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The interpretation of the nAma "upendra".

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Fri Sep 15 2000 - 08:57:56 PDT


SrI Chandrasekharan Venkataraman:

I have included the write-up for this nAma in Slokam 17 below.  It
appears that the two explanations are not "opposite", unless we take
His being younger to Indra as also meaning that He was in some way
inferior to Indra.  This is not how it has been interpreted.  So I do
not see the  conflict.  I hope the attached write-up helps in
clarifying the two interpretations.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

>Message: 3
>   Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 16:56:54 -0000
>   From: "Chandrasekaran Venkatraman" <>
>Subject: doubt about the nAmam "upEndra"

>   adiyEn,
>   chandrasekaran.

  153.  upendrah - a) One who appeared as the younger brother of indra
                   help him.
                                        b) One who is superiror to

                   Om upendrAya namah.

                   a) upagatah indram - One who assisted indra.   SrI
rAdhAkRshNa Sastri
                   gives the following instance in this context. 
PrahlAda's grandson Bali
                   defeated Indra by doing penances according to
SukrAcArya's advice.
                   Indra's mother aditi prayed to God to get Indra's
position back.  Since
                   Bali had attained Indra's position through penance
etc., there was no
                   way of getting back the position easily.  So
bhagavAn appeared as the
                   younger brother of indra by being born as the son of
aditi, and
                   restoring the position of indra by asking for three
feet of land from
                   Bali in his yAga Sala.

                   b) indrasya upari indrah - One who is superior to
indra.  upa also means
                   above or superior. Sri rAdhAkRshNa Sastri gives the
example of Lord
                   KRshNa subduing indra's self-assumed superiority
complex in gokulam
                   when indra tried to flood and destroy the place for
not offering prayers
                   to him.

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