249. Viśiṣṭaḥ विशिष्टः
Viśiṣṭa means preeminence. Brahman excels in everything. Everything originates from the Brahman alone. Unless one is personified with something, it cannot be given to others. This way, Brahman is the personification of everything. The creation and sustenance of the universe happens out of the energies of the Brahman.
Nārāyaṇa Sūktam (verse 2) explains this by saying “viśvataḥ paramaṁ nityaṁ” which means ‘higher than the world and endless’. The quality of the Brahman is endless, irrespective of the fact that the entire universe is being nourished by the Brahman without any modification happening in Him. This nāma reaffirms the supremacy of the Brahman.
250. Śiṣṭakṛt शिष्टकृत्
This is an extension of the previous nāma. Because of the pre-eminence of the Brahman, He is in a position to command. Śiṣṭa means command. His commands become precepts, as He is a disciplinarian (Śiṣṭa also means disciplined). Upaniṣad-s say that everyone acts, fearing the wrath of the Brahman.
251. Śuciḥ शुचिः
Repetitive nāma 155, where He was adored as the purifier. The present nāma says He is glowing. Brahman alone is Self-illuminating and every other thing derives light only from Him. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) says, “In the presence of the Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything else follows and by Its light all these are lighted.”
That is why Brahman is addressed as Prakāśa, which means Self-illuminating.
252. Siddhārthaḥ सिद्धार्थः
Siddhārtha means the one who has accomplished an aim. Like freewill, there is a concept called Divine will. Divine will is the will of the Brahman to create and sustain that remain uninfluenced by any factors. He cannot even be attained by devotion alone. One’s karmic account should permit to attain Him. Only good thoughts and actions cause good karmic account. Even good karmic account does not give liberation. Only the total surrender to Him alone gives liberation, when the karmic account becomes zero. This nāma says that the aspiration of the Brahman is to offer liberation to everyone. Since men are bound by their own actions, they are unable to attain liberation.
253. Siddhasaṅkalpaḥ सिद्धसङ्कल्पः
Because He is omnipotent, He is able to fulfil all His resolutions. Why the Brahman alone is able to fulfil all His resolutions? Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.vii.1) answers this, “He is free from sin, free from old age, free from death, free from sorrow, free from hunger and thirst. It is the cause of desire for Truth and for commitment to Truth.” Taittirīya Upaniṣad says ‘satyam’ (truth) is Brahman. Because He is committed to Truth, He is able to accomplish all His resolutions. His only resolution is to offer liberation to those who seek liberation. There are two kinds of people. First kind of people seeks liberation and in order to attain liberation, they are willing to forego their material comforts. The second kind of people is not interested in liberation and pursues materialistic life. Unless liberation is pursued, it cannot be attained. He resolves to offer liberation to those who seek liberation in the prescribed manner.
254. Siddhidaḥ सिद्धिदः
He is the giver siddhi. Siddhi in this context refers to emancipation and not superhuman powers. Brahman does not give superhuman powers. They are attained by tough meditations. This nāma is to be read with few of the previous nāma-s, which talk about the Supremacy of the Brahman. He gives liberation or siddhi, provided one seeks liberation properly, as discussed in the previous nāma. Liberation is not attained through religious practices, but by constantly staying connected with Him. One’s consciousness should always be fixed with Him. The penultimate state to liberation is the state of jīvanmukta. Jīvanmukta means, getting liberated during one’s life time. He continues to live in a liberated state till his body dies.
The nāma says that He alone is capable of offering liberation.
255. Siddhisādhanaḥ सिद्धिसाधनः
He guides well all those who seek liberation. Sādhana in this context means perfection or perfect practice. Libration can be attained only through perfect practice. Both mental and physical training is necessary to attain liberation. When He pervades in one’s mind, He makes to him to seek the right spiritual path that culminates in liberation. This nāma says that He shapes and finetunes a true seeker to attain liberation.
Brahman is ever ready to offer liberation. At the same time, He has also unleashed His power of concealment and projection that is deceptive in nature called as māyā. Māyā is testing tool in the hands of the Brahman to offer liberation. If one is able to transcend māyā, the illusionary aspect of the Divine, he becomes a perfect person to attain liberation. Liberation is not a miracle, but a gradual process happens over a period of long time.
256. Vṛṣāhī वृषाही
He is an embodiment of dharma. Vṛṣa among several other meanings, also include virtuous act. Viṣṇu is the upholder of dharma and this nāma highlights this aspect of the Brahman. Brahman is always virtuous and all virtues originate from Him. Vṛṣa also means anything that is mot excellent of its kind.
Many times, there will be a combination of dualism and non-dualism in scriptures and Viṣṇu Sahasranāma is not an exception. Such combination arises when the author develops intent love for Him, leading to frequent trances. During such trances, the author does not know what he writes. The author’s love for Him overtakes the logic behind such narrations. This nāma is one among them.
257. Vṛṣabhaḥ वृषभः
Vṛṣabha means the One who showers bounties. When He is properly approached, He gives whatever is prayed for. As discussed earlier, people pray for two things. One is the material prosperity. They are ignorant and afflicted with bondage and attachment. The other class is spiritual seekers. They seek only liberation and are willing to sacrifice material prosperity. Material life and spiritual life cannot co-exist in a person. The choice is to be made by the individuals.
Prayers are not answered that easily, unless one’s devotion transforms into love for Him. Devotion defers from love. In devotion, He is worshipped keeping Him on a pedestal, as a result of which His closeness is not ensured. Whereas in love, one lives with Him and there is no distance between the devotee and the Brahman, as they become one.