828. Saptaidhāḥ सप्तैधाः
He is offered with seven types of samidh-s (dried twigs). During fire oblations, samidh-s are offered as fuel to the fire. These seven types of twigs are offered to the seven tongues of fire, described in the previous nāma. The seven types of fires are invoked during different sacrificial rituals.
829. Saptavāhanaḥ सप्तवाहनः
He has seven vehicles; and vehicle in Vedic parlance normally refers to horses. This nāma adores Him as the Sun god. Sun has a chariot drawn by seven horses. These horses are refer to the seven chandas (Vedic meter) like Gāyatrī, Bṛhati, Uṣṇik, Jagatī, Triṣṭup, Anuṣṭup and Pańkti. Most of the Vedic verses are based on these meters.
The seven horses also could mean the seven primary colours VIBGYOR.
830. Amūrtiḥ अमूर्तिः
Amūrti means without form. Brahman is without form and for the sake of convenience He is worshipped through various forms. Worshipping Him in various forms is duality. When the duality is dissolved by acquiring spiritual knowledge, one begins his long spiritual journey. At the end of his spiritual journey, possibly extending over several births, He becomes one with Him. Liberation in this present birth is also possible subject to two conditions. One, he should not have karmic impressions; two, both his mind and subconscious mind should be totally pure. Purity of the mind can be ascertained by lack of attachment, desire, etc.
Worshipping Him in different forms is known as anekamūrti worship and contemplating Him without a form is known as amūrti contemplation. Worship is associated with innumerable rituals and contemplating Him is not associated with any rituals and can happen only in the mind.
831. Anaghaḥ अनघः
Repetitive nāma 146.
Anagha means sinless and spotless. Sins accrue because of one’s thoughts and actions. Sins accruing out of evil thought processes are far more powerful than evil actions. Anything associated with mind is always powerful. This is the reason for insisting that one’s mind should be pure while realizing Him. When the mind is fixed on Him, all other thoughts are annihilated and He entirely pervades the mind and transforms the aspirant. This is based on the fact that what one thinks, he becomes that.
Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.32): “Like ākāśā not getting tainted because of its subtlety, in the same way, the Self within is not affected though it is present throughout the body.”
Generally speaking, subtle matters are far less impaired than gross matters because gross matters are visible to the eyes whereas subtle matters can only be envisioned. Envisioning happens only with the help of the mind and when the mind is afflicted with too many thoughts, contemplating Him as an embodiment of purity becomes futile. Mind by default is addicted to sensory inputs, which inturn leads to strong impressions. These impressions of the mind percolate into the subconscious mind which could manifest at anytime afflicting the character of a person.
This nāma says that He is beyond all these factors as He does not accrue karmas.
832. Acintyaḥ अचिन्त्यः
He is inconceivable and beyond all thought processes. He is inconceivable because He has no form. Because of our inability to visualize Him without a form, several forms have been attributed to Him. He cannot be conceived by a mundane human mind.
Kena Upaniṣad (II.3) says, “He (referring to a jñāni) who says he does not know Him, actually knows Him and the one who says (a- jñāni affected by ego) he knows Him, actually does not know Him.” There are two possible explanations for this. A true jñāni will never say that He has realized Him and he will continue to remain as one amongst many. On the other hand, the one who says that He has realized Brahman, in fact would not have realized Him at all. The one who has realized Him will never have ego.
Second explanation is that the one, who says that he has realized Him, could probably be under illusion. He could have misidentified Brahman as a material objet. The first person who says that he has not realized Him would have realized Him. He could also be under illusion because he could be contemplating Him as the one with a shape or form.
In order to clarify all these doubts, this nāma asserts that He is inconceivable, as He is omnipresent.
833. Bhayakṛt भयकृत्
He is a terror to evil doers. He appears as dreadful to those who have evil thought processes. He only appears so because what one thinks, he becomes that. When a person commits sinful activities, the Self within him always witnesses all the actions performed by the gross body. The inherent fear in the minds of evil doers causes the fear for Him. Those who pursue virtuous path will not have inherent fear in their minds and they are not afraid of anybody. When mind attempts to suppress something, fear manifests automatically. This is explained in the next nāma. Fear arises only if one does wrongful actions.
Arjuna addressed Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gītā (XI.20), “...Seeing Your transcendent dreadful form, O Soul of the universe, all the three worlds feel greatly frightened.”
834. Bhayanāśanaḥ भयनाशनः
He destroys the fear of those who follow virtuous path.
This is elaborated in Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.9) which says, “na bibheti kutaścaneti न बिभेति कुतश्चनेति”, which means he is not afraid of anyone. He here refers to those who live a virtuous life. Virtuous life does not mean dos this and don’ts. It is a life full of compassion for others, physically and mentally not causing injuries to others, upholding moral and ethical values, lending a helping hand to those who are in distress, feeding birds and animals, etc. The list is quite long. When all their actions are good and when their minds are not polluted with corrupt thoughts, there is no need for them to fear for anyone else, including Brahman. Such noble souls are in no way different from Brahman. Brahman does not act directly and He chooses such noble souls and act through them to shower His Grace on those who enter spiritual path.
835. Aṇuḥ अणुः
He is the smallest. This is one of the aṣṭamāsiddhi-s. He is the subtlest of all and is known today as “God Particle”. There are three types of bodies – gross, subtle and causal. Gross is the only body that is visible. Subtle body is antaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect and ego) and causal body is the subconscious mind where karmic imprints are embedded. Beyond these three bodies, He is there deep inside as the Soul. Without Him, other three bodies are not possible.
836. Bṛhat बृहत्
He is the biggest. This contradicts the previous nāma. But this is not a contradiction as He is both. 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.
837. Kṛśaḥ कृशः
He is very thin, which means that His presence can be realized but cannot be seen. This is different from nāma 835, which said that He is the most infinitesimal. This can be explained through the example of air. We know that air is present, but air cannot be seen. But in nāma 835, it is explained that even His presence cannot be realized.
838. Sthūlaḥ स्थूलः
He is huge. This nāma is in contrast to the previous nāma. He is fat and is visible in the form of the universe. These nāma-s explain His omnipresence through various descriptions.
The following verse from Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (III.viii.8) explains Him thus: “It (no gender is used as He is beyond gender. It is neither a male, nor a female nor a eunuch.) is neither gross nor minute, neither short nor long, neither red colour or oiliness, neither shadow not darkness, neither air nor ākāśa, unattached, neither savour nor odour, without eyes or ears, without vocal organ or mind, non-luminous, without the vital force or mouth, not a measure and without interior or exterior. It does not eat anything, nor It is eaten by anybody.”
839. Guṇabhṛt गुणभृत्
He possesses three or guṇa-s – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Without these guṇa-s, creation itself is not possible, which is described below. In Him, all the three guṇa-s are present in perfect equilibrium. When He decides to manifest, this equilibrium undergoes changes leading to creation.
This nāma says that He is the embodiment of three guṇa-s.
Guṇa can be interpreted as constituent qualities. There are three kinds of guṇa -s. They are sattva, rajas and tamas. Sattva guṇa means quality of purity and knowledge. Rajo guṇa means activity and passion. Tamo guṇa means inertia and ignorance. The Brahman is the embodiment of sattva guṇa, whereas the empirical souls are associated with more of other two guṇa-s. Prakṛtī is the primordial, unmanifested, and the most subtle metaphysical principle that has the potentiality to manifest into an enormous empirical universe. In the process of creation, the universe remains in a potential state within Prakṛtī, so long as the three guṇa-s remain undisturbed. When the equilibrium of the guṇa-s is disturbed, Prakṛtī begins to unfold Her metaphysical categories causing the process of creation.
840. Nirguṇaḥ निर्गुणः
He is without guṇa-s described in the previous nāma. Guṇa-s prevail only if there is a form. He is without form and hence, He is without guṇa-s. He alone is without guṇa-s and everything else has guṇa-s.
Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.11) says, “kevalo nirguṇaśca केवलो निर्गुणश्च”, which means “He alone is without guṇa-s.”
Again this nāma contradicts the interpretation of the previous nāma, reaffirming His omnipresence.