941. Anādiḥ अनादिः

He has no beginning and nobody knows how, where and when He originated. But from Him alone, everything else originated. He is the cause of creation and His manifestation is the effect.

Kṛṣṇa beautifully explains this in Bhagavad Gītā (X.3). “He who knows Me in reality as birth-less and without beginning and as the Supreme Lord of the universe, he undeluded among men, is purged of all sins.”

Whenever modifications and changes occur in the form of growth, destruction is also there. Every being or object in the universe grows and hence meets with death or destruction.  But Brahman is not born through a yoni and hence is not subjected to growth and ultimate death. Hence He is adored as Anādi.

Lalitā Sahasranāma 894 also says ayoniḥ, which means without origin.

942. Bhūrbhuvaḥ भूर्भुवः

This nāma conveys the first two vyāhṛti-s of Gāyatri mantra. There are seven mystical worlds and Bhūr and Bhuva are the first two of these worlds. In regular Gāyatri mantra, only the first three vyāhṛti-s are used and hence these vyāhṛti-s are known as supreme vyāhṛti-s. Bhūr means the earth and Bhuva means the atmosphere. This reaffirms His omnipresence.

If bhū is taken to mean planet earth, then this nāma says that He is the supporter of earth.

943. Lakṣmīḥ लक्ष्मीः

Lakṣmī has innumerable meanings such as prosperity, auspiciousness, fortune, happiness, etc. He is the giver of all these to His devotees. (Lakṣmī also means impending misfortunes. But this meaning is never used.) This nāma also says that He provides knowledge about the soul, which alone can lead to realization and this knowledge is known as ātmavidyā. For example, Bhagavad Gītā is a sacred treasure of ātmavidyā.

There is a tantra scripture by name Lakṣmī Tantra which holds Lakṣmī on par with Viṣṇu, as in the case of Śakti and Śiva. Lakṣmī Tantra dwells on Pāñcarātra Āgama. This scripture also explains certain powerful mantras containing a number of bījākṣara-s. There is a reference to this interpretation in Rig Veda (X.71.2) which says, “lakṣmīrnihitādhi लक्ष्मीर्निहिताधि” and this is used here to mean the auspicious knowledge or Brahmavidyā.

944. Suvīraḥ सुवीरः

He is manly and heroic. This nāma says that He is full of valorousness and also has the capacity to administer like a King. He uses His valour to annihilate perpetual sinners and administers His Kingdom (universe) like Lord Rāma.

945. Rucirāṅgadaḥ रुचिराङ्गदः

He wears beautiful armlets (worn at upper arms, which signify a person’s high stature).

946. Jananaḥ जननः

Janana means producing or causing. It can be explained that He produces the universe and its beings.

947. Jananajanmādiḥ जननजन्मादिः

He is the cause for births and rebirths. In other words, He is the cause for transmigration. He does this through the “Law of Karma”, which is His law book.  

948. Bhīmaḥ भीमः

Repetitive nāma 357.

Bhīma means fearful or terrific. Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.2) says, “mahadbhayaṁ vajramudyataṁ महद्भयं वज्रमुद्यतं” which is used to mean that Brahman is like a thunderbolt about to strike.

He is not only the Creator, but also the sustainer and the destroyer. In a nut shell, He takes complete control of the universe since its inception till its annihilation and re-creation. He holds the thunderbolt in His hand to infuse terror, if someone fails in his duty. For example, if Agni fails in his duty, then the world cannot be sustained. As Brahman or the Supreme Commander, He does not hesitate to punish those who err, as even a minute mistake could trigger annihilation of the universe. The next verse of the above Upaniṣad (II.iii.3) says, “Fearing Brahman, fire gives heat, the sun shines, Indra and other gods perform their allotted duties.”

949. Bhīmaparākramaḥ भीमपराक्रमः

Bhīmaparākrama is a single word in Sanskrit and this means possessing formidable power. He generally uses this power to annihilate perpetual sinners. Perpetual sinners are those who knowingly commit sins repeatedly. The world tends to suffer because of their existence. Hence, these sinners are annihilated. It is like death sentence.

950. Ādhāranilayaḥ आधारनिलयः

Ādhāra means substratum and nilaya means resting place or abode. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.1) explains how He has created the universe. “From this Self comes space; from space, air; from air, fire; from fire, water; from water, earth; from earth, plants and herbs and from them food and from food comes human…” This is the substratum, which is His Abode. Apart from this, the nāma also confirms His omnipresence. Omnipresence is one of the important factors in understanding universal consciousness.

951. Adhātā अधाता

He sustains the world through the precepts of dharma. Or it could also mean that He does not need any support and on the contrary, everything gets support from Him. Without Him, there is no existence.

952. Puṣpahāsaḥ पुष्पहासः

His creation of the universe is like a flower bud blossoming into a beautiful flower. In fact He Himself has manifested as the universe that appears like a fully blossomed flower. Or He appears like a blossomed flower, attracting people towards Him.

953. Prajāgaraḥ प्रजागरः

He is the guardian of the universe, who always keeps awake. He never blinks His eyes.

954. Ūrdhvagaḥ ऊर्ध्वगः

He is the highest and nothing beyond Him. This also refers to a soul that moves up towards His Abode Vaikuṇṭha after liberation to become one with Him.

955. Satpathācāraḥ सत्पथाचारः

He makes His devotees to follow the path of virtuousness, so that they can be liberated. During His incarnations, He sets examples as to how to lead a life that is full of virtues. Typical example is His incarnation as Lord Rāma.

956. Prāṇadaḥ प्राणदः

Repetitive nāma-s 65, 321 and 408.

He is the giver of prāṇa, the vital force for sustenance. This is explained in detail in nāma 408.

We have already seen that prāṇa enters the body at the time formation of foetus and leaves the body at the time of death. At the time of entering the body, it causes fertilization and at the time of leaving the body, it causes death. He, in the form of prāṇa creates, sustains and causes death of all the beings. Hence He is adored as Prāṇada.

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (III.3) says, “prāṇa is Brahman, for it is from prāṇa that all beings have emerged; having emerged, they are sustained by prāṇa and when they die they dissolve into prāṇa.”

957. Praṇavaḥ प्रणवः

Repetitive nāma 409.

He is in the form of OM ॐ.

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (I.i.8) says, “OM stands for assent. A person says OM, whenever he wants to say ‘yes’. This is a key to progress and the one who understands and worships OM as Brahman has all his desires fulfilled.” There are many references to OM Chāndogya Upaniṣad.

OM has to be pronounced in twelve stages beginning with A and ending with unmanā. It is also said that OM is the universal vibration which is an act of consciousness arising at the level of un-manifest sound. Yogi-s reach higher realms only by concentrating and mentally reciting OM, which originally manifests at the heart chakra moves forward to brahmarandhra (an orifice at the top of the head). This movement depends upon one’s ability to contemplate on Him. The soul of a yogi escapes through this orifice at the time of his death.

958. Paṇaḥ पणः

Paṇa means play or game. It also means treaty or commodity for sale.

The universe is His playground and His three acts are nothing but His play. If we go by the meaning treaty, then it refers to Law of Karma. Treaty means alliance and it can be explained that He keeps alliance with one’s karma in the form of prāṇa. Unless there is prāṇa, a being cannot be created and if a being is not created, karmic account cannot be experienced. However, this treaty does not apply to jīvanmukta-s, who get liberated in this birth itself and are not reborn again. Therefore, His treaty with jīvanmukta-s terminate at the time of their deaths.

959. Pramāṇam प्रमाणम्

Pramāṇa means proof of testimony. Vedas and Upaniṣad-s testify His existence in different ways. Some say that He is in the form of Light and yet others say that He is in the form of sound, etc. But none of them describe Brahman with a shape and form. They always explain Brahman as the subtlest of all – much smaller (in today’s terminology it is God Particle) than even an atom. This nāma affirms that He exists in the form of Pure Consciousness, which is the subtlest of all.  Consciousness cannot be seen or felt but can only be realized.

960. Prāṇanilayaḥ प्राणनिलयः

There are two explanations possible. At the time of annihilation of the world, all jīva-s (individual souls with embedded karmic impressions) get dissolved unto Him. Or, in the case of a yogi, after exhausting all his karmas, his soul becomes one with Him. Prāṇa forms the causal body and inside of which is the soul. When prāṇa leaves the body, the soul also leaves the body.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.18) says, “prāṇasya prāṇa” meaning that He is the vital force of the vital forces. Without the vital force, no action can take place. There are two aspects to this reference. One, it talks about the subtleness of Brahman and another talks about His omnipresence. Since He is so subtle, He can be realized only through the mind, as He is full of Pure Consciousness (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv.19).