Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 61

572. su-dhanvA

He Who has a splendid bow.

om su-dhanvane namah

 The literal meaning is "One who has a splendidbow".  The vyAkhyAna  kartA-shave different anubhavam-s in interpreting the nAma based on this meaning.

SrI BhaTTar gives the instance of the fight that ensued between the deva-s and the asura-s as a result of the distribution of the nectar, and the resulting demonstration of the splendor of His bow in bringing about the end to that conflict.

SrI Samkara's interpretation is:  Sobhanam indriyAdi-mayam SAr'nga dhanuh asya asti iti su-dhanvA - the great bow in His hand represents His being the controller and supporter of the indriya-s.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to SrI vishNu purANam 1.22.69, wherein reference is made to the significance of the dhanus in His hand -

bhUtAdim indiryAdim ca dvidhA aha'mkAram ISvarah    |
 bibharti Samkha rUpeNa Sar'ngarUpeNa ca sthitam   ||

BhagavAn's dhanus symbolizes the senses (the eyes and the rest), and He  supports the ego or awareness due to the senses (indriya ahamkAra),  represented by the SAr'nga bow in His hand.  (The other verses inSrI   vishNu purANam continueto describe how bhagavAn is the source and  supporter of everything in the Universe as represented by the different  Ayudha-s and aspects of His Form, and thus gives one mode or  representation of a way of meditating upon Him in the forms that are   more easy for the mind to grasp than to meditate on anabstract truth).  

References in divya prabandham that convey the sense of this nAma are   (from SrI v.v. rAmAnujan):  tadavarai tOL cakrapANi SAra'nga vil   SevaganE! (periAzhvAr 5.4.4), paramETTi, pavittiran, SAr'ngam ennum vil   ANDAn (tiruppallANDu).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the analogy of the function of bhagavAn inprotecting the world from the asura-s with His dhanus, just as the bow-shapedeye-brow protects the eye of everyone from unwanted foreign objects. 

573. khaNDa-paraSuh

He with the broken axe.

Om khaNDa-paraSave namah.

Khanu - bhedana = avadhAraNa (khaDi - bhedane- to break), and param SRNAti itiparaSuh Satram, together make the nAma khaNDa paraSuh - One with the broken axe(SrI satyadevo vAsishTha).  Alternatively, one can look at it as khaNDayatiSatrUn iti khaNDah, khaNDah paraSuh yasya iti khaNDa paraSuh - He whose axepunishes or destroys the enemies (SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj) . 

SrI BhaTTar quotes the incident involving bhagavAn's fight with rudra, where He discharged the axe which became broken.  So bhagavAn saysHe  is known as "One with thebroken axe".

atha rudra vighAtArtham ishIkAm nara uddharan   |
mantraiSca samyuyojASu so'bhavat paraSur-mahAn   ||
kshipataSca sahasA rudre khaNDanam prApavAnstathA   |
tato'ham khaNDa-paraSuh tatah paraSu-kahNDanAt   ||   (mahAbhA.
Santi. 362.49)

"Then for the destruction of rudra, nara took a reed and by the  recitation of mantras gave new power to it.  At once it became an  immense axe.  It was thrown on rudra with great force.  Butthen it   broke.  Becauseof the breaking of the axe, from that time I came to be  known as "khaNDa paraSuh - the Lord with the broken axe".

SrI Samkara interprets the nAma in terms of the paraSurAma incarnation   - where, as Jamadagni's son, He punished His foes.  Alternatively,SrI    Samkara suggeststhat the nAma can be taken as a-khaNDa paraSuh, He who   wields an invincible axe - the nAma being given as a-kahaNDA-paraSuh in   this case.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan quotes irAmAnuSa nURRantAdi-56 which supports theinterpretation in terms of the paraSurAma incarnation - kOkkula mannaraimUvezhukAl oru kUr mazhuvAl pOkkiya dEvanaip pORRum punitan, in referring tobhagavad rAmAnuja.   Another reference is to tiruvAimozhi 6.2.10: ninRila'ngu muDiyinAi irupattOr kAl araSu kaLai kaTTa venRi nIr mazhuvA.

574. dAruNah

a)      The Splitter.
b) He who is merciless to those who deviate from the path of virtue.

Om dAruNAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is "bAhyAbhyantara ari dAraNAt dAruNah - As indicated above, He splits into pieces (destroys) the enemies both internal and external.  So He is called dAruNah.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan  gives reference totiruvAimozhi 9.9.2 - igal iDattu aSurargaL kURRam, and to Siriya tiru maDal 41 - avaTku mUttOnai ven-narakam SerA vagaiyE Silai kunittAn. 

SrI Samkara vyAkhyAnam is san-mArga virodhinAm dAruNatvAt dAruNah - He who is harsh and merciless towards those who follow the evil path. SrI  cinmayAnanda gives a niceexplanation that when He punishes anyone, it is for the ultimate good of the one who is being punished.  "Up to a  point the Lord is All-Mercy, but when He finds out that noother method  can save theindividual, like a surgeon at the operation theater, He appears to be relentless - merciless".

The next few nAma-s are being interpreted by SrI BhaTTar in terms of bhagavAn'svyAsa incarnation.

575. draviNa-pradah

 The Bestower of wealth.

Om draviNa-pradAya namah.

Here SrI BhaTTar refers to the wealth in the form of the SAstra-s - He  gave the substance of all the SAstra-s and their meaning.   ThedhyAna   Sloka on vyAsa is:

vahan vai vAma hastena sarva SastrArtha samcayam    |
 dakshiNena ca SAstrArthAn AdiSamScayathA sthithAn   ||

"vyAsa holds in his left hand the collection of all the SAstra-s  and   their purport, and propounds by his right hand (the upadeSa mudrA) the   true import of all the SAstra-s".  nammAzhvAr calls bhagavAn"paNbuDai    vEdamparanda payan" in tiruvAimozhi 6.6.5. 

SrI Samkara interprets the nAma more generically - "The Bestower of thewealth as desired by the devotee".   SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastriexplains that draviNam derives from the concept that it is wealth that is fluid- drava - that can be used right away as needed. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derivesthe meaning for draviNa as wealth from dravati -gacchati iti draviNam dhanam -that which never stays in one place. He gives the following references from theSruti in support of the interpretation for the nAma:

  dadhAti ratnam draviNam ca dASushe agne sakhye mA rishamA vayam tava
(Rg. 1.94.14)

  yatkAmAs te juhumas tanno astu vayam syAma patayo rayINAm (yajur.

The dharma cakram writer has written his explanation for this nAma in Vol. 45.5of dharma cakram, the beauty of which is lost somewhat in translation.  Hedescribes wealth as of two kinds:  preyas and Sreyas. Preyas is that which causes priyam or worldly satisfaction.  Sreyasis that which gives spiritual satisfaction.  To the first category belongthe material wealth, the official position, the wife, the husband, children,etc.  preyas gives problems at one stage or the other. Sreyas removes all problems and sufferings, and leads to mokshamultimately.  After getting the wealth of Sreyas, there is nothing more toget.  Preyas is transient wealth, and Sreyas is permanent wealth. BhagavAn is ever ready to give either of the wealths one seeks, and mostgo after the transient worldly pleasures, and very few seek Sreyas.   

There is the vedic story of naciketa, who requested the wealth of Sreyas from yama, and yama offered to give him the preyas instead.  naciketa told yama that he did not need yama's help for preyas, because he could get that by his own effort;  yama's help was needed onlyfor  Sreyas, since this is somethingthat cannot be obtained by one's own  effortalone.  The lesson to take for us is that we should pray to bhagavAn for Sreyas, since this is the wealth that we cannot attain by our own effort and without His Grace.  This is the tAtparyam behind this nAma.

576. divi-spRk

 He Who touches the skies.

a) through His knowledge
b) by His being not only in the form of this Universe, but also far beyond it.
c) By His vAmana incarnation.
d) By His viSva rUpa revealed to arjuna.
e) By His being the antaryAmi for sUrya and the other planets.

Om divi-spRSe namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as referring to the unbounded extentof Hisknowledge.  By His para vidyA (brAhmic or Supreme knowledge), Hetouches themystic nature of His Reality as it is in the paramapada.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to tiruvAimozhi 3.1.9 - mazhu~ngAdaj~nAnamE paDaiyAgatozhumbAyArkkaLittAn. 

b) It can also mean that He resides in His para form in the regions farbeyondthe skies.  The Sruti declares that one-fourth of His form is inthe form ofthis Universe, and three-fourths is beyond the Universe(tripAdsyAmRtam divi -chAndogyopanishad 3.12.6) (SrI rAdhAkRshNaSAstri).

c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the nAma as divah spRk, andexplains that inthe vAmana incarnation, bhagavAn touches the skieswhile measuring the three feetof land that were promised to Him bymahAbali - vAmanAvatAre SrI bhagavAn svacaraNa kamalena vardhamAnenadivam pasparSa.

d) SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation that He revealed His Universal formto arjuna as divah spRk.

e) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives references to the Sruti to interpret theassociation with divi as referring to the sun.   

vAtasya nu mahimAnam rathasya rujanneti stanayannasya ghoshah   |
divi-spRgyAtyaruNAni kRNvannuto eti pRthivyA reNumasyan   ||  (Rg.

He points out that the terms divi-kshayam, divi-kshitA, divi-carAh,divi-jAh,divi-yajah, divi-yonih, divi-Sritah, divishadah, divi-sadam,etc., are usedrepeatedly in the veda-s to refer to the sun.  So heinterprets the nAmadivi-spRk as referring to bhagavAn as the antaryAmiof the sun and all the graha-sthat are in the skies. 

577. sarva-dRk

 The All-seer.

a) He who sees everything - the totality of para tattvam..
b) He who is in the form of knowledge of all forms.
c) He who is the Creator of all forms that can see under different

Om sarva-dRSe namah.
a) sarvasya drashTA sarva-drk - He who has realized  the totality ofthepara tattvam.  The nirukti description is "sarva darSanAtsarva-dRk". sarva-dRk means He who is Omniscient - He who seeseverything, He who is the eyeof all.   SrI v.v. rAmAnujan givesreference to tiruvAimozhi 3.10.10 -taLarvinRiyE enRum e~ngum parandatani mudal j~nAnam. 

b) sarva-dRk can mean "j~nAnam, knowledge".  He who is in theform of knowledge of all forms ( P. SamkaranArAyaNan - BhavAn's Publications).

c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha elaborates on His being able to seeeverything, fromanother viewpoint.  He points out that bhagavAn hascreated all thedifferent creations that can see in water, in air, inspace, and even indarkness.  He has spread Himself in the Universe indiverse forms which areendowed with bodies to suit these differentconditions, and equipped with indirya-swhich make them function wellunder these different circumstances.  Ants cansmell from very faraway, there are birds that can hear from a long distanceaway, thecamel can drink water and store it for a long time, etc.   

578. vyAsah

The Arranger.

a) He who arranged the veda-s into its four divisions, the purANa-s
into 18, etc.
b) He who divided time as well as His creation into its varioussub-divisions(e.g., day and night, Sukla paksha and kRshNa paksha, manfrom woman, sUrya fromcandra, etc.)
c) He whose ornaments (like kaustubha) shine distinctly.

Om vyAsAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation that because bhagavAn divided theveda thatwas originally in a single form into its four divisions (Rg,yajus, sAma, andatharva), He has the name vyAsa - vibhajanstu caturdhAvai vedamekam trikAlavititi vyAsah.  This was done by bhagavAn in Hisincarnation as vyAsa just tomake it easier for people whose knowledgediminishes in accordance with thechanges of the four yuga-s. 

SrI Samkara gives the interpretation in terms of  the division of theveda-s,and also refers to the division of the purANa-s - anyAni capurANAni vyastAnianena iti vyAsah. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the derviation "vyasyante - pRthakkriyanteanena iti vyAsah -  He by whom things are separated or dividedis vyAsa. He then suggests that the nAma can be interpreted based bhagavAn being the Onewho separates day from night, dakshiNAyana fromuttarAyaNa, Sukla paksha fromkRshNa paksha etc.  He also separatessUrya from candra, and for that mattermakes this world function by itsvarious divisions.

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives yet another dimension to theinterpretation - (yasyakaustubhAdIni AbharaNAni viSeshena asantidIpyanti sa vyAsah) - He whoseornaments like the kaustubha shinedistinctively is known as vyAsah. 

SrI Samkara and the others who follow his vyAkhyAna have interpretedthe abovetwo nAma-s together as one nAma - sarva-dRk vyAsah.  It cansimply mean"The omniscient vyAsa".  SrI cinmayAnanda has given perhapsthebest interpretation for the single nAma- He who creates manyomniscient men ofwisdom. One who encourages the spread of knowledgeand thus turns out many men ofwisdom and clearer understanding of lifeand the world. 

579 :  vAcas-patih

 The Master of words.
(See also 218)
Om vAcaspataye namah.

This nAma has occurred earlier as nAma 218.  Please refer to Slokam 23forthe interpretation provided therein.   SrI BhaTTar interpretsthecurrent occurrence as referring to vyAsa's authorship of themahAbhArata - Heis the Master of words which are in the form of thefifth veda - i.e.,mahAbhArata.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference totiruvAimozhi 5.6.8 -"uraikkinRa munivarum yAnE".

SrI Samkara interprets the nAma as "vAco vidyAyAh patih vAcaspatih"-The Master of all learning.   He interprets this nAma along withthenext one together as one nAma - vAcaspatir-ayonijah - He who is theMaster ofall learning, and who is not born in a mother's womb.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri comments that one who has mastered the wordsalso does notwaste words, and is precise.  This certainly applies tobhagavAn giving usall the instructions for all aspects of lifeconcisely in the form of the veda-s,the brahma sUtra-s etc.

SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation that the nAma means "One whoiseloquent in championing the Supreme Law of life".  It almost seemslikehe had gItAcAryan in his mind. 

Some people have interpreted the term vAcah to refer to sarasvati, andthusconclude that vAcaspatih refers to brahma, the pati of sarasvati. BhagavAn beingthe antaryAmi of brahma will justify thisinterpretation.

580. a-yonijah

The Unborn.

Om ayonijAya namah.

In SrI BhaTTar's interpretation of the current group of nAma-s asreferring tothe vyAsa incarnation, he explains the current nAma asreferring to vyAsa beingcreated out of sound by bhagavAn as sArasvata-

atha bhUyo jagat sRshTvA "bho" Sabdena anuvAdayan    |
sArasvatIm uccacAra tatra sArasvato'bhavat    ||   (mahAbhA.Santi.350.37)

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives the support from peria tirumozhi 4.3.2 -
piRappoDu mUppu onRillavan. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that bhagavAn created the sun, and wecan easilyperceive that the sun was not born like the normal humans,and so it is easy toperceive that bhagavAn is a-yonijah.

SrI Samkara and others following his interpretation have interpretedthe abovetwo nAma-s as one nAma - vAcaspatir-ayonijah - He who is theMaster of words andwho is unborn.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan