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From: Krishnamachari, N. (
Date: Tue Aug 12 1997 - 10:11:12 PDT

					Sri VishNu SahasranAmam - nAma 56 to 64.

56.	agrAhyah - One who is beyond the grasp of others.

The interpretation for this nAma by Sri Bhattar is that BhagavAn cannot
be physically grasped, controlled, or acted upon by anyone or anything,
and is thus beyond grasp.    He gives the following reference to the
sruti - nainam Urdhvam na tiryancam na madhye parijagrabhat - One could
grasp Him neither in the vertical dimension, nor in the horizontal
dimension, nor in the third dimension, or for that matter, any other

Sri Sankara's interpretation is karmendriayih na grhyata iti agrAhyah -
One who cannot be grasped by the organs of action.  He gives the
following reference to taittirIya upanishad - yato vAco nivartante,
aprApya manasA saha - He cannot be described through speech, and cannot
be reached by mind.

Sri ChinmayAnanda gives us yet another interpretation.  He points out
that the Lord is  not the "object" of perception ever by any one, but He
is the "subject" who perceives.   Thus He is ever the Subject but never
the object of perception.  He is imperceptible and incomprehensible.
Sri Chinmaya refers us to the kenopanishad passage "yat cakshushA na
pa(s)yati yena cakshUmsi pa(s)yanti tadeva brahma tvam viddhi -
Understand that Brahman is That which cannot be seen by the eyes, but
because of which eyes are perceiving other things.

57.  (s)A(s)vatah - One who is eternal.

(s)a(s)vat bhavatIti (s)A(s)vatah - That which remains the same at all
times is the Permanent.  Sri Bhattar points out that the fact that
BhagavAn is (s)A(s)vata is evident from the eternal flow of action
pertaining to the world (i.e., creation etc.).  Sri Chinmaya points out
that for something to be permanent, it has to be changeless with time,
and BhagavAn is the controller of time, and is not controlled or
affected by time, and so is Eternal and permanent.

58.  krsHNah - a) One who is always in a state of Bliss (with His sport
of creation etc.).
	          b)  One who has a dark-blue complexion..  

The first interpretation  is supported from the following verse in
MahAbhArata -

"krshir-bhU-vAcakah (s)abdo Na(s)ca nirvrti vAcakah      |
vishNus-tad bhAvayogAcca krshNo bhavati (s)A(s)vatah  ||  (MB Udyoga
parva 5.68.5)

Approximately translated, this says:  krishi means bhU, Na means
nirvrtti or happiness and bliss, and BhagavAn is called KrshNa because
He is the union of these two.   Sri Sankara and Sri Bhattar interpret
the name slightly differently with this same starting point.  Sri
Sankara interprets bhU to mean existence (bhU - bhav - to be), and Sri
Bhattar interprets bhU to mean a receptacle or ground or container
(e.g., bhUmi).  So Sri Bhattar says that krshNa here means the
receptacle of extreme joy because of His constant sport of creation etc.
referred to in the previous nAma.  Sri Sankara interprets the name to
mean that He is the union of existence and bliss.

The second interpretation also has its support in the MahAbhArata  - 

           	"krshAmi prthivIm pArtha bhUtvA kArshNAyaso halah
             krshNo varNa(s)ca me yasmAt tasmAt krshNo'ham arjuna   ||
(S)Anti parva  342.79

 Note the words krshAmi, kArshaNa, and krshNa in the above.  Each of
these words leads to a new and different interpretation of the meaning
of the nAma here.  The meaning of the first line in the above sloka is
"When the earth becomes shelled by its hard crust, I shall turn myself
into an iron plough-share (black-colored), and shall plough the earth."
The name krshNa can arise out of the fact that He is doing the act
denoted by the word "krshAmi".  Sri Chinmaya beautifully points out that
this "ploughing" refers to His ploughing all the stupidities in His
devotees and preparing the heart-field, weeding out all the poisonous
growth of sin, and cultivating therein pure Bliss.

The second part of the verse means "O Arjuna! Because of my dark
complexion, I am called KrshNa".  The dark complexion referred to above
could be because He is the (dark colored) iron plough, or because He is
dark complexioned like the water-bearing cloud.  Either way, because of
His dark complexion, He is called krshNa.  Notice that the dark
complexion is associated with "kAr mugil vaNNan" or nIla megha syAmalan"
- One who has the color of the rain cloud loaded with His limitless

Sri Chinmaya points out that the inner meaning behind the "dark"
complexion is that BhagavAn is not easily recognized (i.e., He is veiled
behind some darkness) by those who aspire to reach Him except through
single-minded devotion.

The nAma krshNa can also be interpreted in terms of the word "AkarshaNa"
or magnetic attraction.  He is krshNa because He irresistibly attracts
all His devotees.  Or He sweeps away (like a magnet drawing away the
iron filings) the sins in the hearts of those who meditate upon Him.

This nAma occurs once more later as nAma 554 in "vedAh svAngo'jitah
krshNo.....".   Sri Bhattar gives the meaning b) for nAma 554, and gives
the first explanation for the current nAma describing the paravAsudeva

59.	lohitAkshah - One with eyes red like the beautiful lotus flower.

Lohite akshiNi yasya sah lohitAkshah.

Sri Bhattar enjoys the beauty of this nAma by ascribing the redness in
the eye to the supreme joy that BhagavAn has.   One can recall the
mantra "sa mA vrshabho lohitakshah sUryo vipa(s)cit mansA punAtu", which
we chant during our sandhyavandanam.   This is the second reference so
far to the beauty of BhagavAn's eyes (the earlier one was pushkarAksha).
While Sri Bhattar explains the redness of the eye as resulting from
extreme joy, another explanation given is that the redness is a result
of BhagavAn's anger towards the evil-doers, for the destruction of whom
He takes the different avatAras - vinA(s)Aya ca dushkrtAm.

60.	pradrdanah - The Destroyer.

This name is derived from the root tardih - to cause destruction.
Pra-tarda means extreme destruction.   Sri Bhattar gives the following
from kaThopanisahd - yasya brahma ca kshtram ca ubhe bhavatah odanah -
He who has for His food the brahmins and the kshatriyas (i.e., all
beings of the universe) at the time of pralaya.  Sri RadhAkrshNa
(S)astri points out that given the interpretation for this nAma, the
redness of the eye in the previous nAma can be appropriately the result
of anger at the time of dissolution.

61.	prabhUtah - One who is affluent, ever full, and well-endowed with
wisdom, greatness, and other qualities.

Literally, the word means "born full" pra-bhUta.  Even though at the
time of pralaya, BhagavAn destroys everything, still His affluence
remains since He has the parama-pada (the transcendental world), which
is full of Bliss.  And His essential Nature, well-endowed with jnAna,
bala, aisvarya, vIrya, (s)akti, and tejas  still remain.  Even after
reducing everything at pralaya, the vAmana can be the trivikrama.

62.	tri-kakud-dhAma -  

There are three words in this name - tri, kakub or kakut, and dhAma.
tri means three; kakub means the direction or quarter of a compass (for
example);   kakut means the hump (such as the hump on the back of a
bull, or a peak or mountain); kakub and kakut also are interchangeably
used for either meaning.  dhAma means abode or residence, and also a a
ray of light or brilliance.   Several interpretations arise depending on
the choice of the meanings.

We will start with dhAma meaning brilliance.  Sri Bhattar indicates that
if this meaning is used, dhAma will have to be considered as a separate
nAma.  The first part is then interpreted as tri-kakut, which refers to
the incarnation of BhagavAn as the varAha, the Boar with three horns.
This interpretation for tri-kakut is supported by the following sloka
from moksha dharma in the mahAbhArata -

	"tathaiva Asam tri-kakudo vArAham rUpam Asthitah          |
	  'trikakut' tena vikhyAtah (s)arIrasya pramApaNAt            ||
moksha dharma 343-63.

"Then I assumed the form of a Boar with three horns.  So I became known
as 'tri-kakut'.  With that form I killed the rAkshasa."

Sri Bhattar gives the above only as an alternative interpretation, but
does not interpret the phrase tri-kakud-dhaAma as two separate words as
explained above.  Sri Sankara also interprets tri-kakub-dhAma as one

One interpretation Sri Bhattar gives for tri-kakud-dhAma is One who has
as His abode parama-pada, which is thrice as large as this universe.  An
alternative interpretation given is that the three parts refer to the
three groupings of the six guNas (jnAna, bala, aisvarya, vIrya, (s)akti,
tejas), and since He is the abode of these three groups of guNas, He is

Sri Sankara gives the interpretation that He is the base or support for
the three regions of the entire space, the upper, the lower, and the
middle, and therefore He is tri-kakud-dhAma.

Sri Chinmaya gives the vedAntic interpretation that He is the base or
support for the three states of consciousness, viz., the jAgrat, svapna,
and sushupti, and this is why He is called tri-kakud-dhAma.

63.	pavitram - Purity Incarnate.

Up to this point, the qualities, possessions, and body of BhagavAn have
been portrayed step-by-step.  Now we are passing to His essential Nature
which is to be cognized through all of the above. The word is derived
from poo - to purify.  Either He is the Deity that purifies, or He is
the means of purification.  The purity referred to here is the inner
purity of the mind, which He gives to those who meditate on Him.

Both Sri RadhAkrshNa Sastri and Sri Chinmaya offer a second and more
uncommon interpretation - One who gives protection (trAyate) from the
thunderbolt of  Indra (pavi).  Sri Chinmaya points out that in vedAnta
indra refers to the mind (indriyANam rAjA indrah - the mind), and the
thunderbold of mind can destroy all the accomplishments of a sAdhaka,
and uninterrupted medidation of Sri VishNu can give the protection
against such distractions, and thus VishNu is pavi-tra.

64.  mangalam param - The Embodiment of Supreme Auspiciousness

Sri Sankara quotes the following from VishNu PurANa -

	"a(s)ubhAni nirAcashTe tanoti (s)ubhasantatim         |
	  smrti-mAtreNa yat pumsAm brahma tanmangalam viduh ||

"Brahman is known as beneficence because He wards off all evils and
brings on a series of benefits to men on being merely remembered by
them".  param  just emphasizes that He is the Supreme Beneficence.   We
may recall the introductory sloka "pavitrANAm pavitram yo mangalAnAm ca
mangalam" by Bhishma; these two names occur now sequentially here.

Since I will be on vacation until 24th, I will submit the next segment
of Sri VishNu sahasranAmam the week of August 31st.  I will miss the
next two weeks, and apologize for the discontinuity.

-dAsan krshNamAchAryan