Vishnu Sahasranaama

301. Yugaavartah ? In the previous term the Lord is indicated as the Creator of the Yugas, and here we are told that He is also the Power behind the wheel of time that goes on changing and repeating itself, i.e. not only He is the Lord of Time, but He is the Mighty Administrator of the performances of Time, the very Law behind the constant flow of the flood of time.

302. Naikamaayah ? One whose delusory forms are endless and variegated. According to Puranas, for the sake of sustaining the world and maintaining its order and rhythm, the Lord had taken different forms, each of His manifestations well-suited for the times of His arrival. Thus, we have ten incarnations. Also, in that mighty manifestations of the Lord, as Krishna and Rama, we find descriptions of how one and the same entity generated different attitudes and emotions in different types of people. In short, one who has realised the Self, can thereafter freely play through all his existing Vaasanaas and none of them can ever entangle him, because he has grown to be the master of his own Vaasanaas. Maayaa, otherwise called as Avidyaa, is constituted of the Vaasanaas in us, forming our Causal Body. One who has transcended this is the One who has realised the Infinite. Lord is therefore, one who is without Maayaa in Him. An individual entity, like us, is one who is under the tyrannies of Maayaa. The Lord is one who can wield Maayaa for His purpose without Himself becoming involved in it.

303. Mahaasanah ? This word can be dissolved as He who eats up everything. One who swallows up all perceptions, emotions and thoughts, created by the Vaasanaas, at the various levels of personality, due to our own individual Vaasanaas. At the time of Samaadhi when the limited ego is ended and the Supreme is experienced all the expressions of Vaasanaas are, as it were, swallowed by that Infinite Experience, and therefore, this Great Vishnu is called as the “Consumer of Everything.”

304. Adrisyah – Through the sense-organs, the mind and intellect at this moment, we are aware of the outer objects and our subjective emotions and thoughts. The ultimate Reality is neither the objects perceived by us, nor the instruments of our perception. He is the Subjective Core, the Eternal Essence, wherein, the perceived and the instruments of perceptions are all totally absent. This Subjective Reality must necessarily be, by Its very nature, not an object-of perfection, and hence. It is called as the Imperceptible, meaning. He is the very Perceiver in all perceptions.

305. Vyakta-roopah – He who has a form? clearly perceptible to the meditator in his meditation. The contradiction is so smotheringly apparent because of the very placing of the term. It is only just-now, in the above term, that we are told that the Lord is imperceptible (Adrisyah) and the very following term declares that He is perceptible. Here it means that though He is not perceptible with the physical instruments of perceptions, yet on transcending the equipments, the Yogi intimately comes to experience the entire Divine Glory of the Self. Though, ordinarily it is not easy to see Him, in the devotee’s heart, the Lord comes to play vividly and drives the devotee mad in his ecstasy.

306. Sahasra-jit – One who vanquishes thousands. In all the Puranas everywhere, it is found that the Incarnations manifest to destroy the diabolically fallen (Raakshasas) who approach the good in endless hoards to annihilate them. One who conquers over these diabolical forces is the Lord Vishnu.

Subjectively the hosts of passions and lusts, greeds and jealousies which invade the inner bosom, and loot away the seeker’s tranquillity and peace, are all ultimately vanquished by this Higher Consciousness and therefore, the Self is indicated as the one who is ever victorious over all the hoards of our lower impulses.

307. Ananta-jit – Ever-victorious. The victory of the Lord is endless; in every Incarnation, He alone wins in the end. The victory over negative forces becomes complete when once the Higher Consciousness is experienced, and hence, the Self is indicated here as Ananta’jit.

308. Ishtah – This term can be interpreted in two ways. One who is invoked through the different types of Vedic rituals (Yajnas), is Ishtah. 0r,itcan also mean. One who is loved by all. The Lord being the very centre of all love in everyone. The Brihadaranyakopanishad very clearly indicates this idea in almost unvarnished words: ?The man loves his wife not because of the wife, but because of himself. . . .etc.” All love springs from our personal love for the Infinite which is the Self in us.

309. Visishtah – One who is the noblest and the most sacred. Vishnu, the Lord, dwells in the heart of everyone. He is the sole essence presiding over every physical, mental and intellectual activity in every living creature and, therefore. He is indicated by this term.

310. Sishta-ishtah – To all spiritually minded good people and therefore sincere seekers, the Lord is the greatest beloved in-as-much as. He represents the Goal and the Destination of all devoted seekers. In short. He is the Supreme Beloved for all spiritually inclined divine hearts.

He can also mean that the Lord is one who Himself is sincere and ardent lover and courtier of all devotees, sincerely and diligently seeking Him. There are commentators who indicate that the term can also mean: One who is being constantly invoked and held in adoration by all true devotees with their physical, mental and intellectual activities.

311. Sikhandee – One who wears ‘Sikhanda? meaning “the peacock feather”. Lord Krishna is described in Bhagavat as having been adorned with the ‘eye’ of the peacock feather, especially in his early child-and-boy-hood.

312. Nahushah – The term “Nahanam means bondage, therefore, the term stands for “One who “is familiar with bondages. ” In Vedanta, the word lsvarah’ is the Supreme Consciousness conditioned by the total?Causal-Body (Maayaa); at the same time, lshvara is One who has the Maayaa under His control. It can also be understood as “One who binds all creatures of the world with the cord of Maayaa.” Those who are students of the Puranas interpret this word as One whose glory was expressed in the spectacular magnificence in Nahushah, who gained the Office of Indra.

313. Vrishah – There is a famous statement in the Hindu tradition from which we can gather that the Lord is of the nature of Dharma. Dharma means the essential Law of Being, that because of which an individual is an individual, without which the individual cannot exist, is the Dharma of the individual. In this sense, the essential Dharma of one is the Self. Thus, Vrishah is but another name to suggest that the Lord Vishnu is none other than the Self in us.

It can also mean

“One who showers the fulfillment of all desires in all devotees.’ Desires arise when the existing Vaasanaas get impatient and explode into manifestation. As the desire arises, the mind plans out and the body acts towards its fulfillment. All these activities are possible only when the vehicles are thrilled by the Self in us. Thus, ultimately, one who fulfils all desires is the Lord of our heart, the Atman.

314. Krodhahaa ? One who destroys anger in all sincere seekers. We have already found earlier that anger manifests when fulfilment of a deep desire is obstructed. On realising the Lord, all desires end and, therefore, there cannot be any anger on any occasion. Also, anger can come only when we recognise the world of plurality around us. For one who is experiencing the Self, there is nothing but the One Self everywhere and, therefore, there is no occasion to entertain this emotion of anger.

315. Krodha-krit-kartaa – One who generates in a sincere and serious seeker anger against the lower tendencies when they manifest?”Krodha-krit?. Also He is the very creative impulse ‘Kartaa? behind the lower tendencies; because all things come out from Him alone. Some commentators consider this term as two different words, but the majority consider them as an integrated one.

316. Visvabaahuh – One who has number of hands; whose hands are everywhere doing all activities in the universe. The life in the bosom as long as it exists, so long alone the hands and the legs function. The hands can lift and do its job only when it is in contact with life. Life expressing through the hand is its function. All hands that are doing variegated activities all over the world are all His hands in-as much as, where He is not, that lifeless hand can perform no more any activity. Since He is thus the dynamic One Principle that functions through all hands at work He is called a Visva-baahuh.

317. Maheedhurah ? One who is the Substratum and support for the Earth. The Lord is the very material cause for the universe and as such. He supports the worlds-just as cotton supports the cloth, mud supports the pot, gold supports the ornament. Since the term Mahee also means “the adorations sent up by the devotees,” it can also mean ‘One who receives all the worship of devoted hearts.?

318. Achyutah – One who has not got any modifications – such as birth, growth, decay, disease, death etc. The Eternal and Immutable cannot have any change and the Self being the Eternal, it cannot have any of the changes that are natural to all mortal and finite things. Upanishads themselves thunder this Truth?Eternal, Auspicious and Changeless.”

319. Prathitah -One who exists pervading all; spreading Himself everywhere. It can also mean “One whose glory, as described in the Upanishads, has spread round the world everywhere.”

320. Praanah – All manifested expressions of life are called as the Praana. He is the Praana in all living creatures; meaning, it is His manifestations that we recognise as the endless activities in all living creatures in this dynamic world. Also it can mean that “He is the One who in the form of vital-air, sustains life in all creatures.”

321. Praanadah –One who gives strength (Praana} to everywhere. The root ‘da” has a meaning of destruction and, therefore, the term comprehends also the power of destruction everywhere. According to the Puranas, therefore. He is the One who gives the strength and glory for Devas, and again, He is the One who supplies special strength to them to win over the brutal forces of the diabolically wicked, the Asuras. Subjectively, it is the Self that supplies the mental strength for cultivating the higher values of life, and it is the same Source Divine that floods the seekers’ heart with the courage to annihilate the lower impulses that come to destroy his peace and tranquillity within.

322. Vaasavaanujah – The Brother of Indra. This name has been acquired by Lord Vishnu because of His

incarnation as the Adorable Dwarf? (Vaamana). At that time, the Lord had to take birth in the womb of Aditi and manifest as the younger brother of Indra. In the subjective science of Vedanta, the king of the gods (Indra) is the Lord of the sense organs and so he is the Mind. The spiritual urge that dawns in us as a younger brother of the Mind, ultimately comes to measure away and win over the three worlds of waking, dream and deep-sleep,, and thus comes to conquer over the entire kingdom of Indra in more sense than one.

323. Apaam-nidhih ? Treasure of waters, meaning the ocean. The very glory and might of the oceans are all but a reflection of Sri Narayana’s own glory divine. In the Geeta, Bhagavan Himself says, “among the collections of waters, I am the Ocean.”

324. Adhishthaanam ? The Substratum for the entire universe. The delusory misconceptions can be projected only upon something that is real and this permanent ‘post is called the ‘Substratum’ for the delusory ‘Ghost’?Vision.

325. Apramattah – One who has no Pramaada, meaning, ‘One who never commits a mistake in judgement. “The Lord is the Law behind all happenings in the universe. The results of the actions are always strictly according to the quality of the actions. In administering this Law of Karma, One who never makes any mistake is Apramattah. We are full of Pramaoda?we make the mistake of mis-understanding ourselves to be the matter equipment around us and due to this Pramoada, we project in ourselves the false concept of an Ego. The Supreme is ever the Pure Consciousness and, therefore, He is without such wrong self-judgement.

326. Pratishthitah – Everything in the world depends upon something else to serve as its cause. Since all things that we perceive and experience in the world are all effects, they have their own causes, and the effects must necessarily depend upon the cause for their very existence. The Supreme Lord is the One uncaused Cause with reference to whom everything is only an effect. Since He is thus the ultimate Cause, He is not depending upon anything other than Himself. This self-established Reality is indicated by the term Pratishthitah.

327. Skandah – This is one of the names of the youngest son of Lord Siva, Subrahmanya, who is described in the Purana as Commander-in-Chief of the righteous army. Therefore, Skanda means “the Lord, whose glory is expressed, through Subrahmanya”. In order to realise the Self, it is a prerequisite condition that the different personality layers in the seeker should be completely integrated.

328. Skanda-dharah ? “One who upholds the withering righteousness.” Or, “One who fathered Lord Subrahmanya”, meaning One who is in the form of Paramesvara.

329. Dhuryah ? One who carries the Lord. The Lord is the One who carries the responsibilities of creation sustenance and annihilation of the entire world of plurality One who carries out these functions systematically without any hitch round millenniums is Sree Narayana and He is therefore Dhuryah.

330. Varadah ? One who blesses all true devotee; and fulfils their request for boons. It can also mean “One who gives the best (Varam) in life to those who seek Him with perfect detachment and sharpened discrimination.

331. Vaayuvaahanah ? “The One who controls regulates and moves the great winds’. In the Sanskrit literature the movement of air in the atmosphere has been classified under seven types and they are called the ‘Sapta Marutah”.

In short, the inconceivable might and power of the wind; and their life-sustaining abilities are all lent out to the air in His own munificence and, therefore. He is called as Vaayuvaahanah.

332. Vaasudevah -“One who is at once both Vaasu and Deva. Vaasu means “One who dwells in the physical equipments of all living creatures as its indweller; Deva means “One who revels or One who illumines”. Thus, Vaasudevah means “One who lives in the physical equipment as though conditioned by them, and yet, who is the Vital Consciousness in the light of which every experience is illumined. The Lord is the One who dwells in all things of the universe and He is at once the Supporter of the entire world.

Also, directly, it can be taken to mean. One who is born as the Son of Sri Vasudeva in the Jail of Karnsa, the Blue-Boy of Brindaavana. He is called Vaasu as He veils Himself with His own Maayaa; Deva means “He who sports, wishes to conquer, conducts, shines, creates and moves”. In the Udyoga Parva of Mahabharata, we read, “Like the Sun with his rays I am covering (Deva) in all beings and hence, I am called Vaasudeva”.

Vishnupurana says, “As He resides everywhere in and through all things. He is termed Vaasudevah.” All beings remain in the Supreme, and He in all being and hence, the Omnipresent is called the Vaasudeva.

333. Brihat-bhaanuh -Possessed of endless rays, meaning “One who illuminates the world with the rays of the Sun and the Moon.”

Mahabharata says, “He whose great rays are in the Sun, Moon and others and He who illumines the universe through them is called the Possessor of great rays”.

334. Aadidevah – “One who is the Primary source for everything,” meaning the Lord. He is the First Cause, and hence the first Deity.

335. Purandarah – “The destroyer of the cities.” City is the well-equipped field for gathering endless experiences. The three cities through which we generally move about gathering our experiences in this world are the waking, dream and deep-sleep. On transcending the Gross, Subtle and Causal Bodies, one experiences the Self, and at such a moment these three cities are burned down or pillaged or blasted. The same ideal is explained in the Shiva-purana also; accordingly, we can say that He is One who as Mahesvara, performed the destruction of the three cities.

336. Asokah -“One who has no sorrows.”

Sorrow is a condition experienced when the mind is agitated and extremely disturbed. The agitations of the mind come from desires, greed, etc. Therefore, the term Asokah indicates, One who has none of these negative tendencies that create in their turn more and more mental disturbances’. This is a true appellation, because, the Lord, as the Self, transcends the realm of the thought-disturbances constituted by the mind-intellect equipment.

337. Taaranah -“One who enables others to cross.’ The ego suffering the constant agitations of the equipments is saved by the Self. The ego (jeeva), when it discovers its identity with the Self, automatically moves away from the sorrows of the vehicles. In short, as Vishwbhaagavata says, “Who is there other than You that can save us from the wheel of births and deaths.’

338. Taarah – “One who saves is called Taarah One who saves from the fear of re-birth and also One who is a constant protector of the devotees and, therefore, the devotees themselves call Him as the Saviour (Taarah).

These three terms indicate how Vishnu is the Absolute Protector of His devotees. He saves us from the afflictions

(Asoka) of the body and so Subjective-sorrows (Adhyaatma). He enables us to cross the ocean of Samsaara (Taaranah) and, therefore. He saves us from all Cosmic pains (Adhibhootah). He saves us from the elements (Taarah), and so. He is the Saviour from all sorrows of birth and death; this indicates alltrans-Cosmic tragedies (Aadhidaivika), meaning that Narayana can save us from all sorrows contributed by the hand-of-God.

339. Soorah – “The Valiant”. All sources of strength and courage spring from the Life in us and, therefore, the Lord of the universe is called here as the Valiant-capable of crushing all unrighteous forces, however well-trenched they may be in the world.

340. Saurih – Soorasena is the father of Vasudeva, and we have already found that Vasudeva’s son is Vaasudeva. Therefore, the Lord had taken His incarnation in the family of Soora and so He is termed as Saurih.

341. Janesvarah – The Lord of the people. Those who are born are called Jana. Therefore, the term indicates that He is the Lord of all creatures born in the universe.

342. Anukoolah – A hearty well-wisher, or friend of everyone. Since the Lord is the Essential Life in everyone. He is the friend and ally of every individual inasmuch as, nobody spends his life except in concurrence with his own subjective intentions and purposes. Thus, the Lord is a friend fulfilling the intentions of a murderer, and He is again the friend of another helping Him to serve the mankind, if that be his intention. Thus, He is a friend and a devoted ally to everyone since He is the mighty power behind all Vaasanaas expressing through all creatures.

343. Sataavarttah – Sata means “hundred”, and here it is used as “innumerable”. Thus the term ‘Sata avarttah’ means “One who takes infinite varieties of forms”. All forms in the universe are but His own, inasmuch as. His manifestation is the universe. Again, He takes innumerable incarnations in order to maintain the law of the cosmos and also the law of evolution. It can also mean “One who, as Praana, moves in the innumerable Naadees in the body”.

344. Padmee – “One who has the lotus in his hand”. The lotus is the national flower in Bharat as it symbolises in our culture, the Goal of our Spiritual life. It is to offer this “Knowledge”, that the Lord blows His conch, and if people are not listening to this silent call of the Higher from within, He uses His gadaa (mace) to give merciful knocks in life. Still, if an individual or a generation is not listening to His kindly warnings. He has the Discus (Chakra) in His hand. He annihilates totally the existing forms and re-creates.

345. Padma-nibhekshanah – “One whose eyes are as beautiful as the Lotus.” In short, lotus-eyed.’

346. Padmanaabhah – “One who has the lotus in his navel”. This is not to be taken literally. Navel (Naabhi) is the psychic centre where all un-manifest thoughts first spring forth into our recognition (Pasyantee). The seedless state of al thoughts is called in the Yoga Sastra, as Paraa. It therefore means “one in whose bosom lies, in potential, all the possibilities of the universe of expression.” It can also mean “One who manifests Himself in the lotus of the heart of his devotee Some translate as “He who is seated in the pericarp of the lotus.”

347. Aravindaakshah – “One who has eyes as beautiful as the lotus”. The lotus opens at sun-rise and closes in the night. The Lord opens His beauty and grace in the presence of the devotees and the-flood of His grace, as it were, dries up in the presence of the dark sensuality of the ignorant.

348. Padmagarbhah -“One who is being meditated upon in the centre of the lotus-of-the-heart.”

349. Sareerabhrit – “One who sustains Jor nourishes all bodies”. Or, it can mean “One who is the form of food and Praann, becomes the very cause for the sustenance of the body”. It is a fact very well known that even though a body can continue existing without visibly decaying for 50 years, once Life has ebbed away, the dead body cannot maintain its form and it does not exist even for 48 hours intact. He who while presiding over the body nourishes and maintains it, and in whose absence the body decays and perishes. He is the One who is the Sustainer of the body.

350. Maharddhih – “One who has great riddhi, meaning, prosperity and power”. These two-prosperity and power-together is called glory. Thus the term means, “One who has by His very nature glory ever with Him.”

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