BLOG STATUS: Updated 26 June 2017. New article "Criticism of Vishishtadvaita Vishleshana Vivecanam" Read here

Prayers of Sri Krishna to Shiva


Bhagavad rAmAnuja muni, known as yatirAjA, is like Trivikrama in that he conquered the 3 worlds with his unassailable philosophy of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta. The nectar of his lotus feet manifested in the form of Acharya Nampillai whose Eedu vyAkhyAnam can be compared to the Ganga flowing from the lotus feet of sriman nArAyaNa. Just as Shiva bore the Ganga on his head, the Eedu vyAkhyAnam reached Swami Manavala Mamunigal, the King of SattvikAs, who imparted its sweet meanings in a manner that can be understood by all AstikAs. Just as Bhagiratha performed a penance to bring the Ganga to this world, my Acharyas like srI PBA Swami and srI rangarAjAchAriar, worshipped Swami manavAla mAmunigal and distributed the meanings of Eedu to the laypersons such as myself. With their blessings, I write now.

"stavyaH" -- sarvaiH stUyate na stotA kasyacit iti stavyaH|

[stavyaH is one who is prayed to/worshiped by one and all, is not the worshipper of anyone.]

The above is the explanation given by Shankara for the name “stavyaH” in his Vishnu Sahasranama Bhashya. Indeed other than Himself, for example in the case of Shri Rama who worshipped His kuladevata shrI rangashAyI, Lord Vishnu worships none else.

The HarivamSham contains prayers of Krishna to, supposedly pArvati pati rudradeva - who appeared in front of him with his consort Uma and the gaNas – for a boon of victory. This is an explanation of the Stuti. Since nIlakaNtha bhAshyam on this section is very shallow and even erroneous at times, it required a detailed explanation.

In reality, the purANas say that pArvati pati had asked for a boon from Vishnu that in one of his avatArAs, Vishnu would worship him (Shiva) for boons so that he (Shiva) would command respect in the world. The gracious bhagavAn nArAyaNa, who fulfills the wishes of his devotees, agreed.

Of course, despite agreeing, bhagavAn will never purposefully utter a lie or mislead or do anything contradictory to shAstra out of his own will (unless it is Buddha avatAram where his task was to mislead the asurAs). So, when he decided to fulfil the boon, he naturally offered the prayers to the antaryAmin of Rudra, which is himself.

The Garuda purAnA says that pArvati pati rudradeva is in the penultimate stage of bhakti yOga (unceasing meditation with love and devotion on sriman nArAaNa), called as “prajna” in the mAndukya Upanishad and which his presided by the vyUha known as Sankarshana.

The purAnA further states that pArvati pati rudra will eventually progress to the 4th state presided by vAsudeva, which is bhagavad sAkshAtkAram and instant moksha prApti, ie, srI vaikunta.

So, since he is in the stage presided by Sankarshana, it follows that he is always meditating on Sankarshana’s guNams of balam and jnAnam. And the most perceptible manifestation of an amSham of sankarshana was srI Lakshmi narasimha (as per Vishnu purAnA). SrI narasimha bhagavAn exhibited both guNams in that he was omniscient to understand the needs of prahlAda (jnAna guNam) and had the strength to destroy hiranyakasipu (balam).

Thus, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati rudradeva is narasimha. The sastrAs say that the antaryAmin manifests in a form that is the desired form of the yOgI in meditation. As pArvatipati rudra is meditating on narasimhA, his antaryAMin is narasimha rUpi. pArvati pati rudradeva as Ahirbudhnya worshipped srI narasimhA with mantra rAja pada stOtram.

Thus, throughout this stuti, srI Krishna offers his respects to narasimha, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati rudradeva. SrI Krishna even explicitly mentions this in the sAnti parva of mahAbhArata as follows,

nArAyaNAtmako GYeyaH pANDaveya yuge yuge

O Arjuna, know Rudra as 'nArAyaNAtmaka' in every yuga (nArAyaNatmaka = One whose mind is filled with meditation on nArAyaNa in bhakti yOgA, or One whose indweller is nArAyaNa) .

tasmin hi pUjyamAne vai devadeve maheshvare sampUjito bhavetpArtha devo nArAyaNaH prabhuH

It is nArAyaNa, who is well-known as Deva (Possessor of auspicious attributes worthy of worship), PrabhuH (Master of all and hence the only one fit to worship) IN Maheshwara, the Lord of the Devas (pArvati pati rudradeva, who is mahEshwara and devadeva only due to nArAyaNa’s grace), who is worshipped.

ahamAtmA hi lokAnAM vishvAnAM pANDunandana tasmAdAtmAnamevAgre rudraM sampUjayAmyaham yadyahaM nArchayeyaM vai IshAnaM varadaM shivam AtmAnaM nArchayetkashchiditi me bhAvitaM manaH

O Son of Pandu, I am indeed the AtmA, the indweller of the Vedas (lokAnAm) and worlds (vishvAnAm).  Therefore, I worship myself first when I supposedly worship Rudra. If I did not worship the inner Self of Rudra also called Ishana, Shiva, the bestower of boons, some would not worship me. This is my opinion.

Alternate meaning for this slOka:  O Son of Pandu, I am indeed the AtmA, the indweller of the Vedas (lokAnAm) and worlds (vishvAnAm).  Therefore, I worship myself first when I supposedly worship Rudra.  If I did not worship the inner Self of Rudra, ie, nArAyaNa who is auspicious (shivam), the supreme controller (Ishana) and bestower of boons (varada), some would not worship me. This is my opinion .

So, he worships the indweller of Rudra to, 1) Adhere to the sAstra, 2) Show people how to perform the correct form of worship, 3) And to exhibit his sousIlya guNam by fulfilling his boon to Rudra.

Before we look at the stuti proper, we also examine what pArvati pati rudradeva said to Krishna after the stuti itself. Shiva says the following:

avadhyastvamajeyashcha mattaH shUratarastathA |
bhavitAsItyavochaM yattattathA na tadanyathA || 2-74-38

You can not be killed, you can not be conquered, you will be more valiant than me. All this will happen as told by me. None will be able to change this.

If Shiva was the supreme deity, no-one would be able to become more valiant than him, even if it was a boon granted to a devotee. One might ask, if the deity is omnipotent, can he not make the boon receiver greater than him? Answer provided by swami kurEsar is that omnipotence means - "doing whatever is possible and whatever exists to be done". The existence of an entity with valor greater than Brahman is impossible and hence, an impossible thing does not exist to be accomplished by omnipotence.

Neither can this be taken as mere flattery as it is the supposed phalan of a boon.

bilvodakeshvaro nAma bhavitAhamihAnagha |
deveshvara tvayAsthApi devasiddhopayAchanaH ||2-74-40

O the one without any sin! O lord of lords! O lord! I will remain here by the name of the lord of bilva and water (bilvodakeshvara) as you installed me. According to me, all requests made from here will become fruitful.

Note that Shiva calls Krishna as Deveshwara! If he really had been the recipient of the stuti, no-one would call his devotee that way.

Shiva will stay with that name and everyone can worship him to get jnAnam about Vishnu. That is what he means by saying "all their requests will be fruitful". Bilva is, as per the purAnAs, also a favorite of Lakshmi and can be offered to Vishnu and it is indeed being offered to srInivAsA at Tirumala. So, one can worship the antaryAmin of shiva with Bilva as well. If one regards shiva as a guru, he can worship shiva directly as a guru with bilva. Note: Shiva is a guru for upAsakAs, following the path of bhakti yOga.

The mode of prathishtai of course, is not shaiva agama, but pAncharAtrA, which allows installation of Lingam if it is done with the right mindset of Shiva as a bhakta of Vishnu. We can see Shiva in many vaishnava temples installed in this manner. The harivamSham mentions that Krishna did not allow anyone into Dwaraka unless they had a mudra. This “mudra” is nothing but shanka-chakra marks on the shoulders as per pAcharAtra sAstras, so we know Krishna was following pAncharAtra agama in this avatArA.

ihasthopoShito vidvAnbhaktimAnmama keshava |
trirAtramIpsitA.NllokAngamiShyati janArdana ||2-74-41

O keshava! O janArdana! The wise person who worships me with devotion, fasting for three nights, will attain the worlds desired by him.

In what manner must the wise person worship shiva? Shiva himself uses the Keshava and Janardhana namas to indicate this. Keshava means "Lord of Brahma and Rudra", Janardhana means Lord of all. So, the wise man who knows the intent of Krishna's stuti to Shiva will worship Shiva for attaining knowledge of Vishnu. That is the intent here.

A look at one final verse spoken by Shiva which shows Krishna’s supremacy:

avadhyA devadevAnAM vareNa brahmaNo.anagha |
mAnuShAntaritastasmAtttvametA~njahi keshava ||2-74-45

O the one without any sin! They (the asurAs) can not be killed by the gods due to a boon given by brahma. But O keshava! As you are a human being, you can kill them.

Note that Shiva is asking Krishna to kill the asurAs. While doing so, he explicitly says that due to the boons of Brahma, the devas (including him) cannot kill the asurAs. Furthermore, he says that Krishna can kill him. Why? Not simply because he is a manuShya. Note that the Shiva uses the name “Keshava”. So, he is saying, “You are Keshava, the Lord of Brahma and Rudra (myself) and hence, you are duty-bound to protect us. You have taken an avatArA in a rUpam resembling manuShya as well to destroy these asurAs.”

Therefore, this incident shows the supremacy of srI Krishna only.

This much explains the verses. Elsewhere, Shiva explictly says that Hari, the Lord of all worlds, the supreme thief (of the jivatma) is actually worshipping a lesser deity like himself (shiva) and is overwhelmed by it. The exact harivamsha quote of this can be provided if needed.

One must also note that throughout this stOtra, bhagavan does not glorify well-known lakshanas of Shiva's body such as matted locks, crescent, cobra around neck, the damaru, the trident, etc (not that even these would have posed a problem anyway). And he does not mention Shiva's chief exploits like tripurAsura vadham, andhakAsura vadham, swallowing hala-hala, etc (although even these incidents were accomplished by Shiva with the grace and assistance of nArAyaNa only). In contrast, most shiva stutis seen in tAmasa purAnAs and shaiva works dwell on such things. That is enough to show that the stuti is about Vishnu.

Lastly, BhagavAn also does not practice humility. He does not say, "I am an inferior, ignorant, so save me, etc" which is seen in most stOtrAs where the author expresses his humility and helplessness towards the deity he is invoking. That is because BhagavAn is praising himself. While Vishnu is fully capable of worshipping himself, he cannot practice humility towards himself!

Let us now look at the stuti proper for more proof.

NOTE: In translating this stuti, I pay obeisances to my teachers.


rudro devastvaM rudanAdrAvaNAchcha
rorUyamANo drAvaNAchchAtidevaH |
bhaktaM bhaktAnAM vatsalaM vatsalAnAM
kIrtyA yu~NkShveshAdya prabhavAmyantareNa ||2-74-22

Meaning: You (the antaryAmin of pArvati pati rudradeva) are called Rudra, one who sports in srShti leela (deva), as you are he who destroys the disease of samsArA. You are also Rudra as you cause your devotees to shed tears of joy on experiencing your kalyAna guNams such as vAtsalyam (deva). I am the devotee of your (ie, my) devotees and dear to those who are dear to you (ie, myself). Today, I seek refuge in you, who are the ultimate refuge, for attaining fame of sousIlyam (kIrtyA).

From the beginning itself, we see clear proof that the deity invoked by srI krishnA is surrendering to none other than sriman nArAyaNa. Specifically, srI Krishna is praising the antaryAmin of pArvati pati rudra, who is none other than Narasimha, an amsha of Sankarshana.

As I had humbly pointed out in my write-ups on Shri Rudram, the name “Rudra” is a common noun and occurs in the Vishnu sahasranAmA (rudrO bahushirA babhrUr). Krishna here is also using the logic provided by Jaimini in the Brahma sutrAs. The sutrA “sAkshAdpyavirodham jaiminiH” instructs us to address the antaryAmin by the same names as the devata for which he is the antaryAmin. So, the antaryAmin of rudra is addressed here as Rudra and this is a name of Narasimha in the Vedas.

BhagavAn srI krishnA gives two meanings for the word “Rudra”, as follows:

RudanAdrAvaNAchcha = rudaM saMsAraduHkhaM drAvayatIti rudra iti kechit.h as per Bhatta Bhaskara. He is Rudra as he destroys the disease of samsArA.

rorUyamANo drAvaNAchchAtidevaH = rodayati iti rudraH as per srI parAsara bhattar in his bhagavad guna darpaNam. He is Rudra as he makes his devotees shed tears of joy on experiencing his kalyAna guNams.

The name “deva” also means one who sports in the lIla of sRshti as per srI parAsara bhattar in his Vishnu sahasranAma bhAshyam for the name “vAsudevA”. This meaning is appropriate.

The brahma sutrAs state “lokavattu lIla kaivalyam”, ie, sRshti is a sport for sriman nArAyaNa. At the same time, he performs that sport of sRshti to give the jivAs a body, enable them to perform sAdhana and attain moksha. So, he is Rudra, the destroyer of the disease of samsArA. This meaning fits the context.

BhagavAn is the devotee of his devotees. He says “jnAni tu Atmaiva mE mathaM” in the Gita. Swami Nampillai, a stalwart achAryA, says – “BhagavAn follows the path of his devotees, who in turn follow his path”!

He got the name of “yathOkthakAri” or “sOnna vaNNam seydha perumAl” in Kanchipuram because he obeyed Thirumazhisai Azhwar, his devotee.

BhagavAn is also dear to those who are dear to him. He says the jnAnIs are very dear to him. Why are the jnAnIs dear to him? Because he is dear to them!

Madhavan states all this and then performs saranAgati, ie, prapatti, famously known as the nyAsa vidyA of the Upanishad-s to Narasimha, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati. But did he do it right?

SaranAgati requires Akinchanyam, ie, admittance of helplessness to aid oneself and ananyagatitvam, ie, considering only Lakshmi pathi nArAyaNa as the ultimate refuge and no other.

In this slOka, vAsudevA is surrendering to Narasimha, ie, himself. He has shown ananyagatitvam by saying “You (ie, antaryAmin of Rudra) are my ultimate refuge”. But he has not shown Akinchanyam. This is because BhagavAn, who is supremely omniscient and omnipotent can never be called helpless. Therefore, his saranAgati is incomplete. And this itself is proof that he is only surrendering to himself!

Note that saranAgati must be done as perfectly as swami AlavandAr shows by example in his stOtra ratnam,

Na dharmanishto asmi na chaatma vedi Na bhaktimaan tvacharanaaravinde |
Akinchano ananyagatih sharanya! Tvatpaadamoolam sharanam prapadye || (Stotra Ratnam – Sloka 22)

Meaning: BhagavAn! You  who are worthy of  being sought  as a  refuge! I am  not one who is established in Dharma (karma yOga). I have no knowledge of the Self (jnAna yOga). I do not have the state of incessant meditation on your lotus feet (bhakti yOga). I am without any support. I am resorting to You, as You are the protector (of all persons).

So, Keshava, the Lord of Brahma and Rudra, is performing prapatti to himself, but is unable to express helplessness as swami yAmunAchAryar did.
Now, what is the phalan that bhagavAn seeks for his surrendering to narasimhA. Outwardly, “kIrti” seems to indicate fame and victory. But if we look at swami parAsara bhattar’s vyAkhyAna for the nAma “sat-kIrtiH” in the Vishnu sahasranAmA, he writes,
sauSIlya sattvena asya ati-mahatI kIrtih iti sat-kIrtih.

This suits the context. The guNam of sousIlyam means, “One who descends from his high position and adopts a low position for the sake of his devotees.”

BhagavAn promised he would ask boons from pArvati pati and to fulfill that promise, he is praying to the antaryAmin of pArvati pati. This is a perfect demonstration of his sousIlyam.
So his requested phalan is, “By surrendering to you, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati, let me acquire the fame of being known as sarva sulabhan and one with immense sousIlyam, having descended to the lower level of consenting to ask boons from a lesser deity”!

At the outset, therefore, bhagavAn hopes to become famous as One who pleases his devotees and lowers himself to a level below them. That way, everyone will love this great and generous act of his and marvel at his nature.

grAmyAraNyAnAM tvaM patistvaM pashUnAM
khyAto devaH pashupatiH sarvakarmA |
nAnyastvattaH paramo devadeva
jagatpatiH suravIrArihantA ||2-74-23

Meaning: You are the Pati of those pashUs (brahma jnAnIs who realise the sarIra-sarIri sambandham) who live in villages and forests. Therefore you are known as paShupati, also as Deva (of auspicious qualities worthy of contemplation by such “paShus”) and being their pati (sarIra-sarIri relationship), you perform actions which remove the sorrows of your body (the jivAs), hence you are known as sarvakarmA. There is no-one who is above you as you not only possess the auspicious qualities of the devas, but also possess qualities that they do not possess, hence known as Devadeva. You are the Lord of the Universe (jagathpati) and the slayer of the enemies of devas like PrahlAda (suravIrArihanta).

Having performed prapatti in the best (and incomplete) way he could to himself, Keshava now embarks on a stuti of narasimhA, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati.

Pashupati is a name of narasimhA as per the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad. The brihadAranyaka Upanishad says “yasya prithvi sarIram…yasya atmA sarIram”. The universe and jivAs are the body of Brahman. This means that, just as the body serves the self, it is the nature of the jivAtmA to perform continuous service to Brahman, its master. And such a jivA, a realised jnAni, can be called a paShu, because of his docility and obedience to pati, who is srI Lakshmi narasimhan. Note that Keshava avoids the incident of pArvati pati getting the name “paShupati” during Tripura samhArA from the devas as a result of a boon. This shows that the name paShupati here is used to denote the antaryAmin of pArvati pati only.

These paShus, having no master other than srI Lakshmi narasimha, constantly meditate on his auspicious qualities, signified by the term deva.
This bhagavAn is sarva-karmA. For those paShus who realise they are his body and he is their self, he performs actions that remove their sorrows, as they are his body. The meaning of karma is he who performs actions. The meaning of “sarva” is he who removes the sorrows of his own body (ie, the jivAs) as per srI parAsara bhattar’s vyAkhyAnam for the name “sarva” in the sahasranAmA.
sva sarIra bhUtAnAm asubhamapi srNAti iti sarvah – is the divya vyAkhyAnam of Bhattar for Sarva in sahasranAmA (sarvam sharvas shivas sthAnur).

The antaryAmin of pArvati pati is also known as devadeva which is interpreted by swami rAmAnujar in the Gita when it occurs for Krishna as “One who not only possesses all the auspicious qualities seen in the devas, but also possesses innumerable auspicious qualities NOT present in the devas or anybody else.”

Krishna uses this name to distinguish between pArvati pati and his antaryAmin, as he is addressing the latter. Just as manushyAs are like worms to devas, the devas are like worms to sriman nArAyaNa. That being the case, will he not, in sheer amusement from the loftiness of his position, humor the request of insignificant devas to seek boons from them?

Nammazhwar also says, “Manisarkut tEvar pola tEvarkum tEvAvO”.

He is the Master of the Universe and rescuer of those with deva bhAva (such as prahlAda) from the asurAs. Or, he rescues the devas from asurAs as per his name of “uttaraM” (uttarO gopatir gopta in the sahasranAmA).

bhavAnAdyaH prItidaH prANadashcha |
tasmAddhi tvAmIshvaraM prAhurIshaM
santo vidvAMsaH sarvashAstrArthatajj~nAH ||2-74-24

Meaning: You are the primordial One (bhavAnAdyA). You are bliss  and the life (of your devotees). Therefore the knowers of Brahman, who have realised the meanings of all sAstras declare you to be the Isvara, ie, as One who has the supreme rulership of all living beings and capable of doing anything (prAhurIshaM).

Sarma”, which occurs in the sahasranAma. is the synonym of “Priti”. It is interpreted by bhattar as paramAnanda rUpatvAt.
For prAhurIsham, we take the root IshtE as given by Bhattar that he capable of doing anything. JanardhanA is saying that he (the antaryAmin of pArvati pati, who is himself) is capable of accomplishing astonishing things, even tasks such as seeking boons from lesser deities by praying to the antaryAmin (himself) and thereby giving them fame and respect in the world.

bhUtaM yasmAjjagadatyantadhIra
tvatto.avyaktAdakSharAdakSharesha |
tasmAttvAmAhurbhava ityeva bhUtaM
sarveshvarANAM mahatAmapyudAram || 2-74-25

Meaning: You are the supreme Being (bhUtaM), who prompts the intellect (makes the dharma bhUta jnAnam blossom). You have the jagath (avyakta) as your body, which makes you the Lord of the the unliberated (kshara) and the jivAs who are liberated (akshara). Therefore you are called Bhava. You are the Lord of all beings (because of the above) and are well-known as being generous (udAraH) to your devotees (mahAtmas) having 4 types of goals.

Remember the gita slOka - bhUta bhAvana bhUteSa devadeva jagatpate (Gita 10.15)
Avyakta refers to prakrti. The subalOpanishad (mantra 7) says, “He whose body is Avyakta”. Since he has prakrti as his body and he is the inner self of this prakrti, just as all names that pertain to the body pertain to the Self, he is called avyakta here. The logic of all names for the body also denoting the Self is known as “sAmAnAdhikaraNyam”.

Akshara is the pure form of the jivAs separated from prakrti and hence denotes the liberated ones. The pure self, freed from matter, is imperishable and hence denoted by Akshara. Kshara refers to jivAs from Brahma to a blade of grass who are still associated with prakrti. As the bodies of these jivAs are perishable, ie, modifiable due to transmigration in samsArA, the jivAs inseparably associated with such bodies (due to aprtak siddhi and the logic of sAmAndhikaraNyam as mentioned above) are called Kshara.

The meanings of Avyakta, Akshara and Kshara are as per Gita bhAshya of BhagavAn yatirAjA (Gita bhAshya, 15.16).

bhUta sarvEswara – Lord of all Beings. It is similar to the name “bhUta mahEshwara” which occurs in the Vishnu sahasranAmA. The last line resonates with the gita sloka,

chatur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino 'rjuna arto jijnasur artharthi jnani cha bharatarsabha ~ Gita 7.16

He is known as bhUta sarveswara because he is generous (udAraH) and gives them all puruShArthams – One who seeks wealth that is lost (artO), One who seeks new wealth (arthArthi), One who wants knowledge of the pure Self, ie, the jivAtmA (jignyAsu) and One who is a knower of Brahman (jnAni). BhagavAn  also refers to these 4 types of devotees as su-kritina, ie, very pious, which is same as “mahatma” used in the slOka.

This should be enough to dispel any doubts that Govinda is praising himself, ie, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati here in this stuti. Nammazhwar also says niruttinAn deiva~ngaLAga ad-deiva nAyakan tAnE (tiruvAimozhi 5.2.8).

yasmAjjitairabhiShikto.asi sarvai-
rdevAsuraiH sarvabhUtaishcha deva |
maheshvaraM vishvakarmANamAhu-
stvAM vai sarve tena devAtideva ||2-74-26

Meaning: You (antaryAmin of pArvati pati rudradeva), possessing innumerable auspicious attributes (Deva) have conquered all the devas, asuras and everything that exists. Therefore, the wise call you the Supreme Being (Maheshwara), the creator of the Universe or one who does good deeds for the Universe (Vishwakarma) and as the God of Gods (Devadeva).

By possessing and exhibiting innumerable auspicious guNams, he attracts all jivAs to him. This includes the devas, who meditate on his guNams and even asurAs like shUrpanaka who was attracted by the rUpam of srI rAmA and sisupAla, who despite hating Krishna, meditated on him in that very hate by statements such as “I hate he who has beautiful arms” and so on. He attracts even other beings, as the rAmAyaNa says that when srI rAmA departed for the forest, even plants and trees became sad.

Or, it could mean he conquered all the devas, asurAs and others in battle on various occasions.

pUjyo devaiH pUjyase nityadA vai
shashvachChreyaH kA~NkShibhirvaradAmeyavIrya |
tasmAdvikhyAto bhagavAndevadevaH
satAmiShTaH sarvabhUtAtmabhAvI ||2-74-27

Meaning: Bestower of Boons (varadA)! One who changes everyone while remaining unchanged OR the valiant One (vIrya)! The devas (wise jnAnIs) worship you constantly by always wishing you auspiciousness. You are well known (due to their worship) as the possessor of jnAnam, Shakti, balam, vIryam, aiswaryam and tejas (BhagavAn), as the One who possesses innumerable unique qualities (devadevaH), as the choice of worship by sAttvikAs and as being the inner self of all living entities (sarvabhUtAntarAtma).

Currently, dAmodara is fulfilling a boon to pArvati pati, so it is appropriate that he refers to the antaryAmin as bestower of boons. And since the antaryAmin is narasimhA, one must remember the boons he gave to prahlAda.
One meaning of vIrya is “He who remains unchanged but changes everyone around him”. When srI rAmA was in Ayodhya, even the trees and plants were happy. When srI rAmA left for the forest, the trees and plants lost their sheen although bhagavAn remained happy!

“deva” here refers to jnAnIs who do not seek any purushArtham from him and instead worship him by saying “May you be well! May auspiciousness reign supreme on you.” How can we wish auspiciousness on bhagavAn who is the source of all auspiciousness? The idea is that these jnAnIs, in their immense love for bhagavAn, forget his supremacy and become afraid something would happen to him. Then, they would start trying to protect him by saying “may you live long”, etc. Such “ajnAnam” which results due to “jnAnam” is the true purushArtham. This was exemplified by Periazhwar in his ThirupallAndu divya prabandham.
In yAdavAbhyudaya, swami vedAnta desikan says that after Kalinga nardhanam, Nandagopa prayed for protection and that made him (Nandagopa) a “paramArtha vedin”. The protection that Nandagopa prayed for is that Krishna be protected from all dangers. In his love for Krishna, Nandagopa did not see that his son subdued Kalinga, rather, he felt afraid something may happen to Krishna and started praying for his well-being!

BhagavAn nArAyaNa becomes famous only because of such great devotees. He is devadeva as mentioned earlier and is the chosen deity for worship by sAttvikas, whose minds are not confused by tAmasa purAnAs, wrong interpretations of sAstra or incidents such as this one of Krishna worshipping the antaryAmin of pArvati pati.

nArAyaNa is sarvabhUtAntarAtma. Isha sarvabhUtAntarAtma apahatapApma divyO deva eko nArAyaNaH – says the subalOpanishad.

bhUmitrayANAM deva yasmAtpratiShThA
punarlokAnAM bhAvanAmeyakIrtiH |
tryambaketi prathamaM tena nAma
tavAprameya tridisheshanAtha ||2-74-28

Meaning: One who repeatedly regenerates the worlds from ills due to his incomprehensible sousIlyam (punarlokAnAm bhAvanAmeyakIrti)! One who is beyond reach of the senses (apramEya)! One whose fame is immeasurable! You are the god (deva) who is the foundation of the three worlds. Therefore, Tryambaka is *first and foremost/primarily* your name.

srI parAshara bhattar interprets the nAmas SambhavO bhAvanO in the sahasranAmA as follows – he manifests (takes avatars) due to his sousIlyam which regenerates (bhAvanO) everyone from ills repeatedly. kIrti explained earlier refers to sousIlyam. Ameya means incomprehensible nature (amEyatma).
The above is the meaning for the words “punarlokAnAm bhAvanAmEyakIrti.

The name “Tryambaka” thus, belongs to nArAyaNa as he is the foundation of the worlds. Note the usage of the words “tryambaketi prathamaM tena nAma”. This means, “The name ‘Tryambaka’, despite being taken by some devas like pArvati pati, is primarily your (ie, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati who is narasimha) name and is only a secondary usage for devas like pArvati pati rudra”.

Achyuta uses the word “prathama” to dispel all confusions and show that he is addressing the antaryAmin. All names belong to nArAyaNa only primarily. The devas have named themselves after his various names based on some minor exploits or characteristics of theirs. All names existed before these devas foR nArAyaNa.

This validates the stand of applying all shruti names to nArAyaNa only. Note that Krishna has shown his intelligence in not saying “Tryambaka, the Three Eyed One”. Though Narasimha is 3 eyed and this name can apply to him in that sense also, it could have caused confusion because pArvati pati, who is standing in front of him, has 3 eyes as well. So, bhagavAn gives an alternate interpretation  for the name to dispel all doubts.

 sharvaH shatrUNAM shAsanAdaprameya-
 stathA bUyaH shAsanAchcheshvareNa |
 sarvavyApitvAchcha~NkaratvAchcha sadbhiH
 shabdasyeshAnaH shrIkarArkAgryatejAH ||2-74-29

Meaning: You are sharvA, the destroyer of our sins. You chastise our enemies in incomprehensible ways (shAsaNadapramEya) being the Supreme Chastiser (shAsanAchcheshvarEna). O Supreme Controller as revealed by the veda (shabdasyeshanAH)! One who causes the wealth of kaimkaryam and atma svarUpam to manifest (shrikarA)! One with tejas greater than that of the sun (arkAgryatejAH)! You are all-pervading (sarvavyApi) with auspicious qualities to the brim for the sAttvikas.

Narasimha assumed the form of half man, half lion and without violating the boons of Brahma, accomplished the unbelievable task of killing hiranyakasipu in a way which did not affect the boons. So, the way he gives punishments is incomprehensible to us.

“shrIkara”. Shri refers to wealth of jnAnam, which is nothing but service to bhagavAn nArAyaNa. He himself procures the wealth for us, ie, he is the upAyam as well as the upEyam.

For the asurAs, he appears everywhere, like in a pillar and is frightening to them as a chastiser with ferocious attributes like a half-man, half-lion form. For sAttvikas like prahlAda, he is everywhere like an ever present friend and his kalyAna guNams are ever available to be meditated upon.

saMsaktAnAM nityadA yatkaroShi
shamaM bhrAtR^ivyAnyadvyanaishIH samastAn |
tasmAddevaH sha~Nkaro.asyaprameyaH
sadbhirdharmaj~naiH kathyase sarvanAthaH ||2-74-30

Meaning: You provide comfort and peace to your devotees like PrahlAda. You punish the asurAs like Hiranyakasipu who oppose you as enemies. Hence you, Deva (who is full of vAtsalyam), are called Shankara, of an undefinable and unknowable nature by logical means (apramEya) who can only be experienced.

Shankara is a name of narasimha as per the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad. The description given by HrishikEsha in this sloka suits narasimhA, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati perfectly.

The meaning of “apramEya” is as per sahasranama bhAshya of srI parAshara bhattar. Certainly, the act of bhagavAn in worshipping himself is indeed apramEyam!

dattaH prahAraH kulishena pUrvaM
taveshAna surarAj~nAtivIrya |
kanThe nailyaM tena te yatpravR^ittaM
tasmAtkhyAtastvaM nIlakaNTheti kalpaH ||2-74-31

Meaning: Long ago, you, ie, pArvati pati Rudra who is your (nArAyaNa’s) body was struck (throttled) by the thunder-bolt like grip (kulishena) of the highly valiant nArAyaNa, who is the Lord of jnAnIs/Nitya SurIs and One who knows all (sUrarAjnAtivIrya). As a result, your neck turned dark-blue/black (kanThe nailyam). Due to that, you, that is to say, pArvati pati who is your body, is known as nilakanTha (and hence, is your vibhUti).

This slOka is different from the rest in that it uses the logic of sAmAnAdhikaraNyam which was mentioned earlier. In this slOka, pundarikAksha addresses the antaryAmin as One who has nIlakaNtha as his body. Since the names of the body denote the self and pArvati pati, being a jivAtma (eko ha vai nArAyaNa asIt, na brahma nEshana…) and having nArAyaNa as his indweller (visnor catma bhagavato bhavaH) and also being the body of nArAyaNa as a consequence of this (yasya atmA sarIram), all the names of pArvati pati apply to the antaryAmin. So, the antaryAmin is addressed here by sAmAnAdhikaraNyam and this also directly means that pArvati pati is the vibhUti of nArAyaNa.

Note the intelligence of Krishna. He has avoided mentioning the swallowing of hala-hala incident. Though even that incident of swallowing poison was done by the grace of nArAyaNa, the incident given in this slOka is more explicit in establishing that pArvati pati is a vibhUti of nArAyaNa.

The mahAbHArata describes the incident of a battle between pArvati pati and rishi nArAyaNa (of the nara-nArAyaNa avataras of bhagavAn) at badarikAshrama. It culminated in nArAyaNa throttling Shiva’s neck until it turned black/dark-blue and he attained the name of SitikaNtha.

nilakaNtha and sitikaNtha can be taken as synonyms to mean “dark-blue/black”. By indicating this incident, Krishna shows that all the attributes of pArvati pati are due to the grace of nArAyaNa, his antaryAmin and that pArvati pati is a vibhUti of nArAyaNa.

“SurarAja” and the quality of omniscience are  appropriate descriptions for rishi nArAyaNa avatArA as he preached the inner meanings of sAstra during that avatAram to his sishya and amSa nara.

  yalli~NgA~NkaM yachcha loke bhagA~NkaM
  sarvaM soma tvaM sthAvaraM ja~NgamaM cha |
   prAhurviprAstvAM guNinaM tattvavij~nA-
   stathA dhyeyAmambikAM lokadhAtrIm ||2-74-32

Meaning: Soma! You are this entire world consisting of movables and immovable as you possess the characteristic marks divided two-fold (yaLingANkam) and the 6-fold attributes (bhagANkaM) which the sAstras (loke) describe. The wise men who know these tattvas declare you to be possessed of innumerable auspicious attributes and worship Ambika (Lakshmi), the mother of the world (for attaining you).

“loke” refers to sAstra here and not the world. “sthAvaram jaNgamaM” should be enough to denote he is the world, so interpreting “loke” as “world” is redundant.

“Soma” means One who is like nectar or One who is the cause of all. “somapO amritapas sOmaH” says the Vishnu sahasranAmA, so Soma is a name of Vishnu.

By sAmAnAdhikaraNyam, the entire world is Vishnu because he is their self and they constitute his body. He has ubhayalinga of being devoid of blemishes (akhilahEya pratyanIkatvam) and full of auspicious attributes (samastha kalyAna guNAtmakam). He has the six fold attributes of jnAna, bala, vIrya, Shakti, aishwarya and tejas. All this is mercifully explained lucidly by bhagavad bhAshyakArar, swami rAmAnujar in his sri bhAshya.

Ambika is a name of Lakshmi as it is a common noun for mother or uttama strI with all lakshanas. srI Lakshmi narasimhA is known as “Ambika pathi” in the mahAnArAyaNopanishad and as “umApati” in the same Upanishad as well as narasimha tApanIya Upanishad.

vedairgItA sA hi tattvaM prasUtA
yaj~no dIkShANAM yoginAM chAtirUpaH |
 nAtyadbhutaM tvatsamaM deva bhUtaM
  bhUtam bhavyaM bhavadevAya nAsti ||2-74-33

This is certainly the tattvam (as above) described in the vedas, that you (the antaryAmin of pArvati pati) are the wealth of those who perform sacrifices, initiatory rites and those who meditate and also of extraordinary form. There is no-one who is or will be as wonderful or similar as you who possesses infinite auspicious attributes (deva) in the past, present and future.

na tE pratIma asti” (Of him, there is no likeness) says shrutI. Nammazhwar also says “ottAr mikkAr ilayAya mAmAyA” (There is nobody like my young and great mAyan, ie, sriman nArAyaNa).

There is nobody like him. pArvati pati is insignificant compared to him. Who else would actually consent to seek boons from an insignificant lesser deity? This is his great guNam of sousIlyam.

ahaM brahmA kapilo yo.apyanantaH
putrAH sarve brahmaNashchAtivIrAH |
tvattaH sarve devadeva prasUtA
evaM sarveshaH kAraNAtmA tvamIDyaH ||2-74-34

Meaning: Myself, Brahma, Kapila, Ananta and all the valiant sons of Brahma such as pArvati pati Rudra (for whom you are the antaryAmin), the sanatkumArAs, the prajApatIs and manus – all of us are sprung of you, who are the God of Gods (devadeva). Thus, you are Lord of all (sarvEsha), the causal self (kAraNAtmA) and praiseworthy.

In the above Harivamsa slOka, Krishna says that he and Ananta were created in addition to the others. How so?
The key word is “kAraNatmA”. Here is the explanation. To understand  this slOka, we must first understand a vAkya from the Atharvasiras.

SrI rAmAnujar, in his vedArtha sangraham, quotes the atharvasiras which says, “Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra are effects. One must rather choose to meditate on the Cause, which is Shambhu.”

Shambhu is interpreted by achAryan in this work as nArAyaNa. The name Shambhu also occurs in the Vishnu sahasranAmA and is a common noun. So, the sruti enjoins meditation on nArAyaNa only.

But why mention Vishnu among the others as effects? Because Vishnu is an avatAra of sriman nArAyaNa in the material world and as such, is included in the category of effects. This does not mean he is limited like the other effects – rather, he is identical to nArAyaNa, the Cause, in all respects as evidenced by Vishnu gAyatri. As per sruti vAkya “ajAyamAno bahuda vijAyatE”, he takes avatArams for sport among the material world and is often mentioned along with lesser deities. The Vishnu Purana also says, “the same janArdhana has become Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva”. Here, Brahma and Shiva are jivAs with nArAyaNa as indweller. Vishnu is verily nArAyaNa himself.

It is mentioned to meditate on the cause only in the context of Brahma Vidya. This does not mean one must not meditate on Vishnu.

Similarly, Ananta, ie, Adi Sesha, despite being a nitya sUri (eternally liberated) is mentioned as created and included in effects because his is also an avatAram in the material world. Both bhagavAn and adi sEsha are born of their will (One to protect, the Other to serve the protector at all times) and not due to karma.

Thus, in this slOka, Krishna addresses the antaryAmin of pArvati pati as “kAranAtma”, ie, the Causal self and includes himself, the avatArA and Adi Sesha, who has also descended by his will, in the category of effects. We use the same logic as the atharvasiras.

In fact, the sloka in question is a direct upabrahmaNam (commentary/explanation) of atharvashiras, it even agrees with the shrutyakShara: The sloka says "sarve devadeva prasUtA" while the shruti says "brahmA, viShNu, rudrEndras tE sarvE samprasUyantE". The shruti also says "kAraNam tu dhyEyaH", which is translated here as "evaM sarveshaH kAraNAtmA tvamIDyaH".

The stalwart scholar Sri U. Ve. Krishnaswamy Iyengar asks us here to note the following explicit statement of Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata:

atharvazirasA caiva nityam AtharvaNA dvijAH
stuvanti satataM ye mAM te 'pi bhAgavatAH smRtAH (14_004_3378 - 14_004_3379)

Meaning: (You must) know that those AtharvaNa brAhmaNas who chant the atharvashiras daily as part of their worship of Me are also bhAgavatas, my devotees.
One must note that pArvati pati is also among the valiant sons of Brahma. Swami Periyavacchan Pillai quotes sruti describing pArvati pati as “brahmaNa putrAya jyEshtAya srEshtAya”, ie, pArvati pati rudradeva is the eldest and most excellent son of Brahma.

This causal self, the antaryAmin nArAyaNa of pArvati pati, is praiseworthy even by Krishna. He and Arjuna indeed went to the milk ocean and praised srI mahA Vishnu as per srimad bhAgavatam. SrI rAmA worshipped srI ranganAtha. So, bhagavAn always praises himself and meditates on his own kalyAna guNams.

This concludes the stuti. As one can see, it addresses only sriman nArAyaNa on the pretext of seeking a boon from pArvati pati rudradeva.


BhagavAn composed not one, but two stutis to fulfil the boon to Rudra. This is the second stuti which takes the form of a nAmavali. As usual, BhagavAn addressed all names to the antaryAmin of rudra only, namely, himself.

namaste shitikaNThAya nIlagrIvAya vedhase |
namaste shochiShe astu namaste upavAsine ||3-87-13

Meaning: Salutations to the One of White (Sattvik) Speech and the Black Throated  (Narasimha). Salutations to the one who shines (ie, his effulgence scares the asurAs) and One who stays near (his devotees)

The narasimha tApanIya Upanishad refers to narasimhA as nIlalohita, ie, his tongue/eyes/palms are red and throat is black. In this terrifying form, he destroyed hiranyakasipu with blood curdling roars. But the same bhagavAn is also known as one of sweet and sAttvic speech as he assured Prahlada. Or his roars which terrified Hiranyakasipu were very pleasing to Prahlada. “shiti” means white and refers to sattva guNam. “kaNtha” means sound or voice

There is thus, a reason why bhagavAn (and the veda as well) uses the words “nilagrIva” and “sitikaNtha”. The usage of “griva” intends to show that the actual, ie, physical color of the throat is black. The usage of “kaNtha” is to make us understand that this refers to the voice or sound (as opposed to the neck) and therefore, “white” must be metaphorically taken to signify sattva guNam.

Why does KrishNa begin with Narasimha? The sAstras say that Rudra has Narasimha as his antaryAmin as he (pArvati pati) is constantly meditating on Sankarshana (Narasimha is SankarshanAmsam).

bhAskarO dyUti – his effulgence scares the asurAs as per Bhattar’s vyAkhyAnam for this name in the sahasranAmA.

namaste mIDhuShe astu namaste gadine hara |

namaste vishvatanave vR^iShAya vR^iSharUpiNe ||3-87-14

Meaning: Salutations to the One who showers rain ie, bestows us with all purushArthams (mIDhuShe). Salutations to the One who takes away the sickness (of samsArA).Salutations to the One who is praised in all directions, One who gives blessings to his devotees, of the form of righteous actions (vRsha) and One whose form is dharma (vRsharUpinE).

vishvataH –Arjuna praised bhagavAn’s visvarUpa from all sides in the Gita.

vRsha – occurs in sahasranAma in conjunction with dharma. It refers to his actions to destroy the asurAs and save his devotees.

vRsharUpinE – The name “vRshakrt” in the sahasranAmA is synonymous with this. He is the embodiment of dharma (rAmO vigrahavAn dharma:).

amUrtAya cha devAya namaste.astu pinAkine |
namaH kubjAya kUpAya shivAya shivarUpiNe ||3-87-15

Meaning:  Salutations to He who owns (ie, has as his body) even the forms that are amUrtIs - panchabhUtas, manas, buddhi, jivAtmA, etc (amUrtAya), who is full of vAtsalyam (deva) (as a result of everything being his body and he adheres in even the impurities). Salutations to the One who has srI vaikunta, which abounds in bliss as his body (pinAkine). Salutations to the (daharAkAsan) in the hole in the inverted heart lotus (kubjAya kUpAya), the conferrer of auspiciousness (shivA), of an auspicious nature himself, ie, he is more auspicious than anything else (shivarUpinE).

amUrtAya – the name occurs as “amUrtimAn” in the sahasranAmA and I have used the explanation given by Bhattar in the meaning above.

deva – Refers to his vAtsalya guNam. He abides in this body and the jagath, tolerating the impurities (refer srI varadarAja panchAsath of srI vedAntAchAryar).

pinAkinE – Not only this jagath, he has srI vaikuntA, which abounds in bliss as his body.

“pinakam” is interpreted as srI vaikunta (nAkham) that abounds/overflows/ever increases in bliss ( pi – payate, pIpeti, pIpyAna). PerumAl has such a blissful srI vaikuntam as his body, so he is pinAkin.

kubjAya kUpAya – “kubjA” refers to the inverted heart lotus and “kUpA” is the hole where sriman nArAyaNa abides. This is as per the nArAyaNa suktam.

shiva - A name occurring in the sahasrAmA. nArAyaNa suktam also says “sAsvatam shivam achyutam”. He is the conferrer of auspiciousness.

"sameghayati yan-nityam sarvArthAn sarvakarmasu     |
 sivamicchan manushyAnAm tasmAdesha sivah smrtah    ||

"One who bestows all that is desired always by all His devotees is
called Siva because of this guNa of His". (mahAbhArata Drona Parva 202).”

namas tuShTAya tuNDAya namas tuTituTAya cha |
namaH shivAya shAntAya girishAya cha te namaH ||3-87-16

Meaning: Salutations to He who is full of happiness at being born (tushTa), One who leads his devotees out of samsArA (by being born, ie, tunDa) and who makes frightening noises (to scare the asurAs, so he is tuTituTa).Of a most agreeable form that causes happiness (shivAya shantAya), who is worthy of stOtrA (girishA).

Tushta – Name occurs in sahasranAmA as “tushta pushta subEkshana:”.  As per his own words such as “AtmAnaM manyE dasarathAthmajam”,  He loves being born and identifying himself as the son of dasaratha, etc.

tunDa – means leader. This refers to sAdhu paritrAnAm as he leads his devotees out of samsArA.

tuTituTA – A frightening sound that scares the asurAs – vinAshAya ca duskrtAm . BhagavAn is well-known for intimidating his enemies with ferocious noises. His “hum-kAram” rendered Shiva unconscious in the rAmAyaNa during the vishNu-shiva battle as narrated by paraShurAmA. The same “hum-kAram” defeated the Shaki spear of Skanda when fought against the latter during bAnAsura yuddham. His pAnchajanya ghOsham scared the Kauravas. His roars as Narasimha scared Hiranyakasipu. He took an avatAram as a bull during Tripura Samhara and his bellowing scared the TripurAsurAs. Thus, he scares the asurAs and helps his devotees.

namo harAya viprAya namo hariharAya cha |
namo.aghorAya ghorAya ghora-ghora-tarAya cha ||3-87-17

Meaning: Meaning:  Salutations to the One who takes away (our ills, thus he is Hara), Who is omniscient (knows our sufferings, thus he is viprA). Salutations to he who has a captivating green complexion (as srI rAmA, so he is hariharA). Salutations to One who has auspicious, terrible and terribly terrible forms as his body (aghorA, ghora, ghora-ghora-tarA).

Hara – He takes away our sufferings.

ViprA – His omniscience. srI rAmA is known to suffer when his devotees suffer and be happy when his devotees are happy. So, he is omniscient enough to understand our plight.

Harihara – The name is broken down as follows. “Hari” is interpreted by Bhattar  in the sahasranAmA as pertaining to his green color. “Hara” refers to his nature of being captivating or as one who takes away our gaze (ie, steals our eyes).

iDopahUtam ……. varNaSca me harih SreshThah tasmAd harir-iti smRtah ||
(mahA. SAnti. 343. 39)

"My superior complexion is green, and therefore I am called Hari".
"rUpa audArya guNai: pumsAm drshti citta apahAriNam" - (Sri Rama) attracts the eyes and hearts of beholders by His beauty, generosity, and similar qualities.

Thus, he is Harihara.

Aghora, Ghora, Ghora-Ghora tarA - One who has auspicious, terrible, terribly terrible forms as his body. Besides his own unique divya mangala vigraham, bhagavAn has the entire jagath as his body. The Universe contains many thing and forms that are classed as auspicious, terrible or terribly terrible. So all these forms are his body and he is equated to it by sarIrAtma bhAva and sAmAnAdhikaraNyam.

This occurs in the mahAnArAyaNopanishad as well and has been interpreted this way by srI ranga rAmAnuja muni as follows:

aghorebhyo.atha ghorebhyo ghoraghoratarebhyaH | sarvataH sharvasarvebhyo namaste astu rudraruupebhyaH||

Meaning: O paramAtmA known as Sarva! Obeisance to those auspicious forms of yours (which are your body) that are not terrible, or terrible or terribly terrible. Obeisance to you, who has these forms bestowing good. (~ mahanArAyaNopanishad – 136)

namo.aghaNTAya ghaNTAya namo ghaTighaTAya cha |
namaH shivAya shAntAya girishAya cha te namaH ||3-87-18

Meaning: Salutations to the One who is of the form of the indriyAs (aghaNTa), the objects of enjoyment (ghaNTA) and the body, which is an assemblage of organs (Ghatighata). Salutations to the form of the pure self that is by nature auspicious (Shiva), divested of prakrti (ShAntA) and beyond description (Girisha).

“ghaNTa” means bell in normal cases, but here, it refers to something special. The brihadAraNyaka Upanishad compares the objects of enjoyment to the drum and the indrIyAs to the drum stick. Just as the contact of the stick with the drum makes sound, the contact of indriyAs with the objects of enjoyment results in experience (pain/pleasure).

Here, bhagavAn refers to the same tattvam but uses “ghaNTa”, ie, bell, instead of drum. A bell is also struck with a stick, so the same analogy holds.

ghaNtA – refers to bell, ie, the objects of enjoyment.

aghaNta – that which is not, ie, different from the objects of enjoyment, ie, the indriyAs.

ghaTighaTa - ghaTi refers to pot, ghaTa refers to an assembly. Thus “ghaTighaTa” refers to the body, an assembly of organs. This body is required for the self to experience the object of enjoyment through contact with the indriyAs.

The next three names in this sloka describe the nature of the pure self.

ShivA – self that is auspicious as it is pure and seshabhUtan by nature.

shAntA – peaceful, ie, of the nature of knowledge-bliss when divested of prakrti which causes attachments.

girisha – “giri” refers to speech, “isha” means that the jivA rules over speech,  ie, “girisha” means beyond speech. BhagavAn refers to the individual self as something wondrous in the Gita as well.

He has both the individual selves and their bodies as his body. So, he is equated to both here. This sloka is the same as that of azhwar’s observation – “adiyEn ullAn, udal ullAn”.

namo virUparUpAya purAya purahAriNe |
nama AdyAya bIjAya shuchaye.aShTasvarUpiNe ||3-87-19

Meaning: Salutations to the One who is of the form of various forms, ie, chit and achit as his bodies (virUparUpA), bodies (purA) and the destroyer of the bodies (purahArinE). Salutations to the ancient (AdyA), the support or origin of all naras (bijAya), undefiled by prakrti, ie, its nature is pure (shuchayE), of the form characterised by 8-fold qualities beginning with apahatapApma (ashtasvarUpinE).

virUparUpa – He has the varied achit and chit forms seen in the universe as his body.

purA – Therefore, he is the indweller of the bodies assumed by jivAs due to karma as well.

purahArinE – And thus, he is the destroyer of those bodies as he gives mukti.

AdyAbijyA and ashTasvarUpin refer to the paramAtmA who supports the Universe, but is yet undefiled by prakrti and possesses the 8 auspicious guNas indicating his purity. This is a reference to the ubhayalingas of akhilaheya pratyanikatvam and samastha kalyAna guNAtmakam.
namaH pinAkahastAya namaH shUlAsidhAriNe |
namaH khaTvA~Nga-hastAya namaste kR^ittivAsase ||3-87-20

Meaning: Salutations to the bestower of srI vaikuntA (moksha) that abounds in bliss, salutations to the sustainer (jivAtma) of death (ie, samsArA, so the jivAtma is shUlasidhArI). Salutations to He who holds the staff (khaTvA~Nga-hastA), ie, administers the rules of dharma to punish the wicked and bring protection and happiness to the world. Salutations to He (jivAtmA) who abides in skins, ie, the body (and requires protection).

pinAkahasta – refers to paramAtma. He bestows (hasta) srI vaikuntam (nAkha) that abounds (pi) in bliss. Previously, the name “pinAkin” was used to show that he has the blissful srI vaikuntA as his body. Now, the usage of “pinAkahasta” shows that he bestows that blissful srI vaikuntA to the jivAs.

shUlasidhAriNe – refers to the jivAtma. The jivAtma sustains (dhArin) the samsArA that is known as “death” (shUla) since it is a cycle of births and deaths. It is because of baddha jivAs that samsAra mandalam exists.

khatvAnga hastA – Synonymous to the name “Danda” in sahasranAma – khatvANga hastA. It can be staff of a sanyasi or a symbol of power to punish. Bhattar takes the latter interpretation in his bhAshyam for this name, so adiyEn is following his interpretation here.

kRttivAsasE – wearing a garment of skins. The body, made of skin and hide is like a dress for the jivAtmA.

namaste devadevAya nama AkAsha-mUrtaye |
harAya hari-rUpAya namaste tigmatejase ||3-87-21

Meaning: Salutations to the One who is the god of gods (devadeva), ie, paramAtmA (the eternal, primal One, beyond samsArA). Salutations to the One (the jivAtmA) has the form of pancha bhUtAs beginning with AkAsha as his body (AkAshamUrthi). Salutations to One who takes away our pApams (Hara) and whose nature is that of removing the distress of his devotees by becoming the means (HarirUpa). Salutations to One whose radiance is scorching the asurAs (tigmatEjasE).

Devadeva -  denotes his status as the Lord of all devas, who is beyond samsArA, unborn, ancient and eternal. So it is said:

…The lotus-eyed God of gods, the eternal, abides as the three worlds ... Hari who is beyond thought, abides thus. Madhusudana is there alone' (mahAbhAratA, vana parvA, 88.24-28).

AkAshamUrthy – Even if mentioned alone, “AkAsha” implies all panchabhUtas in general beginning with AkAsha, vAyu, etc and refers to the body of the jivAtmA made of these elements.

HarAya– Hara refers to taking away our sins.

HarirUpA – Why does he take away our sins? Because his essential nature (rUpa) is “hari”, which is to remove the distress of his devotees. In other words, his essential nature is to be the supreme means for the jIvAtma. He is the eternal dharma.

tigmatejas – He removes the distress of his devotees (paritrANAya sAdhunAm) by acting in violence towards the asurAs (viNAshAya ca duskrtAm). He is “bhAskarO-dyUti” – he has scorching radiance which scatters the asurAs

bhaktapriyAya bhaktAya bhaktAnAM varadAyine |
namo.abhramUrtaye deva jagan-mUrtidharAya cha ||3-87-22

Meaning: One who is the beloved of his devotees (bhaktapriyA), One who is the devotee of his devotees (bhaktA), One who bestows all purushArthams to his devotees (bhaktAnAm varadAyI). Salutations to the One with the form with a configuration like a thundercloud signifying his vAtsalya guNa (abhramUrti deva) and the One who sustains the forms constituting the Universe, ie, the baddha jivAs (jagan mUrti dharAya).

abhramUrti  – A form like that of a thundercloud.

Deva – Refers to his vAtsalya guNam.

With a form like a thundercloud, which signifies his vAtsalya guNam, he creates, sustains and destroys the Universe. Nammazhwar also says – manner ulagam padaitha em mugil vaNNanE (thiruvAimozhi 2.2.1) that he creates the jagath with a cloud colored form.

jagan mUrthy dharA -  The baddha jivAs fill up the Universe and hence they are referred to as “jagan mUrthy”, the forms constituting the Universe. Despite their transgressions which evoke his anger, It is due to his vAtsalyam that the jivAs still exist. Without him as their self, they have no existence just as a body is burnt to ashes without the self. This is confirmed by sruti passages such as:

“He who knows Brahman exists. He who does not know Brahman, does not exist”.

“Earth is his body, the jivAtmA is his body.”

“By knowing which everything is known.”

namash-chandrAya devAya sUryAya cha namo namaH |
namaH pradhAna-devAya bhUtAnAM-pataye namaH ||3-87-23

Meaning: Salutations to He who delights his devotees who are scorched by samsArA with his kalyAna guNams  (chandrA) and Salutations to the One who moves like the wind (to save his devotees, so he is sUryaH). Salutations to the foremost god (pradhAna deva) and Salutations to the master of all beings (bhUtAnAm pati).

Chandra - The name “ChandrAmso” occurs in the sahasranAmA and adiyEn used the meaning given by Bhattar.

sUryaH - The name “sUryaH” also occurs in sahasranAmA in the context of adi vahikAs. Bhattar gives the interpretation - vAyuH sadA sarati yasmAt sUryaH.

pradhAna dEva - He is the foremost god (adi mUlam as he responded to GajendrAzhwan) and the master of all beings. So, it is appropriate for him to do the things signified by the Chandra and sUrya nAmams.

bhUtAnAm pati – As the Lord of all Beings, he is acknowledged to be so by all his devotees.

karAlAya cha muNDAya vikR^itAya kapardine |
ajAya cha namastubhyaM bhUtabhAvanabhAvana ||3-87-24

Meaning: One who has a gaping mouth with terrible teeth (karAlA), One who is clean shaven as Buddha (muNDA), One who is strange ie, incomprehensible to the ajnAnIs/kuDrshtIs (vikRitA), One with matted locks as srI rAmA (Kapardin). Salutations to one who is not born (by karma; aja), to the One who is the creator and regenerator of all beings (by being born due to his will; bhUtabhAvanabhAvana).

Each of the first four names shows the ways by which he deals with the asurAs. The previous sloka talked about devotees so this now talks about asurAs.

karAlA - Possessing a gaping mouth and terrible teeth in his vishvarUpa form or as Narasimha with huge teeth, he chews the asurAs such as hiranyakasipu and the kauravas and eliminates them

munDa - With a shaved head as Buddha, he misleads the asurAs

vikRta - To those who possess no knowledge of the sAdhaNa to attain him, he appears strange and distant or even non-existent. The ajnAnIs and kuDrshtIs are of an Asuric svabhAva as well.

Kapardin - Wearing matted locks as srI rAmA, he went to the forest to protect the rishis, to fulfil the prayers of the devas and destroyed the rakshasas in direct combat. That srI rAmA is jaTadhArin (wearer of matted locks) is mentioned many times in the rAmAyaNa, one such pramAnam being as follows:

niriikShya sa muhuurtam tu dadarsha bharato gurum |
uTaje raamam aasiinaam jaTaa maNDala dhaariNam || 2-99-25

niriikSya= looking around; muhuurtam= for a moment; saH bharataH= that Bharata; dadarsha= beheld; gurm= his elder brother; raamam= Rama; aasiinam= seated; uTaje= in the hut; jaTaamaN^Dala dhaariNam= wearing matted locks.

Looking around for a moment, Bharata beheld his elder brother, Rama himself seated in the hut, wearing matted locks.

Aja – Not born out of karma.

bhUtabhAvanabhAvana - These next few names are interpreted in light of “sambhavO bhAvanO” occurring in the sahasranAma – He is born repeatedly of his own will and regenerates the jivAs of all ills – this is the interpretation of Bhattar.

bhUta – beings, bhAvana – creator (bhUta bhAvana bhUtEsa – Gita 10.15), bhAvana – regenerates the jivAs (sambhavO bhAvaNa – sahasranAma bhAshyam).

amo.astu harikeshAya pi~NgalAya namo namaH |
namaste.abhIShuhastAya bhIrubhIruharAya cha ||3-87-25

Meaning: Salutations to the One who has a golden mane as Narasimha (harikEsha) and Salutations to the One who is golden hued due to the presence of srI mahAlakshmi (pin~galA). Salutations to the One who bestowes fearlessness (ie, removes the fear of not attaining him by demonstrating his soulabhyam; abhIshuhasta) and One who takes away our timidity (in approaching him; by virtue of sousIlyam; bhIrubhIruhara).

“namO namaH” is a special salutation directed with reverence to pirAtti in union with perumAl, signified by the term “piNgalA”. Their mithunam is saluted.

harAya bhItirUpAya ghorANAM-bhItidAyine |
namo dakSha-makhaghnAya bhaga-netrApahAriNe ||3-87-26

Meaning: Of the form of taking away fear (of him; for those who follow sAstra; harAya bhItirUpAya) and who instills fear in terrible ways (for those who violate sAstras; ghorANAm bhItidAyinE). Salutations to One who removes the actions of the skilled (indriyAs; dakshamakhAgnA) and takes the eyes of the inherited share (ie, removes the pleasure/pain from experience of the objects of enjoyment; bhaga-nEtrApahArinE).

First two names are reminiscent of “bhayakrt, bhayanAshaNa” in the sahasranAmA. As always, the meanings given by Bhattar fit the context.

Daksha makhAgnA – makhagna refers to killing sacrifice, ie, he is the remover of our actions signified by sacrifice (makhAgna) that are performed by the skilled indriyAs (daksha). Since “daksha” refers to skilled or clever, it means the indrIyAs which are competent to sway the jivAtmA.

bhaganEtrApahArinE -  Bhaga is the inherited share of the sacrifice, ie, the experience of pain or pleasure from the objects of enjoyment due to contact with the indrIyas. Removing the 2 eyes means destroying the pain/pleasure experiences of the jivAtma.

One can ascribe these two names to the jivAtmA as well if he has vairAgyam. But since paramAtmA is the doer of all actions and it is by his grace that the jivA attains vairAgyam, it can be ascribed to bhagavAn as well.

umApate namastubhyaM kailAsa-nilayAya cha |
AdidevAya devAya bhavAya bhavarUpiNe ||3-87-27

Meaning: Salutations to Narasimha, the Lord of Fame (umApati) and whose residence (form or abode) is crystalline or white, ie, sAttvic (KailAsa nilayA). (He is) The cause of all Gods and who subjugates them by his splendour (AdidevA), the One with auspicious attributes (DevA), the One from whom all effects emerge (bhavA), the One who has Bhava (Shiva) as his body (bhavarUpinE).

He possesses the fame (uma) of bestowing brahmAnandam. SrI perukkaranai swami interprets “yashas” as the fame to bestow brahmAnandam, so adiyEn used that interpretation.

namO hiranyabAhavE umApatayE ambikApatayE” – mahAnArAyaNa Upanishad describes sriman nArAyaNa in his form as Narasimha by the name of umApati. So does the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad.

kailAsa nilaya – kailAsa is a  variant of kElasa and refers to crystal. nilayA – he abides in that crystalline form.

The form of the Lord which is like crystal. “Suddha Spatika maNI bhUbhruth PrathibhaDam” as per swami desikan  – ie, his body looks like a hill of pure white crystal, signifying that it is jnAnAndamaya, aprAkrtam and suddha sattvam, hence also subhAshrayam.

Alternatively, “kailAsa nilaya” refers to his residence in srI vaikuntha which is of the nature of “crystal” in that it is pure and suddha sattva in nature. Thus, “kailAsa” is the name of the supreme abode. “nArasimhah vapuH srimAn” – he resides as Narasimha in that pure abode.

Adideva – Bhattar vyAkhyAna for adidevO mahAdevO in the sahasranAmA has been used here. As Narasimha, he subjugated Rudra who appeared as Sarabha and terrified the gods themselves.

bhavA – He who is Narasimha is the cause of the gods.

bhavarUpiNE – He has Shiva as his body. “Bhava” is the name of Shiva as he produces knowledge of Brahman. Narasimha is the inner controller of that Bhava and empowers the latter with this attribute.

namaH kapAlahastAya namo.aja-mathanAya cha |
tryambakAya namastubhyaM tryakShAya cha shivAya cha ||3-87-28

Meaning: Salutations to (Narasimha) the ever-vigilant protector of Brahma (kapAlahasta) and to the destroyer of ignorance as Sankarshana (aja-mathanA). One who is the foundation of the three worlds (Tryambaka), One who has three eyes as Narasimha (and hence removes the tApatrayam; TryAksha) and who confers auspiciousness this way (to the three worlds; shivA).

kapAlahasta – split as kaH (Brahma), pAla (protector), hasta – ever ready (to protect). Hasta must be interpreted metaphorically as ever ready. The Lord killed Hiranyakasipu without violating the boons of Brahma and thereby protected the authority of Brahma.

aja -  “ja” means light, so “aja” means ignorance. . In that form as Narasimha, he is verily Sankarshana, the vyUha with the attributes of jnAna and balam, who destroys ignorance.

“yo brahmaNam vidadhati pUrvam…saraNam aham prapadyE” – the svetAsvatArA Upanishad performs prapatti to bhagavAn this way.

As he is the foundation of the three worlds, he possesses three eyes as Narasimha to remove the tApatrayam. This is stated in srI kAmAshikAshtakam by srI nigamAntha mahA desikan as follows:

Thapane  indhwagni nayana ThapAn apachinothu na,
ThapanIyas rahasyanAm sara Kama shikhA hari

This kAmAshika Hari, who is the essence of the narasimha tApanIya Upanishad, will remove our tApatrayam (three-fold sufferings) by his three eyes (Sun, Moon, Agni). (~kAmAshikAshtakam).

varadAya vareNyAya namaste chandrashekhara |
nama idhmAya haviShe dhruvAya cha kR^ishAya cha ||3-87-29

Meaning: The grantor of  vaidika purushArthams  (varadA), the most desirable (of purushArthams; vareNya), the One who shines brilliantly at the peak (of the vedAntA; thus he is ChandrashekarA). Salutations to One who makes my sacrifice (sAdhaNa) steady/permanent  (idhmAya haviShe dhruvA) and One who is of the form of ploughing (ie, the upAyam;  kRishA).

ChandrasekharA – “Chandra” refers to brilliant lustre. “Sekharam” is the peak. Thus, he is sruti sirasI vidiptE (luminous at the peak of sruti) as stated by bhagavad bhAshyakArar in the srI bhAshya mangala sloka.

Dhruva – Bhattar interprets this name in sahasranAma as follows – he made a permanent abode for dhruva, so he is everywhere and makes anywhere permanent like sri vaikuntam. He is stationary or fixed.

This sloka says that bhagavAn, being the goal of vedAntA, is thus the bestower of all purushArthams for aishwaryArtIs and kaivalyArtIs. In addition, he himself is the greatest purushArtham for the jnAnIs. The jnAnIs are two-fold, ie, the upAsakas (signified by idhmAya haviShe dhruvAya) and prapanns (signified by kRishA). Thus, bhakti and prapatti are the two ways prescribed by the SastrAs to attain this ChandrasEkharan.

namaste shaktiyuktAya nAgapAshapriyAya cha |
virUpAya surUpAya madya-pAna-priyAya cha ||3-87-30

Meaning: Salutations to One who is endowed with immense power (Sakti yuktA), who is fond of (ie, resides in) the coils of Adi Sesha (ie, he reclines in the milk ocean; nAgapAshapriyA). Of variegated forms (prakrti; virUpa) and knowledge forms (the self; surUpa), ie, prakrti and jivAs which are his body), fond of honey (ie, the jivAtma that is food for Brahman and prakrti which is used for sport; madhupAnapriyA).

SaktiyuktA – This refers to the name “mahAsaktiH” in the sahasranAmA – bhattar says that he possesses immense power as he is the nimitta and upAdana kAraNa.

nAga pAsha priyA - BhagavAn, lying on Adi Sesha in the milk ocean, creates the universe beginning with Brahma. So, the being in the milk ocean, who loves the coils of Adi Sesha as his bed, is referred to here as the creator.

virUpa – refers to prakrti, which has manifold forms with varying proportions of sattva, rajas and tamas.

surUpa – refers to intelligence and hence is the jivAtmA which is jnAnAnanda mayam.

He is both these as they are his body. And because of sarira-sarIri sambandham, both these are his property and exist for his pleasure, hence they are termed madhu pAnam and he is madhu pAna priya.

shmashAna-rataye nityaM jaya-shabda-priyAya cha |
khara-priyAya kharvAya kharAya khara-rUpiNe ||3-87-31

Meaning: One who abides in the crematorium (samsArA) permanently and who loves mangalAsAsaNams of pallAndu (signified by Jaya sabdam). One who loves to hurt (the wicked; kharapriyA), who is imperfect (in administering punishments to his devotees or acknowledging the faults of his devotees; kharvA), who is sharp (in removing the sins of his devotees; kharA) and of a dense form (ie, inscrutable; khararUpinE).

A crematorium is the place of death and hence, samsArA, which is often known as “mrtyu” and is the place of deaths, is a crematorium. He stays here in his vyUha, vibhava, antaryAmin and archa forms permanently. The purpose of his residence here is to hear his devotees praise him with words like “pallAndu”, “tOtrom” or “jaya” (which are synonyms as per swami periyavAcchan pillai’s vyAkhyAnam on thirupallAndu). And hearing these praises, he destroys the obstacles that impede his devotees and is ignorant to their faults.

Khara – hurtful, sharp, dense. Kharva – Imperfect.

Khara-priyA – The name “naikasRngaH” means He has several devices to bring about the fall of his enemies as interpreted by Bhattar in the sahasranAmA. “Khara” means to hurt.

Kharva – He is imperfect as he is ignorant of the faults of his devotees.

kharA- Refers to the name KuntaH in the sahasranAmA (as per one reading) – One who is like the sharp spear in removing the sins of his devotees (nin kayil vEl poRRi ~ ThiruppAvai). “Khara” means to be sharp.

Khara-rUpinE – “Khara” means dense and hence, this name implies that he is of an inscrutable nature. He is inscrutable as despite being supreme, he still appears helpless and ignorant in vibhava and archa forms at times and requires mangalAsAsanams like “may you live long” (despite being beyond death). His actions in being blind to the doShams of his devotees and killing the asurAs are also inscrutable. “AmEyatma” and “ApramEya” in the sahasranAmA describe this inscrutable nature of his.

bhadra-priyAya bhadrAya bhadra-rUpa-dharAya cha |
virUpAya surUpAya mahAghorAya te namaH ||3-87-32

Meaning: One who loves all good things (ie, stava, stOtrA, adherence to sAstra, etc; bhadra-priyA), One who is all good things and who sustains in a good way (ie, he shines and makes everyone shine; bhadrA). Salutations to the One of unnatural (ie, very odd combination of man and lion) form (virUpA), of a beautiful form (despite being odd; surUpa), highly venerable (ie, worthy of meditation – subhAshraya; mahAghorA).

This is a description of Narasimha, the antaryAmin of pArvati pati, as per the mantra rAja pada stOtrA.

yasmAth bhadro bUtva sarvadA bhadram dadAti
rocano rocamAna: Sobana: SobamAna: kalyANa:|
bhadram karNebhi SruNuyAma devA bhadram paSyemAkshabhiryajatrA:|
sthirangaistushTuvAmsastanUbhir-vyasema devahitam yadAyu:|
tasmaducyate bhadramiti|| (~mantra rAja pada stOtra).

virUpA – Very odd appearance. Bhattar says in the sahasranAma bhAshya for “nArasimha vapuH srImAn:” – His form as a half-man, half-lion was very odd and mismatched.

surUpA – Bhattar adds - And yet, that odd form was so beautiful that no-one would want to look at an ordinary man or an ordinary lion again after seeing him!

ghorA – means venerable.

ghaNTAya ghaNTabhUShAya ghaNTa-bhUShaNa-bhUShiNe |
tIvrAya tIvra-rUpAya tIvra-rUpa-priyAya cha ||3-87-33

Meaning: One who shines (ghaNTa), Who is a shining ornament (ie, he makes everything shine by his luster; ghaNTabhUShA), who wears shining ornaments (ghaNTabhUShaNabhUShiNe). One who is strong (tIvrA) , of a fierce form (tIvra-rUpA), who loves the self that is knowledge by nature (like prahlAda; tIvra-rUpa priyA).

The first part (ghaNtAya…)  is also as per the above mantra rAja pada stOtram (Sobana: SobamAna: kalyANa). The Upanishads call Narasimha as “hiranyabAhavE”, ie, One whose arms are decorated with golden ornaments.

ghaNTati – ghaNT.

tIvra, tIvra rUpA - This part describes his strength and fierce nature as Narasimha. He is “bhIshanam” as per the mantra rAja pada stOtrA.

tIvrarUpapriyA – Strength is a metaphor for knowledge. “tIvra-rUpA” refers to the jivAtma of the nature of knowledge.

nagnAya nagna-rUpAya nagna-rUpa-priyAya cha |
bhUtAvAsa namastubhyaM sarvAvAsa namo namaH ||3-87-34

Meaning: One who is naked (as Buddha; nagna), One who is of a barren nature (for the asurAs; nagna rUpA), One who loves to appear new (for his devotees ie, his qualities keep renewing and seeming ever fresh for his devotees; nagna rUpa priyA). Salutations to the One in whom all beings reside (bhUtAvAsa), One who is the indispensable support for his devotees (sarvAvAsa).

Nagna - “The naked One” refers to his Buddha avatArA as follows:

tato digambaro muNDo barhi-patra-dharo dvija |
mAyA moho'surAn SlakshNam idam vacanam abravIt ||
(~ VishNu PurAnA 18.2)

"Approaching the daitya-s engaged in ascetic penances, He approached them in the semblance of a naked mendicant, with his head shaven, and carrying a bunch of peacock's feathers, and addressed them in gentle accents thus.”

Nagna rUpA - He is barren for the asurAs as they either are disallowed from comprehending his glories, do not receive any benefits from him or themselves declare him to be very distant or devoid of qualities, form or even existence.

nagna-rUpa-priya – he loves to appear in newer forms and showing newer qualities to his devotees. “Appodhaikappodhu en ArAvamudhamE” – says Nammazhwar.

bhUtAvAso, sarvAsunilayA are names that occur in sahasranAma and they match the names “bhUtavAsa, sarvAvAsa” in the sahasranAmA. I have used the meanings given by Bhattar for these names here.

namaH sarvAtmane tubhyam namaste bhUtidAyaka |
namaste vAmadevAya mahAdevAya te namaH ||3-87-35

Meaning: Salutations to One who is omnipresent (sarvAtmA). Salutations to One who bestows existence (bhUtidAyaka). Salutations to One who is auspicious (vAmdEvA). Salutations to One who being superior to all the Gods, sports with them, ie, he gives us the means to reach him and the lIla is that he is amused when we do not use this means to reach him (mahAdEvA).

bhUti – existence. By being omnipresent as the inner self of all, he makes everything exist.

mahAdEvA – Bhattar interprets this name in the sahasranAmA as one who is greater than the gods, to whom the gods are playthings, who gives the means to reach him to everyone and becomes amused when they do not use it to reach him!

kA nu vAk-stuti-rUpA te ko nu stotuM prashaknuyAt |
kasya vA sphurate jihvA stutau stutimatAM vara ||3-87-36

Meaning: Who can praise him sufficiently with words? Who knows how to praise him in the choicest manner?

Obviously, srI krishNa, the speaker, is also not qualified to praise himself completely! As his qualities are infinite, even he himself cannot praise himself fully.

kShamasva bhagavan-deva bhakto.ahaM trAhi mAM hara |
sarvAtman-sarvabhUtesha trAhi mAM satatam hara||3-87-37

Meaning: One who possesses auspicious qualities and hence worthy of place! Help me, a devotee to praise you adequately as you are One who captivates me by his guNams! As you are omnipresent and the Lord of all beings (including me, as I am an avatAra and you are the avatArin), help me to praise you continuously, as you are the One who takes away our gaze by your sheer beauty.

BhagavAn has worshipped himself many times. SrI rAmA worshipped srI ranganAtha and srI Krishna worshipped srI mahAvishnu in the milk ocean as well as this current stuti which is addressed to the antaryAmin of pArvati pati. Thus, he is his own devotee certainly and addresses himself here as such. He needs his own help to praise himself, as Arjuna says “you know yourself by yourself”. He is thus, self-established.

He, the avatArA, is included in the effects of the avatArin, the cause, and as such, he refers to the antaryAmin as the Lord of all beings, including himself.

Hara – he takes away our gaze by his sheer beauty.

rakSha deva jagannAtha lokAn sarvAtmanA hara |
trAhi bhaktAn sadA deva bhaktapriya sadA hara ||3-87-38

Meaning: You are One who protects everyone by virtue of his vAtsalyam, as you are the Lord of the Universe (and everything is your property). As you are present everywhere in the sAstra (ie, you are the One praised by all the sAstras), please remove the ignorance of the jivAs (and give them knowledge of you). Help all your devotees always as you possess the effulgence to scatter the asurAs. You are ever loved by your devotees as you destroy their sins and thereby give them the bliss of eternal service in sri vaikunta.

The name bhaskarO dyuti is interpreted by Bhattar in the sahasranAmA as  One who possesses effulgence to scatter the asuras.

The first “hara” refers to removal of ignorance of jivAs. The second “hara” refers to destruction of the sins of his devotees (thereby giving them moksha).

Note that bhagavAN does not say “help me” here. Since he does not require destruction of sins or ignorance (possessing none), obviously he doesn’t ask for help here. He only wants help to praise himself adequately!

Thus, this beautiful stuti is authored by bhagavAn for himself only. One can note that if we interpret this stuti at a face value to pArvati pati, none of the names indicate any form of paratvam. Even names like jagannatha (applied in a sense to indicate Rudra as a great lord managing the affairs of the universe) and sarvatma (whose mind, ie, intellect or dharma bhUta jnAnA denoted by “atma” pervades everywhere) do not indicate paratvam.

But the intention of KrishNa is to praise himself here and hence, this interpretation best suits the stuti.


  1. "In reality, the purAnAs say that pArvati pati had asked for a boon from Vishnu that in one of his avatArAs, Vishnu would worship him (Shiva) for boons so that he (Shiva) would command respect in the world. The gracious bhagavAn nArAyaNa, who fulfills the wishes of his devotees, agreed."

    What purana(s) say(s) this? Could you please provide the verse number if possible?

    1. At this juncture, may I note something with amusement - even if we give a 100 solid proofs, our readers are determined (either by true bias or by a nagging doubt) to find some sort of hole. In ths article, we have given pramAnAs from shanti parva where krishNa says he worshipped himself (the antaryAmin) by worshipping rudra, and we have interpreted names like "tryambaka", "kapAla hasta", "kailAsa nilaya", "pinAki", etc as names of vishNu. And yet, our readers do not have any questions on that, but zero in on an insignificant comment like "purAnAs say shiva asked for a boon" and are not willing to take our word for it!

      Whatever. Some trust would be nice once in a while.

      Shiva himself requests for this boon. This is quoted by both sri vaishnavas and mAdhwas. Credit goes to srI keshava rao tadipatri for recording it on the internet in the dvaita lists...actually, I had read it in the works of the sri vaishnava vidwAn srI PB AnnangarAchAriar swAmi in passing and forgot where it was.

      Shiva prays to vishNu thus in the padma purAna:

      anyadevaM varaM dehi prasiddhaM sarvajantuShu |martyo bhUtvA bhavAneva mama sAdhaya keshava ||mAM bhajasva cha devesha varaM matto gR^ihANa cha |yenA.ahaM sarvabhUtAnAM pUjyAtpUjyataro.abhavam.h ||

      "Please give me this boon. By incarnating on Earth, Oh Lord, worship me and get boons from me. From this, I will become worship-worthy to all the beings.

      Bhagavan grants this boon to Rudra and says that he will make Rudra be known as "varada" (bestower of boons) by worshipping Rudra in his avatArAs (in succeeding verses).

      The kUrma purAna also states the same thing, but srI vaishnava acharyas (and mAdhwas as well) quote the rudra gIta section of the varAha purAna where the same incident of shiva getting the boon of being worshipped by bhagavAn is mentioned. I believe srI vedAnta desikan mentions this somewhere in his chillarai rahasya granthas.

      Please look up the verse numbers as we have a lot of work and cannot wade through the shAstra at the moment (and a lot of other articles are in the pipeline for this blog). We do all the ground work here in this blog, but we do expect some readers to evince interest on their part and try to actually find things out for themselves. In any case, all prAcIna vaidikas have quoted these sections and hence, they are authentic.

      Furthermore, the shAnti parva section itself where krishNa so patiently explains to Arjuna that Brahma and Rudra were created by him, that they are mere agents and not independent, that he (KrishNa) worshipped only the antaryAmin of rudra and not the devata itself, should suffice.

    2. Dear sir, I think you had misunderstood me. I am a vaisnava and I was just requesting for the purana verse for people who may not agree with what you had said, since I had come upon a person who didn't believe me. Trust me, I use your articles as proof for family members who are not vaisnava. I did not intent to display you as untrustworthy. I apologize if I may have angered you, and I will not post anymore to avoid any conflict. Thank you for replying to my question. Hare krishna

    3. Do not get sensitive. Recently we have had mischievous elements posing as vaiShnavas and sending us messages in an attempt to fool us. That is why I made that comment. The way you phrased that comment, nobody could glean anything from it.

      It is your discretion to ask questions or not. If we had thought it was inappropriate, we wouldn't have allowed it.

      I was merely pointing out that the article covers so many things that if anyone refuses to believe this and asks for some verse numbers, ignoring the main part of the article which uses logic and pramAna to establish the position, it simply indicates that these people will never accept the truth. My two cents on this.

      You are welcome to post or not post. Please note that just as readers have full right to doubt our integrity and question us to make sure, we too reserve the right to publicly question the intention and integrity of the readers. Such tattva vichAra should be taken in the right spirit.

    4. Yes sir, I totally understand. You guys have already had many people trying to fool you and waste your time, and so you certainly have the right to question the intention of the readers. The way I worded it did seem that I was playing around and whatnot, when my intention was not to. Next time I will make sure to word it correctly and use my initials (KK) so you guys can identify me next time. Sorry for the confusion. Best of luck on this blog and your work. Hare Krishna

    5. Dear Sri KK, could not help appreciating the humility You have exhibited. Very great!

  2. If Sriman nArAyana is praying to himself in Shiva then it will be the same when Shiva prays to nArAyana also. This is because prayers of Shiva must arise from his antaryAmi nArAyana only. There is no need to show Shiva or jnyAni as inferior in order to show nArAyana as superior.
    Sriman nArAyana is supreme because he makes Shiva/jnyAni/bhAgavatha also supreme. Infact in VA tradition bhAgavatha is considered superior to Bhagavan also. From that point Shiva as a bhAgavatha can be superior to nArAyana also. Knowledgeable people see nArAyana in all names and forms.

    Suresh Srinivasamurthy

    1. If you say, "The prayers of Shiva must arise from his antaryAmi nArAyaNa only", then you are implying that the jIva has absolutely no free will since everything is done by the antaryAmi Ishvara.

      Yes, nArAyaNa is seen in all names and forms, not Shiva, etc. The waves are contained in the ocean and the ocean pervades the waves. Not the other way round. And nArAyaNa is inside not just Shiva, but also in every moving and unmoving thing in the universe. That doesn't make every moving and unmoving thing equal to nArAyaNa, does it?

    2. Is there any difference between the will of a jnyAni/Bhagavatha and Bhagavan? If nArAyana is seen in all names/forms why not through Shiva? waves are water only right?


    3. Ultimately all sankalpams arises from antaryAmi Bhagavan only. Jiva is only a nimitta Karana right? So Shiva as a jiva is only a nimitta. So why can't it be said that his prayers have their roots in the antaryAmi bhagavan only?


    4. // waves are water only right? //

      You are stretching the analogy too far IMO.

      // So why can't it be said that his prayers have their roots in the antaryAmi bhagavan only?//

      Your understanding seems totally confused. Please read Shankara's Bhashya to 2.3.41-42 as well as the corresponding Sri Bhashyam portion.

      "Antaryami causing the Jiva to act" only means "Jiva takes sankalpa, and the antaryAmi, who is capable to stopping that action, allows the actions be they good or bad actions".

    5. The impulse to act arises from a jIva's free will, but the antaryAmi allows that activity and desists from stopping even if He can (by sending the body into coma etc.), and hence the Jiva is able to act according to his own volition.

      "nimitta mAtraM bhava" etc. is only to engender the bhAva of kartR^itva-buddhi-tyAga and phala-tyAga for actions done in accordance with the scripture. One does not beg for mercy from the Lord for sinful activities by saying "Oh Lord, you are the one who did this and I am just an agent." Please do not confuse concepts.

    6. A very simple question. Aren't you a form of nArAyaNa? You are also an effect like shiva, a jivAtma - Then why doesn't anyone worship you? By that logic even rAvaNa and hiranyakasipu are worshipable.

      Jivas have free will. If the will of a bhagavatam matches bhagavan's will, it means he is a devotee and worthy of being worshipped as a guru. Only the *respect* given to a jnAni is equal to that of paramAtma, but the jnAni does not become possessed of sarvasaktitva, sarvagatatva etc. We worship srI rAmAnuja's as greater than bhagavan, but that doesn't mean srI rAmAnuja becomes all pervading lord. It just means that as an Acharyan, he is the most exalted vibhUti (property under the control) of bhagavan.

      I now resolve to do what bhagavan wants me to. Will you now worship me and meditate on my head as the vaisvAnara fire, my chest as the dyu lokaH etc in the manner the Vedas prescribed meditation on nArAyaNa. Because by your logic, I am also a form of nArAyaNa and take my word for it, my will is identical to his!

      If the will of a jivAtma does not match bhagavan, then that jivAtma is a rAvaNa or hiranyakasipu.

      All names are his names. All forms are his forms, but only due to the body-soul analogy. His unique form is suddha sattva and distinct from aprAkrta forms like shiva and myself. Just as my chest cannot be meditated as the dyu lokaH neither can Shiva's because our bodies are products of karma and asubhAsraya.

      The basic tenet of vedAnta is that a jivAtma is distinct, ie, different from paramAtma. The form of shiva is made of prakrti and not suddha sattva like nArAyaNa. Hence shiva, like you and me, is not worthy of meditation as he is not subhAsraya. nimitta kAraNatva does not mean identity; by saying everything is his form, it only means sAmAnAdhikaraNyam or inseparable association like the self and body. Worshipping shiva independently is like considering the body without the self.

      Devas are a race of beings in this world like humans, plants, animals etc. Their bodies are made of the same stuff as we are and they have karma. Do do not confuse it with nArAyaNa. Shiva is worshipable as a guru for advaitins and Dvaita s, but not as paramAtma. For vishishtadvaitins, Shiva is a jnAni in the sense of being a bhakti yogi but is not even a bhagavata (prapanna) and hence is also not worshipped as a guru.

      Your theories on waves and nimitta kAraNatva are wrong and do not reflect a basic understanding of vedAnta. Please get some textbooks on Vishishtadvaita or Dvaita, whoever you prefer, read what they say and then come back.

    7. "waves are water only right?"

      The wave analogy does not extend to comparing the material. Just as the wave is an inseparable attribute of the ocean, Shiva is an inseparable attribute of paramAtma. This example in the texts is only used for explaining aprtak Siddhi (inseparability) and not for anything more. Waves cannot exist without the ocean and depend on the ocean for its existence. That's all we gain from it.

      Then to dispel theories like the one you mentioned, shastra says "yasya Atma sarIram". The jiva is the body of paramAtma. So just as the body is inferior to and serves the individual self, the insividual self is inferior to and serves the paramAtma. Body and self are not made of the same stuff here.

      Analogies have a context and should not be stretched beyond that. Wave-ocean analogy only shows the inseperable existence of jivAtma with paramAtma and lack of existence away or without the independent paramAtma. The body soul analogy shows the dependence, inferiority and servitude of the jiva as compared to paramAtma.

    8. Sri rAmAnuja also points out the body soul example is the most complete analogy that subsumes other analogies in the text too.

    9. Nice clarifications, Swami. Dhanyosmi.

  3. There is no need to put down any being in order to establish the supremacy of sriman narayana. If He is supreme then the entire jagat which is his kshetra/body is also supreme. Uttamapurusha in Sanskrit always points to atma shabda which does not exclude the jiva and jada associated as shareera with paramAthma. Bhagavan alone is identified through shareera. So your idea of seeing dosha in others is similar to dvaita Vedanta and is not compatible with total sattvic view of bhagavad ramanuja.


    1. Do you think Ramanuja's preceptor Yamunacharya (in AgamaprAmANya etc.), Ramanuja himself (Sribhashya Pashupatadhikarana, Vedartha Sangraha, etc.), Koorathazhwan (any of his numerous works), Parasara Bhatta (Bhagavad Guna Darpana), and Vedanta Desika (any of his innumerable works) contradicted Ramanuja, since they established Vishnu's supremacy by comparing Vishnu to Shiva and showing both Vishnu's blemishless nature and Shiva's blemishes?

      You have to stop this foolish combination of wishful thinking and half-baked knowledge of Ramanuja's work.

      There is no putting down of anyone. To say that you are not the PM of India is not putting you down.

      I am not going to approve your comments if you keep beating around the bush on this topic. This would not be the correct platform for that. I'm sorry.

    2. So here comes the real agenda. Another shaiva posing as a sri vaishnava. Now readers will believe us when we say we get nuisance emails and prefer anonymity.

      Funny, so the whole jagat is supreme? I guess you are also without blemishes? I suppose then even trash on the road is worshipable as it is the body of brahman.

      FYI, if something is a body of another, it means according to Sri Desika that 1) it is inseparably associated with, dependent, inferior to and serves the entity which is the self, 2) The names which denote the body in its ultimate analysis denote the self, 3) Calling the self and body by the same name only emphasises that the body has no separate existence and depends on the self, 4) Any identification like "I am Brahman" made by the jiva which is a sharIra is an indication of the realisation of seshatvam or servitude and any statement of " I am jivA" made by paramAtma is an indication of his inseparable association with the jiva as his body, which he controls 5) The body is owned and controlled by the self and hence is a vibhUti of the self, 6) Actions done to please the body only please the self and hence independently worshipping the body is a avidhi pUrvakam or wrong worship, 7) Being sentient, the jiva must realise by meditation that he is a servant of bhagavan just as the body serves the self, 8) Being in sentient, prakrti is incapable of servitude but remains dependent and controlled at will by paramAtma as it also is his body, 9) The jiva must strive to attain a high level of servitude by realisation of this body self relationship that he attains pAratantryam - becoming so servile that he acts like an in sentient, completely obeying paramAtma.

      And the most important point is this - if the jiva and jagat is the body and paramAtma is the self, does that not mean doShas of the body affect the self? To that, the Acharyas say, it is so only in the case of the individual jivA which has acquired bodies like deva, manuShya etc by karma. ParamAtma on the other hand, has associated with jivas and jagat out of his own will and is free of karma. He associates with the jiva's as his body to make them exist as they cannot do so without him. So the dependence is not reciprocal as paramAtma can remain full of perfections even without a body.

      The Acharyan quotes "eSha sarvabhUtAntarAtma apahata-pApmA divyo deva eko nArAyaNa" - the lord nArAyaNa is sinless and the self of all. Rudra on the other hand is "anapahatapApma" or not freed of sins as per shastra. So, one is sinful and the body of the sinless. The sinless lord does not accrue the doshas of the sinful as he is free of such blemishes by nature. The sinful rudra is not paramAtma but only inseparablly associated with nArAyaNa to exist.

      Shaiva nowadays seem to like posing as sri vaishnavas and hilariously misinterpreting vishishtadvaita. A new trend.

    3. here comes the real agenda. Another shaiva posing as a sri vaishnava. Now readers will believe us when we say we get nuisance emails and prefer anonymity.

      Funny, so the whole jagat is supreme? I guess you are also without blemishes? I suppose them even trash on the road is worshipable as it is the body of brahman.

      FYI, if something is a body of another, it means according to Sri Desika that 1) it is inseparably associated with, dependent, inferior to and serves the entity which is the self, 2) The names which denote the body in its ultimate analysis denote the self, 3) Calling the self and body by the same name only emphasises that the body has no separate existence and depends on the self, 4) Any identification like "I am Brahman" made by the jiva which is a sharIra is an indication of the realisation of seshatvam or servitude and any statement of " I am jivA" made by paramAtma is an indication of his inseparable association with the jiva as his body, which he controls 5) The body is owned and controlled by the self and hence is a vibhUti of the self, 6) Actions done to please the body only please the self and hence independently worshipping the body is a avidhi pUrvakam or wrong worship, 7) Being sentient, the jiva must realise by meditation that he is a servant of bhagavan just as the body serves the self, 8) Being in sentient, prakrti is incapable of servitude but remains dependent and controlled at will by paramAtma as it also is his body, 9) The jiva must strive to attain a high level of servitude by realisation of this body self relationship that he attains pAratantryam - becoming so servile that he acts like an in sentient, completely obeying paramAtma.

      And the most important point is this - if the jiva and jagat is the body and paramAtma is the self, does that not mean doShas of the body affect the self? To that, the Acharyas say, it is so only in the case of the individual jivA which has acquired bodies like deva, manuShya etc by karma. ParamAtma on the other hand, has associated with jivas and jagat out of his own will and is free of karma. He associates with the jiva's as his body to make them exist as they cannot do so without him. So the dependence is not reciprocal as paramAtma can remain full of perfections even without a body.

      The Acharyan quotes "eSha sarvabhUtAntarAtma apahata-pApmA divyo deva eko nArAyaNa" - the lord nArAyaNa is sinless and the self of all. Rudra on the other hand is "anapahatapApma" or not freed of sins as per shastra. So, one is sinful and the body of the sinless. The sinless lord does not accrue the doshas of the sinful as he is free of such blemishes by nature. The sinful rudra is not paramAtma but only inseparablly associated with nArAyaNa to exist.

      Shaiva nowadays seem to like posing as sri vaishnavas. A new trend.

  4. He has emailed us with more absurdities. Let us take a look.

    ---The aprithak siddha vishesha and atma-shareera bhava itself is used to show the origin of jiva/shiva's sankaplam is paramAthman only.---

    That relationship only shows the jiva has no separate existence from paramAtma. However, the jivAtma is an intelligent sentient being and can think for itself. Hence, this means - paramAtma allows the jiva to exist as a sentient being, allows it to think for itself and allows it to act as per it's thoughts. That is why shiva sometimes worships bhagavan and sometimes fights him. It is prakrti which is in sentient and cannot think for itself. Hence paramAtma uses prakrti like a toy. Your distortion of a statement is incorrect.

    ParamAtma, being the self van exist independently of the jivA. That is the point of saying "antar bahisca tat sarvam" - he exists inside the jiva controlling it and outside in the sense he himself is independent and not controlled by anyone.

    --- sarvam khalvidam brahma tajjalan iti shAnta upAsItA says that Brahman nArAyana is the
    >source/abode/destination of all sankalpam's right?

    Not in the manner you think. It means "Everything is the body of brahman. Thus meditate on yourself as the servant of Brahman. meditate on everyone as
    having the same essential nature of being the body and hence servants of Brahman. This way, 1) you understand that the ultimate goal is to serve Brahman, 2) Seeing everyone else as servants of Brahman and hence innately pure and identical in nature, you give up likes and dislikes and do not differentiate a thief and a brahmaNa as they are outward differences due to karma.

    --'The Sutra avibhAgena drushtatvat also proves the inseparability between jiva/paramathma. ---

    Already explained what inseparability is and your tripe has been quashed. Inseparability is neither identity nor reciprocal dependency.

  5. ---jnyAnIs who see everything as a prakAra of Vishnu will have samAna drishTi. They will never fight over tAratamya.---

    Sama dhRshti is not identity but oneness. Sam dhRshti means seeing every jivA as the servant of paramAtma and identical in nature's. And seeing paramAtma as the self of all. Grains of rice are identical in nature but one grain is still a different entity from another. Vishishtadvaita upholds plurality of jivas and absolute difference of jiva and paramAtma svarUpa this way.

    --- In Gita Sri Krishna says jnyAnItyAtmaiva >me matam and Sri rAmanuja eulogies a jnyAni so much that even bhagavan considers himself as shareera having jnyAni as atma. --

    So? This does not make the jiva into paramAtma. The nonsense you write has no bounds. Bhagavan simply expresses how much he loves the jiva to the extent that he claims that his devotee is like his self and he is the body. Read gita bhAShya and tAtparya chandrika where Desika explains "me matham" - it is only generous praise given to a jnAni by bhagavan. If a devotee realises he is the servant of bhagavan, then bhagavan willingly (Note that it is out of his will) obeys the jiva.

    ---So there is inseparable relatio

  6. Contined...

    --So there is inseparable relation and oneness between jnyAni-Shiva and Vishnu. They exist in each other.---

    Correction. Shiva does not exist in Vishnu. Rather, there is inseparable association between Shiva and Vishnu in the sense that the jivA, Shiva, is inseparably associated with Vishnu as his body and cannot exist separately as he depends on this inseparability for existence, much as a body is reduced to ashes without the self. However, Vishnu, the paramAtma, has associated with Shiva only out of compassionate will to make the jiva, Shiva, exist. But Vishnu is free of blemishes and can exist independently of the Jiva, Shiva, as well.

    Your quoting "jnAni tu Atmaiva mE maTham" is quite absurd. The analogy is this - a father loves his dependent child so much, he will take in pleasure in switching roles out of play and asking his son to command him (such as the son demanding to ride piggy back on the father). Similarly, Krishna does the same play with his devotee and willingly obeys the latter. That is why he uses "mE maTham" - my opinion. SrI Desikan says this is his opinion (his own will by which he allows the devotee to command him) in comparison to vedAnta maTham which state that the devotee is dependent on him.

    Saying "something exists in vishNu, the paramAtma" is laughable and a travesty of vedAnta.

    It is also very curious that you consider only shiva's case and not say, Suka or ParAshara maharishi. Or take Ambarisha - Vishnu tells Durvasa in bhagavatam openly that he obeys the command of his devotees in the context of Ambarisha. And of course, Janaka Maharaja, the father of Sita, was also a jnAni according to vAlmiki. Surely they are also jnAnIs? That means Shiva = Suka = Parasara = Ambarisha = Janaka and they in turn = Vishnu. And by that logic, Suka, Parasara, Ambarisha, Janaka all exist in Vishnu - leading to the grand conclusion that paramAtma himself has multiple antaryAmins of jivAs! Wonderful!

    But of course, you only have an agenda to project shiva as Brahman, so that will be ignored by you. While the former case is true in fact as they are all jivAs, the latter is not since all of them are subordinate to vishNu.

    ---In the Vishwaroopa of bhagavan, the entire Universe is included. How can you separate your self from your antaryAmi---

    The very term "inseparability" implies the existence of two different entities, by which such an inseparable relationship is established. One entity cannot be inseparable with itself. Oneness is not identity. Hence, your statement "how can you separate your self from your antaryAmin" is itself an oxymoron.

    The viSvarUpa shows the entire Universe, with all its forms, as the body of krishNa - ie, they are controlled by, dependent on, inseparably attached to (without which they cannot exist) and hence, owned by krishNa. While, krishNa, who bears this Universe, has associated with it out of his own will and does not need such association to exist, ie, he can exist independently just as the self can be disembodied and still exist.

    The viSvarUpa at the same time, shows his own unique forms made of suddha sattva, worthy of meditation. These forms are made of aprAkrta suddha sattvam which is a dravyam and hence is also his body in much the same way as the jagat is. However, the purpose of association is different - He associates with jivAs and jagat as his body to make them exist. He associates with his suddha sattva forms to make his devotees enjoy his beauty and give them bliss.

    "Inseparability" itself thus shows the absolute difference of jivAtma and paramAtma svarUpa and this oneness is not identity. No sense in

    Enough of this tripe. We don't think Shaivas should be trying to interpret srI rAmAnuja's philosophy when they are clearly so incapable of it.

    1. "logic, Suka, Parasara, Ambarisha, Janaka all exist in Vishnu - leading to the grand conclusion that paramAtma himself has multiple antaryAmins of jivAs! Wonderful!" - excellent argument. Very nice. Dhanyosmi Swami.

  7. --Uttamapurusha in Sanskrit ---

    Since we are onto Sanskrit, let us take a look at srI parAsara bhattar's vyAkhyAna for "purushottama"

    "purusha" signifies he is superior to the baddhas which include manushya, deva, etc.
    "ut" signifies he is superior to the muktas who get liberated from samsAra.
    "-tamap" signifies he is superior to the nitya sUrIs like Adi Sesha, etc.

    My advice is to leave the grammar to the venerable acharyas like Bhattar and stop inventing things.

  8. Just something interesting that we came across while compiling notes. The vAmana purAna salutes vishNu in the following sloka:

    Namasyecha gadApAniM namasyecha kushoshayaM, arthanArIshvaraM devaM Namasye pApanAshanaM

    Notice that the purAna lists "ardhanArIshvara" as a name of vishNu. The meaning is as follows:

    “Ishvara” means ruler.

    “nArI” – This refers to the mind. According to srI pillai lokAchArya, that which does not lose its nature or characteristic is called “imperishable” or “nAra” – this collectively refers to the indrIyas that have the unchangeable nature of shining out objects at all times. That which possesses or controls the indrIyAs called “nAraH” is “nArI” or the mind.

    “ardha” – This is derived from the root “haratiH/hr” which means to take away or captivate. If we take the root of “ardha” as “dhr” – it means to bear or carry. Also, ardha” can be “rdh” which means to thrive.

    Thus we get the following interpretations of the name:

    1) “He is ardhanArIshvara, the Ruler who takes away or destroys the mind” (ardha - haratiH/hr) – Ie, he destroys the actions of the monstrous mind which sways us towards sense objects.

    2) “He is ardhanArIshvara, the Ruler who captivates the mind” (ardha - haratiH/hr) – This is by virtue of his auspicious attributes which attracts the mind to him.

    3) “He is ardhanArIshvara, the Ruler who bears or carries the mind” (ardha – dhr) - This means he sustains our mind to be fixated on him in meditation to the exclusion of indulging in sense objects.

    4) “He is ardhanArIshvara, the Ruler who makes the mind thrive” (ardha – rdh) – This means he nourishes or makes our mind thrive by enabling us to engage it in meditation on his auspicious attributes.

    Also note, that out of the 4 meanings I have given, meaning 1) is applicable to the deva Siva as well, on account of him being a jIvAtma who can destroy the actions of his mind by yOga and thus is the Ruler of his mind. Controlling mind/indrIyAs requires the grace of paramAtma, but is executed by the jIvAtma upon receiving that grace. Hence both jIvAtma and paramAtma share the meaning 1) for the name.

    The other 3 meanings are unique to sriman nArAyaNa as parabrahman and the name assumes a deeper philosophical significance when attributed to him. Interesting to say the least.

  9. Dear all,

    In the kailAsa yAtra section of harivamSha, shrI krishNa performs a penance on shiva, upon which the stuti of krishNa to shiva and vice-versa is mentioned. After the above stuti, Shiva discourses to the assembled devas, rishis and others on the absolute truth. It dispels any doubts as to who is Parabrahman, so I will explain it here. Some parts of it are also quoted by shrI vijayEndra tIrtha in his "shaiva sarvasva khanDanaM"- indeed, I had the inspiration to share it here after reading it.

    tato vR^iShadhvajo devashshUlI sAxAdumApatiH |
    karaM kareNa saMspR^ishya viShNoshchakradharasya hi ||
    provAcha bhagavAn.h rudraH keshavaM garuDadhvajam.h |
    shR^iNvatAM sarvadevAnAM munInAM bhAvitAtmanAm.h |

    Meaning: Then the deity who has the bull for his banner, the bearer of the trident, the one who is verily the consort of Uma, held the hands of vishNu, the bearer of the Sudarshana Chakra. Rudra then spoke to kEshava, the one who has garuDa as his banner, which was heard by the devas, munis, those engaged in austerities.

    Note the names by which the two gods are referred to. The bull symbolizes dharma, the trident’s 3 prongs symbolize destruction of the triguNas, “umApati” implies the possession of yashas which is brahma jnAna. Thus, Shiva is one who knows dharma, who remains detached from the effects of the triguNas and who is verily (sAkshAt) the possessor of brahma-jnAna (umApati) or the Lord of Uma who is knowledgeable of Brahman.

    Shiva held bhagavAn’s hands, those hands which have the imprint of the Sudarshana Chakra. The Chakra is used to protect his devotees and since bhagavAn is ever vigilant in protection, he has the chakra with him at all times, so that it has created an impression on his hand.

    So, the implication is this – those hands of Sarveshvara, which are used to protecting his devotees at all times, were now clasped in Anjali mudra while seeking protection of a lesser deity like Shiva. What a wonder! Is there any limit to the Lord’s accessibility?

    This also dispels the interpolated sloka in the same section which claimed that VishNu offered his eye in exchange for the Chakra. The interpolators take advantage of certain sections such as these to surreptitiously insert spurious verses. Such interpolations are non-existent in say, the rAmAyaNa as it is not so voluminous.

    BhagavAn is referred to as "garuDadhvajaH" - One who is associated with garuDa and hence speedily arrives to rescue his devotees. It means, he always fulfills the wishes of his devotees quickly and thus fulfilled the boon he gave to Shiva that he would worship him.

    "kEshavaH" - Despite performing a penance on Shiva, he is still the Lord of Brahma (Ka) and Shiva (Isha).


  10. kimidaM devadevesha chakrapANe janArdana ||
    tapashchAyAM kimarthaM te prArthanA tava kA vibho |

    Meaning: O God of Gods, Bearer of the Sudarshana Chakra, Janardana, What is this? What is purpose of this
    penance? Whom are you propitiating with your penance?

    Shiva is awestruck by the accessibility of the Lord and says, “You are the God of Gods, so you are superior to all and can grant all boons. You bear the Chakra, by which yama-dhUtAs do not approach your devotees. As your devotees bear the mark of the Chakra, so you are their master as you bear the Chakra and thus yama dhUtAs are repelled. You are “janArdhana” as you protect the people from the asurAs.

    “So, being superior to me, you do not need my boons, being the bearer of the chakra, you do not need protection from yama and as you are janArdhana, you do not need protection from asurAs. Why and for what purpose then are you performing penance on me?”

    This again proves that the slOka on vishNu getting the chakra from shiva is an interpolation from a tAmasa purANa. For if Shiva had given vishNu his chakra, would this even make sense?

    Repeatedly, Shiva is wonderstruck by how the Lord willingly bows before those lesser than him. That is mentioned in the sahasranAma itself. For in the section, “stavyaH stavaprIya stOtraM stutaH stOtAraNa prIya” – the name “stOta” means “He who praises those who praise him”. Bhattar provides the following as pramANa for this:

    “yaM stuvan stavyatAmeti vandamAnaSca vandyatAM” (vishNu dharma 75.55) – He who praises Bhagavan, is praised by Bhagavan himself”.

    Bhattar then says that this refers to the incident of bhagavAn praising Shiva in the HarivamSha (this section). He says that Shiva is always meditating on the tAraka mantra of bhagavAn and thus, becomes worthy of praise by bhagavAn as a result.

    A similar incident can be seen in another place of the HarivamSha as well. krishNa summons garuDa and requests his help to defeat bAnasura. He then embarks on a stuti of garuDa, praising him as King of Birds, most powerful, etc. Hearing this, garuDa became awestruck and remarks:

    dhanyo.asmyanugR^ihIto.asmi saMstavAnmadhusUdana |stotavyastvaM mayA kR^iShNa stauShi mAM tvaM mahAbhuja || vedAdhyakShaH surAdhyakShaH sarvakAmaprado bhavAn |amoghadarshanastvaM hi varArtInAM varapradaH ||….

    Meaning: I am fortunate, showered by your grace, MadhusudhanA, in form of your praise. Hey Krishna! you are the one to be praised by me. But, mahAbAhO! I am praised by you! You are the Master of the Veda, you are the Master of Devas (nitya suris), You fulfill all the desires of devotees. Your sight is fruitful to devotees. You are the provider of boons to those who seek boons…..

    So, shiva had a similar feeling as garuDa here.


  11. Cont'd from above...

    svayaM viShNurbhavAnnityaH tapasA vA tvayA hare ||
    tvattassamabhavadvishvaM tvayi sarvaM pralIyate |
    ahaM tvaM sarvago devatvamehAhaM janArdana ||

    Meaning: You are none other than the all-pervading Lord, Vishnu. This cosmos is created by you and destroyed in you. You are present in every being and in me too. (For that reason,) I am none other than you (ie, you are my innerself and I am your body).

    Shiva describes the relation between himself and the Lord. He says, “you pervade all and hence are vishNu”. As the “SarvAntarAtma”, you create and destroy the cosmos. As we are your bodies (yasya Atma sharIraM), you are present in us as our inner selves. And on account of everything being your body and you being the innerself – I, that is to say, my antaryAmin denoted by “I”, is verily the same as you, janArdhana. You do not undergo distinctions by being the antaryAmin of diverse entities.

    The sharIrAtma bhAva is proven here. As he pervades all and everything is his body, all names denote the antaryAmin, in so much as “Jack” denotes Jack’s body and in its’ ultimate connotation, the self inside the body of Jack.

    When Shiva says 'ahaM tvaM', it means “My antaryAmin, for whom I am the body, denoted by “I” is non-different from the Lord nArAyaNa I see standing in front of me”. nEha nAnAsti kinchana. There is no diversity.

    putro datto mayA deva pUrvameva jagatpate |
    shR^iNu tatrApi bhagavan.h kAraNaM kAraNAtmaka ||

    Meaning: I had given you a son previously itself, O Lord of the Universe. Listen to the reason, O bhagavAn who is the cause of everyone attaining their goals (kAraNAtmaka).

    Shiva goes on to say that long ago, he had burnt kAma to ashes and to forgive that kAma, he had sent him as krishNa’s son. So, he is asking, “what is the point of doing the penance now when you have already accepted kAma as your son?” In other words, bhagavAn did not need anything from Shiva, and was just doing a penance to fulfill the boon he gave to Shiva that he would worship him!

    Shiva addresses bhagavAn as “kAraNAtmaka”. It means, “One who by nature is kAraNa (Cause)”. By nature, he is the cause of liberation and other goals for everyone as he is the means. Thus, by this name, Shiva is implying, “You yourself are the means for everyone to attain their desires. So, there is no need for you to do a penance on me to attain something you want!”


  12. Much later, Shiva says:

    AvayorantaraM nAsti shabdairarthairjagatpate |
    nAmAni tava govinda yAni loke mahAnti cha ||
    tAnyeva mama nAmAni nAtra kAryA vichAraNA |
    tvadupAsa jagannAtha sevAstu mama gopate ||
    yashcha tvAM dveShTi devesha sa mAM dveShTi na saMshayaH |
    na tadasti vinA deva yatte virahitaM kvachit.h ||
    yadAsIdyachcha varteta yachcha bhAvi jagatpate |
    sarvaM tvaM deva devesha vinA kiJNchitvayA na hi ||

    Meaning: O Lord who possesses the Universe as his body! there is no difference between us in terms of words and their meanings (which extend to the antaryAmin by virtue of body-soul relationship). (On account of this), Whatever names are applicable to you are applicable to me too. Whoever worships you worships me too. Whoever hates you, he hates me too. There is nothing whatsoever that is without you. Whatever was, Whatever is, Whatever will be, is due to you. You are everything; there is nothing without you, O Lord of the Gods.

    By the term “AvayorantaraM nasti”, note that Shiva says there is no difference between them *in terms of words and meanings*. So, he is not saying there is no difference at all or implying identity here, but is proving sharIrAtma bhAva. Since Shiva is the body and the Lord is the innerself (yasya Atma sharIraM), both body and soul are denoted by the same name, as seen in the example of Jack.

    So, when one says “Shiva”, it can refer to the deva, and also to his antaryAmin, nArAyaNa. Similarly, when one says “nArAyaNa”, it can refer to the Lord and also Rudra-sharIraka-paramAtma, of whom Rudra is his body and hence an inseparable attribute. This explains how the Lord can do a penance by praising Shiva (the praise goes to his antaryAmin only) and how the shAstras (such as the shiva stuti in the bhAgavataM) refer to Shiva with attributes of supremacy (again, only refers to his antaryAmin).

    By addressing the Lord as “Jagatpati”, Shiva clarifies that there is no identity, but the above oneness due to sharIrAtma bhAva. “pati” means possessing the Jagat (as his body/inseparable attribute).

    He is everything, meaning, he is the innerself of everything which is his body. Without him, there is nothing, meaning, just as a body cannot exist without the self, nothing can exist without being his body.


  13. Cont'd from above,

    As pointed out in the dvaita list by some knowledgeable members, the vishNu stuti by shiva contains certain interesting interpretation of names. Some choice cuts:

    shUline charmiNe nityaM varadAya namo namaH |…. haraye viShNave tubhyaM namaH sarvAtmane guro….

    …Where Shiva praises Hari with such names which are also names of Shiva.And of course, the famous slOka quoted by Adi Shankara as well:

    ka iti brahmaNo nAma Isho.ahaM sarvadehinAm |
    AvAm tavA~NgasaMbhUtau tasmAtkeshavanAmavAn ||

    Meaning: Ka refers to Brahma. I am Isha, the ruler of (the minds of) all beings, ie, I direct their minds to Brahman. We are sprung from your limbs, thus you are “Keshava”.

    Then, harasi prANino deva tato haririti smR^itaH | sha~Nkaro.asi sadA deva tataH sha~NkaratAM gataH ||3-88-45

    One who destroys all beings and hence is Hari. This tallies with the purANa slOka which says he is “Hari” as he is the destroyer of Brahma, Rudra and others. Also, the name “Shankara” belongs to Hari as he performs good deeds.

    And so on.


  14. Finally, there are a few more slOkas which leave no doubt about the supremacy of the Lord. Rudra proclaims to the rishis the following:

    eSha vaH puNyanilaya eSha dharmaH sanAtanaH ||3-89-4
    eSha vo mokShadAtA cha eSha mArga udAhR^itaH |

    Meaning: This nArAyaNa is abode of auspicious attributes called “puNyaH” as they purify (punAti iti puNyaH). He is the supreme means to liberation, eternally associated with a divine form (which is the means as it is meditated on). This nArAyaNa is the giver of moksha, and he is indeed said to be the one sought after by the wise (mArgyatE iti mArgaH).

    (He is the one who gives moksha and he alone should be sought after in moksha-sthAna, as opposed to the pursuit of kaivalya-moksha or enjoying the bliss of the finite self).

    eSha puNyapradaH sAkShAdetadvaH karmaNAM phalam ||3-89-5
    etadeva prashaMsanti vidvAMso brahmavAdinaH |

    Meaning: This nArAyaNa is the one who bestows “puNya” or purity as he purifies even the asurAs and makes them worthy of worship. He is verily the fruit of all karmas. He alone is praised by the Knowers of Brahman.

    Note “eva”. He alone, meaning, no other god is equal to him or superior.

    eSha tryayIgatirviprAH prArthyo brahmavidAM sadA ||3-89-6
    etadeva prashaMsanti sA~NkhyayogasamAshritAH |
    eSha brahmavidAM mArgaH kathito vedavAdibhiH ||3-89-7

    Meaning: He is ever worshipped by those kaivalyArtis (desiring the bliss of the self) knowledgeable of the three gatIs (archirAdi, dhUmAdi and garbhagati) as well as the knowers of Brahman. He alone is praised by the followers of Sa~Nkhya and Yoga. The vaidikas (who are prapannas that know him as the essence of the veda) describe him as the “path”, ie, “means” for the Knowers of Brahman.

    Thus, the above was all narrated by Shiva to the devas, rishis and others who were witnesses. It proves beyond doubt that the penance of krishNa was merely to fulfill a boon sought by Shiva and that it was the antaryAmin of shiva who was meditated on by the Lord, even in that penance.

    Tales of Lingodbhava, Shiva giving Chakra to vishNu etc neither exist in shruti nor in ithihAsa or the sAttvika purANAs. These stories are only found in tAmasa purANAs. Whereas, the Vedas are very clear in the hierarchy that nArAyaNa created brahma and brahma created rudra. The mahAbhArata, rAmAyaNa and sAttvika purANAs also declare the same hierarchy. Ancient advaitins like Shankara etc have also quoted the stories of vishNu creating brahma and then rudra by his grace and anger, the universe emerging from his navel, etc but nowhere quote lingodbhava or alternate creation stories described in the tAmasa purANAs.

    Thus, this is a most comprehensive proof.

  15. In this respect, swami nampillai remarks in the Eedu that the Lord's guNa of "sousIlyam", which is his ability to mingle with others lesser than himself and stoop to their level or lower, is like a big lake. A lake can be a source of water to quench one's thirst. But a person can also sink and be drowned in the lake.

    Similarly, the lord's sousIlya quenches the thirst of jnAnis who wish to enjoy him. But ajnAnis who mistake his sousIlyam as real inferiority will be drowned in samsAra.

    1. Wonderful sir! Swami Nampillai's comparison of sousIlyam with a lake is very apt.


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