Vishnu Sahasranama

ಸುಭುಜಃ ದುರ್ಧರಃ ವಾಗ್ಮೀ ಮಹೇಂದ್ರಃ ವಸುದಃ ವಸುಃ

ನೈಕರೂಪಃ ಬೃಹದ್ರೂಪಃ ಶಿಪಿವಿಷ್ಟಃ ಪ್ರಕಾಶನಃ || 29 ||

subhujaḥ durdharaḥ vāgmī maheṃdraḥ vasudaḥ vasuḥ

naikarūpaḥ bṛhadrūpaḥ śipiviṣṭaḥ prakāśanaḥ || 29 ||

subhujaḥ (ಸುಭುಜಃ)

At first glance "Subhuja" means someone with a beautiful and graceful arm. Veda Vyasa says, "The Lord's arms are for the protection of the world; they have no other purpose." They call the Lord, who bears the constant burden of protecting the eternal world, 'Subhuja.' There is a connection between arms and the height of our body. If the length of the spread arms (measured end-to-end) including the chest is equal to the height then the individual is called “Subhuja". Usually, we only see such a personality in the incarnation of the Lord (e.g., Lord Rama, Lord Krishna). In ordinary humans, such a personality is not present in ordinary living beings for sure 100%. Moreover, the individual's foot is also as long as the seventh part of the body's height. “Bubujaru” means the Kshtriyas who rule the earth. “Subuja” means Protector and destroyer of the world. God never wishes bad and always experiences bliss and is known as “subhujaḥ”

durdharaḥ (ದುರ್ಧರಃ)

Holding the vision of the Lord in our minds is not an easy task. To see Him with our inner eye requires great effort. For this, one must make an effort. Without meditation, He will not appear to the mind. Usually, when we sit for meditation, we experience hundreds of distracting thoughts. The reason for this is that we have filled our minds with hundreds of unnecessary thoughts that we have conditioned in an undesirable way. The mind remains scattered as it is, and bringing it back to the divine at once is challenging. Without giving up determination, constant devotion can lead us to the knowledge of God and enable us to have the vision of God. When we sit for meditation, if negative thoughts come, there is no need to worry about them. As the negative thoughts that are inside us go away when good thought enter us, this is what happens. Once the dirt that was inside is removed, the mind becomes pure, and in this state, meditation becomes easy. The only constant means to remove the dirt of the mind is continuous contemplation of God. If in every action, in every object, if one makes an effort to see the unique creation of God, the result is always positive and certain. Seeing God is not an achievement of one lifetime; it requires the effort of many, many lifetimes. However, not a single effort in the pursuit of spiritual realization in each lifetime is in vain. As it is said in the Bhagavad Gita:

ನೇಹಾಭಿಕ್ರ ಮನಾಶೋSಸ್ತಿ ಪ್ರತ್ಯವಾಯೋ ನ ವಿದ್ಯತೇ

ಸ್ವಲ್ಪಮಪ್ಯಸ್ಯ ಧರ್ಮಸ್ಯ ತ್ರಾಯತೇ ಮಹತೋ ಭಯಾತ್ (ಅ-೨ ಶ್ಲೋ-೪೦)

nehābhikra manāśoSsti pratyavāyo na vidyate

svalpamapyasya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt (2.40)

Which means that here, not even the smallest effort goes to waste. There are no obstacles here. Even a tiny step in this path of spirituality can save us from great calamity or fear.

ಮನುಷ್ಯಾಣಾಂ ಸಹಸ್ರೇಷು ಕಶ್ಚಿದ್ ಯತತಿ ಸಿದ್ಧಯೇ

ಯತತಾಮಪಿ ಸಿದ್ಧಾನಾಂ ಕಶ್ಚಿನ್ಮಾಂ ವೇತ್ತಿ ತತ್ತ್ವತಃ (ಅ-೦೭ ಶ್ಲೋ-೦೩)

manuṣyāṇāṃ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye

yatatāmapi siddhānāṃ kaścinmāṃ vetti tattvataḥ (2.3)

Which means, out of thousands of people, one person strives for spiritual realization. Among those who strive, and among those who achieve success in their efforts, only a rare few truly understand and realize God. Therefore, seeing God is very difficult. To behold the supremely beautiful Lord in His entirety, one must accumulate many lifetimes of virtuous deeds.

vāgmī (ವಾಗ್ಮೀ)

Vagmi means one who is capable of speaking eloquently. A true Vagmi, despite being able to speak well, doesn't speak excessively. They understand how much to speak and where to stop. Speech is a tool for expressing what we know. Even if we know everything, speaking can still be challenging! Only God, who knows everything and can speak through the mouths of all beings, is the greatest communicator. However, it may require many lifetimes of penance to speak with God, who is the ultimate source of all knowledge and the lord of all tongues. Another name for the Lord, who taught all the Vedas to Lord Brahma, is 'Vagisha,' which means the master of words. He resides within everyone and speaks through all mouths – that supreme orator is Lord Vagmi. This can be better understood by recalling the qualities of Lord Rama. After completing his daily morning rituals and seeking blessings from his parents, Lord Rama would stand at a crossroads and eloquently address his subjects. His people eagerly awaited this daily interaction with Lord Rama.

maheṃdraḥ (ಮಹೇಂದ್ರಃ)

In Sanskrit, 'ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ' (Mahendra) means 'Omnipotent.' The Supreme Lord, who is all-powerful, is referred to as 'ಮಹೇಂದ್ರ' (Mahendra). He is the one who bestowed the title of 'ಇಂದ್ರ' (Indra), the king of deities. He is the Lord of lords, the ruler of rulers, and the all-capable Mahendra, the Supreme Being.

vasudaḥ (ವಸುದಃ)

Means the one who bestows wealth. As mentioned earlier, there are two types of wealth: external wealth and internal wealth. Knowledge is the internal wealth. The Lord Vasuda provides us with wealth, poverty, knowledge, and ignorance according to our actions. To acquire knowledge, we need the power of will, comprehension, and retention. Lord Vasuda is the one who bestows everything upon us. As mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita: "ಮತ್ತಃ ಸ್ಮೃತಿರ್ಜ್ಞಾನ ಮಪೋಹನಂ ಚ" “mattaḥ smṛtirjñāna mapohanaṃ ca” (Chapter 15, Verse 15), which means "Memory, knowledge, and forgetfulness are all my manifestations." Additionally, the devotees who have unwavering faith in the Lord receive the Lord's blessings for their well-being and security.

ಅನನಾಶ್ಚಿಂತಯಂತೋ ಮಾಂ ಯೇ ಜನಾಃ ಪರ್ಯಪಾಸತೇ

ತೇಷಾಂ ನಿತ್ಯಾಭಿಯುಕ್ತಾನಾಂ ಯೋಗಕ್ಷೇಮಂ ವಹಾಮ್ಯಹಮ್ (ಅ-೯, ಶ್ಲೋ-೨೨)

ananāściṃtayaṃto māṃ ye janāḥ paryapāsate

teṣāṃ nityābhiyuktānāṃ yogakṣemaṃ vahāmyaham (9.22)

Lord Vasuda, who opens the door to knowledge and bestows liberation, is the protector of the well-being and security of His devotees.

vasuḥ (ವಸುಃ)

Among the gods, there is a group known as the 'Vasus,' and they are called the 'Ashtavasus' (eight Vasus). Among them, Agni (fire) is the prominent one. Agni is the chief symbol of the divine in fire. The worship of Bhagavan is primarily done through Agni in ceremonies on Earth. Bhagavan Vasu is the one who assigned this role to Agni. Bhagavan Vasu is the divine who bestows immense wealth to His devotees and resides prominently in the heavens.

naikarūpaḥ (ನೈಕರೂಪಃ)

Nikarupa" means having infinite forms. Bhagavan manifests Himself in countless forms within each individual and fills the entire universe as the all-pervading formless divine presence. As mentioned in the Narayana Sukta:

“ತಸ್ಯಾಂತೆ ಸುಶಿರಂ ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮಂ ತಸ್ಮಿನ್ ಸರ್ವಂ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಟಿತಂ”, tasyāṃte suśiraṃ sūkṣmaṃ tasmin sarvaṃ pratiṣṭitaṃ.

It means that within the subtlest and holiest place in our hearts, Bhagavan resides. The all-pervading power that controls the entire universe is within the tiny space of our heart, as if operating the entire cosmos. This power is present throughout the universe, both in its manifest and unmanifest forms. Bhagavan, who takes countless forms yet remains formless, is known as "Nikarupa."

bṛhadrūpaḥ (ಬೃಹದ್ರೂಪಃ)

"Brihat" means the greatest light among all the lights we see, which is the "Sun." Bhagavan, who resides in the heart of the sun, which radiates light to the entire universe, also resides within our hearts. This is expressed in the Gayatri mantra as follows:

ಓಂ ಭೂರ್ಭುವಃ ಸ್ವಃ ತತ್ಸವಿತುರ್ವರೇಣ್ಯಂ

ಭರ್ಗೋ ದೇವಸ್ಯ ಧೀಮಹಿ ಧಿಯೋ ಯೋನಃ ಪ್ರಚೋದಯಾತ್

oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ tatsaviturvareṇyaṃ

bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yonaḥ pracodayāt

The harmony of the macrocosm (the universe) and microcosm (individual) is found in the Gayatri mantra. The same power that, as the sun, generously gives life to the entire universe, also resides within me. May that power, which resides within me, bestow me with good intelligence, guide my senses towards noble pursuits, and enable me to live a virtuous life. This is the prayer. The divine, in various forms, appears to each person. Bhagavan Narayana, appearing as Vamana, the dwarf, as Varaha, the boar, and later as the great Matsya (fish) showed Himself to Manu. Bhagavan Krishna, who revealed His universal form to Arjuna, and as the charioteer of Arjuna, displayed His cosmic form, and as the savior of the universe, displayed the entire universe within His mouth to His mother. Bhagavan, who assumes such magnificent forms, is bṛhadrūpaḥ.

śipiviṣṭaḥ (ಶಿಪಿವಿಷ್ಟಃ)

The term "ಶಿಪಿ" (shipi) is not commonly used in contemporary Sanskrit. It is a Vedic term, and it refers to animals or creatures. "ಶಿಪಿವಿಷ್ಟಃ" (shipivishtah) means the Supreme Being who is specially present among creatures or animals. This represents a particular form of Vedic worship, where the five main categories of creatures or animals are mentioned. These categories are horses (ಅಶ್ವ), cows (ಗೋ), sheep (ಕುರಿ), goats (ಆಡು), and humans (ಮನುಷ್ಯ). In the Purusha Sukta, it is mentioned that the Supreme Being exists in these five forms among these five categories of creatures.

ತಸ್ಮಾದಶ್ವಾ ಅಜಾಯನ್ತ ಯೇ ಕೇ ಚೋಭಯಾದತಃ

ಗಾವೋ ಹ ಜಜ್ಞಿರೇ ತಸ್ಮಾತ್ ತಸ್ಮಾಜ್ಜಾತಾ ಅಜಾವಯಃ

ಯತ್ಪುರುಷಂ ವ್ಯದಧುಃ

tasmādaśvā ajāyanta ye ke cobhayādataḥ

gāvo ha jajñire tasmāt tasmājjātā ajāvayaḥ

yatpuruṣaṃ vyadadhuḥ

Among these five creatures, you can see the uniqueness of the creation of the Supreme Being. If horses and bulls serve as means of transportation for humans, and cows provide essential offerings for rituals such as milk, curd, ghee, and butter, they are all animals with specific roles in human life. Horses, in particular, are known for their distinctive ability to protect their owner. Another remarkable characteristic of horses is their constant motion, unlike the stationary nature of other creatures. Horses are always in motion, and they are never at rest, which is why this world is sometimes referred to as "ashvattha," similar to the constant movement of horses. Even Ashvatthamaru, the great sage, is never at rest and is always on the move.

This constant movement is a natural attribute of horses, and it can also symbolize the restlessness of the human mind. Therefore, in the past, people performed the Ashwamedha Yagna (horse sacrifice) to symbolize their restless minds and later achieved liberation by controlling their restlessness and becoming Rajarshis.

People who consume meat offer their food to God before eating, which is a common and scripturally approved practice.

Goats are a significant component of the Soma Yagna. However, the Soma Yagna can only be performed by meat eaters. Goat's milk is still used as a dietary staple. Furthermore, sheeps play a vital role in providing resources for clothing, especially in the Vedic tradition. Vedic culture originated in the Himalayas and is known as the "Sindhu Civilization." The name "Sindhu" in the Persian language became "Hindu" and later evolved into “Indu” and "India" under British rule.

Thus, among these four animals mentioned above, the Supreme Being is uniquely present as "shipi-vishṭaḥ."

ಪ್ರಕಾಶನಃ (prakāśanaḥ)

Means the one who illuminates everything. As mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita:

ಯದಾದಿತ್ಯಗತಂ ತೇಜೋ ಜಗದ್ ಭಾಸಯತೇsಖಿಲಮ್

ಯಚ್ಚಂದ್ರಮಸಿ ಯಚ್ಚಾಗ್ನೋ ತತ್ ತೇಜೋ ವಿದ್ಧಿ ಮಾಮಕಮ್ (ಅ-೧೫ ಶ್ಲೋ-೧೨)

yadādityagataṃ tejo jagad bhāsayateskhilam

yaccaṃdramasi yaccāgno tat tejo viddhi māmakam (15.12)

Fire, stars, and the entire radiance of the world represent the fundamental light of the divine. If you break down this name, 'Praka’ + ‘Ashana,' 'ಪ್ರಕಾ+ಅಶನ' it means the embodiment of supreme bliss. 'Prakasharu' refers to those who are knowledgeable and capable of attaining liberation. ‘Vayati’ means the one who give liberation to ‘Prakasharu' This is how the divine is known as 'Prakashanah.'