नमो बृहते च वर्षयाय च
namo bṛhate ca varṣayāya ca (5:9)
Salutations to the vast and great and to the one who is full of guṇa-s.
There are many meanings for bṛhat - lofty, high, tall, great, large, wide, vast, abundant, compact, solid, massy, strong, and mighty. Bṛhat is often used to refer Brahman. Both Viṣṇu Sahasranāma and Lalitā Sahasranāma use bṛhat. He is the biggest. This goes to prove His omnipresence. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.20) explains this: “aṇoraṇiyānmahato mahīyānātma अणोरणियान्महतो महीयानात्म”, which means He is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. There is nothing in this universe that is either smaller to Him or bigger to Him. The Upaniṣad also says that those with a clean mind alone can realize this Truth. Varṣika means showering and used with particular reference to rain. Here it subtly conveys showering of various types of energies. We have already seen that He is the source of every energy and His attendants represent every energy that sustains the universe. Rudra showers His energies in order to create and sustain the universe.
नमो वृद्धाय च संवृध्वने च
namo vṛddhāya ca saṁvṛdhvane ca (5:10)
Salutations to the One who is old. Saṃvṛddha means grown up, increased, augmented, thriving and prospering.
Old does not mean He is elderly. He is ādi, which means He exists from the beginning and He alone exists from the beginning. Vṛddha means old and He is the oldest Soul. It is the poetic way of expressing that He is oldest in the universe and from Him alone, everything originated. Puruṣasūkta says that He was born much ahead of all gods. First He alone was present and when He wanted to create the universe, He created māyā who became the cause for the manifestation of the universe. Saṃvṛddha here means that His glory has grown up or increased due to His Knowledge, as He is the source of knowledge. Kṛṣṇa says (Bhagavad Gīta VIII.20, 21) “Beyond this Unmanifest, there is yet another unmanifest Existence, that Supreme Divine Person, who does not perish even though all beings perish. The same Unmanifest which has been spoken of as the Indestructible is also called the supreme goal; that again is My supreme abode, attaining which, they return not to this mortal world.”
Further reading: Śaktī asks many questions to Śiva. The questions of Śaktī and answers of Śiva are in the form of various tantra śāstra-s. There are three positions from which Śaktī seeks answers from Śiva. The first position is Śaktī sitting by the side of Śiva. The questions asked from this position are only preliminaries. The next position is Śaktī sitting on the lap of Śiva. Questions asked from this position are towards attaining Śiva. When She gets clarifications from Śiva and through the knowledge gained during the question answer sessions, She merges with Śiva and becomes a part of Śiva – the Ardhanārīśvara form. This form leads to Liṅga form, the Ultimate Reality. This is a typical example of realisation. When one is at the beginning stage of spirituality there is a gap between the Brahman and the seeker. When he acquires knowledge of advaita, he moves closer to Him. When He realizes the Brahman, he merges with Him and his consciousness loses duality. Finally he transforms into “I am That”. Brahman is pure consciousness and can be visualized in three ways. The first one is paramātṛ-caitanya (consciousness limited by intellect). The second one is pramāṇa-caitanya (consciousness limited by knowledge). The third one is jīva-caitanya (consciousness limited by individual soul). These three types of consciousness are also known as triad.
नमो अग्रियाय च प्रथमाय च
namo agriyāya ca prathamāya ca (5:11)
Salutations to the foremost and the chief of all beings.
Foremost means hiraṇyagarbha; hiraṇya also means gold. Vedānta Paribhāsā a 17th century Scripture explains hiraṇyagarbha. It says “Hiraṇyagarbha is the first soul to be born and is different from Brahma, Viṣṇu and Śiva.” The subtle body consisting of the five vital forces, the mind, the intellect and the ten organs is produced from the five basic elements. This paves the way for the soul to experience the result of actions or in other words it causes karma-s. The subtle body is of two kinds, superior and inferior. The superior one is the subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha and the inferior is the subtle body of living beings. The subtle body of hiraṇyagarbha is called as mahat or the cosmic intellect and the subtle body of living beings is called ego.”
He is the chief of all beings. Brahman (Rudra) is the Ultimate and inexplicable and is also known as Self. When the Brahman decides to create the universe, he multiplies Himself as many. When He multiplies out of His own will, He thus becomes an individual soul by means of contraction. As a result of this contraction the Self becomes limited and this state is called individual soul. When one tries to understand that he is a contracted form of the Brahman and begins to realize the Brahman within, the process is called Self-realization. The end of Self-realization is the feeling of oneness with the Brahman.
नमो आशवे च वीजिराय च
namo āśave ca vījirāya ca (5:12)
Salutations to the one who pervades everywhere and moves swiftly.
Pervading everywhere is omnipresence and thus He is everywhere all the time. Āśav means quickness. Similarly ajira also mean quickness. Īśa Upaniṣad (verse 4) beautifully explains this. “Brahman is one without a second. It never moves, yet It goes faster than the mind. It is always ahead.....” Thus, His speed cannot be explained, as He is beyond time and space. Brahman is beyond time and space but due to the influence of māyā Brahman appears as if bound by time and space. For easier understanding, Brahman has two aspects – saguṇa (with attributes) and nirguṇa (without attributes).
नमः शीघ्रियाय च शीभ्याय च
namaḥ śīghriyāya ca śībhyāya ca (5:13)
Salutations to the One who is in the form of swift moving water and is present in water.
He is in the form of flowing water in rivers and the Overlord present in water.
नम ऊर्म्याय चावस्वन्याय च
nama ūrmyāya cāvasvanyāya ca (5:14)
He is present in the waves of water as well as in still water.
Ūrmi means wave. But it also refers to six waves of existence – heat, cold (both of the body), greed, illusion, hunger and thirst. There is another version comprising of hunger, thirst, decay, death, grief and illusion. As the Self, He is present in all these six, which are not avoidable. Still water means clean mind. When the mind is cleansed with the help of His Grace, conquering the six waves discussed above is possible. A perfect yogi attains all these qualities. But this is possible only when we are perpetually connected to Him.
नमः स्रोतस्याय च द्विप्याय च॥
namaḥ srotasyāya ca dvipyāya ca || (5:15)
Salutations to Him who is in the form of a stream and who is secluded in an island.
Streams mean flow of knowledge which ultimately makes a seeker to isolate himself to meditate (tapas) on Him in order to attain Him. Even in these stages, He is present. Omnipresence of Rudra is repeatedly emphasized in this anuvāka.
End of anuvāka 5