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Friday, October 7, 2011

VISHNU SAHASRANAMA 416 - 425


416.  ṛtuḥ ऋतुः
ṛtu means season. Twelve solar months are classified under six ṛtu-s comprising of two months each. Therefore, six ṛtu-s make one solar year. This nāma says that Lord Viṣṇu controls these ṛtu-s. But, this nāma subtly conveys that He is the controller of time (creation, etc).
417. Sudarśanaḥ सुदर्शनः
Sudarśana means easily seen. His good looking form can be comprehended by His true devotees. There are several types of devotees. But the Divine vision is possible only for those who sincerely contemplate Him. Transformation from being ritualistic to spiritualistic is an important milestone in realising Him. He is realized after crossing several stages in spiritual life.
Kṛṣṇa beautifully explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (VIII.14), “I am easily attainable by those who constantly think of Me with focused mind.”
418. Kālaḥ कालः
Kāla means time. This nāma confirms what is said in nāma 415. Time is the subtle aspect of existence. Everything is subjected to time except the Brahman.
Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (X.30), “Among the reckoners, I am time.”
419. Parameṣṭhi परमेष्ठि
Parameṣṭhi means supremacy. Lord Viṣṇu resides in the hearts of all beings, eternally shining. Those who acquire sufficient knowledge to understand this and continuously contemplate Him, realize Him with His Grace. Whatever knowledge one acquires or whatever be the intensity of one’s practice, only become a miniscule in front of His Grace. His Grace is available to all those who are devoted to Him.
Kṛṣṇa advises in Bhagavad Gītā (XVIII.61 & 62) “The Lord abides in the hearts of all beings, causing them to revolve according to their karmas as if attached to machine by His cosmic delusion known as māyā. Take shelter in Him completely, and by His mere Grace, you shall attain Supreme Peace and the Eternal Abode.”
Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (II.vi.3) explains this. It says, “parameṣṭhī brahmaṇaḥ brahma svayaṁbhū परमेष्ठी ब्रह्मणः ब्रह्म स्वयंभू” which means ‘the Illustrious and Self Illuminating Brahman is Self-born.” The Upaniṣad says that Parameṣṭhi and Brahman are the same.
420. Parigrahaḥ परिग्रहः
Parigraha has many meanings. Contextually this can be explained as follows:
If this nāma is taken to mean receiving or accepting, He, as the Brahman majestically seated in the heart of all beings and accept whatever is offered to Him. The subtle meaning conveyed is that He accepts whatever is offered with devotion. He does not need anything except pure and eternal Love for Him. Devotion is not something that is exhibited at certain fixed timings in a day.  It has to be perpetual.
He is omnipresent and is surrounded by His devotees. Devotees are those who contemplate His excellent form as described in nāma 417.
421. Ugraḥ उग्रः
Ugra means strong, formidable, terrible, etc. He presides over the entire universe, and naturally, He has to be strong and formidable.  
He is “ugraṁ vīraṁ mahāviṣṇum jvalantaṁ sarvatomukham”.  This is a part of Nārasiṁha (Nṛsiṁha) Pūrvatāpini Upaniṣad. He is called ugra in this Upaniṣad, because He creates, sustains, destroys, annihilates and recreates. The aspirant prays in this Upaniṣad that he should be liberated while his body is still alive. He is known as jīvanmukta.
422. Saṁvatsaraḥ संवत्सरः
Repetitive nāma 91.
All beings abide in Him and He abides in all the beings. This is explained in Iśa Upaniṣad (opening verse) says, “Iśāvāsyamidaṁ sarvaṁ yatkiñca jagatyāṁ” which means, ‘in this world, everything is subject to change and all this is covered by Him.’ Understanding this concept is known as Self realization.
423. Dakṣaḥ दक्षः
Repetitive nāma 917.
Dakṣa means heightening one’s intellectual faculties. It is He, who showers intellectual faculties on His devotee, who becomes perfectly fit for Liberation. That is why nāma 417 said that His Grace is essential factor for Self-realization. When He decides to offer Liberation to His devotee, successive stages quickly unfolds, one after another.
424. Viśrāmaḥ विश्रामः
Viśrāma means calm, tranquillity, etc.
Liberation is attained through mind. When the mind is in a state of turbulence, contemplating on His form is not possible. The mind becomes turbulent if one is associated with worldly life beyond permissible limits. Permissible limit is the limit of association with the materialistic world for normal human existence. When this limit is crossed, the association becomes an addiction. Too many addictions make the mind turbulent.
It is important that the mind reminds calm and tranquil if one is devouring for Him.  This nāma says that He is the One, who causes tranquil and calm mind for His emergence.
425. Viśvadakṣiṇaḥ विश्वदक्षिणः
He is the most skilful of all.  There is nothing more skilful than Him.  This is based on the fact that everything originates from Him, either good or bad. When He is omnipresent, He is naturally the source for both good and bad. This is symbolically said in this nāma that He looks at the universe through His infinite eyes. He skilfully manages between good and bad thereby upholding dharma.