Audio

Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 54



505. somapah

a) He who drank the soma juice afterperforming sacrificial offerings in His rAma incarnation.
b) He who, in the form of the deity being invoked in a yaj~na, accepts the somajuice by the householder performing the yaj~na.

om somapAya namah.

soma juice is the extract from a plant, and isthe most important ingredient in ancient sacrificial offerings.  SrIBhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that the nAma signifies that Lord rAma performed severalyaj~na-s,and drank the juice from the soma plant after performing thesesacrificial offerings.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the additionalinterpretation that bhagavAn accepts the offering of the soma juice in allsacrifices in the form of the deities to whom the sacrifice is addressed.

The dharma cakram writer points out that thejuice of the soma plant is comprised of a constituent that gives long life -like nectar. This isoffered first to the deva-s to whom the yaj~na is dedicated,and then the yajamAna partakes of this prasAdam.

506 - amr*tapah

The drinker of ambrosia.

om amr*tapAya namah.

amr*ta refers to ambrosia or nectar.  SrIBhaTTar gives two interpretations for this nAma depending on -pah in the nAmabeingi nterpreted as pibati - drinks, or pAti -protects. The oblations offeredin sacrifices as prescribed in the veda-s along with therecitation of mantra-sare transformed by the god of fire into ambrosia and given to vishNu - 
"yat ki~ncit hUyate vahnauhavir-mantrair-vidhAnatah | 
tat sarvam amr*tam kr*tvA vishNavesamprayacchati || . 
Thus bhagavAn is the drinker of the nectar -amr*tapah.

The alternate interpretation is that bhagavAnHimself is the amr*ta, and He protects it for the benefit of His devotees sothat they canenjoy Him in the Transcendental World after following the path ofdharma shown by Him in the discharge of daily duties in this world. The Sruti-squoted in support are: amr*tasya esha setuh(muNDakopanishad 2.2.5) - He is thebridge for the amr*ta i.e., the procurer of the nectar; yasya chAyA amr*tam(tai. yaju. 4.1) - He whose shadow is ambrosia i.e., He whose protection is amr*tamitself. SrI Sa~nkara refers to the incident of mohini incarnation in the contextof this nAma, where bhagavAn restored the amr*ta stolen by theasura-s, protectedit, made the deva-s drink it, and also drank Himself.   SrI rAdhAkr*shNaSAstri suggests that since bhagavAn is in the form of deva-s who drink thenectar, He is amr*tapah, the drinker of ambrosia.

SrI cinmayAnanda comments that as the InfiniteTruth bhagavAn enjoys blissful immortality (amr*tatvam) at all times, and inthis sense He is One who has partaken of amr*tam 

507. somah

a) The Nectar.
b) The moon.

om somAya namah.

BhagavAn is called soma (nectar) here becauseHe is sweet like nectar to the bhakta-s who enjoy Him.  SrI BhaTTar givesreference to SrImadrAmAyaNam - rAj~nA daSarathenAsi labdho'mr*tamiva amaraih (AraNya.kANDam)- daSaratha obtained rAma like the necatar by the gods. He also refers us to theSruti - Santi samr*ddham amr*tam (tai. SIKshA. 6) -Brahman is replete withtranquility and immortality (amr*tam).BhagavAn's tirunAmam ArAvamudan expressesthe same idea - The Insatiate Nectar. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references todivya prabandham -ANDAL - manattukku iniyAnai pADAvum nI vAi tiravAi - intiruppAvai; The outpouring by nammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 10.7.2 - 
enakkut tEnE!pAlE! kannalE! amudE! - He is everything to me, like honey, milk,sugar candy, nectar, etc.
nammAzhvAr again in tiruvAimozhi 2.5.4 - 
eppozhudum nAL ti~ngaL ANDuUzhi torum appozhudukku appozhudu en ArA amudamE! -You are Insatiate Nectar to me always, no matter how much I enjoy you - fordays, months,years, yuga-s. You are the fresh nectar every time, even if I haveyour anubhavam continuously.

soma also refers to the moon. SrI Sa~nkarauses this meaning in one of his interpretations for this nAma.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNaSAstri and SrIcinmayAnanda give reference to gItA 15.13 in support - 
pushNAmicaushadhIh sarvAh somo bhUtvA rasAtmakah - Becoming the moon radiatingthe life-giving rays, I nourish all herbs. The interpretation of soma here asreferring to the moon is given by tirukkaLLam SrI nr*simhAcAryasvAmi in his gItAvyAkhyAnam.

508 - puru-jit

The Conquerer of all.

om puru-jite namah.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the vyAkhyAnam - 
purUn - bahUn jayati iti puru-jit -He who conquers many.  SrI BhaTTarrefers to SrImad rAmAyaNam in support of his vyAkhyAnam giving this meaning.King daSaratha pleads with kaikeyi to spare him from the torture of separationfrom rAma who is the personification of everything that is good. In thiscontext, he tells kaikeyi - rAma has conquered the world through truth, the poorby charity, the teacher by his dedicated service, and the enemies by His mightybow, i.e., He has conquered many or all.

satyena lokAn jayati dInAn dAnena rAghavah |
gurUn SuSrUshayA vIro dhanushA yudhi SatravAn || (ayodhyA. 12.29)

This same guNa of bhagavAn viz. puru-jit, isreferred to by tiruma~ngaiAzhvAr in periya tirumozhi 1.10.2 and 4.3.5 (SrI v.v.rAmAnujan):
ila~ngaip patikku anRu iRaiyAya arakkar kulam keTTu avar mALakkoDip-puL tirittAi!(1.10.2), and tI-manttu arakkar tiRal azhittavanE(4.3.5). 
SrI rAmAnujan also observes that Lord rAma has the distinction of winning overthree from the same family - rAvaNa was won over by His valor, vibhIshaNa by Hisdharma and character, and SUrpanakhA by His appearance. Thus again He hasconquered many throughmany means.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha extends theinterpretation to cover the whole Universe which is under the control ofbhagavAn - 
asa~nkhyAta tArAgrahaupagraha sahitam tathA vana-upavana samudrAdi sahitam 
kha-gola bhUgolaAtmakam sarvam viSvam yena vaSikr*tam sa puru-jid vishNuh- 
He who has under His control all the constellations, the lands, the oceans,thedifferent worlds, all the souls, and everything there is, is puru-jit. Thedharma cakram writer observes that the same attributes that helped rAma win overeveryone viz. dharma, truth, humility, etc., are the same attributes that weneed in life to overcome obstacles in life. When obstacles arise for those whopractice these traits, these should be only taken as temporary incidences thatare meant to reinforce their faith in following the good traits that ensureultimate success. This was true in the case of hariScandra and the pANDava-s.This nAma of bhagavAn should teach us to follow the traits that will ensuresuccess in life in the long run.

509. puru-sattamah

a) He who remains with the great.
b) He whose form is of cosmic dimensions, and who is the best of all 

om puru-sattamAya namah.

There are many different interpretations forthis nAma.  SrI BhaTTar'svyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn remains with manygreat ones such as Hanuman who are always desirous of drinking the ocean ofHisnectar-like qualities. He gives the following words of HanumAn in support:

sneho me paramo rAjan! tvayi nityamapratishThitah |
bhaktiSca niyatA vIra! bhAvo nAnyatra gacchati || (uttara.40.15)

"O King! My love for Thee is very greatand it is firmly planted in Thee. O Warrior! My devotion to Thee is even moresteady. I can not think of going anywhere else (leaving this world where Thouhastenslaved me)".

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to tiruma~ngaiAzhvAr -
Sindai tannuLnI~ngAdirunda tiruvE! maruviniya maindA! (tirumozhi 4.9.2); and
EttuvAr tam manattuLLAn - tirumozhi 1.8.4.

SrI Sa~nkara interprets the nAma as consistingof two attributes, puruhand sattamah, the first referring to the multi-faced,multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-dimensioned, viSva-rUpa form, and the secondreferring to His being the best of all, sattama. viSvarUpatvAt puruh, utkr*shTatvAtsattamah. SrI ChinmayAnanda gives the meaning "great" to the word puru,and interprets the nAma as bhagavAn being the Greatest among the great. Heopines that the pATham purushottamah is used in some versions for this nAma, andthe meaning then is given in terms of purushah and uttamah -Omnipresent andBest.SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma in terms of three constituentsof the nAma - puru, sat, tama. Taking sat to mean existence here, He is farsuperior to anything that exists, since everything except Him is impermanent oranityam, and He is the onlynityam. A trivial example for lack of a better one isthe relative impermanence of a pot compared to the maker of the pot. Thus theinterpretation given is that of the amr*tatvam of bhagavAn.

The dharma cakram writer gives the meaning"He who shines through many great forms", and refers to the vibhUtiyoga in SrImad bhagavad gItA. He is the Sun and the moon in those that shine,sAma veda among veda-s,indra among the deva-s, etc.

510. vinayah

a) The Subduer.
b) He who leads well.

om vinayAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar vyAkhyAnam is vinIyante damyanteiti vinayah - He who subdues. He gives the example of the subduing of mArIca byLord rAma through His valor. Or because He causes the evil-doers to have modesty(vinayam) by punishing them, He is vinayah.

SrI ChinmayAnanda observes that the directmeaning of the word vinayah is "He who shows supreme humility". Hereit means "He who humiliates those who are unrighteous". He also givesan alternate interpretation- vi-nayah, where nayah refers to He who leads (netAetc.)., and vi-nayah refers to the Lord who leads well the seekers steadilythrough the path of truth and righteousness.

511. jayah

a) He who is conquered.
b) He who is victorious.

om jayAya namah.

SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is samastAni bhUtAnijayati iti jayah - He who is victorious over all beings.

SrI BhaTTar gives the first interpretation.The nirukti descriptionfor SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is Asritaih jIthate yasmAtvidheyokriyatejayah - One who has been conquered by the devotees and who actsaccording to their wishes.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan comments that even thoughthe interpretation that He is one who has jaya SrI with Him can be given, SrIBhaTTar's choice of his interpretation is to bring out the dominant guNa-s ofbhagavAn such as souSIlyam.  SrI BhaTTar gives examples of this quality ofLord rAma from SrImad rAmAyaNa -
"Aj~nApyo'ham tapsvinAm" - "I am to be commanded by the sages -i.e., I am at their disposal" (bAla. 3.37); 
tato nArAyaNo vishNuh niyuktaihsura-sattamaih - Then nArAyaNa was directed bythe great gods (bAla.16.1).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that jayahconnotes bhagavAn being everywhere, in everything, controlling everything,having conquered everything and everyone, being unconquerable ever by anything,etc. The dharma cakram writer explains the context of being victorious for ourday-to-day life - the lesson we should learn from this nAma. There are alwaystwo aspects to our character - acquiring and practicing  qualitiesthat are conducive to our realization of bhagavAn, or indulging in activitiesthat are contrary to this. Being subservient to wealth, committing even heinouscrimes in order to acquire and accumulate wealth, going after name and fameinstead of devoting ourlife in kaimkaryam to bhagavAn, etc. are some examples ofthe latter.  rAvaNa, duryodhana, etc. were examples of characters who fellprey to their inferior instincts in their lives. The victory that we should aimfor is over the base instincts that will result in our defeat in our effort tocross the ocean of samsAra. For real victory in this life, we should develop andpractice characters such as kindnesstowards others, sacrifice for the welfare ofothers, vairAgyam, bhakti,etc.

512. satya-sandhah

a) He whose promises are always true.
b) He of firm resolve.

om satya-sandhAya namah.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the meaningpratij~nA or promise to the word sandhA. Thus satya sandhah means He whosepromises are alway strue. SrI BhaTTar quotes Lord rAma's words to sItA pirATTiabout this  aspect of bhagavAn's guNa -

apyaham jIvitam jahyAm tvAm vA sItesa-lakshmaNam |
na tu pratij~nAm samSrutya brAhmaNebhyo viSeshatah || (AraNya.10.19)

"O sItA! I would rather give up my life,or even you and lakshmaNa, than break my promise especially that which has beenmade to brahmins".

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference tonammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 9.10.6- 
nALum tan meyyarkku meyyanE - always true to His true devotees. SrIrAmAnujan comments that bhagavAn was not only true to His devotee PrahlAda,but He became true (i.e., made His appearance) to even His adversaryhiraNyakaSipu in the process (poyyanukkum meyyan!). BhagavAn's own words to SrIrAmAnuja as conveyed in SaraNAgati gadyam -
rAmo dvir-nAbhibhAshate, and anr*tam nokta pUrvam me na ca vakshyekadAcana- 
come to mind. Instances of daSaratha keeping his word to kaikeyi, dharmaputragoing to the forest and undergoing aj~nAtavAsam just for the sake of fulfillinghis word, the story of hariScandra, etc. are examples of great people caring tokeep their words. This is why they are great, and dear to bhagavAn.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the derivation satyA sandhA(samkalpah orpriatij~nA) asya iti satya-samkalpah - He who has firm resolve anddetermination that always becomes true. Both SrI R. anantakr*shNaSasti and SrIcinmayAnanda quote the following from purANa, but I am unable to locate thereference:

"Heavens might fall, earth might crumbledown, the Himalayas might be crushed, the ocean might become dry, but My worduttered shall never become vain".

513. dASArhah

a) He who is worthy of gifts.
b) He is worthy to be possessed as a gift.
c) He who was born in the race of daSArhah i.e., the yAdava race.

om dASArhAya namah.

The nAma is derived from the root dASr* dAne -to give away, and arhah meaning deserving. Thus there are two interpretationsgiven. The first is that He is fit to be worshipped through offerings of gifts,and the second is that He is fit to be aimed for as the ultimate gift. 

SrI Sa~nkara has given the interpretations aand c, and SrI BhaTTar has given all three interpretations. SrI BhaTTar explainsthat He is fit for us to offer our selves to Him, or alternately, He considersHis Supreme Self fit to be offered to His devotees. Along the lines ofinterpretation (a), SrI cinmayAnanda observes that bhagavAn is fully competentto receive all the offerings made with devotion in the ritualistic sacrifices.The third interpretation is based on bhagavAnkr*shNa being born in the daSarhaclan or tribe of the yAdava race. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr- 
enadu AviyuL kalanda perunal udavikkuk kaimmARu 
enadu Avi tandu ozhindEn ini mILvadenbadu uNDE(tiruvAimozhi 2.3.4) 
in support of SrI BhaTTar's interpretation along the lines of (a) referring toHis being fit for our Atma samarpaNam. An example of where bhagavAn sees it fitto give His gift to the devotees is the mohini incarnation where He bestowed thenectar that He Himself churned out of the milky ocean to the deva-s who wantedit. BhagavAnis "perumakkaL uLLuvar tam perumAn" (tiruvAimozhi 3.7.4) -He who resides inside the great people who chant His name, where He is sought asthe gift by these great people.

In support of the interpretation a), thedharma cakram writer observes that bhagavAn is fit for our offerings over anyoneelse, since He accepts all our offerings including our sins, and if we offer ourkarma-phalan to Him, He relieves us of all the effects of our karma and bestowsmoksha on us.

514. sAttvatAm-patih

The Lord of the sAttvata-s.

om sAttvatAm-pataye namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives a detailed derivation of theword sAttvata starting from the word sat meaning either Supreme Brahman or thequality of sattva. sattvAn is one who knows brahman or one who is possessed ofthe quality of sattva. sAttvata signifies the act of a sattvAn in knowingbrahman or in acquiring the quality of sattva or the scriptures followed by asattvAn. sAttvata-s are thus bhAgavata-s. Since bhagavAn is the Lord of thesAttvata-s or bhAgavta-s, He is sAttvatAm-patih.

The yAdava race is also called the sAttvatarace. Since Lord kr*shNa is the Lord of the yAdava-s, He is calledsAttvatAm-patih. Another interpretation, given by SrI Sa~nkara and those thatfollow his vyAkhyAnam, is that bhagavAn is sAttvatAm-patih since He is theLeader of those who follow the tantram called sAttvatam, the scriptures whichare essentially sAttvic in nature. SrI cinmayAnanda observes that the path ofthe sAAttvata-s is single-pointed meditation upon the form of Lord vishNu withabsolute devotion. For this reason, the pA~ncarAtrins are also called sAttvata-s.SrI P. B. aNNa~ngarAcArya svAmi explains that this nAma refers to bhagavAn beingthe Originator of the pA~ncarAtra system and thereby being the Protector of thesAttvata-s or bhAgavata-s.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan