suvarNabindurakshobhyah sarvavAgISvareSvarah |
a) He Who concealed the truth of the vedic path from the asura-s with sweetwords. b) He Who has a beautiful form with golden-colored beautiful limbs. c) HeWho is in the form of the auspicious praNava mantra. d) He Who has a beautifulform, and Who has beautifully divided the creatures of the universe into theirvarious parts. e) The Knower of the veda-s consisting of auspicious letters. f)He Who has the beautiful golden-colored sandalwood marks on His forehead,cheeks, etc.
Om suvarNa-bindave namah.
su is an upasarga; varNa is derived from the root vR varaNe tochoose; varNa refers to color, letter, etc. The word bindu is derived from theroot bind avayave to split, to divide, or vid j~nAne to know.Because of a generally accepted rule of non- distinction between ba and va bygrammarians (ba-va-yor-abhedena), vindu and bindu have the same meaning. SrIBhaTTar ues the root bidi apalApe to conceal, in his interpretation. Theword bindu also refers to the decorative mark applied between the eyebrows, theanusvAra, the marks on the body of a deer, etc. The different interpretationsbelow are a result of these variations.
a) SrI BhaTTar uses the root bidi apalApe to conceal, and the meaning"letters" to the word varNa, he continues his interpretation in termsof bhagavAn's Buddha incarnation, specifically taken to deceive the evil-mindedpeople and thereby punish them for their karma-s. Here, the interpretation isthat bhagavAn successfully used "sweet" words to conceal the truth ofthe vedic path from the asura-s, and to create a distrust in the vedic practicesamong those asura-s who believed in using vedic rites in order to get powers,and then using these powers to harm the deva-s. The cases of SukrAcArya,indrajit, rAvaNa, etc., who got powers by performing vedic rites, and then usedthose powers to harm His devotees, are examples.
b) Sri Sa'nkara uses the meaning avayavah limbs, for the word bindu, andgives the interpretation to the nAma as "One having limbs radiant likegold" bindavah avayavAh su-varNa sadRSA asya iti su- varNa-binduh. Wecame across the beauty of His form and limbs in the nAma-s suvarNa-varNah,hemA'ngah, varA'ngah, and candanA'ngadI (Slokam 79, nAma-s 743 746). Pleaserefer to these write-ups for a detailed account of His tirumEni to be enjoyedfrom the different interpreters' perspectives.
SrI vAsishTha gives the above as one of his two interpretations: su =Sobhanam; varaNIyam = dRSyam rUpam yasya sa su-varNah; su-varNA bindavahavayavAh yasya sa su-varNa-binduh. One Who has a beautiful complexion andbeautiful limbs is su-varNa-binduh.
SrI rAdhARshNa SAstri adds another dimension to the anubhavam of His goldentirumEni. He refers to bhagavAn rising with a golden form from the agni-kuNDamin ya~jna-s performed by several devotees. We know of kA'nci pEraruLALan whotook his arcA mUrti incarnation from the agni kuNDam when brahmA performed hispenance in this kshetram.
c) An alternate interpretation by SrI Sa'nkara is based on the meaning "aksharam"for "varNa", and "anusvAra" for "bindu", thusgiving the meaning "One Who in the form of the auspicious praNava" Sobhano varNah aksharam binduSa yasmin mantre tan-mantrAtmA vA su- varNa-binduh.SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives references to the Sruti in support: omiti brahma (taitt.1.81); tat-te padam sa'ngraheNa bravImyomityetat (kaTha. 1.2.15).
d) Based on the root bind avayave to divide, to split, and using theuNAdi sUtra bindur-icchuh (uNAdi. 3.2.169), SrI vAsishTha interprets the wordbinduh as referring to "one who divides" bindati avayavAnkaroti, or "one who performs the kriyA of avayava or division. In thisinterpretation, SrI vAsishTha gives the meaning "One Who Himself is ofbeautiful form (su-varNa), and Who has divided (binduh) the creaturesbeautifully into their different parts, while operating as the Undivided One inall of them" as in the case of a tree, into its branches, leaves, etc.,or the different planets of the solar system yathAyam sUryastathAyamsamastah prapa'ncah parasparam avayava-avayava vibhAvam Apannah, patra-phala-pushpa-SakhAdIni vRkshasyeva).
e) SrI satya sandha yatirAja uses the meaning "letter" for the wordbindu, and interprets the term suvarNa as a reference to the veda-s. He uses theroot vid j~nAne, and gives the interpretation that bhagavAn has this nAmasignifying that He is the "Knower of the veda- s" SobhanA varNAyasmin sa su-varNo vedah; tasya binduh j~nAtA su- varNa-binduh.
f) Using the meaning "a decorative mark on the forehead" for bindu,SrI bala deva vidyA bhUshaN gives the interpretation su-varNo lalATasthobinduh asya iti He Who has golden mark of decoration on His forehead, or HeWho a decorative mark on His golden forehead. SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj alsogives a similar interpretation suvarNamiva pItAbhA bindavah candana-bindavoyasya cibuka kapola mastake sa su-varna binduh He Who has the decorationwith the golden-colored sandalwood on His cheeks etc.
The root from which the nAma is derived is kshub sa'ncalane todisturb, to be agitated.
a) SrI BhaTTar's interpretation for the nAma is that when He presented Hisarguments as Buddha to the asura-s, no one could stand up against his arguments,because he was possessed of impenetrable thoughts gambhIrASayatvena a-vikAryah.
b) SrI San'kara's interpretation is that the nAma indicates that He isunshaken by desire, hatred, etc., by the objects of senses such as sound etc.,and by the external foes such as the enemies of the deva- s, etc. rAgAdibhih,SabdAdi-vishayaiSca, tri-daSa-aribhiSca, na kshobhyata iti a-kshobhyah.
SrI cinmayAnanda's translation for the nAma is `One who is unruffled".He explains that while ordinarily an individual gets disturbed, subjectively, bythe presence of desires, anger, passions, etc., and objectively an average manis constantly stormed by the enchanting dance of beautiful sense-objects allaround him, the Lord is not subjected to any of these. He refers us to thedescription of a sthitapra~jna in the gItA by Lord kRshNa, in response toarjuna's question in Slokam 2.54 (sthita pra~jnasya kA bhAsha etc). bhagavAn'sresponse is contained in Sloka-s 2.55 to 2.61, where He outlines the attributesof a sthita-pra~jna. Those are also the characteristics of an a-kshobhyah.
c) SrI satya sandha yatirAja gives an anubhavam not shared by the others. Inaddition to treating the nAma-s suvarNabinduh and akshobhyah as two separatenAma-s and giving interpretations for these, he looks at these two combined asone nAma also su-varNa- bindu + rakshah + bhyah. His interpretation is:suvarNa bindavo yasmin tat suvarna-bindu; suvarNa-binduvat rakshaScasuvrNa-bindu- raksho mArIcah; tam bhyAsayati bhIshayati iti suvarNa-bindu-raksho-bhyah - The term suvarNa-bindu rakshah refers to the demon by name mArIca, sincehe had golden dots (bindu-s) all over his body. BhagavAn has the nAmasuvarNa-bindu-raksho-bhyah since He caused fear in the mind of this rAkshasa,mArIca, with the golden dots all over his body. The root bhya bhaya is usedin this interpretation.
The Lord of all who have a mastery over all words.
He Who is the Lord of all who have mastery over vAk or speech issarva-vAg-ISvara-ISvarah The ISvara of those who are "sar-vAg- ISvara-s".The different interpreters give different anubhavam-s on who these "mastersover speech" are.
SrI BhaTTar continues his interpretation in terms of bhagavAn's Buddhaincarnation. He interprets the nAma as signifying that bhagavAn was the clearwinner over the "learned masters" among the rAkshasa-s in argumentsand disputations. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan comments that vAcaspati is known for pilingpoints after points in support of his position in any argument. That skill ofvAcaspati is but a tiny fraction of bhagavAn's power. The point to be kept inmind here is that in his Buddha incarnation, bhagavAn was advancing arguments topromote nAstikam among the asura-s, and so his arguments in the current contextwere not consistent with the SAstra-s.
SrI Sa'nkara interprets sarva-vAg-ISvara as a reference to brahmA, and sincebhagavAn is the Lord of brahmA, He has the nAma saarva-vAg- ISvara-ISvarah. SrIrAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out that brahmA with his four faces and four mouths,gives the veda-s to the rest of the world, and so he is sarva-vAgISvaran, and hegot this power from bhagavAn, the sarva-vAg-ISvara-ISvara.
SrI satya sandha yatirAja considers the reference of the phrase "sarva-vAg-ISvarato rudra, and so describes the namA as indicating that He is the Lord of rudra:sarveshAm vAcah sarva-vAcah tAsAm Isvarasya rudrasya ca ISvaratvAtsarva-vAg-ISvara-ISvarah. SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN lists brahma, rudra, etc.,as those learned in the SAstra-s, and bhagavAn being the Lord of all of them,has this nAma sarvAh SrutyAdilakshaNA vAco yatra sa sarva-vAk; nikhilaSAstra pratipAdya ityarthah; yata ISvara-ISvara vidhi- rudrAdi niyAmakah. Sameidea is reflected in SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj's interpretation sarveshAmvAg-ISvarANAm sura-guru- druhiNAdInAm ISvarah SastA itisarva-vAg-ISvara-ISvarah.
SrI cinmayAnanda quotes the kenopanishad passage where the question is firstasked: keneshitAm vAcam imam vadanti At whose behest do people utterspeech?, and the answer is given: tadeva brahmam tad viddhi It is Brahmanfrom which all these arise. SrI cimnayAnanda explains the nAma thus: "It isnot the instruments of actions and perceptions that act by themselves, as theyare all made up of inert matter. The immediate animation to the equipment isgiven by the `inner instruments'. Therefore, for all the sense-organs, themind-intellect-equipment is their immediate lord. But these subtle instrumentsthemselves get their dynamism to act only in the presence of SrI nArAyaNa".
SrI vAsishTha comments that the gods or devatA-s for speech and sound arevAcaspati, agni, vidyut, etc., and He is the Lord of all those gods who are thegods of vAk, and so He is called sar-vAg-ISvara- ISvarah sarva vAgISvarANAmapi ISvarah. SrI vAsishTha comments that even though there are a large number ofspecies, each with its own unique structure of the organs that produce soundfrom them, all of these originate from Him, and ultimately subside in Him.
a) The Vast Lake in which the sinners drown never to rise again, and thedevotees dip again and again to get relief.
Om mahA-hradAya anamah.
The root from which the word hrada is derived is hrAda avyakte Sabde to sound, to roar. That which makes indistinct, undefined sounds is calledhradah. That which is huge, and makes this sound is mahA-hradah. The term isused to refer to a deep lake, an ocean etc. hRadate iti hradah.
a) SrI BhaTTar's explanation for the nAma is that bhagavAn as Buddha was likea deep lake in which the evil-doers sank, never to rise again yatrapApa-karmaNah a-punar-utthAnam nimajjanti. He refers us to Lord kRshNa's wordsin the gItA:
tAn aham dvishatah krUrAn samsAreshu narAdhamAn |
"Those haters, cruel, the vilest and the most inauspicious of mankind, Ihurl forever into the cycles of births and deaths, into the wombs ofdemons".
SrI BhaTTar also points out that while He is the deep lake where the sinnerswill drown, He is also the deep lake where the devotees will find their greatcomfort, and will bathe again and again without ever getting satisfied pApa-karmANah apunar-utthAnam nimajjanti, puNya- kRto gAham gAham tRpyanti, samahA-hrAdah. One is reminded of the nRsimha incarnation, where bhagavAn wassimultaneously a cause of terror for hiraNyakaSipu, and with that same form, Hewas the cause of great delight for prahlAda.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan describes the term hradah as eddy, the deep ditch thatsometimes lies in the path of running waters. If one gets caught in one ofthese, it is well near impossible to get out of it alive. BhagavAn is like oneof these for the asura-s. nammAzhvAr refers to bhagavAn as "vallarakkarpukkazhunda tayaradan peRRa marakata maNit taDam" in tiruvAimozhi 10.1.8 bhagavAn is described as the large cool tank in which so many devoteesimmerse and benefit, and He is also the large tank in which the cruel asusra-sfall and drown, never to return (val arrakar pukku azhunda). The reference tobhagavAn as the "cool reservoir of waters" for the devotees is commonin AzhvArs' aruLic-ceyal-s and other works: tiruma'ngai AzhvAr in tirunenDumtANDakam (19) poRRAmaraikkayam neerADap ponAL, and the reference in SrImadbhAgavatam esha brahma pravishTosmi grIshme Sitamiva hradam, are given asexamples.
SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation is that He is like the great lake since theyogi-s remain peacefully in His bliss by plunging into it avagAhyatadAnandam viSramya sukham Asteyogina iti mahA-hradah.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri explains the nAma in tamizh as "aNDa muDiyAdaAzhnda nIrt tEkkam pOnRu uLLa Anandak kaDal".- The not-so-easily accessibledeep reservoir of water that is the Bliss of Ocean personified.
b) SrI satya sandha yatirAja gives the explanation as `One Who is associatedwith the deep waters in kALIya mardana, or as He reclines in the MilkOcean" mahAn hrado yasya kAlIya mardana kAle vA, samudra Sayana kAle vAsa mahA-hradah.
c) SrI satya devo vAsishTha explains the nAma as referring to His creatingthe great oceans so that the world does not become completely dry and perish.Here is his vyAkyAnam in his traditional Sloka form:
mahA-hrado vishNur-amogha karmA karoti viSvam bahu- sAdhanAptam |
a) He Who pushes the great sinners into the great pit of samsAra.
Om mahA-gartAya namah.
The root from the word garta is derived is gRR nigaraNe to swallow,to devour, to emit.
a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning "pit" for "garta", andequates the pit in this nAma to the naraka loka-s such as the raurava, intowhich bhagavAn casts away those who have lost their souls by following the pathcontrary to the path of dharma
aSraddadhAnAh purushA dharmasyAsya parantapa |
"Men devoid of faith in this dharma, O scorcher of foes,
In his vyAkhyAnam to this Slokam in gItA, bhagavad rAmAnuja indicates thatthe people referred to here are those who have attained the fitness to practicethe proper dharma of worship, but then deviate from the path because of aSraddhAor lack of faith. He exclaims at the end of his vyAkhyAna for this Slokam in hisgItA bhAshyam
SrI Sa'nkara describes Him as "The great Chasm", because His mAyAis very difficult to cross.
daivI hyeshA guNa-mayI mama mAyA duratyayA |
"For, the divine mAyA of Mine consisting of the three guNa-s is hard toovercome;
b) SrI Sa'nkara gives an alternate interpretation based on the meaning"a chariot" to the term garta.
c) Using the same meaning as above for garta, namely ratha or chariot, SrIkRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation:
d) SrI satya sandha yatirAja uses the meaning "mountain" for theword aga,
e) SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN give another perspective on the nAma
ihaikastham jagat kRtsnam paSyAdya sa-carAcaram |
"Behold here, O arjuna,
This is the last of the nAma-s that SrI BhaTTar interprets in terms of therole of bhagavAn in misleading the evil-minded people in his Buddha incarnation.It is more pleasant to enjoy His guNa-s in His role of saulabhyam and sauSIlyamtowards His devotees, than His role as One who punishes those who violate thepath of dharma. However, it is important to realize that whatever happensanywhere in any part of the Universe at any time, are all His actions, and arecarried out for the benefit of His creation. Thus, it is necessary to realizethat the incarnations such as the Buddha incarnation are taken by Him for thepurpose of doling out the effects of their karma to those who follow the path ofadharma.
In the next few nAma-s, we will see how His guNa-s are displayed in HisSishTa-paripAlanam role.
a) He Who considers great men as His own.
Om mahA-bhUtAya namah.
The root from which the nAma can be derived is bhU sattAyAm to be, tolive, to be born.
a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the term mahA-bhUta as referring to "greatbeing", and gives the meaning "One Who possesses mahA-bhUta-s or greatbeings as His own" is called mahA-bhUtah. The "great beings"referred to here are those who are single-minded in their devotion to Him aregreat beings. Since bhagavAn considers them as His own, He is the "Owner ofthe mahA-bhUta-s" mahA-bhUtah.
b) SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as referring to bhagavAn as "TheGreat Being", because He is unlimited by the three dimensions of time the past, the present, and the future
The nAma gives another instance where we can see the difference in approachbetween SrI Sa'nkara and SrI BhaTTar.
c) SrI satya devo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that bhagavAn ismahA-bhUtah because it is from Him that the five great elements air, water,etc., originated. SrI satya sandha yatirAja also gives a similar explanation
a) He Who has the great treasure in the form of His devotees.
Om mahA-nidhaye namah.
a) ni is an upasarga prefix.
nitarAm wholly, entirely, continuously, always. nidhi reservoir,receptacle, abode
a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning "treasure" for the term "nidhi",and gives the vyAkhyAnam that bhagavAn has this nAma because He values thedevotees as His treasure they are so dear to Him:
nammAzhvAr captures this aspect of bhagavAn in his tiruvAimozhi pASuram10.7.8:
triup pArkkaDalE en talaiyE; taN tiru vE'nkaTamE enadu uDalE;
"bhagavAn loves my head with the same attachment He has for tirup parkkaDal; He loves my body with as much intensity as He likes tiru vE'nkaTam; Henow appears to be a complete dependent on my body for His verysustenance".
b) SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAam is:
c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that the nAma symbolizesthat He is the abode of everything in the Universe, including such great thingsas the sun
d) SrI cinmayAnanda translates the nAma as "The Great Abode". Heexplains the nAma as:
AzhvArs refer to bhagavAn as their nidhi in this sense of His being availablefor their enjoyment and support always.
- tiruma'ngai AzhvAr in tiruk kurum tANDakam (1) nidhiyinai, pavaLattUNai
- He is the Treasure who comes forth without fail when we are in need;He is like the pillar that comes for our support like the pillar made of pavaLam.-
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj interprets the nAma as a combination of two guNa-s-