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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 62



581. tri-sAmA - He who is propounded by the three-fold sAma veda.

om tri-sAmne namah.

There are three important kinds of sAma veda - bRhat, rathantara, and vAma-devya, all of which sing His praise. This nAma signifies this aspect of bhagavAn. These three branches are together called deva-vrata.

Of the four veda-s (rG, yajus, sAma, and atharva), sAma veda is the one that has the praise of the various deities as its principal theme. It is musical to hear when it is chanted with the proper intonations. BhagavAn declares in SrImad bhagavad gItA - vedAnAm sAmavedo'smi (10.22) - Among the veda-s, I am the sAma veda. Thus it is a vibhUti
of bhagavAn Himself.

SrI cinmayAnanda gives a slightly different interpretation - He indicates that among the singers who praise Him through the sAma gAna are three who are well-known- deva-s, vrata-s and sAman-s.

582. sAma-gah -

a) The singer of sAma.
b) He who is praised by the sAma.

a) Om sAma-gAya namah.

BhagavAn Himself sings the sAma in His svAnubhavam and so He is called sAma-gah. The mukta-s in paramapadam sing the sAma in bhagavad-anubhavam - etat sAma gAyannAste (taiitirIya.). SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri gives the following reference which sings the greatness of the sAma veda - 
He who knows the sAma veda, is the knower of brahman -
Rco ha yo veda sa veda devAn yajUgumshi yo veda sa veda sarvAn |
sAmAni yo veda sa veda sarvam ||
A couple of writers have emphasized the role of the music in the power of sAma veda in bringing about the brahmAnubhavam.

b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the second explanation - sAmabhih mantraih gIyate iti sAma-gah.

583. sAma -

a) He who removes the sins of those who sing about Him.
b) He who is in the form of the sAma veda Himself.
c) He who is soft and sweet.

Om sAmne namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar derives the meaning from the root sho (so) -anta-karmaNi - to destroy, to bring an end to. (pApam) syati iti sAma - He who brings an end to the sins of those who sing about Him. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references to tiruvAimozhi 3.6.2 - Savam uLLana nIkkuvAnai, pAva nASanai, pa~ngayat taDak kaNNanaip paravuminO; naraga nASan (periAzhvAr tirumozhi 4.4.4).

b) SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi interprets the nAma as referring to His being the sAma veda Himself - vedAnAm sAma vedo'smi (gItA 10.22). SrI cinmayAnanda observes that this is to express the very sacredness of the veda itself.

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri uses the meaning of sAma in the sense of sAma, dAna, bheda, and daNDa, and interprets the word sAma as referring to His being soft and sweet. The means which He used to try to urge duryodhana to follow the path of dharma is the sAma mArga - that of being soft and gentle in His persuasion. He gives the support from the Sruti - yat khalu sAdhu tat sAmetyAcakshase (chAndogya. 2.1.1).

The dharma cakram writer observes that sAma vedam is so called because of its sweetness and softness.

584. nirvANam -

The Bliss.
a) He who is the cause of Bliss to His devotees
b) He who is the embodiment of Bliss Himself

Om nirvANAya namah.

nirvANam refers to Absolute Bliss. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out that vANam refers to body, and the state of being beyond the 'I' and "mine" feeling associated with the body, is nir-VANam. SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is called nirvANa because He is the cause of attainment of the state of Bliss by those whose sins have been eliminated as stated in the previous nAma. The state when even the wind that blows is not felt by the body is the state of nirvANa, where there is total disassociation with the identity of the body with the self.

The dharma cakram writer points out that suffering is of three kinds - bodily, mental, and that associated with a~jnAna. Animals have bodily suffering, most humans have bodily and mental sufferings, and those among humans who try to realize the self also have the suffering from aj~nAna. Thus, the more evolved a being, the more the causes for suffering. One who transcends all these sufferings is the one who realizes Absolute Bliss. As long as the animals have no hunger and no disease, they are happy. But a human who is free from hunger and disease, all the same makes himself unhappy by pursuit of misery in the form of worldly pleasures. These include the inability to dominate others, the inability to get whatever they want for their materials pleasures, the desire for material wealth, the desire for success in everything they undertake, and on and on. It is when humans try to satisfy the five indirya-s through external means that they invite and incur suffering and sorrow. It is by getting to the state of nirvANa (the total disassociation of the identify of the body with the self) that one starts to overcome this kind of suffering. This can only happen by meditating on bhagavAn who is the embodiment of nirvANa. This is the lesson to take from this nAma.

585. bheshajam -

The Remedy.

Om bheshajAya namah.

He is the only remedy for the otherwise incurable disease of samsAra. SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the bhIshma stava rAja (mahAbhArata):

nArAyaNAt Rshi-gaNAh tathA siddhA mahoragAh |
devA devarshayaScaiva yam viduh duhkha bheshajam ||

"The groups of Rshi-s, siddha-s, the serpent-gods, and godly seers came to know of this medicine for the disease of samsAra from nArAyaNa". SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to mUnRAm tiruvantAdi (4) -
marundum poruLum amudamum tAnE; and to peria tiruvantAdi 62 - na~ngaL piNikkAm peru marundu.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri's anubhavam is that He is the medicine that leads to nirvANa, the tender and soothing medicine for the disease of samsAra.

The dharma cakram writer observes that for self -realization one needs good bodily health but more importantly good mental health. For both of these, one should lead a life of control of the senses and control of the mind. Just as we take medicine for rectifying the illness of the body, we should resort to the medicine of meditating on Him so that we can avoid the disease of the mind. Health of the mind is something that most of us don't worry about, but this is very important for attaining Bliss. Chanting His nAma and meditating on Him are the means to maintain the health of the mind; hence He is the Medicine. This is the lesson to take from this nAma.

586. bhishak -

The Physician.

Om bhishaje namah.

BhagavAn is the expert Physician who treats the disease of the fear of samsAra in His devotees through the teaching of the brahma vidyA in the form of the gItA and other upanishads. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to the divya prabandham - maruttuvanAi ninRa mA-maNi vaNNA.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri observes that the mantra "nirvANam bheshajam bhishak" should be recited by those who seek relief from diseases. That bhagavAn is the first and foremost of the physicians is supported in the taittirIya upanishad - prathamo daivyo bhishak (4.5.1).

The dharma cakram draws analogy between the physician who treats the diseases of the body, and bhagavAn who treats the diseases of the mind. Unlike the bodily cure which is transient and temporary, the treatment that bhagavAn gives by removing the aj~nAna or ignorance is permanent. This is the spirit with which one should meditate on this nAma.

SrI cinmayAnanda gives an alternate explanation - that this nAma can refer to bhagavAn in His form as dhanvantari, the Deity of Medicine in the Indian system of Medicine. Since He appeared in this form as the Lord of Physicians, He is called "The Physician - bhishak".

587. sannyAsa-kRt –

a) He Who cuts asunder the bonds when desires are renounced.
b) The Institutor of the samnyAsa ASrama for the attainment of moksha.
c) He Who shows the path of SaraNAgati to His devotee.

Om sannyAsa-kRte namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets this nAma in relation to the previous nAma,  and explains how bhagavAn treats those with the affliction of the  bondage of samsAra.  "sAttvikena sanyAsena rajas-tamasau kRtanti iti  sannyAsa-kRt - He who cuts the bonds in the form of rajo and tamo  guNa-s in those who perform all their acts in a disinterested manner  with a spirit of renunciation of desire for the fruit.  Another name  for this is also sAttvika-tyAga - The abandonment of all the fruits of  any action we perform, and assignment of these benefits to Him and Him  alone;  in other words, every act that we perform should be for His  benefit and His pleasure.  This is the gist of karma yoga that is  enunciated in the gItA.  The word san-nYasa here signifies surrender of  the burden to the Master, and this surrender alone is the remedy for  samsAra.

SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the Sruti –

"vedAna vij~nAna suniScitArthAs-sanyAsa yogAt parimucyanti sarve  | 
te brahma loke tu  parAntakAle parAmRtat parimucyanti sarve |" -

Those who have acquired  the true knowledge of tattva, hita and purushArtha through the study of  the upanishads, do yoga by doing acts renouncing the desire for fruits  and giving up the idea that they are the chief agents of the acts.  By  this process their minds become pure and they practice bhakti yoga.  At the end of their last body they attain the brahman and become free  from all karma.

b) SrI Samkara vyAkhyAnam is "mokshArtham caturtham ASramam kRtavAn iti
snanyAsa-kRt" - He Who instituted the fourth ASrama of samnyAsa for the
attainment of moksha.

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri brings out the point that while samnyAsa -  the surrendering of the burden for our acts and the fruits thereof to  Him - is the only means for relieve from samsAra, it is also He alone  who shows this path of samnyAsa to His devotee;  in other words, He is  the One who leads His devotee to perform samnyAsa.   SrI kRshNa datta  bhAradvAj echoes this when he gives the following interpretation for  the nAma - 

"samyak nyAso nikshepah samnyAsah shad-vidha SaraNAgateh 
ekatamam a~ngam Atma nikshepaNAm adheyam | 
tam karoti draDhayati  bhakta-hRdaye iti samnyAsa-kRt. 

Thus, bhagavAn is samnyAsa-kRt in the  sense that He is the One who blesses His devotee so that He performs  the act of surrender or saraNAgati.   He is also the One who gives the needed qualifications to those who undertake the samnyAsa ASrama - SrI  cinmayAnanda.  

d) The dharma cakram writer brings out the importance of leading a life  devoid of attachment caused by the indriya-s.  He gives the analogy of  a child forming in the mother's womb, which has to give up the mother's  womb at the appropriate time if it were to live.   Similarly, the jIva  has to give up the life dominated and controlled by the indriya-s if it  is to evolve to a higher level than to be part of the cycle of samsAra.   This act of being relieved from the negative guNa-s of prakRti viz.  rajas and tamas is samnyAsa.  The current nAma emphasizes the importance of leading a life of detachment and renunciation.

588. Samah –

a) He Who instructs on how to control anger etc.
b) He who instructs that control of mind is the principal dharma for
samnyAsin.
c) He who controls all beings, including during pralaya.
d) He Who has absolute control of mind - He Whose nature is Calmness.
e) He who puts an end to the darkness in His devotees' mind.


Om SamAya namah.

The root from which the word is derived is Samu - upaSame -  to grow  calm, to put an end, to stop (note the link to SAnti).  So the meaning  is - One who puts an end to, One who quiets down or calms down, etc.   Thus, the interpretations are related to:  He puts an end to qualities  like tamas in His devotees, He puts an end to all things at the time of  pralaya, He gives instructions on how to calm down the mind, He  controls all beings, etc.  SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that by  meditating on this quality of bhagavAn, the person who meditates will  himself become quieted down in his mind, and attain SAnti.

a) SrI BhaTTar continues the link with his interpretation for the  previous nAma, and interprets this nAma as referring to bhagavAn being  the Instructor of how to control the desire, anger, fear etc.   He  gives reference to the gItA 5.29, where bhagavAn tells us that He is  the real enjoyer of the fruits of all sacrifices and austerities –

bhoktAram yaj~na tapasAm sarvaloka maheSvaram  | 
suhRdam sarvabhUtAnAm j~nAtvA mAm Santim Rcchati  ||

b) SrI Samkara ties the interpretation to his interpretation of the  previous nAma as referring to the samnyAsa ASrama, and indicates that  bhagavAn is the instructor of the rule of Sama or control of the mind  for the samnyAsin, and he quotes the smRti - 

yatInAm praSamo dharmo  niyamo vanavAsinAm   | 
dAnameva gRhastAnAm SuSrUshA brahmacAriNAm  ||

c) He also gives the alternate interpretation -
sarva bhUtAnAm Samayitaiti Samah – He controls all the beings.  

SrI anantakRshNa Sastry interprets this as referring  to His quieting or calming down everything during the pralaya.

d) SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation that bhagavAn Himself is the embodiment of calmness, and so He is called Sama Himself.

The dharma cakram writer elaborates on how the ancient traditional  system ensured that this control of the mind was built into the duties  of all the four ASrama-s.  In the brahmacarya stage, practices such as  getting up early in the morning, taking a cold bath, chanting veda-s,  performing the mantra japam, serving the guru, and being kept active  throughout the course of the day, was part of the training, and so the  control of the mind was constantly  inculcated.  Similarly, the gRhasta  was supposed to involve himself actively in performing religious rites  such as yaj~na-s etc.,  which kept him involved in mind control through  involvement in these activities.  Similar discipline applies to the  vAnaprastha and samnyAsa ASrama-s.  The current nAma reveals to us that  control of the mind and channeling of the mind towards acts that please Him should be our goal in life.

e) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets Samah  to mean that bhagavAn puts an end to the darkness in us - 
tamobhavAni kAryANi Samayati niSAcarANAm. 

589. SAntah –

He whose mind is always tranquil.

Om SAntAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar comments that even though bhagavAn's greatness is such that  it can express itself like a rising ocean,  He chooses to be tranquil  like a calm and waveless ocean.  A poet has said of sage vyAsa:  His  tranquillity is such that even the wild animals become tranquil at his  very sight.   It can also be said that in  spite of all the oceans of apacAra-s that all of us commit, which can  justifiably make Him boil with anger at our deeds, He still keep  Himself tranquil and always willing to forgive us. 

SrI Samkara's vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn is peaceful because He is  completely unattached to the sense world - "nishkalam, nishkriyam,  Santam" - SvetAsvatara. 6.19.   SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri  gives the  additional reference to praSna upanishad 7.5 - SAntam ajaram amRtam. 

The dharma cakram writer observes that the more one gets involves in  the desire for material objects, the more one gets lack of peace of  mind.  The more one draws one's interests inward, the more one finds  peace.  Thus control of the mind is the path to attaining peace.  The  more one meditates on this mantra which represents the guNa of  tranquillity in bhagavAn, the more our mind will become tranquil.

590. nishThA –

a) The object of concentration.
b) The stable Abode of all during pralaya.

Om nishThAyai namah. 

a) nishThA essentially means a pivot, firm support.   SrI BhaTTar's  vyAkhyAnam for the nAma is "vyutthita cittaih SubhASrayabhUte asmin  nishThIyate iti nishThA" - Those who have achieved a deep level of  concentration have Him and His body as the object of their meditation.    The root from which the word is derived is shThA (sthA) - gati nvRttau  - to stand, to wait, to be at hand etc.    SrI kRshNadatta bhAradvAj  gives the derivation of this nAma as - niyatam sthAnam ni-shThAnam  svajanakAmAnAm iti nishThA - He is the firmly established abode as the  object of desire of the devotees.   SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives refers to  peria tirumozhi 4.9.2 - Sindai tannuL nI~ngAdu irunda tiru.

b) SrI Samkara gives the interpretation that He is the stable final  Abode for all the beings during pralaya - pralaye nitarAm tatraiva  tishThanti bhUtAni iti nishThA.  

c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha comments that while bhagavAn has permeated  everything in this world and makes everything else go, He Himself is  fixed.  Just as a worm inside a stone cannot move the stone while the  worm itself keeps moving, the rest of the world keeps moving within Him  and because of Him, but He is fixed - nishThA.  

 The dharma cakram writer observes that the significance of the nAma  lies in realizing the importance of having our thoughts centered and  anchored on bhagavan-nAma-dhyAnam.    The more we let it wander in  search of worldly objects, the more we will be plagued by needless and  meaningless fears and confusion on the real purpose of our existence,  and the more we will slip and fall from that great Object whom we  should attain in order to be relieved of the cycle of samsAra.  We  should meditate on Him with "nishThA" or firmness.

591. SAntih

a) Peace.
b) The object of meditation
c) The Ultimate Support.

Om SAntaye namah.

The root from which the nAma is derived is Samu – upaSame – to grow calm, to put an end to, to stop.Use of the pANini sUtra 3.3.94 – striyAm ktin – adds the affix ktin to the root.  The paNini sUtra 6.4.15 leads to the lengthening of the vowel associated with Sa to SA.  He Who is calm, and in Whom everything else becomes calm, is called SAntaH – SAmyati yatra sarvam iti SAntiH, Samanam vA.

a) When a devotee has attained the perfect calm in the final state of  meditation, this state is called samAdhi.  At that stage, the Lord  makes the devotee enjoy Him and Him alone, and forget all else  including the self, other activities, interests, etc.  This quietening  of all the person's interests and activities is called SAnti, which is  granted only by the Lord.  Those who have abandoned everything else find peace in Him who is the Ultimate Peace.   So He is called SAntih.    This is the final stage of perfect meditation.  SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as:  tatra parama-samAdhau vismRta-sarvAdhikArAH SAmyanti iti SAntiH – In the final stage of perfect meditation they (the meditators) forget all other activities and become tranquil, (and this occurs because He grants them this peace, and so he is called SAntiH).

SrI kRshNan indicates that when one is meditating on Him through the yoga mArga, nothing else distracts them, and there are in continuous and direct communication with Him, and there is absolute tranquility in their mind.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan quotes from the Sruti - yatra nAnyat paSyati nAnyat  SruNoti tad bhUmA - when you enjoy Him and His greatness, nothing else  is seen or heard or enjoyed.   He also quotes from the prabandham -  
ippAl kai vaLaiyum mEgalaiyum kANEn, kaNDEn ghana magarak kuzhai  iraNDum nAngu tOLum (tiru neDuntANDagam 22) - 
When tiruma~ngai AzhvAr  had Him in his mind, he did not remember anything about himself;  he  only saw bhagavAn and His beauty, His AbharaNams, etc.  

SrI rAdhAkRshNa  SAstri gives reference to kaThopanishad 2.2.13 - teshAm SAntih SAsvatI  na itareshAm - Permanent Peace is to be found in Him and nowhere else. 

SrI Sa’nkara vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn is devoid of all avidyA-s, and  so He is the personification of the peace that results from the total  absence of avidyA in Him.   SrI cinmayAnanda substitutes avidyA with  desire.  Agitations are caused by desire, and since bhagavAn is  All-Full and has no desire to be fulfilled, there is no agitation in  Him and He is thus Peace itself.  

SrI cinmyAnanda explains the nAma as “One Whose very nature is peace (SAnti)”.  He elaborates:  “Agitations are caused by desires and the consequent temptations to strive form acquire and indulge in them.  In the All-Full, there is no desire, hence He ned not seek His fulfillment among the perishable objects of the universe, and so He is Peace.

b) SrI kRshNadatta bhAradvAj explains the meaning based on the root  Sama - Alocane - to look at, and explains the nAma as indicating that  He is the object of meditation of the devotees - bhaktAnAm Alocana  vishayatvAt SAntih.

c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation based on Sam-  upaSame - to grow calm, to put an end to, to stop - and interprets the  nAma on the basis of the Sruti - dyauH SAntiH antariksham SAntiH  pRthivI SAntiH Apah SAntiH.   Here the word SAnti can be  interpreted as each level supporting the previous level.  Everything  else is ultimately supported by Him and ends in Him, and so He is  called SAntih. 

SAntaH, SAntiH, SAnti-daH – The later means that when we meditate on Him, we forget everything else disappears from our mind, and so He is SAnti Himself. 

            kai vaLaiyum mekalaiyum kANEn …. (tiruma’ngai)

592. parAyaNam

a) The Ultimate Means.
b) The Best Goal.
c) He Who has the Best Abode to seek.

Om parAyaNAya namah.

The first interpretation is that He is the Means, and the second one is  that He is the End.  Both are  appropriate since bhagavAn is really  both the upAya and upeya.

a) Param ayanam parAyaNam. The root from which the word "ayanam" is  derived here is ay- gatau - to go. He is the best means for attaining  Him, since the highest bhakti that is needed for attaining Him is  acquired from Him alone. SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the gItA,  18.53-54, in support of the interpretation:

nir-mamah SAnto  brahma-bhUtAya kalpate || 
brahma-bhUtah prasannAtmA na Socati na  kAnkshati  | 
samah sarveshu bhUteshu mad-bhaktim labhate parAm  || ,

Also we have in Slokam 11.54 –

bhaktyA tu ananyayA Sakya aham evamvidho arjuna | 
j~nAtum drashTum ca tattvena praveshTum ca parantapa ||

In amarakOSam, ayanam is given as a term that is equivalent in meaning to mArga, or path 
-ayante anena iti ayanam. 

b)  SrI Samkara gives the interpretation that He is the best goal to  aim for, since this way one is assured that there is no return to  samsAra.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to the words "paramam yah  parAyANam" which occur in the introductory part of sahasranAmam. 

SrI cinmayAnanda give the quote from gItA 15-6 – yad gatvA na  nivartante tad dhAma paramam mama –
He is the Supreme Goal, and there  is no return to samsAra after reaching Him.

SrI BhaTTar has interpreted the word parAyaNam in the introduction involving the question from yudhishThira - "kim ekam daivtam loke, kim  vA'pyekam parAyaNam" - as referring to the end (upeya) in his  vyaAkhyAnam to the introduction. (paramam upeyam pRccati - kim vA'pi  ekam parAyaNam iti; ayanam - prApyam; evam upeyam dvidhA pRshTam etc.  are extracts from his vyAkhyAnam to the Slokam kim ekam daivatam loke).  

c) SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi points out there an alternate pATham  is parAyaNah, which means that He is the One who has the best sthAnam -  the best place to offer - param ayanam yasya sah parAyaNam.

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri observes that the japa on "sannyAsa kRt Samah  SAnto nishThA SAntih parAyaNam" will bring peace to a disturbed and  agitated mind .

The dharma cakram writer nicely contrasts the state we achieve when we  control our indriya-s and our mind, and the state we achieve when we  let the indriya-s and mind control us.  In the former case we reach the  state of no more birth in this world, and in the later we are back to  the cycle of samsAra.  When we perform any action, we should remember  that He is the doer and we are only His instrument.  This is how we can  elevate ourselves through karma yoga.  When we convert our desire for  worldly pleasures into a desire for Him instead, we elevate ourselves  through bhakti yoga.  When we realize the true nature of the self and  the distinction of the body and the mind, and realize that we are  subservient to Him and Him alone, we elevate ourselves through j~nAna  yoga.   Thus, it can be seen easily that He is the means for attaining Him. 

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan