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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 56



524. ajah

a) He who is signified by the letter 'a'.
b) He who is not born.
c) He who drives away the darkness in the mind of the devotee.
d) He who goes where the devotee is.
e) He who is the cause of motion in the heart.
f) He who is ever active in bestowing the effects of karma.
g) The collections of things that exist.
h) He who is everywhere and in everything.

om ajAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier twice (96, 206).Based on the root aja - gati kshepaNayoh - which signifies motion or throwingaway, SrI BhaTTar interpreted the first of these occurrences as referring toBhagavAn being the remover of obstacles (kshipati iti ajah). He dispels thedarkness of ignorance by means of the luminous lamp of knowledge. The secondoccurrence was interpreted based on na jAyate iti ajah - He who is not born. Thecurrent nAma is interpreted as "akAra vAcyatayA jAtah" - He who issignified by the sound a or the letter a. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri explains thatwhen the world comes to an end, after the world submerges into earth, earth intowater, water into air, etc., ultimately what is left behind is the sound ofpraNava, and then its root or origin or base, the sound 'a' (akAram), whichsymbolizes bhagavAn.

The other interpretations which have beengiven by other vyAkhyAna kartA-s are summarized under the discussion relating tothe nAma-s 96 and 206. Briefly, SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation thatbhagavAn is the Mover in the heart of the devotee - ajati gacchati kshipati vAajah. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the interpretation that bhagavAn reaches out(gacchati) to where His devotees are, or He is ever active in ensuring thateveryone gets the effects of their karma without discrimination.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the meaning(g) above starting with 'a' referring to vishNu, and ja referring to everythingthat is born from vishNu when combine with 'a'.  He relies on mahAbhArata Santi parva 341.74 in support of theinterpretation (b):

na hi jAto na jAye'ham na janishye kadAcana |
kshetraj~nah sarva-bhUtAnAm tasmat aham ajah smr*tah ||

525. mahArhah

He who is worthy of worship.

om mahArhAya namah.

maham - pUjanam arhati iti mahArhah. mahammeans worship. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan adds that the pUjA referred to here isAtma-samarpaNam or prapatti. This principle of nyAsam or bhara samarpaNam isrevealed to us in the upanishad. SrI BhaTTar refers us to taittirIya nArAyanIyam21 -

brahmaNe tvA mahasa om iti AtmAnam yu'njIta
etad-vai mahopanishadam devAnAm guhyam ||

"The great secret which the gods arekeeping, and which is revealed to us by the great upanishad, is that the jIva isto be offered to bhagavAn, the Supreme Brahman, by means of the praNava, thefirst letter of which, 'a', signifies the paramAtmA, and the last letter, 'm'signifies the jIvAtmA. "To Thee, the Brahman of great effulgence, I offermyself through the mantra 'Om' ".

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri adds that of all theworships offered to bhagavAn, the worship offering our own selves, which isnothing but prapatti, is the greatest and the most supreme. This nAma indicatesthat He is One who is deserving of prapatti.

526. svAbhAvyah

a) He who is to be meditated upon by those whobelong to Him.
b) He who is by nature fit to be the Master.
c) He who is naturally without a beginning.
d) He who is present everywhere and in everything without exception.

om svAbhAvyAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is "svabhUtaih (Atmabhih)bhAvanIyatvAt svAbhAvyah" - He who is fit to be meditated upon by theindividual souls who are His property. Alternatively, svAbhAvikatvena bhAvyatvAtsvAbhAvyah - He who is naturally accepted (as the Master) because everythingelse His property, He being the Creator.

SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is "svabhAvenaabhAvyah" - He who is naturally without a beginning, because He iseternally perfect. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the meaning based on sva +bhU + vyat, where he uses the meaning bhU - bhav to be, and the pANini sUtraorAvaSyake - the affix vyat comes after a root ending in short or long u whenthe sense is that of necessity. Thus, the meaning he gives is that bhagavAnexists everywhere and in everything as a matter of inevitability i.e.,svAbhAvyah means that bhagavan is One who is present everywhere and ineverything naturally and without exception.

527. jitAmitrah

a) He who helps His devotees conquer enemiessuch as anger, kAmam, ahamkAram, mamakAram, etc.
b) He who has conquered anger, kAmam, etc.
c) He who has conquered His enemies such as rAvana etc.

om jitAmitrAya namah.

amitrAh jitAh anena iti jitAmitrah - He bywhom the foes have been conquered. SrI BhaTTar indicates that the foes referredto here are kAmam, aham-kAram and mama-kAram in the devotees. kAmam is thedesire in the devotee for material objects, ahma-karam is egotism, and mama-kAramis the feeling that all things that one possesses are one's own (and notbhagavAn's). One translator has translated the later two as I-ness andmine-ness. These are the enemies that prevent us from having the svarUpa j~nAnam,and bhagavAn helps His devotees by removing them in His devotees. Lord kRshNareveals the powerful negative nature of these enemies (desire, anger, etc.)., inbhagavad-gItA 3.37 to 3.43
(kAma esah krodha esha rajod-guNa samudbhavah |
…..jahi Satrum mahAbAho! kAmarUpam durAsadam ||).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives severalreferences from the Sruti-s for bhagavAn's nAma of jita amitrah: dyumAgm amitradambhanah (Rg 4.15.4), amitra senAm maghavan (atharva. 3.1.3); etc. He alsopoints out that those who follow bhagavAn and dharma come out victorious inwhatever they undertake, whereas those who forsake dharma are guaranteed to failin the end as well.  

This guNa of bhagavAn in removing the foes ofself-realization in His devotees is also described in the prabandham (v.v.rAmAnujan) - "en peru vinaiyaik kiTTik kizha'ngoDu tan aruL ennum oL vAluruvi veTTik kaLaindavan"; SeyyEl tIvnai enRu aruL Seyyum en kaiyArcakkarak kaNNa pirAnE (tiruvAimozhi 2.9.3).

SrI Sa'nkara also adds the aspect ofbhagavAn's conquering the enemies such as rAvaNa, SiSupAla, etc. There is alsothe interpretation that He has conquered these enemies such as kAma, krodha,etc., Himself; thus, He has conquered the enemies within as well as outside.

528. pramodanah

a) He who delights His devotees.
b) He who is always joyful.

om pramodanAya namah.

pramodam karoti iti pramodanah - He who fillswith joy the minds of those who meditate on Him. 

The nAma is derived from the root mud - harshe- to rejoice, to be glad. SrI BhaTTar connects the interpretation of this nAmato the previous one by indicating that when the devotees realize that bhagavAnhas removed the foes such as anger, desire, etc., they feel delighted, and He ispramodanah in this sense. SrI Sa'nkara also gives an alternate explanation -pramodate iti pramodanah - He is ever joyful.

SrI PBA, SrI v.v. rAmAnujan etc. connect bothinterpretations a and b nicely through the following anubhavam - The devoteesfeel delighted that enemies such as ahamkAram, mamakAram, fear, anger, etc.,have been removed from them by bhagavAn; bhagavAn in turn feels delighted whenHe finds that His devotee is delighted. This is like the parents feelingdelighted when their child is happy.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out that whilemodah refers to the pleasures associated with day-to-day life, pramodanam is thedelight that is associated with the realization of the true nature of the self. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha remarks that theextent to which bhagavAn keeps His creations happy can be seen by the fact thateveryone wants to cling to this material body and no one really wants to leavethis body that they get because of their prior karma!

529. Anandah

He Who is Bliss.

om AnandAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the next few nAma-s interms of bhagavAn's kapila incarnation (The nAma kapilAcAryah is embedded in thenext Slokam). He is called Anandah because He is endowed with a Bliss that isbeyond description or imagination (vA'ng manasa dur-graho mahA Anandah asya astiiti Anandah). SrI BhaTTar reminds us of the discussion of the nature of HisBliss in Anandavalli in taittirIya upanishad. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan explains thatthe choice of the attribute of Anandah to describe kapila is because kapila wasdevoid of all attachments. The Sruti is "Srotriyasya ca a-kAmahatasya"- where the reference is to one who has overcome kAma or desire (kAmahata refersto one who is afflicted with kAma, and a-kAmahata is one who has overcome kAma).brahmAnandam is Bliss or Joy that is beyond description and imagination. kapilawas a brahmin who had overcome all desire, and the Bliss of such a one is thestate of brhamAnandam. 

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives references to theSruti referring to bhagvAn being Ananda-svarUpan - AnandarUpam amRtam yadvibhAti (muNDaka. 2.2.7); Ananda AtmA (taitt.2.5); Anando brahma (taitt. 3.6).

530. nandanah

The Bliss-Giver.

om nandanAya namah.

nandayati iti nandanah. BhagavAn gives thisbrahmAnandam (described in the previous nAma) to the liberated souls (mukta-s)when He confers moksham to them, and as a result He Himself rejoices. Theprevious nAma signified that He is the embodiment of Bliss, and the current nAmaindicates that He gives this happiness to the mukta-s. This happiness is in noway different from the happiness that He Himself enjoys. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstripoints out that the mukta-s derive this Bliss by His mere nearness to them, justas the mere presence of a child near them makes the parents happy.

531. nandah

He Who is full of things that are Blissful.

om nandAya namah.

He has with Himself, in full, the enjoyablematerials, the instruments for enjoyment, the modes of enjoyment, the people whoenjoy, etc., at all times. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan elaborates on this further bypointing out that since BhagavAn is unattached to anything, and does not haveany need or desire, He has everything that is needed for Absolute Bliss.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma as- nandanti samardhante asmin viSvarUpe purusha iti nando vishNuh - BhagavAnvishNu is called nandah because all jIva-s derive their final happiness in HimWho is the pUrNa purusha.

SrI Sa'nkara also gives an alternate nAma -anandah - instead of nandah, and gives the meaning that BhagavAn is devoid ofall worldly pleasures which result from sense-contacts.

532. satya-dharmA

a) He Who performs His dharma truthfully.
b) He Who protects those who have surrendered to Him without exception.
c) He Who truly has all the kalyANa guNa-s in perfection

om satya-dharmaNe namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation thatBhagavAn is called satya-dharmA because He is noted for His uprightness towardsHis devotees right from the time they begin to approach Him up to the time oftheir attainment of Him (a). His dharma is well-known to be sAdhu-paritrANam andSaraNAgata -paritrANam. SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi and SrI M. V.rAmAnujAcArya svAmi interpret the nAma as expressing the guNa of bhagavAn thatHe protects those who have surrendered to Him without exception (b).

BhagavAn's own words to Bhagavad rAmAnuja inSaraNAgati gadyam explain the dharma of bhagavAn:

anRtam nokta pUrvam me na ca vakshye kadAcana|
rAmo dvir-nAbhibhAshate ||

sakRdeva prapannAya tavAsmIti ca yAcate |
abhayam sarva-bhUtebhyo dadAmyetad vratam mama ||

sarvadharmAn parityajya mAm ekam SaraNam vraja|
aham tvA sarva-pApebhyo mokshayishyAmi mA Sucah ||

He is true to what He has declared as Hisdharma, and so He is called satya-dharmA.

SrI Sa'nkara interprets the term dharmA torefer to guNa-s such as j~nAna, and SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri elaborates furtherand explains the nAma as indicating that bhagavAn is the Abode in Perfection forthe six guNa-s - j~nAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakti and tejas 

SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation thatBhagavAn has all the true dharma-s such as kindness, charity, etc., toperfection, and so He is satya-dharmA. He also gives the alternateinterpretation that bhagavAn is the embodiment of yoga, and supports it with theupanishad declaration "aym hi paramo dharmah yad-yogena Atma-darSanam"- "That alone is Supreme Dharma which is to experience the Self throughyoga". 

533. tri-vikramah

a) He Who pervades the three veda-s.
b) He Who measured the three worlds with three strides.
c) He Who pervades all the three worlds completely.
d) He Who has transcended the waking, sleep, and deep-sleep states.

om tri-vikramAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets "tri" here asreferring to the three veda-s (Rk, sAma, and yajur veda-s). The terms trayI andtri are used for the three veda-s, and tri-vikramah has been interpreted asreferring to His pervading the three veda-s, viz. He is the object of the threeveda-s . SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the following:

trirityevam trayo vedAh kIrtitAhmuni-sattamaih |
kramate tAn tathA sarvAn tri-vikrama iti smRtah ||

SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning "veda"for the word "loka" in this reference, whereas SrI Sankara uses themeaning "world" for this same word in his interpretation (b) whichfollows.

b) SrI Sankara gives the interpretation interms of the trivikrama incarnation - trayo vikramAs-trishu lokeshu krAntA yasyasah tri-vikramah (b). He gives supporting quotes from Sruti - "trINi padAvicakrame (tait. brA. 2.4.6); and from harivamSa (279.50) - "trirityevam…" which we saw in the previous interpretation.

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the thirdinterpretation in addition to the first two viz. that bhagavAn is tri-vikramahin the sense of pervading everything in all the three worlds.

d) SrI ChinmayAnanda uses the same harivamSareference and interprets the word loka to mean the three "fields ofexperience - the waking, dream, and deep-sleep conditions", and gives themeaning that bhagavAn is One Who has trancended these three states and reachedthe Infinite Consciousness, ie., He is the paramAtman. Thus, this nAmaillustrates that the spiritual seeker has to just to take the three steps viz.cross the waking, dream, and deep-sleep states, to realize the centre of self inhimself. 

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan