470. Vatsaraḥ वत्सरः

He is the Abode of all the beings. He is the upholder of the four puruṣārtha-s viz. dharma (rightful discharge of one’s duty), artha (acquiring material wealth), kāma (desire) and mokṣa (liberation).  According to the law of karma, He ensures that everyone pursues all the four in different proportions, which is a continuous process through different births that gets terminated only at the time of liberation.

This nāma says that He is the cause for all these activities by remaining as the subtle Soul (Please refer nāmā-s 478 and 479) in all the beings.

471. Vatsalaḥ वत्सलः

Vatsala means love or affection. He loves all His devotees. He is commonly revered as Bhaktavatsala. This nāma reaffirms His love for those who always think about Him. Devotion does not mean rituals performed in His praise; it is the feeling of ardent love for Him.

472. Vatsī वत्सी

This nāma says that He protects His devotees like a cow protecting its calf. In other words, He takes care of His devotees with motherly affection.

This nāma is a reaffirmation of the previous nāma. Such reaffirmations are necessary to highlight certain qualities of the Brahman and are found in all Upaniṣad-s.

473. Ratnagarbhaḥ रत्नगर्भः

A comparison is drawn between gems and the Self. Gems (possibly referring to pearls) are generally found in the deep sea and in the same way the Self is hidden deep within a physical body. It also means that one has to struggle hard to realize the Self, like finding pearl in deep sea.

474. Dhaneśvaraḥ धनेश्वरः

Dhana means wealth and Iśvara refers to His Supremacy. This nāma says that He is the Lord of wealth, not merely on His own merits and also because of His Consort, Goddess Lakṣmī.

475. Dharmagup धर्मगुप्

The next three nāma-s discuss about dharma or righteousness.

Dharmagup means protector of law. This nāma says that He is the protector of dharma. Law of Dharma is in the form of dharma śāstra-s. He always upholds dharma by destroying evil doers, when they become too powerful to be dealt with by human beings. He eliminates those evil doers through His various incarnations. Lord Viṣṇu is always worshipped as the Lord of Dharma.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā. “For the protection of virtuous, for the destruction of evil doers and for establishing dharma on a firm footing, I am born from age to age.” (IV.8)

Arjuna says, “(śāsvatadharmagoptā) You are the ultimate refuge of the universe….” (XI.18)

476. Dharmakṛt धर्मकृत्

Though He is the eternal Brahman and is beyond dharma and adharma, He still follows dharma to establish the importance of dharma and to uphold it. This is a typical example where one follows what he preaches.

477. Dharmī धर्मी

He is dharma and dharma originates from Him. Everything originates from Him and dharma is not an exception.

478. Sat सत्

The next two nāma-s discuss about reality and unreality.

Sat means reality, the existence. Brahman is referred as sat-cit-ānanda (reality-consciousness-bliss). From sat alone everything else has originated. This is clearly explained in Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VI.2). The Upaniṣad uses the word sat along with jāyata (emerged). “Before this world was manifest there was only existence, one without a second. On this subject, some maintain that before this world was manifest, there was only non-existence, one without a second. Out of that non-existence, existence emerged.”

Kṛṣṇa says that sat is indestructible and none has power to do so (Bhagavad Gītā II.17).

479. Asat असत्

All manifestations are called asat or unreal. This nāma drives home the point that everything else except the Brahman is unreal. The Self prevails in everyone; but the difference between the Self as the Brahman and the Self as the soul is the former is Pure Consciousness and the latter is covered by māyā and becomes puruṣa or the individual soul. The true form of the Self is veiled by māyā, where the original Self is concealed and wrongly projected as the real.  All those that are perishable are asat or unreal.

To put it briefly, Self alone is sat and all His manifestations are asat. They are asat because they are subjected to modification and ultimate death.