Vishnu Sahasranaama

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

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

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

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

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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