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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 31


amR^itaaMshuudbhavo bhaanuH shashabinduH sureshvaraH
aushhadhaM jagataH setuH satyadharmaparaakramaH .. 31..

Om amRtAmSUdbhavAya namah 
Om bhAnave namah 
Om SaSabindave namah 
Om sureSvarAya namah 
Om aushadhAya namah 
Om jagatas-setave namah 
Omsatya-dharma-parAkramAya namah.

284.amRta-amSu-udbhavah

The source of nectar-rayed moon. Om amRtAmSUdbhavAya namah. ThisnAma consists of three words - amRta, amSu, and udbhavah. amRta means immortalor life-giving, amSu refers to rays, and udbhavah is one who created. Both SrIBhaTTar and SrI Sankara have interpreted this as referring to the creation ofthe moon by the Lord during the churning of the Milky Ocean. This is generallythe interpretation that most other authors have accepted. SrI cinmayAnanda givesreference to the gItA to point out how the moon's rays are life-giving to theplants - pushNAmi caushadhIh sarvAh somo bhUtvA rasAtmakah - I become thelife-giving rays of the moon and make all the plants grow and flourish. SrIsatyadevo vASishTha has given an independent interpretation. He uses the meaningliquid or "jalam" for the word amRta, and the meaning"distribute" from amSu - vibhAjane to distribute, and gives theinterpretation that the name means that He created the life-forms bydistributing the waters or amRta. He gives the example of how the life-form iscreated in the mother's womb floating in the waters, and how lthe physical bodyis kept healthy and well-nourished by drinking the water and eating the food.

285. bhAnuh

The lustrous Sun or One who is Radiant. Om bhAnave namah. BhAtiiti bhAnuh - That which shines or One who shines. BhagavAn is the source ofradiance to the Sun itself. The passage from muNDakopanishad - tameva bhAntamanubhAti sarvam, tasya bhAsA sarvamidam vibhAti -(muNda - 2.2.10). He illuminesHimself, and illumines everything else in this world as well, including the Sun,whose lustre is one-thousandth of His lustre. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha alsopoints out that He is the lustre in all of us by being the agni or fire in allbodies. As long as this agni is lit in our body, we are healthy; when the firesubsides, the body is non-functional (death of the body occurs). So He is thebhAnu in all of us. The dharma cakram author reminds us that the light of theSun can only give external light, but cannot help in revealing the paramAtmA orthe Supreme Soul. This can be done only by the paramAtmA or bhAnu.

286. SaSabinduh

a) He who disowns the evil-minded. b) The Moon c) One whocontrols the paths of the planets and the stars. Om SaSabindave namah. SrIBhaTTar derives the interpretation from SaSa - pluta gatau - to swerve or jumpfrom the right path, and bindu derived from bidi - to disown. SrI Sankara hasinterpreted the nAma as referring to the moon. The interpretation given is - Onewho has the mark of a hare - viz. the moon. This is based on the words SaSameaning hare,and bindu meaning a dot. Since the moon has a mark which looks likea hare, this interpretation is given. SrI sataydevo vAsishTha has used the nAmaas SaSa-vinduh instead of SaSa-binduh. He uses the meaning for SaSa as thatwhich leaps or moves around, from the root SaS - pluta-gatau. For vindu hederives the meaning from the root vid - j~nAne - to know ( based on the pANinisUtra vinduricchuh - 3.2.167) - vinduh = vedana SilAh - intelligent. Thus forthe nAma SaSavinduh, the meaning given is One who knows (controls) the paths ofall the planets and stars (the Sun, the moon, etc.).

287. sureSvarah

The Lord of the gods. Om sureSvarAya namah. SurANAm IsvarahsureSvarah - One who is the Leader of all the gods. Just as He disowns those whogo in the wrong path (previous nAma), this name says that he is the Leader ofthose who tread the good path. The word sura itself is composed of su - Sobhana,and rA - dAnah i.e., one that brings or bestows auspicious or good things. Onewho is the Lord of those who bestow auspiciousness or do good in plenty issureSvara. The dharma cakram writer reminds us that the significance of thisnAma is that by worshipping mahA vishNu who is the sureSvara, we will movetowards the path of the sura-s.

288. aushadham

The Medicine. Om aushadhAya namah. He is the Ultimate Medicinefor the poison of samsAra, and there is no other medicine for this. InmahAbhArata we have "devA devarshayaScaiva yam viduh duhkha bheshajam"-The gods and the celestial sages know Him to be the remedy for distress - Santiparva 79-22. Another quote in SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam (the source is not given)is "ekAgratA mUlya balena labhyam bhavaushadham tvam bhagavan! kilaikah"- Oh BhagavAn! Thou alone art verily the recipe for the samSAra, and can beobtained by the high price of the concentration of the mind on Thee". Dr.V. V. rAmAnujan has given the following reference from divya prabandham insupport of the interpretation of this nAma - "tE~ngOda vaNNan varu naragamtIrkkum marundu" - 3rd tiruvandAdi - 3. The dharma cakram writer points outthat BhagavAn who is Nature Incarnate is aushdham in day-to-day life as wellsince inhaling the fresh air of nature, eating food which is not synthetic,etc., lead to a healthier life.

289. jagatah-setuh

a) The barrier for the world. b) The brodge for corssing theocean of samsAra. c) One who binds and keeps in-tact all that moves in thisworld. Om jagatah-setave namah. He is the barrier that ensures that there isorder in the different things in this world, by making sure that the good andbad do not mix together in a chaoatic way. He ensures that there is no effectfor the karma that is not undertaken, there is always effect for the karma thathas been undertaken. Those who do good get the benefit for their good and thosewho indulge in bad deeds get the benefit of their bad deeds, etc. The passagefrom bRhadAraNya upanishad is given in support of this interpretation - eshahsetuh vidharaNa eshAm lokAnAm asambhedAya - 6.4.22 (He is the bridge thatsupports all the worlds so that they may not get into confusion). SrI Sankaragives an additional interpretation, viz. that He is the bridge for crossing theocean of samsAra. SrI satdevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that BhagavAnties together all that exists in this world. This includes the function ofholding together the different bones, nerves, and muscles in the body, as wellas the system of stars and planets. Jagat is derived from gati - that whichmoves, and setu - that which binds. He is the setu in all bodies, and inaddition holds all these bodies and other things that exist in this worldtogether in order, and thus He is hagatah-setu. The dharma cakram writer givesthe example of a river which is bound by its banks and kept in control, or theocean which is bound by the land surrouding it and kept under control. So also,BhagavAn has kept the jivAtmA under control by limiting it to the indriya sukhamand the ocean of samsAra. It is only mahA vishNu who can help this jIvAtmA outof these bounds, and it is by meditating on Him that the jIvAtmA can getliberated and cross the ocean of samsAra.

290.satya-dharma-parAkramah

One whose qualities and valor are always true. Omsatya-dharma-parAkramAya namah. Here dharma refers to the auspicious qualitiesof BhagavAn, and parAkrama refers to His valor. One in whom they are neverfailing (satya) is satya-dharma-parAkramah. SrI cinmayAnanda interprets the nAmato mean that BhagavAn is one who embodies satya (truth), dharma (righteous), andparAkrama (heroism). In vAlmIki rAmAyaNa SrI rAma is referred to assatya-parAkramah - One whose parAkrama is never in vain, and is always used forthe good of the world. The writer in dharma cakram points out that the nAmatells us the importance of living a life of truth, righteousenss, and the valorresulting from this kind of life. Those who live a life along these lines arebound to succeed in what they do, as evidenced by the lives of HanumAn, Bhishma,etc. -dAsan kRshNamAcAryan