Vishnu Sahasranaama

Vishnu Sahasranaama 801 to 850 Names

801. Akshobhyah — "One Who is ever un- ruffled." Ordinarily an individual gets disturbed, subjectively, by the presence of desires, anger, passions, etc., and objectively an average man is constantly stormed by the enchanting dance of beautiful sense-objects all around him. Lord, the Self, is a state of existence wherein neither the subjective disturbances of the mind, nor the objective persecutions of the sense-organs can ever reach to ruffle the quietude and peaceful grace of His perfection. In describing the state of the Sthitaprajna, Bhagavan says in the Geeta that such a one will be Akshobhya like the ocean: "He attains Peace into whom all desires enter as waters enter the ocean, which filled from all sides, remains unmoved; but not the 'desirer-of-desires."

802. Sarva-vaageesvaresvarah — "The very Lord of the Lord of Speech." In the Kenopanishad it has been made amply clear that it is not the instruments of actions and perceptions that act by themselves as they are all made up of inert matter. The immediate animation to the equipment is given by the 'inner instruments.' Therefore, for all the sense-organs, the mind-intellect-equipment is their immediate Lord. But these subtle instruments themselves get their dynamism to act only in the presence of Sree Narayana, the Consciousness. Therefore, it is most appropriate to invoke Him as the Lord of Lords in all living creatures.

The term Vaageesvara (Lord of Speech) is often used in the language to indicate poets, writers and orators. Therefore, the term can also be interpreted as 'the Lord from whose altar all ordinary speakers draw their powers. Theologically, some commentators have spun a meaning out of this term indicating that Sree Narayana, as the Absolute Reality, is the 'Lord' of even the Creator.

803. Mahaa-hradah — "One Who is like a great refreshing swimming pool." In the hot summer season, plunging into the cool crystal waters of a-pool holds the swimmer in a refreshing cool embrace on all sides. Similarly, the plane of Narayana-Coascwusness revives, refreshes and en- thralls all meditators when they plunge into Its reviving quietude. The Yogins often plunge into It from the springboard of their devotion, and after a time emerge out of It—cool, clean and refreshed. Sree Narayana is metaphorically addressed as the great (Mahaa) pond (Hradah).

804. Mahaa-gartah — "The great chasm." Here the 'chasm' means the Lord's maayaa which He Himself describes, in the Bhagavad-Gita as "My Maayaa (non-appre- hension and the consequent misapprehension) is very difficult to cross over." The industrious lexicographers enter here and additionally press out of this word garta the meaning, 'chariot,' and, therefore, the term can also mean that He is a 'mahaaratha' (Great Chariot).

805. Mahaabhootah — "The Great Being." He is the Source from which even the Great Elements spring forth into existence and, therefore, in His Infinitude and Pervasiveness, Lord Narayana is called 'Mahaabhootah.' The entire play of birth and death, of integration (sanghaata) and disintegration (vighaata) are taking place in Him Who is the mighty substratum and, therefore, it is very appropriate that the Lord, the God, is considered by the devotees as the "Great Being.'

806. Mahaa-nidhih — "The Great Abode." "The Eternal Source from which everything springs forth and the Infinite substratum upon which the entire play of the finite is held in animated suspension." The term 'nidhi' means 'treasure' and, therefore, its indication here is that Sree Nara- yana is the richest treasure of all His devotees—to loot at will!

807. Kumudah — "One Who gladdens the earth," or "one who gets gladdened by the earth." Earth here should be understood as the entire cosmos ever so dynamic and scientifically precise. The world of plurality is Narayanas joyous expression of His infinite potentialities. It is the fulfil- ment of the Omnipotent.

808. Kundarah — "The one who tore the earth in His Incarnation as the Boar in order to destroy the mighty tyrant, Hiranyaaksha. It can also mean: Darah (one who wears); Kum (the earth). The term is further commented upon as "One who bestows rewards as beautiful as the Kunda flowers."

809. Kundah — Here we read it as 'Kunda flower.' In this context the term means "One who is as comely and attractive as the kunda flowers." In Harivamsa it is said that the Lord, as Parasuraama, in order to atone for the battles he had fought, gave (da) gifts of this earth (kum) to Rishi Kasyapa. 'Ku' also has the meaning of the "rulers of the earth," and 'da' means "slaying." In this way the term indicates the "one who had taken the Incarnation of Parasuraama to destroy the unreasonably vicious tyrants of the land."

810. Parjanyah — "He who is similar to the rain-bearing clouds." Lord Krishna has been described as being so gloriously hued. Again, agriculturists and all living creatures are extremely happy when they see these clouds—the harbingers of comfort and prosperity. To the devotees, the Lord is a total fulfilment, as the clouds are for the parched earth.

811. Paavanah — "One Who ever purifies." The impurities of a personality are gathered when the mind and intellect, in a natural impulse of animal voluptuousness, rush towards the sense-objects with ego-centric passion. To retrieve the mind from the sense-objects and to peacefully let it settle in contemplation of the divine nature and the eternal glory of Sree Narayana, the Self, is to exhaust all the existing vaasanaas, which are the personality-impurities within.

812. Anilah — Like the atmospheric air the Lord is the life-giver everywhere, and also He is All-pervading. Nilah also means 'to slip'—into a condition of non-apprehension: thus, one who is ignorant (avidya). When the symbol of negation, 'a', is added to it, 'A-nilah' comes to indicate "One who slips not, but is ever of the nature of Consciousness." Hence it means "Omniscient."

813. Amritaasah — Since 'amrita' has both the meanings of 'nectar' and 'immortality,' the term is interpreted to mean "One whose desires are never fruitless," as well as "One whose greatest desire is for the State of Immortality."

814. Amrita-vapuh — "He Whose Form is Immortal." He, the Eternal Reality, is unconditioned by time. This principle of Consciousness, functioning as the flame of life in every bosom, by Its mere presence has in Itself neither the physical, subtle nor causal bodies—which alone are the perishable. Transcending them all—unconditioned by time, and, therefore, never undergoing any of the natural modifications of mortality, Sree Narayana revels in His Absolute Glory.

815. Sarvajnah — "Omniscient." It is only when the light of Awareness illumines the happenings that living creatures can become conscious of their experiences. To know the outer and the inner world of happenings, they must be lighted up by the principle of Consciousness. This seat of Sree Narayana is, therefore, called the Pure Knowledge— the Principle, because of which all other knowledge is possible in every being.

816. Sarvato-mukhah — "One Who has His face turned everywhere"—just as the light in the sun, or the light of a lamp. In the Bhagavad Geeta He is described as having eyes, heads and faces on all sides.

817. Sulabhah ~ "One Who is readily available" and, therefore, easily attainable for those who have true devotion and the heroism to put forth the right effort in unveiling Him from the miserable pits of matter. To the mind in con- templation, the Reality is self-evident; all saadhanaas are only to render the mind contemplative.

818. Suvratah — "He Who has taken the most auspicious Forms"—to destroy the evil and to protect the good is the motive behind all His manifestations. The seeker himself is one of the Lord's own manifestations; thus, every spiritual student will ultimately realize that to destroy the ego in himself and finally gain back the very state from which he apparently manifested is re-discovery of the Self.

819. Siddhah — "0ne Who is Perfection"—not one who has attained perfection. Sree Narayana, the Absolute State of Perfection, can never, even when He is playing as the Incarnation, forget His real nature of Eternal, Unbroken, Unchanging Perfection.

820. Satrujit — "One Who is ever victorious over His hosts of enemies." In the bosom of man, his enemies are none other than consciousness of his body and the con- sequent passions of the flesh—both objective and subjective.

The seeker feels that these urges in him constitute a very power- ful team of belligerent forces, and against their concerted onslaught he feels helpless. But when such an alert seeker turns himself towards the Truth, the Lord Who is in his own heart, all obstacles whither away. It is natural then that Sree Narayana is invoked here as the "Supreme Conqueror of all Enemies."

821. Satrutaapanah — "The Scorcher of enemies." When the devotee offers himself at the altar of His Feet, He burns down all the negative tendencies polluting the devotee's heart.

822. Nyagrodhah — "The One Who, while controlling all beings, veils Himself behind this Maayaa." The Consciousness constantly functions within us, but due to the Vaasanaas our attention is constantly distracted to the perception of objects outside and not to the Effulgent Being which is the core in us. At the same time Sree Narayana, the Self, is the very Life which has made possible the entire manifestation of the world. Still, by His own playful inscrutability we recognize Him not. Interpreted in another sense, the term can also mean, "He Who is above all.' The nobler, the mightier power which controls and regulates any organised set of activities, when it is conceived by human intellect, it is always expressed as something higher or above. Therefore, the significance of this term must be clear to the students.

823. Udumbarah — "He Who is the Nourisher of all living creatures"—supplying each with its appropriate food. The term also suggests: "one who transcends even Aakaasa, the subtlest of the manifested elements." Sree Narayana, the Source out of which all creatures have emerged, He alone must also be the Great Cause from which even the subtlest element, Aakaasa, (space) has sprung forth. The cause is subtler than the effect, therefore, the essential principle, Narayana, transcends even the concept of space.

824. Asvatthah — In the Upanishad, (Katho- panishad) and in the Bhagavad Geeta (Chapter XV), Lord Narayana is indicated as the great "Tree of Life," the Asvattha. Ficus Religiosa is a perennial tree, seemingly relatively im- mortal, as compared with the quickly-perishing mankind that comes in waves, generation after generation, to play under its shade, to make love at its base,-to grow old in its breeze. Even when they are dead, their bodies are carried in moonlit pro- cession to the burial ground, where under the tree's dancing leaves, a play of light and shade splashes a wizardly pattern upon each lifeless face. The children of each departed one, in their turn, repeat the unending cycle of life under the shade of the same old tree whose nodding grimace mocks the proces- sion of fleeting joys and sorrows. This tree has been chosen to represent the finite play of the Infinite and the Tree itself has been named: A-svattham meaning: "That which will not remain the same tomorrow." 825. Chaanooraandhranishoodanah — "The slayer of Chaanoora, the great wrestler. Andhra means "wrestler."

826. Sahasra-archih — "He Who in His Effulgence has thousands of rays." The Self, Sree Narayana, the Pure Consciousness which illumines all experiences, is considered in our scriptures as the 'Light of all Lights,' and, in the Geeta's famous description of this mighty Effulgence of Reality we read: "If the Splendour of a thousand suns were to rise up together and at one and the same time blaze forth- in the sky, that would be like the Splendour of the Mighty Being."

827. Sapta-jihvah — "He Who expresses Himself as the 'seven tongues' (flame)." 'Jihvaa' means tongue; here it is used as the 'tongues-of-flame.' These seven flames of different properties are enumerated in the Mundakopanishad. It sets forth the idea that the Light of Consciousness beams out through seven points in the face of a living entity—two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the mouth. As intelligent beings, powers of perception, metaphorically flame out through each one of them, illumining the world for us. The one in our heart, Sree Narayana, Who totally manifests as the seven distinct tongues-of-flame is classified here by the scientific-poets, the Rishis, in the language of lyrical service as Sapta-jihvaah.

828. Sapta-edhaah — "The Seven Effulgent flames." The earlier term invoked Him as the "Seven tongues- of-flame." Here the emphasis seems to be for the Effulgence in those flames.

829. Sapta-vaahanah — "One Who has the vehicle of seven horses." Lord Sun is described by the poet-seers of the Vedas as riding in a chariot drawn by seven horses, representing the seven days of the week.

830. A-moortih — "0ne Who is formless." 'Form' implies a thing that is limited by other factors. The All-Pervading cannot have a form—just as space has no parti- cular form. All things having a form are perishable. Narayana Who is Infinite and Eternal is thus ever Formless.

831. Anaghah — The Sanskrit term Aghah (arsr:) means sin or sorrow. Therefore the term means one who is sinless or sorrowless. Lord Paramesvara, the Self, is Immaculate—untouched and uncontaminated by the Vaasanaas. He is Eternal Bliss—beyond all traces of sorrow.

832. Achintyah — "One Who cannot be comprehended by man's mind and intellect." Not only the Lord is Formless, and consequently Imperceptible, but He is also unavailable as an object for our emotional experience, or for our intellectual appreciation. He is the Pure Conscious- ness in Whose Light all our perceptions, feelings and thoughts are illuminated. In Geeta, this "Nourisher of All" is compared with the changeless white screen upon which all the perishing scenes of life are focused.

833. Bhaya-krit — Lord is the "Giver of fear." He is a terror to the evil-minded. In all His Incarnations, He gives fear to the evil-hearted, that they may ultimately be swayed to the path of Dharma

834. Bhayanaasanah — "Destroyer of all fear," is the Supreme Lord. The Upanishads repeatedly -declare the State of Self-Knowledge to be the only state of absolute fearlessness. From a sense of otherness or plurality alone can fear spring forth. In the One Reality, where there is no other, how can there be fear? Sree Narayana alone is the only harbour from all fears.

835. Anuh — "The Subtlest; the All-pervading." Sree Narayana is the subtle flame-of-life in our bosom, the Essence from which all life's activities spring forth. He is called as Anuh because He is in the centre of even the Subtlest. Bhagavan Himself says: "I am seated in the heart of all—as the core or Essence in all."

836. Brihat — At the same time He is Creator than the Greatest in dimension. He being the All-pervading. These two may seem paradoxical but the apparent contradiction dissolves into an illumining experience for the contemplative mind. The Upanishad daringly combines these two terms to give the students a Vague comprehension of the All-pervading Infinitude of the Self.

837. Krisah — "0ne Who is lean; subtle; deli- cate." Again, this description will be opposed by the next following one, for herein is a deliberate use of contradictions. The Rishis made an art of effectively employing terms of contradiction in order to bring the incomprehensible within the cognition of the students of contemplation.

838. Sthoolah — "0ne Who is the fattest; the grossest; roughest." These two terms are indicating oppo- sites. Here it is to be understood that the Lord, in His state as Pure Consciousness, is the subtlest, and He is the grossest in the form of the Universe (Viraat).

839. Gunabhrit — "0ne Who supports"— maintains and expresses through the three Gunas. Through Rajas He creates; through Sattva He preserves and through Tamas He annihilates. He, as Consciousness, expresses Him- self through these three textures of vaasanaas.

840. Nirgunah — "Without-any-properties." That which has property is matter—perishable, changeable, finite. The Imperishable, the Changeless, the Infinite is property-less; it is the Consciousness that illumines all properties (Gunas). With the matter equipments, in His Incarnations He manifests as having 'form' (Guna-bhrit), and in His Absolute Nature He is 'form-less'—the Non-dual Self.

841. Mahaan — "The Great; the Glorious; the Mighty." "One Who is not conditioned by the five Elements— nor by Time and Space. Quite on the other hand, it is He Who is the very Existence in everything.

842. Adhritah — None supports Him, but He supports all. Just as the cotton in cloth, gold in ornaments, mud in pots. He is the supporter of the entire universe. To the devotee who feels the Lord is far away from him, to contemplate upon Sree Narayana as his very own support will open his heart to the certainty and plenitude of faith.

843. Svadhritah — "Self-supported." When from the previous term we hear that the Self is the ultimate support of the Universe, the question automatically rises in a rational intellect: 'what supports the Self?' The Lord is "supported" by nothing else other than His own Glory. In the Upanishad, in answer to a question where the Mighty One abides, the teacher declares, "He abides in His own Glory."

844. Svaasyah — "One Who has an Effulgent Face." Because He gives to the Vedas their beauty and charm, He is conceived as brilliantly beautiful, enchantingly fascinating, hauntingly charming.

845. Praag-vamsah — "One Who has the most ancient ancestry." The Infinite, the Cause for the Universe and Time itself, is indicated as the 'Most Ancient'. The term can also mean the accommodation reserved during a Yaaga meeting where the invitees and guests may rest. Generally built on the eastern courtyard of the house, this accommodation is called 'Praagvamsah.' Since everything con- nected with a Yajna or Yaaga is considered as sacred, the 'Praag-vamsaV has been used here as a name to indicate Sree Narayana.

846. Vamsa-vardhanah — "He Who multiplies His family of descendents." The Lord's family is the whole Universe of things and beings. Or it can also imply just the opposite as the root Vardh means 'the annihilator.' Narayana is the sacred factor in us, to Whose Feet we turn in all love and undivided attention, in Whom the world of perceptions, emotions and thoughts merge as a dream merges into the mind of the waker.

847. Bhaara-bhrit — "One Who carries the load of the Universe." This carrying is not as a man would carry a load—something other than himself. The Self Itself has become the world so here it means only that Narayana is the very material Cause of the Universe.

848. Kathitah — "0ne Who is glorified in the Vedas and other .spiritual text books." Narayana-essence is the theme of all scriptures in the world.

849. Yogee — "One Who can be realised through Yoga:" "One Who is the greatest Yogee." The term Yoga is defined in the Sastra as 'stopping all thoughtflow.' One who has no thought agitations—who has totally conquered the mmd(Maayaa) and lives in His own Effulgent Self-nature is the greatest Yogee.

850. Yogeesah — "The King of Yogees." "One who realises the Self, becomes the Self,'"" is an Upani- shadic declaration. Therefore, Self alone is the perfect Yogee and Sree Narayana, the Self, is the King of all Yogees. The sense of agency-in-action and the sense of enjoyership-in- experience is the ego (Jeeva-bhaavanaa). To end this ego-per- sonality is to rise to the awareness of the Universal Conscious- ness, the Self. Sree Narayana, the Absolute Reality, alone can be free—entirely and fully—from any involvement while being ever in the midst of Samsar and its seething activities. Hence He is glorified as the best among Yogees.

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