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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 35.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Thu Jul 02 1998 - 15:28:00 PDT

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 35.

	acyutah prathitah prAnah prANa-do vAsavAnujah            |
	apAm nidhiradhishThAnam apramattah pratishThitah      ||

om acyutAya namah
om prathitAya namah
om prANAya namah
om prANadAya namah
om vAsavAnujAya namah
om apAm-nidhaye namah
om adhishThAnAya namah
om apramattAya nmah
om pratishThitAya namah

320. acyutah - He who does not fall from His status.

om acutAya namah.

This nAma occurred previously (nAma 101).   The different interpretations
have been covered there.  

The additional material below was not covered earlier.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan
adds the following reference from rAmAyaNa -

	"mitra-bhAvena samprAptam na tyajeyam kathancana dosho yadyapi tasya
syAt " - "No matter what flaws a person has, if he has come to Me seeking My
friendship, there is no way that I will abandon him under any circumstance".

SrI rAmAnujan also gives the reference to divya prabandham - 

	"kArtigaiyAnum kari-mugattAnum kanalum mukkaN-mUrtiyum mODiyum
veppum mudugiTTu" - the reference here is to the story of bANAsura who was
abandoned by the other devatA-s when he approached them for protection.  Not
so with bhagavAn - na me bhaktah praNaSyati - "My devotee will never perish"
 - gItA.

Another meaning for acyta is One who does not slip from His position - na
cyuta iti acyutah. The dharma cakram writer points to the passage in
muNdakopanishad which describes the two birds sitting in different branches
of the tree, one tasting the fruit and the other just watching the bird that
is tasting the fruit (of karma).   This has been described in a previous
write-up.  BhagavAn is the acyuta, from His superior position, watching the
jIvAtmA which is tasting the fruits of karma in this case.

321. prathitah - One who is famous, One who is of great reputation.

om prathitAya namah.

The nAma is derived from the root prath - to become famous (prath - prakhyAn
 - prasiddhi).  This fame can be associated with the previous nAma - His guNa
of being acyuta, or on account of His creation, sustenance, etc. of the
Universe.  Supports for the interpretation are:  "tasya nAma mahad-yaSah" -
taittirIya nArAya... 1.9; "yaSasaSca eka bhAjanam" - rAmAyaNa - kishkindA ..
15.19; perumai uDiaya pirAnAr - tiruvAi mozhi - 1-6-9; nagar-il- pugazhAi -
tiruvAi mozhi - 6-10-10.

The dharma cakram writer points out that the fame that is derived from
things such as wealth, position in life, etc. are impermanent and disappear
as soon as the underlying cause that resulted in this fame disappears.
This is not the case when the fame results from adherence to dharma, and in
this case the fame is permanent.  This is as evidenced by the cases of
hariS-canDra, the pANDava-s, prahlAda, hanumAn, etc.  BhagavAn is prathitah
for the same reason i.e., He is  satya-parAkrama, satya, satya-kAma,
satya-samkalpa, satya-vrata, etc., and so He is prathitah. 

322. prANah - The Life-Breath.

om prANAya namah.

He is prANa for those who resort to Him (SrI BhaTTar).  He is also the
life-energy for all beings (SrI Sankara) - prANo vA aham asmi - aitareya
AraNyaka 2.2.3).  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to prabandham - ulagukkE
Or uyirumAnAi - tiruvAi mozhi 6-9-7.

The next 11 nAma-s are interpreted by SrI BhaTTar as describing the kUrma
(Tortoise) incarnation. 

323. prANa-dah - The Life-Giver.

om prANadAya namah.     

Since He gave the strength to the deva-s to churn the Milky Ocean, He is
prANa-dah (SrI BhaTTar).  SrI Sankara gives the interpretation that He is
the Life-giver to everyone (deva-s and asura-s), and also gives an
additional interpretation using the meaning dyati - cuts - He cuts the
strength of asura-s.   SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the following
explanation - prANan dadAti dyati khaNDayati va sa prANa-dah - BhagavAn both
gives life to all beings, and takes away the life of all beings when the
time comes, and so He is prANa-dah in both senses. 

The dharma cakram writer points out that the different aspects of our life
and body - such as our thoughts, our words, etc., are all different
reflections of the prANa in us.  Without prANa, our life will cease to
exist, and our body will cease to function.  But by controlling this prANa,
we can control our body and all its actions.  There is no limit to what can
be achieved by having control over our prANa or breath.   This nAma of mahA
vishNu should teach us that the prANa that has been given to us by Him
should be used for good purpose.

324. vAsavAnujah -  The younger brother of vAsava or indra.

om vAsavAnujAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar says in his vyAkhyAna that this nAma refers to BhagavAn being
born as the younger brother of indra in order to help him get the nectar
which he wishes to have.    SrI v.v.rAmAnujan points out that the reference
in this nAma is NOT to upendra or vAmana (nAma 153).   I am unable to
explain what this incarnation is.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives an interpretation which does not involve a
reference to indra.  He interprets vAsavAnujah to mean One who has entered
into everything in this world  - 

		vasati sarvatra vaste sarvam iti vA vAsuh ISvarah;  vAsoh
idam vAsavam sarvam jagat;  vAsavam jagat anujAto = anupravishTo
vAsavAnujah. 
		 
325. apAm-nidhih - The Sustainer of the waters of the ocean.

om apAm-nidhaye namah.

SrI BhaTTar continues his interpretation of this nAma based on the kUrma
incarnation, and points out that this name indicates that He sustained the
great Ocean when it was being churned.

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to tiruvAi mozhi - appanE! Azh-kaDalaik kaDainda
tuppanE! (4.7.5).

SrI Sankara gives the meaning "The Ocean" to this nAma based on "Apo yatra
nidhIyante sah apAm-nidhih - The place where the waters get collected in
abundance".  He also gives reference to the gItA - sarasAm asmi sAgarah -
Among lakes I am the Ocean - gItA 10.24.   SrI cinmayAnanda points out that
the glory and might of the oceans are but a tiny reflection of bhagavAn's
glory divine.  

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri takes the anubhavam of this nAma a step further and
points out that just as the waters of all the rivers and canals ultimately
reach the ocean and lose their identity, so also those who worship BhagavAn
become one with Him.  In this sense He is apAm-nidhih, or the Ocean where
everybody merges in the end.

The dharma cakram writer points out that just as the ocean is the beginning
and the end for the water (by evaporation of the waters of the ocean, the
vapor rises, condenses and comes back in the forms of rain, which then forms
the rivulets and rivers, and these in turn go back to the ocean), so also
the beings of this world originate  from Him, and ultimately merge back into
Him.  Just as the good water as well as the dirty water gets into the ocean
but then lose their identity and get merged into the ocean, so also the
jIvAtmA-s attain equality without distinction when they reach Him.  Unlike
the bounds which man can place for the lesser bodies of water, there is no
bound that he can place for the ocean - another reflection of BhagavAn as
apAm-nidhih or Ocean.  Though the external surface of the ocean is full of
waves, its deep inside is peace incarnate, and in this sense also He is
apAm-nidhih.

326. adhishThAnam - The Support.

om adhishThAnAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets this as referring to His supporting the mandara
mountain in His kUrma incarnation.   He gives reference to vishNu purANa in
support - 

	"kshIroda-madhye bhagavAn kUrma-rUpI svayam harih       |
	 mandarAdreh adhishThAnam bhramato'bhUt mahA-mune   ||  (1.9.88)

	:Bhagava nArAyaNa Himself, in the form of kUrma, supported the
mandara mountain in the middle of the Milk Ocean when the mountain was
revolving (at the time of churning)".

SrI Sankara gives the more general meaning that He is adhishThAnam because
He is the basis or support for everything in this Universe - adhithishThanti
bhUtAni.  

327. apramattah - The Vigilant.

om apramattAya namah.

He is extremely attentive in the protection of those who are in distress
(SrI BhaTTar).  pramatta refers to one who is careless or inattentive.
apramatta refers to His guNa of extreme vigilance in protecting those who
have surrendered to Him - ASrita-rakshakan.   SrI Sankara's interpretation
is that He is vigilant in awarding the effects of karma to those who are
entitled to them.   SrI cinmayAnanda points out that pramada refers to one
who makes errors in judgment, and apramatta is One who does not make errors
in judgment.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that the vigilance here
could also refer to bhagavAn being very careful and vigilant in distributing
the nectar that came out of the churning of the Milk Ocean to the
appropriate persons.

The dharma cakram writer points out that the lesson we should take from this
nAma is that we should always be vigilant about the thoughts that enter our
mind, and ensure that our thoughts do not stray towards the pleasures of
indriya-s but instead meditate on Him constantly.   Just as a thief would
not enter a house where people are awake, negative thoughts won't enter
one's mind when one is awake and vigilant in the thought of bhagavAn.
Whenever negative thoughts enter one's mind, one should divert those
thoughts to positive energy by chanting bhagavAn's nAma instead.  This is
the lesson one should take from this nAma.

328. pratishThitah - He who is self-dependent.

om pratishThitAya namah.

One who is supported and established in His own greatness, without any
support from external sources.  The following upanishadic quote echoes this
explanation almost verbatim - 

	"sa bhagavah kva pratishThita iti | sve mahimni" - (chAndogya
7.24.1)

	To the question "Where is bhagavAn firmly established?", the reply
is "In His own greatness".

In vishNu dharma (72.2), we have a similar statement - "sve mahimni sthitam
devam" - "The Lord who rests on His own greatness".

One who supports the rest of the Universe obviously is not supported by
something external, since then His support will depend on something else.
We get our greatness from our wealth, our fame, etc., which are all
impermanent; not so with bhagavAn - His greatness is not dependent on
impermanent things.

SrI cinmayAnanda explains this nAma in terms of cause and effect.
Everything else in this Universe has its cause, and thus everything else is
an effect.  Unlike this, bhagavAn is the Ultimate Cause. 

The lesson we should take from this guNa of bhagavAn is that we should learn
to depend on the One who is Permanent in this Universe, and not be dependent
on all the impermanent things such as wealth, fame, etc.  The dharma cakram
writer gives the example of pANdava-s and kaurava-s.  We are constantly
reminded of the impermanent things in life by the occurrence of aging,
death, loss of fame, friend becoming enemy, etc., and all these should teach
us that the life that is to be led is by meditating on the One who is
Permanent, viz. bhagavAn.  

 -dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan