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Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam - SLOKA 92



dhanur-dharo dhanur-vedo daNDo damayitA'damah     |
a-parAjitah sarva-saho niyantA niyamo yamah    ||


om dhanur-dharAya namah
om dhanur-vedAya namah
om daNDAya namah
om damayitre namah
om a-damAya namah
om a-parAjitAya namah
om sarva-sahAya namah
om niyantre namah
om niyamAya namah
om yamAya namah

861. dhanur-dharah - The weilder of the bow.

Om dhanur-dharAya namah.

dhanusho dharah dhanur-dharah - One Who has the bow. 

Both SrI  Sa'nkara and SrI BhaTTar interpret this nAma as "One Who carries the bow in His hand".  
The word dhanus is derived from the root dhan -  to sound, or from the root dhan - dhAnye - to bear fruit. 

a) SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn has this nAma indicating  that He carries His bow by name SAr'nga in order to remove the  obstacles in the path of the devotees performing yoga to attain Him.   The reason for Lord rAma carrying the bow with Him during His vana- vAsam was precisely to remove the obstacles to the penance performed  by the Rshi-s in the forest.  This is kshatriya dharma -

- "etad-artham hi loke'smin kshatriyair-dhAryate dhanuh" -
It  is for this reason that the bow is wielded by the kshatriya-s in this  world;   

- "dhAryate kshatriyaih cApo na Arta Sabdo bhaved-iti" -
The  bow is always carried by the kshatriya-s so that there may not be the  cry of distress anywhere.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan nicely translates the nAma into tamizh  as "Sar'ngapANi" - "One Who has SA'rnga in His hand".  

nammAzhvAr  personifies all His weapons themselves as being filled with anger at  the very sight of the enemy, and ready to remove the sorrow of the  devotees - kAi Sina Azhi Sa'ngu vAL taNDu Endi em iDar kaDivAnE  (tiruvAi. 9.2.6).  nammAzhvAr also refers to emperumAn as "kuni  Sar'ngan" (tiruvAi. 8.8.1) - One Who has in His hand the Sar'nga bow  that is bent as if with respect.

b) SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation is - "SrImAn rAma nAmA mahad-dhanur- dhArayAmAsa iti dhanur-dharah -
He Who carried the great bow in His  rAma incarnation (to protect the sages).   The key word to emphasize  is "the great bow". 
There are others who have carried the bow, but  none is equal to rAma in wielding the bow. 
Lord kRshNa decalres as  such in the gItA - Of those who bear weapons, I am rAma.

...... rAmah Sastra bhRtAm aham  |    (gItA 10.31)

SrI rAdhA kRshNa SAstri refers to rAma's skill in wielding the bow  and arrow -
He could even convert a shade of grass as an arrow in  chasing kAkAsura all over the three worlds and making Him surrender at His Feet ultimately. 

c) SrI cinmayAnanda gives an interesting reference to muNDakpanishad,  where the "bow" refers to the praNava:

dhanur-gRhItvaupanishadam mahAstram Saram hyupAsAniSitam  samdhayIta   |
Ayamya tad-bhAva gatena cetasA lakshyam tadevAksharam somya  viddhi  ||   (muNDa. 2.2.3)

"Having taken the bow (called praNava) well known in the upanishads,
one should fix on it an arrow (the Atman) that has been sharpened by  constant meditation. 
Drawing it with the mind fixed on the Brahman,  O good looking one,
know that the Immutable itself is the target".   

The next mantra explicitly declares:  "praNavo dhanuh, Saro hyAtmA,  brahma tal-lakshyamucyate". 

c) SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN, an exponent of the gauDIya vaishNava  sampradAyam, gives his interpretation in terms of bhagavAn's kRshNa  incarnation, and refers to His bearing the bow to shoot the fish at His svayamvaram with lakshaNA -
svayamvare matsya vedhanAya dhanusho  dharaNAt dhanur-dharah.  The incident of arjuna piercing through the  fish in the svayamvara of draupadi is well-known, but the reference  here is to a similar incident that refers to bhagavAn.  This incident  could not be traced through the internet search, and so the original  reference to this incident could not be located. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives reference to the Rg vedic mantra in  support:

aham rudrAya dhanur-Atanomi brahmadvishe hanta vA u |
aham janAya samadam kRNomy-aham dvAyavA pRthivI AvivESa     ||  (Rg. 10.125.6)

"I bend the bow for rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the  hater of devotion. 
I rouse and order battle for the people, and I  have penetrated Earth and Heaven".

862. dhanur-vedah

a) The Propounder of the science of archery.
b) The Knower of the Science of archery in its completeness (a reference to Lord rAma).
c) One Who has given the means of self-protection (dhanush) to all His creation.
d) One Who has propounded meditation on "OM" as the sure means of Self realization.

Om dhanur-vedAya namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as an example of His being the Propounder of all that is known and to be learnt.  In this instance, He is the Propounder of the Science of archery - dhanur-veda.  Even the rulers of men (kings) and gods (indra) get their knowledge of the science from His blessings alone. 

b) SrI Sa'nkara's interpreation is:  "sa eva dASarathih dhanur-vedam  vetti iti dhanur-vedah" - "The Son of daSaratha, who alone is the  Knower of the Science of archery (to perfection).  Thus as the term "mahat" was emphasized in SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation of the previous nAma, the term "eva" should be stressed here.  There are others who knew and know the science of archery, but none who compares to rAma.

SrI rAdhA kRshNa SAstri gives examples of Lord rAma's knowledge of the science of archery.  He could direct the arrows as He wished, retrieve them as He wished, and even change Nature through discharge of the arrows (as His use of the arrow to warn samudra rAjan for His initial lack of response to His request). 

c) SrI vAsishTha gives the following interpretations:

i)dhanur vindati - labhata iti - He Who has the dhanus.

ii) dhanur-vedayati sva-rakshaNArtham sarvebhya iti dhanur-vedah - He  Who bestows the dhanus to all His creation for their self-protection is dhanur-vedah.   Here SrI vAsishTha gives a generic meaning the term dhanus, and uses the term as a reference to any means for self- protection from the natural enemies etc.   Thus, he refers to the horn of the cows etc. as their `dhanush' (gavAdhikAnAm dhanurasti  SR'ngam), the nails of the tigers, lions etc. as their `dhanush'  (simhAdi himsrasya nakhAdirUpam), and the intellect as the dhanush  for human beings (dhanuSca martyasya su-buddhih). 

SrI vAsishTha gives support from yajur-veda;

avatatya dhanushTvagm sahasrAksha Sateshudhe   |  
niSIrya SalyAnAm mukhA Sivo nah sumanA bhava   ||  (yajur.  16.13). 

d) SrI cinmayAnanda continues his anubhavam of the nAma based on the interpretation of the term dhanush to refer to the "omkAra" (see previous nAma).  He gives the interpretation for the nAma as "One Who propounded the unfailing technique of meditation on "OM" for realization of the Self". 

SrI raghunAtha tIrtha explains the nAma as -
"dhanUmshi vidanti iti  dhanur-vedAh astr~jnAh bhRtyAh   | 
te asya bhaktAnAm dAsAh santi iti  dhanur-vedah  |" -
He Who has His devotees served by those who have  knowledge of the science of missiles and weaponry.

863. daNDah

a) The source of punishment for the wicked. b) He Who is verily the weapon (power) of yama - the daNDa. c) He Whom no one else controls (a-daNDah). d) He Who is the source of restraint for all beings so that they follow dharma.

Om daNDAya namah.

The root from which this nAma is derived is dam - upaSame - to be  tamed.   (dushTAn) daNDayati iti daNDah -  The means of punishment  for the wicked is daNDah.  daNDam is a term used for a staff.  It  refers to the staff that is carried by a sanyAsin, and also is a  symbol of the power that one has (like the daNDam or staff of a  king).  The sense in which it is used in this nAma is the latter.   Thus, daNDah here refers to the means to administer punishment or taming. 

a) SrI BhaTTar comments that bhagavAn is daNDah because He administers the rules of dharma through the kings who have the responsibility to punish the wicked and bring protection and happiness to the world by following the dharma as laid down in the vedas. 

SrI Sa'nkara gives reference to the gItA, where Lord kRshNa declares that among those that administer chastisement, He is daNDa:

daNDo damayatAm asmi nItirasmi jigIshatAm   |   (gItA 10.38)

"I am the Power of Punishment among those who administer punishment when the law is transgressed".

nammAzhvAr describes the intensity with which bhagavAn punishes the  wicked, in his tiruvAimozhi pASuram 6.10.4) - reference by SrI v.v.  rAmAnujan:

AvAennAdu ulagattai alaikkum aSurar vANAL mEl tI vAi vALi mazahi pozhinda SilaiyA tiru mA magaL kELvA.

"He showers His deadly piercing fiery rain-shower of arrows on the life-source of the wicked asusra-s who by their very nature will torture the people of this world without the least mercy".  Such is the intensity with which bhagavAn dealt with kara, dhUshaNa etc.  

b)  SrI rAdhA kRshNa SAstri interprets the nAma as a reference to the weapon of yama in his role of samhAram.  BhagavAn is verily that power of yama in the form of his weapon, the daNDa - the ultimate of weapons in the ultimate of punishments.

SrI satya sandha tIrtha gives the explanation - daityAn daNDayati it danDah - He Who punishes the asura-s.

c) He gives an alternate interpretation using the pATham "a-daNDah" - anya kartRka SikshaNa rahitah a-daNDah - He Whom no one else  controls.     d) SrI satya devo vAsishTha gives the explanation that bhagavAn is called daNDah because He is the source of restraint (daNDa = damana =  niyamana =restraint) for all beings so that they act according to His  rules.

864. damayitA

a) The Subduer (of the enemies of His devotees).
b) The Dispeller (of the miseries and sufferings of His devotees).

Om damayitre namah.

The root from which this nAma is derived is the same as the one for the previous nAma - dam - upaSame - to be tamed.  The difference is that the last nAma referred to bhagavAn being the Source or the tool of punishment of the wicked, and the current nAma refers to Him as  the One who administers the punishment.  The affix tRn that appears  at the end of this nAma refers to "One who has the habit of"  -  tAcchIlya, according to pANini sUtra 3.2.125, and thus the nAma  signifies that bhagavAn is in the habit of punishing the wicked.  SrI  vAsishTha gives the definition - damayati = upaSamayati tacchIlo  damayitA. 

a) SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation along the above lines -  svayam ca rAvaNAdIn tAcchIlyena damayitA - He Who destroys the likes  of rAvaNa as a matter of habit.  The nirukti author gives the description for the nAma as "tAccHilyAt rAvaNAdInAm hartA - damayitA  svayaam".  It is because of this habit of His that He takes direct incarnations such as the rAma and kRshNa incarnations to rid the  wicked from this world.   nammAzhvAr describes this attribute of  bhagavAn in his tiruvAimozhi pASuram 7.5.2 (reference from SrI v.v.  rAmAnujan):

nATTil piRandu paDAdana paTTu maniSarkkA      
nATTai naliyum arakkarai nADit taDindiTTu      
nATTai aLittu uyyac ceidu naDandamai kETTumE?    (tiruvAi. 7.5.2)

BhagavAn takes birth among us, goes through innumerable sufferings  for our sake in His incarnation (as evidenced by the incarnation of  rAma with pirATTi sItA), and then goes after and seeks the wicked  (nADi), and destroys them - all for the sake of the human beings who  have no interest in worshipping Him and seeking His Feet.  It is  this "habit" of His seeking the wicked and punishing them that is  emphasized in the nAma damayitA. 

SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation that He is the "Subduer" of the  wicked in the form of yama, the rulers etc.  He gives support from  the gItA: 

........ yamah samyamatAm aham  (gItA 10.29)  (I am yama  among the subduers). 

SrI satya sandha tIrtha explains the nAma along similar lines  -  daityAn damayati iti damayitA - He Who subdues the wicked asura-s.

SrI vAsishTha also echoes a similar thought:  BhagavAn has this nAma  signifying that He subdues those who violate the rules of dharma as  established by Him

jagati jagadISa kRtAyA jagad-vyavasthAyA  
bha'njakam upaSamya sva-vaSe sthApayati. 

b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation that  He "dispels" the sorrowful or miserable state of His devotees (by  retrieving them from the bondage of samsAra):  damayati upaSamayati  dainyam sva-janAnAm iti damayitA.   This is along the lines that SrI  BhaTTar has interpreted nAma 192 - damanah (Slokam 21).  Both the  nAma-s have the same root, and in fact SrI BhaTTar stresses the guNa  of bhagavAn as a Subduer in nAma 192 also, but a different aspect of  this guNa of bhagavAn - that of subduing the tApa or suffering of His  devotees.  EmperumAn is always acting in the interests of His  devotees - either as a Subduer of the tApa of His devotees (kAnti -  mandAkinIbhih bhava tApam damayati iti damanah (He dispels the  sufferings of  samsAra in His devotees through the Ganges-like  streams of His luster or kAnti- interpretation for nAma 192), or as a  Subduer of the enemies of His devotees (the current nAma).   

SrI cinmayAnanda explains the nAma as:  "One Who punishes the wicked,  destroys the sinners and thus regulates and cultivates life in the  universe, making it a garden for the blossoms of spiritual  beauties". 

SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshAn, an exponent of the gauDIya vaishNava  sampradAyam, gives his interpretations for all the nAma-s as far as  possible based on the specific instances of bhagavAn's kRshNa  incarnation.  For the current nAma, he gives the anubhavam that the  nAma reflects His "subduing" the seven bulls in His svyamavaram -  nAgnajitI svayamvare saptAnAmukshNAm damanAt damayitA.

865. a-damah

a) He Who is not subdued by anyone.  
b) He Who is in the form of the good effects of punishment to those who err.
c) He Who is the means of control..
d) He Who controls everything.
e) He Who bestows all wishes to His devotees.

Om a-damAya namah.

The root from which the nAma is derived is dam - upaSame - to be tamed, the same root as for the previous two nAma-s.    SrI BhaTTar looks at the nAma as a-damah - He Who cannot be tamed or subdued, and SrI Sa'nkara and others treat the nAma as damah.

The nirukti author summarizes SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam thus: 
kaScit  damayitA na asti yasya asau a-damah smRtah -
He is meditated upon as  a-damah because there is no one who can subdue Him in any way. 

SrI  kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as: 
dAmyati it damo damanah  parAbhavitA; 
na damo yasya kaScit sah a-damah.  

SrI BhaTTar quotes  the mahA bhArata in support:

bhasma kuryAt jagat-sarvam manasaiva janArdanah    |
na tu kRtsnam jagac-chaktam ki'ncit kartum janArdane    ||   (mahA. udyoga. 67.8)

"JanArdana by His mere Will can turn into ashes the entire Universe.   But all the Universe combined together can do no harm to Him".

b) SrI Sa'nkara, who treats the nAma as damah, gives the interpretation -
damyeshu daNDa kAryam phalam, tacca sa eva iti  damah -
He is also the result of the act of punishment or discipline  that is administered.  
In other words, whatever is the effect of the  punishment administered to one who errs, such as the good effects  that take place because of the punishment, the corrections that occur  in the individual, etc., are also a manifestation of bhagavAn. 

SrI cinmayAnanda captures this sense in his explanation:  "That which  is ultimately gained by the worldly punishments - the final  experience of Beatitude in the Self".   One should be able to realize through this interpretation that what happens to us - good or bad -is all for our benefit, bestowed by bhagavAn.  

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes that the term dama also refers to the means that are used to control the unruly; the net result of this control is the control of the senses etc., which is also referred as  to dama.

d) SrI vAsishTha derives the meaning for the nAma as "dAmayati iti  damah" - He Who controls.   For the previous nAma - damayitA, he interpreted the function of control as it applies to those who violate dharma.  For the current nAma, he gives the interpretation in terms of bhagavAn being the Controller of everything such that they  follow the prescribed path as their natural behavior  - in other  words, He is the Controller of all the planets such that they follow  their prescribed courses;  He is the Controller of our indriya-s such that the eye only sees and does not hear, the ear only hears but not  smell, etc.   BhagavAn is present everywhere and pervades everything, and has full control of everything - He is damah, the Controller.   Here is SrI vAsishTha's composition capturing his interpretation:

damo hi sarvatra virAjamAnah, kriyAsu sarvam sa niyamya yu'ngte    |
grahAs-tameva damamatra vishNum namanti sarve paridhau bhramantah   ||

e) SrI satya sandha tIrtha takes the pATham Ada-mah, and gives the  interpretation that He has the nAma signifying that He is the  Bestower of wealth on all - samyak dadAati iti Adah, teshAm mA - sampat yasmAt iti Ada-mah.

SrI raghunAtha tIrtha gives a similar interpretation in his tattva  sAra, but looking at the nAma as da+mah -
kalpa taru sAkhA iva bhaktAnAm sarvAbhIshYTam dadAti iti da-mah -
He Who confers all the  things desired, to the devotees, like the branches of the heavenly  wish-giving tree, kalpa vRksha.  

866. a-parAjitah

a) He Who is invincible.
b) He Who has no protector above Him, and Who is  Resplendent (a-pah + rAjitah).
c) He Whose Powers do not perish or diminish over  time.

Om a-parAjitAya namah.

This nAma occurs twice in the stotram  (Slokam 76 - nAma 721, and the  current instance).   

 The root for the nAma is ji -jaye abhibhave ca - to conquer.  SrI  vAsishTha gives the explanation -
parair-na parA-jIyate,  parAbhibhUyate vA sa a-parAjito vishNuh -
He Who cannot be conquered  or humiliated in any way by anyone. 

a) Among the different aspects of bhagavAn's invincibility, there are two that are noteworthy: 

1) He cannot be defeated by anyone or anything at any time,  anywhere, under any circumstance.      
2) Anyone whom He supports is also equally invincible, as  illustrated by the case of the pANDava-s against the stronger army of  kaurava-s. 

SrI BhaTTar describes the current instance of the nAma in terms of 1)  above, and for nAma 721 his anubhavam is based on 2 above.   This is  how SrI BhaTTar has avoided the punarukti dosham or the fault of  redundancy in his vyAkhyAnam for the two instances of this nAma.

SrI BhaTTar explains the first interpretation as follows:  kvacit,  kadAcit, kutaScit a-pratihatah a-parAjitah - He cannot be obstructed  by anyone, at any time, anywhere or by any means.   SrI kRshNa datta  bhAradvAj echoes the same idea - na parAjitah kadApi kenApi iti a- parajitah - He Who cannot be conquered by anyone and through any  means is a-parAjitah.

SrI BhaTTar gives several supports for his interpretations:

- From the gItA:

yatra yogeSvarah kRshNo yatra pArtho dhanur-dharah | tatra SrIr-vijayo bhUtir-dhruvA nItir-matir-mama || (gItA 18.78)

"Where kRshNa, the Lord of the yoga-s is, and where pArtha, the bow- armed arjuna is, there is prosperity, there is victory, there is  wealth, and there is firm justice - this is my conclusion".

 - From the Ayurveda caraka samhitA, where again the invincibility of bhagavAn is declared:

yathA'ham nAbhijAnAmi vAsudeve parAjayam |
mAtuSca pANigrahaNam samudrasya ca SoshaNam |
etena satya-vAkyena sicyatAm agado hyayam ||

"On the veracity of the following statements, may this medicine be pounded and be effective:  -  "There is no defeat for vAsudeva"; "I have not witnessed the  marriage of my mother"; "the ocean will never become completely dry".  (These are all absolute true statements)".

- In vaitaraNa, the following is used to invoke the efficacy of  the poison-removing mantra:

ratnAkara iva akshobhyo himavAniva ca acalah | jAtavedA iva adhRshyo nArAyaNa iva ajayah ||

"Let this poison-removing mantra be effective just as the ocean is imperturbable, himAvan is unshakable, fire is unapproachable, and  nArAyaNa is unconquerable".

- From SrImad rAmAyaNa:

a-jayyah SASvato dhruvah (yuddha. 114.15) - "He is Inivincible,  eternal and steady"; a-jitah khaDga-dhRk (yuddha. 120.14) - "He is  unconquered, and is the Wielder of the Sword".

- From the mahAbhArata:

dASArham aparAjitam  -  "KrishNa Who is invincible"; yatah kRshNah  tato jayah (bhA. udyoga. 6.79) -  "Where kRshNa is, there victory is  certain".

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference from divya prabandham in support:

- "paRpanAbhan uyarvuRa uyarum perum tiRalOn" (tiruVai.  2.7.11).   Sri rAmAnujan explains the term "tiral" as "parAbhibhavana  sAmarthyam" -  the skill to subdue and overcome His enemies. 

SrI satya sandha tIrtha enjoys the nAma as (a-parah + a-jitah) - He  Who has none superior to Him, and He Who can never be conquered - na  vidyate para = uttamo yasmAt iti a-parah;  a-paraSca asau a-jitaSca  iti aparAjitah.

SrI cinmayAnanda gives another dimension to the invincibility of  bhagavAn, with support from the ISAvAsya upanishad - "nainad-devA  Apnuvan"  - The deva-s could not overtake It - the overwhelming  powers of desires and passions can never vanquish the Self - the  Divine nArAyaNa.

SrI BhaTTar quotes several examples from the mahAbhArata in support  of his second interpretation above as well, where the deva-s  themselves have described over and over again that those who are  supported by bhagavAn cannot be vanquished by anyone.

ekam hanishyasi ripum garjantam tam mahAmRdhe | na tu tam prArthayasyekam rakshyate sa mahAtmanA ||

yam Ahur-veda-vidusho vArAham a-jitam harim | nArAyaNam a-cintyam ca tena kRshNena rakshyate || (bhA. udyo.129.40)

indra tells karNa: "In the great fight, I give you the power to kill  one thundering warrior, but this cannot be the one you wish to kill  (arjuna), since he is protected by the Great Lord (kRshNa). KRshNa is  none other than the Invincible Hari, Who had assumed the form of the  Wild Boar, and Who is the Incomparable nArAyaNa, as declared by the  vedic scholars".

The same message is given to jayadratha by rudra:

a-jayyAnScApi a-vadhyAnSca vArayishyasi tAn yudhi | Rte arjunam mahA-bAhum devairapi durAsadam |

yam Ahuh amitam devam Sa'nkha-cakra-gadA-dharam | pradhAnah so'stra-vidushAm tena kRshNena rakshyate || (bhA.  vana.260.75)

"In the fight you can ward off the attacks of all invincible and  indestructible warriors except the long-armed arjuna who is  unassailable even to the gods, since he is protected by kRshNa who is  the Unknowable Deity Who bears the conch, discus and mace as arms".

BhIshma, droNa, etc., declare that they could have annihilated the  pANDava-s without a trace if only vishNu had not been their  Protector, and that just as certainly as truth rests with a brAhmin,  humility is certain in the pious, and wealth is sure in the skillful,  so also victory is certain for nArAyaNa:

dhruvam vai brAhmaNe satyam dhruvA sAdhushu sannatih |
SrIr-dhruvA cApi daksheshu dhruvo nArAyaNe jayah ||

- yasya mantrI ca goptA ca suhRc-caiva janArdanah   |   
harih trailokya nAthah san kim nu tasya na nirjitam   ||

What is there in this world that cannot be conquered by that person who has bhagavAn Hari as His mentor, protector, and friend?

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references to divya prabandham in support:

- anRu aivarai velvitta mAyap pOr tErp pAganAr (tiruvAi.  4.6.1) -
He, who, in the form of the Charioteer, ensured the victory  of the pANDava-s. 

SrI Sa'nkara avoids redundancy in interpretation by giving the following two anubhava-s:

BhagavAn is unconquered by desire and the rest -
na Antarai  ragAdibhih parajita iti aparAjitah (Slokam 76) 2)   

BhagavAn is invincible by His foes -
Satrubhih na parAjita iti  a-parAjitah (the current Slokam)

SrI satya sandha tIrtha enjoys the nAma as (a-parah + a-jitah) -
He Who has none superior to Him, and He Who can never be conquered -
na  vidyate para = uttamo yasmAt iti a-parah;  a-paraSca asau a-jitaSca  iti aparAjitah.

b) One of the interpretations of SrI satya sandha tIrtha is based on looking at the nAma as a-pah + rAjitah: 
na vidyaye pah = pAlako  yasya sa a-pah; sa cAsau rAjitaSca iti a-pa-rAjitah -
He Who has no  protector above Him, and He Who is resplendent.  
He is also  Unconquered in another sense - no one who is not single-mindedly  devoted to Him will be able to attain Him.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha also derives the interpretation for the nAma  starting from the word para meaning Supreme.  One of his  interpretations is same as the first interpretation of SrI BhaTTar.   The other interpretation is:

For one to be defeated, there needs to be someone or something other  than that entity.  But since there is nothing else that exists other  than the Supreme Self, there is no possibility of defeat for this One  Truth  - "para eva kaScin-nAsti; na dvitIyo na tRtIyah" iti atharva  vacanAt, tasmAt parAjitvasya a-sambhavAt bhagavatah aparAjita iti  nAmnA samkIrtanam upapadyate.   This probably follows the advaita  philosophy (Non-existence of anything except of Brahman in truth).

SrI cinmayAnanda gives yet another dimension to the enjoyment of this nAma.  The Supreme Self is aparAjitah since the Self alone remains when everything else is destroyed.  

c) SrI raghunAtha tIrtha looks at the invincible nature of bhagavAn's  Power over time as compared to all others, whose powers are  perishable over time

parAjIyate kAlatah iti parAjitah - naSvarAh  vibhUtayah; 
na vidyante naSvarAha vibhUtayah yasya sah a-parAjitah -  

His vibhUti-s are powers are not transitory, but are eternal, and therefore He is called a-parAjitah.

867. sarva-sahah

a) The Supporter of all the other deities.
b) He Who conquers all His enemies.
c) He Who is competent in all His actions.
d) He Who forgives the aparAdha-s of everyone.

The word sah has multiple meanings - `to bear or support',  `to bear  or put up with', `to be capable of', `to be powerful'.   sahas also  means strength - sahate anena Satrum iti sahah (amara kOSam).  The  difference in the different interpretations results from the use of  the different alternate meanings.

SrI BhaTTar and SrI vAsishTha use the meaning "One Who Supports -  bears",  SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning `to be capable of', `to be  powerful, to conquer', and `to support', and SrI kRshNa datta  bhAradvAj uses the meaning "One Who puts up with".   In addition, SrI  Sa'nkara uses the meaning `strength' for `sahas' in one of his  interpretations.

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma specifically in the context of  bhagavAn's support to the other gods.  Because of His support to the  other gods, they continue to be worshipped by people who have not  achieved the full realization that nArAyaNa is the Supreme Deity to  be worshipped.  As the Provider of this support, He is called sarva- sahah - sva-SAsanena sarvam devatAntaramapi mandAdhikAriNAm  ArAdhyatayA sahate - bibharti iti sarva-sahah.   

The same concept is given by nammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 5.2.8  (referenced by SrI v.v. rAmAnujan):

iRukkum iRai iRuttu uNNa ev-vulagukkum tan mUrti                niRuttinAn deiva'ngaLAga ad-deiva nAyagan tAnE ..

"The other deities have been established like tax-collectors by my  daiva nAyakan - the Chief of all gods;  they are all His body".   

In one of his interpretations, SrI vAsishTha uses the  meaning "support", and gives a more general interpretation - bhagavAn  has this nAma because He supports and protects everything including  the sky, the earth, the movables and the immovables. 

b) c)  SrI Sa'nkara gives multiple interpretations: 

- sarvAn SatrUn sahata iti sarva-sahah - He Who conquers all  His enemies. -
sarva karmasu samartha iti sarva-sahah -  He Who is competent  in all His actions. -
pRthivyAdi rUpeNa vA sarva-sahah - He Who supports all in the  form of the earth etc.

d) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation - sarveshAm  sva-jana aparAdhAnAm sahah iti sarva-sahah - He is sarva-sahah  because He puts up with all the aparAdha-s of all His devotees.  SrI  rAdhAkRshNa SAstri also gives this as his interpretation - The Lord  forgives the aprAdha-s of His enemies by considering that it is  because of their inherent nature that they perform the aparAdham, and  a person of good conduct and character should forgive and forget,  rather than punish and seek revenge.  He refers to SrImad rAmAyaNam  (yuddha. 116.49), where sItA pirATTi instructs hanuman that the  servant-maids of rAvaNa should not be punished for mistreating her  while in aSoka vanam:  na kaScit na aparAdhyati - There is no one who  does not commit aparAdham (it is in the nature of all beings).

Using the meaning `to bear, to put up with' SrI vAsishTha gives an  alternate interpretation along similar lines.  Just as the sea does  not lose its nature even though all kinds of other waters mingle with  it over time, so also bhagavAn is untouched by all the things that He  has to endure.  It is the reflection of this guNa of bhagavAn' guNa  of sarva-sahatvam that is reflected in the ability of the jIva to  endure all that is happening when it is occupying one body, and then  move to another body at the end of this body's life.

SrI baladeva vidyAbhUshaN gives the example of Lord kRshNa putting up  with all the insults from the likes of rukmi (brother of rukmiNi),  duryodhana, SiSupAla etc. - sarvANi rukmyava~jnA vadAmsi sahata iti  sarva-sahah.

868. niyantA

a) He Who directs.
b) One Who has no one above Him to direct and control Him (a- niyantA).

SrI satya devo vAsishTha derives the word from the root yama -  uparame - to lift up, to show, to offer. ni is an uapasarga (prefix)  that denotes, among other things, command, order, etc. tRc is an  affix added to denote agency. niynatA is One Who controls, directs,  governs, restrains, etc.

a) SrI BhaTTar extends the idea from the previous nAma (sarva-sahah)  relating to the worship of the anya devatA-s. Thos who worship the  other devatA-s or gods, still are worshiping these gods with the  support of bhagavAn. The initial freedom of choice is given to the  individual, but once the choice is made, no matter what the choice  is, then bhagavAn supports this individual in the pursuit of this  choice. It is this guNa of bhagavAn that SrI BhaTTar brings out  through the nAma niyantA - tatra tat tat rucIn prarocayan niyacchati  iti niyantA - He directs and guides these individuals after letting  them make the choice according to their tastes. SrI BhaTTar gives  the following quote from the gIta in support:

yo yo yAm yAm tanum bhaktah SraddhayA arcitum icchati |
tasya tasya acalAm SraddhAm tAmeva vidadhAmyaham }} (gItA  7.21)

"Whichever devotee seeks to worship with faith whatever form, I make that faith steadfast".

This same idea is given by nammAzhvAr in his tiruvAimozhi pASuram  1.1.5 (reference from SrI v,.v. rAmAnujan):

avar avar tama tamadu aRivaRi vagai vagai  
avar avar iRaiyavar ena aDi aDaivargaL
avar avar irAiyavar kuRaivilar iRaiyavar
avar avar vazhi vazhi aDaiya ninRanarE (tiruvAi. 1.1.5)

"Each and every individual chooses, in accordance with his nature and attainments, limited by his intellect, to worship a particular deity of his/her choice in the hope of securing desired results. These deities are, without doubt, capable of granting the lesser boons (other than moksha) to their devotees according to their merits,  because the Lord is the inner soul, controller, and source of their power". The idea that bhagavAn is the niyantA of all the other gods is to be appreciated here.

SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is the "Regulator of all in all their functions" -
sarvAn sveshu sveshu kRtyeshu
vyasthApayati iti niyantA.

SrI vAsishTha points out that everything  functions according to the course laid out by Him as the niyantA of all - including the sun and all the planets, and even the heart  inside all of us -
niyacchati = nibhadhnAti sarvam vyavasthita  vartmanA gamanAya iti `niyantA' vishNuh.

b) SrI cinmayAnanda uses the pATham a-niyantA for this nAma, and  gives the interpretation - One Who has none above Him to control  Him" - He is the One Who has appointed all controllers of the  phenomenal forces as the Sun, the Moon, Air and Waters.

869. niyamah

a) He Who controls.
b) He Who ordains.
c) He Who is attained through the yogic path of  niyama (and yama).
d) He Who has no Controller or Director above Him (a- niyamah).
e) He Who bestows sacred knowledge about Himself to  devotees in full measure.   
f) He Who pervades and surrounds everything (yama -  pariveshane - to surround).

Om niyamAya namah. 

This nAma occurred earlier in Slokam 17 - nAma 163.   

The root from which the word is derived is yam - uparame - to check.   SrI vAsishTha also gives another root - yama - pariveshaNe - to  surround.   The word niyama means restraint or check, and niyamah is  One Who restrains. 

a) For nAma 163, SrI BhaTTar brings out the role of bhagavAn in  controlling even the likes of the mighty mahA bali - bali prabhRtayah  api niyamyante anena iti niyamah.  The nirukti author captures the  significance of the interpretation as - niymayate jagat yena niyamah  sa udIritah - He is called niyamah because the whole universe is  controlled by Him. 

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan emphasizes the role of bhagavAn as the ASrita- rakshaka - One Who protects those Who seek refuge in Him, as the guNa  that is portrayed in this nAma.  The Lord controlled hiraNyAksha in  His incarnation as vAmana;  He killed keSi and protected the cowherds  of AyarpADi;  He destroyed the elephant that was deployed by kamsa to  kill Him; and there are many other similar instances in His other  incarnations such as the rAma incarnation etc.   

b) For the current instance of the nAma niyamah, SrI BhaTTar enjoys  another aspect of His control - He ordains (prescribes, specifies)  the fruits of worship to each individual according to the nature of  their worship of the anya devatA-s of their choice:  tat-phalam ca -  jAti, Ayuh, bhogAdikam niyamyate asmin iti niyamah.  Following on the  reference to the gItA Slokam 7.21 for the previous nAma, SrI BhaTTar  takes the idea conveyed by bhagavAn in the very next Slokam - 7.22 of  the gItA to support the interpretation of the current nAma:

sa tayA SraddhayA yuktah tasya ArAdhanam Ihate   |  labhate ca tatah kAmAn mayaiva vihitAn hi tAn   ||      (gItA  7.22)

"Endowed with that faith, he worships that form (of other devatA-s)  and thence gets the objects of his desire, granted in reality by Me  alone". 

It is to be noted that a) bhagavAn lets the individual choose the  deity to be worshiped by him based on his limitations and knowledge;   b) bhagavAn then supports the individual in this endeavor; c)  bhagavAn bestows the benefits of this worship by empowering the  devatA that the individual worships to bestow the desired powers,  depending on the eligibility of the individual.  Ideas a and b are  reflected in the nAma niyantA in SrI BhaTTar's interpretation, and  idea c is reflected in the current nAma; and these two  interpretations nicely follow the two concurrent Sloka-s, 7.21 and  7.22, in the gItA.  The concept of individual freedom of choice for  the jIva as outlined in the above steps is reflected in SrI bhAshyam  by SrI rAmAnuja (vyAkhyAna for sUtra 2.3.41 - kRta prayatnApekshatu  vihita-pratishiddhA avaiyarthAdibhyah). 

The idea that bhagavAn is the One Who ordains the benefits that are  attained by resort to the lesser devatA-s, is reinforced by SrI v.v.  rAmAnujan through a reference to tiruvASiriyam 4 by nammAzhvAr, where  AzhvAr notes that bhagavAn is the One Who created the likes of  brahma, Siva etc., along with their limited powers:

   daiva nAn-mugak kaDavuLai EnRu, mukkaN ISanODu dEvu pala nudaliya  mAyak kaDavUL (tiruvASiri. 4).

Note the way SrI BhaTTar has avoided redundancy in interpretation  (punar-ukti dosham) by giving two different aspects of bhagavAn's  control for the two instances of the nAma.

c) SrI Sa'nkara gives two different versions of the nAma-s in Slokam  92:  a-niyamah and a-yamah, or niyamah and yamah.  In the  version "niyamo yamah", his interpretation is that bhagavAn has these  nAma-s because He can be attained through the two means of yoga  called niyama and yama.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to  pata'njali's yoga sUtra for the definition of the term niyama -

Soca santosha tapah svAdhyAya Isvara praNidhAnAni niyamAh    (sUtra 2.32)

 "Purity of the body, mental contentedness, austerity, reciting the  veda-s, and persevering devotion to the Lord are called `religious  observances - niyama".

SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation for the nAma niyamah in Slokam 17 is  that He is the Director of all beings in their respective functions -  sveshu sveshu adhikAreshu prajA niyamati iti niyamah.   (see d below  for Sri Sa'nkara's interpretation with the pATham a-niyamah).

d) SrI Sa'nkara's explanation for the pATham a-niyamah in the current  Sloka is that bhagavAn is One Who does not have anyone else who  controls or directs Him - niyamah niyatih tasya na vidyata iti a- niyamah  |  sarva-niyantuh niyantantara abhAvAt |  - Since He is the  Controller and Director of everything else, there is no Controller or  Director above Him.  Note that He is the niyantA of all (previous  nAma), and so by definition, He is a-niyamah. 

e) SrI raghunAtha tIrtha in his tattva sAra gives the explanation -  sva-vishaya j~nAnAni bhaktebhyo niyamayati - prayacchati iti noyamah -  He is called niyamah because He bestows sacred knowledge about  Himself to devotees in full measure. 

f) Using the root yama - pariveshTane - to surround, SrI satya devo  vAsishTha gives the explanation for the nAma as "niyaman SaktyA  sakalam viSvam vyApnoti tasmAt sa niyamayh" - One Who pervades and  surrounds everything. 

Using the alternate root yam - uparame - to check, SrI vAsishTha  gives the alternate interpretation in terms of all things beings  constrained by being bound to Him, by residing in Him, and by moving  only because of Him.

870. yamah -

a) The Controller (of all the deva-s).
b) He Who is attained through the yogic path of yama (and  niyama).
c) He Who is beyond yama or mRtyu (a-yamah).
d) One Who has no one to command Him (a-yamah).
e) One Who brings to end all life at the time of pralaya.
f) One Who feeds His devotees with delectable food in the form of  anubhavam of Himself.
g) One Who knows and prescribes the mandates that bestow virtue  (aya+mah).

Om yamAya namah.

The root from which the word is derived is the same as for the  previous nAma, namely, yam - uparame - to check, or yama -  pariveshaNe - to surround.  

We had anubhavam of this nAma earlier in Slokam 17 - nAma 164.  In  fact, the sequence "niyamo yamah" occurs in Slokam 17, just as it  does in the current Slokam.  All the four nAma-s are derived from the  same root.  The functions of bhagavAn that SrI BhaTTar chooses to  describe for the four nAma-s are, respectively:  One Who control even  the likes of mahA bali, One Who corrects all as their antaryAmi, One  Who ordains and bestows the fruits of the worship of different gods,  and One Who controls and directs all the deva-s.   Given that SrI  BhaTTar interprets the whole set of nAma-s as but a reflection of  bhagavAn's guNa-s which are infinite, he is able to provide different  anubhavam-s for the different instances of the same or related nAma-s  and provide ever greater enjoyment of His guNa-s in the process.

SrI satydevo vAsishTha has composed a Slokam in which He conveys  nicely that the nAma-s niyantA, niyamah, yamah, a-niyamah, and a- yamah, all refer to Lord vishNu:

vishNur niyantA niyamo yamo'sau vishNur niyantA a-niyamo a- yamo sah     |
prakASate viSvam idam samastam yamair niyAmaiSca kRta  vyavastham    ||

a) For the specific instance of the nAma in the current Sloka, SrI  BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is:  tat-tat phala niyAmakAn yamAdIn api  yacchati iti yamah - He is called yamah because He is the One Who  controls the likes of yama who are the bestowers of the respective  fruits".    He quotes yama's own words from vishNu purANa in support:

prabhavati samyamane mamApi vishNuh  (vishNu. 3.7.13) -  VishNu controls me also.

SrI T. S. Raghavendran refers us to ISAvAsya Upanishad mantra 16,  where there is reference to bhagavan as yamah - the Controller as  antaryAmi of all:

pUshan! ekarshe! yama! sUrya! PrAjApatya! ...      (mantra 16)

"O pUshaN! The One Seer! O Controller! Prompter! The Indwelling Ruler  of all creatures born of prajApati!."

He also gives reference to the gItA, where arjuna praises bhagavAn as  being the antaryAmi of all including yama etc.:

vAyur-yamo'gnir-varuNah SasA'nkah prajApatis-trvam  prapitAmahaSca   |. (gItA 11.39)

"You are the Controller and antaryAmi of yama, agni, varuNa, the  Moon, and brahmA;  You are the Grandfather and Great Grandfather of  all".

Lord kRshNa Himself declares that He is yama among subduers: "yamah  samyatAmyaham" - Among those who administer punishments, I am yama.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi pASuram  4.10.8, where AzhvAr gives an example to show that bhagavAn controls  all the others, including Siva:

pukk-aDimaiyinAl tannaik-kaNDa mArkanDEyan avanai nakka-pirAnum anRu uyyak-koNDadu nArAyaNan aruLE   (tiruvAi.  4.10.8)

"It is true that Siva granted eternal life to mArkanDeya when the  later surrendered to him.  But note that Siva could bestow this  eternal life on mArkhanDeya only because of the Grace of Lord  nArAyaNa".

b) SrI Sa'nkara interprets the first instance of niyamah and yamah  respectively as:  One Who establishes all the beings in their  respective functions, and, One Who controls all the beings as their  antaryAmi.  SrI Sa'nkara gives two versions for the second set of  nAma-s: a-niyamah and a-yamah, or niyamah and yamah.  In the later  choice, he gives the interpretation that since bhagavAn is attained  through two yogic paths - niyama and yama, He is called niyamah and  yamah - athavA yama niyamau yogA'nge, tad gamyatvAt sa eva niyamo  yamah.   SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri recalls the yoga sUtra of pata'njalai  for the definition of `yama' -

ahimsA satya a-steya brahmacaryA parigrahA yamAh  (sUtra 2.30)

"Not hurting others, veracity, not stealing, continence, and not  coveting, are part of "Forbearance" - yama.".

c) Using the pATham a-yamah (the first choice by SrI Sa'nkara), his  interpretation is that bhagavAn is a-yamah because He has no yama  (death) - na asya vidyate yamah mRtyuh iti a-yamah.   BhagavAn is  beginningless and endless, and He is the One Who has created yama and  Who controls and directs him.

d) Using the root yam - uparame - to check, a-yamah can also be  interpreted as "One Who has no one to command Him at any time under  any circumstance, or One Who has no one similar to Him in any  respect - na vidyate yamah = niyAmakah, sadRSo vA yasya sah yamah.   This is one of the interpretations given by SrI satya sandha tIrtha.

e) SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri gives the additional interpretation that  bhagavAn is called yamah because He controls the life of all the  beings, and He is yama in this role - Controller of the lifetime of  all beings.    SrI vAsishTha gives a similar interpretation, and  refers to bhagavAn being the `yama' or One Who terminates all life at  the time of pralaya by keeping them in Himself - yacchati =  upasamharati sarvam sargAnte iti yamah. 

f) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning "to eat" for the root  yama (yamayati brAhmaNan - He feeds the brAhmaNa-s; yama -  pariveshane; pariveshaNam - bhojanam), and gives the interpretation -  yamayati bhojayati svAdubhih annaih bhaktAn iti yamah - He Who feeds  His devotees with delectable food (e.g., with delightful thoughts of  anubhavam about Himself).

g) An alternate interpretation given by SrI satya sandha tIrtha is:   ayam = SubhAvaha vidhim, mAti = jAnAti iti  a-yamah - He is aya-mah because He knows and prescribes the mandates  that bestow virtues (mA - mAne - to measure).

SrI BhaTTar concludes this section by reminding us that the previous  few nAma-s (851 onwards) have dealt with bhagavAn's presiding over  the rajas and tamo guNa-s predominant in the worshippers.  He will  interpret the nAma-s 870 to 880 in terms of bhagavAn's role in  presiding over the sattva guNa.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan