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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 50



466. svApanah

He who lulls people into sleep.
om svApanAya namah.
SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn in His mohini incarnation lulled into sleep the asura-s who had not been put away as described in the previous nAma, using His beautiful smile, sweet glances and the play of His eye-brows, and thus made them forget that He was distributing the nectar to the deva-s exclusively. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha's anubhavam of this nAma is "svApayati nidrApayatipralayakAle sarvam prakRtAviti svApanah" - He puts everyone to sleep at the time of pralaya. Even though He makes every one sleep, He Himself is wide awake. This svApanatva guNa of bhagavAn is reflected again in every thing He creates after the pralaya also. The Sun puts everyone to sleep when the night comes, but the sun itself does not sleep.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri refers to gItA 7.25 - "nAham prakASah sarvasyayoga-mAyA-samAvRtah, mUDho'yam nAbhijAnAti" - His paratva has been concealed to the non-devotee in bhagavAn's incarnations because He appears like all of us in His body, appearance, and talk etc., and so they do not recognize Him as paramAtmA. He who does not see what is in front of Him is as good as a person who is sleeping. The dharma cakram writer gives the analogy of the animal life vs. the human life. Humans are "awake" in the world of intelligent reasoning, in which the animals are "asleep", i.e., they are not capable of operating in this domain as well as humans can do. Similarly the ordinary human is asleep to the world of the j~nAni. The path for the ordinary human to become awake in the world of the j~nAni is to chant the nArAyaNa mantra - "nalam tarumSollai nAn kaNDu koNDEn nArAyaNA ennum nAmam" is AzhvAr aruLic-ceyal. This is the lesson we should take from this nAma.

467. sva-vaSah

He who is under His own control. om sva-vaSAya namah.
Continuing on his anubhavam of the mohini incarnation, SrI BhaTTar explains that after bhagavAn put the asura-s to sleep, He plays as He likes with the deva-s, consistent with His absolute independence. The bhAvam here is that bhagavAn is not under the control of any one or anything else, and He is only under His own control. He does not need anyone's help or support for whatever He does. Everything else is under His control. He does His acts of creation etc. as He wishes. He does not also have any desire that is out of His reach (based on vaS – kAntau to wish, to desire – (SrI satyadevo vAsishTha). BhagavAn is sva-vaSah because He has everything that He desires within Himself, does not have any desire outside of Him, and rejoices with His own Self.
SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is that bhagavAn is Independent, being the cause of creation, preservation and withdrawal of the Universe - svatantrah.The dharma cakram writer points out that it is only when one does not have any need that one can be totally independent. tiruvaLLUvar refers to bhagavAn as "vENDudal vENDAmai ilAn". ANDAL's words are "kuRaivu onRumillAda gOvindA". When we are under the control of our mind, we lose our independence, and do whatever our mind dictates. Then we become dependent on others. This nAma teaches us that we should learn to control our mind and get it under our control instead of being controlled by our mind. Meditating on this nAma of bhagavAn will give us this discipline. The more we are able to devote ourselves to bhagavAn, the more our mind will get under our control.

468. vyApI

The Pervader.
om vyApine namah.
SrI BhaTTar-s vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn pervades everyone with His own Power and gives energy to them. At the time of churning the Mik-Ocean, He pervaded the deva-s, the asura-s, the mandAra mountain, vAsuki and others,and gave them the energy to churn the ocean. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr 1.1.10 - "paranda taN paravai uL nIr torum paranduLan....karandue~ngum paranduLan ivai uNDa karanEavyaktAt-tu parahpurusho vyApakah ( muNDaka 2.3.8). SrI cinmayAnanda points out that in philosophy pervasiveness indicates subtlety. BhagavAn is all-pervasive, and so is subtler than the subtlest. Since the cause pervades the effect (e.g., gold pervades all gold ornaments), so also bhagavAn who pervades every thing is thus the Cause of everything. The dharma cakram writer observes that All-pervasiveness also implies limitlessness, since whatever there is and wherever it is, BhagavAn pervades it, and so there is no limit to Him. This limitless emperumAn just projects Himself such that we see whatever little we see based on our limitations. Meditating on this nAma of bhagavAn will broaden our ability to see this Limitless vyApI. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives several references from the Sruti - parItyabhUtAni parItya lokAn parItya sarvAh pradiSo diSaSca (yajur), pRshTo divipRshTo agnih pRthivyAm pRshTo viSvA oshadhIrAviveSa (Rg), yo agnau rudroyo apsv-antarya oshadhIr-vIrudha AviveSa (atharva); etc.

469. naikAtmA

He of diverse forms.
om naikAtmane namah.

SrI BhaTTar's anubhavam is that bhagavAn assumed several forms at the time of churning - as vishNu to help the gods and the asura-s to churn, as the tortoise to support the mandAra mountain, and as mohini to distribute the nectar.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri reminds us of the similarity between this nAma and nAma 139 - caturAtmA. A more general interpretation is that bhagavAn expresses Himself through all the forms of His creation. The dharma cakramwriter points out that the different forms of gods that the followers of different religions worship are all an expression of bhagavAn, and it is because of their ignorance of bhagavAn being a naikAtmA that they think they are worshipping different deities and fighting within themselves. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the root of the word AtmA as ata –sAtatyagamane - to go constantly, which nicely explains the nature of the AtmA. BhagavAn is everywhere in the form of the father, the mother, the son, the disciple, the teacher, the husband, the wife, the friend, etc., since He is the antaryAmi in everything. SrI vAsishTha gives several references to the Sruti in support of the interpretation of this nAma, amongwhich are the following
- tadev-Agnis-tad-Adityas-tadu vAyus-tadu-candramAh| tadeva Sukram tad-brahma tA Apah sa prajApatih || (yajur. 32-1); tvam hinah pitA vaso tvam mAtA Satakrato babhUvitha (Rg 8.98.11)

470. naika-karma-kRt

He who performs diverse acts.
om naika-karma-kRte namah.

SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma by giving the example of His churning the ocean, supporting the mountain, overcoming the enemies, distributing the nectar, etc. SrI v.v.v rAmAnujan gives the quotes from nammAzhvAr - kUDinIraik-kaDaindavArum amudam dEvar uNNa asurargaLai vIDum vaNNa~ngaL SeidupOna vittagamum (tiruvAimozhi 5.10.10), and from tirumaZhiSai AzhvAr - malaiAmai mEl vaittu vASugiyaic-cuRRi talai Amai tAn oru kai paRRi alaiyAmalpIrak-kaDainda perumAn (nAnmugan 49).
SrI Sa~nkara points to diverse actions such as creation, sustenance, etc. as a way of interpreting this nAma. SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri points to His actions in the form of candra, sUrya, agni, etc. and helping to serve us. The dharma cakram writer gives a view which summarizes all the above by pointing out that everything that ever takes place is His action and nothing else. Examples of this abound. We are instruments in His creation, but we are not creators. From one mango tree, only another mango tree can come, and we can't create something else from a mango seed. We are the instruments and He is the kartA. If we have this realization, the benefits (karma phalam) of none of the actions for which we are the instruments will accrue to us. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha continues his interpretation based on his previous interpretation of naikAtmA. BhagavAn who is in many forms (father, mother, son...), performs many actions in the form of the father, mother, son, etc.

471. vatsarah


a) He who lives within all beings.
b) He in whom everything resides.
c) He who is the Infinite Time.
d) He who restored the calves to the gopa-s.
om vatsarAya namah.

a) The word is derived from the root vas - to dwell. BhagavAn resides in all beings as a way of administering His dharma - for bestowing fruits in a just way for the acts of all. He also lives as anrtaryAmi in everyone in order to guide them towards the path of dharma according to their merits and qualifications. SrI BhaTTar refers us to the following mantra about bhagavAn which brings out this point - sarvAntaScAriNe dharmAtmane - UntoHim Who is the embodiment of dharma and Who lives in all beings. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to toNDaraDippoDi AzhvAr in tirumAlai - uLLuvAruLLiRRellAm uDanirundu aRidi enRu (34).b) SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is 'vasati atra akhilam iti vatsarah' - He in whom everything resides - The Abode of All. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives several references to the Sruti-s illustratingthe vyAkhyAna-s above. ISAvAsyamidam sarvam yat-ki~ncit jagatyAm jagat(IsaVAsya); samvatsaro'si parivatsaro'sIdAvatsro'sIdvatsaro'si vatsaro'si(yajur. 27.45); tvayi rAtri vasAmasi svapishyAmasi jAgRhu (atharva19.47.9); etc.c) vatsarah also refers to time - the period of one year. BhagavAn is the continuum of space and time, in which all creatures live - in the sense of (b) above. So He is the endless space and infinite time - vatsarah.
d) SrI cinmayAnanda decomposes the word as vatsAn rAti iti vatsarah. In His kRshNAvatAra, He restored the calves to the gopa-s when they had been taken away by the enemies - So He is vatsarah because He gave away the calves (vatsa here is interpreted as calf).

472. vatsalah

The Affectionate.
om vatsalAya namah.

This nAma is formed from the word vatsa by adding the lach pratyaya signifying loving, tender (based on 5.2.98 ashTAdhyAyI of PANini - vatsaamsAbhyAm kAma bale). The nAma signifies that He has extreme love for His devotees. SrI cinmayananda translates the word as "Supreme Love", and points out the significance of this nAma - BhagavAn SrIman nArAyaNa is Love Incarnate. SrI BhaTTar points out that this nAma explains why bhagavAn wants to guide everyone by being their antaryAmi as expressed in the previous nAma - it is because of His extreme kindness towards His devotees. This affection is like that of a cow to its calf - kanaittu iLam kaRRerumai kanRukku ira~ngininaittu mulai vazhiyE ninRu pAl Sora. sItA pirATTi's words of advice to rAvaNa were - vihitah sa hi dharmaj~nah SaraNAgata-vatsalah - It is well-known that rAma knows this great virtue, and that He is very affectionate towards those who have sought refuge in Him. The dharma cakram writer gives several examples of bhagavAn's guNa ofvAtsalya. guha became a close friend of rAma. bhagavAn also gave Himself completely to hanumAn (which was revealed when hanumAn opened his heart and showed rAma residing there). sugrIva SaraNAgati, vibhIshaNa SaraNAgati,etc. are other examples of His extreme love for His devotees.

473. vatsI


a) He who possesses lots of calves
b) He who possesses lots of children whom He protects like a cow protects its calves.
om vatsine namah.

The first of these interpretations is a reference to His gopAla incarnation, where He protected the calves during the episode involving Indra. SrIv.v.rAmAnujan refers us to kanRu mEittu inidu uganda kALAi (16).The second interpretation refers to the innumerable hosts of souls who are to be always tended by Him, like a cow tends to its calves with affection. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that bhgavAn's guNa of being the Protector exhibits itself throughout life. Even before the child is born to a mother,He makes sure the mother has the milk to feed to the child as soon as it is born; the mother bird and the child bird know how to transfer food through their beak, etc.

474. ratna-garbhah


a) He who is in possession of abundant wealth.
b) He who is the source of everything that can give happiness.
om ratna-garbhAya namah.
Among BhagavAn's devotees there are those who are after wealth, and He has immense wealth to take care of their needs. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to nammAzhvAr 6.7.11 - vaitta mA-nidhiyAm madhusUdananai -BhagavAn is like a treasure in deposit, available in times of need in future.SrI Sa~nkara's vyAkhyAnam is based on the ratna-s or gems being treasured in the depth of the oceans, and since bhagavAn is Himself in the form of the Oceans, He is called ratna-garbhah. SrI cinmayAnanda refers us to gItA 10.24- sarasAm asmi sAgarah, and observes that bhagavAn is ratna-garbhah like the Ocean and has all the treasures within His control, and can bestow any wealth quickly to any devotee as He desires. SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri extends this to the presence of ratna in the hood of the serpent and in the knots of the bamboo shoots, which are caused by none other than bhagavAn. The name also suggests that bhagavAn protects His devotees like gems, and assists them towards the path of realization of the Self. Meditating on bhagavAn constantly, instead of succumbing to the rAjasic and tAmasic aspects dormant in us will elevate us so that we can realize Him. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the meaning of ratna starting from the root ram – krIDAyAm to play, to rejoice at. Thus, the word ratna denotes everything that gives happiness. Since bhagavAn has the whole world in His garbha, He has everything that can give happiness in Himself, and so He is ratna-garbhah. He gives several examples from the Sruti: hiraNyagarbhahsamavartatAgre bhUtasya jAtah patireka AsIt; arcAmi satyasavam ratnadhAmabhipriyam matim; hiraNyAkshah savitA deva AgAt dadhat ratnA dASushe vAryANi,etc.


475. dhaneSvarah

The quick giver of wealth.om dhaneSvarAya namah.

dhanAnAm ISvarah dhaneSvarah - He who is the Lord of all wealth, is the interpretation given by SrI Sa~nkarAcArya, who interpreted the previous nAmaas referring to bhagavAn's vibhUti as the Ocean which bears the gems. Since SrI BhaTTar interpreted the previous nAma in a broader sense, viz.,that He is the source of all wealth, he interprets the current nAma as referring to bhagvAn's generosity in giving away this wealth quickly to His devotee who wishes for it. He supports his interpretation based on the uNAdi sUtra 738 - aSnoter-AsukarmaNi varat ca - The affix varat comes after the root aS - to pervade, when the word formed from it refers to 'having the power of granting success soon' - the emphasis being that bhagavAn is quick in giving the benefit to His devotees. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to nammAzhvAr 3.9.7 - SErum koDai pugazh ellai ilAnai. SrI anantakRshNaSastri gives the example of bhagavAn giving instantaneous wealth to His devotee kucela. SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri gives an alternate interpretation that this nAma refers to bhagavAn's vibhUti of being in the form of kubera, the god of wealth.
Note gItA 10.23 - vitteSo yaksha rakshasAm - where vitteSah refers of bhagavAn's vibhUti as kubera. SrI cinmayAnanda comments that the term wealth here refers to all things that cause happiness. He is lakshmI-pati, the Lord of Goddess Lakshmi, and so He is ever the Master-of-Wealth. The greatest of wealths is moksha, and Lord nArAyaNa is Isvara of this great wealth, and is the Giver of this wealth to the prapanna-s readily.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan