851. Sarvakāmadaḥ सर्वकामदः

He fulfills the desires of the aspirants. Aspirants are different from devotees. Devotee is the one who prays to Him, including material prosperity. But the aspirant is a novice in spiritual path, but his desire is to seek His Grace. He does not seek material prosperity. He has set his spiritual goal and he knows that his ultimate aim is to attain Him. At the same time, an aspirant does not mean the one who only sits and meditates all the time. He is the one, who leads a normal life and simultaneously seeks Him within. He attempts to establish a commune with Him. When he succeeds he attains liberation at the end of his spiritual journey.

This nāma says that He being so compassionate, fulfils the desire of an aspirant to attain Him. Brahma Sūtra (III.ii.38) says that the fruits of action come from Him. Fruits of action means karmas and the aphorism says that from Him alone karmas originate. This does not mean that He creates karmas for every being. No, He does not karmas for individuals. He laid down the law of karma, which is also known as the Law of the Lord. He is only the cause for the Law of Karma; he does not enforce this law and this law is unambiguously applied to everyone as per His command. A devotee can become an aspirant, only if his karmic account permits. Only to those aspirants, He fulfils their desires; their desires are nothing but to attain Him.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (II.47), “Your right is to work only, but never to the fruit thereof. Be not instrumental in making your actions bear fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction.” Any actions contrary to this saying cause karma, which retains the devotee only as a devotee.

It is to be understood that He does not fulfil the desires of all His devotees. He fulfils the desires of those who make sincere attempts to attain Him. Otherwise, the law of karma will not have any value. It is also to be noted that He does not change or absolve one’s karma.

852. Āśramaḥ आश्रमः

He is the Abode for wandering souls. This can be explained in two ways.

When a soul leaves its body along with the karmic impressions embedded in the causal body in the form of subconscious mind, the soul wanders for sometime before it forms another body. This interim period between the death and birth is known as sojourn of the soul. Some of the souls reach higher realms of the cosmos and some others remain in the atmosphere to take another body. For both these types of souls, He is the Abode. This cosmic plane is called His Abode because no activities are required for sustenance. Such souls are under His direct Grace. It is like recharging a battery. No karmas accrue to the souls during their sojourn. This sojourn is like polishing a silver vessel only to become black again.

There are certain realized souls that always remain with Him. He sends such souls to take shapes and forms to the earth as His messiahs. At the end of their prescribed duties, they go back to Him, awaiting His further instructions. Generally great jñānin-s are used for this purpose. Their actions during this period do not cause karmas as they work only for Him and on His direct command.

There is yet another category of souls, who know nothing but perpetually think about Him and making a mental surrender unto Him are not reborn. Upon their deaths, their souls merge with Him to become one with Him.

Soul-soul concept can be explained like this. Rain bearing cloud is Brahman. The rain drops leaving the cloud and reaching the earth are the individual souls. Rain drops evaporate and form the rain bearing cloud again is the birth-death cycle. In no way rain drops are different from the rain bearing cloud; their quality remain the same. Yet, rain drops are only miniscule of the clouds. In the same way, individual souls are only miniscule of the Supreme Soul.

His Abode is invisible to biological eyes and can only be contemplated.

853. Śramaṇaḥ श्रमणः

He torments those who have violated the basic dictums of śāstra-s. Śāstra-s in their original form are the compendium of dos and don’ts of leading a ethical life. But they have undergone repeated changes over a period of time for convenience.

For example śāstra-s say share your wealth with others. This means that one can share a part of his hard earned money for the welfare of have-nots. This is the original dictum. Instead of this, demanding money for completing a job prescribed by śāstra-s is an unpardonable sin and He does not hesitate to torment these kinds of people. But the worst sinners are those who nurture bad thoughts that affect others.

It is also important to note that souls do not suffer. Only the gross body formed by the soul is made to suffer. If the soul suffers, the reality of Brahman is lost. A soul is nothing but Brahman Himself. A soul is the cause for a gross body. In the same way, a soul cannot be made to rest or manipulated by human intervention. None of the ceremonies performed to a soul after its exit from the gross body do not make any changes in the causal body attached to the soul. Only the causal body attached to the soul alone can decide its future destination, not even the soul. Soul only remains as a witness. The soul within is not affected by the actions of the gross body, influenced by the mind. Mind in turn is induced by the subconscious mind, where karmic imprints are embedded. Karmic imprints from the subconscious mind percolate into the mind and unfold the karma through the organs of action.

854. Kṣāmaḥ क्षामः

Repetitive nāma 443.

Kṣāma means annihilation, reducing to nothingness.  When He is sought after with great love, He annihilates other thought processes in the mind of the seeker paving way for his perfect contemplation on Him. When the mind is pervaded by His thoughts, he is lead towards liberation. This is the reason for saying that in spirituality, after attaining significant progress, final stages towards liberation is guided by Him.

This nāma is significantly different from nāma 443, which discussed about His act of annihilation of the universe; whereas this nāma discusses about annihilation of mundane thought processes leading to liberation. The former is about macrocosmic plane and this nāma is about microcosmic plane.

855. Suparṇaḥ सुपर्णः

Repetitive nāma 192.

Suparṇa means a beautiful leaf. It also refers to one of the seven tongues of Agni.

Suparṇa also means the rays of luminaries. The previous nāma discussed about annihilation and this nāma talks about creation and sustenance. He alone is Self illuminating. Sun, moon and other luminaries merely reflect His Light. Because of the rays from luminaries, creation and sustenance happen as a continuous process. This also goes to prove that He acts only through various energies. Either as the macrocosmic Self or as the microcosmic self, He always remains only as a witness. Annihilation of the universe is the only exception, which He alone executes.

856. Vāyuvāhanaḥ वायुवाहनः

Repetitive nāma 331.

He is the One who controls wind, one of the five principle elements. All the elements and all the energies function meticulously out of fear for Him. Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.viii.1) says, “bhīṣā'smādvātaḥ pavate भीषाऽस्माद्वातः पवते” which means ‘the wind blows out of fear for Him.’

Since His vehicle Garuḍa, the mythical bird can travel much faster than the wind, He is adored as Vāyuvāhana. Hanuman, who often carries Lord Rāma can also travel faster than the wind.

857. Dhanurdharaḥ धनुर्धरः

He holds a bow to eradicate evil doers. This nāma also refers to His incarnation as Lord Rāma, who used his bow to annihilate evil doers and traitors.

A son of Dhṛitarāṣṭra is known by the name Dhanurdhara.

858. Dhanurvedaḥ धनुर्वेदः

He is in the form of art of archery. War and war related subjects are dealt with in Atharvaveda Saṁhitā.

859. Daṇḍaḥ दण्डः

Daṇḍa means a club or a staff. It exhibits the power of Sovereignty and in His case, it is Divine Sovereignty. Daṇḍa is the symbol of upholding justice and equivalence.

As far as He is concerned, all are equal before Him. He evaluates a person purely on his thoughts and actions.  Thoughts and actions get embedded as karmas, which manifest as pleasure and pain in one’s life.

This nāma says that He is the embodiment of justice.

860. Damayitā दमयिता

Damayitṛ means the one who enforces discipline or the one who tames.

The universe is held in place by both good and bad energies. Microcosmic energies are created by thoughts and actions. When bad energies prevail more than good energies, He tames those who cause bad energies in order to restore the right energy levels. In the process, He annihilates those who repeatedly stimulate bad energy levels in spite of many chances offered to them to mend their ways. Every thought and action of every person is being witnessed by Him.

861. Damaḥ दमः

Dama means self-restraint or self-control. He is an embodiment of self-control or self-restraint.  Every quality that is being discussed through various nāma-s originates from Him. He Himself is an example, as He goes only by the law book called “law of karma”. When one contemplates on Him, the contemplator also gets His qualities, which is based on the principle “what one thinks, he becomes that”. 

862. Aparājitaḥ अपराजितः

He cannot be defeated by anyone. He cannot have any enemies on two counts. Everyone knows that He is Supreme; secondly, He does not favour any one and He strictly goes by the principle “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Karmas are not caused by Him but are self made.

863. Sarvasahaḥ सर्वसहः

There is no match for Him and He is all powerful, all enduring and an embodiment of patience.

During the process of creation, He first created five principle elements like, air, water, etc. From these five elements, He created different energies such as sun, moon, air, water, fire, gravitational force and different objects such as humanity, animal kingdom, plant kingdom, etc. The creation of the universe can be compared to a good business empire. Once the business is established, rest of the things happen automatically in the business. In the same way, He created different energy levels that operate at different planes and cause continuous changes in the universe. Even though all the energies work in tandem as per His command, He never takes chances. He Himself enters the microcosmic level as individual souls and witnesses all the actions. Nothing can escape His attention because of His exclusive omnipresent nature.

Poetically these acts are explained as endurance, patience, etc. Every action happens in two planes – one is in macrocosmic (cosmos) plane and another is in microcosmic plane and there is no difference between these two planes except for the fact that the former happens in the cosmos and latter happens in a gross body. This is the ultimate realization in spirituality.

864. Niyantā नियन्ता

Since He controls the act of niyantavya, He is addressed as Niyantā. Niyantavya means keeping everyone under control.

Apart from what is explained in the previous nāma, this nāma says that He is total control of the universe and all the activities happening therein. He not only ensures that everyone functions according to His command, but also ascertains that counteracting forces are in place in case of any contingency.

865. Aniyamaḥ अनियमः

Aniyama means absence of control. Since everything originates from Him, there is none to control Him. This nāma reemphasizes His Supremacy.

866. Ayamaḥ अयमः

Yama is the god who presides over death. Brahman is deathless and He alone is deathless. Any object including humanity is created by Him. But none has created Him. Only those who are created undergo constant changes to ultimately perish. A wooden object is made and its life lasts for certain number of year. Man lives for certain years. A bird, animal, insect have their life span determined. But in His case, as He is not created by anyone, He has no death. When and how He came into existence, nobody knows. Originally He was in a mass and in that mass Divine pulsation happened causing the creation of the universe, also known as matter.

Yama too does not operate on his own. He causes death according to one’s karmic account, as per the law of karma prescribed by Him.