Vishnu Sahasranama

ಲೋಕಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷಃ ಸುರಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷೋ ಧರ್ಮಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷಃ ಕೃತಾಕೃತಃ |

ಚತುರಾತ್ಮಾ ಚತುರ್ವ್ಯೂಹ ಚತುರ್ದಂಷ್ಟ್ರ ಚತುರ್ಭುಜಃ || ೧೫ ||

lokādhyakṣaḥ surādhyakṣo dharmādhyakṣaḥ kṛtākṛtaḥ |

caturātmā caturvyūha caturdaṃṣṭra caturbhujaḥ || 15 ||


The Supreme Leader of the world. Here, the world refers to this Earth, this universe, this individual body. He is the overseer of everything.


Suras are deities. In this universe, both in the macrocosm and microcosm, there are numerous deities. As mentioned earlier, these deities, under the governance of the Supreme Lord, regulate everything. Just as the sun, the deity of light, illuminates the external world, the same deity resides within the body as the deity of vision. Similarly, the moon represents the deity of sound externally and the deity of hearing within the body. The deity Varuna is associated with water externally and the deity of saliva within the mouth. Likewise, Agni represents fire, Indra represents the hands, Yama represents the excretory system, and Daksha represents the reproductive organs. Apart from these, Indra and Kamadeva represent the mind, Garuda, Shesha, and Rudra represent the intellect, and Saraswati, Bharati, and Parvati represent the power of speech. Brahma and Vayu represent the mind. Each sensory function in the body is governed by a specific deity. The governance of these deities is dependent on the Supreme Lord, who is the leader of the suras.


The incarnation of the Supreme Lord in every age occurs for the establishment of righteousness on this Earth. The Supreme Lord, who incarnates and establishes righteousness throughout the entire world, is known as the Dharmadhyaksha (the overseer of righteousness). Furthermore, they refer to Ananta Shesha and the god of life force (Prana) as aspects of righteousness. As the life force within the body and the atmospheric life force surrounding the body, they are respectively the controlling factors. The gravitational force that holds the Earth together is represented by Ananta (Shesha). Through the medium of these two, the Supreme Lord, who holds and sustains this Earth, is the overseer of righteousness.


This name is derived from two contrasting terms. One is 'Krita' (the doer) and the other is 'Akrita' (the non-doer). The Supreme Lord is the creator of the universe, yet He is untouched by any merits or demerits. He accomplishes everything but remains unaffected by any association. He dwells within us, orchestrates everything through us, holds us responsible for our merits and demerits, and stands apart, completely detached. The Supreme Lord is the Kritakritah, the one who accomplishes everything while being untouched by any action. He does not require any personal accomplishments, but out of love for His devotees, He assumes incarnations to fulfill their desires. Such is the Supreme Lord, the Kritakritah.


The Supreme Lord controls this universe in four forms. In our life, there are three natural states: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. Everyone experiences these three states continuously. However, beyond these three states, there is a fourth state that is extremely significant. It is called the 'Turiya' state.

1. In the state of wakefulness, the Supreme Lord, who is seated as the universal sound in the wheel of command (Ajna Chakra), is known as the first syllable of the sacred sound 'Aum' (A-Apti). He is the universal self.

2. In the realm of purity, below the subtle current of the nadi (nerve) in the crown, in the state of wakefulness, the Supreme Lord controls the dream state and reveals Himself through our dreams. He is known as the luminous self.

3. Through the control of the mind, the Supreme Lord governs the state of deep sleep that transcends the senses. He is the omniscient self.

4. If our waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states are the functioning of the mind, then the fourth state, which transcends the control of the mind, is the self-experienced state. In the state of Turiya, which transcends all states, we perceive our blissful self-nature beyond the fifteen layers that bind us. In this state, we realize the truth of being a mere reflection and understand the truth of the original form, the Supreme Lord. In this state, we can see God and speak to God. We call this fourth state, which enables us to perceive the Supreme Lord from the perspective of our true nature, the Turiya state. The Supreme Lord, who controls us in these four states of Vishwa, Taijasa, Prajna, and Turiya, is known as the Chaturatma (the four-souled one).

Here is the translation:

In addition to this, God has created four types of bodies for the experience of beings in the world.

1. Gross body made up of the five visible elements perceived by the eyes.

2. Subtle body (astral body) that is invisible to the eyes. After a human being dies, this subtle body leaves the gross body.

3. Linga Sarira, the subtle body that has existed since the beginning of creation.

4. Essential body, which is the true form of the soul.

Thus, God, the Chaturatma, has provided four types of bodies for the experience of the world: gross, subtle, linga, and essential bodies.

In the creation of living beings, there are four types of births:

1. Jarayuja: Born completely developed in the womb (e.g., human, cow, etc.).

2. Andaja: Born in the form of an egg, grows fully inside the egg, and then hatches from the egg (e.g., bird, hen, etc.).

3. Swedaja: Born from moisture or sweat (e.g., virus, bacteria, etc.).

4. Udbhija: Born as a seed, sprouts and grows (e.g., plants).

Thus, the Chaturatma, God, creates the birth of living beings in four different ways: Andaja, Swedaja, Udbhija, and Jarayuja.


Here is the translation of the provided text:

The Supreme Lord is worshipped through four forms or collectives (groups) known as Vyuh.

1. Pradyumna, the cause of creation,

2. Aniruddha, the cause of sustenance,

3. Sankarshana, the cause of dissolution,

4. Vasudeva, the giver of liberation.

The individual soul first connects with Aniruddha and establishes a relationship through the Annamaya Kosha (sheath of food). Then, it connects with Pradyumna and establishes a relationship through the Manomaya Kosha (sheath of the mind). By attaining liberation from Sankarshana, it attains the release of the Vijnanamaya Kosha (sheath of knowledge). Finally, by merging with Vasudeva, it becomes self-blissful. This is how the Supreme Lord, worshipped through these four Vyuh forms - Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha, is known as the Chaturvyuha.

The Supreme Lord is the creator of the four varnas (not to be confused with castes) in the world. Here, varna means the creation of the Supreme Lord, not the social system created by people. We can see these four varnas in all parts of the world. They are:

1. Brahmana: Intellectuals who study, teach, and research.

2. Kshatriya: Defenders and administrators.

3. Vaishya: Producers and distributors.

4. Shudra: Service-oriented individuals.

These four varnas can be seen within the same family, and those who perform tasks suitable for their respective qualities achieve rapid success. Thus, the world functions with these four varnas, which are essential. The Supreme Lord created these varnas to maintain the order and balance in the world.


The Lord appeared as Varaha, the boar incarnation, and as Narasimha, the half-man half-lion incarnation, and annihilated Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu respectively. Even among us, Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha exist!! Here, "hiranya" means gold, which signifies wealth or riches. Always keeping their eyes fixed on wealth, without considering anything beyond it, the quality of a person consumed by the desire for wealth is represented by Hiranyaksha. Once again, when wealth arrived, Hiranyakashipu, placing it as his crown (symbolically), immersed himself in the greed for wealth. When their greed was obstructed, the human quality of becoming angry is represented by Hiranyakashipu. The omniscient Lord is capable of annihilating the desires of lust, anger, and greed that exist within us, just as He did with his four hands.


Generally, in the idols of gods, we see four hands and four weapons. For example, in the case of Vishnu, there are the conch, discus, mace, and lotus. Similarly, in the case of Ganesha, there are the noose, tooth, goad, and the hand of assurance. What does this mean? What is their significance?

1. Chakra: The discus represents the 'symbol of righteousness'. The revolving discus of Vishnu signifies the power of destruction and is a symbol of the goddess Durga, the goddess of destruction.

2. Shankha: The conch represents the 'symbol of wealth' that enriches our lives according to the principles of righteousness.

3. Gada: The mace is the symbol of Lord Vishnu's mighty power of 'controlling desires'.

4. Padma: The lotus is the symbol of 'peace and liberation'.

Similarly, when we look at the idol of Ganesha:

1. Pasha: The noose represents the firm grip (bondage) of righteousness required for our lives.

2. Danta: Along with wealth, it represents self-control (holding its own tooth).

3. Ankusha: It is the goad used to control unbridled desires.

4. Abhaya: When these three are upheld, it represents the fearlessness of liberation.

Vishnu's four weapons can be arranged in fourteen different ways. If it is the idol of Janardana with Shankha-Chakra-Gada-Padmadhari, it is the idol of Keshava with Shankha-Chakra-Gada-Padmadhari. In this way, there are fourteen different idols of Vishnu. They are as follows: 1. Keshava, 2. Narayana, 3. Madhava, 4. Govinda, 5. Madhusudana, 6. Trivikrama, 7. Vishnu, 8. Shridhara, 9. Hrishikesha, 10. Padmanabha, 11. Damodara, 12. Sankarshana, 13. Vamana, 14. Vasudeva, 15. Pradyumna, 16. Aniruddha, 17. Purushottama, 18. Adhokshaja, 19. Narasimha, 20. Achyuta, 21. Janardana, 22. Upendra, 23. Hari, 24. Krishna.

In this way, the four-armed form of the divine, with its specific arrangement, is called Chaturbhuja (four-armed).

"In the context of food, the word 'ಭುಜ (Bhuja)' also means 'meal'. In four ways, one who eats and one who offers food is called 'chaturbhuja' (one with four arms). As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

'Having become the Vaishvanara, I reside in the bodies of living beings. I am associated with the Prana and Apana, and I digest the four types of food.' (Chapter 15, Verse 14)

Here, 'ಪಚಾಮ್ಯನ್ನಂ ಚರ್ತುವಿಧಮ್ (pachamyanam chaturvidham)' means digesting the four types of food. 'Anna' refers to all types of food. 'ಪ್ರಾಣಿನಾಂ ದೇಹಮಾಶ್ರಿತಃ (praninam dehamashritah)' means the bodies of living beings that can consume food. The food of animals can be classified into four categories: Bhakshya (chewed), Bhojya (sucked), Lehya (licked), and Chosya (drunk).

Bhakshya - food that can be chewed, cut, and eaten (solid food).

Bhojya - food that can be tasted and swallowed without chewing (semi-solid food).

Lehya - food that can be licked and eaten (semi-liquid food).

Chosya - food that can be drunk (liquid food).

All these four types of 'food' exist within the stomach of all living beings in the form of fire, divided into three categories. It nourishes the body by dividing the four types of food into three categories. The one who facilitates this process and enables us to sustain our lives is the chaturbhuja, with four arms.

All food is composed of earth, water, and fire. The subtle part of food becomes the intellect, the middle part becomes flesh and skin, and the gross part is excreted as waste. Similarly, the subtle part of water becomes the breath, the middle part becomes phlegm, and the gross part is excreted as urine. As for fire, the subtle part becomes speech, the middle part becomes bone marrow, and the gross part becomes bone and ash.

In this way, Lord Vishnu, with his remarkable skill, efficiently performs the task of dividing gold from a mine. He resides within us and, in an organized manner, utilizes the four types of food in the above-mentioned three ways. That is why he is known as chaturbhuja, the four-armed deity.