sanAt sanAtana-tamaH kapilaH kapir_avyayaH |
om sanAte namaH.
a) The Object of enjoyment.
om sanAte namaH.
Two distinct derivations have been used to interpret the nAma. SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the root san - dAne - to give, to worship, and gives the definition - sanoti - dadAti svadarSanam bhaktebhya iti sanAt - He Who gives His darSanam to His devotees is sanAt. This is the sense in which Sri BhaTTar seems to interpret the nAma.
SrI vAsishTha interprets the nAma as meaning `SaSvat, nitya' - permanent, eternal. The amara koSa lists the word `sanA' as an indeclinable meaning `perpetually, ever', and gives the definition - `sanA nitye'. The word `sanAtana' is derived from the word sanA.
a) SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is: teshAm sambhajanAt sanAt - Because He confers perfect enjoyment on all the mukta-s equally, He is called sanAt.
b) SrI Sa'nkara gives the meaning `ancient', `of long duration', to the word sanAt - sanAt iti nipAtah cirArtha vacanaH - An indeclinable indicating a great length of time. One of the manifestations of bhagavAn is as Time. He quotes vishNu purANa in support:
parasya brahmaNo rUpam purushaH prathamam dvija |
"The first form of para brahman is purusha. The next two are vykata and avyakta. Another is Time". Just as He is without beginning and without end, Time is also without beginning and without end.
c) SrI vAsishTha gives the description - sanAt nityaH avikAraH ekarasaH ityarthaH - He Who is Eternal, Immutable, and always of the same beautiful Form. He gives references to the Sruti in support:
- sanAt yuvAnamase havAmahe - Rg. 2.16.1 -
d) SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN gives the interpretation - sanam tad- datttam rasa gandhAdi atti iti sanAt - He Who gladly accepts the offerings from His devotees (one of the meanings given by SrI Apte for the word `san' is `to receive graciously').
om sanAtana-tamAya namaH.
SanA is an indeclinable meaning `nitya' etc., as noted in the previous nAma. The word `sanAtana' is derived by application of the pANini sUtra 4.3.23 (SrI vAsishTha), that says that addition of the pratyaya here to a word having the sense of time (sanA), leads to the sense of `belonging to'. Thus, the term `sanA-tana' has the meaning `belonging to the eternity or ancient times'. With the addition of the `tamap' pratyaya, the meaning for `sanAtana-tama' is "The Most ancient". He was present before anything else was present, and He is present when everything else is destroyed during the pralaya. So He is sanAtana-tamaH.
SrI BhaTTar comments that even though He is ancient (purANa), He is always new, and is always more enjoyable and fresh, as though He is new and not seen before. In bhagavAn's case, He is `purA api navaH purANaH'. This is what is exciting (tama) about His ancient nature - Ageless but new. SrI BhaTTar uses the term `tana' in the nAma to refer to rUpam or form (tanu - SarIram). He remarks: sadA- tanatve'pi tadA-tanatvavat nitya nUtana bhogyaH - Even though He has always had a body (sadA tanatvam), He looks like One who is just new (tadA-tanattvam - One who has just been endowed with a new body), and is enjoyed as though He is new, and this is why He is sanA-tana- tamaH.
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN's interpretation supports that of SrI BhaTTar -
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr's pASuram, which graphically captures this thought of bhagavAn being ever new for our enjoyment, no matter how many yuga-s pass.
ep-poruLum tAnAi maragatak kunRam okkum
"I am sorry I have to repeat what I have said before. It is because the experience I have is refreshingly new every moment, even if I enjoy it for days, years, ages, and millennia, without my being satiated. The infinite variety, unlike tiring uniform monotony, makes every moment a fresh bliss; it is an experience that is new always. Do not think that my new experience is because I am discovering something new every moment because of my growing intellect. The Lord has given me flawless intellect at the very outset. The experience of the Lord's company is on an entirely different plane. He Who is the inner soul of all, having all things as His aspects, looks like a greenish cool hill of beauty, with eyes, feet, hands, all like lotus flowers that have freshly blossomed at this very moment. He is nectar that is sweeter and sweeter every moment, insatiable and unceasingly enjoyable". (translation from v.n. vedAnta deSikan).
AzhvAr again refers to this ever-new experience of bhagavAn in pASuram 2.6.1:
...............ennuL manni vaigum vaigal tOrum amudAya vAnERE ..... (tiruvAi. 2.6.1)
"O My Lord, You who are the Chief of all gods, is like nectar with which one never gets satiated with every new day that we live through".
SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation that "He is the Most Ancient", since He is the cause of all, and older than brahmA and others who are very ancient - sarva kAraNatvAt, viri'ncyAdInAmapi sanAtanAnAm atiSayena sanAtanatvAt sanAtana-tamaH.
SrI vAsishTha gives support from the Sruti:
sanAtanam-enam-Ahur-utAdyaH syAt-punAr-Navah |
"Being ancient, He appears new every moment, even as the day and night reappear fresh repeatedly, one assuming the form of the other".
Om kapilAya namaH.
We studied the nAma kapilAcArya earlier (535 - Slokam 57). SrI Sa'nkara and Sri BhaTTar have both interpreted the instance of the nAma in Slokam 57 as a reference to bhagavAn's incarnation as kapila, who propounded the sAnkhya system of philosophy. (SrI BhaTTar has interpreted the nAma-s from 529 to 538 in terms of bhagavAn's incarnation as kapila, an amSAvatAra). Both SrI Sa'nkara and SrI BhaTTar interpret the current instance of the nAma using its generic meaning -
The roots from which the nAma can be derived are:
The reader is referred to the write-up for nAma 535 (Slokam 57) for SrI BhaTTar's interpretation of the nAma `kapilAcAryah' in terms of bhagavAn' incarnation as Sage kapila, an amSAvatAra. SrI Sa'nkara gives the following supports for the interpretation:
- Rshim prasUtam kapilam mahAntam (SvetAsvatara upa. 5.2)
- aSvatthaH sarva vRkshANAm dava-RshINAm ca nAradaH |
"Of trees, I am the aSvattha. Of celestial seers, I am nArada. Of the gandharva-s, I am citraratha. Of the perfected, I am kapila". (Lord kRshNa's words).
For the current instance of the nAma kapilaH, SrI BhaTTar gives his interpretation in the generic sense of the term `kapilaH' - "One Who is of beautiful complexion". He enjoys the nAma in terms of bhagavAn's beautiful bluish complexion, with mahA lakshmi represented by `sparkling streaks of lightning - madhyastha nIla toyada vidyul- lekhojjvala varNaH kapilaH - He is of radiant form in the self- luminous SrI vaikunTham, very much like a blue cloud in the midst of sparkling streaks of lightning.
SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as "One Who is tawny in color". He enjoys the nAma as representing the form of bhagavAn in the form the fire inside the ocean that keeps the ocean from overflowing - the baDavAnala fire - the subterranean fire in the ocean, which is called kapila. His interpretation is - baDavAnalasya kapilo varNa iti tad- rUpI kapilaH.
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri describes kapila as referring to a color that is golden with a black tinge.
SrI vAsishTha uses the meaning `Sun' for the word kapi - tawny in color - pi'ngala varNaH (Recall the interpretation of `kapyAsam puNDarIkAksham' by SrI bhagavad rAmAnuja - kam pibati iti kapiH). SrI vAsishTha gives the interpretation - kapim = sUryam lAti - Adatte, sarvasya jagataH pravartanAya iti kapi-laH - He Who brings the Sun for the sustenance of everything in this world is kapi-laH.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the meaning `monkey' for the term `kapi', and gives the interpretation - kapIn sugRiva hanumat AdIn lAti sevAyAm iti kapi-laH - He Who got sugrIva, hanuman etc., in the line of service for Him.
om kapaye-avyayAya namaH.
Some interpreters treat this as two nAma-s: kapiH and avyayaH or apyayH.
In SrI BhaTTar's pATham, the nAma is kapir-avyayaH. avyayaH means `undiminished'. The word `kam' is used with the meaning `sukham' by SrI BhaTTar. In this interpretation, the term kapiH is explained as "kam pibati, pAti vA kapiH - He Who experiences Bliss, or He Who protects the Bliss of His experience for others. He derives the word kapiH as: kam +pA = ka-piH, using the uNAdi sUtra - `sarva dhAtubhya in' (4.117) to derive `pi' from `pA - to protect or to drink'). He explains the nAma as -
- a) svayamapi tad-anubhava sukha nirvRtim pAti pibati vA kapir- avyayaH -
- b) He experiences (pibati) the pleasure of the enjoyment of His Bliss by the mukta-s without decrease (avyaya), and so He is called kapir-avyayaH.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj treats `kapir-avyayaH' as one nAma, but interprets it as a combination of two guNa-s - kapiH and avyayaH. He explains `kapiH' as - kaam -jalamapi pibati sva-janaiH sa-prema upahRtam iti kapiH - He Who accepts an offering from His devotee, even it be only water, as long as it is offered with love and affection. He explains `avyayaH' as "sadaiva avyayo = nir-vikAra iti avyayaH' - He Who is Eternal and unchanging, is a-vyayaH. He Who is both kapiH and avyayaH is kapir-avayayaH.
i) He Who is in the form of the Sun.
om kapaye namaH.
i) SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as - kam - jalam raSmibhiH piban kapiH, sUryaH. He Who `drinks' (dries up) the water through His rays in the form of the Sun, is kapiH.
ii) Alternatively, Sri Sa'nakra gives the explanation that the term kapiH can refer to His varAha incarnation:
kapir varAhaH SreshThaSca dharmaSca vRsha ucyate |
"..The word kapi refers to "The Great Boar varAha..".
SrI vAsishTha gives several alternate roots from which the word `kapiH' can be derived:
Among the interpretations he gives are:
- Because bhagavAn enjoys (`drinks') the praise that is in form of Sabda, He is called ka-piH stavaH Sabda rUpaH tam pibati iti kapiH;
iii) SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN interprets the nAma kapiH as: tad- sevA rUpam kam pibati iti ka-piH -
patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyA prayacchati |
"Whosoever offers to Me with true devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water,
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN gives the interpretation - na vyeti teshAm samAjAt iti a-vyayah -
The term apyayaH is made of a preposition (upasarga - api), and the verb ay - to go.
SrI Sa'nkara interprets the nAma as -
SrI vAsishTha gives the interpretation -
With this nAma, we have reached the end of the commentary on the first 900 nAma-s of SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam.
om svasti-dAya namaH.
The word svasti is formed from the root `as - bhuvi - to be', with the addition of `su' - an upasarga, as described by the uNAdi sUtra 4.180 - sAvaseH, and is an indeclinable that denotes blessing. SrI vAsishTha explains the word as `su + asti' = svasti. svastim dadAti iti svasti-daH - kalyANa-daH - The Bestower of auspiciousness.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the root asa - gati dIptyAdAneshu - to go, to shine, to accept, and gives the derivation - SobhanA astiH = gatiH arthAt j~nAnam gamanam prAptiH, svastiH, tAm dadAti bhaktebhya iti svasti-daH - He Who bestows the path for the attainment of true knowledge to the devotees.
SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as "evam mahan-ma'ngalam dadAti iti svasti-daH" - "In this way He gives supreme auspiciousness to all". SrI v.v. rAmAnujan explains that the Supreme Auspiciousness that is being referred to is brahma j~nAnam that leads ultimately to the Bliss of SrI vaikunTham, that He alone can give. This is in line with the interpretation and derivation given by SrI bhAradvAj above. SrI rAmAnujan refers us to AzhvAr's pASuram-s.
- nammAzhvAr refers to bhagavAn as "uyar vinaiyE tarum oN SuDark kaRRai" (tiruvAi. 1.7.4) - The Beam of Light that gives the supreme knowledge that leads to the moksha Anandam.
- PeriAzhvAr says:
SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation is: bhaktAnAm svasti ma'ngalam dadAti it svasti-daH - The Conferrer of blessings on His devotees.
SrI vAsishTha gives an alternate explanation - Atma dhAraNAya - arthAt jIvanAya jIvana upayogini sAdhanAni dadAti sa, svasti-daH - He Who gives the necessities for the jIva-s to sustain themselves.
om svasti-kRte namaH.
BhagavAn gives auspicious things to us (svastidaH), and then He gives us the attitude that enables us to enjoy this auspiciousness. In SrI BhaTTar's interpretation, after giving the brahma j~nAnam (svasti- daH), He then makes Himself available to the mukta-s to enjoy Him and His qualities (svasti-kRt).
In SrI Sa'nkara's interpretation, bhagavAn gives auspicious things to the devotees (svasti-daH), and He also does things that are good to the devotees (svasti-kRt).
SrI ananta kRshNa SAstry adds another interpretation - He Who makes His devotees do good things is svasti-kRt.
SrI cinmayAnanda uses an approach that has been used by SrI Sa'nkara in many nAma-s that end with kRt, and gives an alternate interpretation using the root kRt - chedane - to cut, and explains the nAma as One Who robs an individual of all bliss when that individual follows a path that is not according to dharma.
om svastine namaH.
SrI BhaTTar explains the nAma as - svayameva mahan-ma'ngalam - svasti - He Who is Himself the incarnation of auspiciousness. The SrI vishNu sahasra nAma satsangam, New Delhi, in the translation for SrI BhaTTar's bhAshyam, gives the following additional explanation: "All the jIva-s tend to live with lot of attachment and desires towards worldly pleasures. Since this is not real enjoyment, the Lord blesses the devotees for directing their desire towards Him, and makes them enjoy Him". Thus, He is the true ma'ngalam for His devotees..
SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation - ma'ngla svarUpam AtmIyam paramAnanda lakshaNam svasti - He Whose nature is Supreme Bliss or Auspiciousness.
SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives several supports on this.
- en amudinaik kaNDa kaNgaL maRRonRinaik kANAvE - amalanAdipirAn - My eyes that have seen my Sweet Nectar, will never move away from Him and see anything else again (tiruppANAzhvAr).
- yatra na anyat paSyati, na anyat vijAnAti, na anyat SruNoti, tad bhUmA - sanat kumara - That which is auspicious or Bliss is that from which the eyes can't turn away, the mind does not move away, and the ears can't divert. This object of Supreme Bliss is all- absorbing, and the best that there can ever be.
AzhvArs' anubhavam of this all-engrossing beautiful Blissful and auspicious form of bhagavAn are too numerous to list. SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri reminds us that bhagavAn is "pavitrANAm pavitram" - The Purest of the pure, "ma'ngLAnAm ca ma'ngaLam" -The Most Auspicious among the auspicious, and "ma'ngaLam param" - The Supreme Bliss.
SrI cinmayAnanda comments that He is of the Nature of sat-cit-Ananda, and thus there is no cause for inauspicious in Him.
SrI satya sandha tIrtha interprets the nAma as - su atyantam asti iti sakala deSa kAleshu vartata iti svasti -
a) The Protector of all that is auspicious.
om svasti-bhuje namaH.
The root bhuj - pAlanAbhyavahArayoH, has multiple meanings: to protect, to eat, to consume, to enjoy, to rule, to govern.
a) SrI BhaTTar uses the meaning `to protect', for the root bhuj, and gives the interpretation - sarvam etat svasti bhunakti - pAlayati iti svasti-bhuk. One translator of SrI BhaTTar's commentary elaborates on this: "The Lord protects everything auspicious, and protects the devotees. The pleasure of experiencing the Lord in the mind, the extreme satisfaction that the devotees get on that account, and the services that the devotees are induced to perform thereby, are all preserved and protected by the Lord". The nirukti author summarizes the above thoughts through the following:
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN echoes the same thoughts in his interpretation -
b) c) SrI Sa'nkara uses the meaning bhuj - to enjoy, and interprets the nAma as -
The alternate interpretation given by SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN echoes interpretation (b) above -
d) SrI satya sandha tirtha interprets the nAma as - svasti sukham bhojayati it svasti-bhuk -
He Who gives auspicious things as dakshiNA to His devotees.
om svasti-dakshiNAya namH.
The root from which the term dakshiNA can be derived is daksh - vRddhau - to grow.
SrI BhaTTar uses the term `dakshiNA' in the sense of `fee' or `gift' that is offered to the officiating priests in religious ceremonies etc. He interprets the current nAma as "One Who offers `svasti' or auspiciousness as dakshiNA". The ceremony and the priests who receive the dakshiNA are to be identified. Here is SrI BhaTTar's anubhavam: BhagavAn is performing an eternal, never-ending sacrifice, called dIrgha satram, in which the `officiating priests' are the nitya-s and the mukta-s (the eternal souls and the liberated souls). The purpose of this yAga of bhagavAn is to offer Himself to be enjoyed by His devotees. BhagavAn gives Himself to His devotees, the nityas and the mukta-s, as an offering in this `sacrifice'. In addition, He gives them auspicious things such as a celestial body that is made of Suddha sattva material that never decays or ages, and other powers such as Sakti, j~nAnam, etc. So bhagavAn is like the yajamAna or master of the sacrifice who offers dakshiNA or fee to the priests who are officiating in it. Hence the nAma svasti-dakshiNaH. SrI BhaTTar's words are:
SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN gives an interpretation that is along similar lines:
Another interpretation along similar lines, given in the title "bhagavd guNa darpaNa" published by the SrI vishNu sahasra nAma satsangam in New Delhi, is that bhagavAn bestows auspicious things to those who perform sacrifices, as the `fee', and hence He is svasti- dakshiNaH.
SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives a similar interpretation -
SrI Sa'nkara gives three alternate interpretations:
- i) svastirUpeNa dakshate vardhate - He Who grows through His auspiciousness, that is, He Who feels great by bestowing auspiciousness on His devotees; -
smarAdeva devasya siddhyanti sarva siddhayaH ||
"I always take refuge in Hari, the Supreme Person, the Unborn, Eternal, Who, by just being remembered, becomes the source of all auspiciousness. By the mere remembrance of kRshNa, the body of accumulated sins are destroyed just as a mountain gets destroyed (broken into many pieces) by indra's thunderbolt".
SrI cinmayAnanda nicely captures the spirit of the above: "The term indicates that SrI nArAyaNa will quickly and efficiently reach His sincere seekers to give them the experience of auspiciousness which is the Lord's very nature".
SrI vAsishTha explains the nAma as -