Vishnu Sahasranaama

551. Dridhah – “The Finn.” One who is firm in
His convictions, judgements, love and mercy. It is in this sense
that the Bhakti Marga describes the Lord often as ‘A-Dridhah^
especially when a sinner prostrates before Him; meaning that
in full repentance were a criminal to surrender himself to the
Lord’s Feet, the Infinite Justice even wavers and becomes
anxious to help the sinner out of his mistaken notions and his
consequent ugly actions. The Lord is ever vigilant to re-establish
such a one in his own wisdom, which is his real nature.

552. Sankarshano-achyutah ? During the
great dissolution of the entire universe of names and forms,
He, being the one who merges the entire plurality into His
own essence?He is called ^Sankarshanah.’1 When an individual
sleeps, his entire world of experiences get absorbed into himself
and they all remain in seed condition in the ‘Causal-body*
as mere vaasanaas. One who never falls away from His own ess-
ential nature is called ‘Achyutah’?one who knows no fall
(Chyutih). The one expression used here for the Lord is the
combination of both these terms. The Lord Narayana who
absorbs the whole world into Himself at the time of the deluge,
and He who never falls away from His own Real Nature.

553. Varunah ? Since, in the evening, the sun
reaches the western horizon (Varuna-Dik) the sun is called
Varunah. Also after his day’s functioning in the world, in the
dusk he gathers his scorching rays unto himself and disappears.
Like the setting sun, the Lord withdraws all the pluralistic world
unto Himself. The Eternal Reality, functioning through the
sun as the sun’s energy and light, is described in the Upanishads
as the ‘Golden One’, and hence the appropriateness of using
this term Varunah for Narayana. The designation Soorya-
Narayana is very familiar to the students of Purana.

554. Vaarunah ? The son of Varunah is called
Vaarunah. Both Vasishtha and Agastya are traditionally consi-
dered as sons of Varunah. Therefore, the term indicates the
Lord, who manifested himself as Vasishtha or Agastya. Where-
ever there is an explosive expression of any spectacular glory
of stupendous achievement, “understand them all as coming
out of my glory,” says Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta.*

The term can also be read in some manuscripts as A-
Vaarunah?meaning, according to some commentators, “one
whose nature is never subject to veiling.”

555. Vrikshah ? In the Upanishads the world
emerging out of the Supreme Brahman is described meta-
phorically as a ‘Tree’; in the Kathopanishad and in the Geeta,
we read of the Samsaara-Vriksha?the Tree of Life?exhaus
lively described. In the Puranas, again we find, in more than
3 or 4 places, exhaustive descriptions of the world manifested
from the Lord as a ‘Tree.’

556. Pushkaraakshah ? One who has eyes
(Aksha) as beautiful as the lotus flowers (Pushkara); the de-
scriptive epithet: ‘Lotus-eyed.’ The Sanskrit term ‘ Pushkara’
also means the Universal-Space, thus, it also has the inter-
pretation, “one who is ever pervading all space.”

557. Mahaamanaah ? “One who has a great
mind.” Narayana as the Lord (Eesvara) is the Supreme Con-
sciousness functioning through the Total-Mind, and He, with
His Mind, creates, sustains and destroys, fulfilling the great
game of Samsar, continuously.

558. Bhagavaan ? The word ?Bhaga? according
to the Great Vishnu Purana means, “One who has all the
Six Great Glories?Wealth, Power, Dharma, Fame, Character, Knowledge and Dispassion?is called ‘Bhagavaan’.” Again, Vishnu Purana says: “He is named Bhagavaan who
knows (a) the beginning and the end, (b) the arrival and the
departure of beings, and also (c) Vidyaa and Avidyaa.” One who
has all these Six Glories in Himself alone is Bhagavan and
these great mighty powers automatically come to Him, because
His equipment is the Total-mind.

559. Bhagahaa ? One who destroys, during the
deluge, the Six Glories just mentioned. At this time, the Lord
absorbs everything unto Himself, and in this sense the term,
“destroyer of all these great glories” (Bhagahaa) means only a
destruction as in the case, say, of Napoleon who, while sleeping,
absorbed unto himself all his glories. When thus the Total-
mind rests from its self-willed projections, the world of plurality
appears to have been absorbed by the Lord unto Himself.

560. Aanandee ?”The one who gives delight.”
The Lord is Himself Absolute Bliss, and those devotees who
move towards Him in pure surrender, come to share His divine
nature of All-Bliss. There is a version wherein we read this
term as ‘Nandee’ . Here, too, there is no difference in
meaning. Also this term indicates: “Son of Nandagopaala”?
Lord Krishna?Who was nurtured and tended by Yasodaa and
Nandagopaala throughout His childhood.

561. Vanamaalee ? One who wears always a
garland of leaves and flowers named Vaijayantee. Vaishnavas
declare this to represent the subtle aspect of the very five ele-
ments themselves, (Bhoota-tanmaatraas).

562. Halaayudhah ? “One who has the plough
as His weapon.” He is the brother of Lord Krishna, Bala-
bhadra, who is considered as the eighth Incarnation of Lord
Vishnu. Even today in our country the farmers repeat Bala-
rama’s name while ploughing for a successful cultivation and
profitable harvest.

563. Aadityah ? One who was born as the son
of Aditi and Kasyapa as Vaamana, who begged of Emperor
Bali three steps of ground and got all the three worlds.

564. Jyotir-aadityah ? “The Supreme who
is the resplendence in the Sun.” The Atman expressing as the
glorious light and energy in the Sun is meditated upon as Lord
Vishnu. “One must meditate upon Vishnu who is adorned
fully, holding in His hands the Conch and the Discus, sitting
in Padmaasana, enveloped in golden hue, in the centre of the
orb of the Sun.” The Deity residing in t1- , disc of the Sun is
Narayana Himself, “^”?’from Vishnu’; “ityah”?to be
obtained’. From Vishnu, salvation is to be obtained and so He
is called as Aaditya. This interpretation gives us an insight into
the meaning of the word Sun, in Sanskrit?’Aaditya”: “One
from whom all creatures have to receive”! The great-grand-
giver is the Sun.

565. Sahishnuh ? One who calmly endures the
pairs-of-opposites. One who is above them, and thus is never
influenced by these experiences of the physical and mental

566. Gatisattamah ? The ultimate refuge
for all devotees; the best (Highest) destination and at once the
noblest path. Lord Narayana represents the Supreme Brahman,
the final state of liberation, and the path to reach. It is also
worship of, and meditation upon. Lord Narayana. “Gati”
means both the goal and the path. In short. One who is
Himself the very essence of spiritual liberation.

567. Sudhanvaa (^^rr)?One who has His glorious
bow?called “Saarnga.” According to some, it represents the
sense organs and their activities.

568. Khanda-parasuh ? One who has the axe-
weapon?called “Parasu.” The Lord used this weapon in His
Incarnation as Parasuraama, the son of Jamadagni. It is endo-
wed with terrible prowess in cutting down the unholy enemies
of the nobler life and so it is called as the “Khanda-Parasu.”
As such it means ‘one who wields the invincible Parasu.’

569. Daarunah ?”The one who is merciless
towards the unrighteous.” Up to a point the Lord is All-mercy?
but when He finds that no other method can save the individual, like a surgeon at the operation theatre. He appears to
be relentless?merciless.

570. Dravina-pradah ? One who lavishly gives
wealth asked for by His devotees. According to Vyasa, Lord
Vishnu gives to his true devotees the wealth of the Sastra
knowledge?the deeper and clearer understanding of the
Science of Reality.

571. Divah-sprik ? “The Sky-reaching.” The
Lord who revealed His Universal Form to Arjuna in the

572. Sarva-drik-vyaasah ?When considered as one word it means: “One who creates many omniscient men of wisdom.” One who encourages the spread of
knowledge and thus turns out many men of wisdom and clearer
understanding of life and the world. Or taken as two words
its interpretation can mean: “One who is Omniscient and
Vyasa.” This would mean, “The Lord who has expressed Him-
self as Sri Veda Vyasa.” Vyasa is the poet-philosopher who
codified, compiled and edited the Vedas and published them
in four volumes?Rig Veda, with its 21 branches; Yajur Veda,
with its 101 branches: Saama Veda, with its 1000 branches and
the Atharvana Veda, with its 9 branches (or Saakhaas). He is
the one who gave us the 18 Puranas and the Brahmasootras.
Hence he is called: “The Omniscient Vyasa.”

573. Vaachaspatir-ayonijah ? One who
is a master of all knowledge (Vidyaas) and who is unborn
through a mother’s womb.

574. Trisaamaa ? “One who has been glorified
by the three Saamas.” ‘Saama’ means divine songs?hence,
Veda. The one who has been praised by the singers of the
Saama-Veda, those called as the Devas, the Vratas and the

575. Saamagah ? “The singer of the Saaman
songs.” One who performs the actions prescribed in the Saama
Veda and who invokes the Lord is called, in Vedic terminology,
the ‘Udgaataa?.

576. Saama ?The Lord is the Saama Veda. This
is to indicate the sacredness of the very Book. Lord Krishna
has confessed in the Geeta: “Of Vedas I am the Saama Veda.”*

577. Nirvaanam ? The Lord is of the very
nature of “Ever-liberated, Ever-free.” There is no trace of
imperfection and sorrow in Him whose nature is, All-Bliss.

578. Bheshajam ? ‘Bheshajam’ means ‘medicine.’ Hence, He who is the very specific cure for the disease of Samsar (change, becoming).

579. Bhishak ? One who is the ‘Physician,’ who
is the ‘cure’ for the disease of Samsar. Or it can also mean that
the Lord manifested during the “churning of the Milky Ocean”
as the Deity of Medicine, holding the pot of Amrita in His
hand ? The Lord Dhanvantari. In Indian systems of Medi-
cines, He is considered as the presiding Deity of the Medical
Sciences. Vishnu manifested as this Lord of Doctors, whereupon
this name for Him: “Doctor” (Bhishak).

580. Samnyaasa-krit ? Lord is the institutor
of the fourth stage of life (Aasrama) called ‘Samnyaasa’ which
is meant for those who walk the path of total renunciation.
The One who, in His Infinite Grace, gives the needed qualifications unavoidable for Samnyaasa.

581. Samah ? “The Calm.” One who exists without
the mind running out into the passions of the sense-organs.

In Samnyaasa, He teaches the life of calmness and quietud
and in the accumulated inner peace, the final experience is
gained. The Smriti* prescribes the duties of the four stage;
as: “The duty of the ‘Brahmachari’ is service; for the ‘House
holder’, charity; for the ‘Forest-dweller’ is the duty of restraint
and for the ‘Samnyaasin’ ‘Calmness’. Samnyaasa without Same
is inconceivable and this ‘Calmness’ is His nature.

582. Saantah ? One who is quiet within, as in
Him the sense-organs are perfectly controlled. The Upanishads
glorify the Supreme State as actionless, partless, peaceful. This is a declaration from Sveta-asvatara Upanishad.

583. Nishthaa ? The Abode of all beings, not only
while living, but during the Pralaya (deluge). During this
Cosmic dissolution, the entire living creatures merge back into
their Vaasanaas, (seed-form), and remain in Him. Therefore,
He is called, “The Abode of the Universe.”

584. Saantih ? “One whose very nature is
Peace.” Agitations are caused by desires and the consequent
temptations to strive for, acquire and indulge in them. In the
All-Full, there is no desire, hence He need not seek His ful-
filment among the perishable objects of the universe, and so
He is Peace.

585. Paraayanam ? The Supreme Goal is
Narayana. After reaching Him there is no return.*** In short,
the term indicates that Narayana is the way to the Supreme
Liberation (Moksha).

586. Subhaangah ? One who has the most
beautiful form. That one who is enchanting, most handsome.

587. Saantidah ? Narayana dispenses that
Peace which puts an end to likes and dislikes (Raaga-Dvesha).
He is the One who cleanses the mind of His devotees and gives
to each the inner Peace and Joy.

588. Srashtaa ? “The Creator of all beings.” In
the beginning. He has created all from Himself as the Great
Five Elements: (Viranchi).

589. Kwnudah ? The reveller in the Earth. The
term ‘AM’ means Earth. Therefore, the term means “He
who delights in the Earth.”

590. Kuvalesayah ? He who reclines in the
waters (Kuvala). Waters surround the earth, thus it is called as
Kuvala. The term can also mean the ‘Crawler’?meaning Ser-
pent. In this sense it indicates?” Sarpa-Saaye”: “One who
reclines upon the Great Sesha”?the Divine “Sesha-Saaye.”

591. Go-hitah ? One who does the Cow-wel-
fare-work, always. Sree Krishna, through many incidents,
helps to develop and conserve the sacred animal, Cow, for,
the very existence of Bharat’s dispensation depends upon the
Cow; the agriculture being essentially Cow-centred
also means Earth. Thus: “One who saved the world” from the
materialists and their designs of excesses and imperfect vision.
One who protects against the irresponsible havoc, for example,
of Ravana and others; all inimical to the genius of the natural
Bhaarateeya Samskriti.

592. Go-patih ? “The husband of the Earth.”
Or, 6ne who is the Lord protecting all those who are weary of
their samsaaric life c ‘passions and desires. Such ones, exhausted
by grazing in the pastures of dissipation and enervated from
the world of happenings, are comparable to cows. Hence
Narayana is called here as the “Lord of the Cows”,?’Gopaala.’
‘Go’ also may be interpreted as ‘sense-organs’. In this way the
term suggests “Lord of the Sense-Organs,” Sri Narayana,
the Self.

593. Goptaa ?The root ‘Gup’ (ni) has two
meanings: to protect; to veil. Thus ‘Goptaa’ can imply “One
who protects the universe” or “One who, by His Maayaa, veils
the glory of the Divine Self within.”

594. Vrishabhaakshah ? One whose eyes
rain fulfilment of all desires of His devotees. He sees the un-
expressed desires of His devotees and fulfils them easily. Or
it can be taken that Sri Narayana is “One whose eyes are
Dharma Itself”; meaning. One who sees righteousness clearly
and continuously. If one wants to see clearly righteousness, he
must cultivate and develop the Narayana vision.

595. Vrisha-priyah: ? Vishnu delights in
Dharma. ‘Vrisha’ means ‘Dharma,’ so the term can be dissolved
as “One who delights in Dharma”. Or it
can signify, “One who is beloved of the virtuous, the Good.”

596. Anivartee ? “One who never knows
retreat.” During the clashes between the Good (Devas) and
the Bad (A suras), Narayana never retreats. He is One Who never
turns back from Dharma; for He is its friend and protector.

597. Nivritta-atmaa ? One who is fully
restrained from all sense indulgences. So long as the equipments of our experiences?the Body, Mind and Intellect?are roaming about in their pleasures?among objects, emotions
and thoughts?our attention is dissipated and is not available
for the contemplation of the Higher, the Self. Narayana is
the Atman in all, and to reach Him we have to retire from the
fields of our indulgences. Hence, He is indicated as the “Re-

598. Samksheptaa ? The One who absorbs
unto Himself the entire universe of multiplicity during the
dissolution?the “Involver.” Narayana presides over not only
the evolution but also is the controller at the involution. In
some readings, we find this term as “Asamksheptaa”?meaning
“One who never abandons His devotees.”

599. Kshema-krit ?”The doer of Good”;

One who protects and guides the devotees. “Kshema” signifies
protecting what has been gained, and it includes ” Yoga” also,
meaning “acquiring things not yet gained.” In Geeta, Lord
Krishna promises that “I shall govern both your ‘Yoga’ and
‘Kshema’ when you are a true devotee.”*

600. Sivah ? Lord Narayana is adored here as
Sivah and, at the same time, all Vaishnavites repeat Vishnu-
sahasranaama. Human prejudices have no logic or reason. Sri
Narayana is Siva (auspiciousness) and there is no difference
between the two. “I am the dweller of Vaikuntha, Vishnu.
Between us there is no difference,” **so says Lord Siva Himself.
Vishnu is the “Purifier” (Siva), as His names, when chanted,
and His form-divine, when meditated upon, become a means
of quietening the mind and sharpening our perceptions of the
subtler and the transcendental.

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