You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 1997

SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - sloka 15.

From: Krishnamachari, N. (krish_at_ihmail1.ih.lucent.com)
Date: Wed Nov 05 1997 - 15:51:31 PST

			Sri vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 15.

	LokAdhyakshah  surAdhyaksho dharmAdhyakshah kr*tAkr*tah
|
	caturAtmA catur-vyUhaS_catur-damshtrah catur-bhujah
||

Om lokAdhyakshAya namah
Om surAdhyakshAya namah
Om dharmAdhyakshAya namah
Om kr*tAkr*tAya namah
Om caturAtmane namah
Om catur-vyUhAya namah
Om catur-damshtrAya namah
Om catur-bhujAya namah

135, 136, 137.  lokAdhyakshah, surAdhyakshah, dharmAdhyakshah  - The
Lord of the worlds, the deva-s, and dharma.

Om lokAdhyakshAya namah.
Om surAdhyakshAya namah
Om dharmAdhyakshAya namah.

	adhyaksha means master or superintendent.  Loka refers to people
whose duty it is to practice dharma, sura-s refers to devas who are
worshipped with the dharma, and dharma signifies the means by which this
worship is performed.  BhagavAn in the form of aniruddha is the
presiding deity over all these, who closely observes all these and
grants the fruits of the dharmic acts.  He also ensures that the
benefits are not obtained by those who do not observe the dharmic acts,
and ensures that those who observe the dharmic acts do not go without
the fruit.

	An alternate interpretation is that loka refers to the people,
sura-s are those who protect the people, and dharma is the means by
which they protect them.  BhagavAn is the controller and supervisor or
master of all these.  For instance, the deva-s control the natural
elements and ensure that these perform in such a way that they benefit
the people.  Thus the rising of the sun, the rains, etc. are controlled.
When the deva-s swerve from their path, BhagavAn takes over and ensures
that the violations are set right.  For instance, when indra got angry
with the gokula-vAsi-s and tried to destroy gokulam with unending rain,
Lord Kr*shNa bore the govardhana mountain and protected the people from
indra's fury and brought indra under control.

138.  kr*tAkr*tah - a) The grantor of fruits that are this this-worldly
as well as those that are eternal.
		b)  One who is both the cause and effect of all things.
		c)  One who has a form which is nitya or permanent, as
well as transient forms. 


	SrI Sankara interprets kr*ta as effect (kArya rUpa) and akr*ta
as cause (kAraNa rUpa), and thus he interprets this nAma as symbolizing
that bhagavAn is both cause and effect of all things.  Kr*tam is vyaktam
(that is manifested), and akr*tam is unmanifested or avyaktam.  Or, the
nAma can mean that bhagavAn appears with a form that is akr*tam or
nityam in nature, and also in forms which remain only for a limited time
(kr*tam).  

	A third interpretation is that He gives benefits which are
this-worldly (kr*tam), as well as eternal (akr*tam), and so He is
kr*tAkr*ta.

139.  caturAtmA - One whose Self has a four-fold manifestation.

Om caturAtmane namah.

	One explanation for this is the Self has control over the
four-fold nature - the wakeful state, the state of dreams, dreamless
deep sleep, and turIya state where even the breath is suspended.  These
involve the external senses, the mind, breath, and suspended breath.
These are also the four stages of development which a worshipper who
meditates upon the Lord goes through.  

	SrI Sankara interprets the nAma as signifying that bhagavAn
expresses His energies in four forms in each of His acts of creation,
protection, and dissolution.  He quotes the following sloka in vishNu
purANa -

	"brahmA dakshAdayah kAlas_tathaivAkhila jantavah              |
 	 vibhUtayo hareretA jagatah sr*shti_hetavah
||
 	 vishNur_manvAdayah kAlah sarva_bhUtAni ca dvija             |
	 stither_nimitta_bhUtasya  vishNoretA vibhUtayah
||
	  rudrah kAlotankAdyASca samastAScaiva jantavah                |
	  caturdhA pralayAyaitA janArdana-vibhUtayah
||

	"The four energies of Hari for creation are - brahmA, daksha and
others, time, and all creatures.  The four energies of Hari for
protection are - vishNu, manu and others, time, and all creatures.  The
four energies of JanArdana for dissolution are - rudra, time, the god of
death, and all creatures.  Thus He is caturAtma at all times.

140.  catur-vyUhah - One with four forms (the vyUha forms).

Om catur-vyUhAya namah.

	This nAma is interpreted as signifying the four vyUha emanations
(vAsudeva, samkarshaNa, pradyumana, and aniruddha).  SrI Sankara give
the following reference to support this interpretation.  In my version
of the vyAkhyAna, the original source for this reference is not given,
but the quote is attributed to vyAsa -

	"vyUhyAtmAnam caturdhA vai vAsudevAdi_mUrtibhih      |
	   sr*shtyAdIn prakarotyesha viSrutAtmA janArdanah          ||

	"vishNu, of excellent fame, manifests Himself in four forms,
vAsudeva, etc. (vAsudeva, samkarshaNa, pradyumna, aniruddha) and carried
on creation etc.

	vyUha refers to a form that has a purpose associated with it.
pradyumna is for "padaippu" or creation; samkarshaNa is for samhAra or
destruction; aniruddha is for protection; vAsudeva is the overall leader
of these three forms.  Pradyumna, the one in charge of "padaippu" or
creation, is endowed with the leadership of aisvarya and vIrya.
pra-dymna means one who has enormous vIrya in His responsibility of
creation.  aniruddha, in charge of protection, is endowed with
immeasurable Sakti and tejas.  a-niruddha means One who cannot be
obstructed in His function of protection.  SamkarshaNa is endowed with
enormous ~jnAnam and balam.  Sam-karshaNa means one who attracts (note
AkarshaNa - attraction) or draws everything towards Him and makes them
draw into Him during the pralaya or great destruction.  VAsudeva is the
form endowed with all the six qualities and is the Supreme parabrahman.

141.  catur-damshtrah - He of four teeth.

Om catur-damshtrAya namah.

	damshtra refers to canine teeth.  The reference here could be to
the four full and strongly developed, powerful, beautiful canine teeth
in His incarnation in nr*simhAvatAra.  SrI Bhattar points out that
catur-damshtratvam is a mahApurusha lakshNam.  He gives reference to the
description of Sri Rama by Hanuman to SItA devi - catur-daSa
sam-dvandvah catur-damshtrah catur-gatih - One who has the fourteen
parts of the body such as the legs, the hands, etc. fully symmetric
with no blemishes, One who has four beautiful canine teeth, and One who
has the beauty of the walks of elephant, tiger, lion, and bull.
(VAlmIki RamayaNam Sundara kANdam - 35.19).

142.  catur-bhujah - One with four arms.

Om catur-bhujAya namah.

	The four hands carry the conch, the discus, the mace, and the
lotus respectively.  SrI ChinmayAnanda gives a very nice explanation of
how the four arms are used by the Lord in maintaining dharma.  The conch
calls man to the righteous path that directly leads to peace and
perfection, the divine vishNu padam.  Not very many of us listen to this
inner voice of conscience, the sound of the pAncajanya conch, and so He
gently wields the 'Mace' and we come to suffer small calamities and
tragic jerks in our smooth existence.  If the individual still does not
listen to the call of the 'Conch', the 'Chakra' - the wheel of time,
annihilates the entire being.  This call and punishment are solely meant
to take man to the Ultimate Goal, symbolized by the 'Lotus' in His hand.

	SrI RAdhAkr*shNa SAStri gives the explanation that the four
hands signify that He gives the four purushArta-s (I assume dharma,
artha, kAma, and mokha are the four being referred to here).  Or the
four arms represent the four tatva-s - satva, rajas, tama, and ahamkAra.
"satvam rajas tama iti aha~nkAraScaturbhujah (gopAlottaratAmini 55).

	Yet another explanation is that the Self functions in a
four-fold pattern involving  mind, intellect, cit, and ego, and these
are represented by the four arms containing the conch, the mace, the
cakra, and the padma.  The cit is represented by the Lotus or Padma, the
intellect is the 'Conch', ego is the 'Mace', and mind is the 'Discus'.

-dAsan kr*shNamAchAryan