480. Kṣaram क्षरम्
This nāma is to be read along with the next nāma.
Kṣara means perishable. When an object is subject to decay, it has to undergo modifications. For example, a child is born, grows along with age, only to die ultimately. This nāma says that He prevails even in perishables. This reaffirms His omnipresence.
Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (VIII.4). “All perishable objects are adhibhūta (the all penetrating influence of the Supreme Spirit); the shining puruṣa (Self influenced by māyā) is adhidaiva (divine agent acting on material objects); and in this body I Myself, dwelling as the inner witness, am Adhiyajñā (the subject of sacrifice).
481. Akṣaram अक्षरम्
Akṣara means imperishable and obviously referring to the Brahman. Brahman as puruṣa dwells within, witnessing all the actions of the gross body in conjunction with mind.
Kṛṣṇa explains in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.16) the difference between the body and the soul. “There are two kinds of puruṣa-s; one is the bodies of all beings spoken of as perishable while the Jīvātmā or the embodied soul is Imperishable.”
Jīvātmā-s are nothing but the reflections of Paramātmā, concealed by māyā.
482. Avijñātā अविज्ञाता
Avijñāta means unknown and contextually this can be explained as unable to know. A jīvātma who strives to know the concealed Self within is addressed here as Avijñātā. A jīvātma is not able to realize the Self within with ease as the Self is concealed by māyā, as a result of which one forgets that he himself is the Brahman. Realising the Brahman within is known as Self realisation.
483. Sahasrāṁśuḥ सहस्रांशुः
Sahasrāṁśu means thousand rayed. It refers to the one with infinite rays. Sun gets its light only from Him. From Him alone, the universe derives its light.
Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.12), “The light in the sun that illumines the entire solar world, and that which shines in the moon and that too which shines in the fire, know that to be Mine.”
A number of Upaniṣad-s talk about this Light.
Bṛhadāraṇayaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.6) says “upon that immortal Light of all lights the gods meditate as longevity.” This means that gods meditate on this Supreme Light for their immortality.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.15) explains this further. “In the presence of Brahman, the sun does not shine, nor do the moon and stars, nor does lightning, let alone this fire. When Brahman shines, everything follows. By Its light, all these are lighted.” This is the famous dīpa ārādhana mantra:
“na tatra sūryo bhāti na candratārakaṃ
nemā vidyuto bhānti kutoyamagniḥ
tameva bhāntamanubhāti sarvaṃ
tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṃ vibhāti|”
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VIII.iii.4) says, param joytiḥ upasampadyate which means attaining the highest light. The Upaniṣad says “Then, this person, who is the embodiment of happiness, emerging from the body and attaining the highest light, assumes his real nature. This is the Self.”
484. Vidhātā विधाता
Repetitive nāma 44. He is the upholder of the universe. Brahman not only creates but also sustains the universe. Hence is He is referred as Vidhātā.
485. Kṛtalakṣaṇaḥ कृतलक्षणः
Kṛtalakṣaṇa literally means excellent. Contextually it is explained as the One, from whom all the Scriptures originated including Vedas. There is a saying “vedāḥ śāstrāṇi vijñānam etat sarvam Janārdanāt वेदाः शास्त्राणि विज्ञानम् एतत् सर्वम् जनार्दनात्”. He is the embodiment of Pure Consciousness.
The above nāma consists of two words kṛta + lakṣaṇa. Kṛta means well done and lakṣaṇa refers to Vedānta-s. Based upon this interpretation, it is said that from whom, the Vedas and śāstra-s originate.
Because of His six qualities, wealth, dharma, glory, auspiciousness, knowledge and dispassion, He is addressed as Kṛtalakṣaṇa.
486. Gabhastinemiḥ गभस्तिनेमिः
Gabhasti means sun rays and nemi means spokes of a wheel. This means that He resides in the centre of the sun emanating spiritual rays to attain liberation. It can also be explained that the entire solar system revolves around him like the planets in our galaxy revolving around the sun.
487. Sattvasthaḥ सत्त्वस्थः
Sattva is one of the three guṇa-s – sattva, rajas and tamas. He is the embodiment of sattva guṇa. Brahman is full of sattva guṇa and almost devoid of other two guṇa-s. A jīvātma has all the three guṇa-s because of the influence of māyā. Stha means abiding.
488. Siṁhaḥ सिंहः
Repetitive nāma 200.
This nāma has been adequately explained earlier.
Contextually this nāma can be said to be referring to His Narasiṁha avatar. There are two Upaniṣad-s dealing with this avatar. They are Nṛsiṁha Pūrvatāpinī and Nṛsiṁha Uttara Tāpinī Upaniṣad-s. Nṛsiṁha Pūrvatāpinī Upaniṣad reveals one of the great mantra-s known as Mantrarājam (मन्त्रराजम्), literally meaning the king of mantras. The mantra goes like this:
ugraṁ vīraṁ mahāviṣṇuṁ jvalantaṁ sarvatomukham |
nṛsiṁhaṁ bhīṣaṇaṁ bhadraṁ mṛtyumṛtyuṁ namāmyaham ||
उग्रं वीरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलन्तं सर्वतोमुखम्।
नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहम्॥
This mantra talks about all the qualities of the Brahman. It is also said in the Upaniṣad that regular recitation of this mantra leads to liberation.
Hence, He is revered here as Siṁhaḥ.