om ekAya namah
One Who is Unique and matchless in all respects.
Om ekAya namah.
SrI BhaTTar gives his interpretation of the nAma ekah based on the root iN -gatau - to go,
SrIsatyadevo vAsishTha explains ekah as "eti - gacchati sarvatra iti ekah"- He Who is present everywhere.
SrI BhaTTar's actual words are - ukte mahimni sajAtIyasamkhyeya asambhavAt advaitam gacchati iti ekah -
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the following references:
- dyAvA bhUmI janayan deva ekah - Rg. 10.81.3 - "He, the Sole God,producing earth and heaven ,."; -
nammAzhvAr refers to Him as "oruvan" (One without a second) in manyplaces.
- arakkarai uruk keDa vALi pozhinda oruvanE (tiruvAi. 8.6.2); -
b) SrI Samkara gives the interpretation -
c) SrI baladeva vidyAbhUshaN links this nAma to the nAma-s of the previousSlokam,
d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the analogy of the one father for the manychildren;
In the sahasra nAmAvaLi, the mantra is "Om ekAya namah" accordingto the followers of viSishTAdvaitam and dvaitam,
When a word is a pronoun or a sarvanAma,
He Who is not One only.
Om naikAya namah
a) SrI BhaTTar explains how He is One (the previous nAma), and also "Notone only" (the current nAma).
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives support from nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi:
…tIyAi nIrAi nilanAi viSumbAik kAlAi
"You are the Fire, Water, Earth, Ether, and Air.
nIrAi nilanAi tIyAi kAlAi neDu vAnAi
"You are Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Ether, the Sun and the Moon., Sivaand Brahma.
Since He is AtmA of all the AtmA-s, He has all of these as His body.
SrI Samkara explains the nAma naikah -
b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives a different interpretation -
SrI cinmayAnanda observes that His being One (ekah) is to be realized at the"knowledge" level,
c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha's explanation is that He is called naikah
a) He Who spreads knowledge.
Om sAya namah.
The root from which the word sah is derived in the interpretation ofthis nAma
a) SrI BhaTTar gives the vyAkhyAnam - sva-vishaya j~nAnam syati iti sah-
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives the support from embAr's interpretation forperiAzhvAr's "ap pUcci kATTuginRAn" pASurams -
b) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that bhagavAn has thisnAma because
c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation - syati vinASayatisva-jana vipada iti sah -
d) SrI aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi seems to give his interpretation using thedirect meaning of the word sah - He.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives a similar interpretation, and notes that He hasthe nAma sah
i) While SrI BhaTTar treats sah (the current nAma) and vah (thenext nAma) as two separate nAma-s,
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes that the term savah refers to the somayAga
ii) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the above interpretation, and also gives analternate interpretation:
Om vAya namah.
The nAma vah is derived from the root vas - nivAse - vasati iti vah-
vasanti tatra bhUtAni bhUtatmanyakhilAtmani |
"All beings dwell in Him Who is Himself all beings and the Inner Soul ofall.
(The above Slokam in SrI vishNu purANam occurs in the context where
nammAzhvAr refers to His being everywhere always, in his tiruvAimozhi pASuram2.8.9,
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan also gives reference to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi pASuram1.1.10:
paranda taN paravaiyuL nIr torum paranduLan
"He is present in every atom in the cool waters that are widelydistributed everywhere;
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation
As pointed out under the previous nAma, vah is not treated as aseparate nAma by SrI Samkara
a) He Who shines.
Om kAya namayh.
The root from which this nAma is derived is kan - dIpti kAnti gatishu- to shine etc.
a) SrI BhaTTar points out that even though He dwells even in things that aredirty (as the Soul of their soul),
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan adds that in His case, His luster is natural,
Based on kan - dIpti kAnti gatishu, SrI vAsishTha gives theexplanation
b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the root kai - Sabde - to sound,
c) One of the meanings of the word kam is happiness - kam sukhe'pivijAnIyAt -
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri adds that the limit of happiness is the tyAga ofahamkAra and mamakAra,
The dharma cakram writer points out that there are two kinds of happiness:
d) SrI cinmayAnanda adds a new interpretation based on the common meaning of kah- "Who?".
a) He about Whom all questions are asked by seekers of Truth
b) He Whose praise is sung by His devotees
c) He Who is fit to be enquired about or sought after.
Om kime namah
The common usage of the word kim is to represent the question “What?”.The word kim is derived from the root praccha – j~nIpsAyAm –to ask, to seek. Here it is used as a noun, and means “He about Whom allquestions are asked by seekers of Truth”.
SrI sataydevo vAsishTha comments:
pRcchati iti kim | pRcchyata iti vA kim |” –
He who asks is kim, or He about whom questions are asked is also kim.Here bhagavAn is called kim in the context of the latter of the two. Inother words, all questions that are asked by those who want to realize Him, arequestions about Him, since they all lead to Him in the end.
SrI vAsishTha gives an alternate derivation as well, starting from the root kai– Sabde – to sound, leading to “kAyati iti kim” – He aboutWhom questions are asked, such as “Who is He, What is He, Where is He”,etc., is kim. Those who seek Him start with the enquiry of “What”,and end up with Him after they realize that He is the ultimate answer to everyenquiry.
SrI BhaTTar’s vyAkhyAnam is:
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to tiruvAimozhi 5.6.2, where nammAzhvArdeclares about perumAL: “kaRkum kalvic cAramum yAnE”. In fact, everyline of each pASuram, starting with 5.6.1 (kaDal j~nAlam SeidEnum yAnE ennum…),all the way up to 5.6.10 (kOlam koL Suvarkkamum yAnE ennum …….), arebeautiful singing of His being everything, line after line.
SrI Samkara’s interpretation is:
kim tad brahma kim adhyAtmam kim karma purushottama |
“What is that Brahman? What is adhyAtma? What is karma? What is said to beadhibhUta?
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives similar passages from the Rg veda, which asksimilar rhetorical questions about Brahman:
- ambhah kim AsIt gahanam gabhIram (10-129-1) –
kutah AjAtA kuta iyam visRshTih (10-129-6) –
yo’syAdhyakshah parame vyoman (10-129-7) –
Thus, He is called “kim- What” because He is the Ultimate answerto all the questions.
b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the root ku~ng – Sabde – tosound, and the uNAdi sutra kAyater dimih (siddhAnta kaumudi, uNAdisutra 600) to derive the word kim, and gives the definition –
c) SrI aNNa’ngarAcArya gives the interpretation that this nAma means thatHe is One who is worth being sought after; One Who is described as anveshTavyahin the Upanishads:
The dharma cakram writer elaborates that bhagavAn is called kim – HeWhose Nature is contemplated on by those who seek the Truth, because it is byknowing this Truth that everything there is to be known is known. That which isbeyond time, space, etc., that which never changes and is eternal, that which isbeyond the reach of the senses and is only reached by true devotion andmeditation, that which is in everything and everywhere, is the Ultimate answerto all questions asked by those who seek the Truth.
a) He Who takes efforts.
om yate namah
SrI BhaTTar derives the interpretation from the root yat – prayatne– to attempt. to strive after, etc. His vyAkhyAnam is:
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj elaborates further on the same concept:
SrI BhaTTar quotes the following words of bhagavAn:
kRshNa kRshNeti kRshNeti yo mAm smarati nityaSah |
“Whoever remembers Me always repeating the name “kRshNa, kRshNa, kRshNa”,
- aham smarAmi mad bhaktam nayAmi paramAm gatim | (varAha caram Slokam)-
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to nammAzhvAr’s tiruvAimozhi 5.8.9 –
b) SrI Samkara interprets the nAma using the conventional meaning “Which”for the word yat. His interpretation is:
c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri uses the above Sruti vAkyam and gives theinterpretation that yat refers to “That from Which all the other thingsin the Universe came into existence”.
SrI cinmayAnanda quotes another similar usage:
a) He Who increases (the j~nAnam and bhakti about Him in the devotees).
om tate namah (om tasmai namah in Samkara pATham).
The root from which the nAma is derived is tanu – vistAre – to spread, togo (tanoti – vistRNAti – expands).
The term tat is given another meaning in the gItA. The term refers tothe veda-s. and to the acts of sacrifice that are undertaken without anyexpectation of a benefit, as prescribed in the veda-s.
om-tat-sat iti nirdeSo brahmaNah tri-vidhah smRtah |
“Brahman (the veda) is denoted by the three-fold expression: Om, tat,sat.
In Slokam 7.25, the term tat is explained further:
tad-iti anabhisandhAya phalam ya~jna tapah kriyAh |
“Acts of sacrifice, austerity and various gifts are performed
In our samkalpam for many religious rites, we start with “Harir-om tat”.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan links the previous nAma (yatate – takes special effortsto protect us), with the current nAma (tanoti – increases the bhakti in ustowards Him as part of that effort.
While SrI Samkara’s vyAkhyAnam is also “tanoti iti tat”, in thenAmAvalI, the mantra is “om tasmai namah”,
b) The beauty of the diverse anubhavam-s of the great vyAkhyAna kartA-s isseen in the diverse ways in which they interpret the same explanation “tanoti– vistRNAti – expands”. We already saw SrI BhaTTar’s interpretation,that He expands the j~nAnam and bhakti in His devotees. SrI kRshNa dattabhAradvAj gives the interpretation “tanoti vistArayati sva-janAnAm kIrtim ititat” – “He is called tat because He spread the kIrti or fame of Hisdevotees”.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri explains the action of bhagavAn in His guNa of tat as“spreading and pervading into everything”, which is yet another way that Heenables the jIva to function in this world to attain Him.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that this nAma signifiesthat He expands the sUkshma jIva-s into the visible world forms and shapes (seed below) Whether it is in the form of increasing our j~nAnam and bhakti aboutHim so that we can reach Him, or it is in the form of His spreading the fame andkIrti of His devotees so that others learn from this and follow the correct pathfor their attainment of Him, or it is in the form of His spreading into everyoneas their antaryAmi and supporting and guiding them, in the end everything thatHe does is for the sake of His devotees
c) SrI vAsishTha gives the interpretation – tanoti viSvam iti tat – HeWho expands the Universe. His explanation is that bhagavAn is called tatbecause He expands the Universe that is inside Him in the sUkshsma state, into aUniverse that is in the sthUla and visible state, just as the mother givesexpression to a child which is contained in her in an unseen state.
d) satya sandha yatirAja, an AcArya from the madhva sampradAyam, explains thenAma tat as referring to “that which is not seen” – paroksham vastutat Sabda vAcyam, haristu pratyakshAt avedyatvena mukhyto vedaika gamyatvAt vAguNaih tatatvAd-vA tat iti ucyate.
a) The Supreme Goal.
Om padAya anuttamAya namah.
The root from which the word padam is derived is pad – gatau – to go, toattain.
SrI BhaTTar’s bhAshyam is “teshAm parama prApyatvAt – padam anuttamam”- He is the Supreme Goal for His devotees.
SrI aNNa’ngarAcArya summarizes this in tamizh as “tamakku mElprApaymAnadu onRillAda paDi parama prApayamAnavar”.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives support from nammAzhvAr’s tiruvAimozhi, whereAzhvAr declares that he does not want even SrI vaikunTham, but he only wants tohave the Lotus Feet of bhagavAn on his head. In other words, His Lotus Feet arethe Supreme Goal:
In tiruvAimozhi 3.7.6, nammAzhvar declares that bhagavAn is the Supreme,unexcelled rakshakan (padam anuttamam):
……… oLi koNDa Sodiyai uLLattuk koLLum avar kaNDIr
b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning “trANam – rakshaNam –protection” to the word padam, based on amara koSam: padam vyavasiti trANasthAna lakshmA’nghri vastushu (3.3.93), and gives the interpretation to thisnAma as
c) SrI cinmayAnanda’s interpretation is: “Lord VishNu has this nAmabecause He is the way (pada), the goal (pada), and the pilgrimage (pada)”. Hegives support from the gItA Slokam 7.18, where bhagavAn declares that He isanuttama gati (Supreme path, Supreme Goal):
udArAh sarva evaite j~nAnI tvAtmaiva me matam |
“All these are indeed generous, but I deem the man of knowledge to be Myvery self;
a) The Relative of the World.
Om loka-bandhave namah.
The mutual and inseparable relation between us and bhagavAn is what isrevealed in this nAma.
a) SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation that bhagavAn has this nAma becauseHe is the Relative of everyone in this world without exception, and blesses allwithout exception –
- mAtA pitA bhrAtA nivAsah SaraNam suhRt gatih nArAyaNah (subAlaopanishad 6)–
pitA aham asya jagato mAtA dhAtA pitAmahah |
“I am the father, mother, creator, and grandfather of the universe.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to gItA 9.29, which conveys the very samethoughts that SrI BhaTTar has given in his bhAshyam:
samo’ham sarva bhUteshu na me dveshyo’sti na priyah |
“I treat everyone in creation the same way. There is none whom I like moreor dislike more.
Other references given by SrI v.v. rAmAnujan to emphasize this point are:
o un tannODu uRavEl namkku I’ngu ozhikka ozhiyAdu” – (tiruppAvai 28)–
b), c) & d) SrI Samkara gives three alternate interpretations:
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the root bandh – to bind, and gives theanubhavam that He is loka-bandhuh because He binds His devotees with Hisaffection – badhnAti prema –pASena iti bandhuh | lokAnAm bandhuh iti lokabandhuh.
e) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the explanation for the nAma starting withthe roots lok – darSane, to see, to perceive, and bandh – to bind, toattract, etc. One interpretation he gives is that bhagavaAn has this nAmabecause He binds all things that are seen, for instance with limited life etc.– badhnAti iti bandhuh.
The dharma cakram writer elaborates on the guNa of loka-bandhu of bhagavAn.BhagavAn gives whatever a devotee prays for; but the devotee can pray either forworldly comfort or for the attainment of true Realization. Most people prefer toask Him for the worldly comforts (the kaThopanishad describes the two aspects– preyas or pleasant, and Sreyas or the good) BhagavAn acts inthe role of the worldly relatives and bestows preyas or pleasure in the form ofwife, children, father, mother, etc., or He bestows Sreyas in the form of theguru when we seek Sreyas. The dharma cakram writer comments that the lesson totake from this nAma is to realize that He is our bandhu either way, and we needto realize what is truly good for us, and seek that from Him.
a) The Protector of the world.
Om loka-nAthAya namah.
The roots involved in the nAma are:
a) SrI BhaTTar’s vyAkhyAnam is that He is addressed as loka nAthah becauseof His unique relationship to all the creatures, which is the cause of Hisattachment which is natural to Him, as their Master –
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references from prabandham, that reflect thisconcept:
- iv Ezh ulagai inbam payakka iniduDan vIRRirundu AlginRa e’ngaL pirAn (tiruvAi.7.10.1) –
b) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the following interpretation:
SrI Samkara gives four explanations for the nAma (b, c, d, e):
c) lokaih nAthyate yAcyate – He Who is sought after or prayed by all;
d) lokAn upatapati – One Who shines in the world, or Who regulates theworld by energizing;
e) ASAste – One Who comforts or blesses the world; or
f) lokAnAm IshTa – One Who rules over the whole world.
g) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri interprets upatapati (see c above for SrI Samkara)as “One Who gives punishments as needed”, and gives the meaning that thisnAma can be interpreted as “One Who gives punishments as needed anddisciplines the world (ulagai vATTi nal vazhi paDuttubavar).
The dharma cakram writer weaves all the above explanations under the generalconcept that bhagavAn is the Lord of the world. In this role, He ensures thatthe evil is destroyed and good is established. He ensures that all thecreatures, who are His belongings, attain Him ultimately. If anyone transgressesdharma, He ensures that they are adequately disciplined and brought back to theproper way of life. Those who follow dharma always live in peace, and those whofollow a-dharma live a life of unrest. This is the constant rule in His role asloka-nAthah.
The Consort of Lakshmi.
Om mAdhavAya namah.
a) The Consort of MA or Lakshmi
The nAma mAdhavah occurs three times (nAma-s 73, 169, and 741). Thedescription below extends the description given under nAma 73, with additionalinformation included.
a) mAyAh dhavah mA-dhavah – The Lord or consort of MA or Lakshmi.
The concept here is that BhagavAn and SrI are eternally and constantlyassociated with each other, and inseparable. As if to emphasize this, SrIBhaTTar gives a very detailed explanation for the qualities of MA or Lakshmiunder this nAma, rather than dwell on the guNa-s of bhagavAn. In the end, heconcludes with one sentence: “The secret about the true nature of SrI is thatLord VishNu gets His Lordship because of His association with Lakshmi”. Allthis detailed explanation is provided by Sri BhaTTar under the very firstoccurrence of the nAma, in Slokam 8.
SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the Sruti vAkhya-s which establish theinterpretation for a start:
- hrIScsa te lakshmISca patnyau (purusha sUktam) –
Then he proceeds to explain the qualities of Lakshmi in the following words:
AsyAh svarUpavat nitya-nirmala-rUpatvam, nirupAdhika paramaiSvaryAdi,jagan-mAtRtvam,
“The essential Nature of Lakshmi is described in the Sastras dealing withthe Supreme Reality as follows: Her From is eternal and spotless; Her SupremeRulership is not restricted by any limiting adjunct; Her universal Motherhood,Her natural association with bhagavAn, are all delineated in great detail in theSAstra-s. In vedic literature, the SrI sUkta, SraddhA sUkta, medhA sUkta, uttaranArAyaNa, kaushItakI brAhamaNa and others deal with this subject”.
Then SrI BhaTTar gives several references from the purANa-s etc., that speakof the Supremacy of pirATTi, starting with the following reference from SrIvishNu purANa:
nityaiva eshA vishNoh SrIr-anapAyinI | yathA sarvagato vishNuh tathaiveyamdvijottama || (vishNu purANa 1.8.17)
“This Lakshmi is eternal, the universal Mother, and is ever in union withVishNu. Just as VishNu pervades all things, she also does, O best of Brahmins”.
In Brahma PurANa, we have
tat Saktih durjayA bhImA vishNu-Saktih iti smRtA |
"Her power is invincible and awe-inspiring and She is considered thepower of VishNu Himself. She is the Supreme Being who lives in the lotus-likehearts of all beings of the universe and She is endowed with diverse forms. Hername is prANa or life. She is the Mother of all mantras, and is the eternalMother of the Universe”.
tathaivaikA parASaktih SrIh tasya karuNASrayA |
ananta nAmadeyA ca Sakti-cakrasya nAyikA |
“Likewise, Lakshmi is His Supreme Power, and She is endowed with thequality of Mercy. She is called the Supreme prakRti and possesses the sixqualities, knowledge and others. Lakshmi is the supreme, unique, and eternalSakti of BhagavAn; She is His second and transforms Herself into diverse forms,high and low. She has innumerable names, and is the head of the Sakti-cakra –the wheel of powers. She stands steady, pervading the entire universe, movingand non-moving”.
In SrI LahsmI sahasra nAmam, She is described as follows:
mahA-vibhUteh sampUrNa shad-guNya vapushah prabhoh |
“She is eternal and inseparably associated with BhagavAn vAsudeva, who isthe Master of great glory, who is endowed with the six qualities, and who is allpowerful. She is like the moon-light of the cool-rayed moon; She is one withHim, yet remains distinct. She pervades the Universe, and is the very embodimentof all Sakti-s.
She is endowed with all glory and qualities, and is eternal. Her dharma isthe same as that BhagavAn. She is the life-giving Sakti of all beings on earth.She is the source of all Sakti-s and is the sublime element in all”.
yasmAt lakshmyamSa sambhUtAh Saktayo viSvagAh sadA |
“All the Saktis that have emanated from Lakshmi are always pervading theentire Universe. They remain, under the command of SrI, as the cause. Therefore,when Lakshmi, the Mother of the Universe and the beloved consort of BhagavanAcyuta is pleased with someone, these Saktis themselves highly pleased, bestowprosperity which one desires.”
After this detailed description of Lakshmi’s qualities, SrI BhaTTar pointsout that this subject is more fully dealt with in vaishNava smRti and otherdharma SAstra-s.
rAmAyaNa also declares the greatness of Lakshmi in the Sloka in bAla kANDam(4.7):
- kAvyam rAmAyaNam kRtsnam sItAyAh caritam mahat –
SrI BhaTTar concludes his vyAkhyAnam for the nAma mAdhava in its firstoccurrence in Slokam 8 (nAma 73), by elaborately dwelling on the qualities ofLakshmi, and then ending with one line for mA-dahva, where he attributes thegreatness of mAdhava to His association with SrI: “SraddhayA devo devatvamaSnute – Lord VishNu gets His Lordship because of His association with Lakshmi.This is the secret about the true nature of SrI”.
Under nAma-s 169 and 741, SrI BhaTTar gives alternate explanations for thenAma mA-dhavah, but these a couple of sentences each in length, compared to thevery elaborate description above that he has given for the first occurrence ofthe nAma in Slokam 8 (nAma 73). It is clear that SrI BhaTTar’s thoughts areabout our Mother SrI in his anubhavam of the nAma mA-dhava for the Lord.
b) The Bestower of Knowledge (mA – The vidyA or knowledge of Hari; dhava– Lord, Preceptor, Propounder)
For the nAma mA-dhava in Slokam 18 (nAma 169), both SrI Samkara and SrIBhaTTar give the interpretation in terms of His being the Propounder (dhavah) ofthe mA vidyA – the knowledge of Hari. They both quote the support from theharivamSa:
mA vidyA ca hareh proktA tasyA Iso yato bhavAn |
“The knowledge about of Hari is called mA. Thou art the Master of thatknowledge.
SrI cinmayAnanda elaborates further on the above.
SrI BhaTTar gives additional support from the mahAbhArata:
madhu vidyA avabodhatvAt dhAvatvAt-vA Sriyo’niSam |
There are three explanations that are given in the above Sloka for the nAmamAdhavah.
c) first is that since He is cognized through madhu vidyA,
the second explanation is that He is the Lord of SrI (the explanationdiscussed in detail under a) for this nAma);
d) and the third one is that because He is recognized through dhyAna, mauna,and yoga, He is called mA-dhavah.
The dharma cakram writer explains mauna, dhyAna, and yoga further.
e) Under the current nAma, both SrI Samkara and SrI BhaTTar give theinterpretation that He is a scion of the Race of the Madhus, and therefore hasthe name mAdhavah (madhu kulodhbahavAt mAdhavah, or madhu kule jAtatvAt mAdhavah).
f) Another explanation given by SrI BhaTTar for the nAma is that this nAma isan illustration of the togetherness of SrI and BhagavAn as Mother and Father ofall of us. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan comments the importance of this specialrelationship of bhagavAn and pirATTi to the world, and their togethernessalways, in the protection of the jIva-s. It is of because of the Mother’snearness that bhagavAn forgives the countless apacAra-s committed by the cetana-s.It is in this sense that it is important for all of us that He is “agalagillEniRaiyum enRu alrmEl ma’ngai uRai mArban” (tiruvAi. 6.10.10), and She isalways with Him.
g) SrI tirukkaLLam nRsimha rAghavAcArya in his gItA bhAshya, has givenanother interpretation –
a) Affectionate towards the devotees.
om bhakta-vatsalAya namah.
The term bhakta is derived from the root bhaj – sevAyAm – to serve, tohonor (bhajati bhajate sevate iti bhaktah - kASakRtsna dhAtu vyAkhyAna 1.695,referenced by SrI satyadevo vAsishTha). Thus, one who serves, honors, praises,etc., is a bhakta. The word vatsalah is derived from the word vatsa, which byitself means calf. However, by pANini sutra 5.2.98, the addition of the affixlac after the word vatsa gives it the meaning “love” – vatsa amsAbhyAmkAma bale. Thus, the word vatsala means kAmavat, snehavat, etc. – one who isin love, one who is friendly. Bhakta vatsalan in thus One Who is affectionatetowards His devotees.
a) SrI BhaTTar’s anubhavam is that this nAma brings out the specialattitude of BhagavAn towards His devotees, who are eager to cultivate therelationship with Him as Master and kinsman (i.e., as bhakta-s towards Him). SrIBhaTTar comments that His joy of having attained His bhakta-s is so great, thatHe forgets all other desires – tal-lAbha sambhrama vismRta anya-kAmah.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan elaborates on the term vatsalah, or vAtsalyam of BhagavAntowards His devotees. As mention earlier, vatsa refers to a calf. Vatsalah alsorefers to affection, of the kind that a cow shows towards its calf. The cowlicks and removes any dirt or other material that may be found on the body ofthe calf, on in other words, it treats even the blemishes on its calf as bhogyamfor itself. BhagavAn’s love towards His devotees is similarly one of ignoringtheir faults, and enjoying their devotion instead. SrI rAmAnujan gives twoexamples.
- When Vidura was offering worship to kRshNa at his house, he was totallyimmersed in looking at Lord kRshNa with devotion and affection, and he waspeeling off the outer layer of the banana, and giving the peeled skin to kRshNafor eating instead of giving the peeled fruit by mistake. Lord kRshNa was soimmersed in His devotee that He did not also realize that the skin was what Hewas being given, and He also ate the skin as a bhogya vastu, because it had beenoffered with the utmost devotion. - When BhIshma was lying on the death-bed ofarrows and meditating on Lord kRshNa, the Lord just informed the fellow pANDava-s:“The Lion of men is lying there, just thinking of Me and meditating on Me”,and having said that, He Himself was lost on the thought of His bhakta andforgot Himself and His surroundings.
b) In addition to giving the above interpretation (bhakteshu vAtsalyavAn),SrI satya sandha yatirAja gives two other interpretations for the nAma. One ofthese is based on the meaning “cooked rice or food” for the term bhakta (seethe explanation for bhakta vilocanan in the nAcciyAr tirumozhi posting forpASuram 12.6). In this interpretation, SrI satya sandha yatirAja looks at thenAma as bhaktavat-salah, and gives the interpretation:
c) The other interpretation given by SrI satya sandha yatirAja is
The dharma cakram writer compares the relationship between BhagavAn and us tothat between the mother and the child. The mother has selfless affection to thechild, and the child trusts the mother solely and exclusively for its survival.A true devotee will be like the child towards the mother, and BhagavAn is ofcourse like the Mother towards all.