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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