532. Kṛtajñaḥ कृतज्ञः

Repetitive nāma 82.

In view of the explanation given in nāma 82, this nāma is interpreted here differently. Kṛtajña means grateful by remembering past actions. This nāma says that He distinctly remembers the depth of one’s devotion and helps him during his miseries. The depth of devotion means the depth of devotee’s contemplation about Him. Unless Viṣṇu pervades his entire mind through his yogic practices, He will not come to the rescue of his devotees. Devotee means the one, who always thinks about Him both during happiness and testing times. When the contemplation becomes intent, it transforms into Bliss and finally gives liberation. Hence He is adored as Kṛtajña.

533. Medinīpatiḥ मेदिनीपतिः

Medinī means Mother Earth. This nāma says that Viṣṇu is the Lord of Mother Earth. It can also be explained that Mother Earth is the Consort of Lord Viṣṇu. Puruṣa and Prakṛti enumerated in sāṃkhyayoga are based on this principle. Sāṃkhyayoga says that conjugality between Puruṣa and Prakṛti leads to the creation of a being.

534. Tripadaḥ त्रिपदः

This means three divisions.  This could mean all the triads with the help of which the universe is created. For example, iccā, jñāna and kriya śakti-s, known as the Divine Energy of will, wisdom and action. This is generally known as trīśikā or analysis of three.

This could also mean three Veda-s or three letters of OM (a,u,m); dharma, artha and kāma; three guṇa-s sattvic, rajas and tamas, etc. The whole universe is created, sustained and dissolved only by the combination of various triads.

Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (21.36 – 38) says “In you reside the three mātra-s of time (short, long and medium), O Goddess, all that exists and does not exist, the three worlds, the three Veda-s, the three sciences, the three fires, the three lights, three colours, the three qualities, the three sounds and the three āśrama-s, (house holder, anchorite and sannyās) the three times and the three states of life, the three types of pitṛ-s (Vasu, Rudra and Āditya), day-night and the rest.  This trinity of standards in your form Oh! Goddess Sarasvatī.”

535. Tridaśādhyakṣaḥ त्रिदशाध्यक्षः

Tri means three; daśā means three stages of one’s life viz. childhood, adolescent and old age or three stages of mind active, dream and deep sleep. In both physical and mental changes, Brahman merely remains as a witness to the changes unfolding. He does not Himself undergo any changes or modifications as He is beyond changes. Everything else around Him undergoes changes and modifications. Akṣa means the Soul, the unchanging witness without whom, a body cannot exist.

This nāma says that He only remains as a witness to all the changes happening both inside the body and outside the body of a being. Hence He is Tridaśādhyakṣa.

536. Mahāśṛṅgaḥ महाशृङ्गः

Śṛṅga means horn and Mahāśṛṅga means great horn.

Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad (12.10) describes this. It compares OM to a bull. This bull has four horns, three legs, two heads and seven hands.  The four horns refer to the four parts of OM and they are a,u,m and bindu (a dot). Therefore, mahāśṛṅga refers only to OM. Three legs refer to the three states of consciousness – active, dream and deep sleep. The two heads refer to two types of prakṛti – parā prakṛti and aparā prakṛti.  Seven hands refer to the seven worlds referred in Gayatri mantra or the seven tongues of Agni. The mantra described here in the Upaniṣad is used to invoke god Agni in fire rituals.

This nāma says that He is praṇava, the mystical symbol ॐ, consisting of four sacred letters (अ-कार, उ-कार, म-कार बिन्दु संयुक्तम्).

537. Kṛtāntakṛt कृतान्तकृत्

Kṛtānta means dissolution and kṛt means the one who dissolves or destroys. This nāma refers to the act of annihilation, the fourth act of Brahman. However, He recreates the universe from the deluge, out of compassion (fifth act of Brahman) and re-creates the universe, the first act of Brahman.

What He has created and sustained, He also chooses to dissolve and re-create again. It is all His play.

538. Mahāvarāhaḥ महावराहः

This nāma refers to His incarnation as a boar. He incarnated in the form of a tiny boar by coming out of Brahmā’s nose and He grew huge in size, killed the demons and saved the earth.  This is known as Varāha avatar.  Varāha is said to give protection while one is travelling.

539. Govindaḥ गोविन्दः

He can be attained only through knowledge that is beyond mind. He is to be attained for the purpose of liberation. Liberation ceases the process of transmigration, which is not only painful, but also time consuming. He alone can give liberation.

This nāma adores Him as Govinda because go subtly refers to the beings and vinda means attaining. Go also could mean Vedas and according to this interpretation, He can be realized through Vedas. Vedas are the essence of Self knowledge and conveyed subtly. Later Upaniṣad-s conveyed the knowledge more directly.

This nāma says that Brahman can be attained only through knowledge. Any type of spiritual practices will be of no help without knowledge of the Self.

540. Suṣeṇaḥ सुषेणः

He has an excellent army. (Literally, suṣeṇa means having good missiles). Either missiles or army, He has them in the form of various gods and goddesses, who protect the universe. God Agni, Yama, etc are certain examples. Each of them is powerful in his or her own way and they in unison sustain the universe on His behalf. For example, when there is fire, water is required to put down the fire. Instead of fire god, if wind god works in unison with fire god, then the fire spreads causing serious devastation. The combination of these energies happens according to one’s karma and karma of certain group of people.

This nāma says that He acts through His various energies to uphold the universe and all such energies are worshipped as a god or goddess.

541. Kanakāṅgadī कनकाङ्गदी

He wears golden bracelet. Subtly this means that His shoulders are very strong to create, sustain and dissolve the universe. Spiritual upliftment not only depends upon knowledge and practice, but also on adequate body strength to withhold the Divine energy.

542. Guhyaḥ गुह्यः

He is mystic and can be known only by the highest knowledge.

All Upaniṣad-s say that He remains concealed in a dark cave near the heart (heart here refers to heart chakra and not the biological heart).

Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.12) describes this thus: “(Self or Brahman) is difficult to see as He lies deep within hidden by intellect as if He is hidden in a cave. It is beyond the reach of everyone.”

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.i.1) says, “nihitam guhāyām निहितम् गुहायाम्”. Nihita means always placed and guhāyām means a secret place. The Upaniṣad says that Brahman is placed in a secretive place in the heart chakra, as if He is placed in a cave.

The point driven home by all the Upaniṣad-s is that the Brahman is deep inside the body and cannot be seen, but can only be realized. For this realization, one needs to have strong Scriptural knowledge. Only then, an aspirant can go past the effects of māyā and realize Him ultimately.

543. Gabhīraḥ गभीरः

Gabhīra means the One which is mystic in nature and cannot be investigated or explored. Brahman cannot be investigated as He is beyond investigation because of His inherent qualities such as omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, etc. There is no physical form for the Brahman due to the above factors. Hence, it is said that He cannot be seen and can only be realized. He is in the form of Pure Consciousness and can be realized only in thoughtless state of mind.