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From: Krishnamachari, N. (krish_at_ihmail1.ih.lucent.com)
Date: Mon Jul 14 1997 - 08:53:56 PDT

 			Sri VishNu SahasranAmam - Names 18 to  24..

18.  yogah - One Who alone is the definite and unobstructed means to
salvation.

	The word yoga is derived from the word yujyate which means "with whose
help the goal is attained".

	The author of Nirukti summarizes Sri Bhattar's interpretation thus:
"sAkshAt moksha eka hetutvAt yoga iti abhidhIyate"  - He is called Yoga
because He is the one sure means for true salvation.

	Sri Chinmayananda refers us to Chapter 2 stanza 48 of the Gita, wherein
yoga is defined as the
state of detachment in the consequences or benefits of one's actions  -
sidhyasidhyoh samo bhUtvA samatvam yoga ucyate.    One could say that
BhagavAn is one for .whom this samatva is natural without any external
means or effort, and so He is yogah Himself.

	Sr Sankara gives the meaning "Union"  for the word yoga.  .In his
bhAshya we find the following:

	" jnAnendriyANi sarvANi nigrhya manasA saha     |
                  ekAtma bhAvanA yoga: kshetrajn-paramAtmanoh   ||
	    tadavApyatayA yoga iti yogavitAm vidu:                    ||"

"Yoga is the process of realization of union with God through control of
the senses of cognition along with the control of the mind.  Since
BhagavAn can be reached by yoga, He is himself called yoga"..  It is
unclear from the text of Sankara BhAshya that I have whether the above
are Sri Sankara's own words, or whether he is quoting some sruti.  If
any of our Bhaka-kotis can clarify this, I would be very grateful.   Sri
Ramanuja, in his GItA BhAshya (stanza 9-22 referred to under the next
nAma) seems to use this meaning (i.e., union with God) for the word yoga
as well.

19.  yogavitAm netA - One who leads those who practise yogA until they
reach their Goal.

	From Sankara BhAshya, a yoga-vit is one who inquires into, realizes, or
acquires yoga - yogam vidanti, vicArayanti, jAnanti, labhanta iti vA
yoga vidah.   Nayati iti netA - one who leads . 

	In GItA, Sri Krishna says:  

	"ananyAs-cintayanto mAm ye janAh paryupAsate     |
	   teshAm nityAbhiyuktAnAm yoga-keshemam vahAmyaham  ||  (GItA - 9-22)

	" On those who meditate on me with single-minded devotion,  those that
want to be with Me unceasingly, I confer on them .the Bliss of .union
(yoga) with Me constantly and never returning back to samsAra again
(the safety or kshema)"

20.  pradhAna purusha Isvarah - One who is the Lord of Primordial Matter
as well as the Jivas.

	PradhAna here refers to the cause of bondage, and purusha refers to the
jivAtmA.  Perhaps the easiest way to understand the concept of prakrti
or pradhAna is through the following explanation for the Brahma Sutra -
deha yogAdvA so'pi - This conealment of the true nature of jiva is
caused by the contact with the body (at the time of creation) or by the
contact with the Primordial Matter (prakrti or pradhAna) at the time of
deluge.  Thus prakrti or pradhAna can be conceived of as the
undifferentiated or 'asat' form of the bondage of the jiva, and the
sarIra or body can be conceived of as the sat form that keeps the jiva
in bondage.

Chapter 13 in the Bhagavad Gita  deals elaborately with the concepts of
prakrti and jIvAtmA and their interrelationship to each other.   In
sloka 19 of chapter 13, BhagavAn points out that both prakrti and
purusha have always existed, and this nAma indicates that He is the Lord
and Master of both.  "prakrtim purusham caiva vidyanAdau ubhAvapi".
prakrti can be considered to  be composed of rajas, tamas and sattva,
and from these all the rest such as the panca bhUtas, the eleven
indriyas, the five indriya-gocaras, etc. arise.  These are explained in
detail in the gItA bhAshya by TirukkaLLam Sri NrsimhAchArya. 

21.  nArasimha vapuh - One who  possesses  a body of man and lion
combined.

	The .guNa to be enjoyed here is that BhagavAn instantaneously assumes
any form - no matter how unusual it may have to be - to help His
devotees the moment the request is made, and he takes the form that
removes the fear of His devotee (PrahlAda), and at the same time
terrorizes His enemy (HiraNyakasipu).  Ths nAma also signifies that
BhagaVan is ever ready to remove all impediments to devotion to Him.

	Sri Radhakrishna Sastri in his commentary on Sahasranama .goes into
this guNAnubhava further.  The nara and simha sarIra combined in one is
uncommon, unusual, and out of the ordinary.  The lion is the strongest
and .bravest among the four-legged animals in existence.  Man is the
most evolved intellectual being  in His creation.  Thus it would make
sense if God had assumed a form with human head and lion's body.  for
the objective of destroying His powerful enemy.  Not so; it was exactly
the opposite - the head of a lion which is not the most intellectually
evolved, and the body of a human which is not the strongest body for the
feat.    The author points out that this form  indicates to us that the
Lord's uniqueness and omnipotence are Universal, and not dependent on
any part of the body such as the brain in the head or the form of the
etc.   This is also illustrated by the HayagrIva form. 

	In normal course of life, something that originates from a jada form
such as the pillar should be expected to be a jada form, and one that is
born to a living mother should be a life-form.  Here, the narasimha
avatAram illustrates the  opposite, which can happen only because
BhagavAn is the divya purusha.

22.  srImAn - One with a lovely form.

	In the context of the uncommon and frightful form of nara-simha that we
encountered in the previous nAma, one would not normally expect this to
be a form of beauty.  Not so in the case of BhagavAn, since His form is
celestial, charming and beautiful.  It is difficult to translate the
description that Sri Bhattar has given in Sanskrit - soundarya
lAvaNyAdibhih ati-manohara divya rupa.  

	Sri Sankara interprets this name  as One who has Lakshmi always with
Him in His vaksha-sthala - yasya vakshasi nityam vasati srI: sa srImAn.
And for this reason, even though He has the form of a man-lion, there is
no diminution in His beauty. 

23.  kesavah - One with lovely locks of hair.

	The name can be derived from the word kesa - hair.  He is beautiful not
only because he has Lkashmi with Him, but because He is naturally
beautiful.   "prasastah kesAh santu asya iti kesavah.

	An additional interpretation for this name, which is supported by
VishNu purANa, is given by Sri Sankara.  This interpretation says that
kesava derives from the fact that KrishNa is the destroyer of the demon
Kesi who was sent to kill the child KrishNa by Kamsa.  

	"yasmAt tvayaiva drshTAtmA hatah kesI janArdana:    |
	   tasmAt kesava nAmnA tvam loke jneyo bhavishyati  || "

However, the name kesi-hA appears later on in the stotra, and this
literally means the destroyer of kesi.  So a different interpretation
here will be appropriate since otherwise there is the punarukti dosha,
or the fault of repetition.   In fact, the name kesava itself repeats
later on in the stotra, and we will wait to see what interpretation the
great vyAkhyAna kartAs are going to give us at that time (kesavah
kesi-hA hari: ). 

24.  purushottamah - The Supreme amongst the purushas (i.e., individual
souls).

	Purushebhya: uttama:, purushANAm uttama:, purusheshu uttama: are all
possible derivations for this nAma.

	We find the uttama purusha (purushottama) described in more detail in
the Gita in sloka 15.16 and 15.17.    Here the purushas are described as
of two kinds - the kshara or those who have the association with prakrti
and are under the bondage of samasara, and the akshara or the muktas who
are released from bondage.  The uttama purursha is different from either
of these kinds of purushas, and is the paramAtmA who supports the
acetana and the chetans who are either the baddhas (purushas under
bondage)  or muktas (purushas released from bondage)..

	In Gita 15-18, Lord Krishna summarizes the above as follows:

	"yasmAt ksharam atIto'ham aksharAdapi cottama:     |
	   ato'smi loke vede ca pratithah purushottama:           ||  

"Because I am superior to both kinds of purushas - the kshara and the
akshara, all the srutis and smrtis praise Me as purushottama."

.As I am going through some of the above concepts on prakrti, pradhAna,
purusha, etc., I may be misrepresenting the concepts since I have not
done kAla-kshepa with AcAryas or learned these from gurus.    So I would
like to invite our Bhaktakotis to correct me wherever I am wrong or am
misrepresenting the concepts.  I am continuing with this effort simply
because I have no other way of learning in my current circumstances.  So
I request forgiveness for my inadvertent mistakes.

-DAsan KrshNamAchAryan  



 

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