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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 64 - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 20:40:16 PST

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 64 - Part 1.

	anivartI nivRttAtmA samksheptA kshema-kRc_chivah    |
	SrIvatsa-vakshAh SrI-vAsah SrIpatih SrImatAm-varah    ||

Om anivartine namah
Om nivRttAtmane namah
Om samksheptre namah
Om kshema-kRte namah
Om SivAya namah
Om SrI-vatsa-vakshase namah
Om SrI-vAsAya namah
Om SrI-pataye namah
Om SrImatAm-varAya namah

603. a-nivartI - a) He who does not turn away those who are inclined to
come back to this world.
		b) He Who does not turn away from His battles with the asura-s.
		c) He Who does not turn away from dharma under any circumstance.
		d) He whose creations never turn back in their shape, form etc. till

Om a-nivartine namah.

The term nivartana means causing to return, returning, turning back

a) SrI BhaTTar:  na nivartayati iti a-nivRtI.  For those who are
attached to the pravRtti dharma, bhagavAn does not let them turn away
from samsAra - (pravRtti dharma nishTargaLai samsArattai viTTu
nivarttikkac ceiyyAdavar - SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi)  

b) and c):  SrI Samkara gives two alternate interpretations.  1.
devAsura samgrAmAt na nivartata iti a-nivartI - He who never turns away
in His battles with the asura-s; and 2. VRsha priyAt dharmAt na
nivartata iti a-nivartI - He who, being devoted to dharma, never turns
away from it.

d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation - na nivartitum
SIlam asya iti a-nivartI - He who does not have the characteristic of
coming back.  He elaborates by pointing out that bhagavAn's creations
are such that they do not lose their attributes until the end of
creation, until pralaya.

In summary, two main interpretations are given:  a) SrI BhaTTar -
(samsArAt) na nivartayati iti a-nivarti - One who does not let those
who observe pravRtti dharma turn back from samsAra, and   b) SrI
Samkara - na nivartata iti a-nivartI - One who does not turn away
Himself from certain things.

604. nivRttAtmA -  a) He whose Nature is superior to other things.
                b) He who is the AtmA of those who practice the nivRtti
		c) He whose nature is that He is free from the bonds of samsAra.
		d) He whose mind is turned away from worldly attachments.
		e) He whose mind turns away from any feeling of self-glory over His
kIrti or fame. 
		f) He who naturally turns away from the objects of senses.
		g) He who does not turn away from anywhere because of He is
om nivRttAtmane namah.

This nAma is one of the two nAma-s that occur 4 times in SrI BhaTTar's
interpretation (231 - Slokam 25, 453 - Slokam 48, 604 - Slokam 64, and
780 - Slokam 83).   (The other nAma which occurs 4 times in SrI
BhaTTar's interpretation is prANa-dah).  Please see the write-ups under
Sloka-s 25 and 48.  The write-up below supplements the previous

nivRtti refers to detachment.  SrI BhaTTar uses the word in this sense,
as also with the meaning "superior" - nivRttam - udgatam - superior. 
His interpretation of the nAma in Slokam 25 uses the meaning
"superior", indicating that bhagavAn's Nature rises above all other
things.  The interpretations of the other three instances of the nAma
are based on the meaning "detachment", and correspond to d) for nAma
453, b) for nAma 604, and  e) for nAma 780.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan elaborates on how bhagavAn is the AtmA of those who
practice the nivRtti dharma (interpretation b).  These are the jIva-s
who do not have any interest in pravRtti dharma, and live their lives
with the soul objective of doing kaimkaryam to Him.  They are not
interested in any fruit out of their action except the bhAgyam of doing
kaimkaryam to Him.  BhagavAn gives them exactly that, namely He gives
them His lokam from where there is no return to samsAra - viNNulagam
taruvAnAi variaginrAn (tivuvAimozhi 10.6.3).    In fact, even though
bhagavAn is AtmA of these nivRtti dharma practitioners just as He is
AtmA of all other creations, yet He considers that these nivRtti dharma
followers are His soul, that is, He cannot live without them. 

SrI rAmAnujan also gives his anubhavam of bhagavAn's detachment from
any feeling of self-glory over His greatness (interpretation e).  Here
He is, creating this great wonder with all its innumerable creatures
and all the planets and the different worlds.  He is the svAmi of all
these worlds - vIRRirundu Ezhulagum tanik kOl Sella; varambilAda mAyai
mAya! varambilAda kIrtiyAi! (tiruccanda viruttam 96).   With all this
greatness, one would expect that He should have some attachment of
ownership to His wonderful creation, and pride of this great creation
of His.  Yet, He does not have any of this sense of pride, and is only
interested in our welfare instead, in whatever He does.  Such is His
In the four instances where SrI BhaTTar uses the nAma nivRttAtmA as
referred to above, SrI Samkara uses the nAma nivRttAtmA in Sloka-s 25
and 64,  the nAma vimuktAtmA in Slokam 48, and gives interpretations
using the pATha as a-nivRttAtmA or alternatively as nivRttAtmA in
Slokam 83. 

His interpretations are:  

Slokam 25:  "He whose nature is that He is free from the bonds of
samsAra - samsAra bandhanAt nivRtta AtmA svarUpam asya iti nivRttAtmA".

Slokam 64:  "He who naturally turns away from material pleasures -
svabhAvatah vishayebhyo nivRtta AtmA manah asya iti nivRttAtmA".

Slokam 48, where Samkara pATham is vimuktAtmA: "He who is the free Self
- svabhAvena vimukta AtmA yasya iti vimuktAtmA".  Note that He is
unbound by the effects of karma, and so by nature He is vimukta AtmA -
the unbound Self.   

Slokam 83:  a-nivRttAtmA:  "He who never turns away from anywhere
because He is omnipresent - sarvatra vartamAnatvAt a-nivRttah kuto'pi
iti a-nivRttAtmA.  If the nAma is taken as nivRttAtmA, SrI Samkara's 
interpretation is:  "By nature He turns away from the objects of the
senses - nivRtta AtmA mano vishayebhyo asya iti vA nivRttAtmA". 

SrI cinmayAnanda observes that the significance of the nAma lies in
indicating to us that we have to detach our mind from sense indulgences
in order to realize Him.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri notes that bhagavAn is
the only one who can retrieve those who are attached to all kinds of
material and sense objects, beause He is the only one who is not
attached to anything.   Only the one who is not stuck in the mud can
retrieve one who is stuck in it.   

Summarizing the four instances of this nAma, bhagavAn is called
nivRttAtmA because His Nature is superior to all other things, He
showed how to practice the nivRtti dharma in His incarnation as
nara-nArAyaNa, He is the soul of those who practice the nivRtti dharma,
His nature is that He turns away from material pleasures, sense
objects, etc., and He turns away from any self-glory about His
immeasurable greatness and instead does everything only for the
pleasure of His devotees.

605. samksheptA - a) He who constrains or limits (the field of light of
knowledge of those who practice the pravRtti dharma).  
		b) He who, at the time of cosmic dissolution, contracts the expansive
Universe into a subtle state.
		c) He who minimizes the misfortunes of His devotees.

Om samksheptre namah.

The term samkshepa means shortened, abridged, contracted, etc. (e.g.,
samkshepa rAmAyaNam).   Different vyAkhyAna kartA-s have different
anubhava-s of this guNa of bhagavAn.

a) SrI BhaTTar continues to interpret this nAma in relation to his
vyAkhyAna of the previous nAma-s, in terms of pravRtti and nivRtti
dharma-s.  Thus, his interpretation in the current instance is that
bhagavAn constrains the knowledge field of those who observe the
pravRtti dharma such that they don't see the light completely, and are
born again in samsAra instead of attaining Him.  Associated with birth
in this world, there is a diminution of the natural knowledge
consistent with the pUrva karma-s.

b) SrI Samkara interpets His constraining act in terms of the
contraction of the whole Universe in His body in a subtle form -
vistRtam jagat samhAra samaye sUkshma rUpeNa samkshipan - samksheptA.  

c) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the interpretation that He is
samksheptA because He reduces or minimizes the misfortunes of His
devotees - samkshipati nyUnayati bhaktAnAm vipattIh iti samksheptA.  

d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha's anubhavam of this nAma is that bhagavAn
contracts a huge tree in the form of a small seed, and the same dharma
applies to all of His creations in the whole huge Universe.  

e) SrI cinmayAnanada and SrI anatakRshNa SAstri point to an alternate
pATham, with the nAma being given as a-samksheptA, meaning He who never
abandons His devotees.  

The dharma cakram writer remarks that the deeper we get involved in
this worldly life, the more we are contracting or constraining our
knowledge of Him.  The purpose of life properly lived is to expand the
knowledge of Him.  Those who live a life of involvement in the material
and sensual aspects of life, are living and yet not living (that is,
they have not achieved the purpose of this precious life).

The idea to take from the different interpretations is that bhagavAn
incorporates different constraints on His creatures as part of the
administration of dharma and as part of the administration of His
function of the cycle of creation.  This is seen in  different forms:
in the form of limiting the knowledge of the followers of the pravRtti
dharma, the form in which the huge tree is contained in a small seed,
the way in which He assimilates all the innumerable jIva-s into Himself
at the time of pralaya, the way in which He minimizes the suffering of
His devotees, etc.

606. kshema-kRt - a) He who does what is good for His devotees.
		b) He who protects what has been acquired by His devotees.
Om kshema-kRte namah.

SrI BhaTTar:  BhagavAn does what is good for the practitioners of
nivRtti dharma by removing the obstructions to their knowledge. 

SrI Samkara:  upAttasya kshemam - parirakshaNam karoti iti kshema-kRt. 
This ha been translated differently by two different translators.  SrI
T. S. kRshNamUrti gives the translation - He who gives kshema or
protection to those who go to Him.  SrI R. anantakRshNa SAstri gives
the meaning - He who protects what has been acquired by His devotees.  

SrI cinmayAnanda notes that bhagavAn not only preserves that which has
been attained by His devotees, He also helps them attain what has not
been attained so far - ananyAS cintayanto kshemam
vahAmyaham - gItA 9.22.  Here yoga refers to what has not been attained
yet, and kshema refers to what has been already acquired.  tirukkaLLam
SrI nRsimha rAghavAcArya svAmi explains yoga and kshema as follows: 
a-labdhasya lAbho yogah, labdha rakshaNam kshemah - attaining something
that we don't have is yoga, and preserving what we have is kshema.  SrI
kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives a similar explanation - aprAptasya
prApaNam yogah, yogasya rakshaNam kshemah.  BhagavAn gives yogam in the
form of moksham to the devotee who longs for it, and then gives kshemam
by making sure he does not lose it (kshemam).  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives
reference to nammAzhvAr - perum tunbam vEraRa nIkki tan tALin kIzh
SErttu avan Seyyum SEmattai eNNit teLivuRRE? - tiruvAimozhi 7.5.10. 
Note that the kshemam referred to here is moksham.   

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the meanings: dwelling or residing -
nivAsa, going or in movement - gati, to diminish or extinguish -
kshaya, to hurt or cause pain - himsA, etc. to the word kshema,
starting from the roots kshi kshaye, kshi nivAsa gatayoh, and kshi
himsAyAm, in addition to the traditional meaning, to bestow welfare. 
He thus gives the interpretation to the nAma as indicating that
bhagavAn resides in everyone and everything (nivAsa), He gives it
movement (gati),  and in the end He takes away the soul from the body
(kshaya).  He knows the beginning, the end, and the in-between of all
the jIva-s.  Hence He is kshema-kRt in all the senses. 

The dharma cakram writer gives the analogy of a mother who protects the
child when the child is in her womb, and then for as long as the child
seeks the mother's support, she provides this support by loving the
child even more than her own self.  That is the way bhagavAn looks
after His devotees (bhagavAn bhaktan mIdu pittuk koNDuLLAr).  

This nAma should remind us that it is He protects us, and does whatever
is good for us no matter what He does.

607. Sivah - a) He who gives auspicious things to His devotees.
		b) He who purifies those who meditate on Him.
		c) He in whom the whole Universe rests at the time of pralaya.
                d) He who resides in everything and everywhere.

Om SivAya namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar:  Sivam karatvAt Sivah - He does what is auspicious for
all whether they desire the enjoyment of worldly pleasures or whether
they seek moksha - whether the aspirant is a bubhukshu or a mumukshu.  
SrI BhaTTar refers us to 

- SrI mahAbhArata - Sivo SivAnAm a-Sivo a-SivAnAm - He does good for
the good, and bad for the bad.  
- SrI vishNu purANam (6.7.62) - samsAra moksha sthiti bandha hetuh  -
He is the cause of the bondage of wrldly existence, also for the
release from it.

SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to tirumozhi 1.1.9 - aruLoDu peru
nilam aLikkum nAraNan, and to tiruvAimozhi 1.5.7 - SeDiyAr Akkai
aDiyAraic cErdal tIrkkum tirumAl.  

The idea emphasized here is that a) whatever He does is for our good,
and b) He does whatever we deserve to get based on our karma.

b) SrI Samkara:  He is Sivah because He purifies everyone by the mere
remembrance of His name. 

c) Both SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj and SrI satyadevo vAsishTha give the
alternate interpretation based on the root SI'ng - svapne to sleep. 
Sete sarvam jagat pralaya velAyAm yasmin iti Sivah - He in whom the
whole Universe rests at the time of pralaya is Sivah (SrI kRshNa datta

d) SrI satyadevo vAsishTha also gives the alternate interpretation
based on the root Syai - to go, the meaning given being that He is
present everywhere, He is in everything  - SyAyate sarvam iti prApnoti
iti arthah. 

Theus, the nAma Sivah indicates that whatever bhagavAn gives us is what
is good for us, and is meant for our purification and for our reaching
Him.  The punishment He gave to the demons such as rAvaNa, kamsa, etc.
were all for their ultimate good.  It should be realized that when we
encounter some sufferings in life that are obviously given to us by
bhagavAn, we should accept these as willingly as when He gives us
things that make us happy, because whatever He does is for our good.

-To be continued.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

Om SrIvatsa vakshase namah.





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