Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 55

515. jIvah

He who gives true life to His devotees.

om jIvAya namah.

jIvayati iti jIvah (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan).
He helps bhAgavata-s keep away from committing sinful acts and thereby bringingabout their ruin, and instead makes them lead a life of Bliss by doing serviceto Him. SrI rAmAnujan corroborates this interpretation of SrI BhaTTar byreference to periAzhvAr - eyiRRiDai maN koNDa endai irAp-pagal Oduvittuennaip-payiRRip-paNi koNDAn (5.2.3). He even made the squirrels do service toHim and thus enjoy the bliss of kaimkaryam to Him. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha givesthe more general interpretation viz. that bhagavAn is the cause of sustenance ofeverything - jIvayati prANAn dhArayati iti jIvah

516. vinayitA

a) The Savior.
b) He who shows the path to everyone.

om vinayitre namah.

SrI BhaTTar derives the interpretation fromthe root nay, which has teo meanings - gatau rakshaNe ca - to go or to protect.SrI BhaTTar uses the second of the two meanings. In fact he states that bhagavAnprotects His devotee-s with love and affection and treats them like princes -rAjakumAra lAlanena rakshati. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives the moving example ofLord rAma's words of concern to sugrIva after his first fight with vAli, wherehe was defeated and had to come back. rAma says "tvayi ki~ncit samApannekim kAryam sitayA mama" (yuddha kANDam) - "Of what use is it to me toget sItA if even the slightest harm has been caused to you?" - such was theconcern and love that he had for a mere monkey-king. We have nammAzhvAr's wordsin tiruvAimozhi - j~nAlattUDE naDandum ninRum kiDandirundum SAlap pala nALugandOr uyirgaL kAppAnE (6.9.3) - You show your standing pose, your recliningbeauty, your sitting posture on different occasions to sustain the lives ofthose who seek Your protection.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha bases hisinterpretation using the first meaning given above for nay viz. to go. Hisinterpretation is - sarvasya jagato gatim prAyayitA gater-dAtA ityarthah - Heshows the path to everyone, or gives direction to everyone.

517. sAkshI

The Observer.

om sAkshiNe namah.

BhagavAn is the Observer within every one ofus. uLLuvAr uLLiRRellAm uDan irundu aRidi - tirumAlai 34 (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan).SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is that bhagavAn is so concerned about the welfareof His devotees that He constantly observes them to make sure no harm comes tothem.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives theinterpretation - sAkshAt drashTA sAkshI - He Who sees things as they truly are,or it can also mean He who sees things for Himself. Since bhagavAn is inside us,outside of us, and is everywhere and in everything, He is the the sAkshI ofeverything that happens inside us and outside of us. SrI vAsishTha has composedthe following Slokam as his interpretation for this nAma - 
sAkshI sa vishNuh sa hi darSano vA drashTA svayam sa hi sUrya cakshuh |
j~nAnam hi cakshuh r*tamAtrabodhah so'ntargatah paSyati viSvamAtram ||

SrI Sa~nkara and others who follow hisvyAkhyAnam have interpreted nAma-s 516 and 517 together as one nAma -vinayitA_sAkshI - He who witnesses or observes the humility of His devotees.

518. mukundah

He who gives moksha.

om mukundAya namah.

Both SrI Sa~nkara and SrI BhaTTar give thesame vyAkhyAnam - muktim dadAti iti mukundah. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives severalreferences to divya prabandham: 
pul eRumbu Adi onRu inRiyE naRpAl ayoddhiyil vAzhum 
arASaram muRRavum naRpAlukku uyttanan (tiruvAimozhi 7.5.1); 
anRu SarASara~ngaLai viakundattERRi (perumAL tirumozhi 10.10); 
viNNulagam taruvAnAi viraiginRAn (tiruvAimozhi 10.6.3), etc.

Both SrI Sa~nkara and SrI BhaTTar have givenreference to the pANini sUtra 6.3.109 - pr*shodarAdIni yathopadishTam to supportthe derivation of the word mukunda from muktim dadAti - "The elision,augment and mutation of letters to be seen in pr*shodara etc., while not foundtaught in treatises of grammar, are valid, to that extent and in the mode, astaught by the sages".

519. amita-vikramah

a) He of boundless valor.

b) He of the three great strides (tri-vikrama).

om amita-vikramAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn isthe Supporter of all Realities such as prakr*ti. He is known by the name AdhAraSakti - AdhAra Sakti samj~nasya amUrtasya ca vai vibhoh (SrI paushkara). SrI V.N. vedAnta deSikan's English translation of of the vyAkhyAnam for this nAma bySrI M. V. rAmAnujAcArya is "The Lord is of inestimable capacity tobear".

SrI Sa~nkara gives two interpretations for thenAma. One is based on vikrama referring to Saurya, which means strength, power,might - 
amitam vikramaNam Sauryam asya iti amita-vikramah. 
The nAma occurs in SrImad bhagavad-gItA in Slokam 11.40 - 
anantavIryAmitavikramastvam …., which is translated by SrI tirukkaLLam nr*simharAghavAcAryasvAmi as immeasurable parAkramam, which stands for heroism, prowess, courage,valor.

The second interpretation SrI Sa~nkara givesfor the nAma is based on the meaning "stride, step, pace" for vikramah,or vikramaNa - amitA aparicchinnA vikramAstrayah pAdavikshepA asya - He whosethree strides, or steps, were immeasurable. The reference here is to the tri-vikramaincarnation. The Lord's steps were so vast, they were indeed immeasurable.

The root kram - pAdavikshepe - to walk, tostep, is the basis for the derivation of the interpretation by SrI satyadevovAsishTha, which is the same basis on which SrI Sa~nkara's second interpretationabove rests. However SrI vAsishTha interprets the nAma as meaning that bhagavAnhas innumerable or countless strides in His manifestations. This diversity orextensive manifestation is also reflected in everything around us - the Earth,the sky, and the region in between; rajas, tamas and sattva guNa-s; sun rise,mid-day, and the sunset; etc.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma-s 520 to 528which follow in terms of the kUrmAvatara.

520. ambho-nidhih

a) He who has the waters as His abode (kUrmaincarnation)
b) He who is in the form of the Oceans
c) He who sustains the ambhA-s (devas, men, manes, and asura-s)

om ambho-nidhaye namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives the first interpretation- 
pAtAlAmbhasi akhila-jagadAdhAra-pITha nidhIyate iti ambhonidhih - 
He has kept His form as a Tortoise in the waters of the pAtAla loka as the baseplank to support the Universe. The mantra quoted by SrI BhaTTar in support is: 
"ananta bala Saktaye bhuvanabhr*te kacchapAtmane" - 
Unto Him of unlimited power and strength Who supports the worlds in the form ofa Tortoise.

nidhi means reservoir, abode,receptacle. SrI Sa~nkara gives the second and third interpretations - bhagavAnis the Ocean or the reservoir of water. He quotes the gItA - sarasAm asmiSagarah - 10.24.  His alternateinterpretation is based on the term ambhA as representing the deva-s, the asuras,the people of this world, and the pitr*-s, as defined in the tait. brAhmaNa2.3.8 - 
"tAni vA etAni catvAryambhAsi | devo manushyAh pitaro'surAh ||". 
Thus the nAma can be interpreted to mean that bhagavAn is the abode or restingplace of all the ambhA-s. The dharma cakram writer points out that while theseambhA-s are the ones who control the rest of the life forms, bhagavAn controlsthe ambhA-s, and thus He controls everything. BhagavAn also supports the lifeforms as kUrma mUrti when everything gets submerged under the water duringpralaya. Thus, this nAma signifies that bhagavAn is the Support of all lifeforms at all times.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma asmeaning that bhagavAn establishes (nidhAnam) water in various forms and withvarious attributes and sustains life - the blood stream running in several lifeforms, the water that seeps through the root from the earth to sustain the treesand other plant forms, etc. Water is one of the essentials in sustenance oflife. He gives the quote from atharva veda - apAm retAmsi jinvati.

521. anantAtmA

The Inner Soul of ananta.

on anantAtmane namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as referringto bhagavAn being the Inner Soul of ananta, who bears the Universe standing ontop of the kUrma.

SrI Sa~nkara's interpretation is that bhagavAnis the Indefinable Soul (AtmA), not limited by Time, Space, or Substance (ananta).SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri elaborates on this further by observing that for allobjects in this Universe, if they are in one place they can't be in anotherplace, and if they are in one form they can't be in another form at the sametime. BhagavAn is not subject to these constraints, signified by the nAmaanantAtmA.

522. mahodadhi-Sayah

He Who is reclining in the vast ocean.

om mahodadhi-SayAya namah.

The words comprising the nAma are mahA, udadhi,and Sayah. SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that BhagavAn lies on the couch-likeserpent-body of ananta in the Milk-Ocean at the time of the final deluge. Thisis expressed by periAzhvAr in periAzhvAr tirumozhi 5.1.7 - veLLai veLLattin mEloru pAmbai meddaiyAga virittu adan mElE kaLLa nittirai koLginRa mArgam kANa, andby nammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 3.4.9 - acyutanai anantan mEl naNNi nanguuRaiginRAnai (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan).  

SrI Sa~nkara gives the interpretation thatduring pralaya bhagavAn disintegrates everything and reduces them all into oneocean and reclines in those primeval waters.

SrI cinmayAnanda suggests that the nAma canalso be interpreted as referring to bhagavAn reclining on a fig-leaf on thewaters after the deluge (Alilai mEl paLLI koNDAn).

523. antakah

He Who beings out the end of all.

om antakAya namah.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the derivation "antamkaroti bhUtAnAm itit antakah". SrI BhaTTar gives several supporting quotes: ante pr*thivyAm salile dr*Syase tvam mahoragah (SrImad rAmAyaNa, yuddha. 120.23)- "At the time of the end of this world, Thou art seen on the AdiSesha in the waters of the deep"; 
"kalpAnte yasya vaktrebhyo vishAnala Sikhojvalah | 
samkarshaNAtmako rudro nishkramya atti jagat-trayam
|| - 
"From His mouths, at the end of the kalpa, proceeds the venomed fire that,impersonated as rudra, who is one with balarAma, devours the three worlds"(vishNu purANam 2.5.19). 

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan quotes nammAzhvar - 
yAvarum yAvaiyum ellAp-poruLum kavarvinRit tannuL 
oDu~nga ninRa Azhi am-paLLiyAr - tiruvAimozhi 2.2.6.

SrI cinmayAnanda adds that as Time He brings an end to all things thus creating constant changes in this world, without which no evolution or creative development is ever possible, and in this sense bhagavAn is the antakah.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan