Vishnu Sahasranaama

451. Sarvadarshee ? “All-knower.” As He is the pure Consciousness in all living creatures, all knowledge in all beings is illumined by Him. Just as the sun is “the eye of the universe,” so the Consciousness is the Illuminator of everything.

452. Vimuktaatmaa ? ?The ever-liberated Self.” The Supreme, though He expresses Himself through the equipments. He is never conditioned by the matter envelopments through which He apparently expresses Himself. Just as the waves rise, exist and dissolve in the ocean, the equipments of experiences rise, play and dissolve themselves in Him.

He is ever-liberated, never-shackled by gross matter. This great principle of Paraatmaa is Sri Narayana.?Sruti says.

453. Sarvajnah – “Omniscient.” He is the Principle of Consciousness and, therefore. He is the Illuminator of all thoughts, all intentions, motives, emotions and all sense perceptions in an individual. The meaning is the same as in Sarvadarsee.

454. Jnaanamuttamam – “The Supreme Knowledge of all other knowledges.” The Self is the Supreme Knowledge, for, without the Consciousness, no knowledge is possible. Taittireeyopanishad indicates the Self as: “Satyam Jnaanam, Anantam Brahma.?

455. Suvratah ? “The one who is ever performing the pure vow.” It is a sacred vow of the Lord that He has to give shelter and protection to all those who totally surrender themselves into him?says Sri Ramachandraji: “To give shelter to all living creatures?this is my vow.” This term can also refer to Him who had done tapas for a long number of years on the mount of Nara-Narayana in Badrinath.

456. Surnukhah – One who has an enchanting face. Truth is beauty and Beauty truth. In all conditions the Lord is ever cheerful and brings to His face the dignified beauty of calm repose. When the devotees come and surrender at His sacred feet Narayana is the one of Infinite mercy who beams with joy at the devotion of the surrender.

457. Sookshmah – One who is subtler than the subtlest. In Vedanta terminology subtlety indicates Pervasiveness. Therefore, the term means All-Pervasive. The Upanishad

says the Lord is All-Pervading, subtler than the subtlest (Sarvagatam susookshmarn).

458. Sughoshah ? “Of auspicious sound.” This is the name of the conch that Krishna blew in the opening of the Mahabharata war. The sound of Vishnu is the essence of all Vedas as all the four Vedas have come from Him, the Supreme. Hence the term “of auspicious sound.”

459. Sukhadah – “One who confers happiness.” It can also mean in Sanskrit one who is the destroyer of joy (Da?to destroy). Here, of course, it means that One who gives joy to His devotees and takes away joy from those who are undivine.

460. Suhrit ? “The friend of all living creatures.” A true friend is one who gives all that he possesses without expecting any return.

461. Manoharah ? One who is the looter of the mind; or charming. Not only is the Lord Beauty Incarnate, but He compels the attention of the devotee to come away from all other sense objects to dwell upon His enchanting form. Thus Vishnu is one who generates an irresistible joy in the mind of His devotees and compels them to spend their time in constant worship.

462. Jita-krodhah – One who has conquered anger. By the one term here, anger, we should consider all the six inner enemies Kaama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Moatsarya. These six constitute the types of thoughts in man; the six categories into which all his mental activities fall. One who has conquered all these means one who is beyond the mind?the Self.

463. Veerabaahuh ? One having mighty, valiant arms. From time to time He has to incarnate in order to put down the wicked and thereby protect the good.

464. Vidaaranah ? One who splits asunder; destroys. In the man-lion form, Narasimha, Lord Vishnu appears to tear open and kill Hiranyakasipu. Again, inorder to destroy Hiranyaaksha and to lift the earth from the ocean, Sri Narayana had to take the form of the great boar (Varaaha). Accordingly in the Sanskrit vocabulary, bhoo-daarah is a synonym for boar ( Varaaha). Dara means to split or to tear open. Thus the meaning of the divine Boar can be squeezed out from the term Vidaaranah used here.

465. Svaapanah – One who puts people to sleep; stupefying. Lord Vishnu as lsvara has for Himself the total Vaasanaa (Maayaa) as an equipment for His self-expression as Eesvara (Narayana). He, through His Maayaa, veils each individual and renders them ignorant of their own divine nature. This “veiling-power” (Aavarana Sakti) creates many agitations (Yikshepa), due to which individuals rush out for sense-gratification. Since lsvara, thus, with His Maayaa-power deludes everybody, He gathers to Himself this epithet Svaapanah, meaning “the mighty stupefying force.”

466. Svavasah – The One who has everything under His own personal control; the totally independent. Since He is the Supreme Consciousness, all living creatures and phenomenal powers are functioning by His grace, drawing their capacities to exist and act from Him only. If He withdraws His patronage everything in this Universe must stop functioning immediately. He is supremely independent inasmuch as, though the world-of-objects needs Him, He is entirely self-sufficient and needs no world for His Existence. Thus He is totally free. The waves need the ocean, but the ocean is totally independent of the waves’ existence.

467. Vyaapee – All-pervading. Pervasiveness in philosophy indicates subtlety. Thus All-pervading means that which is “subtler than the subtlest.” This concept is again sustained by the physical observations in the world. The cause always pervades all the effects; the gold pervades all ornaments. The entire universe is an effect and He being the Cause, He pervades all and everything at all times. Thus the All-pervading, in its suggestion, indicates that He is the Ultimate-cause and Himself in His pervasiveness is ever-present everywhere and in everything, presiding over all behaviours, actions and work, everywhere in the universe.

468. Naikaatmaa ? Many-souled. Lord, the Infinite, though ever the one, expresses Himself as the many, while manifesting Himself, in the form of the universe. It is He, the One Great Consciousness, that expresses Himself as the creator, sustainer and destroyer?in order to maintain the play of the eternal dance, among the phenomenal things and deeds. He who becomes the Trinity is the great Vishnu Tattva.

469. Naika-karma-krit ? The One who does many actions, as He is the One Lord of all evolution, preservation, and involution of the universe. Where He is not presiding over, no activity can ever take place.

470. Vatsarah – The Abode of Lord. Not only Lord is living in each one of us as our inner-Soul (Antaryaamee) but He is at once, the All-pervading Essence in which, the entire universe exists, and as such. He alone is the Abode in which we live, breathe and act. Thus, as the Abode of the creatures, He is the endless ‘time and the infinite ‘space’ at once. For, in time-space field alone do things exist. The term “Vatsa,” in Sanskrit, also means “calf.” The word under discussion, therefore, can also mean “one who gives away calves.” This has reference to Krishna who returned to the Gopas all the calves, when they were taken away by the enemy.

471. Vatsalah ? The Supremely affectionate. One who loves His devotees extremely. Narayana is one who has got more affection towards His devotees than all the paternal and maternal love in the world put together. Supreme Love is the meaning of the word ‘Vatsalah;’ Lord Narayana is Love Incarnate.

472. Vatsee – The Father. One who has infinite number of children; Lord considers the entire living kingdom as His own children; and nurses and nourishes them. It can also be interpreted as one who trains and protects the calves in the herd.

473. Ratnagarbhah – The Jewel-wombed. Like the ocean. One who has rich wealth concealed in Himself.

On the whole, the term Ratna-garbhah only means that the Lord is quick in His bestowing all the desired objects on His devotees.

474. Dhanesvarah ? The Lord of wealth. Here the term “Wealth” means all the good things in the universe? all objects of happiness. He is described in the Puranas as the Lord of the Goddess Lakshmi (Lakshmipati) and as such He is ever the Master-of-all-wealth. The greatest of wealth is, of course, the liberation, and Lord Narayana is the Ishvara of this great wealth. He blesses the true devotees with the experience of complete liberation from the entanglements and sorrows of the vestures of matter around us.


Dharmagup ? One who protects the Dharma. In the Bhagavad-Gita the Lord says: “In every cycle I shall manifest for re-establishing Dharma.”

476. Dharma-krit – One who acts Dharma. Though He, as the Absolute Consciousness that illuminates everything, is beyond all Dharma and Adharma, Sri Narayana exemplifies what is the righteousness by His own conduct. He is, therefore, called as Dharma-Pravartaka. In the various incarnations, the Lord has exemplified how the generatior should live under the ever-changing kaleidoscopic pattern of circumstances that play around us at all times.

477. Dharmee – The Supporter of ‘Dharma; meaning the very Seat of all Dharma. Just as the waves exist in the ocean; just as the cotton supports the cloth; just as all the ornaments exist in gold?so Sri Narayana, the Infinite Truth is the very essence and support of the entire universe. Narayana is the Throne at which all righteousness take their refuge. Without direct reference to Him and His Glory, righteousness has no meaning; just as law books of a country are empty pages when the Government falls.

478. Sat ? The Existence in all things and beings is the same ever, and it is All-pervading. The sun exists; the space between the sun and the earth exists the ocean and the creatures therein exist; the physiological organs and their functions, mind and its activities, the intellect and its agitations ?all exist. This Ever-present Principle of Existence is Sri Narayana. That which remains the same without any change in and through all changes, unaffected ever, same in the past, present and the future is called in Vedanta as ‘Satya.” One who has all these natures is called Sat-Purusha. In the Upanishads, the Supreme Brahman is indicated as ‘Satya’?”This, 0 Child, indeed was Sat.” In the Bhagavad-Gita while describing the Changeless Factor behind the eternally changing matter, Bhagavan says: ‘That which is the All-pervading in this world, that alone is indestructible and no one can destroy it.”

479. A-Sat – The Conditioned; Limited; the One who appears at this moment as the limited, conditioned, and therefore confined only to the world of plurality. That which actually is not, but apparently seems to be there, is called a delusion and this is indicated by the word A-Sat.” In the Vedantic terminology, higher-Self (Param) is ever Immutable and Eternal, while the lower-Self (A-param) constituted of all the universe of manifested things and beings, is mutable and ephemeral. Sri Narayana Himself is, in His Apara nature, expressing as the world of the many that we today recognise around us. Bhagavan Sri Krishna confesses to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita: “Arjuna, I am at once immortality and mortality, lam both existence and non-existence.”

480. Ksharam – The Perishing. One who is the very Immutable Self in all things, that appears to suffer from constant mutation: The changeless-core in the midst of all the changes. All the changeable and variable things and beings of the Universe play in Him who is the only Substratum and, therefore, the Immutable Eternal Reality is called here as the Mutable; the changing and the dying waves are all ever nothing but the changeless ocean indeed.

481. A-ksharam – Imperishable. In order to recognize the change, there must be a changeless entity knowing it. If one ornament is to become another, there must be indeed the changeless consistent gold permanently supporting it all the time. In the same way, there must be a Changeless Factor which must be the essential core, that holds together the pattern of the constant changes, which together constitute the play of the universe. This Changeless Factor is called Narayana. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita: “all creatures together constitute the Kshara-purusha and the Changeless in all creatures is the A-kshara-purusha.”

482. Avijnaataa – The Non-knower. Here we must carefully understand the term ‘knower.” The “knower” of the emotions and thoughts is the Self, imprisoned in the body, mind and the intellect, and, therefore, functioning as the perceiver, feeler, thinker?called in the Vedanta Sastra as the “Jeeva,” This individualised personality is the ‘doer and the ‘enjoyer’, in the calamitous world of activities. Sri Narayana is the Pure-Self, who has not been contaminated by the matter vestures and their agitated-nature, and the consequent sorrows. Therefore, ‘Vishnu, the Pure-Self, is indicated here as NonKnower (A-vijnaataa), meaning the “Jeeva.”

483. Sahasra-amsuh ? The thousand-rayed. As the Pure Consciousness, He is effulgent, and in the Upanishads we read that even the sun, moon and stars gain their effulgence from Him alone. In fact the Upanishads conclude that all living creatures are resplendent after His effulgence alone. Or, we can say that it means Sri Narayana, in the form of the Sun, illumines and nourishes the world of living creatures; because the name of the Sun in Sanskrit is ?Sahasraamsuh.” In praising the Lord Sun it is usual to sing of him as ‘Sooryanaaraay ana.’

484. Vidhaataa ? All-supporter. As the final substratum for everything, the Lord supports the entire universe of living creatures, and nobody supports Him, He alone is His own support. The Lord is at once the material, instrumental and the efficient causes for the universe of forms.

485. Krita-Jakshanah – One who is famous because of six qualities, such as glory, righteousness, fame, wealth, knowledge and detachment. Again following the Puranic literature, Sri Narayana is the one who made on His own bosom the great mark of the feet of Maharshi Bhrigu. In fact from the standpoint of pure Vedanta, the term indicates the Ever-existing Pure Consciousness which is the very goal (Lakshana) to be ultimately achieved for liberation. Lakshana also means the scriptural textbooks and, therefore, the term also can mean He who is the author (Krita) of the Scriptures (Lakshana).

486. Gabhastinemih ? The Centre of the Supreme planetary system. The Sanskrit term “Gabhasti? means ‘rays’, and the term ‘n-mih’ means the ‘spokes.’ Therefore, the term indicates “One who is the hub of the wheel-of-light in which the spokes are His own rays of brilliancy.” Astronomically, we can consider this as the sun, the centre of the planetary system. Subjectively, He is the Atman, the Self?the Effulgent Consciousness?beaming out Himself to the whirls of matter (the five koshas).

487. Sattvasthah ? Abiding in Sattva. Maayaa is constituted of the three gunas: unactivity (sattva), activity (rajas) and inactivity (tamas). When the Maayaa is predominantly constituted of Sattva, it becomes the vehicle for the Supreme Brahman to express as God, Sri Narayana. The Lord is essentially constituted of the “Sattva Guna” and, therefore, He is pure truthfulness in nature (Suddha Satya Svaroopa). It can also mean He who remains {Stha) in all beings (Sattva).

488. Simhah ? The Lion. Due to His great exploits in fighting the negative forces during His various incarnations, He is indicated as the Lion among beings in the universe. Also in Sanskrit “any part of a name can indicate the full name.” Thus Bheema means ‘Bheema Send or ‘Bhaarnaa” means “Satya-Bhaarnaa. Similarly, ‘Simha’ here might mean a part of the Lord’s name as ‘Narasimha’; Narayana had taken the form of the Man-Lion in order to end the tyranny of Hiranyakasipu, and bless his God-devoted son Prahlaada.

489. Bhoota-Mahesvarah – The Great Lord of Beings. One who is the Lord who orders, commands, regulates and presides over all activities of all living creatures, and hence is ever the Ruler of All creatures.

490. Aadidevah ? The first Deity. Or it can also mean one who is First (Aadi) and one who is resplendent (Deva); further we can also take it to mean that He is the First Deva, meaning. He is the God of all gods. The term ?Aadi” also means “one who eats;” the term ‘Deva’ can mean one who evolves’: thus the term can mean “one who evolves in eating up,” by consuming the names and forms. This implies that to the extent one withdraws himself from his false occupations with the perceived names and forms, he moves deeper and deeper into the experiences of the divine Lord in himself; with this idea in mind. Lord is described by this term, “One who evolves in consuming the names and fonns.”

491. Mahaadevfih – The Great Deity. He is the Source of all Consciousness, and from Him have risen all further deities and beings, therefore, it is right to consider Him as the Supreme Lord.

492. Devesah – The Lord of all Devas. He is the very Consciousness in the gods themselves; therefore, in His unquestionable prominence. He is addressed here as “God of ail gods.”


Deva-bhrid-guruh – “One who is the king of gods”?Indra?(Deva Bhrit) and one who is the teacher (Guruh). In short. He is the protector and advisor of the very Indra, who is the king of gods.

494. Uttarah – One who helps to lift us from (Uttarah) the ocean of Samsar. lt.also conveys the most excellent meaning of “One who is greater and nobler than all other deities.” Rigveda declares:. “He is the most excellent of all.”

495. Gopatih ? The shepherd?As ogewho played the part of a cow-herd in His Krishna-incarnation. The term ‘Go? in Sanskrit has got four meanings: the cattle, the earth, the speech and the vedas. In all these meanings He is the Lord (Pati): Lord of the cattle; Lord of Earth; Lord of speech; the Lord about whom all the Vedas speak of as the very Goal.

496. Goptaa – The protector. He is the Protector of all living creatures in as much as, if He were not there, the creatures could not exist. He is the very Existence in the living Kingdom.

497. Jnaanagamyah – The One who is to be attained only through the subtle perception of Jnaana. He is not attained either by actions, or by progeny or by wealih. Only through a pure ‘knowledge’ alone He is experienced. Here the word knowledge does not mean the ordinary knowledge-of-things. The experience of Truth is gained only on transcending the intellect. Thus crossing the barriers of non-apprehension (Avidyaa) themeditator comes to apprehend the Reality; this subjective first-hand apprehension is called True Knowledge (Jnaa~a) : by this one process alone can one attain the Infinite; hence this term.

498. Puraatanah ? He who was even befoe Time. That from which even the concept-of-Time itself rose up is the Infinite Truth and, therefore. Truth cannot be measured in terms of Time. Therefore, He is called the Ancient, for. He transcends Time.

499. Sareera-bkoota-bhrit ? One who nurses and nourishes the very element from which the bodies are constituted. The Lord is the controller of the very five elements.

500. Bhoktaa – The Enjoyer or the Protector. The term “Bhokraa” can be dissolved in two ways. In (a) it would mean the “Protector’ and in (b) it would mean as the ‘Enjoyer. According to Vedanta, Lord in His transcendental glory, as the Atman, is neither the ‘Doer’ nor the ‘Enjoyer’ and yet, here, the Lord is taken as the ‘Enjoyer’ only in the sense that the experiencer ‘ego,’ the Jeeva, is also nothing other than the Supreme in Its final Essence.

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