NOTE: As the end of this Sahasranāma is nearing, the explanatory notes, wherever possible are given more towards Self-realization, without compromising the purport of the nāma-s.
820. Śatrujit शत्रुजित्
He is the conqueror of enemies. This nāma can be explained both on gross and subtle levels. Grossly speaking, His enemies are those who indulge in inflicting woes on those who pursue propitious and spiritual lives. Viṣṇu, as the sustainer of the universe always ensures that there is a proper balance between good and evil. When miseries unfold due to the various actions of the sinners, He always ensures that these sinners are annihilated.
Subtly, the same principle can be explained in the arena of human mind. Brahman has two forms, as discussed earlier. One is the gross form that is worshipped and another one is the inner soul that is always sought. Former is known as the Self and latter is known as the self. Only around the soul causal, subtle and gross bodies are formed. Self-realization is nothing but realization of the soul within transcending these bodies. It happens through one’s mind. Purity of the mind is a prerequisite for realizing the soul within. But the human mind is always full of thoughts leading to ego, desires and attachments. Therefore, one should not allow any thoughts to make impressions in the mind. Normal thoughts can be eliminated at anytime, but the embedded thoughts in the subconscious mind cannot be erased easily. Such thoughts are the impediments for realizing the self within. When one trains his mind to contemplate on Him all the time, his mind always remains pure. Thus, He becomes an enemy to iniquitous thoughts of His devotees.
821. Śatrutāpanaḥ शत्रुतापनः
This nāma is an extension of the previous nāma. The previous nāma said that He conquers His enemies. This nāma says that He burns His enemies to ashes after conquering them.
When a person is able to burn (erase) embedded thoughts in his mind, it becomes purified and if he contemplates on Him with a purified mind, He pervades his mind and the aspirant becomes the Lord himself. This stage is the ultimate stage of Self-realization. Realization of the Self can happen only through the mind and not through any other manner.
822. Nyagrodhaḥ न्यग्रोधः
Nyagrodha literally means growing downwards like the aerial shoots of banyan tree.
This nāma describes Him as the top most and His devotees are compared to the aerial shoots, which originate from the parent tree and on reaching the ground, form a separate trunk without getting disconnected from the parent tree. In the same way, man originates from Him and leads a separate life without getting disconnected from Him, as He is always within, as the soul.
Without the parent banyan tree aerial shoots are not possible and similarly, without Him, manifestation of the universe is not possible. This nāma also reaffirms His Supremacy.
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.1) says, “The world is like a big banyan tree that is rooted high above (referring to Brahman) and its aerial shoots are the living beings that exist in the world. In the roots above is the immortal Brahman on which the entire universe rests. None can surpass it. This is the Self.”
823. Udumbaraḥ उदुम्बरः
He nourishes the manifested universe. His job is not merely to create, but also to sustain the created beings through nourishment.
Nourishment is a generalised term used here. The individual nourishment depends upon one’s karmic account. In the world, some group of people suffer and another group of people prosper. There is imbalance amongst His creations. This is because of group karma. Group karmas and individual karmas always act together in shaping the destiny of a society.
In a plane crash, many of the passengers perish. For all these passengers, both group karma and individual karma are triggered at that point of time. Those who escape in a plane crash, their individual karmas are more powerful than the group karma. Another example is tsunamis, where people perish in thousands. This is the case of group karma and individual karma working together. If a person is not present at the time of tsunami, it means that his individual karma is too good and hence he escapes from the claws of death. His individual karma makes him to move away from the place where tsunami is detained to hit.
824. Aśvatthaḥ अश्वत्थः
Aśvatthaḥ refers to pippala tree, also know as pepal tree (ficus religiosa).
Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (X.26), “Among all the trees, I am the Aśvattha.” This tree is considered as the most sacred among all the trees. Its every part is used in oblations. The tree has immense medicinal properties.
Skandapurāṇa says, “In the root of this tree resides Viṣṇu; in the trunk, Keśava; in the branches, Nārāyaṇa; in the leaves, Hari; in the fruits, Acyuta in conjunction will all the gods. There is no least doubt about this. The tree is Viṣṇu Himself in a concrete form; exalted souls worship the sacred root of this tree. Dependence on this tree wipes out thousands of humans’ sins, grants their prayers and bestows merits.”
Kṛṣṇa again talks about this tree in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.1 to 4) thus: “The one who is aware of the inverted eternal peepul tree, with its root upwards and leaves below, knowing its roots as the Lord, its stem as Brahmā, the god in-charge of creation, its leaves as Veda-s, is the real knower of Veda-s. This tree is nourished by the three guṇa-s and sensory objects forming the foliage of the branches, spread above and below. Its roots going down, cause the bondage arising out of actions. The real nature of this tree, its origin, its end and its sustenance is not understood by ordinary men. But, the wise destroy this deep rooted peepul tree with the strong axe of non-attachment. Thereafter, the wise aspirant should seek the Supreme State of the Lord, with a resolve to seek refuge in the Primeval Puruṣa, the eternal source of energy of everything.”
825. cāṇūrāndhrāniṣūdanaḥ चाणूरान्ध्रानिषूदनः
He killed a demon by name Cāṇūra, who was a great wrestler. He was sent to take on Kṛṣṇa by Kamsa. Cāṇūra belonged to Āndhra dynasty. This nāma refers to his slaying by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is also known as Cāṇūramardana for this act.
826. Sahasrārciḥ सहस्रार्चिः
This nāma again affirms that He is Brahman. Brahman is in the form of Pure Consciousness, which is always Self-illuminating. This nāma says that He is in the form Infinite Rays and from this Ray, the universe attains visibility. This Ray is not directly reflected on the universe, but through luminaries such as sun, moon, etc.
Worshipping shapes and forms are prescribed to fix our minds on this Light. He is always in the form of Light, which is nothing but the Pure Consciousness. If one continues to worship His forms, he cannot attain liberation. A true spiritual aspirant has to transcend shapes and forms and fix his own consciousness on the Illuminating Consciousness of Brahman. This can be done through meditation. Only this path can offer liberation. One has to transform with the progression of his life, from ritualistic life to spiritual life.
This is explained in Bhagavad Gītā (XI.13) during His Viśvarūpadarśana (Cosmic form). The verse says, “If there be the effulgence of the a thousand suns bursting forth all simultaneously, even that would hardly describe the mighty Splendour of the Lord.”
The best example is given in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.ii.14 and 15). He is in the form of Bliss that is realized through internal exploration (searching Him within). This Bliss is always present within us, but mostly not realized. When this Bliss is realized during one’s spiritual journey, he wonders how this Bliss has come so suddenly in him. All these years, he has not experienced this Bliss, as he was not contemplating Him within. He was seeking Him outside his body, forgetting His omnipresence. When the aspirant enters the state of Bliss, He firmly establishes contact with Him. This union causes Bliss. What happens next? This Yogī (he is no more an aspirant as he has yoked his self – individual soul - with the Self) realizes the Light of Brahman. In the presence of this Light, sun, moon and all other luminaries do not shine. They do not shine is not a literary explanation. These luminaries do shine, but it is like a miniscule. It is like lighting a candle during bright sun light. The illumination of these luminaries is nothing before His Rays, as they draw their illuminating capacity only from His Rays.
827. Saptajihvāḥ सप्तजिह्वाः
Sapta means seven. The next two nāma-s also begin with sapta. Jihvā means tongue and generally used to mean the seven tongues of Agni.
The names of these seven tongues of Agni are given in Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (I.ii.4) and they are – Kālī, Karālī, Manojavā, Sulohitā, Sudhūmravarṇā, Sphuliṅginī and Viśvarucī (काली कराली मनोजवा सुलोहिता सुधूम्रवर्णा स्फुलिङ्गिनी and विश्वरुची). Oblations are offered to these Agni-s. The Upaniṣad proceeds to say that such oblations turn into sunlight which in turn takes the one, who performs such sacrifices to heaven. The Upaniṣad also says that many people think that rituals bring them satisfaction, which is inferior in quality when compared to attaining the Brahman. At the most these rituals can take one to heaven and keep him there for sometime only to comeback again. They do not offer liberation to him and his family, which should be the aim of all the spiritual seekers (I.ii.7).
Taittirīya Sammhita (Kriṣṇa Yajur Veda IV.vi.v.14) mentions about this. The verse says,
सप्त ते अग्ने समिधः सप्त जिह्वाः सप्तर्षयः स्प्त धाम प्रियाणि।
सप्त होत्राः सप्धा त्वा यजन्ति सप्त योनीरा पृणस्वा घृतेन॥
sapta te agne samidhaḥ sapta jihvāḥ saptarṣayaḥ spta dhāma priyāṇi |
sapta hotrāḥ sapdhā tvā yajanti sapta yonīrā pṛṇasvā ghṛtena ||
“O Agni seven are your fuels, seven are your tongues, seven seers, seven abodes, seven invocatory sacrifices to you in seven fold manner.”
This mantra is recited while offering the final oblation or completing oblation during a fire ritual. This final oblation is known as pūrṇāhutī.