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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 22.

From: Krishnamachari, N. (krish_at_ihmail1.ih.lucent.com)
Date: Mon Dec 22 1997 - 11:35:48 PST

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 22.

	Amr*tyuh sarva-dr*k simhah sandhAtA sandhimAn sthirah       |
	ajo durmarshaNah SAstA viSrutAtmA surAri-hA
||

Om amr*tyave namah
Om sarva-dr*Se namah
Om simhAya namah
Om sandhAtre namah
Om sandhimate namah
Om shtirAya namah
Om ajAya namah
Om durmarshaNAya namah
Om Sastre namah
Om viSrutAtmane namah
Om surArighne namah

200.  amr*tyuh - One who is beyond death or decay.

Om amr*tyave namah.

	mr*tyuh yasya na asti iti amr*tyuh.  Birth, growth, decay,
disease, and death, are the five modifications through which every
finite object must pass.  Everything that is born is bound to die.
Since He is not born, He is beyond decay, death, or other modifications.

	The author in dharma cakram points out that this nAma should
remind us of the indestructibility or deathlessness of the jivAtmA, and
should remind us of the need to mediate on Him without associating
ourselves with this perishable body.  

201.  sarvadr*k - All-seeing.

Om sarva-dr*Se namah.

	He is the Seer and Knower of everything at all times in all
beings.  He is the witness of all, and sees those who are well-disposed
or hostile or indifferent to Him as the Ruler of all and rewards them
according to their deeds.  The author in dharma cakram points out the
concept that is simple but worth repeating - that this nAma should
remind us that it is important to be pure in thought, word, and deed,
since He is ever watchful of these in all beings at all times.  It is
easy to swerve from His path without any human being being aware of it,
but we should be aware that He is the All-seeing.

202.  simhah - a) The Lion
		b) Destroyer 

Om simhAya namah.

	SrI Bhattar interprets the nAma as one who has assumed the body
of man and lion.  SrI Sankara gives the meaning that He is the Destroyer
(Lion) of sins.  He gives the following etymological derivation "hinasti
iti simhah" - hinasti smaraNa mAtreNa samasta pApAn iti simhah.
According to this interpretation, the word himsa changes to simha by
transposition of letters according to the grammatical rule
"pr*shodarAdIni yatopadishTam" (PANini 6.3.109). 

	SrI chinmayAnanda points out that even taking the literal
meaning "Lion" for simha, He is the Lion at the mention of whose name
all the animal passions flee from the jungle of the mind. In the gItA we
have "mr*gANAm ca mr*gendro'ham - Among the animals, I am the king of
animals - The Lion" - gItA 10.30.

	In dharma cakram, the writer says that meditating on this nAma
with its meaning should give us the vIrya to destroy the evil in our
thoughts, words, and deeds.  It is only a strong personality which can
help us overcome the negative forces around us and help us realize Him.
It is necessary to be good and to be strong (nallavanAgavum
vallavanAgavum as stated in the tamizh language). 

203.  sandhAtA - a) One who unites His devotees with Him
		b)  One who unites the beings with the fruits of their
actions

Om sandhAtre namah.

	sandhatta iti sandhAtA - One who unites.

The first meaning is given by Sri Bhattar, giving the example of
prahlAda.  The second meaning is given by SrI Sankara.  The nirukti
gives the description - prahlAdAdyaih sandhAtA samSlesha-karaNAcca sah -
One who makes the likes of prahlAda join Him.

204.  sandhimAn - One who is always united with His devotees.

Om sandhimate namah.

	sandhi is union.  SrI Bhattar gives the explanation that this
name indicates that He is always united with His devotees, and so He is
sandhimAn.  Again, quoting the nirukti, prahlAdAdyaih nityasandhih yasya
syAt sandhimAn smr*tah - One who is in permanent union with the likes of
prahlAda.

205.  sthirah - One who is firm in His relation to His devotees.

Om sthirAya namah.

	SrI Bhattar's interpretation is that He is sthirah since He is
firmly attached to His devotees in spite of any wrongs by them -
apacAre'pi acAlyatvAt sandhAne sthira ucyate.  SrI Sankara gives the
interpretation that He is sthira in the sense that He is Constant, being
always the same, free from birth, decay, etc. - sadaika rUpatvAt
sthirah.

206.  ajah - a) Unborn
	b)  Remover of obstacles
	c)  One who moves in the hearts of the devotees
	d)  One who removes the ignorance from the hearts of His
devotees
	e)  One who is the root of all sound (akshara "a")

Om ajAya namah.

	We encountered this nAma as nAma 96 earlier.  It will recur also
as nAma 524.  Please see the explanations under nAma 96.

207.  durmarshaNah - The Unassailable.

Om durmarshaNAya namah.

	dushkaram marshaNam asya iti durmarshaNah - One who cannot be
overcome by His enemies.  SrI chinmayAnanda gives a very interesting
perspective for this nAma.  We may swerve from His path, and satisfy our
sensory urges, but after being born over and over, we ultimately have no
choice except to follow His path.  In the lesser levels of evolution, we
may deny ourselves the peace and joy of living the spiritual values, but
in the end we will be seeking the feet of vishNu for real happiness and
true achievement.  Thus, His is the final victory. 

The root from which this nAma is derived is mr*sh - sahane to bear.
Literally this means One who is difficult to bear (for His enemies).
SrI satyadevo vAsishTha starts with this, and interprets the nAma to
mean that bhagavAn is durmarshaNa because His tejas cannot be confronted
in His forms such as the Sun.  He also points out that this principle is
demonstrated by bhagavAn in everything in this world - the moon cannot
stand the tejas of the sun, the brightness of the stars is diminished by
the presence of the moon, the power of agni is subdued by that of water,
and water disappears in the presence of agni.

	Two other explanations for which I could not corroborate the
meanings from the dictionary etc. are included as well.  One of these is
by SrI satyadevo vAsishTha.  He gives the alternate interpretation that
durmarshNa also means one who cannot be easily understood, based on the
alternate meaning for marshitum = ~jNAtum - duhkhena marshitum Sakyah
durmarshaNah.  

The other interpretation is by the dharma cakram writer who gives the
meaning that He is durmarshaNah because He destroys the evil asura-s ( I
assume this derivation is based on based mr* to kill), and protects the
deva-s.  Meditating on this nAma with its meaning in mind will help in
driving away the evil thoughts from the devotee's mind , and help to
develop the good thoughts that will lead to realization of Him.  VAlmIki
who was ignorant in the beginning, meditated on rAma nAma, and this led
him in course of time to the realization of Him.    
	
208.  SAstA - The Teacher.

Om sAstre namah.

	The word is derived from SAsu - anuSishTau to teach, to govern,
to correct, to advise.   SAsti viSvam iti SAstA - One who teaches the
veda-s to the world and governs is SAstA.  (The words Sastra, SikshA
etc. are derived from the same root).   He is constantly teaching us
through our elders, through sruti-s, smr*ti-s, watching us constantly by
being the observer in us, etc.  SrI Bhattar gives the meaning that He
righteously punishes (teaches a lesson to?) those who are hindrance to
His devotees, and so He is SAstA. 

209. viSrutAtmA - a) One whose exploits are praised with wonder.
		b)  One who is called by special names (such as Truth,
Knowledge, etc). 
		c)  One whose praise is sung in various forms.
		d)  One whose AtmA is of a special Nature.
  		
	The interpretations except the last one result based on the
different ways in which the vyAkhyAna kartA-s have interpreted the "vi"
in viSrutAtmA.  SrI Bhattar gives the interpretation vismayena - with
wonder, SrI Sankara has interpreted it as viSesheNa - specially, and SrI
satyadevo vAsishTha has given the meaning vividhaih - through many
forms.

	Sru SravaNe to hear is the second part, and AtmA is the third
part in the above nAma.  SrI Bhattar adds that this praise in wonder is
by all, at all times, and at all places.  SrI Sankara points out that He
is characterized through special terms like truth, wisdom, etc., and
specially glorified in Sruti-s.  SrI satyadevo vAsishTha points out that
He is known through different forms like Sun, Moon, etc.  He gives the
following corraboration from Sruti -

	tadevAgnis-tadAdityas-tadvAyus-tadu candramAh        |
	tadeva Sukram tad brahma tA Apah sa prajApatih        ||
(yajur 32-1).

	He is also viSrutAtmA since he is sung through various means
such as gAnam, arcanam, etc., and through sAma veda, yajurveda, etc.

	Interpretation (d) is based on viSesheNa Srutah (~jnAtah) AtmA
yena  sa viSrutAtmA - One who is known to be different from the jIvAtmA,
One who is sarva~jna, sarvaSakta, sarva-niyantA. 
His AtmA is pure shAdguNya paripUrNa form, unassociated with an external
form, unimpacted by the effects of karma, etc.

210.  surAri-hA - The slayer of the enemies of the gods.

Om surArighne namah.

	The nAma consists of the three words sura, ari, and hA, where
sura refers to gods, ari is the enemy, and hA is the destroyer.  SrI
Bhattar reminds us of bhagavAn's destruction of hiraNyakaSipu in this
context.  SrI chinmayAnanda points out that meditating on this nAma's
meaning leads to the destruction of the enemies of our mind's aspiration
to evolve, the enemies being "the sensuous claims of the flesh, the mild
assertions of the ego, the nocturnal devils of desires and passions".
One who drives away all the above inimical negative tendencies is
surAruihA.  

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha has included the r*g vedic mantra
1.36.15 starting with "pAhi no agne rakshasah" in his vyAkhyAna, and
says that it is his own personal experience that chanting this mantra
helps in warding off all evils or evil-doers.  I have not included the
full mantra because I am not sure about the correct pronunciation etc.
If anyone has the original mantra, please share it.

	All the nAma-s in this Slokam have been interpreted by SrI
Bhattar as relating to the description of the guNa-s associated with the
nr*simha avatAra.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan