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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 51



476. dharma-gup

He who protects dharma.om dharma-gupe namah.dharmam gopAyati rakshati iti dharma-gup. SrI Sa~nkara gives reference tothe gItA 4.8- dharma sampsthAnaparthAya sambhavAmi yuge yuge. SrI satyadevovAsishTha observes that bhagavAn is dharma-gup because He protects thebeings through dharma systematically from the time of creation to the timeof destruction. An illustration of this is the rule that the seed comesfrom the tree and the tree gives back the seed, thus continuing the processof the existence and survival of life forms. He gives reference to theSruti - trINi padA vicakrame vishNur-gopA adAbhyah | ato dharmANi dhArayan|| (yajur. 34.43).The dharma cakram writer elaborates on this nAma by pointing out thatbhagavAn maintains dharma by rewarding those who observe dharma (withwealth, health etc.), and punishing those who violate dharma (throughdisease, suffering, etc.). so that they can be returned to the path ofdharma. Peace in the society, rain, good crops, and general prosperityresult when the society as a whole follows the path of dharma; disease,earth quakes, war, looting, famine, etc. result when the society fails tofollow the path of dharma. Thus, this nAma should remind us that ouradherence to the path of righteousness in everything we do (our relationswith our wives/husbands, our treatment of our parents, the behavior of thepeople who are involved in public projects on how they treat their publicresponsibility, how a person who has renounced the worldly life treats thewealth that he may be able to collect, etc.)., all reflect in bhagavAn'sadministration of His dharma as the dharma-gup.

477. dharma-kRt

a) He who induces His devotees to follow dharma.b) He who practices dharma.om dharma-kRte namah.a) Those who follow dharma do so because of His anugraha. SrI BhaTTarquotes - dharmam sAmAnyam amalam anAdinidhanam vibhum | durlabham yatprabuddhAnAm tat-prasAdayitA vinA || - Ordinary flawless dharma, which iswithout beginning or end and all-pervasive, cannot be attained without HisGrace even by those who have great knowledge. BhagavAn induces peopletowards the path of dharma for their own benefit, and without any benefitfor Him, out of His sheer Mercy. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr 5.6.4 - SeivArgaLaic-ceivEnumyAnE.b) Even though He is Himself above dharma and adharma, He rigorouslyobserves the path of dharma so that He sets an example to the others -dharma maryAdA sthApanArtham dharmameva karoti iti dharma-kRt - SrISa~nkara. SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri points out the importance of dharma in our lives.The jIvAtmA is caged into this body as a result of the previous karmA-s.BhagavAn has shown us the path of dharma in order for the jIva to getrelease from this cage. BhagavAn does not have any such need to observedharma etc. because karma does not touch Him. Even so, He observes all thedharma-s consistent with His avatAra. Lord kRshNa's words in the gItA ch.3.22-24 refer to this. na me pArtha asti kartavyam trishu lokeshu ki~ncana | na anvAptam avAptavyam varta eva ca karmaNi || yadi hyayam na varteyam jAtu karmaNyatandritah | mama vartma anuvartante manushyAh pArtha sarvaSah || utsIdeyur_ime lokA na kuryAm karma cedaham | s~ankarasya ca kartA syAm upahanyAm imAh prajAh ||

478. dharmI

He who has dharma as an instrument.om dharmiNe namah.dharmah asya asti iti dharmI. BhagavAn is known as dharmI because Heprotects dharma, and uses it as a common means to protect His devoteees.nammAzhvAr refers to Him as "neRi ellAm eDuttu uraitta niRai j~nAnattu orumUrti (4.8.6) - SrI v.v.rAmAnujan. dharma is eternal and endless just as BhagavAn is eternal and endless. Heis dharma-svarUpi. Those who follow the path of dharma reach the fame thatis ever-lasting, and those who destroy dharma end up destroying themselves.All this is illustrated by the case of the pANDava-s and the kaurava-srespectively. BhagavAn constantly keeps imparting the path of dharma to Hisdevotees, in addition to setting an example to us by following dharmaHimself. When BhIshma was about to leave his material body, bhagavAn tookyudhisThira to his bedside and asked bhIshma to impart all his knowledge ofdharma to his deserving grandson. This nAma of mahAvishNu should constantlyremind us that bhagavAn is there always striving to show us the path ofdharma in every way. (dharma cakram).The fact that bhagavAn is reflecting dharma all the time constantly to us isevident when we see the sun, the moon etc. always following their prescribeddharma without fail. The sun always rising in the east and setting in thewest, the cycle of the moon, etc, are constant reminders to us of this fact(SrI satyadevo vAsishTha).The next four words are sat, aksharam, asat and ksharam, which are combinedin different sequence by SrI BhaTTar and by SrI Sa~nkara. SrI BhaTTar usesthe sequence "sad-aksharam asad-ksharam", and SrI Sa~nkara uses the sequence"sat asat ksharam aksharam". The nAma-s they derive out of this sequenceare similar, except that SrI BhatTTar treats the word aksharam as anadjective for sat, and the word ksharam as the adjective for asat. Thus thenAma-s according to his vyAkhyAna are sat, sad-aksharam, asat, andasad-ksharam. The nAma-s per SrI Sa~nkara are sat, asat, ksharam, andaksharam.The nAma-s sat and a-sat can be treated as a pair of opposites, and thenAma-s sad-aksharam and asad-ksharam can similarly be treated as a pair.

479. sat

a) He who is commendable.b) He who is ever existent.c) He who is in the form of good and meritorious acts.om sate namah.In SrImad bhagavad gItA, bhagavAn instructs arjuna on the significance ofthe three terms "om, tat, and sat" in chapter 17. Sloka-s 17.26-27 dealwith the word sat. sat refers to existence (sad-bhAva), goodness(sAdhu-bhAva), and auspicious or commendable action (praSaste karmaNi). TheSloka in gItA is - sadbhAve sAdhubhAve ca sad-ityetat prayucyate | praSaste karmaNi tathA sac-chabdhah pArtha yujyate || SrI BhaTTar points out that bhagavAn is sat because He is unconditionallyauspicious and commendable, and He is also eternal in existence.(nirupAdhikAt sad-bhAvAt, sAd-guNyacca). SrI P.B. aNNa~ngarAcArya svAmigives reference to AzhvAr pASuram - uLan kaNDAi nan-ne~njE uttaman enRu uLankaNDAi, in support of the second of the above meanings. In advaitic interpretation, the meaning for this word is given as "Truth".SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri points out that in truth, there are two kinds - oneis pAramArthika sat - that which is true in all three time frames (past,present, and future). The other is vyAvahArika sat - like this world, whichoriginates in the pAramArthika sat and merges back into the pAramArthika satat the time of pralaya. BhagavAn is the pAramArthika sat or nitya sat.

480. aksharam (sat)

a) He whose existence is never diminished or destroyed in any way.b) sad-aksharam - He who never forsakes the good.om akshara-sate namah.SrI BhaTTar points out that aksharam is an adjective for sat (the previousnAma), and thus gives the current nAma as sad-aksharam or aksharam-sat.ksharam is that which decays or diminishes, or something that does not stayassociated with something else, and aksharam is that which is neverdiminished or decays. His sat or Existence, does not undergo any decreaseor diminution. This is also true of His svarUpa and His kalyANa guNa-s. Sothe meaning of this nAma is - He who is ever existent without decrease ordestruction. SrI BhaTTar gives reference to vishNu purANam and to ChAndogyaupanishad - apakshaya vinASAbhyAm pariNAmardhi-janmabhih | varjitah Sakyate vaktum yah sadAstIti kevalam || VP1.2.11 "He is free from decrease, destruction, modification, growth andbirth. He can only be spoken of as That which always is".In ChAndogya upanishad 6.2.1we have - sadeva somya! idamagra AsIt - "Existence alone, My dear child, this was in the beginning, one only withouta second." b)The root from which the word ksharam is derived is kshar - sa~ncalane toflow, to distil (SrI satyadevo vAsishTha). In the context of SrI BhaTTar'svyAkhyAnam for nAma 482, sad-aksharam could also mean He who never partswith or forsakes the good.

481. a-sat

a) That which does not exist now, but existed in the past as well as will exist in the future.b) He who is the cause of misery to those who do sinful acts.c) He who is non-existent for those who do not follow the path of dharma.om a-sate namah.a. In gItA 9.19, bhagavAn says "amRtam caiva mRtyuSca sat asat ca ahamarjuna - "I am immortality as well as death, O arjuna. I am the being aswell as the non-being". SrI rAmAnujna bhAshyam for this stanza is: sat isthat which exists now (sad yad vartate), and asat is that which does notexist now but which existed before and which may exist in the future (asadyad atItam ca anAgatam ca). Thus bhagavAn is a-sat (non-being) in the senseof sat meaning existence as we saw in the gItA Slokam 17.26, and a-sat beingthe things that don't exist now, but existed in the past and will exist inthe future.b. In the sense of sad referring to good acts (sAdhu-bhAve in gItA Slokam17.26), bhagavAn is a-sat in the sense of being the cause of distress tothose who do sinful acts (SrI BhaTTar). This is in the form of the greatmisery of endless samsAra (birth and death).c. He is also non-existent (asat) with respect to those who do not followthe path of dharma. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to tirumAlai 15 - meyyarkkEmeyyanAgum vidi ilA ennaipOla poyyarkkE poyyanAgum puT-koDi uDaiya kOmAn,and to nammAzhvAr - meyyanAgum virumbit-tozhuvArkkellAm poyyanAgum puRametozhuvArkkellAm (tiruvAimozhi 9.10.7).

482. asat-ksharam

He who moves away from the bad.om asat-ksharAya namah.ksharam refers to something perishable or impermanent. ksharam also meanssomething which flows away ( kshar sa~ncalane to flow, to distil). BhagavAndoes not associate with the bad, and so He is ksharam with respect to theasat (SrI BhaTTar). SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets ksharam as referring to this Universe(the dynamism associated with it), and to aksharam as referring to theantaryAmi in everything, which is responsible for all the movement in theUniverse. Thus, bhagavAn is simultaneously ksharam (moving) and aksharam(the cause of this movement). He nicely illustrates this demonstration ofthe ksharam and aksharam aspects of bhagavAn by a simple day-to-day example- when we walk, one leg is moving while the other leg is stationary.Similarly, bhagVaN is both kshara in the form of all things moving in theUniverse, and akshara in the form of the antaryAmi supporting this movement.The author gives several examples from the Sruti, one of which is theISAvasya upanishad verse - tadejati tan-naijati tad-dUre tadv-antike | tadantrasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya bAhyatah ||SrI cinmayAnanda gives an example of the concept of bhagavAn being ksharamand a-ksharam at the same time - the waves of the ocean rise and decay, butthey are nothing but the ocean that is non-decaying. So they are both partof the same thing.

483. avij~nAtA

The Non-cognizant.om avij~nAtre namah.SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that He is non-cognizant of the faults of Hisdevotees. He observes that it is a great commendable quality of bhagavAnthat He is willing to forget and forgive the sins of those who havesurrendered to Him unconditionally. It is said of Lord rAma that He nevereven responds back to those who speak harsh words towards Him - ucyamAno'piparusham nottaram pratipadyate (ayodhyA 1.10). SrI BhaTTar quotes hisrevered father, SrI kUrattAzhvAn - "Oh Lord! We refute the statement thatyou are a sarvaj~nA! It is obvious You are totally ignorant of the faultsof your devotees!" - sarvaj~natAm evam upAlabhAmahe, tvam hi aj~na evaAsrita-dosha-joshaNah. SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to periAzhvAr's outpouring - en aDiyAr aduSeyyAr seidArEl nanRu seidAr enbar (4.9.2) - My devotee would not havecommitted this sin, and if he did, then as far as I am concerned, it is agood deed. He also gives reference to the gItA (9.30)- api cet sudurAcArobhajate mAm ananya-bhAk | sAdhureva sa mantavyah ... || (Even if someonedoes not follow the AcAra for his jAti etc., as long as he worships me withsingular devotion and without expecting any other benefit, he is a paramaviahsNava to Me).SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the meaning by looking at the word as avi +j~nAtA instead of the traditional a+vij~nAtA. Then he derives the meaningfrom av rakshaNAdau - to protect, to do good, and j~nAtA - One who knows.Thus his meaning for avij~nAtA is One who knows how to protect, or He whoprotects everyone. Thus it refers to His being antaryAmi in everything, Hisbeing the Protector of those who surrender to Him, etc. SrI satyadevovAsishTha gives reference to the atharva-vedic mantra "avirve nAmadevatartenAste parIvRtA" (10.8.31) to support this interpretation. SrI Sa~nkara interrpets vij~nAtA as referring to jIva with the distortedknowledge of being responsible for its own actions etc. (Atmani kartRtvAdikalpa vij~nAnam kalpitam iti jIvo vij~nAtA). He who is above this distortedknowledge is a-vij~nAtA (tad-vilakshaNo vishNuh a-vij~nAtA).

484. sahasrAmSuh

He who has a thousand rays (of knowledge).om sahasrAmSave namah.amSu means ray. sahasra here refers to infinite or countless. SrI BhaTTarinterprets amSu as referring to radiating knowledge, and thus sahasrAmSuhrefers to One who is possessed of infinite knowledge. nammAzhvAr says -mikka j~nAna mUrtiyAya veda viLakkinai (4.7.10) - BhagavAn is pure andunalloyed radiating knowledge, who revealed the veda-s to us, and who isrevealed to us by the veda-s.SrI Sa~nkara interprets the nAma as referring to His being the Sun withcountless rays. yena sUryas-tapati tejaseddhah - (tai.brA. 3.12.9) -Lighted by His effulgence, the sun shines. SrI Sa~nkara also givesreference to the gItA to support his interpretation - yad-Aditya gatam tejah... yac-candramasi yac-cAgnau tat-tejo viddhi mAmakam - 15.12 - O arjuna!know that the tejas of the sun, the moon, agni, etc. is mine viz. I am theOne who bestowed this tejas on them. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha's interpretation is that BhagavAn radiates Hisknowledge and His tejas everywhere, and so He is sahasrAmSuh (anata j~nAnaananta prabhaSca vushNuh ata sahasrAmSuh).

nAma 485: vidhAtA.

om vidhAtre namaH.

i) He Who specially protected the seed He sowed for brahmA till the seed fully developed into brahmA’s creation.

j) The Ordainer of the laws of conduct for all, including the likes of yama.

k) The Dispenser of the fruits of action and the inducer of action.

l) The Supporter of all supports such as AdiSesha.

m) He Who lays down the code of conduct and the fruits to be attained from them.

n) He Who protects the beings of this world in diverse ways (vi-dhAtA; vi = vividhaiH).

o) He Who bestows the desires of His devotees.

p) He Who is borne by garuDa, His vehicle (vi-dhAtA; vi = garuDa).

We studied this nAma earlier in Slokam 5 (nAma 44). Interpretation (a) by Sri BhaTTar and SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN are described there. The other interpretations are discussed below.

The meaning for the nAma can be understood based on the following meanings given in the dictionary, and the derivation given by SrI vAsishTha, among others:

- vidhAtR – A maker, a creator. Grantor, giver, bestower. vidhA in the dictionary is given the meaning "division, part, portion", and based on this, vidhAtA means one who apportions, controls, distributes, creates, etc. li~ngayasUri defines the meaning as "vidhatta iti vidhAtA" in his amarapadavivRti.

- vidhAnam – arranging, disposing.

- VidhAnam - a rule, precept, ordinance, sacred rule or precept, sacred injunction.

- vidhAtA – vidhAnasya kartA;

a) See the write-up for nAma 44.

b) For the current instance of the nAma, SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma in terms bhagavAn being “The Supreme Controller” and the “Ordainer of the laws of conduct for all” - (vidhAnam – arranging, disposing; a rule, precept, ordinance, sacred rule or precept, sacred injunction. Also see vAsishTha - vidhAtA – vidhAnasya kartA). He explains the nAma in the context of the meaning of avij~nAtA that he gave earlier - bhagavAn ignores the faults of His devotees. Then one can ask the question "what happens if someone else, like yama for instance, who is impartial in his treatment of everyone for their sins as well as good deeds, punishes the devotees of vishNu for their sins?". This nAma says that bhagavAn controls yama and all other gods, and so they won't punish a vishNu-bhakta, and they will inform their servants not to punish a vishNu-bhakta in any way.

Thus, SrI BhaTTar picks an example of bhagavAn’s guNa of ordaining or laying down the rules that brings out bhagavAn’s eternal mercy towards those who are devoted to Him. Even though yama is authorized by bhagavAn to be impartial in punishing the jIva-s for their karma-s, at the same time, using His powers as the Ordainer, bhagavAn has ordained yama to be lenient and gentle when it comes to punishing His devotees. Since yama is under the total control of bhagavAn, he follows the orders of bhagavAn, and instructs his servants to keep away from vishNu bhakta-s at the time of their death. This mRdutvam of bhagavAn in exercising His Control (as vidhAtA, the Controller) such that it benefits the jIva-s that follow the path that leads to Him, is declared in several places: vishNu purANa, brahma purANa, vAmana purANa, nArasimha purANa, lai’nga purANa, vaishNava dharma, SrI vishNu tattva, and SrImad bhAgavatam. In vishNu purANam, we have:

parihara madhu sUdana prapannAn prabhur-aham anya nRNAm na vaishNavAnAm (VP 3.7.14)

hari guru vaSago’smi na svatantraH prabhavati samyamane mamApi vishNuH | (VP 3.7.15)

“Keep clear of the worshippers of madhusUdana. I am the lord of all except the vaishNava-s” (yama’s word to his servants).

“He Who obeys Hari, as his spiritual guide, is independent of me; for, vishNu is of power to govern and control me”.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references to divya prabandham, again referring to this soft side of bhagavAn’s role of ultimate Controllership:

tiRambEnmin kaNDIr; tiruvaDi tan nAmam

maRandum puram tozhA mAndar – iRai’njiyum

SAduvarAip pOdumingaL enRAn namanum tan

tamaraik kUvic cevikku - (nAnmugan tiruvantAdi 68)

“yama instructs his servants through message given secretly in their ears: Don’t forget my orders. When you approach anyone who does not worship anyone other than Lord vishNu even by oversight or forgetfulness, just worship them, and peacefully move away from them. Do not in any way use any force against them.”

avan tamar ev-vinaiyar Agilum em kOn

avan tamarE enRu ozhivadu allAl- naman tamarAl

ArAyappaTTu aRiyAr kaNDIr – aravu aNai mEl

pEr Ayarkku ATpaTTOr pEr. (mudal tiruvanTAdi 55)

“When the servants of yama encounter a devotee of kaNNan who rests in the Milky Ocean, they do not go further and enquire anything more about these devotees, but praise them and get away from them. They realize that their leader –yama, is also a devotee and servant of the same kaNNan, and do not in any way harm the vishNu bhakta-s”.

talaip-pei kAlam naman tamar pASam viTTAl

alippUN uNNum av-allal ellAm agala

kalai-pal j~nAlattu en kaNNanaik kaNDu koNDu

nilaip peRRu en ne’njam peRRadu nIDuyirE (tiruvAi. 3.2.10)

“When the last breath is to leave the body, merciless messengers from yama release their death-rope and drag you, and you experience the excruciating agony. This is all described in elaborate detail in several places. But this is not what happens in the case of bhgavAn’s devotees. For them, bhagavAn appears in front of them at this crucial moment, and suddenly all the shivering and fear is gone, and their soul gets fresh and eternal hope and energy”.

c) SrI Sa’nkara’s interpretation for the nAma in Slokam 5 is “karmaNAm tat-phalAnAm ca kartA vidhAtA – He Who specifies the various karma-s and their benefits; The dispenser of the fruit of actions and the inducer of actions.

d) For the instance of the nAma in Slokam 51, SrI Sa’nkara interprets the nAma as One Who supports the earth in the form of AdiSesha, the eight elephants, etc., which in turn bear all other things – viSesheNa Sesha dig-gaja bhU dharAn dhAtRRn dadhAti it vidhAtA. In other words, bhagavAn is the Support of all other supports.

e) SrI vAsishTha gives the interpretation: vede manushyasya kRte kartavyANam vidhAnakartRtvena vidhAtA, i.e., vidhAnasya kartA vidhAtA - He who lays down the rules for the vedic rites to be observed by people. BhagavAn is also called vidhAtA because He specifies the karma-s to be observed and the fruits to be attained - karmaNAm phalAnAm yathArthatvena vidhAtRtvAt vidhAtA sa vishNuH –

He is also the One who bestows the benefits for the karma-s that are observed.

SrI vAsishTha gives a quote from the ISAvAsya Upanishad for an example of one of the rules laid down by bhagavAn (vidhAnam etat – This is the Ordained rule):

kurvanneveha karmANi jijIvishet Satam samAH |

evam tvayi nAnyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare || (ISAvAsya. 2)

“One should desire to live a hundred years just performing nishkAmya karma-s (accessory to upAsana). For an aspirant (of moksha) there is no other way. Karma will not cling to such a person (who is a knower of Brahman).”

This laying down of the rules is one aspect of bhagavAn being vidhAtA – vidhAnasya kartA. The other aspect of His being vidhAtA is that He is the Bestower of the fruits of any action – karmaNAm phalAnAm yathArthatvena vidhAtRtvAcca ‘vidhAtA’ sa vishurasti iti vidhAtA. Again, SrI vAsishTha gives another reference from the Sruti:

sa paryagAt Sukram akAyam avraNam asnAviram Suddham apApaviddham |

kavir-manIshI paribhUH svayambhUH yAthAtathyato’rthAn vyadadhAt SasvatIbhyaH samAbhyaH || (ISA. 8)

“He the Seer, the Controller of the mind, the Conquerer of enemies like desire etc., the self-existent, attains the effulgent, the one with no body associated with karma, the soreless, the one without sinews, the one ever pure, the one never tainted by sin. The seer has borne in his mind all things as they are (such as the end of life, way, the obstacles, etc.) for numberless years”.

In other words, for one who has led a life of nishkAya karma as laid down by the vidhAtA vishNu, Lord vishNu in turn gives the benefit (vidhAtA) in the form of the realization of Himself to such a practitioner of this dictum from Him.

f) SrI vAsishTha gives another interpretation based on the root dhA – dhAraNa poshaNayoH – to support, to nurture. In this interpretation, vi- is a prefix that indicates "in a number of different ways - vividha". Vi-dhAtA thus refers to “One who protects the beings in a variety of ways”. A simple illustration of this is the protection by the Lord, of both the mother and the child in the womb of a pregnant mother, simultaneously, but in different ways.

g) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as “vidadhAti kAmAn sva-janAnAm iti vidhAtA – He Who bestows the desires of His devotees. He gives support from the Upanishad-s:

- nityo nityAnAm cetanaS-cetanAnAm eko bahUnAm yo vidadhAti kAmAn (SvetAS. 6.13; kaTho. 5.13)

“The One Eternal Sentient who bestows the desires of the many eternal sentients (is to be known in order to be liberated)”.

h) One of SrI satya sandha tIrtha’s interpretation is: – viH garuDo dhAtA yasya iti vi-dhAtA - He Who is carried by garuDa

486. kRta-lakshaNah

- a) He who has prescribed the distinguishingcharacteristics for the pious. b) He who has created distinguishing marks forHimself. c) He who has created the veda-s. d) He who distinguished the different species byexternal and internal attributes.om kRta-lakshanAya namah.This nAma means "He who has laid down the lakshaNa-s or distinctions". SrISa~nkara and SrI BhaTTar give different anubhavam-s of this aspect ofbhagavAn's guNa. Meaning (a) is from SrI BhaTTar and (b) to (d) are fromSrI Sa~nkara.a) SrI BhaTTar had interpreted nAma 483 - avij~nAtA, as indicative ofbhagavAn overlooking the defects of His devotees. Here it is indicated thatbhagavAn does not ignore everyone's faults, but only the faults of those whohave certain distinguishing characteristics, which He Himself has laid out -kRtalakshaNah. SrI BhaTTar gives the following references where bhagavAnhas identified these attributes: - mitrabhAvena samprAptam - yuddha kANDa 18.3 - "He who has come to Meas a friend"; - samyag vyavasito hi sah - gItA 9.30 - "He who has rightly resolved inhis mind that bhagavAn is everything", and does not look for any otherbenefit - ananya bhAk (same Slokam in gItA); - cakrA~nkitAh praveshTavyAh (harivamSa 21.24) - "They who bear the markof the discus on their bodies". This mark is to be cherished by a vishNubhakta just as a chaste woman cherishes her mangala sUtra and otherornaments when her husband is alive (vishNu tattva). SrI v.v.rAmAnujan addsfurther support from divya prabandham - tIyil poliginRa Se~ncuDarAzhi tigazhtirucc-cakkarattin kOyil poRiyAlE oRRuNDu ninRu kuDi kuDi AtceyginROm -tiruppallANDu. In addition to the above lakshaNa-s that SrI BhaTTar has identified, SrIv.v.rAmAnujan adds the following as the most important lakshNa: maRandumpuRam tozhA mAndar (nAn~gAm tiruvantAdi 68) - "He who does not worship anyadevatA-s even absent-mindedly". The dharma cakram writer points us to gItAchapter 12, Sloka-s 13 to 20, where Lord KRshNa has laid down thelakshaNa-s of His bhakta, starting with adveshTA sarvabhUtAnAm..., andending with SraddadhAnA mat-paramA bhaktAste atIva mama priyAh.SrI Sa~nkara gives different alternative interpretations: b) He created(kRt) the veda-s (lakshaNah). c) He has also distinguished Himself withthe SrIvatsa mark on His vaksha-sthalam. d) He has created the differentspecies with distinguishing marks that identify the species uniquely throughexternal as well as internal distinguishing marks. He is kRta-lakshNahfrom all these aspects.SrI cinmayAnanda points out that bhagavAn is kRta-lakshaNah since Hedistinguishes Himself through the six attributes - aiSvarya dharmah yaSaScaSrIh j~nAnam vairAgyam (glory, righteousness, fame, wealth, knowledge, anddetachment). SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri observes that bhagavAn hasdistinguished Himself through His unique attributes of being sat, cit, andAnanda svarUpa, and other aspects such as His AdiSesha Sayanam, garuDavAhanam, megha SyAmam, San~kha and cakra Ayudha-s, pItAmbara vastra, etc. -dAsan kRshNamAcAryan