527. Nandanaḥ नन्दनः

He gives happiness to those who always contemplate on Him. When the mind is in a happy state, the Divine Bliss follows depending on the intensity of devotion. Mental happiness is a prelude to Bliss and ultimate liberation. Only the Brahman can endow such happiness.

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.7) says, “eṣaḥ eva anandayāati एषः एव अनन्दयाति (eṣaḥ refers to the Brahman)”. This means that the Self within gives happiness to all.

528. Nandaḥ नन्दः

Looking at the placement of this nāma, prefix mahā appears to be concealed. If mahā is prefixed, then this nāma becomes “Mahānandaḥ”.

The previous nāma spoke about showering happiness to His devotees. This nāma goes further and says that He offers the eternal Bliss which leads to final liberation. This devotee’s soul merges with Him and he is not reborn.

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VII.xxiv.1) explains this state of the devotee thus: “He sees nothing else, hears nothing else and knows nothing else.” Again in (VII.xxiii.1), the Upaniṣad says, “yo vai bhūma tatsukhaṁ यो वै भूम तत्सुखं” which means, “That which is Infinite, that is happiness.”

These two nāma-s say that the Brahman first gives happiness to His devotees and depending upon the quality of spiritual pursuit of the devotee, He endows Bliss and final liberation.

529. Satyadharmā सत्यधर्मा

Satyadharma means the law of Truth or eternal Truth. When the word eternal is used, it always refers to the Brahman. He upholds truth through dharma śāstra-s, which are nothing but guidelines to make life worthy of living.

Generally, such Scriptural dictums are applicable only to spiritual aspirants and not to Self-realized persons. It is wrong to bypass Vedic and other rituals as long as one is not Self-realized. The right path to Self realization is action – worship – knowledge and finally realization.

530. Trivikramaḥ त्रिविक्रमः

Vikrama means a step and trivikrama means three steps. This nāma refers to the three steps of Lord Viṣṇu.

Rig Veda refers to His three steps in various hymns and many of these hymns together form the famous Viṣṇu sūkta. These three steps are placed in three places of the universe. The first step in the earth, comprising of matter; the second step in the mid world comprising materialistic energies and the third and the last step is on the heaven, the mental and cosmic energies. His devotees watch this final step called His Supreme Step. This is explained in Rig Veda (I.xxii.20 and 21):

तद्विष्णोः परमं पदं सदा पश्यन्ति  सूरयः। दिवीव चक्षुर् आततम्॥

तद्विप्रासो विपन्यवो जागृवाम्सः समिन्धते। विष्णोर्यत्परमं पदम्॥

 tadviṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti  sūrayaḥ| divīva cakṣur ātatam||

tadviprāso vipanyavo jāgṛvāmsaḥ samindhate| viṣṇoryatparamaṁ padam|| 

Subtle meaning: The wise and true seekers realize Him through contemplating within their own selves; they see Him vividly as the eyes range over the sky. By transcendental meditation and pious acts, the vigilant seeker of truth realizes the all-pervading Self within the innermost cavity, the Supreme Abode of Lord Viṣṇu.

This nāma also refers to His incarnation as Vāmana. During this incarnation, He placed three cosmic steps; one on the earth, another on the Satyaloka of Brahma and the third one on the head of the demon Bali.  Viṣṇu grew from His dwarfish form to Cosmic form.

Tri in general refers to all the triads such as three worlds; iccā, jñāna and kriya śakti-s; creation, sustenance and destruction, etc and Viṣṇu controls all these triads for upholding the universe (multiple galaxies such as earth’s Milky Way form the universe).

531. Maharṣiḥ kapilācāryaḥ महर्षिः कपिलाचार्यः

Kapila is a great sage and is the founder of Sāṁkhya philosophy. It is believed that Lord Viṣṇu incarnated Himself as Sage Kapila. Maharṣi means great sage and ācārya means teacher. Maharṣi-s are said to have been created Manu. Some texts say they are seven in number and others say ten. Kpila’s name does not find a place in either of these lists. But there are other references to pronounce the greatness of Kapila.

Kṛṣṇa calls Maharṣi Kapila as siddha. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (X.26), “among the siddha-s, I am Kapila.” Kṛṣṇa makes distinction between a sage and a siddha. Siddha generally means the perfected ones. Siddha-s are those who have attained supernatural powers and are fully realized ones. Kapila is said to be the chief of Siddha-s.

Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (V.2) says, “tam ṛṣim kapilam तम् ऋषिम् कपिलम्”, where kapilam refers to the Brahman.  This also goes to prove that Viṣṇu incarnated as Kapila. It is also said that Viṣṇu incarnated as Kapila to found Sāṁkhya philosophy. Hence this nāma.

Sāṁkhya philosophy is one of the three great divisions of Hindu philosophy ascribed to the sage Kapila, and so called either from discriminating in general, or enumerating twenty-five tattva-s, twenty-three of which are evolved out of Prakṛti, the primordial Essence or First-Producer viz. buddhi, ahaṃkāra, the five tanmātra-s, the five principle elements and mind. The twenty fifth is Puruṣa or Spirit (Soul) who is not a producer and wholly distinct from the twenty-four other, tattva-s and is multitudinous.  Each individual Puruṣa by its union with Prakṛti cause a individual being. The object of this philosophy being to effect the final liberation of the Puruṣa or Spirit from the fetters caused by illusionary effects of Prakṛti.