You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : September 1998

SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 40.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Fri Sep 18 1998 - 13:51:26 PDT

		SrI vishNu sahasranAma stotram - Slokam 40.

	viksharo rohito mArgo hetur_dAmodarah sahah          |
	mahI-dharo mahA-bhAgo vegavAn amitASanah        ||   

om viksharAya namah
om rohitAya namah
om mArgAya namah
om hetave namah
om dAmodarAya namah
om sahAya namah
om mahI-dharAya namah
om mahA-bhAgAya namah
om vegavate namah
om amitASanAya namah

365. viksharah - He who never wanes.

om viksharAya namah

SrI Sankara bhAshyam is "vigatah ksharah (nASo) yasya asau viksharah" - One
who has no decay.  SrI BhaTTar gives the interpretation that bhagavAn's love
for His devotees never diminishes, and He is vikshara by this reason. 

366. rohitah - He who is of red complexion.

om rohitAya namah.

kamala garbhAbatvAt rohitah - He who has the red color of the inside of a
lotus.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to tiruvAimozhi - 8.4.7: "tiruc
ceyya kamalak kaNNum Sev-vAyum SevvaDiyum Seyya kaiyum tiruc-ceyya kamala
undiyum Seyya kamala mArbum".  Seyya here means reddish colored, kamala
means lotus.

rohita also refers to a species of fish, and SrI Sankara has given the
alternate interpretation that it can refer to His matsya incarnation, in the
form of a reddish hued fish.  

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the meaning from the root ruh - bIja janmani
prAdurbhAve ca - to grow, to increase, to rise, to reach, and gives the
interpretation "prAdurbhavati iti rohitah - One who expresses Himself or One
who causes all beings to express themselves is rohitah.  

367. mArgah - He who is sought after.

om mArgAya namah.

mArgyate iti mArgah - He is mArgah because He is always sought after by His
worshippers.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan gives reference to tiruvAi mozhi nURRandAdi
91 - "tAL aDaindAr ta~ngatku tAnE vazhit-tuNaiyAm kALa-megattai" - He
accompanies and shows the way to those who have surrendered to Him.  SrI
Sankara gives an additional intepretation - He is mArga because He shows the
way for the attainment of Supreme Bliss.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri gives
another aspect - After the Universe disappears at the time of praLaya, it is
He who is the way for the world's re-appearance. 

368. hetuh - The Cause.

om hetave namah.

He is the cause for the realization of the desires of His devotees.   Sri
Sankara gives the interpretation that He is both the instrumental and
material cause of the Universe. 

The dharma cakram writer nicely distinguishes between bhagavAn the Cause,
and bhagavAn the effects.  He points out that in general we see the effects,
but we don't see the cause behind the effects as easily.  This is true in
the different aspects of life - we use the Universe, but we don't understand
bhagavAn who is the Cause of the Universe.  We see the body, but we don't
see the five elements which are the constituents of this body.   He is
visible only to the yogi-s and the j~nAni-s as the Cause of the Universe.  
369. dAmodarah - 1) He who has the worlds in His belly.
		2) One who was tied around His waist by ropes by YaSodA
		3) One who has happiness for His devotees
		4) One who is attained by observances such as damA.

om dAmodarAya namah.

The word dAma can refer to a rope, the worlds, happiness, etc.  The word
udaram means belly.  Based on these, there are different interpretations.

1) udare dAmAni asya iti dAmodarah - One who has all the worlds in His
belly.  This interpretation is supported by vyAsa's words:

	"dAmAni loka nAmAni tAni yasya udara antare      |
	  tena dAmodaro devah SrIdharah Sri-samASritah   ||  (attributed to
vyAsa but no reference given)

2) dAmnA udare baddha iti dAmodarah - One who was tied around His waist with
a cord.  The support for this interpretation is from brahma purANa:

	"tayor madhya-gatam baddham dAmnA gADham tayodare       |
	  tataSca dAmodaratAm sa yayau dAma bandhanAt         ||    (brahma
puRaNa 76.14)

(Note:  The reference to the above is given differently in the different
vyAkhyAna-s as stanzas 5.6.20, 184.41, and 76.14.  Since I do not have a
copy of brahma purANa with me, I could not verify the correct reference.  If
any of our readers have the original source, please verify the correct
reference and let me know.  I would sincerely appreciate it).

SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to divya prabandham - veNNei vizhu~nga veguNDu
Aicci kaNNik kayiRRinAl kaTTat tAn kaTTuNDirundAn - mUnRAm tiruvantAdi.   

SrI A. SrInivAsa rAghavAcArya svAmi in his interpretation in tamizh in SrI
nr*simha priyA points out that the act of bhagavAn willingly getting Himself
tied around with a rope just demonstrates that He becomes a
bhakta-para-tantran i.e., He subjects Himself to His devotees' wishes.  In
this case, He subjected Himself to yaSodA's wish that He be constrained by
the rope.  He even shed tears when He was tied in order to please her.  

3) SrI BhaTTar gives an additional interpretation based on "devAnAm sukha
samSitvAt dAmAt dAmodaram viduh" (udyoga parva 71.9)- They know Him as
dAmodara because He has "dAma" or joy, indicating happiness for the gods.

4) SrI Sankara has given the additional interpretation - damAdi sAdhanena
udarA (utkr*shTA) matih (yA tayA gamyata) iti dAmodarah - One who is known
through the mind which is purified (udarA or utkr*shTA) by means of
self-control (dama) and other qualities.  He gives the support from
mahAbhArata - damAt dAmodaro viduh (udyoga parva 5.69.8). 

The dharma cakram writer very nicely remarks that the One who was tied by
the rope can be known only by "tieing" or controlling the pa~nca indriya-s
and directing them towards Him and His service.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri
points out that this nAma has the greatness that at the same time it shows
the greatness of bhagavAn in having the whole Universe inside Him and the
simplicity of being tied by a rope and contained by His devotee.  

370.  sahah - He who has patience.

om sahAya namah.

sahate iti sahah.  SrI BhaTTar links this nAma to the previous one by
pointing that He patiently accepted being tied by the rope as dAmodara.
nammAzhvAr sings this patience of Lord kr*shNa - ettitRam! uralinODu
iNaindirundu E~ngiya eLivE (tiruvAimozhi 1.3.1) - referenced by SrI
v.v.rAmAnujan.  SrI Sankara vyAkhyAna is that He forgives the lapses of His
devotees - sahate sarvAn abhibhavati iti sahah.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri
points out that He bears the burden of the Universe for the sake of the
welfare of the creatures in the Universe.   The dharma cakram writer points
out that He patiently waits till we attain the maturity needed to reach Him
and be united with Him.  He also refers to the incident where He put up with
SiSupAla's abusive words more than a hundred times and had given word to
SiSupAla's mother to that effect. 

371. mahIdharah - The Supporter of the Earth.

om mahIdharAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier as nAma 319.   There the meanings given were that
He supports the earth by ridding it of evil-doers, or that He accepts the
pUjA from the devotees.  

Under the current nAma, SrI Sankara gives the interpretation that He bears
the Earth in the shape of mountains.  He gives reference to vishNu purANa -
vanAni vishNur girayo diSaSca - 2.12.37) - The forests, mountains, and
directions are all vishNu.  He bears the earth by propping it up in the form
of mountains.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers to His bearing the Earth between His
teeth in His varAha incarnation - eyiRRu iDai maN koNDa endai - periyAzhvAr
tirumozhi 5.2.3. 

372. mahI-bhAgah - He who is extremely Fortunate.

om mahA-bhAgAya namah.

SrI BhaTTar explains that Lord kr*shNa has the good fortune (mahA bhAgya) of
being chosen for service as their Lord by the cowherdess nILa, sixteen
thousand celestial damsels, rukmiNi, satyabhAmA, jAmbavati, and others.  SrI
v.v.rAmAnujan refers us to tiruvAomozhi - vaDivu iNai illA malar-magaL
maRRum maN-magaL piDikkum mel-aDiyAn - 9.2.10.

SrI Sankara gives the vyAkhyAna that He is fortunate in being able to take
any form He likes, or He who gets the best of everything in His

SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that He is mahAbhAgah because He gets the
major (mahA)portion (bhAga) of any offering as He likes.  He refers us to
the incident of the offering by the gopa-s to the govardhana giri instead of
to indra at the insistance of kr*shNa.  Lord kr*shNa  appeared at the top of
the govaradhana mountain and accepted all the offerings.

373. vegavAn - He who is quick.

om vegavate namah.

SrI BhaTTar points out that even when He was child kr*shNa, His actions were
displaying His irresistible supremacy and Lordship.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan
refers us to the
incident of pUtanA, SakaTAsura, lifting of govardhana giri at the tip of the
finger, etc.  tiruvAi mozhi 6.4 is full of these incidents.  SrI
rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points to the incident of rukmiNi svayamvaram as an
example of the quickness of action that He displays.  SrI cinmayAnanda gives
the interpretation that He reaches His devotees fast the moment they think
of Him because He is everywhere and all-pervading.  

SrI Sankara interprets the nAma in terms of the ISopanishad declaration (4)
"anejadekam manso javIyah - He is unmoving, but at the same time faster than
the mind".  The context here is that He is inside us, but no amount of
reasoning with our mind can decipher Him and figure Him out.  He cannot be
understood by reason and logic alone, since even a lifetime of reasoning
with the mind that is faster than anything that is known will  not result in
realizing Him.

374. amitASanah - a) The voracious Eater.
		b) He who gives unlimited supply of food to His creations.

om amiTaSanAya namah.

amitam aSnAti iti amitASanah - One who eats huge quantities.  SrI BhaTTar
points out that Lord kr*shNa displayed His greatness, among other acts, by
swallowing the unlimited quantity of food offered to govardhana giri, making
the cowherds exclaim in wonder - "devo vA dAnavo vA tvam" - "Who are you - a
deva or an asura?" - vishNu purANam 5.13.121.  SrI v.v.rAmAnujan refers us
to divya prabandham - aTTuk-kuruvi SORRup-paruppadamum tayir vAviyum
neyyaLarum aDa~ngap poTTattuRRu - One who in a fraction of a second consumed
a huge amount of rice heaped like a mountain, a huge amount of curd that
looked like a canal, ghee that was poured like a big puddle, plenty of
vegetables, etc.  (periyAzhvAr tirumozhi 3.5.1), and to "kArEzh kaDalEzh
malai Ezhulagu uNDum ArA vayiRRAn -  tiruvAi mozhi 10.9.2.  This nAma is
similar to nAma 304 - mahASanah. 

SrI Sankara interprets the nAma in terms of His swallowing the whole
Universe at the time of praLaya.  SrI rAdhAkr*shNa SAstri points out that
there is nothing that He cannot digest, since He is the jATarAgni that
digests the food that every being consumes - aham vaiSvAnaro bhUtvA ....
pacAmyannam caturvidham (gItA 15.14).  The dharma cakram writer points out
that we can neither live and grow without eating, nor live without digesting
the food we eat,  and both are made possible by Him, and this is siginified
by this nAma.

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the above interpretation, as well as an
alternate interpretation - amitAn prANinah ASayati = bhojayati iti
amitASanah -  He is amitASanah because He gives unlimited supply of food to
His creation, which is itself immeasurable.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan