4. Bhūta-bhavya-bhavatprabuḥ भूत-भव्य-भवत्प्रबुः

Viṣṇu is the Lord of time, past, present and future. This refers nāma to His eternity. Only the Brahman can be beyond time. Bhūta-bhavya-bhavat refers to past, future and present and prabu is a declaration of His Supremacy. If a spiritual aspirant is able to transcend time, he realizes the Brahman. All changes in the physical world are described in terms of a separate dimension called time. Since the Brahman is subtle in nature, he stands transcended the time factor.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gita (VII.26), “Arjuna, I know all beings, past, present and future”.

5. Bhūtakṛt भूतकृत्

Bhūtakṛt means the Creator. Kṛt refers to both creation and destruction. Viṣṇu, as the Brahman is not merely the Creator but also the Annihilator of the universe.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gita (X.34), “I am the all-destroying death that snatches all, and the origin of all that shall be born.” In reality, the Brahman does not stop with creation and annihilation. The most important function of the Brahman is His act of sustaining His creations. Viṣṇu is often known for His sustaining activities.

The Cosmic Will of the Brahman is the starting point of creation and every other thing is merely the unfoldment of His Cosmic design.

6. Bhūtabhṛt भूतभृत्

After having referred two of the three main activities of the Brahman, His third activity of sustenance is made as a separate nāma. It is on His support, the universe is holding on.

Bhagavad Gita (IX.5) says, “All those beings abide not in Me; but behold the wonderful power of My divine yoga; though the Sustainer and Creator of beings, My self in reality dwells not in those beings.”

When the Brahman assumes three different roles, the Creator, the Sustainer and the Absorber, He is dominated by one of the three guṇa-s. Brahman has two aspects, one is His nirguṇa form and another is His saguṇa form. Guṇa-s are associated only with His saguṇa form. His nirguṇa form is the purest form.

7. Bhāvaḥ भावः

This nāma refers to His purest form of existence. The purest form of consciousness is the Brahman. The previous nāma refers to His saguṇa form and this nāma refers to His nirguṇa form. He exists in His purest form as the Inner Being of both sentient and insentient. Brahman is the cause of everything that exists in the universe. That is why, He is said to be omnipresent.

8. Bhūtātmā भूतात्मा

He exists as Ātman in all the beings. Without Ātman or soul, no organism can exist. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (III.vii.20) explains this concept by saying, “eṣa ta ātmānantaryāmyamṛtaḥ एष त आत्मानन्तर्याम्यमृतः” This means that He is the immortal internal ruler, the Brahman. The qualities of the Brahman are being discussed through these nāma-s.

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.xi) says, ‘sarvabhūtāntarātmā’, which means the inner most being. This nāma refers to this aspect of the Brahman.

9. Bhūtabhāvanaḥ भूतभावनः

He nourishes His creations. Brahman not only creates, but also nourishes. Whatever is created has to be nourished. This nāma elucidates His compassion. Brahman is full of compassion. Brahman creates with an intention to liberate the souls. But, men are deluded by ignorance fails to realise the purpose for which they are created. In spite of this, He nourishes them as per nāma 6.

10. Pūtātma पूतात्म

He is the embodiment of purity. This nāma refers to His nirguṇa aspect. Purity is the stage where guṇa-s, impressions and illusions are absent. The Brahman alone can be the embodiment of purity. All humans will have some traces of impurities. When one is able to transcend all the impurities, he becomes one with the Brahman.

(Though this kind of explanations may sound like a dualistic approach, in order to explain the pre-eminence of the Brahman, such explanations become essential. Someone asked the great sage Ramana, “What is the truth of scriptural texts which speak of oneself seeing the Self and seeing God?” Ramana replied, “Since oneself is one, how can oneself see oneself? If one’s Self cannot be seen, how can God be seen? Getting absorbed is seeing.”)

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (VI.xi) says, ‘kevalo nirguṇaśca’ which can be literally translated as ‘He alone is without guṇa-s.’ Brahman cannot be explained as He is beyond any explanations.

Though He is present in all beings as soul, He is not affected by the actions of the embodiments of the soul and He continues to remain as pure as ever. He is beyond time and space (nāma 4).

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gita (IX.9), “Actions do not bind Me, unattached I am to such actions, and standing apart as it were.”

11. Paramātmā परमात्मा

He is addressed as the Supreme Spirit or the Brahman. The Purest form of Consciousness is Paramātma. He is the combination of eternal existence, Pure Consciousness and Infinite Bliss. This combination is also known as sat-cit-ānanda. When Paramātma is the purest form of Consciousness, ātman (an individual soul) is His reflective image. When we talk about creation, it is nothing but His reflective images called souls that get embodied in different shapes and forms. But for this reflective image called soul, no creature can be born.

Bhagavad Gita (XIII.22) explains Paramātma, “The Spirit dwelling in this body, is really the same as the Supreme. He has been spoken as the witness, guide, sustainer, experience, the Supreme Lord and the Absolute.”

12. Muktānāṁ paramā gatiḥ मुक्तानां परमा गतिः

Mukta means all those who are liberated. Mukta-s can find a way out of bondage, through Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu is the ultimate goal of all the liberated men. Men have attained liberation by pursuing the right kind of knowledge; otherwise, they could not have been liberated. Among other factors, knowledge and mind, the former leading to the latter, play a pivotal role to attain spiritual liberation. Mukta-s are those who have attained the right kind of knowledge and through which, controlled their minds and attained emancipation. This nāma says that mukta-s have attained liberation by being devout to Him.

During the transitional stage from dvaita to advaita, one is still associated with names of Gods and Goddesses. Only in the highest stage of advaita, names and forms of Gods and Goddesses get dissolved into the Self illuminating Brahman. Spiritual pursuit should be gradual and steady and the transition has to happen on its own.

Mukta-s, who surrender to the lotus feet of Viṣṇu are not born again. Kṛṣṇa says, “Great souls, who have attained the highest perfection, having come to Me, are no more subjected to rebirth” (Bhagavad Gita VIII.15).