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.

Similar Posts