Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 28

28.257 - vRshAhI

a) One who shines in the form of dharma.b) One who makes His devotees shine like day because of their dharma.c) One who makes the day auspicious when the devotee approaches Him.d) One who reveals dharma.e) One who is the devatA for the vRshAha sacrifice.f) One who has the brightness of agni etc., or is the cause of the brightness of all objects Om vRshAhiNe namah. This nAma is interpreted differently by different vyAkhyAna-kartAs. The nAma is composed of two words, vRsha meaning dharma, and aha meaning day.One interpretation is that He shines bright like day because of His dharma. Or He makes those who adhere to dharma shine like day. Both these are given by SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri. SrI Bhattar's interpretation is that He is vRshAhI because the day on which a devotee approaches the Lord, is a day of auspiciousness -dharma, i.e., He has the day which is made auspicious because ofapproaching Him. SrI Sankara's interpretation for this is vRshah dharmah tadeva Ahah - One who reveals dharma. An alternate interpretation he gives is that vRshAha refers to a ten or twleve-day sacrifice, and He is vRshAhI because He is the performer or enjoyeras the devatA for the sacrifice. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the meaning "fire" or "agni" to theterm vRsha based on vRsho agnih samidhyate (Rg veda 3.27.14), anduses ahah to mean brightness or prakASa, and so gives the meaning thatbhagavAn has the brightness of agni and so is called vRshAhI. Hethen generalizes this and says that vRshAhI really refers to One whohas the brightness of anything that is bright, such as the Sun etc.,or in other words, their brightness is because of Him. So is thebrightness resulting from knowledge, brightness of life because of thejivAtmA, etc., which get their brightness from Him. He is the onlyone who has svayam-prakASa.

28.258 - vRshabhah

a) He who showers (His grace).b) He who shines because of His dharma.Om vRshabhAya namah. varshati esha bhaktebhyah kAmAn iti vRshabhah. He gives blessing toHis devotees and protects them from the fire of samsAra. He is alsovRshbha because He showers all that is desired by His devotees, e.g.,glowing health, burning devotion, etc. vRshAtmanA bhAti - One whoshines in the form of dharma, is the explanation given by SrIrAdhAkRshna SAstri. (dharma cakram): BhagavAn gives whatever is aspired by the beings,according to their efforts. Of these, the real wish should be torealize Him. All other wishes, while they will also be fulfilled byHim for those wish these lesser desires, will only result in sorrowafter the interim pleasure is over. The desire should be "acyutA!amarar ERE! Ayar tam kozhundE! ennum iccuvai tavira yAn pOy indiralOkam ALum acuvai perinum vEndEn".

28.259 - vishNuh

One who pervades everything.Om vishNave namah. This nAma occurred as nAma 2, and will re-occur as nAma 663. Theroot from which this nAma is derived is vish - to pervade. SrI BhaTTar gives the meaning that this pervasion is in the sense of association such as between fire and smoke. Wherever there is smoke there is fire, but when there is fire, smoke is not necessarily present (e.g., in the case of a red-hot piece of iron). So also, bhagavAn is there in association with His bhakta-s always, and rendersall kinds of help to His devotees as needed. It was mentioned in the introductory article to this series that thevyAkhyAna kartA-s give different interpretations to the same nAmadepending on the context. Since we are now dealing with the sequenceof nAma-s which describe the Lord's guNa of helping His devotees infulfilling their desired wishes, this new interpretation is given.

28.260 - vRsha-parvA

He who has provided the steps of dharma to reachHim.Om vRsha-parvaNe namah. vRsha is dharma as has been noted before. ParvA refers to steps. SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is that He is vRsha-parvA because Hehas revealed the steps ofvarNASrama dharma as the means to attain Him. Other vyAkhyAna kartA-shave included various steps such as j~nAna, bhakti, etc. as the stepsthat He has established. These include SravaNam, mananam, kIrtanam,sat-sangham, SraddhA, etc. These are like the steps of a ladder toreach Him.

28.261 - vRshodarah

One who has dharma as His mid-region or belly.Om vRshodharAya namah. Different interpretations are given for this nAma. One is that He isthe receiver of all the offerings through yag~na etc., and so He isthe one with the udara that receives all offerings of dharma. Theother is that creations of those who observe dharma such as Brahmaoriginate from His belly. The third is that this is where He keepsall the beings at the time of pralaya, and this is where everythingoriginates at the time of re-creation. In this context, the meaning"shower" is used for the word vRsha. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha continues to interpret all the previousnAma-s and the current one using the meaning "agni" for the word"vRsha". Thus, He is the One who has agni in His stomach. This isknown even for humans that we have the "agni" (the acid) that digestsour food, there is agni in the centre of the earth, in the centre ofthe sun, the Oceans, etc. These are reflections of the principle ofbhagavAn as vRshodara.

28.262 - vardhanah

He who nourishes.Om vardhanAya namah. vardhayati iti vardhanah. One who augments, increases, or nourishes. Following up on the interpretation of the previous nAma, SrI Bhattarinterprets this nAma as One who keep the beings in His womb like amother and nourishes them. SrI P. B. aNNa~ngarAcArya svAmi gives themeaning that he is vardhana because he 'grows' those who have resortedto Him more and more (towards the spiritual path?). SrI rAdhAkRshNaSAstri gives the example of the offer of one handful of 'aval' - aform of compacted rice, by His friend kucela, which was augmented somuch in return that kucela became richer than kubera. So is theoffer of patram, phalam, pushpam, toyam, etc. that we make to Him. Thus He is vardhana because an offer of the size of an atom to Himwith devotion results in a mountain of return and protects Hisdevotees like a mother. The dharma cakram writer points out thatwhile everyone takes all the efforts to grow his body and his wealth,the real effort should be in growing the j~nAna and bhakti, and Hehelps those who are devoted to Him in this area, and so He isvardhana.

28.263 - vardhamAnah

He who grows.Om vardhamAnAya namah. In the previous nAma we saw that He makes things grow. In this nAma,it is indicated that He Himself grows as a result or simultaneously. SrI BhaTTar interprets vardhamAnah as one who grows happy as He seesHis devotees grow. Or He keeps growing in spite of His bestowing allthat anyone asks for. SrI cinmayAnanda points out that this name isindicative of the vAmana incarnation in which He continued to grow tocover the three worlds. SrI Sankara's interpretation is "prapa~ncarUpeNa vadhate iti vardhamAnah - One who grows or multiplies Himselfin the form of the Universe". SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri indicates thatthe 'ca' at the end of vardhamAnah is because He grows at the samefast rate at which the Universe is growing.

28.264 - viviktah

He who is unique.Om viviktAya namah. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the root vij - pRthakbhAve to separateor to distinguish as the etymological basis for this nAma. He gives asimple example of a machinist who makes machines but is separate fromit. So also bhagavAn creates all the beings and keeps them in shapeand in action, but is unique and separate from them. He gives theexample of two birds in a tree, one enjoying the fruits and the otherwatching and observing, which we have referred to before (dvA suparNAsayujA sakhAyA etc. - Rg veda 1.164.20). This author (SrI vAsishTha) has composed one Slokam of his own as the explanation for each Slokam of sahasranAma, and I am just sharing one example here:"sRTvA jagat sarva-vidham vidhAtA svayam vivikto hyajaro'marah sah| sahasra-SIrshA sa sahasra-dRshTih sa sarva-bandhuh sa pRthak ca dRSyAt||BhagavAn is unique in many ways. He is untouched by the effects ofaction unlike His creations (nirlipta). He is unique because Hisactivities are extra-ordinary and superior to those of others in theworld (SrI BhaTTar). Or it may mean that He remains unique anddistinct even though He pervades the Universe as described inprevious nAma-s (SrI Sankara). He is also unique because He isbeyond our ability to be recognized by our intellect and logicalanalysis alone (SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri; also recall the ISAvAsyaupanishad Slokam 4 - anejadekam manaso javIyo ....).The dharam cakram writer points out that this quality of being outsideof, and unaffected by, our surroundings, is the true basis ofaccomplishing our mission in life viz. realizing the paramAtmA. If wedo not get swayed by the pa~nca indriya-s, then in spite of living inthe midst of all the noise and pleasures around us, we will be able tohave control of our mind and divert it to the service of mahA vishNu. This is the significance and lesson to take from this nAma.

28.265 - Sruti-sAgarah

He who is the sea where all veda-s take us.Om Sruti-sAgarAya namah.Srutayah sAgara iva atra nidhIyante iti SrutisAgarah. Just as the ocean is the final destination for all the rivers, so also all theveda-s lead us to Him, and He is thus Ocean for the Sruti-s (Sruti-sAgarah). SrI BhaTTar refers us to SrImad bhAgavatam (2.5.15)- nArAyaNa parA vedAh - The veda-s only speak of nArAyaNa, and to the gItA 15.15 - vedaiSca sarvaih ahameva vedyah - "I am the only one that is to be realized through all the veda-s".