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SrI vishNu sahasra nAmam - Slokam 70 - anantah.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 19:58:05 PST

665. anantah - a) The Limitless.
	b) One who is beyond the reach of those who are not of pure mind.

Om anantAya namah.

Note that this is one of the nAma-s from the trio - acyuta, ananta,
govinda, that is uttered several times daily by vaishNava-s.

Starting from this nAma, and up to nAma 683 (mahA havih), SrI BhaTTar
interprets the nAma-s as describing His limitless vibhUti-s.

a) SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation - na asya deSa kAla vastutah
avadhayah santi iti anantah - He for whom there is no limitation of
space, time or object.  He is ananta-mUrti - One of unbounded form.  In
the gItA, bhagavAn declares:  nAstyanto vistarasya me (10.19) - There
is no limit to My auspicious manifestations (vibhUti-s).  SrI BhaTTar
also gives reference to the Sruti-s:  "satyam, j~nAnam anantam brahma"
(tait. Ananda. 1) - Brahman is Existence, Knowledge, and Infinite;
"athaitasyaiva anto nAsti tad brahma" (tait. yajur. 7.3.4) - There is
no limit or end to this object known as Brahman.   

SrI Samkara gives additional reasons for His being called ananta -
vyApitvAt, nityatvAt, sarvAtmatvAt, deSatah, kAlatah, vastutaSca
aparichinnah anantah - Because He is all-pervading, eternal, and the
Self of all, and because He is unlimited by space, time, or substance,
He is known as anatah.  In addition to the upanishadic support, he also
gives additional support from SrI vishNu purANa -

	gandharvApsarasah siddhAh kinnaroraga cAraNAh   |
	nAntam guNAnAm gacchanti tena anantah ayam avyayah    || (2.5.24)

"The gandharva-s, apsara-s, siddha-s, kinnara-s, uraga-s, and the
cAraNa-s are unable to find the end of His attributes; hence, the
imperishable Lord is called ananta".

nammAzhvAr refers to bhagavAn as "kaNakku aRu nalattanan, antam il Adi
am bhagavan" (tiruvAi. 1.3.5) - "bhagavAn possesses limitless kalyANa
guNa-s, He is the beginning of everything, and He has no end".  He
captures the ananta nature of bhagavAn nicely in the pASuram 

	nAm avan ivan uvan avaL ivaL uvaL evaL
	tAm avar ivar uvar adu idu udu edu 
	vImavai ivai uvai avai nalam tI'ngavai
	Am avaiyAi avaiyAi ninRa avare (tiruvAi. 1.1.4)

"We are but He; What one indicates as that man, this man, that woman,
this woman, that object, this object; on whatever we indicate in plural
similarly, all are but He and He alone; Things with good traits or bad
traits, things there or here, things that go off, things that will come
one day, all are merely He.  All are aspects of His splendor"
(translation copied from Sri V. N. Vedanta deSikan).

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri elaborates further on His being unlimited by
time, space, and substance.  

-	Since He existed before everything else, He exists now, and He will
exist for ever in the future, He is unlimited by time
(bhUta-bhavya-bhavan-nAthah).  Thus He is nitya - nityo nityAnAm
(kaTha. 2.2.13); 
-	Since He pervades everything  and is everywhere inside and out, He is
unlimited by space (vishNu); eko devah sarva bhUteshu gUDhah
sarva-vyApI ca bhagavAn (SvetASva. 3.11).
-	Since He is everything there is, it is not possible to precisely say
that He is this, that, man, woman, or any one thing, and so He is
unlimited by form; naiva strI na pumAn eshah ( SvetASva. 5.10).  

b) SrI baladeva vidyA bhUshaN gives the interpretation that He is
anantah because He is beyond the reach of those who are not pure in
their mind - a-viSuddha manasAm a-nikaTatvAt anantah.  

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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