Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 57

om maharshaye namah
BhagavAn is maharshih because, in His incarnation as kapila, He realized the three veda-s by intuitive perception (Rshir-darSanAt- niru. 2.11 - satyadevo vAsishTha). He is known for chanting all the veda-swithout a break - SrutIh RgAdyAh vaktrebhyah prodgirantam atah smaret. SrIBhaTTar gives reference to SvetASvataropanishad 5.2 - Rshim prasUtam kapilammahAntam (kapila, who was a seer from his birth). He is also a maharshi for hispropounding the sAnkhya system - sAnkhyasya vaktA kapilah paramrshih sa ucyate(source of quotation unidentified). SrI Sa'nkara gives reference to the gItA,where bhagavAn kRshNa declares that "Of the perfected ones, I am the sagekapila" - siddhAnAm kapilo munih (gItA 10.26).

SrI Sa'nkara comments that those whoenvisioned part of the veda are referred to as Rshi-s, and those who envisionedthe entire veda are referred as the "Great Rshi-s (maharshi-s)". Ofthese, Lord kRshNa ranks kapila as the foremost (the gItA reference above). SrISa'nkara combines this nAma and the next one as one nAma - maharshihkapilAcAryah - kapilAcArya, the great sage. We already saw why kapila is calleda maharshi. He is also an AcArya because he propounded the sAnkhya system.

535. kapilAcAryah

He Who is of brown complexion and also an AcArya.

om kapilAcAryAya namah.

kapilaScAsau AcAryaSca iti kapilAcAryah.kapilam refers to the color of the inside of a tree; Sage kapila's namesignifies his complexion which resembles that of smokeless fire. The mantra tomeditate on him is "nirdhUmA'ngAra varNAbham Sa'nkha padmAksha sUtriNam"- He who is possessed of a luster like the burning and smokeless ember, and hasSan'kha and padma beads in his hand. The reference to kapila being like thesmokeless and burning ember also can be taken to refer to his character which isflawless like the smokeless fire, and the similarity to the burning fire areference to his extra-ordinary j~nAnam. The mantra referring to this attributeis "samvit prakASanAya" - To Him Who spread the knowledge of Hissystem. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives a nice and crisp definition of an AcArya -Acarati svayam, SishyebhyaSca AcAram grAhayati iti AcAryah - An AcArya is onewho observes the sad-dharma himself, and also imparts the knowledge of thissad-dharma to his disciples.

536. kRtaj~nah

a) He Who remembers the good deed done.
b) He Who is both the Created and the Creator.
c) He Who knows everything about His Creation.

om kRtaj~nAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier as nAma 83 (Slokam9). Please refer to the earlier explanation
or additional guNAnubhavam.

sukRtameva j~nAtavAn iti kRtaj~nah

He Who remembers only the good actsdone. 

SrI BhaTTar explains this nAma in the contextof sage kapila and the sons and grandson of sagara, a descendant of the ikhsvAkurace. The sons of king sagara offended sage kapila and he reduced them to ashes.But later on, amSumAn, the grandson of sagara, came before kapila and bowed withrespect, and pleaded on behalf of his ancestors. kapila remembered only thisgood act, and immediately conferred a boon to amSuman to ask whatever he wants.

SrI Sa'nkara interprets kRtam as referring tothe Universe which is created, and j~nah as referring to the Knower or the AtmAwhich is not created. Since bhagavAn is both the Created and the Creator, He iskRtam and j~nah (SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri). SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives theinterpretation - kRtam jAnAti iti kRtaj~nah - He Who knows precisely everythingthere is to know about His creation. He knows the why, when, how, where, what,and precisely for how long, of everything He has created.

537. medinI-patih

The Lord or Protector of the Earth.

om medinI-pataye namah.

At the time of creation, when the Earth sankunder water, at the request of brahmA, bhagavAn took the yaj~navarAhaincarnation, and supported the Earth and brought it out. In the form of kapilain the pAtALa loka, bhagavAn is supporting the Earth through His yoga-Sakti. InSrImad rAmAyaNam, we have

yasyeyam vasudA sarvA vAsudevasya dhImatah |
kapilam rUpamAsthAya dhArayatyaniSam dharAm || (bAla. 1.40.2)

"All the Earth belongs to the omniscientvAsudeva; taking the form ofkapila, He always bears the Earth".

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives the reference totiruvAimozhi which conveys the same thought: peria appan, piraman appan,uruttiran appan, munivarkku uriya appan, amarar appan, ulagukkOr taniyappan(8.1.11).

538. tri-padah

a) The Propounder of the three tattva-s.
b) He Who is in the form of praNava mantra with three letters.
c) He Who assumed the form of a Boar with three humps.
d) He Who triumphed over the worlds with three steps.
e) He Who is the Lord of the past, present, and future. 

om tri-padAya namah. Thethree tattva-s referred to here by SrI BhaTTar are: pradhAna (non-sentientmatter), purusha (the individual soul), and paramAtmA. These are also referredto as bhoktA (the individual self), bhogya (the objects of enjoyment or thenon-sentient matter), and niyantR (Ruler). SrI BhaTTar gives reference to vishNudharma 63.59:

sattvAnAm upakArAya pradhAnam purusham param |
darSayishyAmi lokeshu kApilam rUpam Asthitah ||

"For the benefit of all beings in theworld, having assumed the form of kapila, I am going to reveal the threeRealities viz. pradhAna, purusha, and paramAtmA".

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri explains that the threetattva-s refer to the three states in which bhagavAn manifests Himself - as Onewho protects the world, as one who protects the devatA-s who protect the world,and as SrIvaikunTha nAthan disassociated with this world. SrI BhaTTar gives twoother alternate interpretations.

b) tri-padah can also mean that He isrepresented by the three words or syllables of the praNava - A U M.

c) In His varAha incarnation, BhagavAn assumedthe form of a boar with three humps (tri-padah) - tavaivAsam trika-kudo vArAhamrUpamAsthitah (mahA. moksha. 343.63) - "I assumed the form of varAha (Boar)with three humps". d) SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma in terms of the tri-vikramaincarnation, and supports it with the quote from taitt. brAhmaNa 2.4.6 - trINipadA vicakrame - "He who triumphed over the three worlds by His threestrides". SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the following interpretation to thetrivikrama incarnation: bhagavAn measured this world with one step and coveredall the sthUla belongings of mahAbali, with the second step He measured all thesUkshma belongings of bali such as svarga which he would have achieved in hisfuture births through His current good deeds, and through His third step Heremoved the ahamkAra mamakAra-s of bali and sent him to the eternal parama padam.

e) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri also gives analternate explanation that bhagavAn has His Feet (i.e., His Adhipatyam) in thepast, present, and future, and so He is called tri-padah.

539. tridaSAdhyakshah

a) The Savior of the thirty-three gods.
b) The Master of the three states.
c) The Master of the three guNa-s.

om tridaSAdhyakshAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the term tri-daSa torefer to the thirty three gods and explains the nAma as signifying that bhagavAnis their adhyaksha and helps brahma and others when they encounter difficultiesin their functions after the pralaya (brahmAdeh pralaya Apat sakhatvAt). Prof.SrInivAsa rAghavan adds that the term tri-daSa, which means three times ten orthirty, is a rounded number which refers to the thirty-three gods (eight vasu-s,eleven rudra-s, 12 Aditya-s, and the two aSvin-s). In tiruppAvai (20) we havereference to the thirty three deva-s - muppatti mOvar amarkku mun SenRu kappamtavirkkum kali (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan). SrI rAmAnujan explains how bhagavAn hasbeen the Savior of the gods during the creation soon after pralaya. When theworld was submerged under water, and brahma could not proceed with creation,bhagavAn took the form of the big boar and lifted the earth out of water andthus helped brahma in his task.

SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as tri-daSAadhyakshah, where the term tridaSA refers to the three states - waking, dream,and deep-sleep states. SrI cinmayAnanda extrapolates the term to mean the rajas,tamas, and sattva guNa-s. Thus bhagavAn is the Lord of the three states, or Onewho has mastery over the three guNa-s. 

540. mahA-SR'ngah

a) The Big-tuskedvarAha. 
b) He who took the matsya rUpam with the big horn. om mahA-SR'ngAya namah.

SR'nga refers to the horn of an animal. SrIBhaTTar gives interpretation (a), and quotes the reference from SrImad rAmAyaNam- ekaSR'ngo varAhastvam (yuddha. 120.14) in support of his interpretation. Helifted the Earth from the waters with the tip of His tusk, and the Earthappeared like the leaf of a lotus besmeared with mud on the tusk of an elephantthat has entered a lotus-pond (vishNu purANam 1.4.36). SrI v.v. rAmAnujanexplains that the horn or tooth of this varAha rUpam was so huge (mahASR'nga)that the Earth looked like a small particle of food stuck at the tip of thetooth of this huge form ( SrImad bhAgavatam).

SrI Sa'nkara gives interpretation (b) - thatthe nAma refers to matsya incarnation, where bhagavAn towed the boat tied to Hisbig horn with satyavrata in it and sported Himself in the pralaya waters.

541. kRtAnta-kRt

a) The Slayer of hiraNyAksha.
b) He who kills death himself.
c) He who proclaimed the kRtAnta (siddhanta).
d) He who brings about the end to the manifested condition of the Universe.

a) and b):
kRtAntam kRttavAn iti kRtAntakRt (SrI BhaTTar);
kRtAntam mRtyum kRntati iti kRtAntakRt (SrI Sa'nkara).
Both the interpretations have the same meaning. kRtAnta refers to yama. SrISa'nkara takes the literal meaning of kRtAnta, and gives the second meaningabove, viz. when bhagavAn brings an end to everything, this includes yama also.SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation (a), that bhagavAn is the Slayer ofhiraNyAksha who was like yama.

c) SrI BhaTTar gives an alternateinterpretation as well. kRtAnta refers to sidhhAnta, and bhagavAn is kRtAntakRtsince He has promulgated His doctrine of protecting those who seek refuge inHim. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to peria tirumozhi of tiruma'ngai AzhvAr(2.6.3) where the varAha avatAram is described as the personification of j~nAnam- Enattin uruvAgi nilama'ngai ezhil koNDAn j~nAnattin oLi uruvai ninaivAr ennAyagarE.

d) SrI Sa'nkara also gives an alternateinterpretation -
kRta anta kRt - kRtasya antam samhAram karoti iti kRta anta kRt,
meaning He brings about the destruction of kRta or manifested condition of theUniverse.

The dharma cakram writer adds that just as the farmer whosows the crop also destroys it for the ultimate benefit of His creatures,bhagavAn creates and then destroys what He created, for the ultimate benefit ofthe jIva-s.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan