om manojavAya namah
om tIrtha-karAya namah
om vasu-retase namah
om vasu-pradAya namah
om vasu-pradAya namah
om vAsu-devAya namah
om vasave namah
om vasu-manase namah
om havishse namah.
695. mano-javah –
He Who is swift as thought.
Om mano-javase namah.
The word javah is derived from the root ju'ng - gatau - to go. The amara koSam commentator observes that the series of words related to javah all indicate movement with speed - etAni sa-vega-gati nAmAni. SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the definition - manaso java iva javo yasya itimano-javah - He Who has speed like that of the speed of the mind.
a) SrI BhaTTar comments that He is called mano-javah because He is faster than thought itself in implementing all the acts described in previous nAma-s in purifying a devotee. SrI BhaTTar gives supports from the gItA and the vishNu dharma:
kshipram bhavati dharmAtmA SaSvat SAntim nigacchati |
kaunteya pratijAnIhi na me bhaktah praNaSyati || (gItA 9.31)
"The devotee who is solely dedicated to Me quickly becomes righteous
and obtains everlasting peace. Affirm, on my behalf, arujuna, that My devotee never perishes".
sapta-janma-kRtam pApam svalpam vA yadi vA bahu |
vishNor-Alaya vinyAsa prArambhAdeva naSyati || (vishNu dharma 83.20)
"The sins committed in seven births, be they many or a few, are all destroyed
the moment a man begins to place his foot in the temple of vishNu".
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to gajendra moksham, where bhagavAn was not willing to depend solely on the speed of garuDa, and hurried out without even worrying about His appearance. nammAzhvAr also describes His extreme speed in removing the sins of His devotees:
kaDivAr tIya vinaigaL noDiyAm aruLavaikkaN
koDiyA aDu puL uyartta vaDivAr madhavanArE (tiruvAi. 1.6.10)
Especially because of mahA lakshmi's proximity, it takes Him less than the time it takes us for producing the sound of a noDi (the sound produced by two fingers), to remove all our sins from beginningless time.
SrI aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi notes that this nAma signifies that He fulfils His devotees' wishes with the speed of mind. (He can fulfill whatever He decides by His mere samkalpam - samkalpa mAtreNa). SrI baladeva vidyAbhUshaN comments that He has this nAma because He removes the obstacles of samsAra extremely fast for those who surrender to Him.
b) SrI Samkara observes that bhagavAn has the speed like that of the mind in that He is everywhere at the same time - manaso javah, vega iva vego'sya sarva-gatatvAt iti mano-javah.
The ISAvAsya Upanishad mantra 4 describes His speed:
anejadekam manaso javIyo nainad-devA Apnuvan pUrvam arshat |
tad-dhAvato'nyAn atyeti tishThat-tasminn-apo mAtariSvA dadhAti || (ISA. 4)
"Although fixed in His abode, God is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. ……".
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri's comments for this nAma can be summarized as follows: Time, place, or things (kAla, deSa, vastu) can obstruct one's speed. But in bhagavAn's case, none of these come as impediments; He is everywhere already (deSa) ; He is not limited by past, present, or future (kAla); He is the Controller of everything, and so nothing can obstruct Him (vastu). SveTASvatara Upanishad (3-19) declares -
a-pANI pAdo javano grahItA paSyati a-cakshuh sa SRNoti a-karNah |
sa vetti vedyam na ca tasya asti vettA tam Ahuh agryam purhsham mahAntam ||
"Without use of His hands and feet, He moves and grasps; He sees without use of His eyes, hears without need for His ears. He knows whatever is to be known, and of Him there is no knower. They speak of Him as the first, the purusha, the Great".
The dharma cakram writer points out that the more we think of Him, the more our mind get these attributes of being unconstrained by deSa, kAla, and vastu, and the more we become closer to Him. He quotes rAmakRshNa paramahamsa, who says that the more we proceed towards the east, the farther we get away from the west. The more we get closer to Him, the farther away we move from the worldly attachments, and the faster He can grasp us towards Him like a powerful magnet.
696. tIrtha-karah –
a) He Who is the source of the holy waters.
b) He Who makes us cross over the ocean of samsAra.
c) He Whose touch of hand is purifying.
d) He Who has provided simple steps to access Him through His various incarnations.
Om tIrtha-karAya namah.
The word tIrtham is derived from the root thRR - plavana taraNayoh - to swim, to cross over. That through which one crosses over or swims is tIrtham. The term tIrtham is used to refer to sources of water that purify a person. The term is also used to refer to the sacred scriptures which purify a person through their learning - taratyanena pApam aj~nAnam iti tIrtham, or making it easier for us to reach Him through His various incarnations (para, vyUha, vibhava, arcA, antaryAmi). The "crossing over" can also refer to crossing over the ocean of samsAra, the crossing over of all sins, etc.
nammAzhvAr''s tiruvAimozhi pASuram 7.10.1 captures the full significance of the word "tIrtham":
tIrthanukkaRRa pin maRROr SaraN illai enRu eNNi, tIrthanuukE
tIrtta manattanan Agi, Sezhum kurugUr SaThakOpan Sonna
tIrtha'ngaL AyirattuL ivai pattum vallArgaLai, dEvar vaikal
tIrtha'ngaLe enRu pUSittu nalgi uraippar tam dEviyarkkE (tiruvAi.7.10.11)
The reference to "tIrthan" in the first line is to perumAL; the "tIrtham" in the 3rd line refers to nammAzhvAr's pASuram-s which are purifying to those who chant them, and are even more purifying than Him ; the reference to tIrtham in the 4th line is to those who have learned the purifying pASuram-s, who are even more pure than the pASurams themselves (SrI V. N. vedAnta deSikan from ARAyirap paDi). Thus, tIrtham here refers to the three levels - perumAL, the sacred AzhvAr's pASurams, and the devotees who chant them. bhUtattAzhvAr also refers to those who sing His praise as "tIrtha-kara-s" - eN tiSaiyum pErtta karam nAngu uDaiyAn pEr Odip pediagAL - tIrtha karar Amin tirindu (iraNDAm tiruvantAdi - 14). - reference from SrI v.v. rAmAnujan.
The term karah is used in two ways by the vyAkhyAna kartA-s: The Doer, from the dhAtu kR - karaNe - to do; or to refer to karah - hand.
Thus, tIrtha-karah means tIrtham karoti iti tIrtha-karah - He Who creates the tIrtha-s is tirtha-karah (SrI satyadevo vAsishTha), or He Who creates the SAstra-s etc. that purify the person who resorts to them, or He has the divine hands whose touch purify the devotee - tIrthah tArakah karo yasya iti tIrtha karah (SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj).
a) SrI BhaTTar gives three interpretations:
1) He has this nAma because He is the source of the holy rivers such as the ganges, and the holy lakes such as the pushkara, which purify those that mediate on them or recite their names, just as His nAma purifies them.
2) He is the Originator of yoga, j~nAna, sAmkhya (science, craft and other arts, Vedas, SAstra-s, and music) - yogo j~nAnam tathA sAmkhyam…(mahA bhArata, Anu. 150.141).
3) He, Who is deep like an unreachable ocean, but makes it possible for the devotees to reach Him through a series of incarnations that are like steps to reach Him.
In dayA Satakam, svAmi deSikan prostrates to the AcArya paramparA as the steps that make it possible to have access to Him who is otherwise inaccessible like the deep ocean (Slokam 2 - vigAhe tIrtha bahulAm.SitalAm guru-santatim…). One is reminded of the sAmyam of AcArya-s with bhagavAn that svAmi deSikan refers to in nyAsa vimSati Slokam 2. I feel that, along the lines of SrI BhaTTar's third interpretation above, bhagavAn is tIrtha-karah also in the sense that He has provided this great AcArya paramparA starting with Him, followed by pirATTi, vishvakesenar, etc., all the way down to our current AcArya in order to enable us to reach Him.
b) SrI Samkara uses the meaning "vidyA" for tIrtham, and gives the interpretation - caturdaSa vidyAnAm bAhya-vidyA-samayAnAm ca praNetA pravaktA ca iti tIrtha-karah - He is the Teacher of the fourteen vidyA-s and the auxiliary sciences, and so He is called tIrtha-karah. These include the veda-s and other vidyA-s which He taught to brahma and the deva-s, as well the other sciences that are contradictory to the vedic teachings that He gave to the asura-s to deceive them. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers to the 14 or 18 vidyA-s or the "ghats of knowledge - kalvit tuRaigaL" - the four veda-s, the six vedA'ngga-s (SikshA, vyAkaraNa, chandas, niruktam, jyotisham, kalpam), the two darSana-s (mImAmsA, nyAaya), dharma SAstra, and purANa-s, and the four additional ones - Ayurveda, dhanurveda, gAndharva, artha SAstra. Among the vidyA divisions that are non-vedic in nature and meant for misleading those who are Asuric are the bauddha, jaina, etc. branches.
SrI cinmayAnanda comments that He is tIrtha-karah because He is the most ancient Teacher of vidyA-s or tIrtha-s.
c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning "hand" for the word karah, and gives the interpretation that He is called tIrtha-karah because He has hands whose mere touch alone can purify anyone or anything - tIrthah tArakah karo yasya iti tIrtha-karah. He gives support from SrImad bhAgavatam where we find that the mere touch of bhagavAn was able to lift gajendra from his a~jnAnam, to which he had been subjected through a previous curse (SApam) from agastya muni..
gajendro bhagavad-sparSAt vimuktah aj~nAna bandhanAt |
prApto bhagavato rUpam pItavAsAS-caturbhujah || ( bhAga. 8.4.6)
"By the touch of bhagavAn the elephant-king was relieved from the bondage of a~jnAnam, and attained sArUpyam with bhagavAn, wearing the yellow silk garment and endowed with four hands".
d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha comments that the nAma signifies that He is the One who makes the Sun and all the other planets move around (tIrtham is used in the sense of crossing over, and karah in the sense of making this possible for the graha-s).
697. vasu-retAh –
a) The Source of Luster.
b) He Who shines like gold in the context of creation.
c) He Who is the cause or origin of the universe.
Om vasu-retase namah.
Starting from this nAma, up to nAma 786, SrI BhaTTar bases his interpretations on the kRshNa incarnation of bhagavAn. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan has grouped the nAma-s up to 848 under the major title "dushTa nigraha SishTa paripAlanam - the destruction of dushTa-s and the protection of the virtuous".
vasu as a noun can mean a class of deities (deva-bhedah), fire (analah), a ray of light (raSmi), a rein or halter (vasU), gem (ratna), wealth (dhana), vishNu, the intelligent or wise (vedhAh), etc.
The following is from amara koSam:
deva-bhede'nale raSmau vasU ratne dhane vasu |
vishNau ca vedhAh strI tvASIr-hitASamsAhidamshTrayoh || (3-4- 288)
The word retah is derived from the root rI - sravaNe - to flow. The term retas is used to refer to the semen or seed, cause, etc.
a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning "luster", related to "raSmi" for the word vasu - vasu iti jyotih paryAyah, and the meaning "cause or source" for the word retas, in his interpretation for the nAma, and thus gives the meaning "He Who is the Source of the Divine Luster". He is also the One from Whom the other objects including the Sun get their light. The nirukti summary for the nAma is -
vasu Sabdo jyotir-artho retas-tat-kAraNam matam |
divya-jyotih kAraNatvAt vasu-retAh prakIrtitah ||
SrI aNNa'ngarAcArya gives the interpretation for the nAma as "He Who has His divya tejas as the cause for His incarnations". SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives the example of His kRshNa incarnation, where He entered the garbham of devaki in the form of His jyoti.
b) SrI Samkara's interpretation is - vasu suvarNam retAh asya iti vasu-retAh. This has been translated as "He Whose essence is gold" by one translator. SrI Samkara quotes the following from vyAsa in support:
devah pUrvam apah sRTvA tAsu vIryam upAsRjat |
tad-aNDam abhavat haimam brahmaNah kAraNam param ||
"The Lord created the waters, and cast His Power into them. It became the golden Egg, the prime source of Brahma". As extract of the description of SrI cinmayAnanda for the above follows: "In the beginning of creation were the primeval waters. In this Ocean the Lord dropped His Essence and it became a Golden Egg from which brahma, the Creator, first arose. Thus, Lord, as the womb of all Creation, is mentioned in the purANa-s as hiraNya-garbha, the Golden Womb".
c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses the root vas - nivAse - to dwell, and derives the meaning that One in Whom the whole universe resides is vasu. He uses the meaning "root" or "cause" for the term retah, and thus gives the interpretation that vasu-retA refers to One Who is the cause of all things in this universe.
The dharma cakram writer gives the analogy that just as gold serves as the base material for all gold ornaments, so also He serves as the base from which all other beings arise. He shines like gold in the context of creation. Just as gold needs to be admixed with a small amount of copper in order for it to be used in making jewels, so also the joining together of His vIryam with the moola-prakRti results in the creation of the universe, with its pa'nca bhUta-s etc.
698, 699. vasu-pradah –
a) The Giver of Treasure (in the form of Himself).
b) The Giver of Glory or Dignity.
c) The Bestower of moksham
d) He Who provides the place for dwelling for all beings
Om vasu-pradAya namah.
This nAma repeats itself as the next nAma also. It is also similar to the nAma 270 in Slokam 29 (vasu-dah). The difference between nAma 270 and the current nAma is the addition of "pra" in pra-dah. This stands for prakarsheNa - in a special way. In general, the vyAkhyAna kartA-s have interpreted nAma 270 as referring to His bestowing any wealth in general; the current and the next nAma are interpreted as referring to His bestowing special wealth such as the wealth similar to that of kubera, Himself, moksham, ever-lasting fame, etc. One could think of nAma 270 as referring to His being the Bestower of any wealth at all (the transient wealth etc.), and nAma-s 698 and 699 as referring to His being the Bestower of ever-lasting wealth and the associated joy. The vyAkhyAna-kartA-s give their interpretations such that redundancy in the meanings is avoided, thus establishing that there is no fault of punar-ukti (redundancy or repetition) in the composition of vyAsa just because the nAma repeats itself - the meaning is different in each of the occurrences.
vasu dhanam prakarsheNa dadAti iti vasu-pradah -
One Who bestows wealth in an eminent or superior way is vasu-pradah.
a) SrI BhaTTar's anubhavam for nAma 698 is that He gives the best of wealth to the true seeker, in the form of Himself - thus He gives the parama nidhi - the Treasure, to the true devotee. SrI BhaTTar gives the example of bhagavAn giving Himself as a son to devaki and vasu-deva.
For nAma 699, SrI BhaTTar gives the explanation that in the process of offering Himself as their son to devaki and vasudeva, the Lord also gave them the kIrti (vasu) of being His parents, and so He is vasu-pradah in this sense as well. He also gave kIrti to daSaratha when He was born as rAma - ellai il SIr daSarathan tan maganAit tOnRi (perumAL. 10.11).
b) c) For nAma 698, SrI Samkara gives the interpretation that He has this nAma because He is the true Giver of wealth even to the likes of kubera. Even though kubera has the fame that he is the giver of wealth, he gets his fame as giver of wealth purely by bhagavAn's Grace. For nAma 699, SrI Samkara interprets the term wealth to specifically refer to the best of wealths, namely moksham, and thus the interpretation here is that He is this nAma because He is the Bestower of the greatest of wealths, which He alone can give.
d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses the meaning "dwelling" for vasu, and gives the interpretation that He has the nAma vasu-pradah because He provides Himself as the place for the existence of all beings - vastatyasmin iti vasuh vAsastam pradadAti iti vasu-pradah. In the next occurrence of the nAma, he interprets the nAma as "The Giver of wealth".
Thus, the nAma vasu-pradah has been interpreted variously as
a) He Who gives Himself to His devotees as the best of treasures that they seek;
b) The Bestower of kIrti to His devotees;
c) He gives immeasurable wealth to the likes of kubera;
d) He provides the dwelling place for all beings at the time of pralaya;
e) He is the Bestower of moksham.
700. vAsu-devah -
a) He Who pervades and sports.
b) The Son of vasudeva.
c) The presiding Deity of the well-known 12-lettered vAsu-deva mantra.
d) The Deity Who is adored by His devotees.
e) He Who lives in everything and Who keeps them moving around.
Om vAsudevAya namah.
This nAma occurred earlier asnAma 334 (Slokam 36), and will occur again as nAma 714 (Slokam 76). The meaninggiven for this nAma under Slokam 36 was "He Who pervades and sports". Please refer to the write-up under Slokam 36 for the many references. SrIBhaTTar points out under nAma 334, that this nAma, like the nArAyaNa nAma, is aguhya mantram, and its meaning should be properly learnt from a qualified AcArya. I am sharing what little I understand based on what is written in the differentvyAkhyAna-s.
a) For nAma 334, SrI BhaTTar'sinterpretation was that bhagavAn is called vAsu-deva because He is vAsu (One inwhom everything lives like in a mother, and One who envelopes and protectseverything like a bird with its wings), and He is a deva (One Who sports, or hasthis process of pervasion, permeation, creation, protection, destruction, etc.,as a part of His leelA). So He is both a vAsu and a deva, and so He iscalled vAsu-devah.
For this nAma in Slokam 36, SrISamkara also derives the meaning based on the combination of the words vAsu anddeva, but he suggests that in addition to His divine play in permeatingeverything and being the dwelling place for everything, His play includes Hiscovering everything with His mAyA (vasati - AcchAdayati - covers, conceals,sheaths, envelops, etc. - vasati, vAsayati, AcchAdayati vA sarvam itivAsuh). For the nAma in Slokam 76, he unequivocally associatesHis play (being a deva) with enveloping the whole universe (vAsu) with His mAyA- jagat AchchAdayati mAyayA iti vAsuh sa eva deva iti vAsu-devah. The term 'mAyA' in the advaita system is interpreted as"illusion", whereas in the viSishTAdvaitic system it refers to thewonderful power of ISvara, whose effects are very real.
b) For the current occurrenceof the nAma, both SrI Samkara and SrI BhaTTar gives the explanation that He iscalled vAsu-deva because He is the son of vasudeva (vasudevasya apatyamvAsu-devah). SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the support fromSrImad bhAgavatam, where bhagavAn declares that He is called vAsu-deva becauseHe was born as the son of vasu-deva in the yadu kulam:
avatIrNo yadukule gRha Anakadundubheh |
vadanti vAsu-deveti vasu-deva-sutam hi mAm || (bhAga.10.51.41)
c) Under Slokam 76, SrI BhaTTarexplains the nAma vAsu-deva in terms of the twelve-lettered mantra, namely thatthe nAma vAsu-deva refers to the Deity that presides over this (vAsu-deva)mantra. The same para-vAsu-deva from SrI vaikunTham took incarnation asvyUha vAsudeva in the Milky Ocean (SrI BhaTTar's interpretation for nAma 714),and He also took the incarnation as the son of devaki and vasu-deva in mathurA (SrIBhaTTar's interpretation for nAma 700). SrI v.v. rAmAnujan observes thatit is the same vyUha vAsu-deva that descended from SrI vaikunTham, that alsotook birth as the child of vasu-deva, delighted the hearts of the gopi-s, wasthe para-tattvam for the yogi-s, and at the same time was the death for kamsaand a terror for his other evil-minded associates.
d) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAjincludes an additional interpretation that has not been given by the others - Hehas the nAma vAsu-deva because He is adorned by His devotees - vAsyate sevyatebhaktaih iti vAsuh; sa cAsau deva iti vAsu-devah. The root from which hederives this interpretation is vAs - upasevAyAm - to scent, to make fragrant.
e) One of the meanings for theroot "div" (from which the word deva is derived) is "to movearound" - div krIDA vijigIshA vyavahAra dyuti stuti moda mada svapna kAntigatishu. SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses this last meaning (gacchati,gamayati) for the word deva, and gives the interpretation for the nAma as"One Who dwells in everything, and makes it possible for everything to movearound". He gives reference to the ISAvAsya Upanishad mantra"ISAvAsyam idam sarvam yad-ki'nca jagatyAm jagat"as support.
SrI cinmayAnanda gives theinterpretation that He has this nAma since He lives in every living entity asthe jIva-entity. He supports his interpretation with a reference to thegItA Slokam 18-61:
ISvarah sarva bhUtAnAmhRd-deSe'rjuna tishThati |
bhrAmayan sarva bhUtAni yantrArUDhAni mAyayA || (gItA18.61)
"The Lord, O arujuna,abides in the heart of every being, spinning them round and round, mounted on awheel as it were, by His power".
The gItA bhAshyam for thisSlokam by bhagavad rAmAnuja indirectly supports this interpretation by the useof the name vASu-deva for bhagavAn in this context - "ISvarahsarva-niyamana-Seelo vAsu-devah sarva-bhUtAnAm hRd-deSe sakala-pravRtti-nivRttimUla-j~nAnodaye deSe tishThati".
701. vasuh –
a) The Dweller (in the hearts of His devotees)
b) The Best of wealths that is sought after.
c) He Who resides in the Milk-Ocean.
d)He Who is in the form of the vasu-s.
e)He Who lives in everything and in whom everything lives.
f)He Who conceals Himself (from those who are not devoted to Him).
g)He Who is the final dwelling place for all.
Om vasave namah.
We encountered this nAma earlier as nAma-s 105 (Slokam 12) and 271 (Slokam 29).
The term vasu refers to one who dwells, wealth, one who conceals, etc. (see nAma 697).
a) For the first occurrence of this nAma in Slokam 12, SrI BhaTTar comments that bhagavAn is vasuh because He dwells in the hearts of His devotees as He is pleased even with the slightest of devotion. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi 8.8.1, where he declares this saulabhyam of perumAL: kaNgaL Sivandu peria vAi…..on Sa'ngu gadai vAL AzhiyAn oruvan aDiyEn uLLAnE (The one unique Lord shines as my soul's soul inside me). Sri rAmAnujan's anubhavam is that if someone counts number sequentially starting from one, when they count 26, He will consider that they have finished counting the 24 tattva-s, and the 25th as AtmA, and when they count the number 26, He will consider that this person is thinking of Him as the 26th, and will rush to dwell in this person. If someone casually keeps recalling the names of familiar hills, and somewhere mention the names of tirumalai or tirumAl irum Solai, He will consider this as their recollecting His place, and will rush to their side. Such is His desire to help the devotee and redeem the jIva. SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN quotes bhagavAn's own words - mad-bhaktA yatra gAyanti tatra tishThAmi nArada - "Wherever my devotees invoke My name, I am present there."
b) Under Slokam 29, SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is that bhagavAn is vasuh because He is the wealth or treasure sought after by great people to the exclusion of all other wealth - "vAsu-devah sarvam" iti prakAreNa garIyasAm svayameva dhanam iti vasuh. SrI rAmAnujan points out that these are the people who consider that "uNNum SORu parugu nIr tinnum veRRilai ellAm kaNNan" (tiruvAi. 76.7.1). The dharma cakram writer points out that just like a child which gets distracted with some toys and forgets its mother, we get distracted with the trivial materialistic wealth often and forget Him; but just as the mother embraces the child when it cries for her, bhagavAn embraces us when we cry for Him instead of for the materialistic pleasures, and realize that He is the wealth of all wealths.
c) For the current occurrence of the nAma, SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is in the context of kRshNa incarnation, and he explains the nAma vasuh as referring to His dwelling in the Milk-Ocean, from where He takes His incarnations for our benefit. SrI BhaTTar quotes the following in support:
sa lokAnAm hitArthAya kshIrode vasati prabhuh | (mahA bhAra. SabhA. 47.26) - "The great Lord resides in the Milk-Ocean for doing good to the people of the world"
esha nArAyaNah SrImAn kshIrArNava niketanah |
nAga parya'nkam utsRjya hyAgato mathurAm purIm || (harivamSam 113.62)
"This nArAyaNa, Who is always with lakhsmi, resides in the Milk-ocean; He has come to the city of MathurA leaving serpent-couch (AdiSesha).
d) e) f) SrI Samkara's interpretation in Slokam 12 is that that nAma signifies that He is the in-dweller in all beings, and all beings dwell in Him, or that He is one of the eight vasu-s Himself (vasUnAm pAvakaScAsmi - gItA 10.23); In Slokam 23, SrI Samkara gives several interpretations: He is the Wealth that He gives Himself to His devotees; He is vasuh because He conceals Himself with His mAyA (vas to cover); He is one of the vasu-s in the form of vAyu (vasur-antarikshasat - kaThopanishad 2.2.3 - He is vasu dwelling in the atmosphere. The dharma cakram writer identifies the nAma with fire, which according to him is the most important of the ashTa vasu-s in nature.
g) SrI cinmayAnanda gives the explanation that He is the final refuge of all, and this is what is signified by thisnAma.
702. vasu-manAh –
a) He Who has a Mind which thinks of His devotees as atreasure.
b) He Whose mind is always with vasu-deva.
c) He Who has a golden mind - pure, without any afflictions.
d) He Who has a pure mind (He dwells in every thing without distinction)
e) He Who has a mind which is filled with vAtsalyam to His devotees.
f) He Who has a mind that leads to His removing the difficulties of Hisdevotees.
g) He Who has complete knowledge of the type of body and other needs of allbeings.
h) He Whose mind was with bhIshma as he lay in his death-bed of arrows.
Om vasu-manase namah.
We encountered this nAma earlier as nAma 106. The sequence vasuh andvasu-manAh occurred as nAma-s 105 and 106, and now we see the two nAma-sconsecutively as nAma-s 701 and 702.
a) In Slokam 12, where SrI BhaTTar interpreted the nAma vasuh as "He Whodwells in His devotees' minds" even when they display the slightest ofdevotion, he explained the next nAma - vasu-manAh, as indicating further thatbhagavAn considered these devotees as a treasure which is hard to find (vasuhinterpreted as wealth, and manas interpreted as mind; vasu-manAh - He Whotreasures the devotees in His mind). SrI BhaTTar gave the reference togItA 7.19 - sa mahAtmA su-durlabhah, indicating how the pure devotees are a hardtreasure for Him to find. SrIbaladeva vidyA bhUshaN comments that all that bhagavAn look for is thewealth of pure devotion to Him from His devotees - aki'ncana bhaktadhaneshu mano yasya sa vasu-manAh.
In his first pASuram of tiruvAimozhi, nammAzhvAr refers to perumAL's tiruvaDi as"tuyar aRu SuDar aDi". The traditional meaning given for thisis: The glorious tiruvaDi that removes the sufferings of His devotees. SrIv.v. rAmAnujan gives this as a support for the current nAma, and comments thatperumAL's tiruvaDi shines brightly when He is relieved of His sorrow on findingHis devotee. SrI B. R. Purushottam Naidu explains this in his work on IDuvyAkhyAnam in tamizh. bhagavad rAmAnuja has given this alternateexplanation for this phrase of nammAzhvAr: It is bhagavAn whose tuyar or sorrow isremoved, and His Divine Feet shine brilliantly, as they get in contact with Hisdear devotees. Such is the importance of the devotees and their happinessto bhagavAn. Bhagavad rAmAnuja's anubhavam is that He suffers when thedevotees suffer, and He feels happy when the devotee feels happy, as describedin SrImad rAmAyaNam, ayodhyA kANDam, 2.42: vyasaneshu manushyANAm bhRSambhavati duhkitah |
utsaveshu ca sarveshu piteva paritushyati ||
SrI rAmAnujan also gives support for this interpretation of SrI BhaTTar fromtiruma'ngai AzhvAr's tiruneDuntANDakam (1) - endai taLir puraiyum tiruvaDi entalai mElavE. SrI periyavAccAn piLLai explains that it is only aftercoming into contact with AzhvAr's head that His tiriuvaDi got their life; untilthat time they were like dried leaf. The point to be noted is thatfor bhagavAn, association with His devotee is the most important treasure, whichHe longs for - hence His nAma as vasu-manAh.
b) For the current occurrence of the nAma vasu-manAh, SrI BhaTTar follows up onhis interpretation of the previous nAma (701) - vasuh, which he interpreted as"One Who dwells in the Milk-Ocean ready to take the different incarnationsfor the benefit of mankind". He interprets the currentnAma as indicating that though He was resting in the Milk-Ocean, His manas waswith vasu-deva - vasu-manAh (the term vasu in this nAma referring tovasu-deva), to whom He decided to be born as the son for His kRshNa incarnation. SrI BhaTTar points out that just as the term 'datta' without any otherqualification always refers to deva-datta, and the term 'bhAmA' refers tosatyabhAmA, so also scholars in mhaA-bhAshya have interpreted the name vasu torefer to vasu-deva. Even though He resides in the Milk-ocean, thebirth place of lakshmi, His mind is with vasu-deva, and this is why He choosesto be born as vasu-deva's child.
c) d) For this nAma in Slokam 12, SrI Samkara gives the interpretationthat He has the nAma vasu-manAh since He has a manas which is vasu (pure,excellent, superior); His mind is not polluted with desire, aversion,pride, etc. (raga-dveshAdibhih kleSaih madAdibhih up-kleSaiSca yato nakalushitam cittam tatah tan-manah praSastam; praSastam mano yasya sah vasu-manAh). For the current occurrence of this nAma, SrI Samkara gives the interpretationthat He is has a mind which is pure and excellent in the sense that He dwells ineveryone's mind without distinction, and treats everyone equally - a-viSesheNasarveshu vishayeshu vasati iti vasuh, tAdRSam manah asya iti vasu-manAh.
The dharma cakram writer explains that while most people are used to think ofonly their own selves and their own welfare, a person who strives to put vedAntainto practice will have the broad mind to think of the welfare of others, andwill see God in everything he encounters. He realizes that bhagavAn is theonly One who is worthy of worship. He acquires unshakable devotion to Him. This is not easyto attain, and it may take several births to achieve. Meditation on thecurrent nAma, with an understanding of its significance, will help us all movecloser to this objective in life.
e) f) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses yet other meanings for the word vasu (vas- snehe - to love, and vas- apaharaNe - to take away, based on vas -snehac-cheda apaharaNeshu - to love, to cut, to take away). His firstinterpretation is that this nAma signifies bhagavAn's vAtsalyam (vasu snehahvAtsalyam tan manasi yasya iti vasu-manAh). His second interpretation, based on vas - apaharaNa - to takeaway, is that He has this nAma because He has a mind which makes Him take awayor remove the sufferings of His devotees - vAsayati apaharati vipadahsva-janAnAm iti vasu; tAdRSam mano yasya iti vasu-manAh).
g) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses the root man - j~nAne - to know, to think, andgives the interpretation that this nAma signifies that bhagavAn is the Knower ofthe type of body, and the relative requirements of heat, air, water, etc., forthe different kinds of beings, and so He is vasu-manAh - One Who knows thevarious needs, constitution, etc., of all the creatures (yena prakAreNanivasitum arhati, pRthak pRthak SarIra-kRte katham vidhasya aushNyasya, kim vASitasya, kim vA jalasya, kim vA vAyoh AvaSyakatA astiiti sarvam vishNuh jAnAti,tasmAt sa vasu-manAh ukto bhavati).
h) SrI baladeva vidyA-bhUshaN specifically takes the reference to "vasu"as a reference to bhIshma, and gives the interpretation for the nAma as "HeWho had bhIshma in His mind". bhIshma is one the ashTa-vasu'swho was born to ga'ngA devi with santanu. SrI vidyA bhUshaN quotes thefollowing in support:
Saratalpo gato bhIshmah Samyanniva hutAsanah |
mAm dhyAyati purusha-vyAghra tato me tad-gatam mana ||
703. havih –
a) The Sacrificial Offering.
b) He Who is satisfied or pleased.
Om havishe namah.
The word havih is derived from the root hu - dAnAdanayoh - to offer, to performa sacrifice. The derivation and the different interpretations forthe nAma mahA-havih (nAma 683 - Slokam 72), has been given before. Briefly,the term havis refers to any material offered in a sacrifice in general.
a) In the context of kRshNa incarnation, SrI BhaTTar's anubhavam for this nAmais that it signifies that bhagavAn was given away (sacrificed) by devaki andvasudeva to yasodA and nandagopa as soon as He was born. Even though childkRshNa did not have anything to fear from kamsa, He let Himself be given away tonandagopa just for the peace of mind of vasudeva and yasodA.
The dharma cakram writer observes that when something is offered in sacrifice byone person to another, both benefit in the process. In the case of LordkRshNa, devaki and vasudeva who gave Him away were released from the atrocity ofkamsa, and yaSodA and nandagopa who received Him derived immense joy by havingHim with them. That is the greatness of sacrifice. However, it isimportant to note that sacrifice should be performed without the feeling ofownership, and without the desire for benefit.
In a more general sense, bhagavAn describes Himself as havih in gItA Slokam4.24. This Slokam and its meaning have been explained under nAma 683 (Slokam72) indetail. SrI Samkara gives his interpretation for the current nAma as"He Who is the Oblation in the sacrifice", and gives theabove-referenced gItA Slokam in support. His explanation is that aBrahman-knower knows that the havis is nothing but Brahman - brahma arpaNam yenakaraNena brahma-vit havih agnau arpayati tat brahmaiva iti paSyati.
b) A different derivation is given by SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj and SrIbaladeva vidyA bhUshaN. They derive their interpretations based on theroot hu (hinv) - prINane - to please, and thus give the interpretation for thenAma as "He Who is pleased or satisfied" - hUyate prIyate iti havih. Following on his explanation for the nAma vasu-manAh in terms of bhIshma, SrIvidyA bhUshaN observes that He was pleased with bhIshma's meditation as He waslying on the bed of arrows, and bestowed moksham on him, and this is what issignified by the nAma "havih".