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SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - Slokam 58 - Part 1.

From: Narasimhan Krishnamachari (
Date: Mon Sep 13 1999 - 18:25:57 PDT

	SrI vishNu sahasranAmam -Slokam 58.

	mahA-varAho govindah susheNah kanakA'ngadI      |
	guhyo gabhIro gahano guptah cakra-gadA-darah      ||

om mahA-varAhAya namah
om govindAya namah
om susheNAya namah
om kanakA'ngadine namah
om guhyAya namah
om gabhIrAya namah
om gahanAya namah
om guptAya namah
om cakra-gadA-dharAya namah

542. mahA-varAhah - He Who appeared in the form of the Great Boar.

om mahA-varAhAya namah.

This nAma refers to the varAha incarnation.  SrI BhaTTar gives
reference to the description in vishNu purANam -

	tatah samutkshipya dharAm sva-damshtrayA 
		mahA-varAhah sphuta-padma-locanah  |
	rasAtalAt utpala-patra-sannibhah
		samutthito nIla ivAcalo mahAn             ||    (1.4.26)

"The Great varAha bhagavAn, Who has eyes like full-blown lotuses and
the complexion like that of blue lotus-petal, lifted the Earth from the
rasAtala (nether-world) by His tusk and emerged as a great blue
mountain".  Similar description of the beauty of the eyes of varAha
mUrti is found in tiruc-canda viruttam 45 - "perum kEzhalAr tan perum
kaN malarp-puNDarIkam nam mEl oru'ngE pizhara vaittAr (SrI v.v.
rAmAnujan).   SrI cinmayAnanda comments that the varAha rUpa was taken
to heave up the world from the slush that formed naturally when the
waters of the deluge receded.  

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives the interpretation based on mahA + vara +
Aha = He who bestows great blessings on others.

543. govindah - a) One who is praised by the gods (for His help).
b) One who dug out the Earth from the depths of the Ocean.
c) The protector of cows.
d) One who confers the veda-s
e) He who rescued the Earth.
f) He who is known by vedic sentences.
g) He who is responsible for all things that move.

om govindAya namah.

This nAma occurred earlier as nAma 189.   Please see the detailed
explanation in Slokam 20 also.  Explanations a) to d) were given under
Slokam 20.

SrI BhaTTar gives interpretation e - a variation of explanation b -
under the current nAma viz. bhagavAn is govindah because He rescued the
Earth from the rAkshasa.  

SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation f) under the current nAma: 
"gobhih - vANibhih vindate" - He Who is known (vid) through words i.e.,
vedic sentences.  SrI Sa'nkara gives the reference from vishNutilaka -
gobhireva yato vedyo govindah samudAhRtah - "You are named govinda as
You are to be known through scriptual texts". 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives his interpretation starting from the
root gam - gatau - to go (gacchati iti gauh), and gives the meaning "to
possess" to the word vid (vid - lAbhe - to get), and thus derives the
interpretation g above.  His explanation is that anything that moves,
including our mind, our indriya-s, the Sun, etc., are His possession,
and so He is called govindah.  He gives this interpretation for the
nAma "govidAm patih" also.  He supports his interpretation based on
"gacchati iti jagat" - BhagavAn is present everywhere as seen by the
movement of everything in this world.  The life in all things that live
is associated with movement, and He is the One who is behind this
movement - govindah.

544. susheNah - a) He who is equipped with a body with Suddha sattva
Sakti-s that are like an army.
		b) He Who has an army of auspicious associates.

om susheNAya namah.

a) SrI v.n. vedAntadeSikan comments that from this nAma onwards,
certain abstruse or rather esoteric meanings are implied, which are
only to be learned through the AcArya-s, and are not communicated in
print.  Thus the explanations found in print are cryptic.  SrI v.v.
rAmAnujan adds that the current nAma and the following few nAma-s are
in the category of what sage viSvAmitra refers to when he says "aham
vedmi" etc. to daSaratha when he persuades daSaratha to send rAma with
him.  He reassures daSaratha that he, and not daSaratha, can understand
the greatness of young rAma because he is a king of Rshi-s, whereas
daSaratha is only a king of men.  

susheNah is interpreted as su-senah (One who has a good army) by SrI
BhaTTar.  He explains that bhagavAn has a body which is pure
suddha-sattva, and the constituents of this suddha sattva body are like
an army that can win over the baddha-s, mukta-s and nitya-s and make
them join Him in mutual enjoyment of Bliss.  The constituents of
bhagavAn's body are the pa'nca mahA Sakti-s, parameshThi, pumAn,
viSvah, nivRttah, and sarvah, just as our human body is constituted of
the pa'nca bhUta-s.  The pa'nca mahA Sakti-s are all suddha sattva
dravya-s, and they can be realized and understood properly only through
the upanishads.  Therefore they are also referred to as the pa'nca
upanishad mayam. These pa'nca mahA Sakti-s or the
pa'nca-mahopanishad-maya dravya-s constitute the senA referred to in
this nAma.

SrI P. B. aNNa`ngarAcArya svAmi summarizes the above as indicating that
bhagavAn has the multitude of means that are useful in having His
devotees under His sway.  

nammAzhvAr refers to bhagavAn's guNa-s being His Strength or army in
the following reference given by SrI v.v. rAmAnujan - "mazhu'ngAda
j~nAnamE paDaiyAga" - (tiruvAimozhi 3.1.9).

b) SrI Sa'nkara gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is susheNah
because He has a distinguished army at His command.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa
SAstri elaborates that this includes the following 9 gaNa-s:  12
Aditya-s, 10 viSvedeva-s, the ashTha vasu-s, 26 tushita-s, 64
AbhAsvara-s, 49 marut-s, 30 mahArAjika-s, 12 sAdhya-s, and 11 rudra-s. 

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha derives the nAma from the root  si - bandhane -
to bind.   He gives the interpretation that bhagavAn is One who binds
everything well (His devotees to Him, His army of deva-s, sages, etc.
together well, He Who holds all the beings of the world together well,
He Who binds all the constellations together well, holds this frail
body of ours together well even after the jIva departs from the body, 
etc.  He gives references to the Sruti for this nAma in yajurveda -
ayamuparvAg-vasus-tasya senajiica susheNaSca (yajur. 15.19), satyajicca
senajicca susheNaSca (yajur. 17.83).  

545. kanakA`ngadI - He Who is adorned by armlets of gold.

om kanakA`ngadaye namah.

kanaka literally means gold, but  here is not to be taken literally as
the material gold that we are used to.  The term "gold" used in the
current context just refers to the superiority of His bhUshNa-s.  SrI
v.v. rAmAnujan points out that in antarAditya, bhagavAn is described as
resembling gold in appearance - antarAditye hiraNmayah purushah
dRSyate. nammAzhvAr calls bhagavAn by the names "mANikkamE! en
marakatame! maRRoppAraiyillA Anip ponnE!" in tiruviruttam 85.  What is
referred to here is the extraordinary brilliance of His appearance and
the extreme attractiveness of His tirumeni.  

Thus, the reference in this nAma to kanaka is to the non-material,
suddha-sattva.  The ornaments referred to here are not the ones
composed of the material of this world and made of up of the three
guNa-s - sattva, rajas, and tamas, but are ones  composed of celestial
matter (Suddha sattva), which set off the beauty of His celestial body
described earlier.
a`ngadam means armlet.  Again, the reference is not only to the armlet,
but all the tiru AbharaNa-s of bhagavAn.  The armlets are one example
of these ornaments that adorn His body.  SrI rAdhAkRshNa SAstri
observes that the armlets, kirITam, keyUram, etc., are the ornaments of

SrI BhaTTar points out that the ending ini in this nAma refers to the
constant and permanent association of the brilliance referred to in
this nAma with His tirumeni (nityayoge inih).  

SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets the nAma in terms kanaka, a`nga, and
da, meaning The Giver (dah) of brightness (kanaka) to everything and
the One who keeps things moving (a`nga from a`ng - to go).   The
association or connection between the kanaka and a`nga aspects can be
seen by noting that as long as the body keeps moving, it has the
brightness in the eyes, and the brightness ceases when the body ceases
to move. 

-To be continued.

-dAsan kRshNamAcAryan

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