.1.8)

"Beautiful damsels that one loves here, money and affluence, offspring on which one dotes, much-praised mother and father are, hereafter, for me none except my Lord. He is ALL to me".

SrI kRshnan explains the nAma as "One Who has all the wealth for giving away to the devotees, One Who is endowed with limitless wealth; One Who has lakshmi Herself as His Consort". In addition, He is Himself the wealth for the devotees who seek Him and nothing else. SrI kRshNan gives additional support from SrImad rAmAyaNam:

na deva lokAkramaNam na amaratvam aham vRNe | aiSvaryam vA vilokAnAm rAmaye na tvayA vinA || (lakshmaNa)

"There is no lordship, no eternal life, no great victory in this world, no wealth of any kind that I wish in this world; all I wish for is for You, My Lord rAma".

sneho me paramo rAjan tvayi nityam pratishThitaH | bhaktiSca niyatA vIrA bhAvo nAnyatra gacchati || (hanuman)

"My mind does not seek anything except eternal and constant devotion to You; all I wish for eternal service-minded dedication to You".

en amudinaik kaNDa kaNgaL maRRu onRinaik kANAvE || (tiruppANAzhvAr)

"My eyes that have seen my sweet Nectoar, the Lord of SrIra'ngam, will never see anything else ever again".

ic-cuvai taviRa yAn pOi ac-cuvai perinum vENDEn ara'nga mA nagar uLAnE (toNDaraDippoDi)

"When I have this taste of enjoying You right here and now, My Lord ra'nganAtha! I will not trade this even for the taste of the after- life in SrI vaikunTham".

SrI Sa'nkara gives a few combinations of the three words bhUH, bhuvaH, and lakshmIH, and gives interpretations for these combinations. We saw the interpretation for one of these combinations - bhUr-bhuvaH in the previous nAma. Now he proceeds to give two other combinations: bhuvo-lakshmIH, and bhUr-bhuvo- lakshmIH

- bhuvo lakshmIH: SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning "SobhA" – splendor, for the wordlakshmI, and gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is not only the Support for the earth (previousnAma), but He is also the splendor of the earth – na kevalam asau bhUH bhuvaH, lakshmIH SobhA ca iti bhuvolakshmIH. (bhuvaH – of the earth, lakshmIH – splendor). - bhUr-bhuvo-lakshmIH - "One Who is in the form of the beauty(lakshmIH) of this earth (bhUH), and of the firmament (bhuvaH) – bhUmi antarikshayoH SobhA itibhUr-bhuvo-lakshmIH. In other words, He is One Who illumines the earth and the firmament. - An alternate interpretation he gives for the nAma taken as bhUr-bhuvo-lakshmIH is "He Who is in the form of this earth(BhUH), the firmament (bhuvaH), and Atma vidyA – the science of Atman (lakshmIH). Here Sri Sa'nkara gives the meaning"Atma vidyA" or the science of Atman to the word `lakshmIH', based on vishNu purANam 1.9.118, where Lakshmi is praised as Atma vidyA – Atma vidyA ca devitvam. The idea is that Lakshmi and bhagavAn are the Ones who give Atma vidyA or the knowledge of the Self to the seeker.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri comments that the nAma is of feminine gender, and denotes that bhagavAn is One Who is always associated with Goddess Lakshmi, and in fact She never leaves Him ever, and is always residing in His vaksha sthalam. When bhagavAn takes incarnations, She always accompanies Him; for instance, when He took incarnation as rAma, She took incarnation as SitA, and when He took incarnation as kRshNa, She came as rukmiNi. Thus, She is inseparable from Him, and it is this duality together that we should worship. We have the well-known pASuram of nammAzhvAr:

agalakillEn iRaiyum enRu alarmEl ma'ngai uRai mArbA! nigar il pugazhAi ulagam mUnRuuDaiyAi, ennai AlvAnE!… (tiruvAi. 6.6.10)

"O! Lord of tiruvE'nkaTam! You rule over me, and You in fact own all the things in al the three worlds. Your kIrti (fame) is beyond compare to anything. Our Mother, alarmEl ma'ngai (mahA lakshmi), resides in Your vaksha sthalam (Divine chest), declaring that She is ever inseparable from You, and will never ever leave Her rightful place with You".

The nAma thus signifies that bhagavAn is ever associated with the qualities of beauty, fame, splendor, wealth, and in fact the fullness of all auspicious qualities, that are signified by Goddess lakshmi.

SrI cinmayAnanda captures the idea that bhagavAn is the Sole source of all that is good and beautiful in this universe through the following words: "If Self were not, then all would have been inert, unborn, dead. As the One Life everywhere, as Pure Existence, all the glories of this dynamic Universe are in Him and from Him alone".

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj derives his interpretation starting from the root laksha – darSanA'nkanayoH – to notice, to define, to regard; or alternatively, the root laksh – Alocane – to perceive, to observe. His interpretations are:

- lakshayati = darSayati niratiSaya vAtsalyam iti lakshmIH – He Who shows vAtsalyam (affection) that is beyond description, to His devotee. - lakshayati a'nkam Aropayati bhakta putrAn itilakshmIH, jaganmAtA – Refers to jagan mAtA, mahA lakshmi, Who ensures that Her children who are devoted to the divyadampati, are safely on His lap. (In previous nAma-s, we have described how a jIva who becomes a mukta jIva ultimately reaches SrIvaikunTham, and how, finally, the jIva climbs the snake bed of bhagavAn andpirATTi, and is affectionately seated on the lap of emperumAn). Since bhagavAn and piraTTi are inseparable in all respects, the nAmalakshmIH, which normally refers to our Mother, is also a reference to Him simultaneously. - Using the meaning laksh –Alocane, the alternate interpretation is – lakshayati = Alocayati sva-janAnAm vipat-sarita uddhArasya upAyAn iti lakshmIH – He Who shows the means to the devotee on how to overcome the obstacles encountered in samsAra which is full of impediments to reaching Him.

SrI satya sandha tIrtha uses the same root – laksh – darSanA'nkayoH – to regard, and gives the interpretation: lakshayatipuNyakRto, lakshayate puNyakRtbhiH iti vA lakshmIH. BhagavAn is called lakshmIH since He regards those who are endowed with good virtues as His treasure, or because He is regarded as the Supreme Lord by the virtuous.

SrI vAsishTha uses the same root in his interpretation as well, and explains the nAma as – lakshayati = darSayati iti lakshmIH – He Who makes those who are endowed with lakshmI – wealth, beauty, etc., shine distinguishably. In fact, He, in the form oflakshmI, is present everywhere and pervades everything, and makes all things known. He gives the example of the Sun, which is visible from a vast distance away, because he has endowed the Sun with the SobhA or splendor.

944. suvIraH –

a) He Who possesses great valor.
b) He Who has auspicious movements.
c) He Who is accessible to us through different paths.
d) One Who, in His kRshna incarnation, was associated with various other auspicious vIra-s.

om suvIrAya namaH.

Interpretations have been given based on the words vIra – One Who isvalorous, and also based on the root Ir – gatau – to go. In the latter interpretation, su- and vi- are treated as upasarga-s orprepositions (su- meaning `good', and vi – meaning vividha – various, per SrI satya devo vAsishTha).

The related nAma – vIraH, has been described in Sloka-s 43 (nAma402), and 70 (nAma 664). The reader is referred to the detailed write-ups under both these nAma-s in addition to the current write-up.

a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning `valorous' for the term `vIra', andexplains the nAma as "One Who is valorous in defending His devotees from their downfall, and retrieving those who have had a downfall –teshAm vinipAta pratIkAraH.

SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explains the nAma as "SobhanaH vIraH yaH saH su-vIraH – He Who is a highlydesirable vIra is su-vIra.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to tiruvAimozhi 3.2.3, where nammAzhvAr praises the valor of Lord kRshNain conducting the mahA bhArata war without even participating directly as a warrior in the war.

kollA mAk-kOl kolai Seidu bhAratap-pOr ellAc-cEnaiyum iru nilattu aLitta endAi! (tiruvAi.3.2.3)

BhagavAn uses the stick that He used for directing the horses of thechariot, and though this stick itself could not kill, He still used it so skillfully that arjuna was able to finish the task that Hewanted to get fulfilled, and reduced the bhU-bhAram or the load on the earth by destroying the fighters of both sides.

SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as
SobhanA = saralA, vividhA ca IraH
= gatiH yasya, sa suvIraH –
He Who has beautiful, elegant, gait thatis displayed in various forms. Even though SrI vAsishTha does not
refer to the different gati-s of bhagavAn such as the gaja gati,simha gati, vyAghra gati, sarpa gati etc., one is immediately reminded of these beautiful gati-s that one is given to enjoy duringour temple processions of emperumAn from temple chambers to the outside and back. SrI vAsishTha gives the example of bhagavAnmanifesting Himself beautifully in various forms such as dakshiNAyana, uttarAyaNa, etc.

SrI veLukkuDi kRshNan distinguishes between three types of vIra-s:vIra, SUra, parAkrama. VIra is one who does not get disturbed by the might of the opposition; Sura is one who gets inside the army of theopposition and destroys the opposition without a trace; parAkrama is the quality wherein there is no harm or injury to the fighter in theprocess of fighting. SrI kRshNan comments that through this nAma, bhagavAn's vIra, Saurya and parAkrama are all described. If one wereto ask why this great term `su-vIra' needs to be invoked in the context of His killing this small creature in the form of acrocodile, SrI kRshNan notes that whether it is a small creature like the crocodile or a big creature like rAvaNa, for bhagavAn what countsis that it is an enemy of His devotee. Once this is established, He displays His guNa of being a su-vIra in defending His devotee, nomatter how insignificant this creature is.

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as –
Shobano vIraHparakramI iti su-vIraH.

b) SrI Sa'nkara uses the root Ir – to go, in his interpretation –SobhaNa vividhA IrAH = gatayo yasya sa suvIraH – He Who has various auspicious movements.

SrI ananta kRshna SAstry elaborates that thedifferent movements referred to here are His occupying the hearts of the yogin-s, His being in the Sun's disc, in the Milky Ocean, etc.

SrI cinmayAnanda explains the nAma as: "One Who moves through variousways which are all divinely glorious; Or, One Who exhibits in all His incarnations the inimitable splendor of valor in His actions andachievements".

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri uses the same root Ir, and explains thatbhagavAn has this nAma signifying that He is accessible to us through different means (e.g., bhakti, prapatti).

d) SrI bala deva vidyA bhUsahN interprets the nAma as One, Who, inHis kRshna incarnation, was associated with many vIra-s alongside Him is su-vIraH – tataH samAgateshu sakhishu suvIraH SobhanAH SrIdAmasubhadrAdayaH svatulyA vIrA yasya sa su-vIraH,

Given that bhIshma had already described bhagavAn's guNa of vIryathrough two references to this guNa earlier (in Sloka-s 43 and 70), the question arises as to why He is now describing another guNa - `su-vIraH'. One way to appreciate this subtlety is to realize that the nAma vIra was interpreted as a reference to His parAkrama in Hisencounters with His enemies in general. As we saw in the study of the nAma vIra-hA (nAma-s 168, 747, 927), vIra-s (those endowed withvalor or the skill to defeat opponents) are of two kinds: good and bad. BhagavAn's nAma of vIra that we studied in Sloka-s 43 and 70refer to His guNa of vIra in containing the bad vIra-s who use their vIrya in committing extensive atrocities and a-dharma in general, bycurtailing these evil vIra-s in their root. Thus, bhagavAn destroys the `vIra-s' who win at any cost, either by using fallaciousarguments in their disputations in philosophical discussions, or by using their strength for wrong and a-dharmic causes (such as `vIra-s'like rAvaNa in committing atrocities against the followers of the righteous path). The nAma su-vIrah that we are studying currently,is a special class of this quality of emperumAn, and describes the use of this guNa by Him in ensuring that His devotees who encounterany obstacle will in the end come out of it auspiciously, with His help and support. In other words, the current nAma describes HisguNa of ensuring auspiciousness to His devotees under all circumstances.

945. rucirA'ngadaH –
a) He Who bestows His lovely form for His devotees to enjoy.
b) He Who gives a beautiful body to those who are devoted (e.g., to the hunch-backed woman).
c) He Who is adorned with beautiful shoulder ornaments (a'ngada-s).
d) He Who has given elegant means for all creatures to move about.

om rucirA'ngadAya namaH.

a) The meaning of the nAma can be easily comprehended if we look at the nAma in terms of the individual words comprising thenAma: rucira-anga-daH. SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as `ruciram = ati-manoharam, anubhava bhogyam a'ngam dadAti iti ricirA'ngadaH – He Who bestows His lovely form to His devotees which is fit to be enjoyed very much. SrI BhaTTar quotes from the jitante stotram in support (this has been referenced in nAma 923 as well)

na te rUpam na cAkAro nAyudhAni na cAspadam |
tathA'pi purushAkAro bhaktAnAm prakASase ||

"Neither Your divya Atma svarUpam, nor Your divya ma'ngaLa vigraham, nor for that matter Your weapons, or Your own SrI vaikunTham, are for Your benefit (they are all for Your devotees' benefit, and thus You are not independent, but You are the possession of Your devotees). Even so, You shine as the Supreme Being".

BhagavAn has a divya ma'ngaLa vigraham (tirumEni) that is absolutely delectable to His devotees. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi, where AzhvAr describes bhagavAn's tirumEni in more than one pASuram:

Sev-vAi undi veN paL SUDark kuzhai tammODu evvAic cuDarum tammil mun vaLAik koLLa Sev-vAi muruvalODu enadu uLLattu irunda avvAi anRi yAn aRiyEn maRRaruLE. (tiruvAi. 8.7.7)

"I am truly enchanted by the reddish lips, the beautiful navel, the shining row of teeth, the lustrous ear ornaments, all competing with one another in encircling me and enslaving me. But the most successful of them all is the blossoming smile in the red lips, through which the Lord communicates His message with me while in my heart. Nothing else can equal this grace".

kaNgaL Sivandu periyavAi, vAyum Sivandu kanindu, uLLE veN pal ilagu SuDar ilagu vilagu makara kuNDalattan koNDal vaNNan SuDar muDiyan nAngu tOLan kuni SAr'ngan oN Sa'ngau gadai vAL AzhiyAn oruvan aDiyEn uLLAnE. (tiruvAi. 8.8.1)

"The one, unique, Lord shines as my soul's soul in me. I see Him in me! With large, beautiful, red eyes, with His mouth and lips resembling beautiful deep red fruits, with the rows of beautiful teeth showing ever so slightly with beautiful luster, with the fish- shaped ear ornaments, the cloud-hued One, with shining crown, with four long arms, with the five overpoweringly beautiful weapons(Sa'nkha, cakra, gadA, Sar'nga, and khadga) – with all these, He stands inside me".

In these four lines, AzhvAr beautifully captures the beauty of His Form, but also the fact that this lovely form is there only for devotees like AzhvAr to enjoy.

Innumerable indeed are the places where our AzhvAr-s and AcArya-s have delved deep into this anubhavam of bhagavAn's tirumEni - tiruppANAzhvAr's amalanAdIpirAn, bhagavad rAmAnuja's gadya trayam, svAmi deSikan's bhagavad dhyAna sopAnam and SrI devanAyaka pa'ncAsat, among others. For the sake of brevity, details are not included here.

SrI kRshnan gives the instance of gajendra moksham, and notes that for a devotee such as gajendra, bhagavAn gave His divine tirumEni (by embracing him all around). He also refers us to tiruvAimozhi 1.9, all the ten pASuram-s of which describe how bhagavAn gives the enjoyment of Himself to AzhvAr in gradual steps at a time (instead of giving this anubhavam all at once in one dose), just so that AzhvAr is not overwhelmed by this divine experience.

SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN gives an interpretation similar that of SrIBhaTTar:
ruciram a'ngam tebhyo dadAti iti tad vidheyastAn Ali'ngatavAn iti arthaH – He gives His divine embrace to those devotees who are deserving. Recall that SrI rAma blessed hanuman with His divine embrace, declaring that this was the best gift that He could ever give to anyone.

b) SrI ananta kRshNa SAstry gives a different interpretation, based on the same meaning for the words constituting the nAma – He Who bestows beautiful or auspicious bodies on His devotees. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the example of bhagavAn giving a beautiful form to a hunch-backed woman in kamsa's palace by removing the disfigurement that she had in her form.

c) SrI Sa'nkara looks at the nAma as rucire = kalyANe a'ngade yasya iti rucirA'ngadaH – One Who is adorned with two beautiful shoulder ornaments (refer to the nAma kanakA'ngadI – nAma 545).

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives a similar explanation – rucirANidarSanIya- tamAni bAhu-bhUshaNAni catvAri a'ngadAni yasya iti rucirA'ngadaH – He Who is adorned with four shoulder ornaments that are a delight to look at and enjoy.

d) SrI satya devo vAsishTha derives an interpretation based on the root a'ng – gatau – to go, and explains the nAma as: sundara gati yuktamSarIram, sundram gamanam vA yo dadAti sa rucirA'ngadaH - One Who has given a body equipped with the means for all creatures to move around"

946. jananaH – The Creator.

om jananAya namaH.

The root for the nAma is jan – prAdurbhAve – to be born. SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as"janayati iti jananaH, sarvasya jagato jananaH, svayam ajo'pi" - One Who creates everything else, but Who Himself is not born. SrI T. S. Krishnamoorthy explains that the application of pANini sUtra 3.3.113 leads to the word jananaH from the root jan – "The suffix lyuT(ana) is added to a verbal root to form verbal nouns, denoting either the action itself, or the instrument, or the place where the action takes place. … Here,jananaH, in masculine is derived in the sense of agency – kartari."

From this nAma onwards, till almost the end (till nAma 992), SrI BhaTTar interprets thenAma-s as conveying the purpose for which bhagavAn undertakes all His actions. – atha sarva bhagavad vyApArANAmprayojanam. We will see that everything that bhagavAn undertakes is for the sole benefit of thejIva-s, without exception.

First, we start with His act of creation. SrI BhaTTar's anubhavam is – tad-anubhava kshama karaNa yuktAn anyAnapi janayati iti jananaH – He creates us and other beings also, gifted with theindirya-s etc., for enjoying Him. SrI kRshnan quotes the following in support:

vicitrA deha sampattiH ISvarAya niveditum |
pUrvameva kRtA brahman hasta pAdAdi samyuta ||

"Brahman creates us fully endowed with the means of karma such as hands, legs, etc., just so we can dedicate these in the service of the Lord".

Out of His compassion, bhagavAn gives the jIva-s a body, with all the indriya-s, and a form that is based on their karma-s, so that they can better themselves in that birth and move towards Him. He also gives us the free will to use our capabilities to either move towards Him, or misuse all our faculties and divert them to other causes. If we misuse the opportunity, of course, we are reborn to have another chance again, according to our accumulated karma-s. (Lest some readers get confused and think that brahmA is the one who creates, nammAzhvAr repeatedly reminds us that it is bhagavAn who is the true Creator, who creates the mahat, the pa'nca mahA bhUta-s, the brahmANDa etc., and then creates brahmA inside this brahmANDa, and gives him the knowledge to continue the process of creation inside the brahmANDa, and gives Him the power to do this by being his antaryAmi. So it is bhagavAn who is the true Creator).

SrI cinmayAnanda explains the nAma as:
"Lord SrI nArAyaNa is the great Father of all living beings, as all the universe comes from Him alone. He alone was before all creation; from Him alone everything has arisen; in Him everything exists, is nurtured and nourished by His Glory. Thus, as the very progenitor of the universe, SrI nArAyaNa, the Self, is the only jagad-Isvara (Lord of the Universe)." SrIO cinmayAnanda refers us to the gItA:

pitAsi lokasya carAcarasya tvamasya pUjyaSca gurur-garIyAn |
na tvat-samo'styabhyadhikaH kuto'nyo loka-tyaye'pyapratima- prabhAva || (11.43)

"You are the Father of this world, of all that moves and that does not move. You are its teacher and the One most worthy of reverence. There is none equal to You. How then could there be in all the three worlds another greater than You, O Being of matchless greatness?".

SrI satya sandha tIrtha's alternate anubhavam is:
janam nayati iti jananaH – He Who leads all beings isjana-naH.

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as –
janayati mudam sva- janAnAm hRdayeshu iti jananaH - He Who generates delight in the hearts of His devotees isjananaH.

947. jana-janmAdiH –

a) He Who is the root cause of all beings.
b) He Who is the ultimate goal of all beings.

om jana-janmAdaye namaH.

The nAma can be understood by looking at its component words: jana-janma-AdiH. Most interpreters explain the nAma as "He Who is the Cause of all living beings". As we see below, the word Adi isinterpreted as "root' or "cause" in this interpretation.

a) SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as "janAnAm janmana AdiH - One Whois the cause of all living things. He looks at the nAma as: jAyante iti janAH; janma = jananam; AdiH = `dadAteH' – He Who gives, He Whois the root cause – mUla kAraNam.

b) SrI BhaTTar gives this interpretation as well, but in additionadds that He is also the `prayojanam', or the ultimate goal for the living beings that are blessed with birth with a body – teshAmjanAnAm janmana AdiH = nimittam (root cause), prayojanam (benefit or fruit of the birth) iti jana-janmAdiH. In fact, in the context ofthe theme of SrI BhaTTar's interpretation, his emphasis is on the `prayojanam', or "root purpose" of being this birth. He givesseveral supports that declare that the prime purpose of this birth that we are given by bhagavAn, is to attain Him through expiation ofour karma-s.
- adya me saphalam janma (vishNu dharma 5.17.3) –
"This day mybirth has become fruitful, and my night has given place to an
auspicious dawn, because I am going to see Lord kRshNa" – words ofakrUra on the prospects of having the darSanam of Lord kRshNa.
- janmanya viphalA saikA ya govindASrayA kriyA – The only actthat is not fruitless in this life is that which has something to do
with kRshNa.-

sujanma dehamatyantam tadevASesha jantushu |
yadeva pulakotbhAsi vishNu nAmani kIrtite ||

"Amongst all beings, the body of that person is of good birth which shines with hair standing on their ends out of joy when the name ofkRshNa is pronounced".

SrI Sa'nkara also gives a similar interpretation –
janasya janimataHjanma udbhavaH, tasya AdiH, mUla kAraNam iti jana-janmAdiH –
primary Cause of beings.

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj's interpretation is along the same linesas well –
janAnAm = prANinAm janmanaH AdiH iti jana-janmAdiH.

948. bhImaH –

He Who is frightful to those who do not follow dharma.

om bhImAya namaH.

We studied this nAma in Slokam 39 (nAma 359). Please refer to thewrite-up for nAma 359 also. As indicated there, the root from which the nAma is derived is bhI – bhaye – to fear. In the larger schemeof things in creation etc., bhagavAn is called bhImaH because He is the Supreme Controller of all. In the case of His devotees, theextent of His control is related to their devotion, to the point that He lets Himself be controlled by devotees who are dedicated to Him.But in the case of those who do not wholeheartedly devote themselves to Him, they still obey Him because of fear of the consequences ofnot obeying Him. This aspect is covered under nAma 359, where reference is given to the veda-s, which declare that even the fivegreat elements (vAyu, agni, etc.,) obey Him out of sheer fear, signified by His nAma bHImaH. SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj quotesSrImad bhAgavatam in support:

vAyvambarAgny-ap-kshitayas-trilokA brahmAdayo ye vayamudvijantaH |
harAma yasmai balim antako'sau bibheti yasmAd-araNam tatonaH || (SrImad bhAga. 6.9.21)

"The five great elements, the three world that are constituted fromthese, and all of us fear that great destroyer, who himself fears the great Supreme Brahman. Let that Supreme Being protect us".

For the current instance of the nAma, SrI BhaTTar stresses anotheraspect of His being frightful – by His punishing the Jiva-s who refuse to follow the proper and prescribed path of dharma in theirlifetime. He pushes them into another janma, or into naraka etc., even though this is done for the ultimate benefit of the jIva, sothat the jIva can correct himself and have another opportunity in another birth. SrI BhaTTar notes that bhagavAn chooses thistreatment only when a being does not wish to resort to the Grace that He naturally shows – mahA anugraha vimukhAnAm bhImaH. He givessupport for this interpretation from the gItA:

tAn aham dvishataH krUrAn samsAreshu narAdhamAn |
kshipAmyajastram aSubhAn AsurIshveva yonishu || (gItA 16.19)

"I throw those who hate Me repeatedly into the samsAra, and into noneother than demonic wombs, for they are cruel, unholy, and the worst of men".

SrI kRshNan refers us to nammAzhvAr pASuram 9.9.7 in tiruvAimozhi:

meyyanAgum virumbit tozhuvArkkellAm poyynAgum puRamE tozhuvArkkellAm … (tiruvAi. 9.9.7)

"To those who are truly devoted to Him, and who worship Him withoutany other benefit in mind than Himself – those who do not bargain with Him for benefit, He is easy to realize. To those who worshipHim with some benefit in mind, He bestows this benefit, and then moves away from them; He is not accessible to them and is notattainable by them".

SrI Sa'nkara gives the meaning – bhaya hetutvAt bhImaH – He Who isthe cause of fear, and gives the mantra from kaThopanishad in support –
"mahad-bhayam vajramudyatam" (2.3.2) – "He is a great fearlike an uplifted thunderbolt (to those who attempt to defy Him)".

SrI Sa'nkara has given an alternate pATham in Slokam 39 for thisnAma – a-bhImaH, and has given the interpretation - "One Who causes no fear to those who follow the righteous path". SrI rAdhAkRshNaSAstri gives the following support for the nAma a-bhImaH:

- bhIshNam abhIshaNam (nRsimhottara. 6.1) –
He Who is frightfuland at the same time not frightful. It is well-known that in His
nRsimha incarnation, bhagavAn was simultaneously a cause of intenseterror to hiraNya kaSipu, and at the same time, He was a great delight for prahlAda.

Alternate interpretations are provided by SrI satya sandha tIrtha:
- bhRtA mAH pramANAni tena vyAsAdi rUpeNa iti bhImaH –
In Hisincarnation as veda vyAsa He established the authorities in the form
of veda-s, and so He is called bhImaH. - bhiyam bhakta bhayam minAti hinasti iti bhImaH – BhagavAn iscalled bhImaH because He destroys the fear of His devotees and saves them.

Recall that through the current set of nAma-s, SrI BhaTTar isdescribing the prayojanam or reason for bhagavAn's vyApara-s or actions. His being bhImaH or the cause of fear to the non-devoteesetc., and His meting out punishment to them for their a-dharmic deeds, is to maintain order, to protect His devotees, and to help thenon-conforming jIva-s so that they can correct themselves and attain Him over time.

949. bhIma-parAkramaH –

He Who has terrific powers.

om bhIma-parAkramAya namaH.

This nAma praises bhagavAn's parAkrama.

SrI BhaTTar explains that bhagavAn has terrific powers that striketerror in the hearts of the likes of hiraNya, rAvaNa, etc. This is a benefit to the devotees, since it keeps the evil souls underrestraint. It is also of benefit to the evil souls themselves, because it keeps them under control, like keeping a mad personfettered so that he does not hurt himself.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan givesreference to nammAzhvAr, who describes this guNa of bhagavAn as "amarkku iDar keDa, asurarukku iDar Sei kaDu vinai na'njE" (tiruvAi. 9.2.10) – BhagavAn is like virulent poison for which thereis no cure, when it comes to dealing with asura-s who cause harm to the deva-s.

SrI kRshNan notes that the previous nAma – bhIma, dealt with 1jIva-swho were not following the path of dharma in their code of conduct, whereas the current nAma deals with those who go one step further andare bent upon doing harm to the world.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam for the current nAma is –
anyeshvapi jagad-ahita-niratreshu hiraNyAdishubhIma-paraAkramaH –
In the case of others such as hiraNya who arebent upon causing harm to the word, He becomes One of terrific valor,
and controls them.

SrI Sa'nkara explains the nAma as –
bhaya hetuH parAkramaH asya iti
bhIma parAkramaH –
His prowess is such that it will strike terror inthe heart of the enemy. He explains the nAma as a reference to
bhagavAn causing fear in the hearts of the asura-s during His

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes that even the fact that bhagavAn inducesfear in the hearts of His enemies, turns out to be for their good in another sense as well – by constantly worrying about bhagavAn'sparAkramam, they keep Him in their minds always, and this ends up purifying them over time. He gives Slokam 7.1.30 from SrImadbhAgavatam in support. However, all the Sloka-s of the referenced chapter are relevant, since the topic of the chapter itself is howbhagavAn uses His parAkrama for the elimination of the vil and the preservation of the good.

These Sloka-s declare that bhagavAn's punishment to the asura-s is purely for the removal of their sins andfor their ultimately attaining Him. In an exchange between dharmaputra and sage nArada, the former asks the later how it is that some extreme haters of SrIman nArAyana end up attaining Him in the end oftheir life. In response, nArada responds: "People end up thinking constantly about bhagavAn either through intense attachment (as inthe case of gopi-s), or through intense enmity (as in the case of SiSupAla), or through extreme fear (as in the case of kamsa), orthrough being related to Him in one of His incarnations (as in the case of the people of vRshNi vamSa), or through pure devotion (as inthe case of the likes of myself)".

gopyaH kAmAt bhayAt kamsaH dveshAt caidyAdayo nRpAH |
sambandhAt vRshNayaH snehAt yUyam bhaktyA vayam vibho ||

SrI satya sandha tIrtha explains the nAma as –
bhImasya, draupadI-
pate rudrasya vA parAkramo yasmAd sa bhIma-parAkramaH –
He Who is the
source of the parAkrama of the likes of bhIma, rudra etc.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan