265. Subhujaḥ सुभुजः
Subhuja means having excellent arms. His arms are used to protect people (abhaya) and offer boons (varada) to his disciples. Viṣṇu protects people from evils, often symbolized as demons. He has no hesitation in eliminating evil doers to uphold dharma and to protect the virtuous. With His abhaya hand, He assures His devotees that He is there all the time to protect them and with His varada hands He is ready to offer liberation to those who seek liberation.
When someone is seeking liberation, he has to pass through tough times. When one decides to seek liberation, he is protected by His abhaya hand, which drives away all the fears. When an aspirant is under the protection of His abhaya hand, he proceeds with his sādhanā (practice) without any fear. Once he completes his sādhanā, Lord’s varada hand takes over and offers him the final liberation.
266. Durdharaḥ दुर्धरः
Repetitive nāma 715.
He is irresistible because He is the embodiment of all auspiciousness and compassion. A person becomes irresistible only if he has good qualities. Good qualities and wisdom are always reflected in one’s face. Viṣṇu’s face radiates with compassion, concern, love, intelligence, willingness to help, bravery (in destroying evil doers, also known as demons or monsters), etc.
267. Vāgmī वाग्मी
Vāgmin means eloquent. This nāma says that Vedas originated from Him. Vedas were declared to ancient sages and saints by Lord Viṣṇu, during their trances. Sages and saints of those times had excellent memory power. They memorised the verses of Vedas and passed on their disciples orally. Those days Vedas were taught only orally. Vedas are composed by various ṛṣi-s.
Vedas have both explicit meaning and secretive meaning. Explicit meaning can be understood by anyone with proper explanation. But secretive meaning cannot be understood only by the wise of the highest order. Explicit interpretations lead to outer sacrificial rituals and secretive interpretations lead to inner yajña. Agni can be explained both explicitly and secretively. Explicit meaning is the lord of fire, Agni, who is depicted to take all the offerings made as oblations, to the respective gods. Secretively, Agni means the power of divine will in man.
268. Mahendraḥ महेन्द्रः
Indra is the chief of gods and goddesses. Vedas talk more about Indra and Agni than any other gods. Mahendra means that Viṣṇu is far superior to Indra. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva are superior to Indra. For a spiritually advanced person, names of gods do not matter to him.
It is only the energy of the Brahman, which pervades the universe in the form different gods and goddesses. For example, rain is not possible without Brahman. But water is worshipped as a god by name Varuṇa. Indra is the chief of gods like Varuṇa, Agni, etc.
269. Vasudaḥ वसुदः
Vasuda means granting wealth and prosperity. Since Viṣṇu is an embodiment of virtues and auspiciousness, it is not wondrous that He gives wealth and prosperity. Wherever virtues and auspiciousness prevail, all-round prosperity and happiness are bound to prevail.
Brahman is always compassionate. Whatever he has, he gives. Not only good things but also evil things arise from Him. That is why we see that evil doers do exist. If they have not originated from the Brahman, His omnipresence will be under question. He is not only the giver of prosperity, but also poverty. Prosperity or poverty is decided by His own law, the law of karma, which is also known as the Law of the Lord. Karma is one’s own making.
270. Vasuḥ वसुः
Repetitive nāma-s 104 and 696.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.2) explains this nāma. It says, “vasurantarikṣasat वसुरन्तरिक्षसत्” where vasu means the supporter of all and antarikṣa means the atmosphere. The Upaniṣad says that sun being present in the space between earth and heaven supports the earth.
Sun, which is known to us is referred here as an example of the Brahman. If sun does not shine, the galaxy will collapse leading to catastrophe. Since we do not know the Brahman and He cannot be known through perception, Brahman is compared to the sun. We are aware that without sun, sustenance is not possible.
This saying of the Upaniṣad can be interpreted in yet another way. Antarikṣa means space and the Brahman by being present in the space is all pervading, an affirmation of Brahman’s omnipresence.
271. Naikarūpaḥ नैकरूपः
This nāma is in confirmation of the previous nāma. Naika means manifold. Brahman is present in all the beings and these beings are in different shapes and sizes. Previous nāma said that the Brahman is all pervading. This nāma confirms His omnipresence, because He is present as the soul in all the beings. Without Him being within, growth of a body is not possible, bet it a man or animal kingdom or plant kingdom. When a creation is to take place, causal body, subtle body and gross bodies are formed around Him, thereby creating a being. He is the cause of all that exists and hence He is addressed as Naikarūpaḥ. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (II.ii.19) says, “He is many and infinite”.
272. Bṛhadrūpaḥ बृहद्रूपः
Bṛhat means vast or abundant. This nāma refers to His ten avatars, popularly known as daśāvatāra. His incarnations are countless. Kaṭha Upaniṣad says that He is bigger than the biggest and smaller than the smallest. This nāma says that He is the biggest.
273. Śipiviṣṭaḥ शिपिविष्टः
Śipiviṣṭa means the one who stands diffused by rays and generally applied to Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. This interpretation appears to be more appropriate, as the Brahman alone is Self-illuminating.
Śipi refers to sacrificial cows also known as paśu and viṣṭa means contained in. This means that Viṣṇu, as the Lord of all sacrifices pervades in every sacrificial object.
Secretively Śipi refers to all the organs of a person who offers them as sacrificial oblations in the inner fire. Sacrificing organs mean disconnecting the sensory organs from the materialistic world. Evil thoughts enter into the mind when sensory organs are allowed to stray into the material world. When these organs are offered as oblations, they are burnt and cannot send information from the external world.
Yajur Veda (II.v.5.2) says, “viṣṇave śipiviṣṭāya” and this means offered to Viṣṇu.
274. Prakāśanaḥ प्रकाशनः
Though Brahman is described in so many terms, He is always prakāśa, the Self-illuminating light. A miniscule part of this light can be seen in deep stages of meditation. Because of this Light, everything else glows.
Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.31) that the Self illuminates everything.
The best example for prakāśa is given in Kaṭha Upaniṣad. Please refer nāma 176.