961. Prāṇabhṛt प्राणभृत्
Bhṛ means support and this nāma says that He is the Sustainer of the universe by providing prāṇa. Prāṇa is not just the air but it is the vital force for survival, diffused through the air. One of the subtlest components of air is prāṇa. (Probably God Particle could be in prāṇa).
962. Prāṇajīvanaḥ प्राणजीवनः
Because of the prāṇa provided by Him, the world is sustained.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iv.5) explains this in a different tone. The verse says that existence is not possible merely by prāṇa and apāna. There is something else that sustains the universe (possibly the God Particle referred in the previous verse) and both prāṇa and apāna depend on This (Brahman).
Kena Upaniṣad (I.2) also says, “sa u prāṇasya prāṇaḥ” which can be interpreted to mean that He is the true power behind prāṇa.
963. Tattvam तत्त्वम्
Tattva means reality, which subtly refers to Brahman. He is the in form of tattva and hence the Mahāvākya says, “tat-tvam-asi” (I am That) where tattvam refers to Brahman.
The subtle conveyance of tattva is His ubiquity. He is everywhere, every nook and corner, both in good and bad. When He is everywhere, He is also within us and knowing and affirming this is Self-realization.
Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (III.9) says, “There is nothing better or worse than this Self; there is nothing smaller or bigger than this Self. The same Self fills the whole universe.”
964. Tattvavit तत्त्ववित्
He is the cause for all the tattva-s. This is based on the interpretation tattva which means to cause or produce or attain through knowledge. He is the seed or essence for the whole creation.
Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (III.10) says, “yat tataḥ uttarataram tat arūpam anāmayam यत् ततः उत्तरतरम् तत् अरूपम् अनामयम्” which means Brahman is the cause and is without form and without sufferings.” He is the root cause of all causes (sarva kāraṇa kāraṇam).
965. Ekātmā एकात्मा
This nāma conveys the entire Advaita philosophy in its essence, God is one. When Brahman pervades everywhere, there is no question of duality. All that prevails both, sentients and insentient are nothing but His reflections. This truth is not realized because of māyā that acts through antaḥkaraṇa (mind, intellect and ego).
Aitareya Upaniṣad begins by saying, “In the beginning this was, but the absolute Self alone.” He alone has manifested as many; it is only His manifestations that exist in various shapes and forms like, trees, insects, animals, birds and humans. That is why He is called omnipresent. He is subtler than the subtlest and bigger than biggest.
966. Janmamṛtyujarātigaḥ जन्ममृत्युजरातिगः
Janma – birth; mṛtyu – death; jarā – old age. He is beyond birth, growth and ultimate death. One is born only to grow and perish ultimately. But Brahman is neither born, nor grows nor dies. Hence He is called eternal. He creates, sustains and annihilates but He alone remains beyond all this.
Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (III.21) explains His immortality by saying that He is ajaram, which means not subjected to old age. The verse also says, “nityam ravadanti” which refers to eternity.
When yogis meditate, they unite their individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness. When the union between jīvātaman and paramātman is complete, the former loses its individual identity and becomes one with the latter. Such yogis do not undergo the pains of old age and when the time comes for them to leave this world, they shed their gross bodies to become one with Him.
967. Bhūrbuvssvastaruḥ भूर्बुव्स्स्वस्तरुः
Bhūr, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ (In Gāyatrī mantra it is suvaḥ and not svaḥ) are the three planes of the cosmic world, lower, middle (till earth’s atmosphere) and higher. These are the three vyāhṛti-s of Gāyatrī mantra, also known as the three mystical words (in a way, they also represent three mystical worlds).
These three vyāhṛti-s could be referring to all the triads in the world such as three states of consciousness; three Vedas; past, present and future; dharma, artha and kāma (mokṣa is excluded as it is the destination or goal), etc.
All those who aim for liberation, should transcend all the triads and become a sthitaprajña. Unless one has a firm mind, transcending saṁsāra (transmigration) is difficult.
968. Tāraḥ तारः
Tāra means savior or protector or carrying across. He carries across paśu-s (jīvātaman-s) over the ocean of saṁsāra (transmigration). He makes His devotees to follow the spiritual path to attain liberation. He wants them surrender unto Him, so that He can carry further karmas on their behalf. But many fail to understand His love and warmth due to ignorance. Worshipping does not confer liberation, whereas a perfect contemplation does.
969. Savitā सविता
Savitṛ means the stimulator and often referred to the Sun. Brahman is frequently compared to the sun as the whole world survives on the energy produced by the sun. Since, the universe depends upon Him, the eternal Father, He is revered here as Savitā.
There is an Upaniṣad by name Sāvitrī Upaniṣad which says that Agni is known as Savitā and air is known as Sāvitrī.
970. Prapitāmahaḥ प्रपितामहः
This is the term used to mean paternal great grandfather. Since Viṣṇu created Brahmā, the god in charge of creation, He is addressed as Prapitāmaha.
It is generally said that Śiva is the father of the universe, Brahmā is the grandfather and Viṣṇu is the great grandfather of the universe.
This nāma subtly conveys that He exists from the beginning and this beginning is not known to anyone.
971. Yajñaḥ यज्ञः
Yajña means worship and devotion. There are two types of yajña -s, one is internal and another is external. Devotion begins while performing external and ritualistic worships which should escalate into internal worship. Persistent internal worship (meditation) transforms into love for Him and He himself begins to guide His devotee personally, by manifesting as His Guru.
This nāma says that He can be attained only through the highest form of devotion, which can be explained as Love for Him. Internal yajña is the one, where one’s ego, is offered as oblation in the fire of devotion. When the fire of devotion begins to burn strongly within, successive steps of revelations happen in quick succession.
972. Yajñapatiḥ यज्ञपतिः
He is the Chief of all yajña –s. He presides over both the types of yajña –s discussed in the previous nāma.
Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (IX.24) “ahaṁ hi sarvayajñānāṁ bhoktā ca prabhureva ca अहं हि सर्वयज्ञानां भोक्ता च प्रभुरेव च”. He says, “I am the enjoyer and Lord of all sacrifices”. Results of all sacrifices reach Him and He enjoys offerings of His devotees. Here enjoyment does not mean food offerings, etc. It is the offering of one’s mind and this is called surrender unto Him. Mentally surrendering unto Him is the best form of worship and the moment the surrender is complete in all respects, He enters the mind and dwells there. From this moment onwards, the devotee does not accrue any karmas, as karmas do not accrue after realisation.
973. Yajvā यज्वा
Yajvan refers to a worshipper. When He completely pervades the mind of the one, who has surrendered unto Him, He becomes not only the worshipped but also becomes the worshipper. When the object of worship, the process of worship and the worshipper all become one, illusionary triads are dissolved giving rise to affirmation “I am Brahman”.
974. Yajñāṅgaḥ यज्ञाङ्गः
Yajñāṅga means ingredients required for a sacrificial ritual. There are very many things required to complete a yajña. In outward rituals, a large number of accessories are required to conduct a yajña such as materials for oblations, wood pieces, ghee, priests, etc. In the internal sacrifice, one requires only his mind and a few minutes of thought about Him.
975. Yajñavāhanaḥ यज्ञवाहनः
He is the carrier of the benefits accruing out of yajña -s. Mind is the vehicle that carries all the benefits accruing out of all sacrifices made within, to the Supreme Self. In other words, individual consciousness is carried by the mind to become one with the Supreme Consciousness.
Ritualistically, this nāma says that He is the carrier of benefits of performing yajña -s to the respective gods. yajño vai viṣṇuḥ, which means all sacrifices are in the form of Viṣṇu.