18.165 - vedyah
a) He who can be realized.
b) That which should be known or realized.
Om vedyAya namah.
veditum Sakyah vedyah, vedanArhatvAt vedyah, or veditum yogya iti vedyah. SrI chinmayAnanda interprets the word to mean "That which should be known - as the Ultimate Truth; having known which, everything else becomes known". This is supported by the following from the gItA - "vedaiSca sarvairahameva vedyah - I am the One who is to be known through all the veda-s" - gItA 15.15, and vedair_anekair-ahmeva vedyah - kaivalya 22.
18.166 - vaidyah
The knower of vidyA or knowledge.
Om vaidyAya namah.
The word vaidya is related to the word vidyA. One who right from the beginning of the world knew all the vidyA-s that went into the creation of this Universe is vaidya. It is not only that He is the knower, but no one else is the knower of creating all the wondrous and manifold objects in His creation. This is supported by "viSvAni deva vayunAni vidvAn" - yajur 7.43. He is the sarva-vidyA-maya vaidya. Also note "Isvarah sarva-vidyAnAm"- taittirIya AraNyaka 10.21.
The knowledge that we see displayed even in the insects, birds, etc., should be a constant reminder of the vaidya or All-knower that is bhagavAn, and should lead us to the constant awareness that it is His feet that we should worship.
SrI Bhattar points out that He knows the vidyA of releasing His devotees from the cycle of rebirth, and so He is vaidya.
In the traditional meaning of vaidya referring to a doctor, SrI chinmayAnanda points out that He is vaidya since He alone can doctor to the world's suffering from ego and ego-centric misconceptions. In SrI Bhattar's vyAkhyAna we find a supporting reference -
"meru mandara mAtro'pi pApasya karmaNah |
keSavam vaidyam AsAdya durvyAdhiriva naSyati (vishNu dharmam 69.110) -
One might have accumulated sins the size of the meru mountain; however if one worships keSava, the sins disappear just as the worst diseases disappear when treated by a good vaidya or doctor".
18.167 - sadA-yogi
a) One who is always awake with respect to His devotees.
b) One who unites this Universe as the sarva-vyApi
c) One who always follows the dhArmic way.
d) One who is in constant yogic meditation
e) One who always displays the samatva-bhAva, i.e., treats everyone equally.
Om sadA-yogine namah.
One explanation for this nAma is that bhagavAn is always attainable, and so He is sada-yogI. SrI Bhattar interprets the nAma to mean that He is awake at all times with respect to His devotees, and He is always awake as the antaryAmi in all of us.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives three different interpretations for this nAma - satah AyogI, sadA yogI, and sadA AyogI. Satas means equally, and Ayuj means to unite or to join. The roots from which from the nAma can be derived are also many - yugi varjane - to give up; yuj samAdhau - to concentrate the mind; yuj yoge - to unite; yuj samyamane - to join;
He is a sadA-yogi because He has always given up everything except the good and the just, the dharmic way. He is also a sadA-yogI because He unites this world into one through His sarva-vyApti, His pervasion into everything that exists - sadaiva yojayati samyamayati visvAn lokAn sa sadA-yogI. He is also a sada-yogI because He is constantly in yogic meditation, which is His nature. Yoga here can be interpreted as samatva-bhAva.
SadA yogah asya asti iti tam sadA-yoginam, sadA yoga Silam svabhAva-dharmANam vA.
The vyAkhyAna in dharma cakram (whose author is not identified) points out that people live one of three ways of life - a rogi, a bhogi, or a yogi. Of these, the life of a yogi (who spends his life by diverting his senses away from sense-enjoyment and towards the parama-purusha) is the one that leads to peace of mind and bodily health. The yogic state of mind is naturally attained by one who devotes one's mind to the worship of the Lord, the sadA-yogi.
18.168 - vIra-hA
The slayer of strong men of wicked nature.
Om vIraghne namah.
We may recollect "paritrRNAya sAdhUnAm vinASAya ca dushkRtAm" - 'For the protection of the good and the destruction of the wicked'. If the quality of being a vIra is used to commit adharma, bhagavAn destroys those vIra-s or rAkshasa-s.
SrI Bhattar interprets the vIra-s here as referring to people who are "kutarka-Sura-s" or those who put up false arguments to prevent people from meditating on Him. He refers us to the sloka-s in bhagavad gItA in Chapter 16 starting from sloka 16-8 and ending in 16-19, where bhagavAn gives a description of the kinds of behaviors that these kutarka-vAdi-s demonstrate - claiming that God does not exist, or claiming that they are the God, etc.
18.169 - mAdhavah
The propounder of the knowledge of the Supreme Being.
Om mAdhavAya namah.
The detailed interpretations for this nAma have been given earlier under nAma 73. Please refer to that description.
One who is like honey to His devotees.
Om madhave namah.
He is madhu because He creates Nectarine Bliss in the hearts of His devotees. He causes great satisfaction, like honey. We have from bRhadAraNya upanishad - ayamAtmA sarveshAm bhUtAnAm madhu - 2.5.14. We also have "thEnil iniya pirAne" as He is referenced by PeriyAzhvAr in his PoocchUttal.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha indicates that madhu also means knowledge (derived from man- ~jnAne to know), and He is madhu because He knows everything by His pervading everything - ~jnAna dharmeNa vyApnuvan sarvam viSvam manyate jAnAti, tasmAt sa madhuh. We have the yajurvedic mantra - tadantarsya sarvasya tadu sarvasyAsya bAhyatah - He is inside everything, and He is also outside of everything, and by virtue of this, He is ~jnAna mayam or Knower of everything.
The commentator in dharma cakram points out that madhu or honey is unique among all the edibles that when consumed, all of it is digested into the system with no waste products. He also points out that madhu is unique in that there is no ill-effect that results from its consumption, unlike some of the other edibles where an excessive consumption will lead to harmful effects. In our context, bhagavAn is the knowledge that is madhu, from which only good can result.
SrI Bhattar interprets the next several nAmas as descriptive of the six celestial qualities of bhagavAn - ~jnAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakti, and tejas.
18.171 - atIndriyah
He who is beyond the range of the sense organs.
Om atIndriyAya namah.
Only those objects that have a fixed shape, color, or other characteristics will be recognizable by the indriya-s or sense organs. He is beyond these sense-organs, and cannot be realized through these or through sheer reasoning. The only way to realize Him is to experience Him through pure devotion. The two mantra-s of ISAvAsya upanishad (anejadekam.., and tadejati tannaijati..) remind us of this quality of bhagavAn in simple words. In kaThopanisahd we have -
indriyebhyah parAhyarthA ...avyaktAt purushah parah |
aSabdam-asparSam-arUpam-avyayamtathArasam nityam-agandhavacca yat | (kaTho 1.3.10 etc.)
(He is soundless, untouched, formless, immutable, and so without taste, eternal, smell-less.)
SrI chinmayAnanda points out that it is not just He is beyond the reach of the sense-organs, but that the sense-organs don't exist without Him, and so cannot sense anything without His power. So He is the very subject of the sense-organs, and not the object of the sense-organs (the eye cannot see itself, but only its reflection in a mirror!).
He is also not seen by the indriya-s because He is not anywhere outside where the senses can sense Him, but is inside each of us in the cavity of our hearts where the senses cannot reach, the size of a thumb - angusTha mAtrena.
18.172 - mahA-mAyah
One who is possessed of wonderful power of enchantment.
Om mahA-mAyAya namah.
SrI Bhattar points out that this nAma signifies that He conceals Himself from those who are not devoted to Him through His power of enchantment. This is natural for one who is not within the reach of the senses-organs as we saw in the previous nAma. Lord KRshNa says in the gItA - mama mAyA duratyayA - My mAyA is very difficult to overcome - gItA 7.14). mAyA here is not to be interpreted to as magic or illusion or untruth, but as something wonderful and unusual. (sItA devi is referred to as devamAyA - janakasya kule jAtA devamAyeva nirmitA). The mAyA referred to here is that bhagavAn wonderfully conceals Himself from those who do not seek Him.
Other references to the sruti-s are - ati-mohakarI mAyA mama (Sarabha 24), vidyAt mAyinam tu maheSvaram (SvetASvatAra 4.10).
He of great enthusiasm.
Om mahotsAhAya namah.
SrI Bhattar points out that this nAma particularly indicates that unlike the Isvara of the sAnkhya system who is possessed of knowledge but is a non-doer of acts and is indifferent, Sri mahA vishNu is enthusiastic in performing acts which signify His lordship, such as the varieties of His creation, their sustenance etc. The mahotsAha is a guNa that bhagavAn has as an aiSvarya, with no dependence on anything else for support. Because of this, He is unceasingly creating, maintaining and withdrawing His creations, and managing the affairs of the Universe. SrI chinmayAnanda points out that this world will not exist without the endless enthusiasm of His Mighty Power. Just as the ocean, with its endless waves is the "sleepless agitator", so also bhagavAn is the Enthusiastic Accomplisher.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives a different interpretation to this nAma. He looks at this word as mahAn + ut+ sAhah - mahAntam uccaistamam sAhah, sahate, sAhayati, sahati vA sa mahotsAhah - One who has immense ability to endure. Here sAhah has the same meaning as sahah - sahati. He gives reference to the Rg vedic mantra nAkshastapyate bhUribhArah - 1.164.13 to support this interpretation. He supports the Sun, the Moon, etc., tirelessly, and He is also the self in every being that has been created, and it is His mahotsAha that is manifested in His act. His guNa of endurance is also noted through the yajurvedic mantra "saho'si saho mayi dehi (yajur 19/9)".
The word utsAhah traditionally means enthusiasm. The commentator in dharma cakram points out that of the three qualities, the rajas, tamas, and satva bhAva-s, actions that are done with enthusiasm and that benefit the rest of mankind are those that are done by those with the satva disposition. The actions by these are the ones that continue successfully, with full benefits to His subjects. It is good to remind ourselves in this context that He is pure Satva, and one way of offering worship to Him is to follow this model and lead a sAtvic life ourselves.
18.174 - mahA-balah
One with immeasurable strength - The Omnipotent.
Om mahAbalAya namah.
SrI Sankara's vyAkhyAna is
"balinAmapi balavatvAt mahAbalah - Being stronger than the strongest, He is mahAbalah".
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAStri gives several examples of this guNa of bhagavAn. RAvaNa went to the pAtAla loka to win over bali. BhagavAn wo had established Himself as the gatekeeper of bali temporarily made Himself invisible. RAvaNa tried to move the kundalam of hiraNyakaSipu which was lying at the doorstep as it has fallen from hiraNyakaSipu's ears at the time of his being slain by Lord nRsimha. RAvaNa's hands got caught under the kundalam. BhagavAn appeared on the scene, and kicked rAvaNa without effort and rAvaNa fell far far away.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha starts from the root bal - prANane to live or to breathe, and gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is mahAbalah because He makes the world live or supports the world. He points out that there are different kinds of balam, e.g., vidyA balam, senA balam, dhana balam, anna balam, etc., and bhagavAn is the One who is the bestower of all the balams (means of support) to the different devotees, and so He is mahA-balah.