92. Vyālaḥ व्यालः

Vyāla means snake. This nāma is used in the sense that He is beyond reach. Generally serpents are difficult to catch, without expertise. He eludes those who are not devout to Him.

Probably this nāma is used to indicate the power of kuṇḍalini, the life force. Kuṇḍalin also means snake. Kṛṣṇa has made a subtle reference to the power of kuṇḍalini in Bhagavad Gītā by referring to the third eye or ājñā cakra. He says that at the time of death one should fix his consciousness at ājñā cakra and think about Him, to attain liberation. The merger of individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness is liberation.

93. Pratyayaḥ प्रत्ययः

Pratyaya means consciousness, intelligence, intellect, etc. Brahman is the embodiment of all these qualities. Purest form of Consciousness and the highest form of Intellect is the Brahman. Aitareya Upaniṣad (I.i.3) says, “prajñānam brahma” which means Consciousness is Brahman.

Pratyaya also means faith, trust and conviction. One’s spiritual progression purely depends upon his profoundness of faith, trust and conviction on the Brahman. Spiritual progression happens only in the subtle plane and one may lose faith due to the continued prevalence of ignorance, as the Brahman can only be realised and not be seen. Holy Scriptures like this Sahasranāma imparts spiritual knowledge by describing the subtle qualities of the Brahman.

94. Sarva-darśanaḥ सर्व-दर्शनः

Sarva-darśana means a treatise on various systems of philosophies. There are various systems of philosophies and the important ones are dvaita, viśiṣṭādvaita and advaita (dualism, qualified non-dualism and non-dualism). The right approach to realisation is to begin with dualism, where god is kept in a pedestal and worshipped with flowers, offerings, etc. Here god is treated as supreme and different from the worshipper. The concept iṣṭa devata is predominant here. The next is viśiṣṭādvaita, the qualified non-dualism. Here, individual soul is different from the Brahman, but the soul depends upon the Brahman for its existence and has to ultimately become one with the Brahman. Dvaita philosophy is accepted by many and is the philosophy of all the Upaniṣad-s. It says “I am That Brahman” and affirms that Brahman and the soul are not different. An authentic scripture of viśiṣṭādvaita is “Vedārtha Saṅgraha” of Śrī Rāmānuja.

Yet another explanation is possible for this nāma. Sarva means everywhere and dsarśana means seeing. Viṣṇu looks everywhere. This reaffirms an exclusive quality of the Brahman, all pervasiveness, the omnipresent nature. No action goes un-noticed by Him. He notices all the activities of the universe, remaining only as a witness. He does not part take in any of the actions that unfold in the universe.

Bhagavad Gītā (XIII.13) says, “He has many hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouths and ears pervading everywhere.” Puruṣasūkttam begins by saying, “sahasraśīrṣā puruṣaḥ | sahasrākṣaḥ sahasrapāt | सहस्रशीर्षा पुरुषः। सहस्राक्षः सहस्रपात्.” This means that the Brahman (Puruṣa) has thousands of heads and thousands of eyes. Thousand means infinity. Omnipresence of the Brahman is being discussed through attributes.

95. Ajaḥ अजः

This nāma is repeated as nāma-s 204 and 521.

He has no parentage. Only the Brahman has no parentage. Brahman is beyond modification. The One, which is beyond modification and is eternal.

Aja also refers to Prakṛti, where māyā prevails. Prakṛti is the creation of the Brahman and māyā is the projecting power of the Brahman that prevails in Prakṛti, causing ignorance and illusion. Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (IV.6), “Though I am eternal, indestructible and Lord of all living beings, abiding in my Prakṛti, I manifest due to my yoga māyā.

96. Sarveśvaraḥ सर्वेश्वरः

He is the Lord of lords. Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad (6) says, “eṣa sarveśvara eśa sarvajña एष सर्वेश्वर एश सर्वज्ञ” which means ‘He is the Lord of all; He knows everything”. Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.22) also endorses this view by using the same phrase “eṣa sarveśvaraḥ”.

Here, Lord refers to the Supremacy of the Brahman.

97. Siddhaḥ सिद्धः

Siddha means a perfected person, the one who has attained the Highest. The one who has realized the Brahman is known as siddha. As far as this nāma is concerned, it is used to mean the perfect condition of the Brahman. Brahman alone is perfect. Supremacy of the Brahman is repeatedly emphasised to make a spiritual aspirant understand the attribute of the Brahman. Such repeated affirmations are needed to make a spiritual aspirant to progress from dualism to non-dualism.

98. Siddhiḥ सिद्धिः

The reward of being perfect is siddhi. Siddhi generally means attainment of supernatural powers. There is no question of supernatural powers of the Brahman, as all powers originate from Him. In this context siddhi is used to mean the different attributes of the Brahman. When a siddha progresses spiritually, he attains different qualities of the Brahman, broadly said to be of eight types. When a practitioner is very close to realising Him, such supernatural powers are conferred on him to test his temptations. This is an important point in one’s spiritual journey. If the aspirant chooses to indulge in such siddhi-s, he will not be able to complete his spiritual journey. He cannot also become a perfect spiritual aspirant, as discussed in the previous nāma. He continues to undergo transmigrations.

Bhagavad Gītā (XVIII.46) explains this: “A person attains perfection when he worships the Lord, the source of all beings and all pervading.” This is the reason why the Brahman is explained as the Supreme Consciousness.