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SrI vishNu sahasranAma - Slokam 54 - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Tue Jun 08 1999 - 15:24:47 PDT

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 54 - Part 1.

		somapo'mr*tapah somah purujit puru-sattamah    |
		vinayo jayah satya-sandho dASArhah sAtvatAm patih   ||

om somapAya namah
om amr*tapAya namah
om somAya namah
om puru-jite namah
om puru-sattamAya namah
om vinayAya namah
om jayAya namah
om satya-sandhAya namah
om dASArhAya namah
om sAttvatAm-pataye namah

505. somapah - a) He who drank the soma juice after performing
sacrificial offerings in His rAma incarnation.
		b) He who, in the form of the deity being invoked in a yaj~na, 
accepts the soma juice by the householder performing the yaj~na.

om somapAya namah.

soma juice is the extract from a plant, and is the most important
ingredient in ancient sacrificial offerings.  SrI BhaTTar's vyAkhyAnam
is that the nAma signifies that Lord rAma performed several yaj~na-s,
and drank the juice from the soma plant after performing these
sacrificial offerings.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the additional  interpretation that bhagavAn accepts
the offering of the soma juice in all sacrifices in the form of the
deities to whom the sacrifice is addressed. 

The dharma cakram writer points out that the juice of the soma plant is
comprised of a constituent that gives long life - like nectar.  This is
offered first to the deva-s to whom the yaj~na is dedicated, and then
the yajamAna partakes of this prasAdam.  

506 - amr*tapah - The drinker of ambrosia.

om amr*tapAya namah.

amr*ta refers to ambrosia or nectar.  SrI BhaTTar gives two
interpretations for this nAma depending on -pah in the nAma being
interpreted as pibati - drinks, or pAti -protects.  The oblations
offered in sacrifices as prescribed in the veda-s along with the
recitation of mantra-s are transformed by the god of fire into ambrosia
and given to vishNu - "yat ki~ncit hUyate vahnau
havir-mantrair-vidhAnatah   |  tat sarvam amr*tam kr*tvA vishNave
samprayacchati  || .   Thus bhagavAn is the drinker of the nectar -

The alternate interpretation is that bhagavAn Himself is the amr*ta,
and He protects it for the benefit of His devotees so that they can
enjoy Him in the Transcendental World after following the path of
dharma shown by Him in the discharge of daily duties in this world. 
The Sruti-s quoted in support are:  amr*tasya esha setuh
(muNDakopanishad 2.2.5) - He is the bridge for the amr*ta i.e., the
procurer of the nectar; yasya chAyA amr*tam (tai. yaju. 4.1) - He whose
shadow is ambrosia i.e., He whose protection is amr*tam itself. 

SrI Sa~nkara refers to the incident of mohini incarnation in the
context of this nAma, where bhagavAn restored the amr*ta stolen by the
asura-s, protected it, made the deva-s drink it, and also drank
Himself.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri suggests that since bhagavAn is in
the form of deva-s who drink the nectar, He is amr*tapah, the drinker
of ambrosia.  

SrI cinmayAnanda comments that as the Infinite Truth bhagavAn enjoys
blissful immortality (amr*tatvam) at all times, and in this sense He is
One who has partaken of amr*tam.
507. somah - a) The Nectar.
	b) The moon.

om somAya namah.

BhagavAn is called soma (nectar) here because He is sweet like nectar
to the bhakta-s who enjoy Him.  SrI BhaTTar gives reference to SrImad
rAmAyaNam - rAj~nA daSarathenAsi labdho'mr*tamiva amaraih (AraNya.
kANDam) - daSaratha obtained rAma like the necatar by the gods. He also
refers us to the Sruti - Santi samr*ddham amr*tam (tai. SIKshA. 6) -
Brahman is replete with tranquility and immortality (amr*tam). 
BhagavAn's tirunAmam ArAvamudan expresses the same idea - The Insatiate
Nectar.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives references to divya prabandham - 

ANDAL - manattukku iniyAnai pADAvum nI vAi tiravAi - in tiruppAvai;

 The outpouring by nammAzhvAr in tiruvAimozhi 10.7.2 - enakkut tEnE!
pAlE! kannalE! amudE! - He is everything to me, like honey, milk, sugar
candy, nectar, etc.   

nammAzhvAr again in tiruvAimozhi 2.5.4 - eppozhudum nAL ti~ngaL ANDu
Uzhi torum appozhudukku appozhudu en ArA amudamE! - You are Insatiate
Nectar to me always, no matter how much I enjoy you - for days, months,
years, yuga-s.  You are the fresh nectar every time, even if I have
your anubhavam continuously.

soma also refers to the moon.  SrI Sa~nkara uses this meaning in one of
his interpretations for  this nAma.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri and SrI
cinmayAnanda gives reference to gItA 15.13 in support - pushNAmi
caushadhIh sarvAh somo bhUtvA rasAtmakah - Becoming the moon radiating
the life-giving rays, I nourish all herbs.  The interpretation of soma
here as referring to the moon is given by tirukkaLLam SrI nr*simhAcArya
svAmi in his gItA vyAkhyAnam.

508 - puru-jit - The Conquerer of all.

om puru-jite namah.

SrI Sa~nkara gives the vyAkhyAnam - purUn - bahUn jayati iti puru-jit -
He who conquers many.  SrI BhaTTar refers to SrImad rAmAyaNam in
support of his vyAkhyAnam giving this meaning.  King daSaratha pleads
with kaikeyi to spare him from the torture of separation from rAma who
is the personification of everything that is good.  In this context, he
tells kaikeyi - rAma has conquered the world through truth, the poor by
charity, the teacher by his dedicated service, and the enemies by His
mighty bow, i.e., He has conquered many or all.

	satyena lokAn jayati dInAn dAnena rAghavah  |  
	gurUn SuSrUshayA vIro dhanushA yudhi SatravAn   ||  (ayodhyA. 12.29)

This same guNa of bhagavAn viz. puru-jit, is referred to by tiruma~ngai
AzhvAr in periya tirumozhi 1.10.2 and 4.3.5 (SrI v.v. rAmAnujan): 
ila~ngaip patikku anRu iRaiyAya arakkar kulam keTTu avar mALak
koDip-puL tirittAi! (1.10.2), and tI-manttu arakkar tiRal azhittavanE
(4.3.5).  SrI rAmAnujan also observes that Lord rAma has the
distinction of winning over three from the same family - rAvaNa was won
over by His valor, vibhIshaNa by His dharma and character, and
SUrpanakhA by His appearance.  Thus again He has conquered many through
many means.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha extends the interpretation to cover the whole
Universe which is under the control of bhagavAn - asa~nkhyAta tArAgraha
upagraha sahitam tathA vana-upavana samudrAdi sahitam kha-gola bhUgola
Atmakam sarvam viSvam yena vaSikr*tam sa puru-jid vishNuh - He who has
under His control all the constellations, the lands, the oceans, the
different worlds, all the souls, and everything there is, is puru-jit.

The dharma cakram writer observes that the same attributes that helped
rAma win over everyone viz. dharma, truth, humility, etc., are the same
attributes that we need in life to overcome obstacles in life.  When
obstacles arise for those who practice these traits, these should be
only taken as temporary incidences that are meant to reinforce their
faith in following the good traits that ensure ultimate success.  This
was true in the case of hariScandra and the pANDava-s.  This nAma of
bhagavAn should teach us to follow the traits that will ensure success
in life in the long run. 

509. puru-sattamah - a) He who remains with the great.
		b) He whose form is of cosmic dimensions, and who is the best of all.

om puru-sattamAya namah.

There are many different interpretations for this nAma.  SrI BhaTTar's
vyAkhyAnam is that bhagavAn remains with many great ones such as
hanuman who are always desirous of drinking the ocean of His
nectar-like qualities.  He gives the following words of hanumAn in

	sneho me paramo rAjan! tvayi nityam apratishThitah    |
	bhaktiSca niyatA vIra! bhAvo nAnyatra gacchati          ||  (uttara.

	"O King!  My love for Thee is very great and it is firmly planted in
Thee.  O Warrior!  My devotion to Thee is even more steady.  I cannot
think of going anywhere else (leaving this world where Thou hast
enslaved me)". 

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to tiruma~ngai AzhvAr - Sindai tannuL
nI~ngAdirunda tiruvE! maruviniya maindA! (tirumozhi 4.9.2); and EttuvAr
tam manattuLLAn - tirumozhi 1.8.4.

SrI Sa~nkara interprets the nAma as consisting of two attributes, puruh
and sattamah, the first referring to the multi-faced, multi-headed,
multi-eyed, multi-dimensioned, viSva-rUpa form, and the second
referring to His being the best of all, sattama.  viSvarUpatvAt puruh,
utkr*shTatvAt sattamah.    

SrI cinmayAnanda gives the meaning "great" to the word puru, and
interprets the nAma as bhagavAn being the Greatest among the great.  He
opines that the pATham purushottamah is used in some versions for this
nAma, and the meaning then is given in terms of purushah and uttamah -
Omnipresent and Best.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma in terms of three
constituents of the nAma - puru, sat, tama.  Taking sat to mean
existence here, He is far superior to anything that exists, since
everything except Him is impermanent or anityam, and He is the only
nityam.  A trivial example for lack of a better one is the relative
impermanence of a pot compared to the maker of the pot.  Thus the
interpretation given is that of the amr*tatvam of bhagavAn. 

The dharma cakram writer gives the meaning  "He who shines through many
great forms", and refers to the vibhUti yoga in SrImad bhagavad gItA. 
He is the Sun and the moon in those that shine, sAma veda among veda-s,
indra among the deva-s, etc.  

-To be continued.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan


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