Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 46

427. vistArah

a) He who spreads (the veda-s).b) He who is spread out in everything.c) He who expands to contain everything (at the time of pralaya).om vistArAya namahAfter destroying the kali yuga by force in His kalki incarnation, bhagavAnestablishes the kRta yuga and then spreads dharma through the veda-s.SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the mahAbhArata: tatah adharma vinASo vai dharma-vRddhiSca bhArata | bhavishyati kRte prApte kriyavAn ca janas-tathA ||(mahA. vana. 191.7)SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr - kaliyum keDum kaNDu koNmin;tiriyum kali-yugam nI~ngi devargaL tAmum pugundu peria kida yugampaRRip-pErinba veLLam peruga (tiruvAimozhi 5.2.1,2).SrI satyadevo vAsishTha points out that bhagavAn is vistArah because Hespreads Himself out in the form of all the beings He has created and all theobjects in the universe. Then at the time of pralaya, all these merge backinto Him, and He expands Himself to contain all the things. Thus the nAmavisTara applies both to His being spread out in all objects, and Hisspreading out to contain all the objects within Himself. SrI vAsishThagives reference to the yajur-veda - tadantarsya sarvasya tadu sarvasyAsyabAhyatah; ISAvAsyam idam sarvam yat-kim ca jagatyAm jagat; etc. He alsogives the example of a seed expanding to a tree, and the tree beingcontained in the seed back again.The dharma cakram writer adds another dimension to the anubhavam of thisnAma. He observes that the viSva-rUpa that bhagavAn showed to arujuna is anillustration of this nAma. This form with infinite faces, infinite eyes,with no beginning or end, with all the beings including all the deva-scontained in this form, with the Sun and the moon as His eyes, and with notop, middle or bottom, illustrates His nAma "vistArah". svAmi vivekAnandaonce made a statement to the effect that "Life is to expand", meaning thatwe get closer and closer to God by expanding our love to Him and our desireto reach Him. This is what the nAma "vistArah" should remind us.

428. sthAvar-sthANuh

a) He who is tranquil after establishing the dharma in kRta yuga.b) He in whom the earth etc. restc) He who is motionless, and in whom the earth etc. sthAvar-sthANave namah.SrI BhaTTa's vyAkhyAnam is "evam dharme sthAvari_kRte, Same sthAsyati itisthAvara-sthANuh", which supports interpretation a) above.SrI Sa~nkara interprets the nAma as "sthitiSIlah sthAvarah; sthitiSilAnipRthivyAdIni tishThanti asmin iti sthANuh; sthAvaraSca asau sthANuScasthAvara-sthANuh". This is translated slightly differently by two differentinterpreters. One is that the apparently motionless objects such as theearth etc., rest in Him. The other interpretation is that this nAma refersto "He who is firmly established, and in whom the apparently motionlessentities such as the earth are established, and He is both of these".SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation "He is both Firm (shtAvara) andMotionless (shtANuh)". He is motionless because He is All-pervading.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri explains sthAvara as referring to the pa~nca bhUta-sthat will continue till the time of pralaya, sthANuh as referring to Onewhose state does not change, and interprets sthAvara-sthANuh as referring toOne who does not change in His state, and in whom the changeless pa~ncabhUta-s exist. The tamizh word "tAvaram" is related to the samkRt word"sthAvara". SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that just as the road does not move eventhough people keep moving on it, and the mother walks but the child in herwomb does not walk with her, so also bhagavAn has created all that is aroundus but He Himself is sthAvarah.

429. pramANam

The pramANAya namah.The root from which the nAma is derived is mA mAne to measure, to comparewith. pramANam is that through which everything is ascertained. In thiscase it refers to bhagavAn who is the final proof or authority foreverything. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha points out that bhagavAn created thisUniverse the way He wanted, including the decision on how many speciesshould exist and what attributes they should have, etc., and so He is thepramANam or authority for everything.The nAma occurs again as nAma 959. SrI BhTTar interprets the currentoccurrence as referring to His being the authority to decide what is goodand what is bad for the people in the kRta yuga, after the kalkiincarnation.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri defines pramANam as that ability which helps usdecide between good and bad through data acquired using our sense organs(ears, eyes, etc.). BhagavAn is the One who controls this, and so He isHimself pramANam.

430. bIjam-avyayam

The Seed bIjAya avyayAya namah.The nAma is bIjam (seed) that is avyayam (imperishable). Because dharmagrows again and again from Him after the end of each yuga, He is theImperishable Seed (SrI BhaTTar).SrI Sa~nkara vyAkhyAnam is that He is the cause of everything withoutHimself undergoing any change (anyathA bhAvavyatih ekeNa kAraNam). Thedharma cakram writer gives a slightly different interpretation - Unlike someseeds which may not produce a tree and which may decay in the form of theseed itself, bhagavAn is the undecaying seed from which the Universeresults. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to gItA 9.18 - (aham)bijam-avyayam. SrI rAmAnuja bAshyam for this passage in gItA is "tatra tatravyaya-rahitam yat kAraNam tad aham eva" - "I alone am the imperishable seedthat is the exhaustless cause everywhere". SrI satyadevo vAsishTha refersus to the vedic passage "ajAyamAno bahudA vijAyate", which conveys a similarmessage. He also gives a passage from vaiyAkaraNa defining the term avyayam- sadRSam trishu li~ngeshu sarvAsu ca vibhaktishu | vacaneshu ca sarveshu yan-na vyeti tad-avyayam ||which can be approximately translated as "That which is equal andindistinguishable in the three genders and numbers as well as in its variousdeclensions".

431. arthah

The Goal - He who is sought arthAya namah.That which is obtained or desired to be obtained is "artha". SrI BhaTTarrefers us to gItA - "j~nAnavAn mAm prapadye vAsudeah sarvam iti" (7.19).SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is "sukha rUpatvAt sarvaih arthyata iti arthah" - Hewho is sought after by all as He is of the nature of bliss. SrIrAdhAkRshNa SAstri remarks that there are many things in this world whichare sought after with a view to deriving happiness, but they all end up inresulting in misery after they are acquired and enjoyed. Unlike these,bhagavAn is sought after by those who have the j~nAna to know that He is theonly one to be sought for permanent bliss.

432. anarthah

a) He who is not the goal for some.b) He who is self-fulfilled and does not have any other end to anarthAya namah.a) SrI BhaTTar explains that He is not sought after by those who have only alittle merit. They seek Him if at all, only for wealth. These are thosewho want to regain their lost wealth, those who wish to acquire new wealth,and those who seek the enjoyment of their own self (kaivalyam) withoutseeking kaimkaryam to bhagavAn.SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is that bhagavAn is completely fulfilled and so doesnot need any artha (i.e., He does not seek anything), and so He is anarthah.The dharma cakram writer has devoted about one-and-a-half pages to thisnAma, and nicely describes how the current-day human being goes to greatlengths to make himself/herself comfortable, and in the process keeps makinglife miserable. The needs just keep increasing the more new things areinvented. The atom bomb is invented, and instead of protecting man itbecomes a threat to worry about. More and more cosmetics are invented, andmore and more diseases result as a result of their use. More and morethings are invented to satisfy our taste buds, and more and more problemsresult because of over-consumption. This nAma should illustrate to us thatlife that does not keep multiplying our needs is the life that willultimately lead us to the mental state where we can contemplate on bhagavAn.

433. mahA-koSah

a) He who has a great treasure.b) He who is a Great Treasure.c) He who is shielded by the five koSa-s or mahA-koSAya namah.koSa means treasure. mahA-koSa refers to vast, inexhaustible treasure. Eventhough BhagavAn is giving away Himself and His belongings always to Hisdevotees in all ways, still it does not diminish. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refersus to "Unam il Selvam enko?", pointing to the undiminishing Affluence calledBhagavAn.SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that from this Great Treasure-chest(mahAkoSah) viz. bhagavAn, come out all these different worlds, and thedifferent life-forms in each of these worlds, but the Treasure-chest is notin anyway diminished by this. We see this demonstrated even in day-to-daylife, in that the waters of the ocean never diminish even though the wateris constantly evaporating. So also, the beings are born one from the otherjust because of the mahAkoSa.SrI Sa~nkara's interpretation is based on the meaning "shield" for koSa.This interpretation is that the real nature of the soul is shielded by thefive koSa-s, anna maya koSa, prANa maya koSa, mano maya koSa, vij~nAna mayakoSa, and Ananda maya koSa, and bhagavAn is the mahAkoSa who is shieldedfrom all except the yogi-s. The dharma cakram writer points out that bycontrol of our indriya-s we can cross the anna maya koSa, by control ofbreath we can cross the prANa maya koSa, by control of the mind the manomayakoSa is crossed, by channeling one's intellect and through control ofworldly desires and passions we can cross the vij~nAnamaya koSa, and throughmeditation on the Self we cross the Anandamaya koSa, and ultimately realizebhagavAn.

434. mahA-bhogah

He who has objects of great mahA-bhogAya namah.SrI BhaTTar: He who has objects of great enjoyment. Great sensualgratifications which have got to be acquired by means of wealth, they toocan be had from Him. The objects of desires that are obtained by theworship of indra and other gods is but a blessing of bhagavAn - "labhate catatah kAmAn mayaiva vihitAn hitAn" - gItA 7.22.SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr 3.10.3 - muttu il pal-bhOgattorutani-nAyakan - bhagavAn has limitless and unbounded bhoga-s.The dharma cakram writer points out that among the joys that one gets, thereare those which are conducive to desirable benefits, and there are thosewhich lead to misery as a result of the enjoyment. When one eats food forsatisfying hunger, this does not lead to suffering, but when one consumesfood to satisfy the taste buds, it is of the later kind. The enjoymentinvolving gambling, intoxicating drinks, stealing other's wealth, etc., arebought at the price of misery as a consequence. The term mahAbhogahindicates that bhagavAn is the source of the bliss that is the greatest ofall joys that lead to positive benefits, the one that leads to Selfrealization.

435. mahA-dhanah

He of great mahA-dhanAya namah.He is endowed with immeasurable and unlimited wealth to be given to thosewho need it. SrI BhaTTar quotes vishNu purANa - marIcimiSraih daksheNa tathaiva anyaih anantatah |dharmah prApatah tathA ca anyaih arthah kAmah tathA paraih || - vishNupurAna 1.18.23"dharma in an endless manner has been obtained from Him by the reveredmarIci, daksha, and others. Similarly wealth has been obtained from Him byothers. Likewise, by yet others kAma (the sensual enjoyment) has beenacquired".SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out that He is the possessor of the greatwealth that can be put in the mahAkoSa - great treasure chest (nAma 433),and that is needed for the mahAbhoga - great enjoyment (nAma 434).The dharma cakram writer discusses three kinds of wealth - material wealth,knowledge, and devotion. The first two can be attained by anyoneirrespective of their character etc. Those who have material wealth orknowledge are praised by the people of this world, and as a result getintoxicated with pride. But the third category of wealth is rewarded andpraised by bhagavAn, and does not lead to anything except bhagavAn Himself.Lord rAma during His paTTAbhishekam gave away lots of material gifts to theparticipants, but He did not give any material gift to hanumAn. When siTapirATTi asked rAma about this, He told her that He has already given tohanumAn what nobody else knows, and that she can find out what it is fromhanumAn himself. When asked, hanumAn shows Lord rAma and sItA residing inHis heart. This is what vishNu's nAma of mahAdhanah indicates, viz. thatHe gives away the greatest wealth there is, Himself, to His devotees.SrI satyadevo vAsishTha adds that He is mahAdhanah because He has wealththat leads to absolute bliss, never diminishes, immense, cannot be countedor measured, and is prayed for by everyone else.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan