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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 61 - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 18:23:56 PDT

				SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 61 - Part 1.

	su-dhanvA khaNDa-paraSuh dAruNo draviNa-pradah    |
	divi-spRk sarva-dRk vyAso vAcaspatir_ayonijah           ||

om su-dhanvane namah
om khaNDa-paraSave namah
om dAruNAya namah
om draviNa-pradAya namah
om divi-spRSe namah
om sarva-dRSe namah
om om vyAsAya namah
om om vAcaspataye namah
om a-yonijAya namah

572. su-dhanvA - He Who has a splendid bow.

om su-dhanvane namah

The literal meaning is "One who has a splendid bow".  The vyAkhyAna
kartA-s have different anubhavam-s in interpreting the nAma based on
this meaning. 

SrI BhaTTar gives the instance of the fight that ensued between the
deva-s and the asura-s as a result of the distribution of the nectar,
and the resulting demonstration of the splendor of His bow in bringing
about the end to that conflict.

SrI Samkara's interpretation is:  Sobhanam indriyAdi-mayam SAr'nga
dhanuh asya asti iti su-dhanvA - the great bow in His hand represents
His being the controller and supporter of the indriya-s.  SrI
rAdhAkRshNa SAstri refers us to SrI vishNu purANam 1.22.69, wherein
reference is made to the significance of the dhanus in His hand - 

	bhUtAdim indiryAdim ca dvidhA aha'mkAram ISvarah    |
               bibharti Samkha rUpeNa Sar'nga rUpeNa ca sthitam   ||

BhagavAn's dhanus symbolizes the senses (the eyes and the rest), and He
supports the ego or awareness due to the senses (indriya ahamkAra),
represented by the SAr'nga bow in His hand.  (The other verses in SrI
vishNu purANam continue to describe how bhagavAn is the source and
supporter of everything in the Universe as represented by the different
Ayudha-s and aspects of His Form, and thus gives one mode or
representation of a way of meditating upon Him in the forms that are
more easy for the mind to grasp than to meditate on an abstract truth).

References in divya prabandham that convey the sense of this nAma are
(from SrI v.v. rAmAnujan):  tadavarai tOL cakrapANi SAra'nga vil
SevaganE! (periAzhvAr 5.4.4), paramETTi, pavittiran, SAr'ngam ennum vil
ANDAn (tiruppallANDu).

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the analogy of the function of bhagavAn
in protecting the world from the asura-s with His dhanus, just as the
bow-shaped eye-brow protects the eye of everyone from unwanted foreign

573. khaNDa-paraSuh - He with the broken axe.

Om khaNDa-paraSave namah.

Khanu - bhedana = avadhAraNa (khaDi - bhedane- to break), and param
SRNAti iti paraSuh Satram, together make the nAma khaNDa paraSuh - One
with the broken axe (SrI satyadevo vAsishTha).  Alternatively, one can
look at it as khaNDayati SatrUn iti khaNDah, khaNDah paraSuh yasya iti
khaNDa paraSuh - He whose axe punishes or destroys the enemies (SrI
kRshNa datta bhAradvAj) .  

SrI BhaTTar quotes the incident involving bhagavAn's fight with rudra,
where He discharged the axe which became broken.  So bhagavAn says He
is known as "One with the broken axe".

	atha rudra vighAtArtham ishIkAm nara uddharan   |
	mantraiSca samyuyojASu so'bhavat paraSur-mahAn   ||
	kshipataSca sahasA rudre khaNDanam prApavAnstathA   |
	tato'ham khaNDa-paraSuh tatah paraSu-kahNDanAt   ||    (mahAbhA.
Santi. 362.49)

"Then for the destruction of rudra, nara took a reed and by the
recitation of mantras gave new power to it.  At once it became an
immense axe.  It was thrown on rudra with great force.  But then it
broke.  Because of the breaking of the axe, from that time I came to be
known as "khaNDa paraSuh - the Lord with the broken axe".

SrI Samkara interprets the nAma in terms of the paraSurAma incarnation
- where, as Jamadagni's son, He punished His foes.  Alternatively, SrI
Samkara suggests that the nAma can be taken as a-khaNDa paraSuh, He who
wields an invincible axe - the nAma being given as a-kahaNDA-paraSuh in
this case. 

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan quotes irAmAnuSa nURRantAdi-56 which supports the
interpretation in terms of the paraSurAma incarnation - kOkkula
mannarai mUvezhukAl oru kUr mazhuvAl pOkkiya dEvanaip pORRum punitan,
in referring to bhagavad rAmAnuja.   Another reference is to
tiruvAimozhi 6.2.10:  ninRila'ngu muDiyinAi irupattOr kAl araSu kaLai
kaTTa venRi nIr mazhuvA. 

574. dAruNah - a) The Splitter.
b) He who is merciless to those who deviate from the path of virtue.

Om dAruNAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is "bAhyAbhyantara ari dAraNAt dAruNah - As
indicated above, He splits into pieces (destroys) the enemies both
internal and external.  So He is called dAruNah.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan
gives reference to tiruvAimozhi 9.9.2 - igal iDattu aSurargaL kURRam,
and to Siriya tiru maDal 41 - avaTku mUttOnai ven-narakam SerA vagaiyE
Silai kunittAn.  

SrI Samkara vyAkhyAnam is san-mArga virodhinAm dAruNatvAt dAruNah - He
who is harsh and merciless towards those who follow the evil path.  SrI
cinmayAnanda gives a nice explanation that when He punishes anyone, it
is for the ultimate good of the one who is being punished.   "Up to a
point the Lord is All-Mercy, but when He finds out that no other method
can save the individual, like a surgeon at the operation theater, He
appears to be relentless - merciless".

The next few nAma-s are being interpreted by SrI BhaTTar in terms of
bhagavAn's vyAsa incarnation.

575. draviNa-pradah - The Bestower of wealth.

Om draviNa-pradAya namah.

Here SrI BhaTTar refers to the wealth in the form of the SAstra-s - He
gave the substance of all the SAstra-s and their meaning.   The dhyAna
Sloka on vyAsa is:

	vahan vai vAma hastena sarva SastrArtha samcayam    |
               dakshiNena ca SAstrArthAn AdiSamSca yathA sthithAn   ||

"vyAsa holds in his left hand the collection of all the SAstra-s  and
their purport, and propounds by his right hand (the upadeSa mudrA) the
true import of all the SAstra-s".  nammAzhvAr calls bhagavAn "paNbuDai
vEdam paranda payan" in tiruvAimozhi 6.6.5.  

SrI Samkara interprets the nAma more generically - "The Bestower of the
wealth as desired by the devotee".   SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri explains
that draviNam derives from the concept that it is wealth that is fluid
- drava - that can be used right away as needed.     SrI satyadevo
vAsishTha derives the meaning for draviNa as wealth from dravati
-gacchati iti draviNam dhanam - that which never stays in one place. 
He gives the following references from the Sruti in support of the
interpretation for the nAma:

  dadhAti ratnam draviNam ca dASushe agne sakhye mA rishamA vayam tava
(Rg. 1.94.14) 

  yatkAmAs te juhumas tanno astu vayam syAma patayo rayINAm (yajur.

The dharma cakram writer has written his explanation for this nAma in
Vol. 45.5 of dharma cakram, the beauty of which is lost somewhat in
translation.  He describes wealth as of two kinds:  preyas and Sreyas. 
Preyas is that which causes priyam or worldly satisfaction.  Sreyas is
that which gives spiritual satisfaction.  To the first category belong
the material wealth, the official position, the wife, the husband,
children, etc.  preyas gives problems at one stage or the other. 
Sreyas removes all problems and sufferings, and leads to moksham
ultimately.  After getting the wealth of Sreyas, there is nothing more
to get.  Preyas is transient wealth, and Sreyas is permanent wealth. 
BhagavAn is ever ready to give either of the wealths one seeks, and
most go after the transient worldly pleasures, and very few seek

There is the vedic story of naciketa, who requested the wealth of
Sreyas from yama, and yama offered to give him the preyas instead. 
naciketa told yama that he did not need yama's help for preyas, because
he could get that by his own effort;  yama's help was needed only for
Sreyas, since this is something that cannot be obtained by one's own
effort alone.  The lesson to take for us is that we should pray to
bhagavAn for Sreyas, since this is the wealth that we cannot attain by
our own effort and without His Grace.  This is the tAtparyam behind
this nAma. 

-To be continued.
-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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