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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 39



357. atulahThe Incomparable.om atulAya namahReaders may be familiar with the word "tulA", which is used to refer to abalance. atulah is One who has no equal. tulopamAnam asya na vidyata itiatulah - There is nothing known that is comparable to Him. SrI Sankaragives the following references - "na tasya pratimA asti yasya nAma mahadyaSah" - For Him whose name is Great Glory, there is no likeness -SveTasva. upa. 4.19; "na tvat-samo'sti abhyadhikah kuto'nyah" - gItA 11.43- There is no one equal to You, where is the question of someone exceedingYou? SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to tiruvAi mozhi - tan oppAr il appan -6.3.9.The dharma cakram writer reminds us that the One who should be praised by usis mahA vishNu, and not people around us for the benefit of some favor.Those who do the former raise to the level that they praise Him, and thosewho do the latter fall further from where they are. This is thesignificance of this nAma for real life.

358. Sarabhah

a) The Destroyer (of those who transgress the bounds ofethics). b) One who shines as the Inner Self.om SarabhAya namah.a) SRNAti iti Sarabhah (SrI BhaTTar). The interpretation is based on theverb SR - to injure, to destroy.b) Sara means body for the following reason - SeeryaMANAt Sarah - That whichis perishable. BhA means to shine. .Sarabhah thus refers to One who shinesin the body (SrI Sankara, SrI cinmayAnanda etc.). SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstrirefers us to Sarabhopanishat (30) - SarA jIvAs-tadan~ngeshu bhAti nityamharih svayam | brahmaiva Sarabha sAkshAt.SrI SAstri also gives an alternate interpretation - Sara refers to an arrow,but if this body is aimed at bhagavAn, then even the perishable body shines,because He shines in that body.

359. bhImah

The Formidable.om bhImAya namah.bibhyati iti bhImah. The nAma is derived from the verb bhI - to fear. Thewhole world operates in an orderly way in fear of violation of His will.bhIshA'smAt vAtah pavate - The wind does not transgress its bound out offear from Him (taittirIya AraN 8). Also from kaThopanishad we have"bhayAdeva agnistapati bhayAt tapati sUryah | bhayAt indraSca vAyuScamRtyur-dhAvati pa~ncamah || (2.6.3) - Only out of fear from Him the fireburns, the sun blazes, indra and vAyu discharge their duties, and death, asthe fifth, runs (performs its duties). The same idea is expressed in thebrahma sUtra 1.3.40 - kampanAt.SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to the terror He created in the heart ofhiraNyakaSipu. We have in tiruvAi mozhi 7.6.8 - ari kAN nariyAi arakkarULaiyiTTu anRu ila~ngai kaDandu pilambukkoLippa - He made the rAkshasa-s inlankA run and hide for cover like the wolves on seeing a lion.The dharma cakram writer points out that as long as there are beings who donot have God realization, the only thing that keeps them under control isfear, and once they have realized Him, they do not have anything to fear.SrI Sankara has also considered an alternate pATham - viz. abhIma - One whocauses no fear to those who follow the proper path.

360. samayaj~nah

The Knower of the conventions.om samayaj~nAya namah.He is samayaj~na since He establishes the rules e.g., that when the fireburns, the flame goes upwards, and also at the time of creation after thepralaya, He establishes the path of the Sun, the moon and the planets -sUryA-candramaso dhAtA yathApUrvam akalpayat (tai. nArA. 1).SrI Sankara refers to His knowing the methods and timing of the acts ofcreation, preservation, and dissolution of the Universe. Another way he hasinterpreted this nAma is as sama yaj~nah - One who has the yaj~na orobservance of treating everyone equally without showing preferentialtreatment. He gives reference to vishNu purANam - samatvam ArAdhanamacutasya (1.17.90).SrI BhaTTar also offers an alternate interpretation - He knows the propertime when He should offer Himself to the devotees, or the proper time whenHe should fulfil the vow of protection He has taken.SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to the incidence of nRsimha avatAra, wherebhagavAn knew exactly when to appear in the pillar - iraNiyan tUN puDaippaa~ngu appozhudE avan vIyat tOnRiya en Si~ngap-pirAn - tiruvAi mozhi - 2.8.9.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri describes six kinds of strategies that a king issupposed to adopt in warfare, including when to fight, when to compromise,when to seek another's help, when to let two adversaries collide with eachother and thus weaken themselves, when to attack, and when to wait for theattack. He points out that Lord kRshNa amply demonstrated these differenttechniques when He guided the pANDava-s in their war with the kaurava-s, andthis is an explanation for this nAma.SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is the onlyone who knows the past, present and future, the changes in climate, the pathof the planets, when the beings will be born and in what body, when thisbody will die, etc.The dharma cakram writer adds more dimension to the anubhavam of this nAmaby pointing out that bhagavAn knows when He needs to appear among us in Hisincarnations (dharma samsthApanArthAya sambahavAmi yuge yuge). He also knewwhen to send kunti to karNa to get him to promise that he won't attempt tokill any pANDava other than arjuna, etc.

361. havir-harih

Hari who is the recipient of the havis offered in theyaj~na.om havir-haraye namahThis nAma has been considered as two separate nAma-s by somevyAkhAna-kartA-s. So we will look at the interpretation for havir-harih,havih, and harih.havis is the name given to the offering in a yAga. So one interpretationfor this nAma is Hari or vishNu who is the ultimate acceptor of theofferings - yaj~neshu havir-bhAgam harati iti havir-harih. SrI Sankaragives reference to the gItA - aham hi sarva yaj~nAnAm bhoktA ca prabhurevaca (9.24).The word havis is derived from the root hu, which means both "to accept" and"to offer". He both enjoys His devotees, and is the subject of enjoyment byHis devotees, and thus again He is havir-harih. The word "harih" is derivedfrom the root hR - to obtain. One who is obtained by offering of havis ishavir-harih.Also we have in mahA bhArata - hrAmyagham ca smartR*NAm havirbhAgam kratushvaham | varNaSca me haridveti tasmAd harir_aham smRtah ||(SAnti parva 330.3) "I destroy the sins of those who remember Me, and also receive theoblations in sacrifices; My complexion also is blue; hence I am namedHari".harih also means one who removes the obstacles - harir harati pApAni.The following nAma-s, up to 379, are interpreted by SrI BhaTTar in thecontext of the lakshmI-patitvam (vishNu as the Consort of Lakshmi) ofbhagavAn para-vAsudeva.

362. sarva-lakshNa-lakshaNyah

a) He who is the abode of all the auspiciousqualitiesb) He who is the ultimate definition of all good qualitiesc) He who is pointed to as the Ultimate Truth through allanalysisd) He who reveals Himself through everything around usom sarva-lakshaNa lakshaNyAya namah.SrI BhaTTar gives the following dhyAna Sloka that identifies some of thesedistinguishing marks. "dhyAyet kamala-garbhAbham devam lakshmI-patim tatah | kamalAlaya hetISa vibhUshita kara-dvayam|| "One should meditate on that Deity who is the Consort of Lakshmi,who has the splendor of the inner part of a lotus, and whose two hands areadorned by the lotus which is the abode of Lakshmi and cakra which is thelord of all weapons".He also gives reference to the mantra "puNDarIkAksha! sakala-sukha saubhAgyavAridhe!" - Oh the Lotus-eyed Lord! The Sea of Bliss and Good Fortune!SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to other examples from divya prabandham -alarmEl ma~ngai uRai mArbA! nigar-il pugazhAi! ulagam mUnRu uDaiyAi!;tiruvin maNALan - tiruvAi mozhi 1.9.1. He also refers us to vishNu purANam- paSyatAm sarva-devAnAm yayau vaksha-sthalam hareh - When the nectar byname Lakshmi came out of the Milky Ocean when it was churned, She chose thevaksha-sthalam of mahA vishNu straight out of the Ocean even though all thedeva-s were standing there; such are His lakshaNa-s or attributes.SrI Sankara's interpretation is He is the lakshaNya or end result that isobtained through all lakshaNa-s or pramANa-s. i.e., all means ofinvestigation ultimately lead to Him as the Supreme Knowledge or theUltimate Truth.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out that bhagavAn is the ultimate definitionfor each and every lakshaNa or attribute, and so He is sarva-lakshaNalakshaNyah.The dharma cakram writer points to four types of pramANa-s which are usedfor recognizing something. These are: prakyaksha pramANa (recognitionthrough our senses, such as taste, touch etc.), yukti pramANa (recognitionthrough indirect evidence - such as recognizing fire through smoke), SAstrapramANa (what is laid down in scriptures, and anubhava pramANa (what weexperience ourselves, e.g., head ache). He gives the example of rAmakRshNaparamahamsa who recognized God as the Only Truth through all thesepramANa-s. He could talk to God, he could not live without the thought ofGod just as we can't live without air, he recognized him through theSAstra-s, and in essence he recognized God as the ultimate Truth through allthe pramANa-s.SrI satyadevo vAsishTha describes this nAma's significance by pointing outthat He is sarva-lakshaNa lakshaNya since everything that we see points toHim as the reason behind it. He defines Himself through everything that wecan see or otherwise recognize.

363. lakshmIvAn

He who is always with Lakshmi.om lakshmIvate namahProf. SrInivAsa rAghavan, in his translation of SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAna,adds a personal note that this tattvam, viz. the association betweenbhagavAn and Lakshmi, should be learned through an AcArya. I am stilladding the few words that I am picking up from the translation.There are two things that are eternal and always existed and will alwaysexist, without beginning or end. One is bhagavAn. The other is prakRti,the Primordial Matter that is the material from which all the things in thisUniverse are created. This Primordial Matter signifies Lakshmi, theUniversal Mother. The Universe is a result of the Union of these two.Neither exists without the other. There is change in the svarUpam of theprakRti depending on the proportion of the three guNa-s viz. sattva, rajsand tamas, but prakRti does not end at the time of pralaya, nor does itbegin at the beginning of the world. The mUla-prakRti which isbeginningless and endless just like bhagavAn, is none other than Lakshmi.SrI BhaTTar has given the following Sloka in support - "dvayam devI-pariNaye leelayaiva samarpayan | prakASayan anAditvam AtmanA prakRthe saha || mat-karaih anuviddheyam prakRtih prAkRtaih aham | yato'ham ASritaSca asyA mUrtih mayi etat AtmikA || "At the time of my marriage with Lakshmi, I in a playful mood,revealed the secret to all that the Supreme Reality is a couple, and notnArAyaNa alone, nor Lakshmi alone. Then I also revealed that like MyselfLakshmi is also beginningless (i.e. eternal). This prakRti was embraced byMy hands, and I by Her hands; wherefore I have resorted to Her, and She, inHer turn, has resorted to Me. (So we are always together".SrI cinmayAnanda echoes the same spirit through the following words: "He isthe Spirit (purusha) that thrills the entire world-of-matter (prakRti).Matter thrilled with the spirit is the dynamic world that we see around.Thus, the manifested Lord is ever wedded to Lakshmi".

364 - samti~njayah

He who is victorious in battles.om samiti~njayAya namah.One meaning for the word samiti is battle. samitim yuddham jayati itisamiti~njayah - He who conquers the wars or battles (SrI Sankara). He isthe destroyer of all pain in all the devotees. He helps overcome the feelingof independence from Him in the jIvAtmA-s, and thus brings true happiness tothem by winning over their minds (SrI BhaTTar).SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri uses the meaning "gathering" or "assembly" for theword samiti, and gives the meaning that bhagavAn wins over the samiti nomatter how large it is, if it is ganged up against Him.-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan