You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : March 1998

SrI vishNu sahasranAmam- Slokam 28.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Thu Mar 19 1998 - 13:25:25 PST

		SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 28.

	Vr*shAhI vr*shabho vishNur_vr*sha-parvA vr*shodarah        |
	vardhano vardhamAnaSca viviktah Sruti-sAgarah                   ||

Om vr*shAhiNe namah
Om vr*shabhAya namah
Om vishNave namah
Om vr*sha-parvaNe namah
Om vr*shodarAya namah
Om vardhanAya namah
Om vardhamAnAya namah
Om viviktAya namah
Om Sruti-sAgarAya namah

257.  vr*shAhI - a) One who shines in the form of dharma.
b)  One who makes His devotees shine like day because of their 
c)  One who makes the day auspicious when the devotee approaches Him.
d)  One who reveals dharma.
e)  One who is the devatA for the vr*shAha sacrifice.
f)  One who has the brightness of agni etc., or is the cause of the 
			brightness of all objects

Om vr*shAhiNe namah.

	This nAma is interpreted differently by different vyAkhyAna-kartAs. 
 The nAma is composed of two words, vr*sha meaning dharma, and aha 
meaning day.  One interpretation is that He shines bright like day 
because of His dharma.  Or He makes those who adhere to dharma shine 
like day.   Both these are given by SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri.  SrI 
Bhattar's interpretation is that He is vr*shAhI because the day on 
which a devotee approaches the Lord, is a day of auspiciousness - 
dharma, i.e., He has the day which is made auspicious because of 
approaching Him.   SrI Sankara's interpretation for this is vr*shah 
dharmah tadeva Ahah - One who reveals dharma.  An alternate 
interpretation he gives is that vr*shAha refers to a ten or twleve-day 
sacrifice, and He is vr*shAhI because He is the performer or enjoyer 
as the devatA for the sacrifice.

 SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the meaning "fire" or "agni" to the 
term vr*sha based on  vr*sho agnih samidhyate (r*g veda 3.27.14), and 
uses ahah to mean brightness or prakASa, and so gives the meaning that 
bhagavAn has the brightness of agni and so is called vr*shAhI.  He 
then generalizes this and says that vr*shAhI really refers to One who 
has the brightness of anything that is bright, such as the Sun etc., 
or in other words, their brightness is because of Him.  So is the 
brightness resulting from knowledge, brightness of life because of the 
jivAtmA, etc., which get their brightness from Him.  He is the only 
one who has svayam-prakASa.

258.  vr*shabhah - a) He who showers (His grace).
		b) He who shines because of His dharma.

Om vr*shabhAya namah.

	varshati esha bhaktebhyah kAmAn iti vr*shabhah.  He gives blessing to 
His devotees and protects them from the fire of samsAra.  He is also 
vr*shbha because He showers all that is desired by His devotees, e.g., 
glowing health, burning devotion, etc.  vr*shAtmanA bhAti - One who 
shines in the form of dharma, is the explanation given by SrI 
rAdhAkr*shna SAstri.

	(dharma cakram):  BhagavAn gives whatever is aspired by the beings, 
according to their efforts.  Of these, the real wish should be to 
realize Him.  All other wishes, while they will also be fulfilled by 
Him for those wish these lesser desires, will only result in sorrow 
after the interim pleasure is over.   The desire should be "acyutA! 
amarar ERE! Ayar tam kozhundE! ennum iccuvai tavira yAn pOy indira 
lOkam ALum acuvai perinum vEndEn".

259.  vishNuh - One who pervades everything.

Om vishNave namah.

	This nAma occurred as nAma 2, and will re-occur as nAma 663.  The 
root from which this nAma is derived is vish - to pervade.  SrI 
BhaTTar gives the meaning that this pervasion is in the sense of 
association such as between fire and smoke.  Wherever there is smoke 
there is fire, but when there is fire, smoke is not necessarily 
present (e.g., in the case of a red-hot piece of iron).  So also, 
bhagavAn is there in association with His bhakta-s always, and renders 
all kinds of help to His devotees as  needed.

	It was mentioned in the introductory article to this series that the 
vyAkhyAna kartA-s give different interpretations to the same nAma 
depending on the context.  Since we are now dealing with the sequence 
of nAma-s which describe the Lord's guNa of helping His devotees in 
fulfilling their desired wishes, this new interpretation is given.

260.  vr*sha-parvA - He who has provided the steps of dharma to reach 

Om vr*sha-parvaNe namah.

	vr*sha is dharma as has been noted before. ParvA refers to steps. 
 SrI BhaTTar's interpretation is that He is vr*sha-parvA because He 
has revealed the steps of
varNASrama dharma as the means to attain Him.  Other vyAkhyAna kartA-s 
have included  various steps such as j~nAna, bhakti, etc. as the steps 
that He has established.  These include SravaNam, mananam, kIrtanam, 
sat-sangham, SraddhA, etc.  These are like the steps of a ladder to 
reach Him.

261.  vr*shodarah - One who has dharma as His mid-region or belly.

Om vr*shodharAya namah.

	Different interpretations are given for this nAma.  One is that He is 
the receiver of all the offerings through yag~na etc., and so He is 
the one with the udara that receives all offerings of dharma.   The 
other is that creations of those who observe dharma such as  Brahma 
originate from His belly.  The third is that this is where He keeps 
all the beings at the time of pralaya, and this is where everything 
originates at the time of re-creation.  In this context, the meaning 
"shower" is used for the word vr*sha.

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha continues to interpret all the previous 
nAma-s and the current one using the meaning "agni" for the word 
"vr*sha".  Thus, He is the One who has agni in His stomach.  This is 
known even for humans that we have the "agni" (the acid) that digests 
our food, there is agni in the centre of the earth, in the centre of 
the sun, the Oceans, etc.  These are reflections of the principle of 
bhagavAn as vr*shodara.

262.  vardhanah - He who nourishes.

Om vardhanAya namah.

	vardhayati iti vardhanah.  One who augments, increases, or nourishes. 
 Following up on the interpretation of the previous nAma, SrI Bhattar 
interprets this nAma as One who keep the beings in His womb like a 
mother and nourishes them.   SrI P. B. aNNa~ngarAcArya svAmi gives the 
meaning that he is vardhana because he 'grows' those who have resorted 
to Him more and more (towards the spiritual path?).  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa 
SAstri gives the example of the offer of one handful of 'aval' - a 
form of compacted rice, by His friend kucela, which was augmented so 
much in return that kucela became richer than kubera.   So is the 
offer of patram, phalam, pushpam, toyam, etc. that we make to Him. 
 Thus He is vardhana because an offer of the size of an atom to Him 
with devotion results in a mountain of return and protects His 
devotees like a mother.  The dharma cakram writer points out that 
while everyone takes all the efforts to grow his body and his wealth, 
the real effort should be in growing the j~nAna and bhakti, and He 
helps those who are devoted to Him in this area, and so He is 

263.  vardhamAnah - He who grows.

Om vardhamAnAya namah.

	In the previous nAma we saw that He makes things grow.  In this nAma, 
it is indicated that He Himself grows as a result or simultaneously. 
 SrI BhaTTar interprets vardhamAnah as one who grows happy as He sees 
His devotees grow.  Or He keeps growing in spite of His bestowing all 
that anyone asks for.  SrI cinmayAnanda points out that this name is 
indicative of the vAmana incarnation in which He continued to grow to 
cover the three worlds.  SrI Sankara's interpretation is "prapa~nca 
rUpeNa vadhate iti vardhamAnah - One who grows or multiplies Himself 
in the form of the Universe".   SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri indicates that 
the 'ca' at the end of vardhamAnah is because He grows at the same 
fast rate at which the Universe is growing.

264.  viviktah - He who is unique.

Om viviktAya namah.

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the root vij - pr*thakbhAve to separate 
or to distinguish as the etymological basis for this nAma.  He gives a 
simple example of a machinist who makes machines but is separate from 
it.  So also bhagavAn creates all the beings and keeps them in shape 
and in action, but is unique and separate from them.  He gives the 
example of two birds in a tree, one enjoying the fruits and the other 
watching and observing, which we have referred to before (dvA suparNA 
sayujA sakhAyA etc. - r*g veda 1.164.20).   This author (SrI 
vAsishTha) has composed one Slokam of his own as the explanation for 
each Slokam of sahasranAma, and I am just sharing one example here:

	"sr*TvA jagat sarva-vidham vidhAtA svayam vivikto hyajaro'marah sah 
	  sahasra-SIrshA sa sahasra-dr*shTih sa sarva-bandhuh sa pr*thak ca 

bhagavAn is unique in many ways.  He is untouched by the effects of 
action unlike His creations (nirlipta).  He is unique because His 
activities are extra-ordinary and superior to those of others in the 
world (SrI BhaTTar).  Or it may mean that He remains unique and 
distinct  even though He pervades the Universe as described in 
previous nAma-s (SrI Sankara).   He is also unique because He is 
beyond our ability to be recognized by our intellect and logical 
analysis alone (SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri;  also recall the ISAvAsya 
upanishad Slokam 4 - anejadekam manaso javIyo ....).

The dharam cakram writer points out that this quality of being outside 
of, and unaffected by, our surroundings, is the true basis of 
accomplishing our mission in life viz. realizing the paramAtmA.  If we 
do not get swayed by the pa~nca indriya-s, then in spite of living in 
the midst of all the noise and pleasures around us, we will be able to 
have control of our mind and divert it to the service of mahA vishNu. 
 This is the significance and lesson to take from this nAma.
265.  Sruti-sAgarah - He who is the sea where all veda-s take us.

Om Sruti-sAgarAya namah.

	Srutayah sAgara iva atra nidhIyante iti SrutisAgarah.  Just as the 
ocean is the final destination for all the rivers, so also all the 
veda-s lead us to Him, and He is thus Ocean for the Sruti-s 
(Sruti-sAgarah).  SrI BhaTTar refers us to SrImad bhAgavatam (2.5.15) 
- nArAyaNa parA vedAh - The veda-s only speak of nArAyaNa, and to the 
gItA 15.15 - vedaiSca sarvaih ahameva vedyah - "I am the only one that 
is to be realized through all the veda-s".

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan