155. Śuciḥ शुचिः

He is a purifier. Mere thought of Brahman can purify a devotee. When a devotee thinks about the Brahman all the time, there will be no other thoughts in his mind except the Lord. When a devotee’s mind is purified, it paves way for liberation. Brahman can be realized only in a purified mind.

Lord’s compassion is expressed in more than one way. Here, He is willing to offer liberation, but, the first step is to be made by the devotee. But, it is due to the inherent ignorance of the humanity, Lord is not earnestly pursued, leading to non-realization of the Brahman.

Īśa Upaniṣad (8) says that Brahman is śuddham, referring to His purity.

156. Ūrjitaḥ ऊर्जितः

Ūrjita means endowed with power. Brahman is endowed with infinite power. From that power alone, the universe is created, sustained and dissolved.

157. Atīndraḥ अतीन्द्रः

Indra though refers to the chief of gods, in this context it is not meant to mean that way. A human soul is called indra. Ati is generally used as a prefix. Ati in the present context means beyond. Therefore this nāma says that Lord Viṣṇu is beyond human soul. Though Brahman and human soul are one and the same, ati is used here to signify that all human souls originate from Him. This is often referred as Oversoul.

It is not appropriate to say that Viṣṇu is above Indra, the chief of gods. There is no comparison between the two, as comparison can be made only among equals and not among unequals. Though Indra is frequently referred in Vedas, Viṣṇu, as the sustainer of the universe is above Indra in all respects.

158. Saṁgrahaḥ संग्रहः

Saṁgraha means holding together. During annihilation, the entire world is covered with water, known as deluge. When the deluge is complete, the entire world gets absorbed by the Brahman. This nāma refers to the time gap between annihilation and re-creation. During this time, Brahman holds all the souls together to recreate again. The process of recreation is known as viśvayoniḥ (nāma-s 47 and 149). The subtle point conveyed through this nāma is His compassion for the souls. He holds them carefully and making them to be born again to spend the balance of their karmas. Brahman is waiting for them to give liberation. Liberation is possible only if one’s karmic account becomes zero.

Brahman looks after five major acts. They are creation, sustenance, death, concealment also known as tirodhāna (referring to annihilation) and recreation or anugraha (referring to re-creation). This nāma refers to the interim period between tirodhāna and anugraha.

159. Sargaḥ सर्गः

Sarga means creation. This nāma is an extension of the previous nāma. After holding together all the souls, Brahman re-creates, which is known as anugraha, the fifth act of the Brahman.

160. Dhṛtātmā धृतात्मा

Dhṛtātman means steady. In spite of His five principle acts, He remains the same, without undergoing modifications. Brahman does not undergo changes even during annihilation and re-creation. During annihilation, Brahman absorbs the entire universe unto Him and out of compassion, re-creates the universe again. In spite of this He remains as dhṛtātman.

161. Niyamaḥ नियमः

Niyam means to bestow. He bestows powers to different gods and goddesses to uphold and sustain the universe. The entire universe is administered in a systemised way. Each act of sustainment is ruled by a god. For example, fire is ruled by god Agni. The forces that are required to sustain the universe are known in the names of different gods. This nāma says that Viṣṇu bestows such powers to different gods and goddesses.

162. Yamaḥ यमः

Yama means great moral rule. Controlling sensory pleasures leads to virtuous path, an essential factor for realising the Self. His administration of the universe is purely on clean living. He does not bother about external cleanliness, but He is seriously concerned with one’s inner cleanliness. Inner cleanliness refers to the purity of mind. If one nurtures impure thoughts, they manifest in huge proportions thereby making that person full of malignancy and enmity. When his malignancy and enmity attains enormous proportions, He does not hesitate to slay them. Brahman does not tolerate immorality. This nāma says that He sustains the universe by upholding high moral values.

Evil thoughts are more dangerous than evil acts. The problem with evil thoughts is that they get embedded in subconscious mind to manifest at a later date. For example, a person lives a virtuous life. Suddenly the impressions of subconscious mind manifest transforming him into a wicked person overnight. A rich man becoming a pauper overnight is also based on the same rationale.

Patañjali talks about yama in his yoga sūtra (II.30). ‘Non-hurting, truthfulness, abstention from stealing, continence (control over sexual life) and non-receiving (non-acceptance of gifts) are called yama.’ In sūtra II.32, he says, ‘Internal and external purification, contentment, mortification, study and worship of God are niyama-s.’ The above two nāma-s can be explained on the basis of these yoga sūtra-s.