841. Mahān महान्
It means great. Literally speaking there is none beyond Him. Everything originates from Him and dissolves unto Him. It is not just another word. It signifies His Supremacy.
In humans also, the one who has acquired higher level of spiritual knowledge is called as a mahān. The difference between a human mahān and the Supreme Self is that He is beyond time and space and is not affected by karmas. A human mahān is bound by time and space and is primarily governed by his own karmas. By being a human mahān, it does not mean that all his miseries are mitigated. He has to necessarily experience his accrued karmas. Dualistically speaking, though he knows Him very well and always remain with Him, yet He does not absolve him of his karmas. A true mahān could merge with Him, only if all his karmas are exhausted. If a true mahān has only a limited karma, he remains as a jīvanmukta and upon his death, he becomes one with Him. Mind, knowledge and karma are the deciding factors for liberation.
842. Adhṛtaḥ अधृतः
He remains unsustained. Sustenance is only for those who are subject to modifications like the process of aging. Only the external body is subjected to the process of aging and ultimate death. But the cause of the body, the soul within, remains the same even after death. Karmic imprint in the subconscious mind also leaves the body along with the soul to cause another body. This process continues till there are no traces of karma in the subconscious mind.
Many times we come across with the saying “may his soul rest in peace”. Soul here does not refer to the soul, but the subconscious mind, which also travels with the soul. Individual soul is nothing but Brahman Himself, who observes all the actions of the body. Then the question arises why He is said to be in a cave in the heart. This is only to make things easier for us to contemplate Him. Since He is omnipresent, it cannot be said that He lives here or there. Since His omnipresent nature cannot be easily contemplated, sages and saints have made it easy for us to realize Him in the heart chakra, the chakra for love. Based on this principle, it is said that Love is God.
843. Svadhṛtaḥ स्वधृतः
This is an extension of the previous nāma. Svadhṛta means self-sustained. This is because nobody can sustain Him as there is none in the hierarchy above Him. He is the Supreme and He is the Ultimate.
Chāndogya Upaniṣad (VII.24.1) says, “It (Brahman) rests on Its own Power – not even on that Power”. Sanatkumāra after having said that Brahman rests on His own Power hastens to add that He does not even rest on His own Power. If we talk about His Power, it implies that there is something else apart from Him. It can be explained that His Power is inherent in Him. Power is one of the attributes; in fact every attribute is inherent in Him and hence it is said that everything originate from Him.
844. Svāsyaḥ स्वास्यः
He has a beautifully curved mouth, appearing like a pinkish lotus petal converging at both the ends. Since Vedas originate from Him, this gross description of His mouth is made. It can also be explained that He has a beautiful face. Svās means the mouth which is the organ of uttering sounds or letters.
845. Prāgvaṁśaḥ प्राग्वंशः
Prāgvaṁśa means previous generation and contextually this means ‘from the beginning’ or whose origin remains unknown. It implies that He is ādi (beginning) and anādi (having no beginning).
Kṛṣṇa endorses this in Bhagavad Gītā (X.8). “I am the source of all creation and everything in the world moves because of Me; knowing thus, the wise, full of devotion, perpetually worship Me.”
846. Vaṁśavardhanaḥ वंशवर्धनः
This means that He is the increaser of genealogy. This nāma talks about His creation. Every being comes under His lineage as all the beings originate from Him. It is due to the ignorance, we forget the most important fact of spirituality, universal brotherhood, which has to preponderate beyond religions.
847. Bhārabhṛt भारभृत्
This nāma literally means that He is carrying the load of the universe. The universe rests on Him, says the Upaniṣad-s.
This nāma can be subtly explained. He carries His devotees with Him and offers them liberation. When a person wants to attain liberation, the first step towards this is to surrender unto Him. The moment one surrenders, all his karmas cease to accumulate. Here, surrender does not mean physical surrender. Surrender has to be made through one’s mind. Gross body has nothing much to do in spirituality. If one has not surrendered unto Him through his mind and performs ritualistic śaraṇāgati (surrender) through His body, karmas continue to accrue to him even after his śaraṇāgati. The first step towards realizing Him is śaraṇāgati through mind. Everyone will have karmic impressions. The remnants of karma are to be spent and there is no way to escape from this. Once all the karmas are spent, he becomes liberated. He becomes a jīvanmukta and continues to live as one amongst us, till the time of his death.
848. Kathitaḥ कथितः
The meaning conveyed through this nāma is that He is considered as the Supreme by Vedas. Kathita means considered. There are many references to Viṣṇu in all the Vedas and Upaniṣad-s.
For example, Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.ii.15) says, “sarve vedā yatpadamāmananti सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति” which means that Vedas praise Him as the highest goal; padam in this verse means subtle. This means that the highest goal Brahman is subtle and cannot be seen or heard. He can only be realized. This is like feeling the air or the sky.
Kṛṣṇa also says in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.15), “I am the only object worth knowing through the Vedas.”
Kaṭha Upaniṣad (I.iii.9) again says, “tat viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padam तत् विष्णोः परमं पदम्” which says that is the highest state.
Vedas can be interpreted both on gross level and subtle levels. Gross levels lead to ritualistic worships such as performing yajña-s. As opposed to this, at the subtle levels, all the Upaniṣad-s teach the ways to attain Brahman through the mind and meditation.
Therefore, Vedas and Upaniṣad-s adore Him as the Ultimate and prescribe ways and means to realize Him first and then to merge unto Him.
849. Yogī योगी
Yoga importantly means two things – practice (sādhana) and union (yoke) or union through practice.
When an aspirant attains perfection by merging his individual soul with the Supreme Soul or Cosmic Soul, he is known as a Yogī. There are several types of Yogi-s. Some Yogi-s declare themselves as Yogi-s and others do not reveal their true identities. Some Yogi-s teach others and other don’t. Some of them exhibit their superhuman powers and others don’t.
To become a Yogī, only sādhana alone helps. The one who sincerely practices sādhana is called sādhaka. If a sādhaka sincerely practices sādhana, he is blessed with sādha, which means accomplishment or fulfillment of his goal. Obviously, his goal is to realize Him.
This nāma says that He is the one who is sought by a Yogi-s, who are endowed with the highest level of spiritual knowledge. In other words, He can be attained only through knowledge and practice.
850. Yogīśaḥ योगीशः
He is the King among Yogī-s and hence He is sought after. A human Yogī can always slip from his stature. But He will not as He is not attracted to anything. He always remains as the Purest. Hence Yogi-s seek Him. Brahman cannot have any taints, as He is beyond any types of modifications.