Vishnu Sahasranama

ಈಶ್ವರೋ ವಿಕ್ರಮೀ ಧನ್ವೀ ಮೇಧಾವೀ ವಿಕ್ರಮಃ ಕ್ರಮಃ |

ಅನುತ್ತಮೋ ದುರಾಧರ್ಷಃ ಕೃತಜ್ಞಃ ಕೃತಿರಾತ್ಮವಾನ್ || ೯ ||

īśvaro vikramī dhanvī medhāvī vikramaḥ kramaḥ |

anuttamo durādharṣaḥ kṛtajñaḥ kṛtirātmavān || 9 ||

īśvaraḥ (ಈಶ್ವರ:)

īśvaraḥ means the controller of all forces that control the universe.

vikramī (ವಿಕ್ರಮೀ)

To understand the meaning of this Nama, one should recollect the Vamana incarnation of the God. As you may be already aware, God when incarnated as Vamana asked the greatest donor, Bali Cakravarthi to donate three steps of land. Without listening to his Guru Shukracharya, Bali Chakrvarti promised and agreed to Lord Vamana to donate three steps of land. Lord Vaman with his first step occupies the entire earth and with the second step the heavens. Now Bali smiles at the Lord and offers his head for the Lord Vamana to use as his third step. Pleased with Bali, the Lord makes Bali the lord of the underworld. Bali hence became the lord of the underworld. Hence the Lord is called trivikrama (ತ್ರಿವಿಕ್ರಮ್).

If we analyze the meaning of this story, then only one will understand the hidden meaning. All beings who undergo circle of life and death and household responsibiltes, are Bali. to get blessed from God, one has to strengthen (ಬಲಿಷ್ಠ) their heart, mind, and spritual sense. To practice spiritual upliftment there are three steps. The first step is to understand, respect, and worship God as the small idol placed in our place of worship. As we keep worshipping the idol one gets to the realization that he is spread in the entire universe (omnipresent). Once we realize he is spread in the universe, one realizes that he is also in me and one has to bow our head. Only then we will realize God, and he will bless and protect us. the one who gives us strength (ಬಲಿಷ್ಠ) and uplift us is known as vikramī (ವಿಕ್ರಮೀ).

dhanvī (ಧನ್ವೀ)

dhanvī means archer, also means one who holds the bow in the hand. Here bow symbolizes that one which destroys evil. To establish Dharma, God holds bow in his hand. God does not need any special weapons. Since God destroys evil, he is known as dhanvī (ಧನ್ವೀ).

medhāvī (ಮೇಧಾವೀ)

medhā means memory and recollecting, what we hear, what we see. and what we read forever. The heart wishes, the intellect grasps, and the mind retains. One who can recollect forever what they hear, see, and read are called medhāvī (ಮೇಧಾವೀ). God who has gifted us heart, intellect, and mind (medhā ) is the owner and is medhāvī (ಮೇಧಾವೀ).

vikramaḥ (ವಿಕ್ರಮಃ)

vikramaḥ means one who does not have an order or system, meaning God is not bound to any order or system. What God follow become an order or system for us.

kramaḥ (ಕ್ರಮಃ)

As mentioned before God is vikramaḥ, the Universe he has created is orderly and follow prescribed rules. Every object in the Universe follows prescribed mathematical rules. For example, one can mathematically calculate when there is going to be an eclipse in the past, present, and future. Every object in the universe rotates and revolves with prescribed speed. These mathematical rules are so precise. The one who created the mathematics and rules is kramaḥ (ಕ್ರಮಃ).

anuttamo (ಅನುತ್ತಮೋ)

God’s step is infinite and all steps that an object in the universe takes is embed in God’s infinite step. Anuttama means superior among superior. None is superior to the God.

durādharṣaḥ (ದುರಾಧರ್ಷಃ)

The one which is beyond our imagination is know as durādharṣaḥ. It is impossible to complete understand the God, even Goddess Lakshmi is for eons is still trying to understand him. His actions, and resolution cannot be changed. Hence, he is durādharṣaḥ.

kṛtajñaḥ (ಕೃತಜ್ಞಃ)

In preceding names (name) we have seen that God is not bound to any order or system, no objects can overrule his order, he is superior, beyond imagination .etc. Now a question may arise within us? Why does God discriminate? He makes one rich, the other poor, he gives happiness to one, and gives sorrow to one .etc., why is this? The answer to this question is itself the meaning of kṛtajñaḥ (ಕೃತಜ್ಞಃ). kṛtajñaḥ (ಕೃತಜ್ಞಃ) means without forgetting the one who gives it back. The one who gives back the reaction (good and bad) for every action (good and bad) we have performed in the is called kṛtajñaḥ (ಕೃತಜ್ಞಃ). Many times our action and reaction span this lifetime or from previous birth, one may have created good deeds in one birth, and he/she may reap good benefits after 100’s of birth’s – nothing is lost. Many time the good action we perform in one birth, we reap good benefits in the same birth.

kṛti (ಕೃತಿ)

Knowledge, strength, valor, and action is his characterstics. The one who created the entire universe and multi-verse by his desire is know as kṛti (ಕೃತಿ).

Ātmavān (ಆತ್ಮವಾನ್)

The materialistic meaning of Ātma (ಆತ್ಮ) is our body. God is not made up of elements that eventually returns to there original state when we die, like earth. fire, water, and air that our materiastic body is made of. He is omipreent, omniscient, and omnipotent, he can materialize in any form. Knowledge is his characterstics. The father of all souls is know as Ātmavān (ಆತ್ಮವಾನ್).