sattva-vAn sAttvikah satyah satya-dahrma-parAyaNah |
a) He Who controls the sattva guNa that paves the way for liberation.
The term `sattva' is generally used to refer to the sAttvic quality.
dravye prANe bale jantau vyavasAya svabhAvayoh |
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives detailed derivation of the nAma from the basics of grammar: starting from the root as - bhuvi - to be, he derives `sat', and then by pANini sUtra 5.1.119 - tasya bhAvas-tva- talau - tva is added to sat in the sense of `the nature thereof', leading to `sat-tva. Next, use of pANini sUtra 5.2.94 - tat-asya- asmin-asti iti matup - the matup prtyaya, in the sense of `whose it is' or `in whom it is', is added to sat-tva, leading to `sat-tva- mat'; and then.va is substituted for ma by sUtra 8.2.9 - ma At upadhAyAh ca matoh dhah a yavAdhibyah, leading to `sat-tva-vat', which is the basis for `sattva-vAn'. This detail is included here just as one example of the depth to which SrI vAsishTha delves into the etymological derivation of the nAma-s, which he does in this elaborate detail for every single nAma. Another special feature of his vyAkhyAnam is that he gives references from the Sruti-s to support his interpretation. This is a superb piece of work for those who understand samskRt grammar.
Starting from this nAma, up to nAma 880, SrI BhaTTar describes the nAma-s in terms of bhagavAn being the presiding Deity over sattva guNa. SrI BhaTTar notes that of the three guNa-s, sattva, rajas and tamas, the sattva is the guNa that leads to moksha ultimately. sattva guNa has the qualities of luster, lightness and bliss, and is the cause of salvation - parama-prakASa lAghava, sukha-sampadA moksha mUlam sattvam sAkshAt adhishTheyam asya iti sattva-vAn - BhagavAn is called sattva-vAn because He directly presides over the sattva guNa which has the qualities of luster, lightness and bliss, and which therefore is the cause of Salvation. According to the pANini sUtra "tad asya asti asmin iti matup" - 5.3.94, the mat pratyaya or affix follows a word in first case in the sense of "whose it is" or "in whom it is". It is to be noted in passing that this pratyaya is not used for someone who just possesses the object in some small measure (like one having a couple of cows etc.), but to one who has thousands of cows, as an example. Thus, in the current case, the matup pratyaya refers to One Who is full of sattva quality. Here Sri BhaTTar's interpretation is that bhagavAn has leadership of the sattva quality in His devotees.
SrI BhaTTar gives support from the SvetASvatara Upanishad:
mahAn prabhur-vai purushah sattvasya esha pravartakah |
"This purusha alone is the Great Giver of moksha. This purusha is the propagator of sattva.
SrI BhaTTar also gives support from the varAha purANa:
sattvena mucyate jantuh sattvam nArAyaNAtmakam | (VP 3.7.13)
"A being is released from bondage because of the quality of sattva in him. sattva is indeed nArAyaNa Himself."
Recently, asmad AcAryan SrImad SrImushNam ANDavan quoted several references from svAmi deSikan's stotra ratna vyAkhyAnam for Slokam 12 of stotra ratnam, where bhagavAn's sattva aspect is emphasized:
- In li'nga purANam, ch. 14, we have: hiraNyagarbho rajasA tamasA Sa'nkarah svayam | sattvena sarvago vishNuh sarvAtmA sadasanmayah ||
- In ch. 24 of the above, we have: tvat-kopa sambhavo rudraha tamasA ca samAvRtah | tvat-prasAdAt jagat-dhAtA rajasA ca pitAmahah || tvat-svarUpAt svayam vishNuh sattvena purushottamah ||
- In the very next chapter, nandikeSvara declares:
- In bhagavac-chAstra (pA'ncarAtra) we have:
SrI raghunAtha tIrtha, based on bRhatI sahasram, gives the interpretation -
b) SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning `power, courage', etc. for the term `sattava' -
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri elaborates that this quality is associated with the ability to remain fearless in war, to be unperturbed in situations which might otherwise cause one to be disturbed and lose balance, etc.
c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning vyavasAyah -
a) He Who confers the fruits of sattva guNa.
Om sAttvikAya namah.
The same root from which the previous nAma was derived is used for the derivation of this nAma. The taddhita affix ik is added to the word sattva in the sense of "who deserves that" - "tad-arhati" pANini 5.1.63).
a) SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation -
SrI vAsishTha gives the explanation -
Essentially the same idea is echoed in SrI raghunAtha tIrtha's interpretation in his tattva tIkA -
b) SrI Sa'nkara vyAkhyAnam is -
a) One Who is well-disposed towards pious souls.
Om satyAya namah.
This nAma has been visited earlier in Sloka-s 12 (nAma 107) and 23 (nAma 213). The addition of the taddhita affix (pratyaya) `yat' to the word `sat' leads to the word satya. The pANini sUtra "tatra sAdhuh" (4.4.98) is used - "The affix yat comes after a word in the locative construction in the sense of `excellent in regard thereto'" (SrI vAsishTha).
SrI vAsishTha refers us to the Sloka-s in bhagavad gItA (17.26 and 17.27) for a definition of 'sat' in Lord KRshNa's words:
sad bhAve sAdhu bhAve ca sadityetat prayujyate |
ya~jne tapasi dAne ca sthitih saditi cocyate |
The word 'sat' thus refers to existence, goodness, good acts, devotion to sacrifice, austerities, and gifts, and any acts for such purposes. One who is excellent in all these, or One who is excellent to (i.e., supports) those who do acts along these lines, is satya.
a) For the instance of the nAma in Slokam 12, SrI BhaTTar takes `sat' to refer to the `pious souls',
b) For the instance of the nAma in Slokam 25, SrI BhaTTar ues the meaning `good' for the term sat, and interprets the nAma as
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi pASuram-s 9.10.6 and 9.10.7:
.......nALum tan meyyarikku meyyanE (tiruvAi. 9.10.6)
"He is always true to His devotees, and He will never abandon them".
meyyan Agum virumbit tozhuvArkkellAm poiyan Agum puRamE tozhuvArkkellAm .. (tiruvAi. 9.10.7)
"To those who are sincerely devoted to Him without looking for any benefits as a result, He is always true. In other words, to those who desire only kainkaryam to Him, and do not worship Him just for some small benefit to them, He always delivers. For those others who may worship Him with desire for small benefits, He may give them the benefit, but then He will leave them, and there won't be any bond between Him and them." (extract from SrI v. n. vedAnta deSikan).
c) For the current instance of the nAma, SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as "He Who is Truth Himself" -
satye pratisThitah kRshNah satyam asmin pratihThitam |
"Lord kRshNa is rooted in satya, and the Truth (satya) is rooted in Lord kRshNa.
SrI v.v. rAmnujan notes that bhagavAn's tiru nAmam in the divya kshetram by name tirumeyyam, is "satya mUrti". He also refers us to periya tirumozhi 5.6.9, where tiruma'ngai AzhvAr declares that bhagavAn truly reveals Himself to those who seek Him with sincerity.
poi vaNNam manattu agaRRi,
"He Who reveals His True Nature to those who sincerely seek Him by forsaking the pursuit of the impermanent object of this world,
d) e) SrI Sa'nkara gives several alternate interpretations, some of which are directed towards a reinforcement of his advaita philosophy. This conclusion is made based on the English elaborations by scholars, of the vyAkhyAna-s in samskRt that SrI Sa'nkara gives. Among his interpretations are:
- He is called satyah because He is the Real, Not False - avitatha rUpatvAt.
satyenottabhitA bhUmih sUryeNottabhitA ca dyauh |
"Truth (satya) is the Base that bears the earth; by sUrya are the heavens upheld; By Law the Aditya-s stand secure, and Soma holds his place in heaven". - He Who is good towards the good - satsu sAdhutvAt.
SrI annatakRshNa SAstri translates this as: "He Who is in the form of virtue in holy men". - He Who is embodied as the virtue of the truth-speaking, or, He Who is the Embodiment of Truth since He speaks the Truth, or, He Whose words always come true, depending on the different translators - satya vacana dharma rUpatvAt satyah. He gives reference to the Sruti - tasmAt satyam paramam vadanti (mahAnArayaNa. 221.) - (Therefore, they say that Truth is Supreme). - satyasya satyam - The Truth of truths. He quotes bRhadAraNyaka Upanishad (2.1.20) in support - "satyasya satyam iti prANA vai satyam, teshAm esha satyam" (The prANA-s are true and He is the Truth of those).
One of SrI satya sandha tIrtha's interpretations is: sadbhAvam yApayati iti satyah -
For the current instance of the nAma, SrI vAsishTha gives the explanation -
SrI T. S. Raghavendran has assembled and presented 34 different interpretations or pramANa-s for the nAma. We will look at some of these.
- tat-satyam-ityAcakshase (taitt. upa. 3.6) - Therefore Brahman is called "one of good deeds" (SrI ananta ra'ngAcArya's translation).
- He of all auspicious qualities as stated in the following Sloka from Aditya purANA:
satyeSam satyasankalpam satyam satyavratam harim |
- SrI madhvAcArya in his bhAgavata tAtparya describes bhagavAn as:
satyam nir-duhkha nitya niratiSaya Ananda anubhava svarUpam (1.1.1)
"He Whose Nature is Truth, One without any trace of sorrow, Eternal, of Extreme Splendor, Eternally Blissful.".
- Another quote from SrI madhvAcArya - satyo hi bhagavAn vishNuh sad-guNatvAt prakIrtitah -
- SrI jayatIrtha in his `karma nirNaya TIkA' gives the interpretation - satyah - svatantrah - He Who is Independent.
- The atharvaNa Upanishad mantra that follows, declares bhagavAn as `satyah':
"satyameva jayati nAnRtam, satyena kathAh vitato devayAnah |
- chAndogya upanishad mantra 7.16.1:
esha tu ativadati | yah saytena tivadati | so'ham bhagavah satyenAvadAnIti | satyam tveva viji~jnAsitavyam iti | satyam bhagavo vijij~jnAsa iti ||
- aitareya Upanishad mantra 2.1.7:
tat satyam | sat iti prANah | ti iti annam | yam iti asau Adityam | tad etat tri-vRt | .. | ya evam etat satyasya satyattvam veda ||
"That Brahman-vishNu is called satyam. He is sarvottama and hence he is called sat.
SrI Raghavendran has collected an extensive list of supporting references from the brahma sUtra-s etc. as well.
a) He Who is pleased with the true dharma practiced by His devotees.
Om satya-dharma-parAyaNaya namah.
SrI vAsishTha derives the word parAyaNa from the roots pRR - to refresh, to fill, and ay - to go.
a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the term satya-dharma as referring to "the true dharma as laid down in the SAstra-s, namely the nivRtti dharma that is practiced by pious men without any expectation of benefit etc., and parAyaNam as "parama prINanam" - that which gives the most happiness to bhagavAn. BhagavAn is `satya-dharma-parAyaNah' because He is most pleased with the practice of the dharma that is practiced by pious men with no expectation of any benefit, as laid down in the sAttvika SAstra-s. All actions by us should be undertaken in the spirit of "SrI bhagavad Aj~nayA SrIman nArAyaNa prItyartham" - all actions we undertake should be in the spirit that these are His commands (we only should do what is prescribed in the SAstra-s, which are His commands), and for His pleasure only.
SrI cinmyAnanda points to the definition for dharma
b) SrI Sa'nkara's vyAkhyAnam is: "satye yathAbhUtArtha kathane dharma ca, codanA lakshaNe niyata iti satya-dharma-parAyaNah" -
c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as:
d) SrI raghunAtha tIrtha gives the derivation -
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to two other nAma-s that are similar, and that we have studied earlier:
a) He Who is the object of choice.
Om abhiprAyAya namah.
`abhiprAya' as is commonly used, means `aim, purpose, intention, wish, desire' etc.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj explains the nAma as:
a) SrI BhaTTar enjoys the nAma as a reference to "One Who is the aim or object of the devotees". His interpretation is:
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan illustrates the spirit of the interpretation with a reference to AzhvArs' pASuram-s:
- vizhumiya amarar munivar vizhu'ngum kannaR-kani (tiruvAi. 3.6.7) - He is the sugar block for the discerning devas and sages.
b) SrI Sa'nkara gives the explanation -
Alternatively, he gives the interpretation -
c) SrI raghunAtha tIrtha interprets the nAma in his tattva sAra as -
a) He Who is rightly the object of love.
Om priyArhAya namah.
The roots involved in the nAma are: prI - tarpaNe, kAntau ca - to please, to take delight in,
- priyam arhati iti priayArhah - He Who deserves love.
a) SrI BhaTTar comments that bhagavAn is rightly the object of love from the devotees, since He loves and respects the devotees intensely. He is worthy of love from His devotees because of His attitude towards them - bhagavAn feels that His devotees are `benevolent' to Him because they have chosen to seek Him for their needs. By giving their devotion to Him, bhagvAn feels that His devotees have benevolently given Him all their belongings:
udArAh sarva evaite j~nAnI tvAtmaiva me matam |
"All these devotees are indeed generous (udArAh), but I deem the man of knowledge to be My very self; for he, integrated, is devoted to Me alone as the highest end". BhagavAn considers that by worshipping Him and seeking His help, they have already contributed everything they have to Him, and so He considers them benevolent and generous. Such is His respect to His devotees, and so he is deserving of extreme love from these devotees.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to nammAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi 7.5.11:
teLivuRRu vIvinRi ninRavarkku inbak kadi Seyyum teLivuRRa kaNNan..
"bhagavAn kaNNan bestows the constant thought of His Divine Feet to those devotees who surrender to Him with unswerving devotion, but even after that, He feels that He has not done enough to His devotee" (SrI v. n. vedAnta deSikan). The way that Lord kRshNa felt about His not having done enough to help draupadi even at time He returned to SrI vaikunTham, comes to mind.
b) SrI San'kara interprets the term `priya' as a reference to `things that are dear to oneself', and explains the nAma as signifying that Lord vishNu deserves to be offered our most precious and beloved things. He quotes the vishNu dharmottara in support:
yad-yat ishTa-tamam loke yaccAsya dayitam gRhe |
"By those that desire the imperishable (Brahman), the most beloved things in the world and the choicest things in the house should be offered to a meritorious person". (This will become a choice offering to God).
In elaboration of the above, SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers to a mantra from bRhadAraNyaka Upanishad -
Another anubhavam is provided by SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj - priyANi srak-candanAdIni arhati iti priyArhah - He Who deserves to be worshipped with a wreath or garland of flowers, sandal, etc.
SrI vAsishTha refers to the yajur vedic mantra in support:
Om arhAya namah.
Arhyate - prAptum yujyata iti arhah -
SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is -
Asthitah sa hi yuktAtmA mAmeva anuttamAm gatim | (gItA 7.18)
SrI Sa'nkara explains the nAma as referring to "One Who is deserving of worship" -
SrI vAsishTha very nicely captures the spirit of the nAma in the following words:
sarvAntargatAn sarvAn bhogAn vihAya,
"Giving up interest in all external pleasures, and desiring only the ultimate bliss, the learned direct all their efforts , spiritual practices, different ways of worship, and all the resultant benefits from these actions, to that One bhagavAn - vishNu, and therefore He is arhah - Fit to be worshipped". The point to note is that He is fit to be sought by those who have no interest in anything else.
He points out that there are several instances where the term `arhate' occurs in the veda-s, and gives just one example:
imam stomam arhate jAtavedase rathamiva sam mahemA manIshayA |
SrI vAsishTha notes that we are all arha-s (fit) in some sense or the other only because He reflects His arhattvam in all of us in some tiny measure.
SrI raghunAtha tIrtha uses a different pATham from the others by treating the nAma as "arhapriya-kRt" -
He Who does what is wanted by others.
om priya-kRte namah.
SrI BhaTTar's interpretation for the nAma is that bhagavAn does fulfill the wishes of those who desire other, lesser, pleasures from Him as well (that is, in addition to bestowing moksha), as long as they are His devotees. He does not look at their deficiencies, but only considers the fact that they are His devotees. SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to divya prabandham -
"un aDiyArkku en Seyvan enrE irutti nI".
This way, He pleases them and thereby converts them over time to be solely interested in attaining Him
anya parAnapi bhajatah tac- chandAnuvartanena priyAn karoti iti priya-kRt.
SrI Sa'nkara notes that He is not only worthy of being pleased priyArhah (see nAma 876), but He is also One Who pleases His devotees priya-kRt by fulfilling the desires of those who worship Him by means of hymns, etc. -
na kevalam priyArha eva, kim tu stutyAdibhih bhajatAm priyam karoti it priya-kRt .
SrI vAsishTha observes that when vedic mantra-s are invoked in offerings, such as the following, bhagavAn is pleased and bestows the desired benefits on the devotee, and so He is called priya-kRt:
vashaT te vishNavAsa akRNomi tan me jushasva SipivishTa havyam ||
(May these my songs of eulogy exalt thee. Preserve us ever more with blessings).
agne naya supathA rAye asmAn viSvAni deva vayunAni vidvAn |
(By goodly paths, lead us to riches. Remove the sins that make us stray and wander; We will bring the most ample adoration to you).
tat savitur vareNyam bhargo devasya dImahi |
(We meditate on the adorable effulgence of the Lord who creates everything, so that it may energize our consciousness).
SrI raghunAtha tIrtha uses the nAma as `arha-priya-kRt', and gives the interpretation as
a) Who increases the joy of His devotees.
Om prIti-vardhanAya namah.
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha notes that the word `vardhanah' can be derived from either of the two roots -
a) SrI BhaTTar comments that by manifesting His qualities more and more, He increases the joy of His devotees, and so He called prIti- vardhanah. He quotes the gItA in support:
teshAm satata yuktAnAm bhajatAm prIti pUrvakam |
"To those who are constantly united with Me and who worship Me with immense love,
tirumazhaippirAn refers to emperumAn as "bhakti uzhavan" - He who cultivates bhakti in the devotees like a peasant.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan also refers us to bhagavd rAmAnuja's introductory section for his gItA bhAshya, where he says of bhagavAn kRshNa:
"niratiSaya saundarya sauSIlyAdi guNa gaNa AvishkareNa akrUra mAlAkArAdIn parama bhAgavatAn kRtvA." -
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan also refers us to nAmmAzhvAr's tiruvAimozhi pASuram 1.10.10,
maRakkum enRu Sen-tAmaraik kaNNoDu maRappaRa ennuLLE manninAn tannai . (tiruvAi. 1.10.10)
SrI cinmayAnanda's explanation is:
SrI satya sandha tIrtha's explanation for the nAma is:
b) Using the root vardh - chedana pUraNayoH - to cut,. to fill, SrI vAsishTha gives an alternate interpretation also -