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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 44.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Sat Dec 26 1998 - 05:44:41 PST

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 44.

		vaikunThah purushah prANah prANa-dah praNamah pr*thuh  |
		hiraNya-garbhah Satru-ghno vyApto vAyur_adhokshajah

om vaikunThAya namah
om purushAya namah
om prANAya namah
om prANa-dAya namah
om praNamAya namah
om pr*thave namah
om hiraNya-garbhAya namah
om Satru-ghnAya namah
om vyAptAya namah
om vAyave namah
om adhokshajAya namah

406. vaikunThah - Remover of obstacles (to union).

om vaikunThAya namah

SrI BhaTTar derives the meaning from the root kuThi gati praghAte -
obstructing the path.  Thus kunThA signifies the obstacles to union.
vaikunTha-s are those whose obstacles have been removed.  The obstacles to
bhagavAn are sins.  He is the remover of sins, and so He is called

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri explains the nAma as vigatA kunThA tasyAh kartA -
One who regulates those that tend to go their own way if left unobstructed.
At the beginning of the earth, when the pa~nca bhUta-s tended to expand
uncontrolled without uniting with each other, bhagavAn controlled this and
made them co-exist through union with other.  

SrI Sankara and SrI BhaTTar both quote the following Sloka from mahAbhArata
in support of the concept that bhagavAn brings about the union of seemingly
incompatible things:

	"mayA samSleshitA bhUmih adbhir-vyoma ca vAyunA      |
	  vAyuSca tejasA sArdham viakunThatvam tato mama         ||  (SAnti

	"By me the earth was united with water, ether with air, and air with
fire.  So I am called viakunTha".

He is vaikunThah also because He removes all obstacles to attaining Him for
His devotees, and unites them with Him  (SrI P.B. aNNa~ngarAcArya).

SrI satyadevo vASishTha explains that One for whom all obstacles or
obstructions (kunThA) have been removed is vikunTha.  Or One who removes all
obstacles is vikunTha also.  

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives yet another explanation.  bhagavAn is called
vaikunThah because He was born to Subhra and vikunThA in the fifth
manvantara.  He then married ramA and acceded to her request to create a
place for her enjoyment, and this place was called vaikunTha.  He Himself is
this vaikunTha.  This is supported by vishNu purANa 3.2.41 and bhAgavata

The dharma cakram writer takes the interpretation to a level where it
applies to lives of individuals for whom He removed the obstacles facing
them from attaining Him and united them with Him.  The cases of prahlAda,
paraSurAma, karNa, hariScandra, vAli, etc. are given as examples.

407. purushah -  The Purifier.

om purushAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier also (nAma 14), even though it was not identified
as a recurring nAma at that time.  A summary of the vyAkhyAna given for nAma
14 is included here.

  a. puru sanoti iti purushah - One who gives in plenty.
  b. purA AsIt iti purushah - One who existed before anything else.
  c. pUrayati itit putushah - One who completes and fulfils existence
  d. puri Sete iti purushah - One who is reclining in this body.

In support of d) above, SrI Sankara gives the additional support from the
Sruti-s:  sa vA ayam purushah sarvAsu pUrshu puriSayah  (Br*. Upa. 2.5.18) -
He is indeed called purusha who lives in all the bodies.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan
gives the following support from divya prabhandham in support of a):
vENDiRRellAm tarum en vaLLal (tiruvAimozhi 3.9.5); enakkE tannait-tanda
kaRpagam (tiruvAImozhi 2.7.11).
To the above four explanations, we now add the following:

  e. "usha dAhe purUn sarvAn oshati dahati iti vA purushah" - He who
outshines everyone.
  f. "pApmana oshah tasmAt purushah" - He who burns away all sins.
  g. piparti pr*NAti pAlayati pUrayati iti vA purushah - He who protects -
from pr* pAlana pUraNayoh - to protect or nourish
  h. purah + kushan = purushah (from pura agragamane) - pura agragamane
purati agragAmI bhavati iti vA purushah - He who is the Leader or who is in
the forefront.
  i. pUrvah asmAt viSvAt tat AdikAraNatvAt iti purushah - He who is the
original cause of the        world.
  j. purUNi bhuvanAni samhAra samaye syati antam nayatIti purushah - He who
takes the worlds to their end at the time of samhAra or pralaya.  
Under the current nAma, SrI BhaTTar gives the two new interpretations above
- One who burns (purifies) - oshah - all sins by nature:  sa yat pUrvah
asmAt sarvasmAt pApmana oshah tasmAt purushah.   This is close to the Sruti
passage that SrI Sankara gives as a support - sa yatpUrvo'smAt sarvasmAt
sarvAn pApmana aushat tasmAt purushah (Br. Upa. 1.4.1).

The nAma can also be derived from the root pr* to protect or nourish (g).
Also, from the uNAdi sUtra purah kushan and from pura agragamane (pANi ni
sUtra), the meaning "One who leads or is in the forefront" (h) is derived.
SrI P.B. aNNa~ngarAcArya svAmi chooses this meaning in his abridged
commentary.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan nicely summarizes the guNa-s indicated by the
nAma purusha as "rakshaka", phala prada" etc. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha, who gives most of the interpretations that have
been covered by other vyAkhyAna kartA-s, also adds the last one above. 

408. prANah - The vital air (Life-breath).

om prANAya namah.

This nAma occured earlier (nAma 67, 322).  There the explanation given was
prANIti iti prANAh - That which gives or sustains life.  In addition to
giving prANa to everything in this world, He is also the prANa for all the
gods and for all His devotees.  As prANa, He causes the movements. 

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives additional references - en Aviyai, naDuvE vandu
uyyak-koLginRa  nAthanai (tiruvAimozhi 1.7.5); naRpAl ayOddhiyil  vAzhum
SarASaram muRRavum naRpAlukku uittanan (tiruvAimozhi 7.5.1); ottAi
ep-porutkum uyirAi (tiruvAimozhi 2.3.2).  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri refers us
to "yad-vai prANiti sa prAnah (chAndogya 1.3).

409. prANa-dah - The Life-giver.

om prANadAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier (66, 323), and will re-occur as nAma 956.  The
interpretations were: a) prANAn dadAti iti prAna-dah - He who gives life
(SrI Sankara and SrI BhaTTar); b) prANAn dyati iti prANah - He who takes
away the vital airs at the time of death (SrI Sankara); and c) prANAn
dIpayati - He who purifies and brightens the vital airs (SrI Sankara).

The aspect of His giving life has also been interpreted as His giving the
ability to the nitya-sUri-s to enjoy Him constantly, which is the sustenance
of their life.

The dharma cakram writer points out that when bhagavAn gives life in the
form of the sun, the beings that receive this light are more lively than the
beings that do not get exposed to the sun.  Similarly, those who identify
themselves with their body are not in an awakened and energized state
compared to those who realize that they are the belongings of bhagavAn.
bhagavAn in His mantra svarUpa awakens the spiritual light in those who
chant the gAyatri  mantra, and this in turn leads to God realization.  Thus
He gives life in different ways to the beings of this world.

410. praNamah - a) He who makes others bow before Him.
	b) He who deserves to be worshiped.

om praNamAya namah.

praNAmayati iti praNamah.  By His superior character, He makes others bow
before Him.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to divya prabandham - "ilai tuNai
maRRen ne~njE! ila~nkaiyai IDazhitta kURamban allAl kuRai (nAnmugan
tiruvantAdi 8) - Except for Lord rAma, there is no one else fit for us to

An alternate version for this nAma is praNavah - He who is praised
immensely.  SrI Sankara quotes sanatkumAra - praNamantIha vai vedAs-tasmAt
praNava ucyate - He for whom prostrations are made in the veda, is praNavah.

praNavah refers to the praNava mantra, and this is considered the verbal
representation of bhagavAn - mantra svarUpi.  

411. pr*thuh - Well-known.

om pr*thave namah.

The word pr*thuh is derived from pratha prakhyAne - to become famous.  SrI
BhaTTar gives references to the following:  pr*thu-SrIh pArthivAtmajah (bAla
kANDa - 1.8) - The son of king daSaratha is endowed with world-wide renown;
teshAm atiyaSe loko rAmah - (bAla 77.28) - Amongst them rAma was the most
reputed.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to divya prabandham - nigar il pugazhAi -
(tiruvAi mozhi 6.10.10). 

SrI Sankara gives the meaning "He who has expanded Himself as Cosmos".  SrI
satyadevo vAsishTha gives the explanation for this interpretation - prath
vistAre - to spread out, to expand.  The viSva rUpa of mahA vishNu is an
example of pr*thuh in both senses - He who is well-known through His virAt
svarUpa or He who is spread throughout cosmos in His virAt svarUpa.   

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives an additional interpretation - His ninth
incarnation among His innumerable incarnations is as pr*thu mahAraja who is
the father of pr*thvI.  This is described in SrImad bhAgavtam 1.3.14 -
r*shibhir-yAcito bheje navamam pArthivam vapuh - In response to the request
from the r*shi-s, He appeared in the form of pr*thu.

412. hiraNya-garbhah - He who delights everyone's heart.

om hiraNya-garbhAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier as nAma 71.  The interpretation given was a) He
who is in a lovely abode viz. parama padam, or b) He who is the originator
of all that is the object of fulfillment or joy.  hiraNya refers to gold.
The analogy here is that just as gold is pure, very attractive, and highly
coveted, paramapadam is suddha-sattva, and hence the reference to hiraNya.
One who generates all that is great is hinraNya garbhah.   SrI v.v.rAmAnujan
gives reference to tiruvAimozhi 10.9.11 - toNDar ALvadu SUzh-pon-viSumbe -
SUzh-pon-viSumbu here referring to "niratiSaya tEjOrUpamAna paramapadam".  

hiraNya also refers to the vIrya that He had in Him and that resulted in the
creation.  This is another explanation for the nAma that is given by SrI
rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri.  

Just as gold is hidden in the heart of the earth, He is hidden in the hearts
of His devotees.  He is hiraNyagarbha in this sense as well (SrI
rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri).

SrI radhAkr*shNa SAstri gives a connected account of the nAma-s starting
with viakunThah and ending with this nAma in terms of creation.  BhagavAn
vaikunTha who has unobstructed and enormous energy, descended from His state
of parama purusha and decided to reside in the beings in this Universe in
the form of purusha in this body as if it is vaikunTha.  Then He converted
the prAna Sakti which operates the prakr*ti into a form which supported the
beings, and thus becme prANa-dah.  Thus resulted this Universe, the AkASa
being the first of the bhUta-s (tasmAd-vA etasmAdAtmana AkASas-sambhUtah).
First there resulted the great sound of praNava (pEroli).  From this AkASa,
there resulted the other bhUta-s (AkASAd-vAyuh, vAyoragnih, agnerApah,
adbhyah pr*thivI), and thus He expanded into the cosmos (pr*thuh).  This
pr*thu is the Father of this Universe.  pr*thvI is the daughter of this
pr*thuh.  Starting from the sthUla form, and following through with the
bestowing of the SUkshma form, He then gave the prANamaya, manomaya, and
vi~jnAna maya  koSa-s to His creations as the hiraNyagarbhah.  Thus,
starting from the nAma viakunThah, and up to the nAma hiraNya garbhah, the
secret of creation is nicely revealed.

413. Satru-ghnah - The Slayer of the enemies.

om Satru-ghnAya namah.

Satrum hanti iti Satru-ghnah.   SrI BhaTTar points out that He subdues by
His arrows of wisdom the senses which lead away the people to the enjoyment
of earthly pleasures.  That is, when one mediates on Him, this is how He
slays the enemies to the devotee's realization of Him.  The mind is compared
to rAvaNa and his ten heads to the ten sense-organs.  

SrI Sankara gives the interpretation that He is the destroyer of the enemies
of the gods.  SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma as referring to
His act of punishing those who violate His dictum.

414. vyAptah - He who is full (of love and affection)

om vyApatAya namah.

>From nirukti we have - nIca pUjya avisesheNa vyApanAt vyApta ucyate -
Because He does not distinguish between young and old, master and servant,
friends and foes, when it comes to showering His affection.  SrI BhaTTar
refers us to SrImad rAmAyaNa - 

paurAn svajanavat nityam kuSalam paripr*cchati     |
	puteshvagnishu dAreshu preshya-Sishya gaNeshu ca  ||
	nikhilena AnupUrvyAcca pitA putrAniva aurasAn   ||   ((AraNya

Also, "ripUNAmapi vatsalah" - Even towards His enemies rAma is kind" -
yuddha 50.56.

Another interpretation given is that He pervades everything (SrI Sankara,
SrI cinmayAnanda, SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri).

415. vAyuh - He who moves (towards His devotees).

om vAyave namah.

SrI BhaTTar:  He is called vAyu because He Himself goes seeking His devotees
wherever they may be.   Examples are His going to Sabari seeking her with
respect, His visit to bharadvAja in his ASrama, His friendship with guha,

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the derivation -  vAti sarvatra gato bhavati
iti vAyuh - vishNuh.  He who is spread out everywhere in this Universe.
There is not a single place in this Universe where air has not entered or
does not exist.  This is the guNa of bhagavAn.  

The dharma cakram writer reminds us that this is a nAma that emphasizes
bhgavAn's guNa of being all-pervasive.  He gives reference to gItA - "puNyo
gandhah pr*thivyAm - I am the principle of sweet fragrance in the earth
(7.9).  We can survive without food or water for a few days, but without
vAyu we can't survive even for a few minutes.  Without bhagavAn we can't
survive, period.  This is the concept this nAma should remind us.  vAyu
comes to us without our seeking; so does bhagavAn - He seeks His devotees
and goes after them (see SrI  BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam in the beginning).  vAyu
does not distinguish between people in any way; so does bhagavAn mingle with
everyone with equality of disposition.    

SrI cinmayAnanda points out that He is not just the air but the life-giving
force behind the air.

SrI Sankara derives the meaning from vAti - gandham karoti iti vAyuh - He
who is the cause of smell.   SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri refers us to the
upanishad - vAyurasmai puNyam gandham Avahati  - aitareya 1.7.  bhagavAn is
the antaryAmi for vAyu, and makes vAyu perform its functions -
"yo vAyau tishThan-vAyorantaro yam vAyur-na veda yasya vAyuh SarIram yo
vAyumantaro yamayati, esha te AtmAntaryAmyamr*tah" - br*hadA 3.7.7.
SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives several passages from the Sruti to bring out
the uniqueness and importance of vAyu among the devatAs.  The Sun, moon,
fire and water all merge into vAyu when they disappear - vAyurvAva samvargo
yadA vA agnirudvAyati, vAyumevApyeti, yadA sUryo'stameti vAyumevApyeti, yadA
candro'stameti vAyumevApyeti,yadApa ucchushyanti
vAyumevApiyantivAyuhyavaitAn-sarvAn-samvr*kye (chAndogya 4.3).   When the
indriya-devatA-s such as the sun and the moon enter the sushupti state, vAyu
continues to be active as the prANa vAyu - mlocanti hyanyA devatAh, na
vAyuh, saishA'nastamitA devatA vAyuh - br*hadA 1.5.22.  bhgavAn vishNu bears
the earth through His vibhUti as vAyu - kim tad-vishNor-balamAhuh |
vAtAt-vishNor-balamAhuh |  (taittirIya 1.8.3).  vAyu is the thread that
keeps this world together like a string holding the beads of a chain;
without this the world will break apart like a chain with a broken string;
bhagavAn is this force - vAyurvai gautama tat-sUtram, vAyunA vai gautama
sUtreNAyam ca lokah paraSca lokah sarvANi ca bhutAni sandr*bdhAni bhavanti
(br*hadA 3.5.2).  Thus vAyuh and its vital role in the existence and
survival of this Universe is the reason for bhagavAn's nAma as vAyuh.

417. adhokshajah - He who does not get diminished.

om adhokshajAya namah.

He is adokshajah because He never gets diminished even though He is enjoyed
by His devotees.   SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives the most appropriate support for
this from nammAzhvAr - "yAnum Etti mUvulagum muRRum Etti pinnaiyum tAnum
Ettilum tannai Etta Etta engu eidum?  tEnum pAlum kannalum amudamum
Agit-tittippa" - tiruvAimozhi 4.3.10. 

He is adhokshajah also because His vitality never diminishes, and He is not
diminished by repeated births and deaths - adho na kshIyate jAtu yasmAt
tasmAt adhokshajah (mahAbhArata udyoga 4.69.10). adhah means down or below,
and kshIyate refers to getting diminished.

SrI Sankara gives an alternate interpretation - He who is perceived when the
sense organs (aksha gaNa-s) are made inward-looking.  He gives reference to
the following verse, whose author or source are not known.

	adho bhUte hyakshagaNe pratyag-rUpa-pravAhite             |
	jAyate tasya vai j~nAnam tena adhokshaja ucyate             || 

Yet another interpretation given by SrI Sankara is "He who manifests Himself
as the virAt between the sky (aksha) and the region below (adhah) i.e., the
Earth" - aksham adhah tayor-madhye vairAja rUpeNa ajAyata iti adhkshajah.   

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri adds yet another dimension: adhah - j~nAtr*tvabhAvAt
hInam, akshajam j~nAnam yasya sa adhokshajah - He who is not recognized by
indriya-s such as the eyes etc., even though He is everywhere, in

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan