Vishnu Sahasranama

ಯೋಗೋ ಯೋಗವಿದಾಂ ನೇತಾ ಪ್ರಧಾನಪುರುಷೇಶ್ವರಃ |

ನಾರಸಿಂಹವಪುಃ ಶ್ರೀಮಾನ್ ಕೇಶವಃ ಪುರುಷೋತ್ತಮಃ || ೩ ||

yogo yogavidāṃ netā pradhānapuruṣeśvaraḥ |

nārasiṃhavapuḥ śrīmān keśavaḥ puruṣottamaḥ || 3 ||


The one friend who is always present with you. The one who always resides in your heart when you remember him and the one who fulfils the desires of his devotees.

yogavidāṃ netā

The leader of those who know all the scriptures, hymns, philosophies, living aspects.


pradhāna (foremost) means Sree (Lakshmi). He is the Lord for the foremost Lakshmi and Brahma, Vayu, and Shiva.


The word at the first glance would one make believe, he is the Narashima rupa, who appeared in the form of half human and half lion form the pillar and destroyed (in fact uplifted) hiraynakasupa (the demon and brother of hiranyasha). Although this is one meaning, there are other various meaning for nārasiṃhavapuḥ. If you spilt the word and examine, it has various other important meanings. nāra + siṃha + va + puḥ.

Here ‘nāra’, means the ignorance embedded in living beings, ‘siṃha’ means who solves or destroys the ignorance; ‘va’ means knowledge, ‘puḥ’ means who gives us knowledge or wisdom. Hence nārasiṃhavapuḥ means the one who solves or destroys the ignorance embedded in living beings and sows the seeds of knowledge or wisdom.

Besides this, if we examine further, ‘nāra’ (‘nā + ra’) means one who is free of defects; ‘siṃha’ means he who ferociously destroys all our defects. Hence nārasiṃhavapuḥ, means one who although ferociously destroys all our defects is free of any defects. During deluge he destroys the entire universe, during creation he brings forward the universe. This way the one who is responsible for creation and destruction of the universe and the living beings contained in the universe is known as nārasiṃhavapuḥ.


The one who owns the entire universe is the richest person, hence is śrīmān. Here ‘Śrī’ means, the knower of all Vedas or pure/supreme knowledge, śrīmān means the one who the Vedas extol. ‘Śrī’ means nature Lakshmi, the spouse of Lakshmi is śrīmān.

Aitareya Upanishad tells us, Eyes (sight) are also known as ‘Śrī’, Brain (intellect) is also known as ‘Śrī’, Ears (hearing) are also known as ‘Śrī’, larynx, or voice box (sound) is also known as ‘Śrī’, Nose (breath) is also known as ‘Śrī’, because these sense organs support our Head. A human being recognizes his surroundings by eyes and ears. Eyes (sight) and ears (hearing) are like sun and moon for our body. The larynx, or voice box (sound) that represents fire is an auspicious gift from God.

For the sound to be produced by the larynx, or voice box, to enjoy the surroundings through eyes, to hear through our ears, and to understand what we hear we need brain. All these sense organs function only when we have breath (prana shakthi). Hence, these five sense organs are most important in a human being. The one who has graced us this sense organs the affectionate God is śrīmān.


keśavaḥ means one who has beautiful hair. This name came in Krishna Avatara of the God. In Krishna Avatara, Lord Krishna had beautiful curly hairs and used to attract every living being. Male, Females, Cows, and all living beings used to get attracted to Lord Krishna. Hence, he is keśavaḥ.

Also, during Krishna Avatara, Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Keshi who was sent by Kamsa in the form of Horse to kill Lord Krishna, hence Lord Krishna is also known as keśavaḥ.

This word can be split as ‘ka + eśa + va’. Here ‘ka’ means the creator of the universe Lord Brahma, eśa means the one responsible for destruction of the universe Lord Shankara; keśavaḥ means the one who is guides both creation and destruction (i.e., Lord Brahma and Lord Shankara), the external force is keśavaḥ.

Also, keśavaḥ means the rays that reaches from Sun to Earth. The one who creates energy in the Sun and facilitates the rays from the sun to reach Earth and creates electromagnetic energy to safeguard the Earth from harmful rays and who is worshipped in the form of Gayatri is keśavaḥ.


The entire meaning of puruṣottamaḥ is described in detail in Bhagwadgita chapter 15. Here Lord Krishna says:

There are two kinds of purusha’s in this Universe. Kṣāra purusha, i.e., from Lord Brahma to all Souls and Akṣara, i.e., beyond Lord Brahma, the Prakruti Goddess Lakshmi. Beyond these two is puruṣottamaḥ, he is called “The GOD”. He is the one who cannot be destroyed and nurtures the entire Universe. He is beyond Kṣāra and greater/elder than Akṣara. Hence across the Universe and in Vedas he is known as puruṣottamaḥ.

puruṣottamaḥ is being used in 3-4 different ways. Notable person, famous person, absolute person, and one who is present in this body (pura) and external to our body. The soul that is entrapped in this perishable body bound by 15 barriers is known as ‘Kshara Purusha’.

The 15 barriers that bound the perishable body is as follows:

1) Barrier of ‘Character’: this is also of two kinds. The one that is in your DNA (one that cannot be parted with) and the external environment/forces that influences your character (one that can be parted with). Once you look beyond forces such as your family influence, heredity, environment you grew up with, genetic influence .etc. the true characteristics of your Soul can be realized.

2-6) Barrier of the five physical elements: Earth and Water (Annamaya Kosha), Fire-Air-Space (Pranamaya Kosha).

7) Barrier of Senses: The lower five sense organs that allow human beings to perceive the world around them - Ear, Skin, Eyes, Tongue, and Nose known as Pancha jnanendriya; Feet, Hands, Rectum, Genitals, and Mouth knows as Pancha karmendriya the five organs of action.

8) Barrier of conscience: the bad thoughts arising in us.

9) Barrier of food

10) Barrier of strength and vigor

11-12-13) Barrier of meditation, concentration, and action

14) Barrier of ignorance: I have done this, and I have done that

15) Barrier of Name and Fame

The soul the 16th is trapped within these 15 Barriers. Goddess Lakshmi (prakruti) who has dressed up the 16th Soul with these 15 barriers is the 17th. Beyond the Barriers, Soul, Goddess Lakshmi is “The GOD” and he is known as puruṣottamaḥ. He is the one who will release us from the bondage of these 15 barriers and help us to attain salvation.