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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - slokam 18.

From: Krishnamachari, N. (
Date: Fri Nov 14 1997 - 14:16:26 PST

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - sloka 18.

	vedyo vaidyah sadA-yogI veera-hA mAdhavo madhuh         |
	 atIndriyo mahA-mAyo mahotsAho mahA-balah                   ||

Om vedyAya namah
Om vaidyAya namah
Om sadA-yogine namah
Om vIraghne namah
Om mAdhavAya namah
Om madhave namah
Om atIndriyAya namah
Om mahA-mAyAya namah
Om mahotsAhAya namah
Om mahA-balAya namah

165.  vedyah - a) He who can be realized.
	         b) That which should be known or realized.

Om vedyAya namah.

	veditum Sakyah vedyah, vedanArhatvAt vedyah, or veditum yogya
iti vedyah.  SrI chinmayAnanda interprets the word to mean "That which
should be known - as the Ultimate Truth; having known which, everything
else becomes known".  This is supported by the following from the gItA -
"vedaiSca sarvairahameva vedyah - I am the One who is to be known
through all the veda-s" - gItA 15.15, and vedair_anekair-ahmeva vedyah -
kaivalya 22.

166.  vaidyah - The knower of vidyA or knowledge.

Om vaidyAya namah.

	The word vaidya is related to the word vidyA.  One who right
from the beginning of the world knew all the vidyA-s that went into the
creation of this Universe is vaidya.  It is not only that He is the
knower, but no one else is the knower of creating all the wondrous and
manifold objects in His creation.  This is supported by "viSvAni deva
vayunAni vidvAn - yajur 7.43.  He is the sarva-vidyA-maya vaidya.   Also
note "Isvarah sarva-vidyAnAm"- taittirIya AraNyaka 10.21.

	The knowledge that we see displayed even in the insects, birds,
etc.,  should be a constant reminder of the vaidya or All-knower that is
bhagavAn, and should lead us to the constant awareness that it is His
feet that we should worship. 

	 SrI Bhattar points out that He knows the vidyA of releasing His
devotees from the cycle of rebirth, and so He is vaidya.

	In the traditional meaning of vaidya referring to a doctor, SrI
chinmayAnanda points out that He is vaidya since He alone can doctor to
the world's suffering from ego and ego-centric misconceptions.  In SrI
Bhattar's vyAkhyAna  we find a supporting reference - "meru mandara
mAtro'pi  pApasya karmaNah |  keSavam vaidyam AsAdya durvyAdhiriva
naSyati (vishNu dharmam 69.110) - One might have accumulated sins the
size the meru mountain;  however if he worships keSava, the sins
disappear just as the worst diseases disappear when treated by a good
vaidya or doctor".

167.  sadA-yogi - a) One who is always awake with respect to His
		b)  One who unites this Universe as the sarva-vyApi
		c)  One who always follows the dhArmic way.
		d)  One who is in constant yogic meditation
		e)  One who always displays the samatva-bhAva, i.e.,
treats everyone equally.

Om sadA-yogine namah.

	One explanation for this nAma is that bhagavAn is always
attainable, and so He is sada-yogI.  SrI Bhattar interprets the nAma to
mean that He is awake at all times with respect to His devotees, and  He
is always awake as the antaryAmi in all of us.

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives three different interpretations
for this nAma - satah AyogI, sadA yogI, and sadA AyogI.  Satas means
equally, and Ayuj means to unite or to join.  The roots from which from
the nAma can be derived are also many - yugi varjane - to give up; yuj
samAdhau - to concentrate the mind;  yuj yoge - to unite; yuj samyamane
- to join; 

	He is a sadA-yogi because He has always given up everything
except the good and the just, the dharmic way.    He is also a sadA-yogI
because He unites this world into one through His sarva-vyApti, His
pervasion into everything that exists - sadaiva yojayati samyamayati
visvAn lokAn sa sadA-yogI.   He is also a sada-yogI because He is
constantly in yogic meditation, which is His nature.  Yoga here can be
interpreted as samatva-bhAva.  SadA yogah asya asti iti tam
sadA-yoginam, sadA yoga Silam svabhAva-dharmANam vA. 

	The vyAkhyAna in dharma cakram (whose author is not identified)
points out that people live one of three ways of life - a rogi, a bhogi,
or a yogi.  Of these, the life of a yogi (who spends his life by
diverting his senses away from sense-enjoyment and towards the
parama-purusha) is the one that leads to peace of mind and bodily
health.  The yogic state of  mind is naturally attained by one who
devotes one's mind to the worship of the Lord, the sadA-yogi.

168.  vIra-hA - The slayer of strong men of wicked nature.

Om vIraghne namah.

	We may recollect "paritrRNAya sAdhUnAm vinASAya ca dushkr*tAm -
For the protection of the good and the destruction of the wicked".  If
the quality of being a vIra is used to commit adharma, bhagavAn destroys
those vIra-s or rAkshasa-s.  

	SrI Bhattar interprets the vIra-s here as referring to people
who are "kutarka-Sura-s" or those who put up false arguments to prevent
people from meditating on Him.  He refers us to the sloka-s in bhagavad
gItA in Chapter 16 starting from sloka 16-8 and ending in 16-19, where
bhagavAn gives a description of the kinds of behaviors that these
kutarka-vAdi-s demonstrate - claiming that God does not exist, or
claiming that they are the God, etc.

169.  mAdhavah - The propounder of the knowledge of the Supreme Being.

Om mAdhavAya namah.

The detailed interpretations for this nAma have been given earlier under
nAma 73.  Please refer to that description.

170.  madhuh - One who is like honey to His devotees.

Om madhave namah.

	He is madhu because He creates Nectarine Bliss in the hearts of
His devotees.  He causes great satisfaction, like honey.  We have from
br*hadAraNya upanishad - ayamAtmA sarveshAm bhUtAnAm madhu - 2.5.14.  We
also have "thEnil iniya pirAne" as He is referenced by PeriyAzhvAr in
his PoocchUttal.  

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha indicates that madhu also means
knowledge (derived from man-  ~jnAne to know), and He is madhu because
He knows everything by His pervasion of everything - ~jnAna dharmeNa
vyApnuvan sarvam viSvam manyate jAnAti, tasmAt sa madhuh.  We have the
yajurvedic mantra - tadantarsya sarvasya tadu sarvasyAsya bAhyatah - He
is inside everything, and He is also outside of everything, and by
virtue of this, He is ~jnAna mayam or Knower of everything.

	The commentator in dharma cakram points out that madhu or honey
is unique among all the edibles that when consumed, all of it is
digested into the system with no waste products.  He also points out
that madhu is unique in that there is no ill-effect that results from
its consumption, unlike some of the other edibles where an excessive
consumption will lead to harmful effects.  In our context, bhagavAn is
the knowledge that is madhu, from which only good can result.  

SrI Bhattar interprets the next several nAmas as descriptive of the six
celestial qualities of bhagavAn - ~jnAna, bala, aiSvarya, vIrya, Sakti,
and tejas.  

171.  atIndriyah - He who is beyond the range of the sense organs.

Om atIndriyAya namah.

	Only those objects that have a fixed shape, color, or other
characteristics will be recognizable by the indriya-s or sense organs.
He is beyond these sense-organs, and cannot be realized through these or
through sheer reasoning.  The only way to realize Him is to experience
Him through pure devotion.  The two mantra-s of ISAvAsya upanishad
(anejadekam.., and tadejati tannaijati..) remind us of this quality of
bhagavAn in simple words.  In kaThopanisahd we have - indriyebhyah parA
hyarthA ...avyaktAt purushah parah |
aSabdam-asparSam-arUpam-avyayamtathArasam nityam-agandhavacca yat |
(kaTho 1.3.10 etc.).
(He is soundless, untouched, formless, immutable, and so without taste,
eternal, smell-less.)

	SrI chinmayAnanda points out that it is not just He is beyond
the reach of the sense-organs, but that the sense-organs don't exist
without Him, and so cannot sense anything without His power.  So He is
the very subject of the sense-organs, and not the object of the
sense-organs (the eye cannot see itself, but only its reflection in a

	He is also not seen by the indriya-s because He is not anywhere
outside where the senses can sense Him, but is inside each of us in the
cavity of our hearts where the senses cannot reach, the size of a thumb
- angusTha mAtrena.

172.  mahA-mAyah - One who is possessed of wonderful power of

Om mahA-mAyAya namah.

	SrI Bhattar points out that this nAma signifies that He conceals
Himself from those who are not devoted to Him through His power of
enchantment.  This is natural for one who is not within the reach of the
senses-organs as we saw in the previous nAma.  Lord Kr*shNa says in the
gItA - mama mAyA duratyayA - My mAyA is very difficult to overcome -
gItA 7.14). mAyA here is not to be interpreted to as magic or illusion
or untruth, but as something wonderful and unusual.  (sItA devi is
referred to as devamAyA - janakasya kule jAtA devamAyeva nirmitA).  The
mAyA referred to here is that bhagavAn wonderfully conceals Himself from
those who do not seek Him.  

	Other references to the sruti-s are - ati-mohakarI mAyA mama (
Sarabha 24), vidyAt mAyinam tu maheSvaram (SvetASvatAra 4.10).

173.  mahotsAhah - He of great enthusiasm.

Om mahotsAhAya namah.

	SrI Bhattar points out that this nAma particularly indicates
that unlike the Isvara of the sAnkhya system who is possessed of
knowledge but is a non-doer of acts and is indifferent, Sri mahA vishNu
is enthusiastic in performing acts which signify His lordship, such as
the varieties of His creation, their sustenance etc.   The mahotsAha is
a guNa that bhagavAn has as an aiSvarya, with no dependence on anything
else for support.  Because of this, He is unceasingly creating,
maintaining and withdrawing His creations, and managing the affairs of
the Universe. SrI chinmayAnanda points out that this world will not
exist without the endless enthusiasm of His Mighty Power.  Just as the
ocean, with its endless waves is the "sleepless agitator", so also
bhagavAn is the Enthusiastic Accomplisher.

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives a different interpretation to this
nAma.  He looks at this word as mahAn + ut+ sAhah - mahAntam
uccaistamam sAhah, sahate, sAhayati, sahati vA sa  mahotsAhah - One who
has immense ability to endure.  Here sAhah has the same meaning as sahah
- sahati.  He gives reference to the r*g vedic mantra nAkshastapyate
bhUribhArah - 1.164.13 to support this interpretation.  He supports the
Sun, the Moon, etc., tirelessly, and He is also the self in every being
that has been created, and it is His mahotsAha that is manifested in His
act.  His guNa of endurance is also noted through the yajurvedic mantra
"saho'si saho mayi dehi (yajur 19/9)".

	The word utsAhah traditionally means enthusiasm.  The
commentator in dharma cakram points out that of the three qualities, the
rajas, tamas, and satva bhAva-s, actions that are done with enthusiasm
and that benefit the rest of mankind are those that are done by those
with the satva  disposition.  The actions by these are the ones that
continue successfully, with full benefits to His subjects.  It is good
to remind ourselves in this context that He is pure Satva, and  one way
of offering worship to Him is to follow this model and lead a sAtvic
life ourselves.  

174.  mahA-balah - One with immeasurable strength - The Omnipotent.

Om mahAbalAya namah.

	SrI Sankara's vyAkhyAna is "balinAmapi balavatvAt mahAbalah -
Being stronger than the strongest, He is mahAbalah".  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa
SAStri gives several examples of this guNa of bhagavAn.  RAvaNa went to
the pAtAla loka to win over bali.  BhagavAn wo had established Himself
as the gatekeeper of bali temporarily made Himself invisible.  RAvaNa
tried to move the kundalam of hiraNyakaSipu which was lying at the
doorstep as it has fallen from hiraNyakaSipu's ears at the time of his
being slain by Lord nr*simha.  RAvaNa's hands got caught under the
kundalam.  BhagavAn appeared on the scene, and kicked rAvaNa without
effort and rAvaNa fell far far away.   

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha starts from the root bal - prANane to
live or to breathe, and gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is
mahAbalah because He makes the world live or supports the world.  He
points out that there are different kinds of balam, e.g., vidyA balam,
senA balam, dhana balam, anna balam, etc., and bhagavAn is the One who
is the bestower of all the balams (means of support) to the different
devotees, and so He is mahA-balah.

-dAsan kr*shNamAchAryan