Vishnu Sahasranama

ಸುಪ್ರಸಾದಃ ಪ್ರಸನ್ನಾತ್ಮಾ ವಿಶ್ವಧೃಕ್ ವಿಶ್ವಭುಕ್ ವಿಭುಃ

ಸತ್ಕರ್ತಾ ಸತ್ಕೃತಃ ಸಾಧುಃ ಜಹ್ನು ನಾರಾಯಣಃ ನರಃ

suprasādaḥ prasannātmā viśvadhṛk viśvabhuk vibhuḥ

satkartā satkṛtaḥ sādhuḥ jahnu nārāyaṇaḥ naraḥ | 26 ||

Suprasādaḥ (ಸುಪ್ರಸಾದಃ)

'Prasāda' means internal bliss or joy of the mind. Bhagavan (God) is the embodiment of supreme and boundless bliss, and He is known as Suprasādaḥ. There is no touch of sorrow for Him. He always bestows happiness upon those who worship Him with a pure heart, without any desire for rewards. 'Supra' means those who have attained completeness or wisdom, such as enlightened beings. Suprasādaḥ is the one who liberates such enlightened souls from the bondage of worldly existence. 'Supra' combined with 'sādaḥ' means the one who bestows liberation with joy. God's act of granting liberation is always filled with compassion and He transforms it into joy, free from any aversion or animosity.

Prasannātmā (ಪ್ರಸನ್ನಾತ್ಮಾ)

Bhagavan (God) is known as Prasannātmā, which means a serene and anger-free being. The English word 'Pleasant' may have derived in part from the Sanskrit word 'prasanna.' Bhagavan is never angry with His devotees. He always protects His devotees with the feeling of contentment and joy. The Krishna avatar of Bhagavan is a testimony to His Prasannātmā nature. In the Krishna avatar, Bhagavan constantly smiled and displayed His joyful disposition to His devotees.

Viśvadhṛk (ವಿಶ್ವಧೃಕ್)

As previously explained, the Creator of the universe, Lord Brahma, is referred to as 'Viśva.' The Supreme Lord who holds and sustains this universe, symbolized as a lotus, in His navel, is known as Viśvadhṛk.

Viśvabhuk (ವಿಶ್ವಭುಕ್)

During the time of dissolution (pralaya), He who completely consumes (bhoktā) this universe and holds it within His abdomen is known as Viśvabhuk. After preserving the universe, the Supreme Lord sustains it once again. Viśvabhuk is the one who nourishes and then engulfs the world.

Vibhuḥ (ವಿಭುಃ)

'Vivida' + ‘Bhavati’ means the one who takes on various forms or manifestations. It refers to the omnipotent Lord who fills and pervades all aspects of the universe.

Satkartā (ಸತ್ಕರ್ತಾ)

Satkartā means honoring without distinction those who are advanced in qualities and wisdom, without considering their social status or differences. It is showing respect to others. Worship of the Lord is also a form of Satkara (respect). The Lord has shown us through His avatars how respect should be in life. Truly wise individuals are never arrogant. They do not possess the ego of being great. The sage Bhishma advised that during the Rajasuya Yagna, Lord Krishna should be given the first seat of honor without any debate. At that time, when searching for Krishna, He was found washing the feet of the guests who came to see Him! God has shown us how to honor a friend with love, without distinctions of high or low, poor or rich. The concept of showing equal respect and love to all, irrespective of their status, has been well known. When Sage Durvasa came to visit Dwarka, Lord Krishna personally pulled his chariot and took him to show the entire city before sending him off. By personally performing the worship that others usually do, by showing mercy to the devotees by bestowing the results of their worship, and by demonstrating how respect should be, Lord Krishna has shown us how to respect others. He is the true Satkartā.

Satkṛtaḥ (ಸತ್ಕೃತಃ)

Satkṛtaḥ refers to the Lord who is the creator of all things in this universe. He is the doer of knowledge, suffering, ignorance, destruction, and liberation. The term 'sat' means that which is visible to the eye. In the beginning of creation, the Lord created the principle of life (prana tattva). The Lord has created 'earth, water, and fire' as 'sat.' In this world, all things that are visible to the eye are a combination of these three fundamental elements. The soil always faces downwards, symbolizing the quality of tamas (inertia), water flows in the direction of the lowest point, symbolizing rajas (passion), and fire always burns upwards, symbolizing sattva (goodness). Soil, water, and fire are the basic building blocks of the entire universe. Even the beautiful rose that blossoms from manure contains soil, water, and fire as its essence. In this way, the infinite space, the fundamental elements of earth, water, and fire, air, living and non-living things, and the conscious and unconscious, all are created by the Lord, who is Satkṛtaḥ. None of the actions performed by the Lord are evil; they are all for the good of this world. In this world, nothing should ever happen or exist without the Lord.

Sādhuḥ (ಸಾಧುಃ)

The Lord is the embodiment of virtuous qualities. At all times, there is no trace of negative qualities in Him. He is perfect in virtuous qualities, a manifestation of goodness, and the embodiment of all virtues. The Lord is truly a sādhuḥ

Jahnu (ಜಹ್ನು)

When we hear 'Jahnu,' it reminds us of the sage Jahnu. When the river Ganga descended to the earth due to King Bhagiratha's efforts, it rushed into the ashram of Sage Jahnu. Angered by this, Sage Jahnu swallowed the entire river Ganga. Later, as per the prayers of the sage-munis and with the consent of the divine deities, he released Goddess Ganga. Because of this incident, the river Ganga is also known as 'Jahnavi' after Sage Jahnu.

Why is the Lord called 'Jahnu'? There is no reason to name Him with any meaningless or arbitrary word. Jahnu is a descriptive name for the Lord. Here, 'Jah' means 'one who lets go' or 'one who abandons.' The Lord is one who has let go of all unnecessary attributes, especially ego and possessiveness. He has no trace of ego or possessiveness. Hence, He is called Jahnu. 'Ja' implies 'birth,' and 'hanti' means 'destroyer.' Jahnu is the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of the universe.

Narayana (ನಾರಾಯಣ)

Before the creation, Lord Narayana formed the subtle form of Prakriti (nature). This very primal substance of creation is called 'nara.' Narayana existed before creation. After the creation, the collective assembly of beings is His abode. 'Narayana ayanam esya Narayana' ‘ನಾರಂ ಅಯನಂ ಯಸ್ಸ್ಯ ನಾರಾಯಣಃ’ means the shelter of all living entities. 'Naranaam ayanah Narayana' ‘ನಾರಾಣಾಂ ಅಯನಃ ನಾರಾಯಣಃ’ means the shelter of all deities who control living entities. 'Ara' signifies faults or defects. Narayana is the faultless, virtuous being untouched by any defects. Thus, He is the one who existed before creation, resides within and outside all beings, devoid of faults, the shelter of all living entities, and the ultimate destination for all, Lord Narayana.

Nara (ನರಃ)

'Nara' refers to the manifestation of Lord Narayana as the desired entity among humans. We have previously discussed the concept of 'Nara' in Arjuna, where it denotes the influence of Nara within him. Nara represents the Kundalini Shakti, the subtle energy residing in our bodies. There are four 'purushas' (entities) within the body: the physical, mental, chanda, and samvatsara purushas. To enable the body to function and move, it requires the Shiva Shakti, who is the purusha of the body. For thoughts to manifest into speech, it requires the Chanda Purusha, a form of Nara. Among the four, the Chanda Purusha, specifically the Nara who desires and fulfills desires, awakens the Vedic linguistic power, which is unique and extraordinary. Thus, Nara, particularly the one who desires and fulfills desires, the Supreme Being, resides within us as the Vedic Purusha (Garuda), making the extraordinary Vedic linguistic power accessible. This way, in Nara, especially the one who fulfills desires, the Supreme Being, who knows everything and becomes 'Nara' for the 'arigal' (knowers), is represented as 'Nara.'