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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 36.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (nkrish_at_lucent.com)
Date: Fri Jul 10 1998 - 09:11:14 PDT

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 36.

	skandah skanda-dharo dhuryo varado vAyu-vAhanah       |
	vAsu-devo br*had-bhAnuh Adi-devah purandarah           ||

om skandAya namah
om skanda-dharAya namah
om dhuryAya namah
om varadAya namah
om vAyu-vAhanAya namah
om vAsudevAya namah
om br*had-bhAnave namah
om Adi-devAya namah
om purandarAya namah

329. skandha - He who dries up (destroys).

om skandAya namah.

skandayati  Soshayati iti skandah - One who destroys the asura-s and other
evil-doers (SrI BhaTTar).  skanda also can mean One who melts like butter
when it comes to helping His devotees, or flows like nectar in the thoughts
of His bhakta-s - skandati iti skandah (This is one interpretation that SrI
Sankara gives).  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives reference to gItA - senAnInAm
aham skandah (gItA 10.24) - I am skanda among the chiefs of armies.  Here
skanda refers to subrahmaNya, who is considered the chief among the chiefs
of armies.  

330. skanda-dharah - The Supporter of skanda.

om skanda-dharAya namah.

(SrI BhaTTar) - BhagavAn is the supporter of skanda, the commander-in-chief
of the army of gods.  The above quote from gItA thus states that skanda is a
part of bhagavAn's vibhUti or glory.

SrI Sankara's interpretation for the term skanda is "righteous path - dharma
patham", and so the vyAkhyAna he gives is that bhgavAn is the upholder of
the path of dharma.

331. dhuryah - The Supporter.

om dhuryAya namah.

One of the meanings for the word 'dhur' is load.  He bore the weight of the
mandara mountain in His kUrma incarnation, and so He is the Supporter.  He
is also the Supporter of the Universe - bhuvana-bhr*te.   SrI satyadevo
vAsisshTha gives an alternate meaning also for the word "dhur" - the front
part of an object, and interprets the nAma to mean that bhagavAn is the
mArga-darSi or one who shows the path for everyone.

332. vara-dah - The Grantor of boons.

om varadAya namah.

varAh abhIpsitah arthah, tam dadAti iti vara-dah.  varam also means "the
best", and so One who gives the best to those devotees who pray to Him with
detachment is vara-da.  The dharma cakram writer reminds us that the best
for us is "nalam tarum Sollai nAn kaNDu konDEn nArAyaNA ennum nAmam" per
tirumangai AzhvAr.  Needless to say what one gets by chanting the nAma of
nArAyaNa - "kulam tarum Selvan tandiDum aDiyAr paDu tuyar Ayina ellAm nilam
taram Seyyum.... peRRa tAyinum Ayina Seyyum".  

333. vAyu-vAhanah - He who has vAyu as His vehicle.

om vAyu-vAhanAya namah.

BhagavAn rides on and drives vAyu, the life-breath of the world.  In
tiruvezhukkURRirukkai, we have - mEdagum aim-perum bhUtamum nIyE - He
controls the pa~nca bhUta-s such as air etc.

The dharma cakram writer points out that while air is very important for us
to live, this nAma should remind us that mahA vishNu who makes the air move
is just as important to us, and thus we should learn to meditate on Him.

SrI Sankara gives the vyAkhyAna that bhagavAn controls the atmosphere in the
seven regions of space.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri describes in detail about
these seven regions which are controlled by seven different sons of kaSyapa
and diti, because of the powers given to them by bhagavAn.  They are called
the sapta-maruta-s.  Six of these regions are listed by many of the authors.
These regions are:  the space between earth and the clouds, that between the
clouds and the sun, that between the sun and the moon, the moon and the
stars, the stars and the planets, and the planets and the sapta-r*shi
manDala.  It is said that it is because of the pressure exerted by these
regions of air that the various stellar objects keep from colliding with
each other.

The next 12 nAma-s are interpreted by SrI BhaTTar as referring to adhyAtma
vAsudeva or para vAsudeva form of bhagavAn.  Prof. A. SrInivAsa rAghavan
notes that coincidentally, the vAsudeva mantra also has 12 akshara-s in it.


334. vAsu-devah - He who pervades and sports.

om Vasu-devAya namah.

This nAma occurs again as nAma 701.  The name indicates that bhagavAn is
vAsu and He is deva.  vAsu is derived from vas - to reside and to envelope.
sarvam vasati - everything lives in Him, and sarvatra vasati - He lives
everywhere.  He is vAsu since He lives in the world making it live within
Himself like a mother and also protects it by covering it like a bird that
protects its young ones with its out-spread wings.  He is deva because He
plays, wishes to conquer, and shines.   He also protects the beings as
described above (vAsu) as a leelaa, and so He is vAsu-deva.  The word deva
is derived from div - krIDAyAm - to play.  So all His acts are leelaa-s. 

The following quotes are given by SrI Sankara and SrI BhaTTar to support the
interpretation:

	"chAdayAmi jagad-viSvam bhUtyA sUrya ivAmSubhih     |
	 sarva-bhUtAdhi-vAsaSca vAsu-devah tatah smr*tah          ||
                                                  -moksh dharma 12-328-36)

	"Like the sun with his rays, I am covering the whole universe, and
also I am residing in all beings;  hence I am called vAsudeva". 

	"vasanAt sarva-bhUtAnAm vasutvAt deva-yonitah        |
	 vAsudevastato j~neyah yogibhis_tattva darSibhih        || (udyoga
69-3)

	"I am the abode of all beings, and with a divine form I live in all
of them.  Therefore I am known as vAsudeva by the yogi-s who have realized
the truth".

	"sarvatrAsau samastam ca vasatyatreti vai yatah    |
	 tatah sa vAsudeveti vidvadbhih paripaThyate       || (vishNu
purANam 1.2.12)

	"Learned men declare that bhagavAn is called vAsudeva because He
abides in all things, and al things abide in Him".

	"sarvANi tatra bhUtAni vasanti paramAtmani    |
	 bhUteshu ca sa sarvAtmA vAsudevastatah smr*tah  || (vishNu purA.
6.5.80)

	"All beings remain in the paramAtman, and He is in all beings; hence
the omnipresent is called vAsudeva".

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan points out that bhagavAn got this name also by His
incarnation as the son of vasudeva.   The dharma cakram writer brings out
the subtle point that bhagavAn is in everything and everywhere, and yet
successfully conceals Himself from all except His devotees.   He
successfully conceals Himself while being present in everything as the
antaryAmi, controlling the air, the sun, the planets, etc., having
svayam-prakASa, etc.  

SrI BhaTTar points out that like the nAma nArAyaNa, this nAma is also a
rahasyam whose meaning should be learnt from an AcArya, and so is not
discussed in further detail.

335. br*had-bhAnuh - He of profuse luster.

om br*had-bhAnave namah.

br*hat means huge, very large.   bhAnu means rays.  SrI Sankara gives the
following reference:

"br*hanto bhAnavo yasya candra sUryAtigAminah    |
	  tair-viSvam bhAsayati yah sa br*had-bhAnurucyate  ||  (udyoga
70.4)

	"He, whose great rays surpass the sun, moon, and others, and He who
illuminates the universe through them, is called br*had-bhAnuh".

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives the support from muNDakopanishad - na tatra
sUryo bhAti na candra tArakam nemA vidyuto bhAnti kuto'yamagnih | tameva
bhAntam anubhAti sarvam tasya bhAsA sarvamidam vibhAti (2.2.10).  The sun
and moon get their luster from Him.

The dharma cakram writer points out that while the sun gives light to the
external world, BhagavAn gives light to the Sun as well as the light needed
for us to realize our internal self.

336. Adi-devah - The First Deity.

om Adi-devAya namah.

That He sports with the worlds as He pleases is indicated by the nAma
Adi-devah.  As was seen earlier in "vAsu-devah", the term deva refers to His
leelA or sport in creation, protection, and destruction of all the beings.
He plays with the act of creation etc. just like a child playing on the
seashore by building and smashing sand-castles (SrI v.v.rAmAnujan).  "akhila
bhuvana janma sthema bhangAdi leele" - It is His sport to go through this
cycle of creation, protection and destruction.

SrI Sankara's vyAkhyAnam is "Adih kAraNam" - The First Cause.

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives the definition from niruktam - "devo dAnAdva
dIpanAdvA dyotanAdvA dyusthAno bhavati (7.25) - deva is one who gives in
plenty, one who shines and makes others shine, and one who dwells in space".
BhagavAn is Adi-deva in this sense.

337. purandarah - The destroyer of cities (of asura-s etc.).

om purandarAya namah.

puram dArayati iti purandarah.  In tripura samhAram by Siva, bhagavAn became
the arrow for Siva, and in addition, being the antaryAmi for him, helped in
the destruction of the three cities.  "puramoru mUnRerittu" - tiruvAi mozhi
1.1.8 (SrI v.v.rAmAnujan).   SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that the
term puram is also used to refer to the three SarIra-s viz. the sthUla,
sUkshma, and kAraNa sarIra-s.  He is purandara because He has torn apart
these three and is the AtmA beyond these three SarIra-s.  

 -dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan