Vishnu Sahasranama

ಯುಗಾದಿಕೃತ್ ಯುಗಾವರ್ತಃ ನೈಕಮಾಯಃ ಮಹಾಶನಃ

ಅದೃಶ್ಯಃ ವ್ಯಕ್ತರೂಪಃ (ಅವ್ಯಕ್ತರೂಪಃ) ಸಹಸ್ರಜಿತ್ ಅನಂತಜಿತ್ || 33 ||

yugādikṛt yugāvartaḥ naikamāyaḥ mahāśanaḥ

adṛśyaḥ vyaktarūpaḥ (avyaktarūpaḥ) sahasrajit anaṃtajit || 33 ||

yugādikṛt (ಯುಗಾದಿಕೃತ್)

Since the creation of the world, there has been a concept of a 'Yuga' (era). Four groups of Yugas together form the cycle of Yugas.

The shortest Yuga is the Kali Yuga, which lasts four hundred and thirty-two thousand years (432,000).

The duration of the Dvapara Yuga is twice that of the Kali Yuga, which is eight hundred and sixty-four thousand years (864,000).

The Treta Yuga lasts three times the duration of the Kali Yuga, which is one million two hundred and ninety-six thousand years or twelve lakhs nine six thousand years (1,296,000).

The first Yuga, Krita Yuga, lasts four times the duration of the Kali Yuga, which is one million seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand years or seventeen lakhs twenty-eight thousand years.

Therefore, one cycle of Yugas consists of four million three hundred and twenty thousand years or forty three lakhs twenty thousand years (i.e., 432,00 years of Kali Yuga + 864,000 years of Dvapara Yuga + 1,296,000 years of Treta Yuga + 1,728,000 = 4,320,000).

Adding seventy-one such Yuga cycles (i.e., 71 X 4,320,000 = 306,720,000) to 18,50,000 years makes one Manvantara which is 308,570,000 years or 30,85,70,000 years (30,67,20,000+18,50,000).

Fourteen such Manvantaras, along with the thirteen intermediate Pralaya (destructive periods) of twenty thousand years each, total up to four hundred and thirty-two crore years or 4,320 million years (30,85,70,000x14+20,000 = 4,320,000,000).

This constitutes one day of Brahma. Hence, one day of Brahma is eight hundred and sixty-four crore years or 8,640 million years i.e. 4,320 million years of morning and 4,320 million years of night. The lifespan of Brahma is one hundred years, which amounts to 31,104 crore years. (864,000,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 = 31,104,000,000,000,000 = 31,104 trillion) In this way, the cycle of time revolves. Kali Yuga is the era of conflicts, but even in Treta Yuga, we witnessed evil demons like Ravana. Therefore, it is not time but continuous worship of the Lord that can elevate our lives to the state of Krita Yuga. Living in Kali Yuga, we can still experience the joy of Krita Yuga through unwavering devotion to the Lord. This is the essence of worshipping the Lord as 'Yugādikṛt'.

yugāvartaḥ (ಯುಗಾವರ್ತಃ)

As mentioned above, the Divine, who is the cause of the beginning of a Yuga, is also the cause of the cycle of Yugas. A Yuga follows a Yuga, a Chaturyuga follows a Chaturyuga, and a Manvantara follows a Manvantara. In this way, as the causative force behind the cycle of the universe, the Divine, seated in every male and female, turns the wheel of Yugas. This Divine is Yugāvartaḥ.

naikamāyaḥ (ನೈಕಮಾಯಃ)

The divine Maya of the Lord is manifold. In Vedic literature, the word 'Maya' carries meanings like 'knowledge, desire, glory, etc. When it is said that the world was created by the Maya of the Lord, it implies that the universe was manifested through the Lord's infinite knowledge and willpower. The Lord is of infinite glory; His magnificence is boundless and immeasurable. Maya also refers to the power of illusion; Naikamāya signifies the Lord who binds us with two kinds of illusory powers. These are the veils of flowing ignorance, preventing us from knowing our true nature, and the curtain that separates us from the Lord. Thus, being the embodiment of knowledge and bestowing realization upon the wise, the Lord is Naikamāyaḥ.

mahāśanaḥ (ಮಹಾಶನಃ)

Mahāśana, meaning the one who consumes the entire world, is the Lord who subsumes the universe into himself during cosmic dissolution, as described in the Katha Upanishad. In the time of Pralaya (the great dissolution), even the elemental forces like Brahma and Vayu are but a morsel to Him. The Lord, as Mahāśanaḥ, engulfs the entire cosmos and preserves it within himself, later recreating it from his navel.

The term can also be interpreted as Mahā (great) + Śa (inner bliss) + Na (guide). Here, 'Śa' or 'Śam' symbolizes the inner bliss, and 'Na' signifies the one who leads souls to this great inner joy. Mahāśanaḥ refers to those with great desires, where the ultimate desire is the universal welfare without any attachment or aversion. The Lord, as Mahāśanaḥ, bestows such a state upon the wise.

adṛśyaḥ (ಅದೃಶ್ಯಃ)

Adṛśyaḥ means the one who is invisible. The Lord is the puppeteer of the drama of life, yet He remains unseen. There is a special reason for this. Our eyes can only see objects made of earth, water, and fire. The form of the Lord is not composed of earth, water, and fire. He does not reveal Himself unless He wishes to be seen.

vyaktarūpaḥ (avyaktarūpaḥ) [ವ್ಯಕ್ತರೂಪಃ (ಅವ್ಯಕ್ತರೂಪಃ)]

The form of the Lord is of the nature of knowledge and bliss. Joy, sorrow, knowledge, ignorance, etc., are not visible to the eye. The Lord's form, being composed of pure consciousness and bliss, is unmanifest. However, He can become manifest if He so desires. When He chooses, He reveals His form. As an avatar, the Lord becomes visible to all. The Lord, the puppeteer, descends to earth in an avatar form to play His role. The invisible Lord becomes visible to practitioners in meditation. A practitioner focuses his mind in meditation, but this is not an easy task. Controlling the mind, intellect, ego, consciousness, and awareness, and focusing all on a single point, the mind visualizes a symbol of the Lord. However, this is merely an image formed by our impressions, not the Lord Himself. To truly see the Lord, we must transcend our five sheaths (Pancha Kosha) and become one with knowledge and bliss. In this state, when the mind ceases to function and the soul begins to contemplate, one can see the Lord in His form of knowledge and bliss. For this reason, the Lord's form is both manifest and unmanifest!

sahasrajit (ಸಹಸ್ರಜಿತ್)

The Lord, Sahasrajit, is the one who assumes a thousand forms. Though a single entity, He manifests differently in each avatar. The individual is one, but the expressions are infinite. At the beginning of creation, He manifested in four forms (Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sankarshana, Vasudeva), then in five forms, followed by the twelve forms of Kesava, and then the twenty-four forms beginning with Sankarshana, and later the 108 forms starting with Narayana, and finally the thousand forms like the entire universe. The thousand names in the Vishnu Sahasranama symbolize each of these forms of the Lord. The Lord, who holds sway over thousands of deities, always has the principle of life as his companion. Sahasrajit, the Lord who annihilated thousands of evil demons, is ever-victorious.

anaṃtajit (ಅನಂತಜಿತ್)

The Lord is Anantajit, the conqueror of the infinite and the one who exists with the infinite. As mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita:

ಅನಂತಸ್ಚಾಸ್ಮಿ ನಾಗಾನಾಂ ವರುಣೋ ಯಾದಸಾಮಹಮ್

ಪಿತ ಣಾಮರ್ಯಮಾ ಚಾಸ್ಮಿ ಯಮಃ ಸಂಯಮ ತಾಮಹಮ್ (ಅ-೧೦ ಶ್ಲೋ-೨೯)

'Among the Nāgas, I am Ananta; among the aquatics, I am Varuna; among the departed ancestors, I am Aryama; and among the dispensers of law, I am Yama.' (Bhagavad Gita 10:29)