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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 39.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 08:13:47 PDT

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 39.

	atulah Sarabho bhImah samayaj~no havir-harih        |
	sarva lakshaNa lakshaNyo lakshmIvAn samiti~njayah   ||

om atulAya namah
om SarabhAya namah
om bhImAya namah
om samayaj~nAya namah
om havir-haraye namah
sarva-lakshaNa lakshaNyAya namah
lakshmIvate namah
samiti~njayAya namah

357. atulah - The Incomparable.

om atulAya namah

Readers may be familiar with the word "tulA", which is used to refer to a
balance.  atulah is One who has no equal.  tulopamAnam asya na vidyata iti
atulah - There is nothing known that is comparable to Him.  SrI Sankara
gives the following references - "na tasya pratimA asti yasya nAma mahad
yaSah" - For Him whose name is Great Glory, there is no likeness -
SveTasva. upa. 4.19;  "na tvat-samo'sti abhyadhikah kuto'nyah" - gItA 11.43
- There is no one equal to You, where is the question of someone exceeding
You?  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to tiruvAi mozhi - tan oppAr il appan -
6.3.9.

The dharma cakram writer reminds us that the One who should be praised by us
is mahA vishNu, and not people around us for the benefit of some favor.
Those who do the former raise to the level that they praise Him, and those
who do the latter fall further from where they are.  This is the
significance of this nAma for real life.

358. Sarabhah - a) The Destroyer (of those who transgress the bounds of
ethics).
		b) One who shines as the Inner Self.

om SarabhAya namah.

a) Sr*NAti iti Sarabhah (SrI BhaTTar).  The interpretation is based on the
verb Sr* - to injure, to destroy. 

b) Sara means body for the following reason - SeeryaMANAt Sarah - That which
is perishable.  BhA means to shine.  .Sarabhah thus refers to One who shines
in the body (SrI Sankara, SrI cinmayAnanda etc.).  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri
refers us to Sarabhopanishat (30) - SarA jIvAs-tadan~ngeshu bhAti nityam
harih svayam | brahmaiva Sarabha sAkshAt. 

SrI SAstri also gives an alternate interpretation - Sara refers to an arrow,
but if this body is aimed at bhagavAn, then even the perishable body shines,
because He shines in that body. 

359. bhImah - The Formidable.

om bhImAya namah.

bibhyati iti bhImah.  The nAma is derived from the verb bhI - to fear.  The
whole world operates in an orderly way in fear of violation of His will.
bhIshA'smAt vAtah pavate - The wind does not transgress its bound out of
fear from Him (taittirIya AraN 8). Also from kaThopanishad we have
"bhayAdeva agnistapati bhayAt tapati sUryah | bhayAt indraSca vAyuSca
mr*tyur-dhAvati pa~ncamah || (2.6.3) - Only out of fear from Him the fire
burns, the sun blazes, indra and vAyu discharge their duties, and death, as
the fifth, runs (performs its duties). The same idea is expressed in the
brahma sUtra 1.3.40 - kampanAt.

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to the terror He created in the heart of
hiraNyakaSipu.  We have in tiruvAi mozhi 7.6.8 - ari kAN nariyAi arakkar
ULaiyiTTu anRu ila~ngai kaDandu pilambukkoLippa - He made the rAkshasa-s in
lankA run and hide for cover like the wolves on seeing a lion.  

The dharma cakram writer points out that as long as there are beings who do
not have God realization, the only thing that keeps them under control is
fear, and once they have realized Him, they do not have anything to fear. 

SrI Sankara has also considered an alternate pATham - viz. abhIma - One who
causes no fear to those who follow the proper path.  

360. samayaj~nah - The Knower of the conventions.

om samayaj~nAya namah.

He is samayaj~na since He establishes the rules e.g., that when the fire
burns, the flame goes upwards, and also at the time of creation after the
pralaya, He establishes the path of the Sun, the moon and the planets -
sUryA-candramaso dhAtA yathApUrvam akalpayat (tai. nArA. 1).  

SrI Sankara refers to His knowing the methods and timing of the acts of
creation, preservation, and dissolution of the Universe.  Another way he has
interpreted this nAma is as sama yaj~nah - One who has the yaj~na or
observance of treating everyone equally without showing preferential
treatment.  He gives reference to vishNu purANam - samatvam ArAdhanam
acutasya (1.17.90).      

SrI BhaTTar also offers an alternate interpretation - He knows the proper
time when He should offer Himself to the devotees, or the proper time when
He should fulfil the vow of protection He has taken.

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to the incidence of nr*simha avatAra, where
bhagavAn knew exactly when to appear in the pillar - iraNiyan tUN puDaippa
a~ngu appozhudE avan vIyat tOnRiya en Si~ngap-pirAn - tiruvAi mozhi - 2.8.9.

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri describes six kinds of strategies that a king is
supposed to adopt in warfare, including when to fight, when to compromise,
when to seek another's help, when to let two adversaries collide with each
other and thus weaken themselves,  when to attack, and when to wait for the
attack.  He points out that Lord kr*shNa amply demonstrated these different
techniques when He guided the pANDava-s in their war with the kaurava-s, and
this is an explanation for this nAma.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is the only
one who knows the past, present and future, the changes in climate, the path
of the planets, when the beings will be born and in what body, when this
body will die, etc.  

The dharma cakram writer adds more dimension to the anubhavam of this nAma
by pointing out that bhagavAn knows when He needs to appear among us in His
incarnations (dharma samsthApanArthAya sambahavAmi yuge yuge).  He also knew
when to send kunti to karNa to get him to promise that he won't attempt to
kill any pANDava other than arjuna, etc.

361. havir-harih - Hari who is the recipient of the havis offered in the
yaj~na.

om havir-haraye namah

This nAma has been considered as two separate nAma-s by some
vyAkhAna-kartA-s.  So we will look at the interpretation for havir-harih,
havih, and harih.

havis is the name given to the offering in a yAga.  So one interpretation
for this nAma is Hari or vishNu who is the ultimate acceptor of the
offerings - yaj~neshu havir-bhAgam harati iti havir-harih.  SrI Sankara
gives reference to the gItA - aham hi sarva yaj~nAnAm bhoktA ca prabhureva
ca (9.24).  

The word havis is derived from the root hu, which means both "to accept" and
"to offer".  He both enjoys His devotees, and is the subject of enjoyment by
His devotees, and thus again He is havir-harih.  The word "harih" is derived
from the root hr* - to obtain.  One who is obtained by offering of havis is
havir-harih.

Also we have in mahA bhArata - 

	hrAmyagham ca smartr**NAm havirbhAgam kratushvaham     |
	varNaSca me haridveti tasmAd harir_aham smr*tah                   ||
(SAnti parva 330.3)

	"I destroy the sins of those who remember Me, and also receive the
oblations in sacrifices;  My complexion also is blue;  hence I am named
Hari".

harih also means one who removes the obstacles - harir harati pApAni.

The following nAma-s, up to 379, are interpreted by SrI BhaTTar in the
context of the lakshmI-patitvam (vishNu as the Consort of Lakshmi) of
bhagavAn para-vAsudeva.

362. sarva-lakshNa-lakshaNyah - a) He who is the abode of all the auspicious
qualities
		b) He who is the ultimate definition of all good qualities
		c) He who is pointed to as the Ultimate Truth through all
analysis
		d) He who reveals Himself through everything around us

om sarva-lakshaNa lakshaNyAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives the following dhyAna Sloka that identifies some of these
distinguishing marks.

	"dhyAyet kamala-garbhAbham devam lakshmI-patim tatah        |
	  kamalAlaya hetISa vibhUshita kara-dvayam
||

	"One should meditate on that Deity who is the Consort of Lakshmi,
who has the splendor of the inner part of a lotus, and whose two hands are
adorned by the lotus which is the abode of Lakshmi and cakra which is the
lord of all weapons". 

He also gives reference to the mantra "puNDarIkAksha! sakala-sukha saubhAgya
vAridhe!" - Oh the Lotus-eyed Lord! The Sea of Bliss and Good Fortune!

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to other examples from divya prabandham -
alarmEl ma~ngai uRai mArbA! nigar-il pugazhAi! ulagam mUnRu uDaiyAi!;
tiruvin maNALan - tiruvAi mozhi 1.9.1.  He also refers us to vishNu purANam
- paSyatAm sarva-devAnAm yayau vaksha-sthalam hareh - When the nectar by
name Lakshmi came out of the Milky Ocean when it was churned, She chose the
vaksha-sthalam of mahA vishNu straight out of the Ocean even though all the
deva-s were standing there; such are His lakshaNa-s or attributes.    
  
SrI Sankara's interpretation is He is the lakshaNya or end result that is
obtained through all lakshaNa-s or pramANa-s.  i.e., all means of
investigation ultimately lead to Him as the Supreme Knowledge or the
Ultimate Truth.

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that bhagavAn is the ultimate definition
for each and every lakshaNa or attribute, and so He is sarva-lakshaNa
lakshaNyah.

The dharma cakram writer points to four types of pramANa-s which are used
for recognizing something. These are: prakyaksha pramANa (recognition
through our senses, such as taste, touch etc.), yukti pramANa (recognition
through indirect evidence - such as recognizing fire through smoke), SAstra
pramANa (what is laid down in scriptures, and anubhava pramANa (what we
experience ourselves, e.g., head ache).  He gives the example of rAmakr*shNa
paramahamsa who recognized God as the Only Truth through all these
pramANa-s.  He could talk to God, he could not live without the thought of
God just as we can't live without air, he recognized him through the
SAstra-s, and in essence he recognized God as the ultimate Truth through all
the pramANa-s.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha describes this nAma's significance by pointing out
that He is sarva-lakshaNa lakshaNya since everything that we see points to
Him as the reason behind it.  He defines Himself through everything that we
can see or otherwise recognize. 

363. lakshmIvAn - He who is always with Lakshmi.

om lakshmIvate namah

Prof. SrInivAsa rAghavan, in his translation of SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAna,
adds a personal note that this tattvam, viz. the association between
bhagavAn and Lakshmi, should be learned through an AcArya.  I am still
adding the few words that I am picking up from the translation.

There are two things that are eternal and always existed and will always
exist, without beginning or end.  One is bhagavAn.  The other is prakr*ti,
the Primordial Matter that is the material from which all the things in this
Universe are created.  This Primordial Matter signifies Lakshmi, the
Universal Mother.  The Universe is a result of the Union of these two.
Neither exists without the other.   There is change in the svarUpam of the
prakr*ti depending on the proportion of the three guNa-s viz. sattva, rajs
and tamas, but prakr*ti does not end at the time of pralaya, nor does it
begin at the beginning of the world.   The mUla-prakr*ti which is
beginningless and endless just like bhagavAn, is none other than Lakshmi.

SrI BhaTTar has given the following Sloka in support -

	"dvayam devI-pariNaye leelayaiva samarpayan       |
	  prakASayan anAditvam AtmanA prakr*the saha  ||
	  mat-karaih anuviddheyam prakr*tih prAkr*taih aham   |
	  yato'ham ASritaSca asyA mUrtih mayi etat AtmikA     ||

	"At the time of my marriage with Lakshmi, I in a playful mood,
revealed the secret to all that the Supreme Reality is a couple, and not
nArAyaNa alone, nor Lakshmi alone.  Then I also revealed that like Myself
Lakshmi is also beginningless (i.e. eternal).  This prakr*ti was embraced by
My hands, and I by Her hands;  wherefore I have resorted to Her, and She, in
Her turn, has resorted to Me.  (So we are always together".

SrI cinmayAnanda echoes the same spirit through the following words:  "He is
the Spirit (purusha) that thrills the entire world-of-matter (prakr*ti).
Matter thrilled with the spirit is the dynamic world that we see around.
Thus, the manifested Lord is ever wedded to Lakshmi".

364 - samti~njayah - He who is victorious in battles.

om samiti~njayAya namah.

One meaning for the word samiti is battle.  samitim yuddham jayati iti
samiti~njayah - He who conquers the wars or battles (SrI Sankara).  He is
the destroyer of all pain in all the devotees. He helps overcome the feeling
of independence from Him in the jIvAtmA-s, and thus brings true happiness to
them by winning over their minds (SrI BhaTTar). 

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri uses the meaning "gathering" or "assembly" for the
word samiti, and gives the meaning that bhagavAn wins over the samiti no
matter how large it is, if it is ganged up against Him. 

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan