26. Śarvaḥ शर्वः
He is the One who destroys the universe at the time of annihilation, known as pralaya. There are four types of dissolution and they are eternal or nitya, natural or prākṛta, occasional or naimittika and ultimate or ātyantika. The first three are caused by the cessation of the past work and the fourth one happens due to the dawning of knowledge by simultaneously dissolving ignorance, which is an impediment to realisation of the Self.
27. Śivaḥ शिवः
He is benevolent, auspicious and gracious. Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad (7) says,
prapañcopaśamaṁ śāntaṁ śivamadvaitaṁ caturthaṁ manyante sa ātmā sa vijñeyaḥ
प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते स आत्मा स विज्ञेयः
‘The embodiment of peace, the sum total of all that is good (śivam), one without a second, the fourth state of turya. Think this turya to be the Self, and this Self has to be realised.’ This nāma subtly conveys the essence of the Self. Viṣṇu is in the form that Self. His Brahmanic status is reaffirmed though this nāma.
Śiva also means purity. Only the Brahman is the absolute form of purity. Brahman remains pure as He is devoid of guṇa-s. Guṇa-s are the attributes of Prakṛti. What is the quality of the Brahman? The next nāma explains this.
28. Sthāṇuḥ स्थाणुः
Sthāṇu means steady. In the present context it means the One without modification. The Brahman is without out modifications. The previous nāma said that He is the Brahman and this nāma says that He is the one without modifications, referring to nirguṇa Brahman or the Brahman without attributes. Only the Brahman without attributes is pure and beyond modifications.
Kṛṣṇa while explaining the qualities of soul says, “sthāṇuḥ acalaḥ sanātanaḥ” which means ‘immovable (sthāṇuḥ), constant and everlasting’ (Bhagavad Gita II.24). The individual soul educes the quality of the Supreme Soul.
29. Bhūtādiḥ भूतादिः
He is the cause of entire creation. This is the quality of the Brahman. His origin is unknown. That is why the Brahman is called ādi (beginningless) and anādi (without parentage, created on Its own).
Kṛṣṇa says (Bhagavad Gita X.8), “I am the source of all creation and everything in the world moves because of Me.”
30. Nidhiravyayaḥ निधिरव्ययः
Nidhi means treasure and avyaya means imperishable. He is the imperishable treasure. This nāma does not mean the material wealth and the Brahman has no connection to material wealth. At the time of annihilation or the deluge, all the beings get absorbed into the Brahman till the next creation is made. All the beings take a sojourn at the time of annihilation in the Brahman. In spite of this, the Brahman does not undergo any modification or change and remains as It is. The souls take only a temporary shelter in the Brahman only during deluge. At the time of recreation, they are again born as per the karmic law. The Brahman absorbs the entire universe during His act of annihilation only to recommence His act of creation. This does not mean liberation for the souls. This stage is only a temporary respite for them. When the whole universe does not exist, He alone exists.
31. Saṁbhavaḥ संभवः
He incarnates to destroy the evil forces that act as deterrent factors to uphold dharma. His incarnations happen only out His free will.
Free will of the Brahman is different from the free will of human. Free will of the Brahman is His own power of autonomy that nobody else possesses. The entire universe is the manifestation of His free will. Human free will is his capacity to take decisions on his own uninfluenced by external agencies. The right choice of freewill liberates a man. The option before a man is either to be with Brahman’s creation or with the Brahman and the latter leads to liberation of soul.
Kṛṣṇa explains the necessity for His incarnations in Bhagavad Gita (IV.8).
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām |
dharmasaṁthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge ||
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्मसंथापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे॥
Kṛṣṇa says. “For the protection of the virtuous, for annihilating the evildoers and to firmly establish dharma, I am born from age to age.” Incarnation happens in two ways. One is His direct incarnation like Kṛṣṇa and the other is the embodiment in the forms of sages and saints. However, the underlying principle in both the cases remains the same.
32. Bhāvanaḥ भावनः
He administers the universe through the ‘law of karma’. One’s enjoyment or sufferings is only due to his own thoughts and actions. The Brahman does not cause a person to act as He remains only as a witness. Actions unfold only due to individual karmas accumulated over several births.
Brahma Sūtra (III.ii.38) says, “phalamat upapatteḥ” which means ‘the fruits of actions come from Him.’ If this is true, then the law of karma becomes obsolete. Law of karma cannot become obsolete, hence, Vedāntins argue that the Brahman presides over everything, He also ordains the results of karmas according to the quality of the karmas. Technically speaking, this argument is right because the ‘law of karma’ is enacted by the Lord. This also augurs well with the theory that the Brahman is acting only as a witness and does not partake in any actions.
33. Bhartā भर्ता
He is the supporter of the universe. Kṛṣṇa says (Bhagavad Gita IX.18), “I am the supreme goal, the supporter, the Lord...” Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.6) uses the term, “viśvadhāma” to describe His support to the universe. Without His support, there can be neither creation nor any activity. The universe revolves around Him.
34. Prabhavaḥ प्रभवः
Prabhava means excellence, the Supreme Creator. He is the source of the great elements like, ether, air, fire, water and earth. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.1) says, “from the Self came space; from space, air; from air, fire’ from air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth….” The universe evolves from Him in stages. This also endorses the theory of evolution that happens in stages.
Kṛṣṇa says, “I am the source of entire creation.” (Bhagavad Gita VII.6)
35. Prabhuḥ प्रभुः
Prabhu means capable, mighty, powerful etc. This nāma reaffirms His supremacy conveyed through the previous nāma. It is necessary for a ruler to be not merely excellent, but also should have the capabilities to effectively administer his kingdom. These two nāma-s say that the Brahman has both these qualities.