305. Vyaktarūpaḥ व्यक्तरूपः

Vyakta means manifested. Universe is the manifestation of the Brahman. Gross form of the Brahman is the universe. His subtle form cannot be seen as It is minute than the minutest. This is explained in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.20) which says, “aṇoraṇīyānmahato mahīyānātmā अणोरणीयान्महतो महीयानात्मा” which means that Brahman is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest.

This nāma not only says that His manifestation is the universe, but also reaffirms His omnipresence. He permeates the entire universe. Realisation happens at the height of spirituality, attained through knowledge, when one realises His omnipresence.

306. Sahasrajit सहस्रजित्

Sahasra means thousand and it is often used to mean countless. Jit means conquering. Viṣṇu incarnates when evil prevails over virtues and slays all the evil elements to uphold dharma. Primary duty of Viṣṇu is to sustain the universe through dharma and He destroys all the impediments while discharging His duty. This nāma refers to Him as the Sustainer of the universe, upholding dharma.

307. Anantajit अनन्तजित्

This is an extension of the previous nāma. To wipe out evil forces as discussed in the previous nāma, this nāma says that He has the necessary powers to overcome the evil forces. Brahman is the embodiment of all powers as all othere powers originate from Him alone.

This nāma refers to His Divine will. Free will originates from the Divine will.

308. Iṣṭaḥ इष्टः

Brahman is an embodiment of love, concern and compassion. We can observe that a person who is soft to everyone, expressing his love and compassion, is loved by all. Individual love and compassion emanates from the Brahman and one can imagine the power of His love. Generally, our love and compassion is limited to certain circle. But Viṣṇu’s compassion, concern and love is different as He loves every single being that exists in the universe. Hence He is loved by all. When our love and compassion cross all the boundaries and become universal love, we realise Him.

Iṣṭa also means sacred rites and in this context, this nāma says that He is worshipped through religious rituals.

309. Aviśiṣṭaḥ अविशिष्टः

Viśiṣṭa means distinguished and pre-eminent. Aviśiṣṭa means the opposite of viśiṣṭa. This nāma is used as a metaphor and means that He is present in all the beings. The individual soul is nothing but the Brahman Himself. One fails to realize the Brahman within because of the inherent ignorance. When knowledge is gained, the ignorance wanes away, paving for the realisation of the Self within. This nāma is poetic parlance. This nāma refers to the position of a seeker before realizing the Him within.

310. Śiṣṭeṣṭaḥ शिष्टेष्टः

Śiṣṭa-s are those who follow the righteousness prescribed by śāstra-s. Śiṣṭa is also explained to mean those who control their senses and knower of Veda-s. Their actions are based on the śāstra-s that are derived from Veda-s. Viṣṇu is known for His righteousness. It is also said that one should worship God, as prescribed by their respective orders and not simply by flowers, etc. Viṣṇu has a great liking for men of knowledge (jñāni-s).

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta (VII.17) “Chief among them is jñāni, ever constant and with one pointed in devotion. I am exceedingly dear to him and he is exceedingly dear to me”. Kṛṣṇa did not stop with this. He proceeds to say “A man so illuminated is hard to find and such a stage is reached after many incarnations” (VII.19).

311. śikhaṇḍī शिखण्डी

Śikhaṇḍ means tuft and also refers to tail of peacock. Probably this nāma refers both. During His famous incarnation as Kṛṣṇa, He wears a peacock feather on His head. Though there are many explanations on Kṛṣṇa’s peacock feather, the appropriate explanation could be that it signifies wisdom. If this nāma is interpreted in terms of nāma 308, then it means the symbol of His Love for the humanity. He depicted His love for humanity in many ways and the best among them is His gift of Bhagavad Gītā.

312. Nahuṣaḥ नहुषः

This nāma formed out of the word nah, which means binding together. Bondage is due to illusionary aspect of the Brahman, known as māyā.

Further reading on māyā: Māyā is illusion. The root of māyā is ma. Ma means ‘to measure’. It also means ‘leading to the idea of illusion’. Brahman is immeasurable but due to the influence of māyā, Brahman appears to be measurable. In other words, Brahman is beyond time and space but due to the influence of māyā Brahman appears as if bound by time and space. For easier understanding, Brahman is said to have two aspects – saguṇa (with attributes) and nirguṇa (without attributes). Nirguṇa Brahman in conjunction with māyā becomes saguṇa Brahman. The appearance of the universe is due to the projection by māyā.

From the point of view of Vedānta consciousness is the subtlest of all existents. Pure consciousness is the basis of varied existence of the universe. All these variations are due to the superimposition of names and forms by māyā which is the principle of appearance that is neither real nor unreal. The Self-illuminating Brahman which is pure and limitless consciousness manifests as manifold souls in living organisms. The manifestation of the Brahman is noticeable only in the living beings, whereas it stands hidden in non-livings. In the case of human beings, the pure and limitless consciousness manifest as self with independent mind. Māyā is a mystery of omnipresent power that works like a supreme faculty of self- transformation. It appears in the form of deceptive masks producing only illusionary effects. Māyā covers the Brahman that exists in all beings in this universe. This covering is like a sheath or a veil. Unless this veil is removed, the Brahman cannot be realized. For removing this veil, knowledge is required. As long as the veil continues to remain, one continues to remain ignorant (avidyā). Macro-cosmic reflection of the Brahman is māyā.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gīta (VII.14) “For this most wonderful māyā of Mine, consisting of three guṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas), is extremely difficult to break through. Those who constantly adore me are able to cross it.”

313. Vṛṣaḥ वृषः

He is an embodiment of dharma. This nāma also reaffirms His Supremacy, as vṛṣa also means pre-eminent.

314. Krodhahā क्रोधहा

He is the destroyer of anger. Anger is a product of an afflicted mind. A true spiritual seeker should not have any affliction in his mind, as Brahman is to be realized only in his mind.

This also refers to bīja hūṁ हूं. Hūṁ is capable of kindling one’s kundalini, if recited aloud.