Vishnu Sahasranama

ಈಶಾನಃ ಪ್ರಾಣದಃ ಪ್ರಾಣೋ ಜ್ಯೇಷ್ಠಃ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಃ ಪ್ರಜಾಪತಿಃ |

ಹಿರಣ್ಯಗರ್ಭೋ ಭೂಗರ್ಭೋ ಮಾಧವೋ ಮಧುಸೂದನಃ || ೮ ||

īśānaḥ prāṇadaḥ prāṇo jyeṣṭhaḥ śreṣṭhaḥ prajāpatiḥ |

hiraṇyagarbho bhūgarbho mādhavo madhusūdanaḥ || 8 ||

īśānaḥ (ಈಶಾನಃ)

īśā means external forces that control us. īśānaḥ means the ruler of these external forces.

prāṇadaḥ (ಪ್ರಾಣದಃ)

prāṇa + daḥ = prāṇadaḥ. Here daḥ conveys opposite meanings i.e., one who gives, and one who snatches. prāṇadaḥ means one who has given us life, and one who has given us sense organs, and essential skills and knowledge; in the end one who snatches the materialist body and graces one who is eligible with salvation is called prāṇadaḥ.

prāṇo (ಪ್ರಾಣೋ)

prā (ಪ್ರ) + ā (ಆ) + ṇa (ಣ) = prāṇa. prā (ಪ್ರ) means auspicious, one who is does not have sorrows, and special. ā (ಆ) means one who is perfect. ṇa (ಣ) means the personification of happiness. Hence God is prā + ā + ṇa = prāṇa.

jyeṣṭhaḥ (ಜ್ಯೇಷ್ಠಃ)

jyeṣṭhaḥ means elderly. One who is the creator and controller of all souls is known as jyeṣṭhaḥ.

śreṣṭhaḥ (ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠಃ)

One does not become superior because of age. Some are superior in knowledge, some are superior in terms of materialistc wealth, and some are superior in terms of strength. Hence where God is present and graces us there is superiority and hence he is śreṣṭhaḥ.

prajāpatiḥ (ಪ್ರಜಾಪತಿಃ)

Chaturmukha (lord Brahma) is know as prajāpatiḥ. The one who is embodied in Chaturmukha (lord Brahma) and custodian of all souls, God, is prajāpatiḥ.

hiraṇyagarbho (ಹಿರಣ್ಯಗರ್ಭೋ)

hiraṇya means Gold or Silver. As seen before, the Universe is described as an egg in the form of a Lotus. It is envisioned that the Universe got created from God’s navel in the form of lotus.

As poets envision, this Universe when observed from distant far looks like a thousand Sun’s in the form a Golden egg. The one who has embodied this wonderful universe in this Navel is known as hiraṇyagarbha (ಹಿರಣ್ಯಗರ್ಭ).

Bhūgarbho (ಭೂಗರ್ಭೋ)

Here the word bhū (ಭೂ) means nature and earth. The one who carries the nature and one part that is earth in his lap is called bhūgarbha (ಭೂಗರ್ಭ). Earth’s gravitational force is also called sankarshana (attraction). Sankarshana is also the appropriate name for Adishesha. God who is present in Sankarshana (gravitational force) keeps the earth in-check and protects the earth. Thr creator and protector of the earth (God) is bhūgarbha (ಭೂಗರ್ಭ).

mādhava (ಮಾಧವ)

mā means Mother Lakshmi. Hence mādhava means husband of Mother Lakshmi. Mā also means knowledge. God is the ruler of knowledge; hence he is mādhava. Lord Krishna was born in Madhu lineage and hence Lord Krishna is also known as mādhava. In Vedas the word mātṛ (ಮಾತೃ) is also used as ಮಾತು (voice / sound) or ವಾಜ್ಮಯ (collection). The Seven greatest works Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda, Ramayana, Mahabharatha, and Puranas are also know an mātṛ (ಮಾತೃ). Hence the one whom is praised or extolled in mātṛ (ಮಾತೃ) is mādhava (ಮಾಧವ).

madhusūdanaḥ (ಮಧುಸೂದನಃ)

The word madhu conveys various meanings such as sex, desire, or utlimate bliss. First one sees an object, next he or she wants to posses it, and next he or she wants to expirence it and when he or she is not able to possedd or expirence it this leads to anger. These forces present within us are the root cause of all troubles. To get rid of these forces (madhu) within us, one should seek protection for God. He is the only one that can defeat or demolish these (madhu) and hence he is known as madhusūdanaḥ (ಮಧುಸೂದನಃ), the destroyer of madhu.

Madhu also means happiness and If you futher analyse the meaning of madhusūdanaḥ, it means destroyer of happiness. Do not be afraid that, what is this, madhusūdanaḥ, means destroyer of happiness? The One who destroys the happiness of those who follows the path of unrighteousness and arrogance is madhusūdanaḥ. The one who uplift good and righteous people is madhusūdanaḥ.