722. Avyaktaḥ अव्यक्तः
His un-manifest form is known as Avyakta.
Avyakta is the state of Prakṛti in its un-manifested form, with the three guṇa-s in equal proportions. Avyakta is the first stage of the Brahman that cannot be explained, as this is the purest form of Brahman, without parentage. This stage is also known as turya or the fourth state of consciousness, the other three being sleep, dream and deep sleep. It is the non-dualistic state, where the Brahman without a second is realized.
This stage is explained by Brahma Sūtra (III.ii.23) which says tadvyaktamāha hi (तद्व्यक्तमाह हि). This means “That Brahman is un-manifest”. This is further explained as ‘It is not comprehended through the eye, or through speech, or through other senses. Nor it is attained through austerity or karma. It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived’.
When the nirguṇa Brahman (the Brahman without attributes) desires to create, the māyā undergoes modifications and this modified stage of māyā is called avyakta.
723. Śatamūrtiḥ शतमूर्तिः
Śata means hundred and this nāma says that He has hundreds of forms.
This nāma talks only about His incarnations. Only His ten incarnations are known to us. Hundreds of His incarnations are unknown to us. Such unknown incarnations happen due to the overwhelming love for Him by some sincere seeker in some corner of the world. Such incarnations are visible only to the eyes of that particular yogi. He appears in whatever form the yogi visualizes Him.
In fact, all that exists in this universe are nothing but His forms. He is seated in every being as soul, without whom, no gross body can ever exist.
724. Śatānanaḥ शताननः
Ānana means face. Literally this nāma says that He has hundreds of faces. This is based on the concept of the previous nāma. These nāma-s explain His omnipresence in different ways.
Puruṣasūktam says, “sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ| sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt| सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः। सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात्” This means that He has thousands of heads and thousands of feet. He here refers to Puruṣa, the Supreme Self, known as Nārāyaṇa.
725. Ekaḥ एकः
Eka means One, the Brahman.
All the three acts of Divine creation, sustenance and dissolution are done by Him all alone. Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad says (I.iv.2) ‘If there is nothing else except me, what I am afraid of.’ This is the advantage of being alone. Fear is a major impediment in spiritual progress.
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VI.ii.1) says “ekam eva advitiyam” which means ‘the one without a second’. Before the manifestation of the universe, creation was in the form of avyakta (nāma 722) without a second. He exists without anyone else co-existing with Him. This can be viewed from another angle as well. All the living beings in this universe are nothing but the reflections of the Brahman, who is all alone. The fact of Brahman being all alone is discussed in all the Upaniṣad-s.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad says (II.ii.9) ‘The same Self is in every living being that are different in forms. Due to our ignorance we consider every living being as different’.
Rig Veda (I.164.46) says “ekaṁ sad viprā bahudha vadanty” which means ‘learned call One by many names’.
This nāma says that the entire administration of the universe is being carried out exclusively by Him. He need not consult another person for any of His acts.
726. Naikaḥ नैकः
Naika means more than one. Previous nāma said He is One, and this nāma says He is more than One. Though these two nāma-s are contradictory to each other, yet the meaning conveyed by both of them are significant.
He is One as discussed in the previous nāma, but appears as many due to the effect of māyā. Transcending māyā is called realization.
There are number references in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad regarding this concept.
“Brahman has two forms – gross and subtle; mortal and immortal; limited and unlimited, defined and undefined (II.iii.1).” In II.iv.14, it says that only because of duality one sees something, thinks about something….Through what one should know, That (Brahman) owing to which all this is known.” The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad says that unless duality is dissolved, Reality can never be realized.
These two nāma-s say that He is One and at the same time, He becomes many. The entire universe is pervaded Him. The One appearing as many is māyā and the many appearing as One is realization.
727. Savaḥ सवः
Sava means setting in motion. Nāma 725 said He is One and nāma 726 said He is many. This nāma adduces the reason for One becoming many.
Sava is divine pulsation, the first movement in Him to manifest the universe. It can also be called Divine Throb or Vibration. Though He does not really move, He appears as if moving or manifesting. The universe sprouts at this stage for complete manifestation.
728. Kaḥ कः
Ka has different meanings such as Splendour, happiness, wealth, etc.
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (IV.x.4) says, “kaṁ brahma” and this is explained as ‘happiness is Brahman.”
Therefore it can be explained that He is full of Bliss. There is difference between Bliss and happiness. Joy attained through the material world is happiness and the joy attained through spirituality is Bliss. The next stage of Bliss is becoming one with Him.
729. Kim किम्
Kim literally means what, how, why, etc. This means that He can be attained only by making such queries or He can be attained only through queries.
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.vii.1) says, “The Self has to be sought for and thoroughly known. The person, who has sought for and known the Self, attains all worlds and desires.”
Kena Upaniṣad begins by asking, “By whose will is the mind drawn towards the objects? Who makes the vital breath, the first sign of life? Ordained by whom, do people utter words?” Therefore, Brahman can be realized only through questioning and exploring. When everything else is negated (neti neti as described in Upaniṣad-s) as not True, ultimately He is realized, as everything else is nothing but illusion.
The search for Him generally begins from the exterior. Over a period of time, an aspirant undergoes several modifications in his mind and finally understands that He is within. Major portion of one’s life is spent in searching Him externally and only at the last stage of his life, he understands that Brahman is within. He has to wait for another life or lives to attain liberation. If the step for realization is initiated in a young age, subject to one’s karmas, he can attain liberation in this life itself. But this initial impetus is missing in the present world.
730. Yat यत्
This nāma can be explained in two ways. Yat means to join or to unite, to seek to join one’s self with, etc. Viṣṇu is so compassionate and is waiting to offer liberation to those who seek Him. Liberation is the final union of an individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Therefore, this nāma says that He is waiting for His devotee’s soul to unite with Him. In other words, He is waiting to offer liberation.
Yat also means self-subsisting. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (III.1) says, “yataḥ vai imāni bhūtāni jāyante यतः वै इमानि भूतानि जायन्ते” which means from That, by way of example, these beings are born. Beginning from Brahmā, the god for creation, all the movable and immovable originate from Him. This also confirms the interpretation of nāma 725.
731. Tat तत्
Tat refers to Brahman. The root for this nāma is tan (तन्). Tanoti means extension, diffusion, etc. All that pervades the universe is nothing but the diffusion of His Light. Tat is one of the three words, used to mean Brahman, according to Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad Gītā, (XVII.23), “OM, TAT and SAT – this three has been declared as the three fold appellation of the Absolute, who is Truth, Consciousness and Bliss solidified.”