163. Vedyaḥ वेद्यः

Vedya means that which is acquired. Here ‘that’ refers to mokṣa, eternal liberation. Liberation can be attained only through acquiring spiritual knowledge. Spiritual knowledge and sincere practice lead to liberation. Liberation is related to individual soul.  An individual soul is nothing but Brahman, covered by ignorance.  For removing the inherent ignorance of the soul, knowledge and practice are required. Spiritual knowledge removes illusionary state of mind leading to the realisation of omnipresent Brahman.  The ultimate aim of any spiritual person is enlightenment and liberation, the only way to get away from miseries and pains.

Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (II.ii.3) beautifully explains this. “Message of Upaniṣad is like a great bow and the individual soul is like the arrow for this bow. Sharpen this arrow by meditation (the practice).  Then pull this bow hard (withdrawing the mind from worldly thoughts and fix it on Brahman, which is the target). Penetrate Brahman with mind.”

164. Vaidyaḥ वैद्यः

Vaidya means the one who is well versed in Vedas. It also means the one who is proficient in medicines.  Both these explanations are applicable to Viṣṇu. 

Vedas originate from Him. Viṣṇu is an embodiment of Vedas, which were conveyed to great saints and sages through His breath. It is also said that Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurvedic medicines is an incarnation of Viṣṇu. There is a reference about Dhanvantari in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (IX.17.4) which says, “Kāśya’s son was Kāśī, whose son was Rāṣṭra was the father of Dīrghatamā. Dīrghatamā was Dhanvantari, the founder of Āyurveda and part manifestation of Lord Vāsudeva….”

165. Sadāyogi सदायोगि

Sadā mean perpetual and yogi refers to a person who is always united with the Brahman.  Contextually, this nāma can be explained that Brahman is perpetually established Himself in the form of various souls.  The inner most is the soul in all the beings.  By manifesting as souls, Brahman stands as a witness to all the actions that are being done by a person. As long as His presence in a body is not realised, one continues to accrue karmas. If He is realized within, karmas cease to accrue.

This nāma says that the connection between the Lord and His devotees is always two way.  Not only the devotees think about the Lord, but also the Lord thinks about His devotees, all the time.  A devotee thinks about the Lord only for a limited period of time, whereas, as yogi thinks about the Lord all the time. 

Kṛṣṇa explains yogi in Bhagavad Gītā (VI.46, 47).  He says, “A yogi is superior to ascetic, scholars and the one who performs actions with a motive. Out of all yogis, the one who worships me by always fixing his consciousness on me is considered as the best amongst yogis.”

166. Vīrahā वीरहा

Repetitive nāma-s at 741 and 927.

Vīr means valiant and aha means defining or explaining.  His gallantry is being described in this nāma.  The qualities of saguṇa Brahman are being described. It is necessary for Him to destroy evildoers in order to uphold dharma followed by devotees and yogis.

Uttara bhāg of this Sahasranāma (verse 31) says,

paritrāṇāya sadhunāṁ vinaśāya ca duṣkṛtām |
dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya saṁbhavāmi yuge yuge ||

परित्राणाय सधुनां विनशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्म-संस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे॥

 “In order to protect noble men and to uphold virtues and to destroy evil doers, I incarnate in every yuga.” Yuga means the age of the world. 

167. Mādhavaḥ माधवः

Repetitive nāma-s at 72 and 735

Mā refers to Goddess Lakṣmī, His consort. Lakṣmī is fondly called Mā or mother, by His devotees. This interpretation has been used in nāma 72.

Knowledge about Viṣṇu is known as Mā and ādhava means movement.  A devotee’s movement towards Viṣṇu for final liberation is known as Mādhava.

168. Madhuḥ मधुः

Madhu means honey. Brahman is called madhu because of His sweet nature.  Madhu also means pleasant, charming, delightful, etc.  This perfectly fits His incarnations as Rāmā and Kṛṣṇa. Both of them are charming and delightful.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (II.iv.14) says, “ayamātmā sarveṣāṁ bhūtānāṁ madhu asyātmanaḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni madhuḥ - अयमात्मा सर्वेषां भूतानां मधु अस्यात्मनः सर्वाणि भूतानि मधुः” which means ‘This Cosmic Body is like honey to all beings and all beings are like honey to this Cosmic Body.’

169. Atīndriyaḥ अतीन्द्रियः

Ati means beyond and indriya means sensory organs. This nāma says that Brahman is incomprehensible by sensory organs. This is because He is neither a matter nor an object. Therefore, sense organs are of no use to comprehend him.  Brahman is devoid of forms.  Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.iii.15) clearly explains the formless Brahman with these negations; “aśabdam (soundless), asparśam (touchless), arūpam (formless), avyayaṁ (indecaying) and arasam (tasteless).” Though Brahman is incomprehensible through senses, He can only be realized through knowledge.  In order to realize Him, one should have complete spiritual knowledge.