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SrI vishNu shasranAmam - slokam 21.

From: Krishnamachari, N. (krish_at_ihmail1.ih.lucent.com)
Date: Mon Dec 08 1997 - 10:17:46 PST

			SrI vishNu sahasranAmam - slokam 21.

	marIcir_damano hamsah suparNo bhujagottamah    |
	hiraNya-nAbhah sutapAh padmanAbhah prajA-patih ||

Om marIcaye namah
Om damanAya namah
Om hamasAya namah
Om suparNAya namah
Om bhujagottamAya namah
Om hiraNya-nAbhAya namah
Om sutapase namah
Om padma-nAbhAya namah
Om prajA-pataye namah.

191.  marIcih - Ray of light.

Om marIcaye namah.

	The word marIci means a ray of light.  SrI Bhattar interprets
this name as indicating that bhagavAn reveals Himself to His devotees
through the eye of their devotion even though they can't see Him through
their natural eye.

	The author in dharma cakram indicates that this guNa of bhagavAn
should remind us that we should aim for the ray of light that will help
us meditate on Him.  This we can achieve by first controlling  our
indirya-s, which then converts the body's energies into mental energy.
Then by control of the mind, this energy is converted into the light
that gives the clarity of mind that can help us meditate on Him.

	A different interpretation is given by SrI satyadevo vAsishTha
for this nAma.  The word marIci is derived from mr* prANatyAge to die,
to perish.  He interprets marIci as one who destroys.  Since it is one
of bhagavAn's functions to destroy the beings that He creates, He is
marIci.  To support this, he gives the examples from bhagavad-gItA -
jAtasya hi dhruvo mr*tyur-dhruvam janma mr*tasya ca (2.25); mr*tyuh
prajAnAm adhipatih (atharva 5.24.13), etc. 

192.  damanah - a) Dispeller (of the samsAra bhAram)
		b) One who controls and punishes those who swerve from
their prescribed path.

Om damanAya namah

	damayati iti damanah - One who dispels. Continuing his
interpretation of the previous nAma (One with great radiance),  Sri
Bhattar interprets this nAma as indicating that He guides His devotees
overcome the sufferings of samsAra or the material world through His
guiding Light.

	The word is derived from the dhAtu - dam upaSame to tame. SrI
Sankara interprets the nAma as the Subduer - one who controls and
punishes - of those that swerve from their assigned duties (damayitum
Silam yasya sa damanah).  This could be in the form of a king while the
people are in their mortal bodies, as yama after they die, etc.   SrI
chinamayAnanda explains that the damana aspect of bhagavAn is
responsible for controlling the rAkshasic impulses within every one of
us.  In the form of pain and agitation, sorrow and death, it is He who
controls all the negative tendencies in everyone's heart.  

	The author in dharma cakram points out that when one does not
lead a life based on strict sAtvic principles, including the food
habits, etc., one gets diseases and other mental pains.  These are all
acts of bhagavAn to discipline the person with the intent of helping the
person learn and realize the right path.  This is His act of damana, or
controlling, punishing, guiding, etc.

	In the form of the ten incarnations, He also has controlled the
irresistible tyrannies of the vicious against the good.

193.  hamsah - One who is like the swan.

Om hamsAya namah.

	Hamsa is capable of separating milk from water and drinking only
the milk and leaving the water behind.  Hamsa is also noted for its
beauty, especially for its walk.  BhagavAn is hamsa in that He is
everything that is good and nothing that is not good.  He is also hamsa
for His beauty in thought, word, and deed.

	We had made extensive reference to the hamsa incarnation of
bhagavAn in the explanation for the nAma surAnanda.  Thus the current
nAma can also be viewed as a reference to the hamsa avatAra of bhagavAn.

	Another interpretation, given by SrI Sankara, is that hamsah
indicates that bhagavAn kills (han) the fear of samsAra in those who
realize that aham sah - I am He.  This (I am He) is traditionally quoted
in discussions supporting the advaita philosophy.  In some of his
upanyAsa-s, SrI kr*shNa Premi describes  the following upa-katha
involving a disciple who went alternately to an advaita and a
visishTAdvaita teacher, who taught him alternately their philosophy -
so'ham, dAso'ham, sadA so'ham, and dAsadAso'ham.  Notice the play of
words here, adding dA to the first one, sa to the next one, and dA again
to the third word to get the fourth.   

	Yet another interpretation is hanti gacchati sarva SarIreshu iti
vA hamsah - He moves in all beings and bodies and so He is called hamsa.

194.  suparNah - a) (literally) One possessed of charming feathers - see
below.
		b)  One who can lead men to the other shore across the
ocean of samsAra.

Om suparNAya namah.

	a) In SrImad-bhAgavatam we have - siddheSvarANAm kapilah
suparNo'ham patatriNAm - Among the siddha-s, I am Kapila, and among
birds I am GaruDa (11.16.15).  In Bhagavad-gItA, we have mr*gANAm ca
mr*gendro'ham vainateyaSca pakshiNAM - Among beasts, I am the lion,
their king, and among birds, I am GaruDa, the son of VinatA (10.29).
Thus, suparNa is interpreted as referring to His being the Best of the
best in all that exist. 

	b) parNa means wings.  Sobhana parNatvAt suparNah - suparNa
means One with auspicious and beautiful wings.  He is suparNa because He
carries His devotees to the other shore of the ocean of samsAra.
   
	c) In the upanishad-s, we have reference to two beautiful birds
sitting on the same tree - signifying the jIvAtmA and the ParamAtmA
dwelling in the same body.  One (jIvAtmA) eats the fruits of actions,
and the other (ParamAtMA) just gazes on (sAkshI).  VishNu is this
all-experiencing Principle of Consciouness.  "dvA suparNA sayujA sakhAyA
samAnam vr*ksham parishvajAte tayoranyah pippalam svAdvanti, anaSnan
anyo abhicAkaSIti (mundakopanishad - 3.1) - A pair of white-winged birds
extremely friendly to each other sit on one and the same tree;  one eats
the fruits, the other eats not and gazes on".   SrI rAdhAkr*shNa Sastri
refers to one as the great enjoyer (pErinbam), and the other as the
Great Knower (pEraRivu).

	d)  The nAma can also relate back to the previous nAma - The
hamsa incarnation with beautiful wings.

195.  bhujagottamah - The Master of the Serpent AdiSesha.

Om bhujagottamAya namah.

	bhujaga refers to the species which navigate using their
shoulders or arms - bhujena gacchanti, rather than through their legs.
Here bhujaga refers to AdiSesha.  uttama can refer to 'one who is
above'.  Here it refers to bhagavAn who is reclining on top of the
AdiSesha.  He is the SeshI or the Lord of the Sesha.  He is reclining on
ananta the Serpent as the couch.  


	Or the name could also refer to bhujagAnAm uttamah - One who is
the best among the serpents.  I.e., it can refer to ananta - see
bhagavad-gItA 10-29 - anantaScAsmi nAgAnAm.

	Even though I am finding the interpretations of SrI satyadevo
vAsishTha to be on the side of being unconventional, I am including them
since he supports his interpretations with extensive support from
grammar, quotes from sruti-s etc.   Here he starts with the dhAtu bhuj
kautilye to bend, to curve.  He points out that bhagavAn is bhujagottama
because He is the best of all that bend and move.  This includes air,
birds, etc.  Wherever anything of this category can reach, no matter how
fast they fly or move, bhagavAn is there before them.  Even the man-made
machines that fly cannot go anywhere including other planets faster than
Him, since He is there before them.  Not only that, even the ability for
those that fly etc. are given only by the Grace of the Lord.

196.  hiraNya-nAbhah - One who supports in His navel the creator,
hiraNyagarbha.

Om hiraNya-nAbhAya namah.

	Literally the word means "One who has a beautiful navel with a
golden hue".  Here it refers to the navel that is great by having
created the catur-mukha-brahmA who is also well-versed in the
catur-veda-s.  brahmA gets his greatness because he creates all the
beings thus giving them the opportunity to reveal their greatness.  This
great brahmA was borne out of the navel of vishNu, and thus the
greatness of the navel that bore the great brahmA is evident.  Just as a
nation that creates great people becomes known as a great nation, so is
the analogy here, to quote the dharma cakram writer.  

197.  sutapAh - a) One who is possessed of supreme knowledge.
b) One with consistent creative thinking.

Om sutapAse namah.

	SrI Bhattar interprets tapas as knowledge, and gives the first
interpretation above.

	SrI Sankara uses the following from mahAbhArata -
mansaScendriyANAm ca hyaikAgr*yam paramam tapah - The concentration of
mind and senses is called supreme tapas - (MB 12.242.4).  SrI
chinmayAnanda gives the following support from the upanishad - sa tapah
taptvA idametadasr*jat (He thought, and through thought He created all
this).   
	           
	The author in dharma cakram points out that the strength derived
from tapas is more powerful than any other strength, and gives the
example of how viSvAmitra's army was powerless against   vasishTha's
tapo-Sakti.  It was through tapas that viSvAmitra ultimately attained
brahma-j~nAna, and it was through tapas that dhruva attained the
immortal position.  Lord vishNu is tapas-Incarnate (sutapAh), and thus
guides His devotees in the path of tapas.

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha interprets tap to mean the ability to
bear (kleS kA sahnA in Hindi).  The example of a mother bearing the
strain of an unborn child for 9 months just so she can bring out the
child to this world is but a reflection of bhagavAn's su-tapa or His
bearing the tejas of the likes of Sun so that it can bring out the good
for the beings of this world, without burning them with its heat etc.
So bhagavAn is the mahA-tapasvI.    

198.  padma_nAbhah - a) One who has the lotus emanating from his navel
(carrying brahma)
		b)  One who resides in the center of everyone's heart

Om padma nAbhAya namah.

	This nAma had occurred earlier as nAma 48.  There the
interpretation was that the lotus (the cause of the Universe) emanates
from His navel.  Another explanation given by SrI Sankara for the
current nAma is that bhagavAn is in the centre of everyone's hr*daya
kamalam or heart (nAbhI means also the central part, and padmam in this
context is heart).

	The author in dharma cakram enjoys this nAma in various other
ways.   When lotus (padmam) blossoms, it attracts the bees and other
insects towards it; so also, bhagavAn (padma-nAbhI) attracts all the
jeevans to Him.  Lotus is the most beautiful and fragrant of flowers;
so also our padma-nAbha is the embodiment of beauty.  Lord rAmA's beauty
has been described by Sri Kamban - tAL kandAr tALE kandAr.  Unlike the
bodily beauty which brings down people to a lower level, the beauty of
padma-nAbha can only elevate people to a higher level. 

	SrI satyadevo vAsishTha gives additional insight into this nAma
from yet another perspective.  Padmam also means knowledge - padyate
j~nAyate anena padmam j~nAnam.   One who is the Center or reservoir of
Knowledge, or One who controls and rules over Knowledge is padmanAbha
(the author uses the term j~nAna-bandhanah as the equivalent of
padma-nAbha based on this explanation). 

199.  prajApatih - The Lord of beings.

Om prajApataye namah.

	tat padmodbhava-prabhr*tInAm prajAnAm patih - The Lord of all
beings including brahma bron of that lotus.  This pertains to the
creation and destruction that take place periodically.  Pati also means
father, and since all creatures have emerged from Him, He is prajApati.
He is the Leader who appears whenever needed to establish dharma.  

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan