bhUr-bhuvas-svastarus_tAraH savitA pra-pitAmahaH |
om bhUr-bhuva-svas-tarave namaH.
He Who is the tree for the beings of the three worlds -earth, sky and heaven (svarga loka)..
Savior; He Who is a ferry to cross theocean of samsAra.
om tArAya namaH.
We saw this nAma in Slokam 37 earlier (nAma340).
The root from which the nAma is derived is
For nAma 340, SrI BhaTTar gives theinterpretation "Savior"
garbha janma jarA maraNa samsAra sAgaramahA bhayAt tArayatiiti |
"He makes all cross over the greatfears of the ocean of samsAracomprising conception, birth, old age, and death. Therefore, He iscalledtAraH".
Note that bhagavAn Himself is beyond allthese fears, since He isnever born (a-jAyamAnaH), He is beyond aging (a-jaraH), and beyonddeath
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference totiruma'ngai AzhvAr's periyatirumozhi, where the guNa of bhagavAn signified by the nAma tAraH ispraised:
nandA naragattu azhundA vagai nALumentAi!
"You Who help Your devotees by makingsure they do not get submergedin the hell-like experience of samsAra".
Because samsAra is compared to an ocean,and bhagavAn helps crossthis, He is traditionally compared to a ferry. SrI kRshNan refers usto ANDAL'sreference to Him as the ferry to cross all miseries: nALumtunbak kaDal pukku vaikuntan enRu Or tONi peRAdu uzhalginREn (nAcci.tiru. 5.4). SrI kRshNan also refers us to the divya dESam by nametiru nAvAi (literally meaning "The Blessed Ship"), where Lordmukundangives moksham to the devotees who worship Him.
Drawing from an example from SrI KRshNan,all that a measly worm hasto do to cross from one peak to another peak in its lifetime, is toclimb on alion that jumps from the first peak to the second peak, andin the process, the worm has achieved the otherwise impossible feat.Similarly, all that the jIva has to do is to surrender to Lord nRsimha,the man-lion incarnation, and He will make sure that the jIvacrosses the insurmountable obstacle of crossing the ocean of samsAra.He is like a boat that carries one from one shore to the othershore. All that the individual has to do is to get into the boat,and leave the navigation to the boatman.
SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation is also thatbhagavAn has this nAmasignifying that He helps us cross the ocean of samsAra samsArasAgaramtArayan tAraH. His alternate interpretation is "tAraH praNavovA" The word tAra refers to the praNava mantra, since meditatingon the praNava mantra uplifts one from the ocean of samsAra.SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan also points to the significance ofthe praNava mantra as the uplifter from samsAra.
SrI cinmayAnanda explains the nAma as"One Who helps us cross over;the Eternal Boat-man, to whom, if the devotee can surrender inunswervingfaith and true devotion, He will surely row them across theOcean of samsAra. That One is tAraH. Through exclusive, devoted meditation,alert with understanding, the individuality in each of us wakesup to the higher plane, and there, in that Be-attitude to experiencethe Self the Eternal Brahman SrI Hari".
The dharma cakram writer notes that weshould take a hold of bhagavAninstead of being taken hold of by nature. We should dedicateourselvesto His service in everything we do. The rAma nAma is called`tAraka mantra', because it protects those who meditate on thistAraka nAma. Just as hanumAn was able to cross the ocean by chantingLord rAma's name, we will be able to cross the ocean of samsAraby meditating on His name. He quotes the common saying in tamizh:
om savitre namaH.
SrI vAsishTha indicates the root for thenAma as sU prANi garbhavimocane to produce, to bring forth. sUte sarvam jagat iti savitA;sarvasyautpAdaka ityarthaH He Who creates everything in the universeis savitA.
We studied this nAma in Slokam 94 (nAma887), with the same genericmeaning, but interpreted by SrI BhaTTar as a reference to bhagavAn inthe formof the Sun (the producer of rain, crops etc)., since the contextthere was the description of the arcirAdi mArga, of which Sun isthe seventh step. The current interpretation refers to bhagavAn asthe Creator of everything sarveshAm sAkshAt janayitA savitA. SrImadSrImushNam ANDavan refers us to the upanishad mantra "so'kAmayata| bahu syAm prajAyeyeti |" (taittirIya. Ananda. 6) Hewilled : May I become many. May I be born.
SrI kRshNan stresses the importance of theword `sAkshAt' in SrIBhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam. When it is stated that bhagavAn is the Creatorofeverything in all the worlds, some may have a doubt that the four- facedbrahmA is the true creator. SrI kRshNan points out that there aretwo aspects to sRshTi a-dvAraka sRshTi, and sa-dvAraka sRshTi.
nammAzhvAr, in many of his tiruvAimozhipASurams, repeatedly remindsus that bhagavAn is the true Creator, Protector and Destroyer. Oneamongthese is pASuram 1.5.3, where AzhvAr refers to bhagavAn's actionof creating brahmA and delegating the further responsibility toHim for subsequent creation: nI yOnigaLaip paDai enRu niRai nAnmuganaippaDaittavan.
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN uses the pAThamsa-pitA, and interpretsthe word `sa-pitA" as two nAma-s: sa, and pitA. This interpretationmight have been chosen because of the next nAma (pra-pitAmahaH,meaning "Great Grandfather". But for thenAma pita, he essentially the same interpretation as SrI BhaTTar has given forthe nAma `savitA', namely, The Father of all, or the Creator of all "teshAmjanakatvAt pitA". We already noted earlier that SrI ananta kRshNaSAstry also has used the same pATham, and his interpretation isalso same.
om prapitAmahAya namaH.
SrI vAsishTha starts the derivation of thenAma from the root pA rakshaNe to protect. The word pitR (father) is derived byapplicationof the uNAdi sUtra 2.95. pitAmaha refers to father's father(pANini 4.2.36). `pra' is added to pitAmaha in the sense of`gone', or `previous' (pANini. 2.2.18), leading to the nAma `pra- pitAmahaH' Great grand-father pitAmahInAmapi pitA pra-pitAmahaH.
The four-faced brahmA is called pitAmaha orgrand-father because hecreated the prajApati-s, the first beings, who thencreated all the other prajA-s all the other beings. amarakoSavyAkhyAnam gives the definition for pitAmaha as "agnishvAttAdipitRRNAm pitA pitAmahaH (the term agnishvAtta is given the meaning `tasted bythe funeral fire' by Monier-Williams; thus, the amarakOSadescription refers to brahmA as the father of all our forefathers who aredead and gone from time immemorial). Since bhagavAn is the Fatherof this catur- mukha brahmA, He is called "pitAmahasya pita orprapitAmahaH".
SrI satya sandha tIrtha explains the nAmaas:
In several places in tiruvAimozhi,nammAzhvAr refers to bhagavAnbeing the Creator of catur-mukha brahmA first, and then entrustingbrahmA tobe the creator of the rest of the beings such as the prajApati-setc. For instance, in tiruvAimozhi pASuram 1.5.3, AzhvAr says:
mA yOnigaLAi naDai kaRRa vAnOr palarummunivarum
BhagavAn created brahmA, endowed him withadequate knowledge, andassigned the function of subsequent creation to him so that he couldthencreate all the deva-s , Rshi-s etc, with their superior knowledgeand powers.
Sri Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is:
Just to give a feel for how some vyAkhyAnakartA-s look for hiddenmeanings in their interpretations, the following is by SrI raghunAthatIrtha:
om yaj~nAya namaH.
We studied this nAma in Slokam 48 (nAma446).
The nAma is derived from the root yaj
Several interpretations are possible:
A Slokam from the gItA captures the abovethought:
brahmArpaNam brahma haviH brahmAgnaubrahmaNA hutam |
"Brahman is the instrument to offerwith; Brahman is the oblation;By Brahman is the oblation offered into the fire ofBrahman; Brahman alone is to be reached by him who meditates on Him inhis works".
For the instance of this nAma in Slokam 48,SrI BhaTTar comments thatbhagavAn is the object of all yaj~na-s, the Bestowerof benefits of the yaj~na-s, the aids for the performance of theyaj~na, etc., and so He is called yaj~naH "yaj~na, tat sAdhana,tat-phalAvadhitvena pratipAditaH | ato yaj~naH |". SrI BhaTTar givesthe following from vishNu purANa in support, where the ijyA or sacrificeis described as the basis for all the sustenance of all the threeworlds:
tataSca ijyA Ahutir-dvArA poshitAstehavir-bhujaH |
"The gods, who are the receivers ofthe oblations, being nourished bythe offerings in the fire, cause the rains tofall for the support of the created brings".
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to the gItA,where Lord kRshNa declaresthat He is the basis of everything that constitutes the yaj~na:
aham kratur_aham yaj~naH svadhAham ahamaushadham |
"I am the kratu the jyotisThomaand other vedic sacrifices. Ialone am the Great sacrifice. I am the offering to the manes. I amthe herb.I am the mantra. I am Myself the clarified butter. I am thefire, and I am the oblation".
Again, in Slokam 8.24, Lord kRshNadeclares:
aham hi sarva yaj~nAnAm bhoktA caprabhureva ca |
"I am the only enjoyer and the onlyLord of all sacrifices. They donot recognize Me in My true nature, and hence they fall".
SrI BhaTTar also refers us to the SrutivAkya
For the current instance of the nAma, SrIBhaTTar explains thatbhagavAn serves the function of the yaj~na for those who do not havethe meansto perform proper yaj~na-s, but who just do His nAma japa instead svArAdhana dharma samRddhi riktAnAm tad-arthinAm svyameva yaj~naH To those devotees who wish to attain Him, and therefore wantto perform ArAdhanA (worship) of the Lord, but have no physical andmaterial wherewithal, the Lord Himself stands as the japa yaj~na, namely,He is pleased with the japa which itself is a yaj~na.
SrI veLukkuDi kRshNan notes that someprevious nAma-s (sapta-jihvaH,saptaidhAH etc.) have dealt with the subject ofyaj~na also, but these were directly related to bhagavAn being thesupport for those who are capable of performing yaj~na in theprescribed way. However, the current series of nAma-s deal with bhagavAn'ssupport for those who do not have the means to perform yaj~na-s in theprescribed manner.
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN's interpretationis along similar lines "aki'ncanAnAm tat-tad-ArAdhana upakaraNatvAt yaj~naH" Since He serves as the means for those who are otherwise not in a position toworshipHim, He is called yaj~naH.
SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as "evamca yajyate sa'ngamyatedIyate ca yasmA iti nAnArtho yaj~na SabdaH" He Who isworshipped, to Whom all the benefits of all karma-s are dedicated, etc., is knownas yaj~naH.SrI vAsishTha further explains that all our actions are ultimatelyperformed for our Atma-prIti, and since bhagavAn is the antaryAmiof our AtmA, they are ultimately performed for His pleasure.
Several versions of Sri Sa'nkara'svyAkhyAnam are given: ya~jnasvarUpatvAt ya~jnaH; yaj~nAtmanA yaj~naH; sa'ngantA yaj~naH; etc.,all ofwhich explain the nAma as "One Who is of the form of yaj~na or sacrifice".
For the instance of the nAma in Slokam 48,Sri Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnamis: "sarva yaj~na svarUpatvAt yaj~naH |sarveshAm devAnAm tushTikArako yaj~na AkAreNa pravarta iti vA |" All sacrifices are His form, or because He exists as sacrifice in orderto please all the gods".
One of the meanings for the root yaj thatwe have seen above is yaj sa'ngati to associate with. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri uses thismeaningand explains the nAma as "One who associates the karma-s of thejIva-s with their effects".
For the instance of the nAma in Slokam 48,SrI baladeva vidyAbvhUshaN refers to bhagavAn's birth to ruci and AkUti as yaj~na rucipatnyAm AkUtyAm yaj~na nAmA AvirbhUtatvAt yaj~naH.
In Slokam 48, SrI raghunAtha tIrtha usesthe pATham in which hetreates "yaj~na ijyaH" as one nAma, and explains the nAma asOne who is worshipped in sacrifices "yaj~ne ijyaH stutyaH pUjyaH itiyaj~na-ijyaH.
SrI cinmayAnanda defines the term yaj~na as"work undertaken with apure spirit of total dedication in completecooperation with others, and for the well-being of all creatures and for thewelfare of the world". He then comments that whenever there issuch a cooperative endeavor with total selflessness, there is SrImannArAyaNa in action through His creatures, and this is why He is calledyaj~naH.
om yaj~na-pataye namaH.
The term yaj~na has been discussed above.SrI vAsishTha indicatesthe root "pA rakshaNe - to protect, to rule", for thederivation of the word patiH. The term `pati' also means"Lord, Master". The interpretations are based on either of thesetwo meanings.
SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as
Lord kRshNa declares in the gItA:
aham hi sarva-yaj~nAnAm bhoktA caprabhureva ca | (gItA9.24)
"I am the only enjoyer and the onlyLord of all sacrifices".
Sri Sa'nkara gives the above as support,and his interpretationincludes both protection aspect as well as the aspect that bhagavAnis theLord of all yaj~na-s:
SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as
SrI cinmayAnanda continues with his broaderdefinition of yaj~na asgiven in the previous nAma, and explains the currentnAma as indicating that bhagavAn is the Enjoyer in all self-dedicated, co-operativeendeavors, and so He is called yaj~na-patiH. He points out thatin chapter 3 of the gItA, the term yaj~na is used in this sense.In particular, for the Sloka 3.9 below, his interpretations emphasizesthis point:
ya~jnArthAt karmaNo'nyatra lok'yam
"The world is bound by action otherthan performed for "the sake ofsacrifice"; do thou, therefore, O son ofkunti, perform action for the sake of ya~jna alone, free from allattachments".
He offers the additional explanation:"ya~jna here means only "anyself-sacrificing work undertaken in a spirit ofSelf-dedication, for the blessing of all" The following stanzasalso will become more and more clear only when we understand ya~jna as"any social, communal, national, or personal activity into which theindividual is ready to pour himself forth entirely in a spirit of serviceand dedication".
om yajvane namaH.
.SrI vAsishTha points to the pANini sUtra3.2.103, which explains theword yajvA as indicating a past signification One who hassacrificed.However, he notes that in the case of bhagavAn there isno limitation of time, and so the meaning should apply to the past,present, and future in other words,
SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as signifyingthat bhagavAn Himselfperforms sacrifice on behalf of those who are unable to perform theirrites, andgives the support from mahAbhArata in Lord kRshNa's own words:
teshAm tu pavanAya aham
"O yudhishThira! For the purificationof those who are unable toobserve the daily rites, I am Myself doing the yaj~na at both dawnand duskevery day. I never fail in carrying out this vow of Mine".
SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan points out thatthe reference here is tothe paramaikAntin-s who are unable to perform their nitya karma-sbecause ofsome inevitable disabilities. Thus, this does not absolve physicallycapable people from performing their nitya karma-s regularly.
SrI baladeva vidyAbhUshaN interprets thenAma along lines similar toSrI BhaTTar aSaktam aki'ncanam AviSya tat-tad-ArAdhanam nivartayansvyamevayajvA.
The term yajvA has the same meaning as theword yajamAna one whoperforms the sacrifice. Sri Sa'nkara explains the nAma as yajamAnAtmanAtishThan yajvA, where he interpets the terma yajmAna as the"Lord" of the yaj~na, which is also true. He supports thisinterpretationwith a reference to the gItA:
aham hi sarva yaj~nAnAm bhoktA caprabhureva ca | (gItA 9.24)
"I am the only enjoyer and the onlyLord of all the sacrifices".
SrI cinmayAnanda reminds us of the definition of yaj~na as given byhim for nAma 971, and notes that the current nAma stresses thatbhagavAnis "One who performs yaj~na according to the strict prescriptionslaid down in the Vedas the One Who maintains in all Hisdivine actions the true yaj~na spirit" in other words, He undertakesall His actions for the benefit of the creatures of this world.
One of the meanings of the root yaja is `togive (yaja deva pUjAsa'ngati karaNa yajana dAneshu to sacrifice, to make an oblation,to give,to associate with). SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses this meaning(yaja dAne to give), and interprets the nAma as yajate dattevarAn bhaktebhya iti yajvA He Who bestows His blessings on thedevotees is yajvA.
a) He for Whom the yaj~na performed by the devotees is an anga or
accessory to attain Him.
om yaj~nAngAya namaH.
SrI vAsishTha discusses the nAma in terms of the two parts of the nAma yaj~na and angaH. The derivation of the word yaj~na has been discussed before (to sacrifice). The term anga is derived from the root ang to go. anga also means a part or accessory. SrI BhaTTar's interpretation uses this meaning.
a) SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan explains the nAma as - yaj~nam angam asya iti yaj~nAngaH He Who is attained by the yaj~na-s (performed by those who are capable). The yaj~na-s such as bhagavad ArAdhanA etc., performed by the devotees are an upAyam or means in the form of an offering to Him, and He is the One Who is the angI or the final goal. SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is samarthAn anushThitamapi yaj~nAntaram asya SeshabhUtam iti yaj~nAngaH. He Who has the sacrifices of others as an accessory to what He is doing. The sacrifices performed by those who are capable of performing them, are all subservient to Him, namely, a means or an accessory to attain Him.
b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning parts for the term anga, and comments that this nAma of bhagavAn signifies that He is One Who is endowed with the divya avayava-s from His Lotus Feet to His divine Head that are worthy of worship yaj~nAni pUjanIyAni angAni caraNAdi mastakAntAni yasya iti yaj~nAngaH.
c) Sri Sankara interprets the nAma as - yaj~nA angAni yasya iti varAha mUrtiH yaj~nAngaH - One Whose different parts of the body- incarnate as varAha mUrti are associated with the different aspects of a yaj~na. He gives the passages from hari vamSa in support (hari vamSa 3.34-3.41), wherein the different parts of His body are associated with the different aspects of a yaj~na. His Feet are equated to the veda-s, knowledge to His face, fire to His tongue, darbha grass to His hair, the day and night to His eyes, the sacrificial ladle to His mouth, the great chants of sAmaveda to His talk, virtue and truth to His body, etc. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to a similar description of the varAha rUpa in SrImad bhAgavatam 3.13.34-39, where the divine form of varAha bhagavAn is compared to the different aspects of a yaj~na (e.g., His body is itself veda; the hairs of His body are like darbha-s; His eyes are havis or ghee; etc.
d) SrI vAsishTha notes that broadly, the term yaj~na can refer to all materials associated with a sacrifice ijyate yaH, ijyate yena, ijyate yasmai, ijyate yatra vA iti yajanIyaH, yajana sAdhanam havirAdi, yajan sampradAm uddeSo, yajan sthalAdikam ca sarvam yaj~na Sabdena gRhItama bhavati He for whom the sacrifice is done, he by whom the sacrifice is done, that for which it is performed, the place where the sacrifice is performed, in other words, the Lord who is worshipped through the sacrifice, the place of worship, the havis (ghee) etc. that are used in the sacrifice, etc. can all be indicated by the term yaj~na. The term yaj~nAngaH then can mean One Who makes it possible to attain all the above that are needed for the sacrifice, or One Who receives the offerings through the sacrifice (svayam yajanOyo yaj~narUpaH san yaj~na rUpANi havirAdIni yaj~na sthalam gatvA prApnoti iti yaj~nAngaH), Or One Who is attained through yaj~na (yaj~ne anganam = gatiH yasya, sa yaj~nAngaH, or yaj~naiH = yajana karmabhiH angaH = prAptiH yasya sa yaj~nAngaH)), etc.
Alternatively, SrI vAsishTha notes that the term anga can be taken to mean part, and since bhagavAn is the antaryAmi for all the aspects that are needed in a sacrifice, including the brahmA, the hotA, the adhvaryu, the havis, etc., He is also known as yaj~nAngaH.
om yaj~na-vAhanAya namaH.
The root from which the word vAhanaH is derived is vaha prApaNe to bear along, to carry, to flow.
SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as teshAm bhakti SraddhA adhikAra dAnena yaj~nam vAhayati iti yaj~na-vAhanaH He Who ensures the successful completion of a yaj~na undertaken by the kartA, by investing the kartA with the necessary power, faith and means to perform the yaj~na.
Thus, bhagavAn is the One Who bestows the benefits to those who are able to perform the yaj~na themselves (yaj~na-patiH), He is the One who performs the yaj~na for those who are unable to perform it themselves (yajvA), He is the One Who is to be attained by the yaj~nas that are performed (yaj~nAngaH), and He is the One Who gives the ability (Sakti), the interest (SraddhA)and the authority (adhikAra) to undertake the yaj~na-s.
SrI Sankaras interpretation is phalahetu bhUtAn yaj~nAn vAhayati iti yaj~na-vAhanaH He Who ensures the successful fruition of the yaj~na-s that are undertaken with good benefits in mind.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning vehicle for the term vAhana, and interprets the nAma as yaj~nam = pUjanIyam vAhanam = vainateyo yasya iti yaj~na-vAhanaH He Who has for His vAhana or vehicle, garuDa who is worthy of worship.