684. Raṇapriyaḥ रणप्रियः

Raṇa means battle and raṇapriya means the one who is fond of battle. Here battle refers to His act of destruction of the evil doers whose actions hurt those, who follow the path of dharma. As discussed earlier, He ensures that the balance between the good and the bad is always maintained and if the balance tilts towards bad, He incarnates and restores the balance by annihilating the evil doers. He wages a war against them.

Raṇa also means joy and hence, the nāma can also be explained as that He derives happiness while destroying the evil doers for upholding the path of dharma. Nobody is born as a sinner. But, the circumstances and association makes a person a sinner. Such a sinner, when his karma is ripe enough, causes grievous injuries to those, who follow the path of dharma thereby destabilising the universal harmony. In order to restore the harmony, He incarnates and annihilates such sinners.

685. Pūrṇaḥ पूर्णः

He is complete in all respects. This is the difference between Brahman and human. No human is complete in all respects. Even great sages and saints are not complete and they will have some traces of being a human. They will have some deficiency or other. Most of the sages and saints have suffered either from ego or from concupiscence. Sage Viśvāmitra is a typical example.

But Brahman alone is complete, says Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (V.i.1).

पूर्णमदः पूर्न्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते।
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाया पूर्णमेवावसिष्यते॥
pūrṇamadaḥ pūrnṇamidaṁ pūrṇātpūrṇamudacyate|
pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāyā pūrṇamevāvasiṣyate||

That (Brahman) is infinite and this (universe) is infinite. One infinite, proceeds to the other infinite. Then, taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), it remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone. There is no better verse to explain this nāma.

686. Pūrayitā पूरयिता

The quality of being Pūrṇa is explained here. He is not only complete without any blemishes, but He also makes others complete.  He satiates the desires of His devotees. Every quality arises from Brahman and hence He is praised as Pūrṇa in the previous nāma. He is not satisfied by being complete all by Himself. He also makes His devotees complete in all respects, where one is made to become close to completeness. When He decides to make a person complete or pūrṇa, as the first step, He showers His Grace on him or her. Rest of the process of being complete happens automatically. The basic requirement is unshakable faith in Him.

His Grace can be compared to an electrical bulb. The switch, bulb and electricity are already existing. The only thing that is needed is to on the switch. If the switch is on, the bulb burns automatically. Therefore, the switch can be compared to His Grace. The bulb needs to do nothing when the switch is on. When He showers His Grace on someone, he automatically advances spiritually.

When one’s desires are not fulfilled, he goes away from Him in search of someone who is said to satisfy all the desires. In a hurry to seek remedies, he forgets Him and indulges in various obstacle removing remedies. In the process, he does not understand that Brahman alone is Supreme and falls into further darkness arising out of ignorance.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (IX.23), “Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods worship me alone, though with a mistaken approach.” Therefore, if one loses his faith in Him, not only his desires remain unfulfilled, but also his final liberation is postponed.  Unshakable faith in Him is the most important factor. Kṛṣṇa repeatedly says this in Bhagavad Gītā.

687. Puṇyaḥ पुण्यः

Repetitive nāma 925.

He is the embodiment of all that are auspicious, meritorious, virtuous, etc. Mere thought about Him removes all the sins of a devotee. A spiritual aspirant should stay connected with Him all the time and as a result of which He pervades the aspirant’s mind. This is known as His Grace. Availability of His Grace purely depends upon the quality of time than quantity of time one spends in contemplating Him. Contemplation leads to His pervasion, realization and ultimate liberation. When contemplation is very powerful, the aspirant’s sins are removed paving way for His Grace.

688. Puṇyakīrtiḥ पुण्यकीर्तिः

He is the most celebrated and His supremacy and stature is capable of conferring auspiciousness on those who seek Him. When a person is endowed with auspiciousness, his sins are burnt paving way for his liberation. As long as karmas remain, liberation is not possible. Accumulated karmas have to be spent, but further accrual of karma is possible only by surrendering unto Him.

689. Anāmayaḥ अनामयः

Anāmaya means free from diseases. Desire, attachment, ego, etc are the internal diseases. Anything that affects mind, intellect and ego, which are together called antaḥkaraṇa are called perceptive diseases. Any affliction on these three manifests as external diseases. According ayurveda, every disease originates from within. If antaḥkaraṇa is used for worldly purposes, it leads to desire, attachment, etc. If one pursues spirituality without purifying antaḥkaraṇa, one cannot attain expected progress in attaining Him.

This nāma says that He is free from such afflictions and the one who desires liberation has to be free from such disease. Merger can happen only between the two or more of the same quality. Only water can confluence water but not with any other object except water. In the same way, only a spiritually advanced person can merge with Him. In order to get liberated from saṁsāra, one has to qualitatively contemplate on Him. Quality contemplations will not be there, if antaḥkaraṇa is not purified.

690. Manojavaḥ मनोजवः

Manojava means quickness of thoughts. As thoughts are the products of mind, it refers to the speed with which He uses His mind in taking decisions.

Īśa Upaniṣad (verse 4) beautifully explains this. “Brahman is one without a second. It never moves, yet It goes faster than the mind. It is always ahead.....”

Brahman is always without attributes. Yet, Scriptures sometimes use certain qualities to explain Brahman. When Brahman is explained with certain qualities, then the Brahman is known as saguṇa Brahman or Brahman with attributes. Unless one understands the Brahman with attributes, it is impossible to realize the Brahman without attributes or nirguṇa Brahman. Progress in spirituality does not come overnight. It is like one’s education from primary school to graduation. Spiritual progression can only be achieved in stages. The path of realization is not important, but the goal for realization is important.

691. Tīrthakaraḥ तीर्थकरः

Tīrthakara means creating a passage; here passage means the passage to liberation. There are two types of passages to liberation. One is through meditative devotion and another is through ritualistic devotion. For those who tread the path with ritualistic devotion, He has created holy waters, sacred places of worship, fire rituals, etc. This passage is causes physical strain and the progress is comparatively slower. The other path is meditative path, where one focuses his mind and awareness on Him, by sitting in a comfortable place. He is not disturbed by others and tries to connect his self with the Supreme Self. In this process, faster results are achieved subject to the intensity of his awareness on Him. He is known as a Yogī.

It is like two different queues merging into one, before reaching the Sanctum Santorum of temples. Normally, one queue is able to reach the Sanctum Santorum much faster than the other. But both the queues lead only to Sanctum Sanctorum. In the same way, both the paths ultimately lead to Him, but those who pursue meditative path reach Him much faster than others.

This nāma says that all the passages created by Him with the sole aim of attaining Him. The choosing of path rests with the devotees. It cannot be said that one path is superior to another; at the same time, one path leads to Him faster than the other.

Īśa Upaniṣad (10) confirms this by saying, “Scholars say that the path of avidya (rituals and sacrifices) and the path of vidya (meditation) produce different results.”

692. Vasuretāḥ वसुरेताः

Next six nāma-s begin with Vasu.

This nāma can be explained in two ways. Vasuretas means god of fire. As He presides over all Vedic rituals called yajñā-s, He is addressed as the God of fire.

Vasu means excellent and retas means male procreative fluid, which is also known as seed. Since, He is the cause of creation, He is addressed Vasureta. Retas also mean progeny and this way, it could mean His true devotees. Since, everyone originates from Him, everyone can be called as His progeny.

693. Vasupradaḥ वसुप्रदः

This nāma and the next nāma (694) are the same (repetitive nāma-s).

Vasuprada means bestowing wealth. This nāma talks about material wealth. If everyone pursues the path of knowledge or jñānayoga, there will not be anyone to take care of yogī-s, who have attained perfection through jñānayoga. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa advocates karmayoga to take care of such yogī-s. For such devotees, wealth is important, not only to sustain themselves, but also to sustain those who depend upon them. They need to perform pañcayajña-s for which they need material wealth. For those who seek material wealth for the noble causes, He bestows such wealth.

Taittirīya Upaniṣad (II.v) talks about these persons. “An intelligent person goes on performing sacrifices with great respect and also promotes all kinds of activities……”

{Further reading on pañca-yajña: Pañca means five and yajña means act of worship and devotion that prevailed during Vedic period and offerings, oblations and sacrifice prevailing in post-Vedic literature. Yajña actually means sacrifice personified. 

There are two types of yajna-s, the one referred in Veda-s that has been heard or communicated from the beginning.  It is the sacred knowledge orally transmitted from generation to generation.  Rig Veda contains numerous references to rituals. Yajur Veda samhita on the other hand contains mantra-s that are to be recited at the rituals and prose passages explaining them, known as brāhmaṇā-s.  Brāhmaṇā passages guide to execute and preserve the intricacies of Vedic rituals.  The other type of yajña is referred in smṛti, the whole body of sacred tradition or what is remembered by human teachers in contradistinction to śruti. Smṛti includes the six Vedāṅga-s, the sūtra-s (both śrauta and gṛhya), the law-books of Manu, etc.

The five yajña-s referred in Veda-s are agntihotra, darśapūrṇamāsa, cāturmāsya, paśubandha and soma.  Soma ritual includes all the other four rituals and considered as the supreme among the five. 

The five yajña-s referred in smṛti-s are known as pañca mahā yajña-s.  They are deva yajña (appeasing gods and goddesses), brahma yajña (the knower of Vedas), pitṛ yajña (for ancestors), bhūta yajña (animals, etc) and nara or atithi yajña (nara means man and atithi means guest). Atithi is explained as a person who is entitled for hospitality).  Deva yajña is the worship to one’s kula devatā (the deity worshipped through lineage).  The study of Veda-s is the next.  Remembering our ancestors is the third.  This is performed on the annual death days of ancestors.  The idea behind this yajña is not only to remember them, but also to remember and follow the family’s culture and values. Bhūta yajña means sharing with other living beings.  Feeding the hungry animals develops universal love.  The last one also known as manuṣya yajña (manuṣya means friendly to man), traditional hospitality extended to fellow beings. 

Pāñcarātra āgama-s prescribe five rituals for worshipping Viṣṇu.  Abhigamana (approaching Viṣṇu), upādāna (collecting pūja materials), ijya (the pūja worship), and svadhaya (repetition of Veda-s, verses-s, etc).  Viṣṇu is often praised with gadya (prose composition not metrical, yet framed in accordance with harmony, elaborate prose composition).

Chāndogya Upaniṣad (V.4 to 9) talks about five types of oblations that cause the birth of man.  They are offered by gods as oblations.  First gods offered water as oblation from which appeared Soma (moon). They offered Soma as the second oblation from which appeared rain.  They offered water as third oblation and there appeared food. They offered food as the fourth oblation and there appeared fluids of procreation.  They offered fluids of procreation as the fifth oblation and there appeared fetus.}

694. Vasupradaḥ वसुप्रदः

This nāma refers to the supreme wealth, the final emancipation. But how this is attained? Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II.iii.14) answers this. “When in this very world, the mind gets rid of all its modifications, the mortal man begins to feel he is immortal.”

Emancipation is called mokṣa. After attaining mokṣa, one is not reborn. He merges with Him and stays with Him forever. The separate identity of his soul is lost and along with his subconscious mind and karma. As long as the impressions in the subconscious mind remain, which subsequently manifest as karma, one has to undergo transmigration. If the karmas continue to exist, there is no escape from rebirths, which is always painful. Accrual of karmas will stop if one surrenders unto Him through His mind, which alone gives emancipation. Ritualistic renunciation does not help.

This nāma says that He is the giver of the supreme wealth known as mokṣa.