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From: M K Sudarshan (
Date: Sat Jul 05 1997 - 22:16:43 PDT

srimathE lakshmi-nrsumha parabrahmaNE namaha
sri vedanta guravE namaha

Dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s", 

The second Verse of the "bhishma-stuthi" is equally as sonorous and
meaningful as the first which we discussed at length in previous posts #1 to

Verse #2 goes as follows :

                     triBhuvana-kamanam tamAla-varNam
                       ravikara-goura-varAmbaram daDhAnE  I
                       vijayasaKhE ratirastu mEnavadyA  II

(Meaning : He is the One who was Arjuna's bosom-companion, the same One whom
the three-worlds are in search of; the One of Beauteous Form clothed in
finery whose colour is of sunrise-hue; the One of lustrous looks --- He is
the One I beckon before me, here and now !)

The word "vijaya-saKhE" in the above verse is extraordinarily evocative !

It is an unusual "nAma" for Lord Krishna ! It is an epithet with which the
Lord has been rarely addressed anywhere in the scriptures, "ithihAsA-s" or
"purAnNA-s". It is not found even in the celebrated "Vishnu-sahasranAmam"
--- the 1008 nominations of Divinity which BhishmAchArya-r himself composed !

And yet, it is the name of "vijaya-sakhE" which the "vyAkhyAna-kartA-s" (in
the line of our "achAryA-parampara" of the "Idu-mUpathArAiyirap-padi") hail
as the one appellation Lord Krishna most dearly wished to be addressed by
his devotees!
"vijaya-sakhE" --- the bosom-companion of Vijayan (Arjunan) --- is said to
be a "nAmA" very dear to the Lord since it is especially evocative of His
endearing quality of Condescension i.e. "illameyinai" (tamil) or "parAdInam"
(sanskrit). The name instantly brings to mind the many instances in the
'KrishnAvatAra' when the Lord simply abandoned His Exalted state
("tanmiyainai-marandu !") as "para-brahmham" and deigned or "stooped" to
carry out the most menial of tasks, errands and commandments at the bidding
of His devotees (quality of "Asrita- paratantram")! 

Our "pUrvAchAryA-s" have extensively and richly provided "vyAkhyAnam-s" for
the "nAmA" "vijaya-sakhE" and they enumerate therein the many wondrous
events and "vibhavA-s" in the Lord's "krishnAvatAra" all bearing testimony
to His utterly disarming quality of Condescension --- a quality that made
Him "hobnob" and "rub shoulders" with the mass of common humanity

The "achAryA-s" have reportedly made 360 different statements (in the
"padi-s") each explaining esoterically and profusely why Lord Krishna is
most aptly addressed as "vijaya-saKhE" (bosom-companion of Arjuna)! Each of
those 360 statements written in stirring "mani-pravAlam" style begins with a
brief narration of the exploits of Lord Krishna in His "avatAra" and ends
with the refrain,

 "..... athan-nAl-allavO "vijaya-sakhE" engira ukthi-pirandadhu !" 

When read altogether, the enumerative statements of our "AchAryA-s", each
ending with the afore-mentioned refrain, sound like a euphonic, choral
litany and is very pleasing ("ramyam") to one's ears and mind. At the same
time the Lord's quality of "parAdInam" and "asrita-paratantram" gets deeply
etched in our imaginations!

Just a few samples of the "mani-pravaLam" passages are given below for the
enjoyment of those members on the "list" who are inclined to savour it (all
360 statements will probably require a separate series of transliterative
posts on the "bhakti-list" !):

(errors in transliteration may please be pardoned):

(A) "vazhizhUm tAnAy,
     av-vazhivarUm mArgamUm tAnAy,
     av-vazhi adaiyUm nilaiyUm tAnAy,
     nilai tandha tArakanAy,
     niyamikkUm irai-vanUmAy,
     iraivanakkUm iraivana~yUmAy,
     muzhuvEzh ulag-gukkam nAthanAy,
     kolla-mAllA inba vellamAy,
     kolla kurai vinAy,
     sarva-mum tAnAy irukkam padi yAna,
     tanmayinai marandu,
     tan-illayimayai kAttin~athan-nAl anrO
     "vijaya-sakhE" engira ukti pirandadu !!"
(B) "vijaya-sakhE" engira ukti piranda-du !
     uruvUmmUm-tAnAi, aravamUm tAnAi,
     olizhAy ! sudarAzhAy ! mattrUmAy !
     mUttrUmAy tAnum engUm tanmaiyinai marundu
     pArthanukku pEr-Utta saulabhya
     nilaiyai kand-allavO 

    "vijaya-sakhE" engira ukti pirandadu !!

(C) "avanE-ninru tam chudarAy 
     tani ulagai kula-utrukkUm nAdanay,
     mUv-ulag-gUkkUm nAdanAy,
     tani uruvvai irrukum-padi-yAna mahA-sannidi-yai
     tAnE alpa thOzhil-Etru
     sArathiyA irrUkkUm padi yAna
     tanmayinai kari~shith~allavO
    "vijaya-sakhE" engira ukti pirandadu ! 

And so on, it goes .... the 360 enumerative litany in the "vyAkhyAnam-s" of
our "AchAryA-s" as they illustrate, exemplify, annotate, allude, cross-refer
and elaborate on the single 'nAmA', "vijaya-sakhE", and bring out, in a
cascading torrent, its many associations with the the many exploits of Lord
Krishna in his "avatarA" !!

In 360 statements, composed in the most lilting "mani-pravAla" prose-poetry
that one's ears can ever be privileged to listen and enjoy, the word
"vijaya-sakhE" is shown to be the most exquisite "nAmA" ever coined in the
annals of our holy literature to denote the wondrous quality of
"condescension" or "parAdinam"/ "Asritha-paratantram" exhibited by the Lord
as a mere "thOzhan" ("side-kick" or factotum !) of Arjuna !   

We must pause a moment here to examine the subject of the Lord's "nAmA-s".

Why is it that in our Faith so much fuss is made about "bhagavanAmA" (The
Lord's many names and sobriquets) ? Why is the 1000-versed
'Vishnu-sahasranAmam' universally celebrated by all who abide by the Vedic
religion ? What is in the utterance of a "nAmA" that glorifies the Lord as
no other form of worship can equal ?

Let's try and answer the questions in the next post.

srimathE srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha