Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 60

563. bhagavAn

a) He Who is worthy of worship.
b) He Who is full of the six attributes
c) He Who knows the origin and the end of all beings.

om bhagavate namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma asreferring to His being worthy of worship because of His essential nature whichis antagonistic to all defects and which is endowed with all auspiciousqualities. The word bhaga has a special meaning which refers to the sixattributes, but SrI BhaTTar does not use this meaning here to interpret thisnAma, which the other vyAkhyAna kartA-s use. Instead, he gives theinterpretation "He Who is worthy of worship". In amarakOSa vyAkhyAnam,there is a reference to "bhajyata iti bhagah", which seems to fit SrIBhaTTar's interpretation for the current nAma. He uses the reference to the sixattributes in interpreting the next nAma "bhagahA". In support of SrIBhaTTar's interpretation for the current nAma, SrI v.v. rAmAnujan givesreference to AzhvAr aruLicceyal: uyarvaRa uyar nalam uDaiyavan (tiruvAimozhi1.1.1), tIdu il SIr nalam tigazh nAraNan; andam il Adiyam bhagavan (tiruvAimozhi1.3.5).

b) SrI Sa'nkara and other vyAkhyAna kartA-sinterpret the current nAma based on the word bhaga referring to the sixattributes. SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the derivation - bhago j~nAnAdishaTkam vidyate niratiSayam yasmin iti bhagavAn - He in whom the six attributes(j~nAna etc.), which are called bhaga-s, are present in perfection and fullnessis called bhagavAn. SrI Sa'nkara gives reference to vishNu purANam supportinghis interpretation:

aiSvaryasya samagrasya vIryasya yaSasah Sriyah|
j~nAna vairAgya yogaScaiva shaNNAm bhaga itI'nganA || (V.P.6.5.74)

"He Who possesses the attributes ofaiSvaryam or Lordship, dharma, fame, wealth, j~nAna and vairAgya in full iscalled bhagavAn". There are differing versions of the Sloka, with dharmasyareplacing vIryasya, "j~nAna vairAgyayoScaiva" replaced by "vairAgyasyAthamokshasya", etc.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the followingbrief explanation of the six attributes referred to above: - aiSvarya - Thequality of being the Lord of all - He can control and rule over all things atall times, and thus He is the Supreme over all. (na tasya ISe kaScana - tait.AraN. 10.10) - vIrya - The ability to be victorious over any enemy (ugram vIrammahAvishNum) - yaSah - kIrti; Worthy of praise by all without exception (tasyanAma mahad-yaSah - (tait. AraN. 10.1) - SrI - Wealth; He is One Who hasmahAlakshmi always residing as part of Him (Sriyam lakshmIm aupalAm ambikAm gAm)- j~nAna - Because He is the Knower of the past, present, and future and theLord of the three - bhUta bhavya bhavan-nAthah (yah savaj~nah sarvavit yaysj~nAnamayam tapah - muNDako. 1.1.9) - vairAgya - Being unattached to anything (savA ayamAtmA brahma akAma mayah - bRhadA. 4.4.5)

c) SrI Sa'nkara gives an alternateinterpretation as well, also based on another Slokam from SrI vishNu purANam:utpattim pralayam caiva bhUtAnAm Agatim gatim | vetti vidyAm avidyAm ca sa vAcyobhagavAn iti || (V.P. 6.5.78) "He is named bhagavAn who knows the originand the end, the arrival and the exit, of all beings, and also vidyA and avidyA". 

564. bhagahA

a) He Who is possessed of auspiciousqualities. 
b) He Who gets rid of the wealth etc. from everyone during praLaya. om bhagaghnenamah.

a) As was pointed out in the last para, SrIBhaTTar's interpretation for bhagahA uses the meaning of bhaga referring to thesix attributes, and here he quotes the same vishNu purANam reference that SrISamkara uses for the last nAma (VP 6.5.74). The literal interpretation is "bhagaSabdyAn sa kalyANa guNAn hanti tu gacchati" - He Who goes to (i.e., has)all the six attributes referred to by the term bhaga. The usual meaning for hAis "to kill, to destroy" - e.g., vIrahA. But SrI BhaTTar uses themeaning "hanti - goes" in his interpretation. SrI kRshNa dattabhAradvAj also adopts the same interpretation - bhagam mAhAtmyam jihIte gacchatiprApnoti iti bhagahA.

b) SrI Samkara uses the meaning of hA - tokill, and interprets the nAma as meaning that He is the Remover of all thingssuch as wealth from everyone at the time of pralaya - aiSvaryAdikam samhArasamaye hanti iti bhagahA. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives a different elaborationof this idea - bhaga represents the vastness of things, and hA represents thecontraction of this vastness. Thus He is called bhaga-hA because He reduces thevastness of His creation by contracting it all into Himself at the time ofpralaya. svAmi cinmayAnanda points out that in this sense, it is not"destruction" of things, but an absorption of things back into Himselfthat initially came from Him. The dharma cakram writer observes that theimpermanence of things like wealth, fame, etc. is what is being imparted to ushere, and the more we understand this and remove our attachment to these, thecloser we would have understood the significance of this nAma.

565. nandIor AnandI

a) He Who has nanda as His father.
b) He Who is ever blissful by Nature, and also because of His prosperity and thesix guNa-s.
c) He Who is ever happy by association with His devotees.
d) He Who gives Bliss to His devotees.

om nandine namah

om Anandine namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives both the above nAma-s, andSrI Samkara gives the latter nAma. In both the interpretations, SrI BhaTTarinterprets the nAma as referring to balarAma as the samkarshaNa form of bhagavAn,and SrI Samkara interprets the nAma as AnandI, referring to bhagavAn in HiskRshNa incarnation. Others interpret the nAma as nandI or AnandI, both referringto Lord kRshNa.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma nandI asreferring to balarAma whose father is nandagopa. BhagavAn who was samkarshaNa inthe vyUha form took incarnation as balarAma in the vibhava form with nanadagopaas His father. SrI cinmayAnanda chooses to interpret the same as referring toLord kRshNa, who was brought up by nandagopa (nandagopan kumaran nArAyaNan).

b) SrI Samkara interprets the nAma as AnandI,signifying that He is ever prosperous because He is rich in everything, orbecause His Nature is Bliss - sukha svarUpatvAt AnandI, or sarvAbhih sampadbhihsamRddahtvAt AnandI.

c) SrI BhaTTar interprets the term AnandI torefer to balarAma who made Himself and all around Him happy in AyarpADi. Thedharma cakram writer uses the same sense and interprets the nAma to refer tokRshNa who made Himself and all around Him happy in AyarpADi.

d) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives theintepretation - nandati samRdhyati iti nandI - He Who gives delight to Hisdevotees. SrI cinmayAnanda observes that those who move towards Him in puresurrender come to share His divine nature of All-Bliss. The term AnandI can alsobe interpreted to mean this same idea.

The dharma cakram writer points out thesignificance of the nAma AnandI - that we are inherently blissful, but just asthose who have eyes can choose to close their eyes and suffer in darkness, weclose our eyes to j~nAna and suffer in misery and distress. The means to get outof this state of suffering is to realize bhagavAn's and our true svarUpam. Thisrealization can be attained only through His grace, and so worshipping Him withdevotion is the only means for everlasting happiness. The gopi-s of AyarpADiwere happy always because they did not have any other thought except the thoughtof Him, and so they were devoid of any worldly thought. The significance of thisnAma is to teach us that the means to true happiness is to immerse ourselves inHis thought rather than divert ourselves into worldly thoughts. 

566. vanamAlI

He Who has the vanamAlA garland. om vanamAline namah.

He is known s vanamAlI because He is adornedby the vyjayantI Garland, which is the presiding deity over the pa'nca bhUta-sand the pa'nca-tanmAtra-s (the five elements in their gross and subtle form),and also over the quality of fragrance. The pa'nca tanmAtra-s or the five subtleelements are Sabda, sparSa, rasa, rUpa, and gandha - sound, touch, taste, sight,smell. The pa'nca bhUta-s associated with these tanmAtra-s are: AkAsa or ether,air, fire, water, and earth. vana mAlai literally refers to a garland made offlowers that grow in the forest. For the purpose of making it, five differentcolors are used to string the garland, representing the five tanmAtra-s. Thesymbolic meaning is that He wears this Universe with its diverse variety like agarland around His neck. The dharma cakram writer observes that we experiencethe five tanmAtra-s through the five j~nAnendriya-s or sense organs. This nAmateaches us that we should surrender or dedicate the five senses to Him andworship Him with devotion, instead of diverting them to the sensuous enjoymentof this world.

567. halAyudhah 

One Who has the plough in His hand.

om halAydhAya namah.

SrI Samkara gives the explanation - halamAyudham asya iti halAyudhah. This thus refers to the incarnation as balarAma.SrI BhaTTar points out that bhagavAn works like an agriculturist with a ploughin His hand for the prosperous growth of the pa`nca mahA bhUta-s (earth, water,air, etc.).

568. Adityah

a) Son of devaki who was aditi in her previousbirth
b) Son of aditi (and kaSyapa) in His vAmana incarnation
c) BhagavAn samkarshaNa, who is attained through the bIja mantra "A"
d) He from Whom moksha is obtained.

a) SrI BhaTTar gives reference to vaishNavadharma in support of the first interpretation:

dAkshAyaNi tvam aditih sambhUtA vasudhAtale |
nityaiva tvam jagad-dhAtrI prasAdam te karomyaham || (vishNu dharma 93.44 )

" You are dAkshAyaNi (the daughter ofdaksha) born as aditi in this world. You are the mother eternal of the world. Iconfer favors on you".

b) SrI Samkara interprets the nAma asreferring to bhagavAn's vAmana incarnation as aditi's son - adityAm kaSyapAtvAmana rUpeNa jAta Adityah. SrI kRshNadatta bhAradvAj gives reference to thefollowing, but the source is not identified:

"bhAdramAse site pakshe dvAdaSyAmSubhavAsare |
kaSyapAt aditer-mAtuh bhagavAn vAmanah abhavat ||

c) SrI BhaTTar gives the alternateinterpretation: "A" varNAt Atah ityah - prApyah iti Adityah - He Whois realized by the mystic letter "A" which is the bIja mantra forsamkarshaNa.

d) SrI cinmayAnanda uses the same basis as c,and interprets At to mean "from vishNu", and ityah to mean "to beattained", and interpreta Adityah to mean "He from Whom moksha isobtained". The next segment is interpreted by SrI BhaTTar as pertaining tothe incarnation of bhagavAn as nArAyaNa. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan points out thatwhile the nAma "nArAyaNa" is very special, it also refers to one ofthe incarnations He took (nara and nArAyaNa forms) in badri.


a) The Resplendent Aditya.
b) He Who resides in the disc of the sun.
c) He Who glows like the sun

om jyotir-AdityAya namah.

a) His tejas is such that it makes the sunlook like a dark spot by comparison. SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is "divyAScaryajyotir-mayatvAt apUrvah jyotir-Adityah. He gives reference to mahAbhArata:"nishprabhANi ca tejAmsi brahmA caiva AsanAt cyutah" (SAnti. 344.90)"When nara and nArAyaNa began to fight with bhava (rudra), all theluminaries became void of their luminosity, and brahma too slipped from hisseat".

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives the references todivya prabandham: nandAda kozhum SuDar (tirumozhi 1.10.9), umbar vAnavar Adiyamjyoti.

b) He is the cause of the brilliance of thesun (dhyeyah sadA savitRmaNDala madhyavartI nArAyaNah sarasijAsana sannivishTah).He is jyoti of the Aditya or the sun - the antaryAmi of the sun. SrI Samkara'svyAkhyAnam is: jyotishi savitRmaNdale sthitah, jyotir-Adityah.

c) SrI kRshNa bhAradvAj gives theinterpretation - dyotate dIpyati iti jyotih | jyotih Aditya iva itijyotirAdityah - He Who shines like the sun. He gives the following support:"vedAhametam purusham mahAntam | Aditya varNam tamasah parastAt || (SvetAS.Upa. 3.8), and "sarvasya dhAtAram acintya rUpam Aditya varNam tamasahparastAt (gItA 8.9).

570 sahishNuh 

a) He Who is endowed with enormous patience.
b) He Who forgives.
c) He Who suffers patiently for us with perfect detachment.
d) He Who conquers His foes.
e) He Who willingly accepts the offerings of His devotees.
f) He Who can bear the opposites - like heat and cold.

om sahishNave namah.

This nAma has occurred before as nAma 146. Seethe write-up under that nAma as well.

a) SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is "aparAdhasahanAt sahishNuh" - Because He puts up with all kinds of aparAdha-s. SrIBhaTTar refers to the "fight that bhagavAn had with Siva", andbhagavAn's putting up with Siva's aparAdham and forgiving him after he wasdefeated. It appears that the reference here is to the yuddha where Siva triedto support bANAsura against bhagavAn. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives other instanceswhere bhagavAn has displayed His enormous patience. He put up with the enormousabusive language from SiSupAla - kETpAr Sevi Sudu kIzhmai vaSavugaLE vaiyumpazham pagaivan SiSupAlan tATpAl aDainda tanmaiyan (tiruvAimozhi 7.5.3); palapala nAzha'ngaL Sollip pazhitta SiSupAlan tannai alaivalaimai tavirtta azhagan (periAzh.4.3.5).

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives reference toSrImad rAmAyaNam - kshmayA pRthivI samah - Lord rAma's patience is like that ofMother Earth herself, who puts up with all our abuses and still does notretaliate. Another of his very interesting observations is that He was born tothe likes of devaki, aditi, kausalyA etc., and so inherited the patience fromthem (recall the life histories of the three!), and displayed it in each of Hisincarnations.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha notes that patience isbhagavAn's Nature, His dharma, His conduct - sahate tat Silah, tad-dharmah, tad-sAdhuh.His dharma of patience is inculcated in every aspect of His creation, includingthe structure of the body which is provided with a skeleton that bears theweight and structure of the rest of the body without collapsing etc.

b) Under the vyAkhyAna for nAma 146, SrIBhaTTar eloquently describes bhagavAn's guNa of forgiving the apacAra of Hisdevotees when they surrender to Him:

"prAk, Urdhvam ca, sa'ncitAnAm, buddhyA,abuddhyA, sakalakaraNaih,
sarvadA, sarvathA ca, pracIyamAnAnAm, vidhi-nisheda Sasana
atila'nghanAtmanAm, sAdhAraNAnAm, asAdhAraNAnAm ca,
svAvaj~nA-nindAnInAm, sarvamsahena svenApi dus-sahAnAm, sva-bhakta
vishayANAm ca, anavadhikAnAm aparAdhAnAm, sahishNuh"

"He forgives the accumulated sins thatwere committed in the past or to be committed in the future, sins committedconsciously or unconsciously by all the organs of sense at all times and in allways, sins committed by not observing the SAstric injunctions or by doing actsforbidden by the SAstra-s, sins that are common and uncommon, sins committed byinsulting Him and abusing Him, as well as the sins against His owndevotees".

In SaraNAgati gadyam, SrI bhagavad rAmAnujalists some of the enormous apacAra-s that we all commit, and asks Hisforgiveness on our behalf. "mano vAk kAyaih anAdikAla pravRtta anantaakRtyakaraNa akaraNa bhagavad-apacAra bhAgavata-apacAra asahya-apacAra-rUpanAnA-vidha-asahya apacArAn Arabdha kAryAn anArabdha kAryAn kRtAn kRiyamANAnkarishyamANAnSca sarvAn aSeshatah kshamasva" - "apacAra-s performedthrough thought, word and deed, sins committed through the infinite number ofbirths, the infinite sins accrued from performing acts that are forbidden andfrom not performing karma-s that are prescribed, the apacAra-s committed towardsHim and towards His devotees (bhAgavata-s), all the varieties and shades of sinsthat we commit that can't possibly be tolerated and forgiven, those that havealready begun to fructify and those are still to take their effects, the sinsthat we have committed in the past, those that we are actively committing now,and those that we will commit in the future" bhagavAn forgives all thesewithout any left-over IF WE UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDER TO HIM. This is the basicconcept of prapatti.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to divyaprabandham - "tan aDiyAr tiRattagattut tAmariyAL Agilum Sidagu uraikkumElen aDiyAr adu SeyyAr SeidArEl nanRu SeidAt enbar pOlum (periAzh. 4.9.2)",to show the magnanimity of His forgiving nature. Interpretations b, c, and d arecovered in the earlier write-up for nAma 146.

e) SrI kRshnadatta bhAradvAj gives theinterpretation - "sahitum tRptim anubhavitum bhakta upahRtaih phalAdibhihSilam yasya iti sahishNuh", and "sodhum tRptim anubhavitum svajasevayASilam asya iti sahishNuh", which signify that He willingly accepts and issatisfied by even the simple offerings such as fruits by His devotees, and bythe services that they offer. Recall "patram pushpam phalam toyam…"in SrImad bhagavadgItA (9.26).

f) SrI Samkara's vyAkhyAnam for the currentinstance of this nAma is that He is capable of putting up with opposites likeheat and cold - dvandvAni SitoshNAdIni sahata iti sahishNuh. For bhagavAn, thereis no difference between these opposites, since He is unaffected by any of thesesuch as happiness vs. sorrow. SrI anantakRshNa SAstri observes that this wasvividly demonstrated by bhagavAn in His intense penance as nara nArAyaNa inbadari.


a) The best instructor in the path of dharma.
b) The Best among the refuges to be sought.
c) The Ultimate Support and the Greatest of all beings.

om gati-sttamAya namah.

The several ways in which this nAma has beeninterpreted correspond to:

sad-gatih tamah; gatih sattamah ca; sat tamahgatih; etc.

a) SrI BhaTTar gives the vyAkhyAnam - sa evaparama dharmAdhvadesikatvena gati-sattamah - gatau pratyayita tamah - He is theBest Instructor there is for dharma (He gave us the gItA, the veda-s, etc.). SrIv.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to tiruvAimozhi which conveys the same idea: ARRanalla vagai kATTum ammAn (4.5.5); "nambanE! navinREtta vallavargaL nAthanE!(periAzhvAr tiru. 5.1.9); neRi vASal tAnEyAi ninRAn (mudal tiru. 4) - where neRimeans the path of dharma.

b) SrI Samkara interprets this nAma asrepresenting the two attributes of bhagavAn - gatih and sattamah - He is thepath and He is the Best - gatiSca asau sattamaSca iti gati-sattamah. He is theultimate resort and support of all (gatih), and He is the greatest of all beings(sat-tamah).

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the interpretation that Heis the best among the objects/places that are to be sought. This is because Heis forgiving and patient (previous two nAma-s), and so He will not ignore thosewho have sinned, and so He is the easiest path and therefore the best path inthis sense also. SrI kRshNadatta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation: "gantavyasthAne gatiprayogah - The term gatih is used in the sense of the place worthy ofreaching". He further adds: "SrIman nArAyaNa caraNAvinda sAnnidhyamevasavottamam gantavyam". SrI satyadevo vAsishTha also echoes the sameinterpretation - gati Sabdena iha gatirASrayah gRhyate, tena gatirASritAnAmSreshThatamo gatisattamah.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan