401. Vīraḥ वीरः

Repetitive nāma-s 643 and 658.

Vīr means valiant. Viṣṇu is always valiant as He has the primary duty of sustaining the universe and to uphold dharma.

His incarnation Kṛṣṇa is valorous, not only in the battle field, but also as a spiritual guru. Everyone cannot become a spiritual guru. Guru-s are those who have won the battle against their senses and thought constructs. All the time, they are connected to Him consciously. Spiritual lecturers cannot be compared to spiritual guru-s. Guru-s always interact with their disciples directly and not as one among the masses. True spiritual guru-s are extremely rare to find, because they do not expose themselves to the world. Spiritual lecturers are those who by their lectures on various Scriptures prompt people to pursue spiritual path, which alone can lead to liberation.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XVI – 4 & 5), “Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, sternness and ignorance are the marks of him, who is born with demonic nature. The divine qualities bestow liberation and demonic qualities lead to bondage.”

402. Śaktīmatāṁ-śreṣṭhaḥ शक्तीमतां-श्रेष्ठः

He is most powerful and this citation confirms His status as the Brahman.

There are three types of śakti-s and they are icchā śakti (the energy of will) jñāna śakti Ithe energy of knowledge) and kriyā śakti (the energy of action). Brahman is full of these śakti-s. He is powerful, because He is an embodiment of all these energies or śakti-s, that are required to create, sustain, destruct, annihilate and re-create, the five acts of the Brahman.

403. Dharmaḥ धर्मः

Dharma is a set of prescribed conduct and customary observances. Dharma differs from species to species. What is dharma to a lion is a not dharma for a man. Lion has to depend upon other animals to satiate its hunger. Man is not making his living, only by killing and eating animals. Killing animals is dharma for the lion, whereas it is not dharma for a man. Therefore, dharma is not uniform to all the species. The only thing that is uniform in all the species is the Self, without which, a life cannot exist.

Therefore, dharma is the code of conduct for the gross and subtle bodies of all the beings. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.i.21) has used dharma in a different context. It says, “eṣaḥ dharmaḥ aṇuḥ एषः धर्मः अणुः”. This means ‘the nature of this Self is subtle’.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (IV.7), “Whenever dharma is on the decline, and adharma dominates, I appear in a bodily forms (incarnations).”

404. Dharma-viduttamaḥ धर्म-विदुत्तमः

Vidu means intelligent. This nāma says that He is aware of the intricacies of dharma, as described in the previous nāma. Scriptures originate from Him, which speak about dharma at length. For example, Bhagavad Gītā is one of the Scriptures that talk about the paths of dharma and a-dharma.

What is dharma and what is adharma is decided by Him and conveyed to ancient sages, who in turn declared to the world in the form of Scriptures.

405. Vaikuṇṭhaḥ वैकुण्ठः

Vaikuṇṭha is the Supreme Abode of Viṣṇu. Religious aspirants believe that He lives there with His Consort Lakṣmī. It is only for the purpose of contemplating on Him, and in reality, He pervades the entire universe.

He created the universe with the five basic elements such as ether, air, fire, water and earth and retaining Vaikuṇṭha for Him. It also means that He removes all the obstacles in the minds of His devotees to attain Him.

406. Puruṣaḥ पुरुषः

Repetitive nāma 14.

A brief note on Puruṣa from Advaita point of view.

Individual soul is also known as puruṣa or ātman. Individual soul is the preternatural existence of the Brahman without attributes or the nirguṇa Brahman. The individual soul is nothing but the manifestation of the Brahman. This explains why we should look within. The Brahman is not elsewhere. He is within us. The pure Brahman or the Brahman without attributes cannot create on His own. There was a necessity for Him to divide Himself into two and His carved out portion exclusively for the purpose of creation and sustenance is the saguṇa Brahman. Whatever we discuss here is only about the saguṇa Brahman as the nirguṇa Brahman is beyond comprehension. It is like a man attempting to explore the sun by trying to enter the core of the sun. Generally the saguṇa Brahman alone is called God. Therefore, God becomes the creative aspect of the universe and not the pure Brahman or nirguṇa Brahman. He is the static energy from whom saguṇa Brahman has originated. Saguṇa Brahman begins to create through His projecting power or illusory power called māyā.

The individual soul becomes active only if it is covered by māyā. The soul gets embodiment only to undergo experience arising out of karmic account embedded in it. The individual soul as such is passive and does not partake in any of the activities of the physical body. It always remains as a witness. The soul does not undergo modifications. The journey of the soul is a tough one. It gets human embodiment only after undergoing several births and deaths in different shapes and forms. The soul can attain liberation only in a human birth, as realisation of the Self can happen only through mind. Though, soul is imperishable and beyond modification, it is subjected to change of field, from lower planes to higher planes. During this process, the soul as such does not undergo any changes, but the plane in which it operates alone changes. All this happens to the soul as it gets itself veiled by the influence of māyā. Due to this influence, it forgets its original nature. Though, it forgets its original nature, still it does not cause any actions in its embodiment, nor gets modified by the actions carried out by karmic influences in conjunction with the impressions in the subconscious mind.

Souls are only the differential manifestations of the Brahman. Typically speaking, a soul is nothing but a tiny spark of the Self-illuminating Brahman. A human is not aware that soul is the cause of his existence. His ignorance about the soul is due to his inherent ego. The ego is inherent in human life as ego alone provides individual identity. Ego induces him to think that he, as a physical body is responsible for all his actions. Though, soul is also not directly responsible for his actions, actions unfold because of the soul within. There may be several bulbs. But electricity is needed to make them burn. In the same way, there are trillions of beings and for their active lives souls need to be present in them. The ultimate realisation of the Brahman happens only in a human mind and the individual soul aids the process of mental evolution though by itself, it does make this happen.

The Supreme Self and the individual souls can be compared to the reflection of sun in water kept in different vessels. Same sun gets reflected in different vessels with water, making one to believe that the reflected sun is different from the real sun in the sky. This belief arises out of ignorance, which is also known māyā. Ultimately, just like water bubbles becoming one with the waters of ocean, the individual souls become one with the Brahman. The soul’s journey from the lowest level of consciousness to the Supreme Consciousness is an incomprehensible process of evolution. It is incomprehensible because, the ‘evolution’ of the soul is beyond the reach of human perception, including the great sages and saints.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (II.v.18) says, “On account of His dwelling in all bodies, He is called Puruṣa. There is nothing that is covered by Him, nothing that is not pervaded by Him.”

Puruṣa is the second of twenty seven tattva-s beginning from Brahman, as per Sāṃkhya philosophy.

This nāma says that Viṣṇu is the Puruṣa.

Arjuna addresses Kṛṣṇa (Bhagavad Gītā XI.38), “tvam adidevaḥ puruṣaḥ त्वम् अदिदेवः पुरुषः” which means ‘You are the primal God, the most ancient Person.’