You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : January 1999

SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 46.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Sun Jan 31 1999 - 05:44:01 PST

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 46.

	vistArah sthAvara-sthANuh pramANam bIjam-avyayam         |
	artho_'nartho mahA-koSo mahA-bhogo mahA-dhanah              ||

om vistArAya namah
om sthAvara-sthANave namah
om pramANAya namah
om bIjAya-avyayAya namah
om arthAya namah
om anarthAya namah
om mahA-koSAya namah
om mahA-dhanAya anamah

427. vistArah - a) He who spreads (the veda-s).
	b) He who is spread out in everything.
	c) He who expands to contain everything (at the time of pralaya).
 
om vistArAya namah

After destroying the kali yuga by force in His kalki incarnation, bhagavAn
establishes the kr*ta yuga and then spreads dharma through the veda-s.  

SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the mahAbhArata:

	tatah adharma vinASo vai dharma-vr*ddhiSca bhArata       |
	bhavishyati kr*te prApte kriyavAn ca janas-tathA              ||
(mahA. vana. 191.7) 

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr - kaliyum keDum kaNDu koNmin;
tiriyum kali-yugam nI~ngi devargaL tAmum pugundu peria kida yugam
paRRip-pErinba veLLam peruga (tiruvAimozhi 5.2.1,2).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha points out that bhagavAn is vistArah because He
spreads Himself out in the form of all the beings He has created and all the
objects in the universe.  Then at the time of pralaya, all these merge back
into Him, and He expands Himself to contain all the things.  Thus the nAma
visTara applies both to His being spread out in all objects, and His
spreading out to contain all the objects within Himself.  SrI vAsishTha
gives reference to the yajur-veda - tadantarsya sarvasya tadu sarvasyAsya
bAhyatah; ISAvAsyam idam sarvam yat-kim ca jagatyAm jagat; etc.  He also
gives the example of a seed expanding to a tree, and the tree being
contained in the seed back again. 

The dharma cakram writer adds another dimension to the anubhavam of this
nAma.  He observes that the viSva-rUpa that bhagavAn showed to arujuna is an
illustration of this nAma.   This form with infinite faces, infinite eyes,
with no beginning or end, with all the beings including all the deva-s
contained in this form, with the Sun and the moon as His eyes, and with no
top, middle or bottom,  illustrates His nAma "vistArah".  svAmi vivekAnanda
once made a statement to the effect that "Life is to expand", meaning that
we get closer and closer to God by expanding our love to Him and  our desire
to reach Him.  This is what the nAma "vistArah" should remind us.

428. sthAvar-sthANuh - a) He who is tranquil after establishing the dharma
in kr*ta yuga.
	b) He in whom the earth etc. rest
	c) He who is motionless, and in whom the earth etc. rest.

om sthAvar-sthANave namah.

SrI BhaTTa's vyAkhyAnam is "evam dharme sthAvari_kr*te, Same sthAsyati iti
sthAvara-sthANuh", which supports interpretation a) above. 

SrI Sa~nkara interprets the nAma as "sthitiSIlah sthAvarah; sthitiSilAni
pr*thivyAdIni tishThanti asmin iti sthANuh; sthAvaraSca asau sthANuSca
sthAvara-sthANuh".  This is translated slightly differently by two different
interpreters.  One is that the apparently motionless objects such as the
earth etc., rest in Him.  The other interpretation is that this nAma refers
to "He who is firmly established, and in whom the apparently motionless
entities such as the earth are established, and He is both of these".  

SrI cinmayAnanda gives the interpretation "He is both Firm (shtAvara) and
Motionless (shtANuh)".  He is motionless because He is All-pervading.  

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri explains sthAvara as referring to the pa~nca bhUta-s
that will continue till the time of pralaya, sthANuh as referring to One
whose state does not change, and interprets sthAvara-sthANuh as referring to
One who does not change in His state, and in whom the changeless pa~nca
bhUta-s exist.  The tamizh word "tAvaram" is related to the samkr*t word
"sthAvara".   

 SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that just as the road does not move even
though people keep moving on it, and the mother walks but the child in her
womb does not walk with her, so also bhagavAn has created all that is around
us but He Himself is sthAvarah.

429. pramANam - The Authority.

om pramANAya namah.

The root from which the nAma is derived is mA mAne to measure, to compare
with.  pramANam is that through which everything is ascertained.  In this
case it refers to bhagavAn who is the final proof or authority for
everything.  SrI satyadevo vAsishTha points out that bhagavAn created this
Universe the way He wanted, including the decision on how many species
should exist and what attributes they should have, etc., and so He is the
pramANam or authority for everything.

The nAma occurs again as nAma 959.  SrI BhTTar interprets the current
occurrence as referring to His being the authority to decide what is good
and what is bad for the people in the kr*ta yuga, after the kalki
incarnation.

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri defines pramANam as that ability which helps us
decide between good and bad through data acquired using our sense organs
(ears, eyes, etc.).  BhagavAn is the One who controls this, and so He is
Himself pramANam.

430. bIjam-avyayam - The Seed Imperishable.

om bIjAya avyayAya namah.

The nAma is bIjam (seed) that is avyayam (imperishable).  Because dharma
grows again and again from Him after the end of each yuga, He is the
Imperishable Seed (SrI BhaTTar).

SrI Sa~nkara vyAkhyAnam is that He is the cause of everything without
Himself undergoing any change (anyathA bhAvavyatih ekeNa kAraNam).  The
dharma cakram writer gives a slightly different interpretation - Unlike some
seeds which may not produce a tree and which may decay in the form of the
seed itself, bhagavAn is the undecaying seed from which the Universe
results.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri refers us to gItA 9.18 - (aham)
bijam-avyayam. SrI rAmAnuja bAshyam for this passage in gItA is "tatra tatra
vyaya-rahitam yat kAraNam tad aham eva" - "I alone am the imperishable seed
that is the exhaustless cause everywhere".    SrI satyadevo vAsishTha refers
us to the vedic passage "ajAyamAno bahudA vijAyate", which conveys a similar
message.  He also gives a passage from vaiyAkaraNa defining the term avyayam
-

	sadr*Sam trishu li~ngeshu sarvAsu ca vibhaktishu         |
	vacaneshu ca sarveshu yan-na vyeti tad-avyayam           ||

which can be approximately translated as "That which is equal and
indistinguishable in the three genders and numbers as well as in its various
declensions". 

431. arthah - The Goal - He who is sought after.

om arthAya namah.

That which is obtained or desired to be obtained is "artha".   SrI BhaTTar
refers us to gItA - "j~nAnavAn mAm prapadye vAsudeah sarvam iti" (7.19).
SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is "sukha rUpatvAt sarvaih arthyata iti arthah" - He
who is sought after by all as He is of the nature of bliss.  SrI
rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri remarks that there are many things in this world which
are sought after with a view to deriving happiness, but they all end up in
resulting in misery after they are acquired and enjoyed.  Unlike these,
bhagavAn is sought after by those who have the j~nAna to know that He is the
only one to be sought for permanent bliss. 

432. anarthah - a) He who is not the goal for some.
	b) He who is self-fulfilled and does not have any other end to seek.

om anarthAya namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar explains that He is not sought after by those who have only a
little merit.  They seek Him if at all, only for wealth.  These are those
who want to regain their lost wealth, those who wish to acquire new wealth,
and those who seek the enjoyment of their own self (kaivalyam) without
seeking kaimkaryam to bhagavAn.  

SrI Sa~nkara bhAshyam is that bhagavAn is completely fulfilled and so does
not need any artha (i.e., He does not seek anything), and so He is anarthah.


The dharma cakram writer has devoted about one-and-a-half pages to this
nAma, and nicely describes how the current-day human being goes to great
lengths to make himself/herself comfortable, and in the process keeps making
life miserable.  The needs just keep increasing the more new things are
invented.  The atom bomb is invented, and instead of protecting man it
becomes a threat to worry about.  More and more cosmetics are invented, and
more and more diseases result as a result of their use.  More and more
things are invented to satisfy our taste buds, and more and more problems
result because of over-consumption.  This nAma should illustrate to us that
life that does not keep multiplying our needs is the life that will
ultimately lead us to the mental state where we can contemplate on bhagavAn.


433. mahA-koSah - a) He who has a great treasure.
	b) He who is a Great Treasure.
	c) He who is shielded by the five koSa-s or shields.

om mahA-koSAya namah.

koSa means treasure. mahA-koSa refers to vast, inexhaustible treasure.  Even
though BhagavAn is giving away Himself and His belongings always to His
devotees in all ways, still it does not diminish.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers
us to "Unam il Selvam enko?", pointing to the undiminishing Affluence called
BhagavAn.  

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha observes that from this Great Treasure-chest
(mahAkoSah) viz. bhagavAn, come out all these different worlds, and the
different life-forms in each of these worlds, but the Treasure-chest is not
in anyway diminished by this.  We see this demonstrated even in day-to-day
life, in that the waters of the ocean never diminish even though the water
is constantly evaporating.  So also, the beings are born one from the other
just because of the mahAkoSa.  

SrI Sa~nkara's interpretation is based on the meaning "shield" for koSa.
This interpretation is that the real nature of the soul is shielded by the
five koSa-s, anna maya koSa, prANa maya koSa, mano maya koSa, vij~nAna maya
koSa, and Ananda maya koSa, and bhagavAn is the mahAkoSa who is shielded
from all except the yogi-s.  The dharma cakram writer points out that by
control of our indriya-s we can cross the anna maya koSa, by control of
breath we can cross the prANa maya koSa, by control of the mind the manomaya
koSa is crossed, by channeling one's intellect and through control of
worldly desires and passions we can cross the vij~nAnamaya koSa, and through
meditation on the Self we cross the Anandamaya koSa, and ultimately realize
bhagavAn. 

434. mahA-bhogah - He who has objects of great enjoyment.

om mahA-bhogAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar: He who has objects of great enjoyment.  Great sensual
gratifications which have got to be acquired by means of wealth, they too
can be had from Him.  The objects of desires that are obtained by the
worship of indra and other gods is but a blessing of bhagavAn - "labhate ca
tatah kAmAn mayaiva vihitAn hitAn" - gItA 7.22.

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to nammAzhvAr 3.10.3 - muttu il pal-bhOgattoru
tani-nAyakan - bhagavAn has limitless and unbounded bhoga-s.

The dharma cakram writer points out that among the joys that one gets, there
are those which are conducive to desirable benefits, and there are those
which lead to misery as a result of the enjoyment.  When one eats food for
satisfying hunger, this does not lead to suffering, but when one consumes
food to satisfy the taste buds, it is of the later kind.  The enjoyment
involving gambling, intoxicating drinks, stealing other's wealth, etc., are
bought at the price of misery as a consequence.  The term mahAbhogah
indicates that bhagavAn is the source of the bliss that is the greatest of
all joys that lead to positive benefits, the one that leads to Self
realization.

435. mahA-dhanah - He of great wealth.

om mahA-dhanAya namah.

He is endowed with immeasurable and unlimited wealth to be given to those
who need it.  SrI BhaTTar quotes vishNu purANa - 

	marIcimiSraih daksheNa tathaiva anyaih anantatah       |
dharmah prApatah tathA ca anyaih arthah kAmah tathA paraih   || -
                                                                      vishNu
purAna 1.18.23

"dharma in an endless manner has been obtained from Him by the revered
marIci, daksha, and others.  Similarly wealth has been obtained from Him by
others.  Likewise, by yet others kAma (the sensual enjoyment) has been
acquired".

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that He is the possessor of the great
wealth that can be put in the mahAkoSa - great treasure chest (nAma 433),
and that is needed for the mahAbhoga - great enjoyment  (nAma 434).

The dharma cakram writer discusses three kinds of wealth - material wealth,
knowledge, and devotion.   The first two can be attained by anyone
irrespective of their character etc.  Those who have material wealth or
knowledge are praised by the people of this world, and as a result get
intoxicated with pride.  But the third category of wealth is rewarded and
praised by bhagavAn, and does not lead to anything except bhagavAn Himself.
Lord rAma during His paTTAbhishekam gave away lots of material gifts to the
participants, but He did not give any material gift to hanumAn.  When siTa
pirATTi asked rAma about this, He told her that He has already given to
hanumAn what nobody else knows, and that she can find out what it is from
hanumAn himself.  When asked, hanumAn shows Lord rAma and sItA residing in
His heart.   This is what vishNu's nAma of mahAdhanah indicates, viz. that
He gives away the greatest wealth there is, Himself, to His devotees.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha adds that He is mahAdhanah because He has wealth
that leads to absolute bliss, never diminishes, immense, cannot be counted
or measured, and is prayed for by everyone else. 

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan