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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 59 - Part 3.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Sun Apr 02 2000 - 20:53:59 PDT

			SrI vishNu sahasranAma stotram - Slokam 59 - Part 3.

558. varuNah - He Who envelops.

om varuNAya namah.

The word is derived from the root vr~nj varaNe to envelop.  SrI BhaTTar
gives the example of "yena AvRtam kham ca divam mahIm ca - He by Whom
are covered the Ether, the svarga, and the Earth" - taittirIya
upanishad 1.1.   In other words, He surrounds all the three worlds (SrI
rAdhAkRshNa SAstri).  

varuNa is also the term used for the evening sun.  Like the sun who
withdrawing his scorching rays unto himself in the evening, the Lord
withdraws all the pluralistic world unto Himself.   The Eternal Reality
, functioning through the sun as the sun's energy and light, is
described in the upanishads as the "Golden One", and hence the
appropriateness of using this term varuNa for nArAyaNa (e.g., the
designation sUrya nArAyaNa (SrI cinmayAnanda).

The dharma cakram writer lists the following anubhava-s related to this
mantram (note how the learned people view the nAma-s of the Lord that
occur in sahasranAmam):  varuNa is the the Lord of the waters; He is
also the setting sun in the evening; He is also the Lord of the western
direction.  Just as darkness envelops us when the sun sets, those who
do not have the thought of bhagavAn fall into darkness.  As long as
they have the thought of bhagavAn in their mind, there is the
brightness of j~nAna guiding them.

559. vAruNah -  a) He Who is with those who have sought Him as their
Lord or svAmi.
		b) The Son of varuNa.
		c) He Who removes the adversities of His devotees

om vAruNAya namah 

a) SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as: tam svAmitvena vRNute iti
varuNah;  tatra bhavo vAruNah - varuNa refers to one who seeks Him as
his master; bhagavAn is called vAruNa since He is always with this
seeker.  The nirukti author gives the following interpretation of SrI
BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam - svAmitvena vRNAneshu sthito vAruNa Iritah.  SrI
v.v. rAmAnujan gives references to the following from divya prabandham
which convey the thought consistent with this interpretation - "vandAi
en manam pugundAi manni ninRAi" - tirumozhi 1.10.9; "unnaik koNDu ennuL
vaittEn" - periAzhvAr tirumozhi 5.4.5).

b) SrI Sa'nkara bhAshyam is "varuNasya Apatyam vasiThah agastyo vA
vAruNah - vAruNa refers to the son of varuNa, viz. vasishTha or
agastya, who are both incarnations of bhagavAn

c) SrI kRshNa datta bharadvAj gives the interpretation c above: 
vArayati nivArayati vipadam svajanAnAm iti vAruNah.  

560. vRkshah - a) He Who provides shade like a tree (i.e., He is the
Resort) for the wise.
b) He Who is firm like a tree.

om vRkshAya namah.

a) vRksha is derived from the root vRj varaNe to seek or resort to (SrI
BhaTTar).  SrI BhaTTar points out that like a shady tree, bhagavAn is
possessed of all things required by those who resort to Him, and He
gives shade to even those who insult Him, just as a tree gives shade to
even those who cut it.  SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi points out that
bhagavAn is waiting for the devotee to come to Him with His protection
always available to them.  So He is called vRksha.  SrI BhaTTar gives
the following references in support of his interpretation - nivAsa
vRkshah sAdhUnAm ApannAnAm parA gatih - He is the one Resort for the
good and the supreme refuge in distress (rAmA. kishkindA. 15.19);
vRksha iva stabdho divi tishThatyekah - Like an unmoving and firm tree
He stands in the Heavens - mahA nArA. u. 10.4).  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan
observes that there are several who get saved by this "vAsudeva taruc
chAyA" or the shade from the tree by name vAsudeva.   He also refers us
the prabandham - "tan oppAr illppan tandanan tana tAL nizhalE"
(tiruvAimozhi 6.3.9).

b) SrI Sa'nkara uses the same upanishad passage we referred to above
(vRksha iva stavdho divi tishThatyekah) and interprets it to mean that
bhagavAn is referred to vRksha because He is firm like a tree.   SrI T.
S. kRshNamUrti elaborates on this and suggests that the firmness here
refers to bhagavAn being firmly established in the spiritual realm.  

SrI cinmayAnanda explains the nAma in terms of the world itself
emerging out of bhagavAn being described as a "tree" in the upanishads
- Urdhva mUlam adhah SakhAm Asvattham prAhuravyayam (gItA 15.1); Urdhva
mUla avAk Sakha esha Asvatthah sanAtanah (kaTho. 2.6.1).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives different examples from the Sruti-s where
the term vRksha is used to refer to a tree (vRksho na pakvah - Rg.
4.20.5), to the sun (kah svid vRksho nishThito madhye arNasah - Rg.
1.182.7), a woman (maryo na yoshAmabhi manyamAnah - Rg. 4.20.5),
prakRti (dvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA samAnam vRksham parishasvajAte…
(Rg. 1.164.20), paramAtmA (yasmin vRkshe madhvadah suparNAh niviSante
stuvate cAdhi viSve (Rg. 1.164.22) etc.  Since bhagavAn appears in all
these forms of vRksha, His nAma is vRksha.  

SrI vAsishTha also gives another anubhavam for this nAma.  vRksha could
also mean tearing apart, separating - based on vraSc - chedane - to
cut, to tear.  The jIvAtmA separates the bodies, bhagavAn separates the
different jIva-s in His creation, He keeps the starts and the planets
separated, the sun tears apart the darkness, the tree separates out the
fruits from the leaves and the branches, etc.  So these are all
vRksha-s viz. those that separate out different things.  BhagavAn has
thus manifested Himself in His vRksha aspect and expanded this world in
its variety.   SrI vAsishTha proceeds to comment that one who
understands this secret behind bhagavAn who is a vRksha, will succeed
in tearing apart from the tree of desire and reach bhagavAn the vRksha
from all aspects and dimensions.

The dharma cakram writer points out that the lesson to take from this
nAma is not to just seek the shade alone from this Tree as duryodhana
did, but to really benefit from the fruit from this Tree as arjuna did.
 If one only wants the temporary shade, then the shade of the tree
keeps shifting with time relative to the sun's position, and so seeking
the shade in the form of temporary benefits is not what will lead to
permanent God realization.  Instead of asking for the kRshNa's army and
rejecting kRshNa as duryodhana did, one should seek Him as arjuna did,
which will then take care of all the other needs.  

561. pushkarAkshah - a)He Who has nourishing eyes.
b) He Who has beautiful lotus-like eyes.
c) He Who pervades all space.
d) He Who has the Sun and the Moon as His eyes.
e) He Who shines as the light of consciousness when meditated upon in
the lotus of the heart.

om pushkarAkshAya namah.

a) SRI BhaTTar derives the interpretation based on the root push -
pushTau - to nourish.  svAmi deSikan describes His eyes in SrI bhagavd
dhyAna sopAnam as "svAgata udAra netram" - Lord ra'nganAtha's Merciful
and welcoming eyes always look at the devotee who is approaching Him. 
The beauty of His eyes are again described in SrI daSAvatAra stotram as
resembling a forest of beautiful lotus flowers - aravinda gahanAni
tanvan iva datta kshaNair vIkshaNaih (Slokam 2).   

b) pushkara refers to a lotus, and aksha means eyes.  So pushkarAkashah
refers to One with lotus-like eyes.  SrI kRshNadatta bhAradvAj gives
the SrI rAmAnuja-fame quote "tasya yathA kapyAsam puNDarIkam eva
akshiNi" from chAndogyopanishad 1.6.7.

c) pushkara also means Universal Space, and akshu means pervading, and
SrI cinmayAnanda follows SrI Sa'nkara in interpreting the nAma as "He
Who pervades all space".  

d) In addition to c), SrI satyadevo vAsishTha uses a variant of the
above, and also gives the interpretation  that bhagavAn has the two
eyes in space, viz. the sun and the moon (yasya sUryaS cakshuS
candramASca punarNavah - atharva. 10.7.33).  

e) When pushkara is interpreted as the heart-lotus, pushkarAksha can be
interpreted as referring to One who illumines the heart-lotus when
meditated upon (SrI Sa'nkara).  The dharma cakram writer, whose name is
not given but who is a sanyAsin of the SrI rAmakRshNa tapovanam Order,
observes that for a beginner who wants to practise meditation,
concentrating on the heart-lotus is easier than concentrating on the
space between the two eye-brows etc.  (The later can cause a head-ache
for a novice who is not used to meditation!).  

562. mahA-manAh - a) The Broad-minded.
b) He Who has a great (highly capable) mind.
c) He Who has a mind (intellect) with unlimited capability

om mahA-manase namah.  
a) SrI BhaTTar: Since bhagavAn has a generous, deep, and broad mind
towards His devotees, He is called mahA-manAh.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan
gives reference to peria tiru antAdi 53 - un aDiyArkku en Seyvan enrE
irutti nI (note the emphasis in enrE isntead of just enru!), and also
to tiruvAimozhi 9.4.10 - aDiyAn ivan enRu enakku Ar aRuL Seyyum
neDiyAn.  The instance of His feeling forever that He had not done
enough to help draupadi after she cried out for Him and He saved her
from being defamed by duryodhana also comes to mind.  His Nature is
that He forgives even the worst of sinners when they surrender to Him -
such is His broad-mindedness. 

b) SrI Sa'nkara:  By His mind alone, He performs the creation,
preservation, and withdrawal of the world - such is the capability of
His mind.   The karmendriya-s are not involved in this process.  SrI
Sa'nkara quotes the vishNu purANa in support - manasaiva jagat-sRshTim
samhAram ca karoti yah (5.22.15). 

c) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha:  BhagavAn is mahA manAh because He has
knowledge which supercedes anyone else's knowledge in this Universe,
and also as antaryAmI in everything that exists, He knows everything
there is to know.  All great ones pray to Him for knowledge - yAm
medhAm devagaNAh pitarSca upAsate |  tayA mAm adya medhayA agne
medhAvinam kuru || (yajur. 32.14).

The dharma cakram writer observes that in the sequence "body,
indriya-s, and mind", body is the sthUla or bigger one, and mind is the
subtle one or sUkshma.  The subtler one is the more capable in this
sequence, and without the mind the indriya-s don't function, and
without the indriya-s the body does not function. 

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan    

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