Vishnu Sahasranaama

951. Adhaataa – “Above Whom there is no
other to control or to command”-One Who is the Supreme
Controller of all. He is the Law; the eternal Truth is that the
Law and the Law-Giver are one and the same.

952. Pushpahaasah – “He Who shines like
an opening flower.” The bud opens and manifests into the
bloom; the flower was unmanifest in the bud. Since the Lord
at the time of the deluge existed as the Total Unmanifest, and
thereafter, at the maturity of the vaasanaas, opens up as the
manifest world of things and beings, He came to be indicated
by this term.

953. Prajaagarah – “Ever-Awakened”-He
Who knows no sleep. Sleep means ‘non-apprehension.’ This
‘non-apprehension’ of Reality is called ”A’vidyaa’ (nescience)
which produces our ‘mis-apprehension’ of I and mine, and the
world of pains and shocks. Since Narayana is the Self, He is
‘Ever-available” and is never asleep to His Eternal-Divine-

954. Oordhvagah – “One Who is on the top
of everything”-One Who ever goes high, for He is the highest
Truth, the Summit of evolution. “One Who goes higher and
higher is called “Oordhvagah.”

955. Satpathaachaarah – “One Who
walks the path of truth”-a path which others implicitly follow
to reach the Truth Infinite. “Whatever an adored one does,
other people will implicitly follow,” warns Krishna in Bhagavad
Geeta. Lord is the “Standard of Perfection” and all devotees
place Him as the Ideal-trying to imitate, in their own lives,
His Absolute Goodness, Absolute Love and Absolute Peace.

956. Praanadah – One Who gives ‘Praana’ to
all.” The term ‘Praana’ in our Sastras means the physiological
functions, the manifestations of Life in man. Therefore, Nara-
yana, the Self, is the Vital Source from which all sense organs,
mind and intellect borrow their power of perception, capacities
of feeling and their faculties of thinking and understanding.

957. Pranavah – “Om-kaara is Pranava.” The
Infinite Reality is indicated by ‘OAf in the Vedas. ‘OM’ is the
manifesting sound of the Supreme Self. Therefore, Sree Nara-
yana is called ‘PranavaV: meaning He is of the ‘nature of

958. Panah – “The Supreme Manager of the
Universe.” The root ‘Pana’ means “to transact.” By giving the
exact rewards for all actions, Lord both orders and justly
manages all activities of each individual and directly supervises
the interactions between individuals and things constituting
this scientifically precise universe.

959. Pramaanam – “He Whose very form
is the Vedas”-which are the only ‘proof for the Eternal
Reality. Or, we may read it: He Who is the Pure Infinite Con-
sciousness (Prajnaanam) as we have it in the great Command-
ment, “Consciousness is the Infinite Reality.”

960. Praananilayah – “He in Whom all
‘Praanas’ stand established.” He Who is the very substratum-
vital foundation-for all ‘activities’ manifested in a living

961. Praana-bhrit – “He Who rules over all
‘Praams’ “-Sree Hari is the One Who causes everyone to eat,
digest, feel energised, act, achieve the fruits thereof, grow old
and die. In all these ‘activities,’ the great One-Commanding,
Factor-Divine, Sree Narayana, the Self, presides in silent
detachment, and by His Presence He initiates and maintains
all these activities in all living creatures upon the earth’s surface.

962. Praana-jeevanah – “He Who maintains
the life-breath in all living creatures.” This interpretation
is not a happy one as this meaning has just come in the pre-
ceding, endearing term. In love, of course, there is no rule that
the lover should not repeat the same loving words to address
his Beloved. But, we can find yet a new depth of suggestion if
we understand this term to mean “One Who is the very life-
giving divine-touch in every breath.”

963. Tattvam – “The Reality”-That which is
Eternal, the Essence. “That which one gains in subjective
realisation is the Self,” Sree Narayana.

964. Tattvavit – “0ne Who has realised fully
the Reality”-meaning the original essential nature of the
Self. On realising the Self, the individual becomes the Self
and, therefore, Sree Narayana, that very Self, is the One Who
has realised fully the Reality which is His Own Nature Divine.

965. Ekaatmaa – “The Advaita Reality”-
Narayana is the One Self, the Oversoul, Who expresses Him-
self as the individualities of the infinite entities in the universe.

966. Janma-mrityu-jaraa-atigah – “One
Who knows no change or modifications in Himself.” Every
finite object in the world undergoes constant ‘change’ and each
of them is extremely painful. They are birth, growth, decay,
disease and death. One who has none of these is the Infinite
and the Eternal, the Changeless Self, Sree Narayana, Ever-the-
Same Supreme. Geeta thunders the nature of the Self to be
“ever-birthless and never-dying,” and once It has existed. Self
never becomes non-existent.

967. Bhoor-bhuvas-svas-taruh – “0ne
Who is the Sap in the Tree-of-Life existing in all this Universe
of the higher-world, our-world and the lower-world.” The
famous Vedic terms Bhooh Bhuvah and Svah connote the three
worlds (lokas). The word ‘Loka’ in Sanskrit means “a field
of experience.” Therefore, in fact, these three terms, called
Vyaahritees, subjectively represent all our experiences in the
waking, dream and deep-sleep states of consciousness, Yyaahri-
tees are mantras by which the Lord performs His constant
Yajna to nurture and nourish the Universe. So, this epithet has
been given to Sree Narayana, the Infinite Self, the glorious
Essence (Sap) that pervades the entire Tree-of-Life-flowing
out to even embrace all experiences in all planes of Consci-
ousness, everywhere, in everything at all times.

968. Taarali – “0ne Who helps all to cross-
over”-the Eternal Boat-man, to Whom, if the devotees can
surrender in unswerving faith and true devotion, He will surely
row them across the “Ocean of Samsar:” That One is Taarah.
Through exclusive, devoted meditation, alert with understanding, the individuality in each of us wakes up to the higher
plane-and there in that Be-attitudc to experience the Self,
the Eternal Brahman-Sn’c Huri.

969. Savifaa – “Hc Who is the Father of All”-
Who is the Eternal Father of the entire Universe.

“He is not born, nor does He ever die; after having been He again ceases
not to be; unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient he is not killed when
the body is killed.” -Geeta IT-20.

970. Pra-pitaamahah – “He Who is the Father
of even the ‘Father of all Beings,’ the Creator, Brahmaaji,
of the Trinity.” The Creator Himself rose from the Absolute
Self. Creator is known in our scriptural language as Pitaamaha
-the Father.

971. Yajnah – “One Whose very nature is
Yajfta.” The term Yajna means “work undertaken with a
pure spirit of total dedication in complete co-operation with
others, and for the well-being of all creatures and for the welfare of the world.” Wherever there is such a co-operative endeavour with total selflessness, there is Sree Narayana in action
through His creatures.

972. Yajna-patih – “The Lord of all Yajnas.” I am the ‘Enjoyer’ in all self-dedicated, co-operative endeavours (Yajna). These are the joyous words of the Lord Who Himself declares: “The ‘Enjoyer’ and the ‘Lord’ in all Yajnas
am I.”

973. Yajvaa – “The One Who performs Yajna
according to the strict prescriptions laid down in the Vedas”-
The One Who maintains in all His divine actions the true
Yajna spirit.

974. Yajnaangah – “One Whose limbs are the
‘things’ employed in Yajna.” In Harivamsa we are told that
these ‘things’ are the very aspects of Lord Sree Narayana.

975. Yajna-vaahanah – “One Who fulfils
Yajnas in complete and exact accord with the Vedic instructions.”

976. Yajna-bhrit – “The Ruler of the Yajnas”-
the One Who helps us to conclude successfully all our ‘good,
dedicated, selfless acts of service to others’-Yajnas.

977. Yajna-krit – “One Who performs
Yajna.” The same term can also mean One Who destroys
the Yajnas. The term yajna connotes all noble and divine
actions of service and love undertaken in a pure sense of God-
dedication, selflessness and joy. Lord issued forth the Creation
as an act of Yajna, and in the end He must also undertake the
total dissolution of this very Yajna. Sometimes this is inter-
preted as “One Who ‘performs’ the Yajnas of the good
people and One Who ‘destroys’ the Yajna’! of the evil-minded

978. Yajnee – “One Who is the constant ‘Enjoyer’ of the perpetual Yajnas.” In all Yajnas, because every
act is Narayana-centted-God-dedicated-to Him alone is the
attribute of being the only single ‘Enjoyer.’

979. Yajna-bhuk – All that is offered into
the sacred Fire during a Yajna, though with an invocation to
any of the deities, in tender devotion and joy, goes to Him
alone, the “One receiver of all that is offered,” for a1I deities
are but Narayana in different forms.

980. Yajna-saadhanah – “0ne Who fulfils
all Yajnas. It is by His Grace alone all noble endeavours,
undertaken in an honest and true sincerity, gain spectacular

981. Yajnaantakrit – “One Who performs the last, concluding act in all Yajnas,” The final item in a
Yajna is the “total-offering” (Poorna-Aahuti) when Sree
Naruyana is reverently and earnestly invoked. Without this
prayer-ritual, Yajna is never complete. Sree Han therefore, is of the form of Poorna-Aahuti-in the sense that when ‘total’
surrender of all vehicles and their actions is accomplished, the
transcendental experience of the Self, Narayana alone, comes
to manifest in all His divine Splendour.

Some commentators have, however, taken the meaning
of the Yajna-anta-not as “the last item in Yajna” but as
the ‘fruit’ of the Yajna by which they bestow the
meaning that Narayana is the “One Who gives away the ‘fruits’
for all Hart-dedicated, selfless acts of love and service.”

982. Yajna-guhyam – “Sree Narayana is
the most profound truth to be realised in all Yajnas.” The
Self is the most noble truth to be sought through ‘offering’ all
the ‘Dravya’ (objects) into the “Consciousness” (Fire) in the
“body” (kunda). This kind of subjective- Yajna is called in the
Geeta as “Knowledge- Yajna.” This is also called in the Vedas
as Brahma- Yajna.

983. Annam – “One Who has Himself become
the ‘food’ “-sense-objects which are the ‘food’ consumed by
the sense-organs. As a verb it can be used as One Who “Eats”
the whole Universe at the time of the great dissolution. At that
time. He is the One in Whom the world remains absorbed in
Pralaya, just as our individual world each day gets dissolved
in our sleep. The One in Whom alone the world of names and
forms can remain in their ‘seed-form,’ is Sree Narayana, the

984. Annaadah – “One Who eats the ‘food.'”
Not only the objective world is the projection on Narayana,
but the subjective-enjoyer-the individuality, the ego, that
experiences-is also Narayana. The Self, functioning through
the “equipments” is the Jeevaatman, the individuality in each
of us who “experiences.” Thus the Self is both ‘food’ (Annam)
and ‘eater-of-food’ (Annaadah) just as our own waking-mind
becomes the “experiencer” and the “experienced” in our

985. Aatma-yonih – “One Who is Himself
the ‘material Cause’ (Upaadaana Kaarana) for Himself;” the
Self-born, the Uncaused Cause.

986. Svayam-jaatah – “One Who, as the
Lord of the Universe, has no other ‘Instrumental Cause’
(Nimitta-Kaarana) in projecting Himself.”

Three causes are necessary in all ‘creation’ in the pluralistic
world: the ‘Material cause’ (mud), the ‘Instrumental cause’
(wheel), and the ‘Efficient cause’ (the potmaker). In Sree Narayana’s self-projection, as in the dream, that all these three
causes are He, Himself, is shown in these terms.

987. Vai-khaanah – “The One Who dug
through the earth”-cutting through the denseness of the
gross to reach, apprehend and kill the subtle Hiranyaksha,
the terrible and the monstrous who had tried to destroy the
spiritual values in the world. The Self has to reach us to destroy
the ego in us and give us the ‘liberation’ from our evil
adherence to the body-mind-intellect.

988. Saama-gaayanah – “One Who sings the

989. Devakeenandanah – “He Who appeared as born to Devakee in His Incarnation as Krishna.'” And
since Devakee could only, from afar, see, watch and enjoy the
pranks and play of her blessed child in Gokula, Krishna is
called as the “Joy of Devakee” (Devakee-nandana).

990. Srashtaa – “One Who creates.” Even the
Creator can perform His job only by drawing His abilities and
capacities from the Infinite Self, Sree Narayana.

991. Kshiteesah – “0ne Who is the Lord of
the Earth.” Sree Narayana is the husband of Mother Earth. He
is Her Protector, Her nurturer and nourisher. Here, Earth may
stand for all that is gross-the entire Maayaa-and Narayana
is the Lakshmee-Pati.

992. Paapa-naasanah – Meditating upon
Whom, all vaasanaas (sins) are liquidated. When an individual,
surrendering in love to Him, acts and fulfils his duties, all his
existing vaasanaas are destroyed and no new ones are created-
this is the very root in the theory of Karma Yoga in the Vedas.
Through meditation upon the Self, all sins are dissolved and
totally removed.

993. Samkha-bhrit – “0ne Who has the
divine conch named “Paanchaanya.” The word meaning of this
term Paancha-janya is “that which is bom of the five” (sense
organs), so it stands for the mind. Mind being the seat of ego,
the Sastras declare that the conch in the divine hand of Sree
Narayana is the ego-factor (Ahamkaara-Tattva) in our per-

994. Nandakee – The Lord’s sword is called
Nandaka. Therefore, this term indicates One Who holds and
wields the Nandaka-sword. The words Nanda-kam mean “that
which brings bliss.” The Sastras sing that this divine sword in
the sacred hands of Lord Hari represents the Knowledge-
Spiritual (Vidyaa-Tattva) with which a seeker can destroy all
his “ignorance” of the Self in him.

995. Chakree – “0ne Who carries the Discus
called Sudarsana.” The term Su-Darsana means “that which
gives the auspicious vision.” The Sastras attribute to this
Discus-Divine the representation of the human mind.

996. Saarnga-dhanvaa – “One Who aims His unerring Bow called Saarnga.” This bow of Narayana is glorified in our texts as representing the Ego, as the ‘apex’ of
all the sense organs, Ahamkaara-Tattva. In this concluding
Stanza, the instruments of Blessing in Sree Narayana’s hands
are remembered with reverence and devotion.

997. Gadaa-dharah – “0ne who holds His
divine Club (Mace) celebrated as Kaumodakee-which generates and spreads beauty and joy.” This Mace is described
as representing the intellect in man (Buddhi-Tattva).

998. Rathaanga-paanih – The traditional
meaning is, of course, “One Who has the ‘wheel of the
chariot’ as His weapon.” This means the Discus which already
has been mentioned in this very Stanza as Chakree. But, there
are others who would like to interpret this term in other ways.
In a glorification-Hymn or devotional-Chant, repetition is no
sin; in fact, it should be quite natural.

999. Akshobhyah – “One Who cannot be
exasperated by anyone, by any act or acts, however blasphemous they may be.” One Whose peace and calm cannot be
stormed out by any happening in his outer world: Ever-peaceful.
The term suggests Infinite patience, love and kindness towards
man and his frailties.

1000. Sarvu-praharanaayudhah – “He Who
has all implements for all kinds of assault and fight.” No
enemy can surprise Him, the ‘conqueror of all.’ One Who has
weapons to meet any missile, however powerful.

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