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SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - Slokam 70 - vishNuh, vIrah.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 12:58:42 PST

663. vishNuh - The Pervader.

Om vishNave namah.

This nAma occurred earlier as nAma-s 2 and 259 (Sloka-s 1 and 28). 

Please refer to the revised write-up I posted in the bhakti list on
Jan. 17, 2001 for this nAma.  

664. vIrah -    a) The Valiant.
	b) The swift Mover (into the hearts of His devotees or against
	c) He Who destroys His enemies
	d) He Who makes the enemies tremble in front of Him and run, showing
their backs.                                                           
Om vIrAya namah.

This nAma was described earlier under Slokam 43 - nAma 402. 

a) SrI BhaTTar derives the interpretation for the nAma from the root
aja - gati kshepaNayoh - to drive or to lead, and a grammatical rule
which states that vI is the substitute for aja under certain conditions
(ashTAdhyAyI 2.4.56), and gives the meaning - He Who is valiant.  

SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj uses the interpretation - vIrayate iti vIrah
- He who displays valor is called vIrah, and expands - ripu damanAya
vikramate - It is for the destruction of the enemies.  SrI BhaTTar
describes that it is for the destruction of the enemies of His devotees
that He uses His valor.  Thus, the anubhavam here, as in all the
vyAkhyAna-s of SrI BhaTTar, is that whatever bhagavAn does is for the
sake of His devotees.  SrI BhaTTar describes the nature of this valor -
He induces terror in the hearts of His devotees' enemies  - rakshsAm
ati-bhaya calana hetutvAt vIrah. 

b) SrI Samkara gives an additional interpretation based on the root vI
- gati, vyApti,  prajanana,  kAnti, asana, khAdaneshu - to go, to
pervade, to obtain, to throw, to conceive, to be born, to shine, to be
beautiful, to desire, to eat. Thus, the root denotes motion, creation,
radiance, existence and consumption.  As He has all these qualities, He
is called vIrah - gatyAdimattvAt vIrah.   SrI anatakRshNa SAstry
extends this anubhavam and gives the interpretation that this speed is
displayed in His swift entry into the hearts of His devotees, as well
as His swift move against His devotees' enemies.

This guNa of bhagavAn, namely His swift entry into the heart of His
devotee to please the devotee, and His swift effect on His devotees'
enemies by causing them terror, reminds one of the nArasimha vapuh
incarnation (see the detailed explanation for this nAma under Slokam
3).  In this incarnation, bhagavAn's form as Lord nRsimha terrorizes
hiraNyakaSipu, but at the same this same form is so pleasing to
prahlAda.  This is one more example of the guNa of His possessing the
anirdeSya-vapuh that we encountered in the previous nAma - the form
that cannot be described as this or that, because simultaneously it is

c, d) Other interpretations for this nAma that are given in the
vyAkhyAna for amarakoSa are: viruddhAn rAti hanti iti vIrah - One who
destroys the enemies; vidvishTAn Irayati iti vIrah - One who makes the
enemies tremble and run showing their backs (Ira -gatau kampane ca).

When this quality of being valiant applies to us human beings, the
dharma cakram writer emphasizes that we should be valiant against the
internal enemies even more than the external enemies.  It is the fight
against the internal enemies - kAma, krodha, lobha, moha, bhaya, etc. ,
that one should learn to win effectively.  It is by resorting to prayer
and devotion to bhagavAn that we can effectively overcome these
internal enemies.    Meditating on this nAma of bhgavAn will help us
achieve this objective.

References to the Sruti, smRti, divya prabandham, etc., that have been
given by the great AcArya-s in support of their interpretations for
this nAma, have been provided under nAma 402.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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