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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 62 - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Sat Sep 23 2000 - 05:48:44 PDT

SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 62.

	tri-sAmA sAmagah sAma nirvANam bheshajam bhishak     |
	sanyAskRc_chamah SAnto nishThA SAntih parAyaNam      ||

om tri-sAmne namah
om sAmagAya namah
om sAmne namah
om nirvANAya namah
om bheshajAya namah
om bhishaje namah
om sanyAsa-kRte namah
om SamAya namah
om SAntAya namah
om nishThAyai namah
om SAntaye namah
om parAyaNAya namah

581. tri-sAmA - He who is propounded by the three-fold sAma veda.

om tri-sAmne namah.

There are three important kinds of sAma veda - bRhat, rathantara, and
vAma-devya, all of which sing His praise.  This nAma signifies this
aspect of bhagavAn.   These three branches are together called

Of the four veda-s (rG, yajus, sAma, and atharva), sAma veda is the one
that has the praise of the various deities as its principal theme.  It
is musical to hear when it is chanted with the proper intonations. 
BhagavAn declares in SrImad bhagavad gItA - vedAnAm sAmavedo'smi
(10.22) - Among the veda-s, I am the sAma veda.  Thus it is a vibhUti
of bhagavAn Himself. 

SrI cinmayAnanda gives a slightly different interpretation - He
indicates that among the singers who praise Him through the sAma gAna
are three who are well-known- deva-s, vrata-s and sAman-s.   

582. sAma-gah - a) The singer of sAma.
		b) He who is praised by the sAma.

a) Om sAma-gAya namah.

BhagavAn Himself sings the sAma in His svAnubhavam and so He is called
sAma-gah.  The mukta-s in paramapadam sing the sAma in
bhagavad-anubhavam - etat sAma gAyannAste (taiitirIya.).  SrI
rAdhAkRshNa Sastri gives the following reference which sings the
greatness of the sAma veda - He who knows the sAma veda, is the knower
of brahman - Rco ha yo veda sa veda devAn yajUgumshi yo veda sa veda
sarvAn  |  sAmAni yo veda sa veda sarvam ||

A couple of writers have emphasized the role of the music in the power
of sAma veda in bringing about the brahmAnubhavam.  

b) SrI kRshNa datta bhAradvAj gives the second explanation - sAmabhih
mantraih gIyate iti sAma-gah.  

583. sAma - a) He who removes the sins of those who sing about Him.
	b) He who is in the form of the sAma veda Himself.
	c) He who is soft and sweet.

Om sAmne namah.

a) SrI BhaTTar derives the meaning from the root sho (so) -anta-karmaNi
- to destroy, to bring an end to.  (pApam) syati iti sAma - He who
brings an end to the sins of those who sing about Him.  SrI v.v.
rAmAnujan gives references to tiruvAimozhi 3.6.2 - Savam uLLana
nIkkuvAnai, pAva nASanai, pa~ngayat taDak kaNNanaip paravuminO;  naraga
nASan (periAzhvAr tirumozhi 4.4.4). 

b) SrI P. B. aNNa'ngarAcArya svAmi interprets the nAma as referring to
His being the sAma veda Himself - vedAnAm sAma vedo'smi (gItA 10.22). 
SrI cinmayAnanda observes that this is to express the very sacredness
of the veda itself.  

c) SrI rAdhAkRshNa Sastri uses the meaning of sAma in the sense of
sAma, dAna, bheda, and daNDa, and interprets the word sAma as referring
to His being soft and sweet.  The means which He used to try to urge
duryodhana to follow the path of dharma is the sAma mArga - that of
being soft and gentle in His persuasion.  He gives the support from the
Sruti - yat khalu sAdhu tat sAmetyAcakshase (chAndogya. 2.1.1).    

The dharma cakram writer observes that sAma vedam is so called because
of its sweetness and softness.  

584. nirvANam - The Bliss.
a) He who is the cause of Bliss to His devotees
b) He who is the embodiment of Bliss Himself

Om nirvANAya namah.

nirvANam refers to Absolute Bliss.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri points out
that vANam refers to body, and the state of being beyond the 'I' and
"mine" feeling associated with the body, is nir-VANam.   SrI BhaTTar
gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is called nirvANa because He is
the cause of attainment of the state of Bliss by those whose sins have
been eliminated as stated in the previous nAma.  The state when even
the wind that blows is not felt by the body is the state of nirvANa,
where there is total disassociation with the identity of the body with
the self.   

The dharma cakram writer points out that suffering is of three kinds -
bodily, mental, and that associated with a~jnAna.  Animals have bodily
suffering, most humans have bodily and mental sufferings, and those
among humans who try to realize the self also have the suffering from
aj~nAna.  Thus, the more evolved a being, the more the causes for
suffering.  One who transcends all these sufferings is the one who
realizes Absolute Bliss.  As long as the animals have no hunger and no
disease, they are happy.  But a human who is free from hunger and
disease, all the same makes himself unhappy by pursuit of misery in the
form of worldly pleasures.  These include the inability to dominate
others, the inability to get whatever they want for their materials
pleasures, the desire for material wealth, the desire for success in
everything they undertake, and on and on.  It is when humans try to
satisfy the five indirya-s through external means that they invite and
incur suffering and sorrow.  It is by getting to the state of nirvANa
(the total disassociation of the identify of the body with the self)
that one starts to overcome this kind of suffering.  This can only
happen by meditating on bhagavAn who is the embodiment of nirvANa. 
This is the lesson to take from this nAma. 

585. bheshajam - The Remedy.

Om bheshajAya namah.

He is the only remedy for the otherwise incurable disease of samsAra. 
SrI BhaTTar gives reference to the bhIshma stava rAja (mahAbhArata):

	nArAyaNAt Rshi-gaNAh tathA siddhA mahoragAh   |
	devA devarshayaScaiva yam viduh duhkha bheshajam    ||   

	"The groups of Rshi-s, siddha-s, the serpent-gods, and godly seers
came to know of this medicine for the disease of samsAra from
nArAyaNa".   SrI v.v. rAmAnujan gives reference to mUnRAm tiruvantAdi
(4) - marundum poruLum amudamum tAnE; and to peria tiruvantAdi 62 -
na~ngaL piNikkAm peru marundu. 
SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri's anubhavam is that He is the medicine that
leads to nirvANa, the tender and soothing medicine for the disease of
The dharma cakram writer observes that for self -realization one needs
good bodily health but more importantly good mental health.  For both
of these, one should lead a life of control of the senses and control
of the mind.  Just as we take medicine for rectifying the illness of
the body, we should resort to the medicine of meditating on Him so that
we can avoid the disease of the mind.  Health of the mind is something
that most of us don't worry about, but this is very important for
attaining Bliss.  Chanting His nAma and meditating on Him are the means
to maintain the health of the mind;  hence He is the Medicine. This is
the lesson to take from this nAma.

586. bhishak - The Physician.

Om bhishaje namah.

BhagavAn is the expert Physician who treats the disease of the fear of
samsAra in His devotees through the teaching of the brahma vidyA in the
form of the gItA and other upanishads.  SrI v.v. rAmAnujan refers us to
the divya prabandham - maruttuvanAi ninRa mA-maNi vaNNA.  

SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri observes that the mantra "nirvANam bheshajam
bhishak" should be recited by those who seek relief from diseases. 
That bhagavAn is the first and foremost of the physicians is supported
in the taittirIya upanishad - prathamo daivyo bhishak (4.5.1). 

The dharma cakram draws analogy between the physician who treats the
diseases of the body, and bhagavAn who treats the diseases of the mind.
Unlike the bodily cure which is transient and temporary, the treatment
that bhagavAn gives by removing the aj~nAna or ignorance is permanent. 
This is the spirit with which one should meditate on this nAma.  

SrI cinmayAnanda gives an alternate explanation - that this nAma can
refer to bhagavAn in His form as dhanvantari, the Deity of Medicine in
the Indian system of Medicine.  Since He appeared in this form as the
Lord of Physicians, He is called "The Physician - bhishak".

-To be continued...

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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