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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 26.

From: Krishnamachari, N. (krish_at_ihmail1.ih.lucent.com)
Date: Wed Feb 18 1998 - 15:19:15 PST

				SrI vishNu sahasranAmam -Slokam 26.

	suprasAdah prasannAtmA viSva-sr*t viSva-bhug-vibhuh     |
	sat-kartA sat-kr*tah sAdhuh jahnur_nArAyaNo narah      ||

Om suprasAdAya namh
Om pransannAtmane namah
Om viSva-sr*je namah
Om viSva-bhug-vibhave namah
Om sat-kartre namah
Om sat-kr*tAya namah
Om sAdhave namah
Om jahnave namah
Om nArAyaNAya namah
Om narAya namah.

238.  su-prasAdah - The Giver of good favors.

Om suprasAdAya namah.

	Sobhanah prasAdha dAtr*tvAt suprasAdah - For those who surrender
to Him He confers all that is good.  In fact He goes further and confers
the good to those who are His enemies as well, as in the cases of
rAvaNa, SiSupAla, duryodhana, etc., by conferring moksha on them
ultimately.  In other words, whatever bhagavAn confers, it is for the
good of the recipient.  This concept is repeatedly pointed by svAmi
deSikan in the dayA-Satakam when he describes the dayA aspects of the
different incarnations.  Thus for instance, in the paraSu-rAma
incarnation, when He destroyed the evil kshatriya kings, He really got
rid of their sins, and sent them to moksha.  In the kalki incarnation,
when He will destroy those at the end of the kali-yuga who are soaked in
sin, it is only to wash them of their sins and re-establish a
dharma-oriented kr*ta yuga where their jIva-s can flourish again that
this act of His is undertaken.

	The writer in dharma cakram points out that there are those of
us who will do good to those who are bad to us, in addition to those who
follow the rule of an eye for an eye, and worse still, there are those
who do bad to those who are good to them.  SrI mahA-vishNu is one who
does always what is good for everyone irrespective of how they are
towards Him.  Meditation on Lord vishNu with this guNa implied by this
nAma will give us the right frame of mind to follow the sAttvic path. 

239.  prasannAtmA - He with a clear mind; Of delightful nature.

Om prasannAtmane namah.

	He is of delightful nature because He has no desires and no
wants since He has realized all desires - avApta-sarva-kamatvAt.   Or
because He is extremely merciful by nature - karuNArdra-svabhAvAt.  Or
He is prasannAtmA because His mind is not contaminated by passion
(rajas) and inertia (tamas).   SrI P.B. aNNangarAcArya svAmi points out
that He has a clear mind because He is unaffected by likes and dislikes.
SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation that He is All-Blissful
because He is not affected by sorrows resulting from association with
matter and its imperfections (guNa-s).    He is of a clear mind, without
being affected by the tamasic and rajasic guNa-s.  

	The dharma cakram writer gives the example of the three
brothers, rAvaNa, kumbhakarNa, and vibhIshaNa, respectively dominated by
rajasic, tAmasic, and sattvic guNa-s.  rAvaNa was indulging in
non-righteous acts under the influence of kAma, and brought
self-destruction as a result.  Kumbha-karNa was inactive under the
influence of tamas.  VibhIshaNa on the other hand had the clarity of
mind aided by his sattvic guNa.  He could save SrIlankA from destruction
and could attain the grace of the Lord because of his clear thinking.
Meditating on the nAma prasannAtmA will lead to the clarity of mind that
bhIshma could command, when he advised duryodhana prior to the start of
the mahAbhArata war that they won't win a war fought on immoral and
unethical grounds, and the support of the Lord will be on the side of
dharma.  prasannatA results out of the dominance of sattva guNa. 

240.  viSva-sr*t - The Creator of the Universe.

Om viSva-sr*je namah.

	viSvam sr*jati yo sa viSva-sr*t.  He created this Universe out
of kindness unmindful of its merits and deficiencies.  In Sankara
pATham, this nAma is given as viSva-dhr*g - The Overseer of the cosmos.
Prof. SrInivAsa rAghavan points in his writings in SrI nr*simha priyA
that other pATha-s are viSva-sr*shT and viSva-sr*g.  

	In the context of the interpretation based on viSva-dhr*g - the
overseer or ruler of the cosmos, the dharma cakram commentator
rhetorically asks the question - Do we rule our mind, or does our mind
rule us?  If we learn to rule over our mind, then we can rule our
family, our nation, etc., and also know the Ruler of everything.  And we
get this conditioning of our mind through meditation on the Lord who is
viSva-dhr*g.

	SrI satyadevo vAsisshTha gives the meaning based on the root
dhr*sh prAgalbhye to be bold, confident, proud, or brave.  He is
viSva-dr*k because He has created this world with skill (cAturya),
prouldy, boldly.  Everything He has created, including the different
seasons, the flowers, the different forms of life, etc., are constantly
displaying His brilliance in the different ways they reproduce
themselves, the different forms in which they appear, etc.

241.  viSvabhug-vibhuh - He who pervades all things and protects them.

Om viSvabhug-vibhave namah.

	vyApya bhunakti - pAlayati iti viSvabhug-vibhuh.  SrI Bhattar
interprets this phrase as one nAma, whereas SrI Sankara interprets it as
consisting of  two nAma-s, viSva-bhuk and vibhuh.  

	The interpretation for viSva-bhuk is given as viSvam bhu~nkte -
The Enjoyer of the Cosmos, or ViSvam bhunakti - The Protector.  The
dharma cakram writer points out that He is the Protector for the
Universe in its expressed form with all its created beings or in its
unexpressed or pralaya form as well.   This compares with the situation
of mortals like us who cannot do any good in protecting this world
either in our wakeful state or in our sleep state.  SrI cinmayAnanda
gives the interpretation that He enjoys or swallows (bhuk) all
experiences (viSva).  The Supreme Consciousness, apparently conditioned
by the mind and intellect, is the experiencer of joys and sorrows.  Or,
the term can mean "One who absorbs all  names and forms unto Himself at
the time of  pralaya". SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives the reference to
tiattirIya AraNyaka 10.91 - prabhuh prINAti viSva-bhuk.  SrI satyadevo
vAsishTha gives an alternate interpretation based on bhuj kautilye to
bend, to curve, and says that the nAma can mean that He established the
world by bending or extending it in all eight directions.   

	Since SrI Sankara interprets vibhuh as a separate name, he gives
the meaning - One with multi-form - vividham bhavati iti vibhuh. He
became many from HiraNyagarbha downwards.  Vividham bhAvayati is another
interpretation, again referring to the multi-forms.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa
SAstri gives the meaning that He is vibhu because He fills everything
everywhere - mahAntam vibhum AtmAnam - kaThopanishad 2.22.  The dharma
cakram writer elaborates on the multi-form by giving reference to Lord
kr*shNa's words in the gItA in Chapter 10 starting with Slokam 21 and
going up to Slokam 38, where bhagavAn gives several examples of His
vibhUti-s, and then says in Slokam 40 that there is really no limit to
His vibhUti-s.  

242.  satkartA - He who honors the good.

Om satkartre namah.

	satkaroti pUjayati iti satkartA - One who adores those who are
good and wise.  SatkAram is worship.  SrI rAma was known as sajjana
prati pUjakah - He who worships those in return who are good to Him.
SrI radAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives the reference to rAmAyaNa -
bahu-SrutAnAm vr*ddhAnAm brAhmaNAnAm upAsitA (2-2-33) - He worships
those who are learned, old in age, and brAhmaNas.
 
	The writer in dharma cakram points out the example of Lord rAma
praising hanumAn as soon as He saw him.  The Lord rejoices to find those
who are in this category.  The lesson we should take from this nAma is
that we should do acts that will make us fit for this kind of
recognition.   Acts that fall in this category are those that give peace
of mind and inner happiness to the doer.   By corollary, we should
desist from acts which lead to a feeling of self-centered
accomplishment, pride, etc.  Our acts should be directed to His service,
and not for the satisfaction of the human ego.  

243.  satkr*tah - He who is worshipped by the sAdhus (even by those who
deserve to be worshipped).

Om satkr*tAya namah.

	The word satkr*ta means pUjita - One who is worshipped.  He is
the Object of worship for everyone.  The nirukti summarizes SrI
Bhattar's vyAkhyAna for this nAma as arcAdibhih sajjanaih yah pUjitah
satkr*tah smr*tah.  Prof. SrInivAsa rAghavAcArya svAmi in his commentary
in nr*simha priyA points out that when the ekAntins who worhsip only
mahAvishNu make their offerings to Him, no matter how small the offering
is, He considers it big by considering it as worthy of His Supreme
Status,  and receives through His head what is offered at His feet,  and
receives it personally and not through other intermediary gods.  As if
this is not enough, He then feels that whatever He does to His devotees
is inadequate in return (recall Lord kr*shNa's feeling of being indebted
to draupati for ever when she cried out for help and He helped but not
by coming in person right away).  The dharma cakram writer points out
that as a means of developing this devotion to Him, our vedas ask us to
worship our mother,  our father, our teacher - mAtr* devo bhava,
pitr*devo bhava, AcArya devo bhava.  

244.  sAdhuh - One who carries out (whatever His devotees say).

Om sAdhave namah.

	sAdhayati iti sAdhuh - One who carries out, or sAdhnoti iti
sAdhuh - One who makes it possible to carry out, through various means
that He has provided for the benefit of the beings that He has created.
Going as a messenger, acting as a charioteer, etc. are examples of His
carrying out His undertaking.

  Even though Lord kr*shNa was Himself a king like duryodhana, He did
not mind doing the work of a messenger, and did not mind doing the work
of a charioteer which is like that of a servant to arjuna.  Thus, sAdhu
here refers to His act of carrying out whatever He has to do to take
care of His devotees.  He takes several incarnations in which He suffers
and gets insulted by the likes of duryodhana, SiSupAla, rAvaNa etc., and
appears as a fish, a boar, etc., and undergoes suffering and misery as
in the case of the rAma incarnation, all because He is a sAdhu, who
carries out what He has to in order to help His devotees.

	The nAma sAdhu has also been interpreted as One who is
righteous, i.e., conducts Himself according to the code laid in the
vedas.  And because He follows the righteous path always, He
accomplishes whatever He undertakes always.  The lesson to take here is
(dharma cakram) that we should always follow the righteous path in
everything we do, and this will not only endear us to Lord vishNu, but
also lead to success in our just endeavors.   

245.  jahnuh - The Concealer (of His greatness from the non-devotees).

Om jahnave namah.

	This nAma is derived from the root hA - tyAge to forsake.
abhakteshu Atma-mAhAtmyam apahnute iti jahnuh.  jahAti avidushah jahnuh
is another derviation for the same meaning - He leads those devoid of
devotion away from the Supreme.   SrI Bhattar gives the following quote
from udyoga parva:

	"cakram tad-vAsudevasya mAyayA vartate vibhoh       |
	  sApahnuvam pANdaveshu ceshTate rAhasattamah    ||   (udyoga
parva 6.7.2)

	"That discus of the Omni-present vAsudeva acts by His will for
the benefit of the pANdavas being invisible (to the eyes of others), O
Great King!".

	SrI Sankara gives an addtional interpretation that He is jahnu
because He is the disintegrator of the Universe at the time of pralaya -
janAn samhAra-samaye apahnute apanayati iti jahnuh.

	SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives the incidence of Sage Jahnu who
hid the Ganges when bhagIrata brought Ganges(jAhanavI) to the Earth.
Similarly bhagavAn hides the Universe during pralaya into Himself, and
so He is jahnu.  

	In dharma cakram, we find a description of how His act of hiding
some things from us is really devoted to helping us in our day-to-day
life until we can really realize Him.  Thus it is for our benefit that
we forget some of our bad experiences of the past, and do not know some
of the future incidences in our life ahead of time.  In fact, this
process of things being hidden intermittently is the law of life, as for
instance the child being hidden in the mother's womb before being born,
the seed being hidden underground before it sprouts, the time of our
body's demise being hidden from us till the incident happens, the
outcome of a contest between two competing teams being hidden from them
till the incident concludes, and the same way, the jiva-s being hidden
in Him before the world is re-created after pralaya.  This nAma should
help us forget the wrong-doings of others, and remember only the good
things in life.  This training will help us realize Him in the process,
and then He does not have to use His act of hiding anything from us.

	SrI satyadevo vAsisshTha also starts with the root hA tyAge to
give up, and interprets the nAma to mean that He is jahnu because He is
devoid of the defects  such as kAma, krodha, lobha, moha,  mada, and
mAtsarya, and is Suddha svarUpa.  Ganges is jAhnavI because Ganges
washes away the sins.

246.  nArAyaNah - The Supporter of the hosts of souls.

Om nArAyaNAya namah.

	All the previous nAma-s referred to nArAyaNa through His other
incarnations or through His many guNa-s.  Now SrI vyAsa gives the name
that only refers to mahA-vishNu, and that is not used to refer to any
other gods (such as the nAma-s rudra, Siva etc., which also occur in the
vishNu sshasranAma to refer to mahAvishNu).   SrI Bhattar points out
that this nAma is spoken of in every upanishad, and the veda itself
gives the derviation of the name nArAyaNa thus -

	yacca ki~ncit jagat sarvam dr*syate SrUyatepi vA       | 
	antar-bahiSca tat-sarvam vyApya nArAyaNah sthitah  ||

	"Whatever object there is in the Universe that is seen or heard,
nArAyaNa remains pervading all that, both inside and outside". 

	SrI Bhattar gives several references to bring out the greatness
of this nAma.  

	"nArAyaNAya vidmahe vAsudevAya dhImahi    |
 	 tanno vishNuh pracodayAt  ||          (taitti. nArAya.  6.1.28)

	"nArAyaNa param brhma tattvam nArAyaNah parah      |
	 nArAyaNa paro jyotir-AtmA nArAyaNah parah            ||
(taitt. NArAya. 6.11)

	"eko ha vai nArAyaNa AsIt| na brhamA na ISAnah na Apah na
agnishomi yau na eme dyAvA pr*thvI na nakshatrANina sUryah na candramAh
| (mahopanishad)    etc. 

	SrI Sankara gives the following interpretation:  nara refers to
Atman; nAra refers to ether and the other effects produced from it;  He,
as their cause, pervades them and they are thus His abode (ayana).
Hence He is named nArAyaNa.  He gives the following quote from
mahAbhArata supporting this interpretation:

	"narAjjAtAni tattvAni nArANIti tato vidhuh                 |
	 tAnyeva cAyanam tasya tena nArAyaNah smr*tah      ||  (anu.
Parva. 13.1.2)

	"The tattva-s are called nAra since they are sprung from nara
(Atman);  He is called nArAyaNa as they are His abode".   Another
interpretation he gives is "narANAm jIvAnAm ayanatvAt pralaya iti vA -
Whom the jIva-s appraoch and enter (He is the abode of the beings during
pralaya).  This is supported by 'yatpryantyabhisamviSanti' - Whom they
approach and enter - taittirIya upanishad 3.1.  Or He is nArAyaNa since
He is the seat of the nAra-s or the tattva-s - nArANAm ayanam yasmAt
tasmAn-nArAyaNah smr*tah - brahmavaivartapurANa. (Note that this third
interpretation is that He is their seat, whereas the first
interpretation was that they are His seat).  Manu-smr*ti gives the
following definition -

	"Apo nArAh iti proktAh Apo vai narasUnavah      |
	 tA yadasyAyanam pUrvam tasmAn-nArAyaNah smr*tah    ||
(manu-smr*ti 1.10)

	"nAra refers to waters (the panca-bhUta-s before they
inter-mixed and became visible through forms etc.) which He created.  As
they are His original abode (i.e., during prlaya), He is called
nArAyaNa".   SrI satyadevo vAsishTha draws the parallel between the
world being born out of the waters in which nArAyaNa is floating, and
the child that is born out of the mother's womb after being supported by
the waters in the mother's body.  

	In narasimha purANa, we have the following -

	"nArAyaNAya nama ityayameva satyah
	  samsAra ghora visha samharaNAya mantrah   |
	  Sr*Nvantu bhavyamatayo yatayo'starAgA
	  uccaistarAmupadiSAmyaham Urdhva-bAhuh  ||  (narasimha purANa
18.31)

	"This is the real mantra that destroys the deadly poison of
smasAra - nArAyaNAya namah.  This I proclaim loudly with uplifted hands;
let the ascetics, with passions curbed and inteleects clear, listen to
me". 

	SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri reminds us that the mantra-devatA that
we worship through the gAyatri mantra is SrIman nArAyaNa - dhyeyah sadA
savitr*mandala madhyavartI nArAyaNah.  The dharma cakram writer refers
us to divya-prabandham - "nalam tarum Sollai nAn kaNdu koNdEn nArAyaNA
ennum nAmam" to remind us of the greatness of this nAma japam.

 	It is very important to note SrI Bhattar's concluding statement
of  his vyAkhyAnam on this nAma.  He points out that the secret of this
sacred mantra should only be properly learned by approaching an AcArya,
and not by reading the explanations like the one presented.  His words
are that he does not want to say anything more on this nAma because its
greatness can only be learned from an AcArya, and is thus a matter that
should be seen by four eyes (the two eyes of the disciple and the two
eyes of the AcArya)  and not by six eyes viz. he does not want to add
his two eyes further.  So no amount of explanation on paper can bring
out the greatness of this nAma.

247.  narah - a) He who is imperishable.
	b) The Leader.
	
Om narAya namah.

	SrI Bhattar gives the meaning that nara refers to one with
imperishable possessions, both sentient and non-sentient (both of which
are eternal by nature).

	SrI Sankara gives the meaning "Leader" to nara, and gives the
quote from vyAsa (the source is not identified in my book) - nayati iti
narah proktah paramAtmA sanAtanah - Because He directs everything,  the
eternal paramAtman is called nara.  

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha  also starts with the root as nr* naye
to lead, and gives the meaning as nayati - One who leads, or nr*Nati -
One who takes things away.  He is nara since He takes this Universe from
kalpa to kalpa through many kalpa-s.   nara also refers to water or
fluid, since this takes things from one place to another as it flows.
That there was only water everywhere before sr*shTi took place is
supported by the following vedic quote - tama AsIt tamasA
gUDhamagre'prakr*tam salilam sarvamA idam (r*g 10.129.3).

	The dharma cakram writer points out that just as a mother leads
a child with the child's welfare in mind, and does not mind disciplining
the child for its own good when the child goes and eats dirt, or the
teacher tries to discipline a student who is not learning the knowledge
from the teacher, so also nara, viz. mahAvisNu, leads us all for our
good even if He has to mete out some punishment occasionally to get our
ways straightened out.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan