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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 55 - Part 2.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Thu Jul 08 1999 - 05:52:11 PDT

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 55 - Part 2.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma-s 520 to 528 which follow in terms of
the kUrmAvatara. 

520. ambho-nidhih - a) He who has the waters as His abode (kUrma
b) He who is in the form of the Oceans
		c) He who sustains the ambhA-s (devas, men, manes, and asura-s)

om ambho-nidhaye namah.

SrI BhaTTar gives the first interpretation - pAtAlAmbhasi
akhila-jagadAdhAra-pITha nidhIyate iti ambhonidhih - He has kept His
form as a Tortoise in the waters of the pAtAla loka as the base plank
to support the Universe.  The mantra quoted by SrI BhaTTar in support
is "ananta bala Saktaye bhuvanabhr*te kacchapAtmane" - Unto Him of
unlimited power and strength Who supports the worlds in the form of a

nidhi means reservoir, abode, receptacle.  SrI Sa~nkara gives the
second and third interpretations - bhagavAn is the Ocean or the
reservoir of water.  He quotes the gItA - sarasAm asmi Sagarah - 10.24.

His alternate interpretation is based on the term ambhA as representing
the deva-s, the asuras, the people of this world, and the pitr*-s, as
defined in the tait. brAhmaNa 2.3.8 - "tAni vA etAni catvAryambhAsi | 
devo manushyAh pitaro'surAh ||".  Thus the nAma can be interpreted to
mean that bhagavAn is the abode or resting place of all the ambhA-s. 
The dharma cakram writer points out that while these ambhA-s are the
ones who control the rest of the life forms, bhagavAn controls the
ambhA-s, and thus He controls everything.  BhagavAn also supports the
life forms as kUrma mUrti when everything gets submerged under the
water during pralaya.  Thus, this nAma signifies that bhagavAn is the
Support of all life forms at all times.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma as meaning that bhagavAn
establishes (nidhAnam) water in various forms and with various
attributes and sustains life - the blood stream running in several life
forms, the water that seeps through the root from the earth to sustain
the trees and other plant forms, etc.  Water is one of the essentials
in sustenance of life.  He gives the quote from atharva veda - apAm
retAmsi jinvati. 

521. anantAtmA - The Inner Soul of ananta.

on anantAtmane namah.

SrI BhaTTar interprets the nAma as referring to bhagavAn being the
Inner Soul of ananta, who bears the Universe standing on top of the

SrI Sa~nkara's interpretation is that bhagavAn is the Indefinable Soul
(AtmA), not limited by Time, Space, or Substance (ananta).  SrI
rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri elaborates on this further by observing that for
all objects in this Universe, if they are in one place they can't be in
another place, and if they are in one form they can't be in another
form at the same time.  BhagavAn is not subject to these constraints,
signified by the nAma anantAtmA.

522. mahodadhi-Sayah - He Who is reclining in the vast ocean.

om mahodadhi-SayAya namah.

The words comprising the nAma are mahA, udadhi, and Sayah.  SrI
BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam is that BhagavAn lies on the couch-like
serpent-body of ananta in the Milk-Ocean at the time of the final
deluge.  This is expressed by periAzhvAr in periAzhvAr tirumozhi 5.1.7
- veLLai veLLattin mEl oru pAmbai meddaiyAga virittu adan mElE kaLLa
nittirai koLginRa mArgam kANa, and by nammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 3.4.9
- acyutanai anantan mEl naNNi nangu uRaiginRAnai (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan). 

SrI Sa~nkara gives the interpretation that during pralaya bhagavAn
disintegrates everything and reduces them all into one ocean and
reclines in those primeval waters.  

SrI cinmayAnanda suggests that the nAma can also be interpreted as
referring to bhagavAn reclining on a fig-leaf on the waters after the
deluge (Alilai mEl paLLI koNDAn).  

523. antakah - He Who beings out the end of all.

om antakAya namah.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the derivation "antam karoti bhUtAnAm itit antakah".
 SrI BhaTTar gives several supporting quotes.  ante pr*thivyAm salile
dr*Syase tvam mahoragah (SrImad rAmAyaNa, yuddha. 120.23) - "At the
time of the end of this world, Thou art seen on the AdiSesha in the
waters of the deep";  "kalpAnte yasya vaktrebhyo vishAnala Sikhojvalah
|  samkarshaNAtmako rudro nishkramya atti jagat-trayam || - "From His
mouths, at the end of the kalpa, proceeds the venomed fire that,
impersonated as rudra, who is one with balarAma, devours the three
worlds" (vishNu purANam 2.5.19).  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan quotes nammAzhvar
- yAvarum yAvaiyum ellAp-poruLum kavarvinRit tannuL oDu~nga ninRa Azhi
am-paLLiyAr - tiruvAimozhi 2.2.6. 

SrI cinmayAnanda adds that as Time He brings an end to all things thus
creating constant changes in this world, without which no evolution or
creative development is ever possible, and in this sense bhagavAn is
the antakah. 

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan

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