Vishnu Sahasranama

Shree Vishnave namah-We shall apply a little of the implications of the meaning of this roopa of Hari to the work involved in the making of proteins, the basic building blocks of the cells of all living beings. This is not a class in science, but to pique your interest in the marvellous activities going on inside every living thing. A picture to understand the complexity of the cell membrane and the structures of amino acids.

Vishnu -The meaning of this name as described by Shree Prasanna Shreenivasa dasaru -who is the driving force for exceptional and unique actions, is so qualified uniquely because of His infinite,limitless strength, I down down to that Vishnu. He is the Trivikrama who is always soaring above the boundaries of space,time and material. In his avatara as Vamana , He portrayed this by taking three steps , rising to show Himself as Trivikrama in a matter of no time(timeless), conquering the entire universe in a step, and reaching to unknown heights of the Brahmanda in the next step and then accepting Bali’s surrender in the next(boundless) .Ah! How limitless He must be in all the different strengths that may be required to accomplish this?

visheshadi chehTegala mADisuvavanu neenu

asama urubalAdi roopa vishnu namastubyam

dEshakAlavastu sarva vyApisiha trivikrama

sushubaroopadi pAdakramaNa mADidi vishnO||

Amino acids are used in every cell of our body to build protiens which we need to survive. Even simple structures in the membrane need protiens. There are as many as 100 thousand kinds of protiens in our body and each of these require different combinations of amino acids to be manufactures. Further each amino acid is a complex combination of chemicals which need to be precisely bonded to obtain the required results.

Let us reconcile this action with the understanding of the name Vishnu.

To obtain any kind of result, some action is required. All action needs a thinking entity with intelligence to make it happen.In one human beings who has approximately 37.2 trillion cells, with cells being of different kinds, performing different actions incessantly and being replenished at periodic intervals, we can see the unimaginable number of intelligent decesions required to make this happen seamlessly in one body. It makes one wonder ,”What could be the magnitude of energy, knowledge, precesion in time as per requirements needed for making this happen even in one human body, then what of all the people in the world? And not just humans all fomrs of life needs such living cells made of protiens of different kinds albeit of different modes of synthesis for different kinds of organs. This a timeless activity which keeps going on and one relentlessly and creatures in the world are diverse not just in their inherent make-up but their places of survival- in the deep sea, inside the depths of the earth, aaaargh! inside the human stomach, inside the mouth , in the air …………………. . By looking and observing and relating it with the Shruthis which proclaim Hari as Vishnu, the limitless one we can arrive at the conclusion that the limitless force we just became aware of through a little scientifc enquiry(Ha! Ha very superficial no doubt) but sufficient, to wonder about !

It is no wonder the ancients called the Lord- Vishnu who designs and implements immense and unique actions

Vishnu Saharanama

Shree Vishwaaya namah

72000 nadis approx

Each name in the Vishnu Sahasranama corresponds to one verse of the Brihati sahasra ( a part of Vedas) that has 36 aksharas(letters) approximately. Each akshara is again composed of a swara(eg: a,u) and a vyanjana(na,ma) and there a total of 1000 mantras so it adds up to 36000 swaras and 36000 vyanjanas which correspond to the 36000 days and 36000 nights of a complete human life span of 100 years. The human body is kept alive by a life-force which is pulsing through each and every cell and this is done through the 72000 nadis(energy lines) as per the ancients. There are 36000 nadis on the right and 36000 on the left side of the body. When we chant the VSN the nadis are energised and flow without blockage uplifting our mind and keeping our body healthy.

Let us look at meaning of Vishwa as decribed by Dasaru.

vara vAyuaMtaryAmi vishwa namO namO ninage
charAchara sarva oLahora vyApta nee sarvesha
prakriti niyAmaka jagatjanmAdigalakarta
garuDavAhana paramapUrNa swataMTra shreeshA

Vayu, the eminent one(vara-shreshta) is the life-force and his presence  inside every person causes them to live , when he exits the body, Hari the antaryAmi also exits with him and then the once alive person is now just a dead body.

Mere air going inside the nose is not the cause for the presence of life but it is the life-force which is an intelligent knowing force -Vayu, who works through this breathing process giving us ability to live and experience.

Madhwa philosophy clearly shows that any intelligent activity can happen only if there is an intelligent force ,controlling and making it happen.

Just check out this link to see how many intricate decesions are taken and implemented effortlessly even when we are blissfully asleep.
parama mukyaprAna toredarAdehavanu aritu peNaneMdu pElvaru budajana…
The above is quote from Madhva nama a composition on the glory of Mukyapraana in this three avatars.
Vishati iti vishwa is one meaning of Vishwa-omnipresence. He resides inside Vayu and pervades , giving us existence and experience. This Vishwa is the roopa of the Lord which keeps us aware during waking state. I bow down to Vishwa again and again. The part of the verse discussed so far, is a commentary on the Brihati sahara’s verse which corresponds to Vishwa.

prakruti niyamaka……..
Whatever expereince I have is from interacting with the outside world!The outside world is the transformation of energy known as Prakruti which is of three aspects-satva, rajas and tamo.Prakruti-whose action is profoundly perfect. And if think that nature is Prakruti, it need necessarily have an all encompassing intelligent force underlying the various transformations of energy leading to the innumerable forms of life on earth. All the insentient things too have some force which makes them behave as they should,eg: if you throw a stone it falls to the ground soon, if you throw a feather it floats for while….. Madhwacharya has interpreted the Shrutis and Puranas and shown clear that these forces of varying powers are controlled by abhimani devathas, who are inturn controlled by Vayu and then Vayu by Lakshmi .

So we come to our verse again,Vishwa controls Prakruti- Lakshmi and she controls Prakruti-nature so that we obtain the expereince that we should. It appears as if Prakruti – Nature itself is powerful and can create. Here Dasaru says, It is made to create by this Prakruti niyamaka. He is the sole creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe.( jagatjanamadikarta) The underlying infinite energy which is relentlessly flowing in all levels of our physical, mental and spiritual realms is that infinite power of God. How do we know him to be as such? This is a question which perplexes many on such a quest.

Mere logic is insufficient to prove anything. This is where the infinite knowledge known as the Vedas come into play. Vedas are eternal and those who sincerely seek following the path of the ancients , experience revelations from this eternal treasure of knowledge.

For that, Dasaru says,” garudavahana”.  We need to look inside the infinite Veda which is unbound by time or space. He himself being inside Garuda carries himself and comes to us through the contemplation on this shabda. Once He comes we realise the full impact of unknowable completeness, His independence and His mastery over all types of wealth which appears to be controlled by different people at different levels. Dasaru calls him as Shreesha- the one who is the master of Shree-(It means who is immersed in bliss).
Whosoever surrenders control to Him, and becomes His instrument is sure to be immersed in bliss.

Prasanna Shreenivasa dasaru

One of the most profound thoughts can be found in the krithis of this dasaru. His works describe Madhwa’s siddanta in all its glory focusing on the single most important theme for a sadhaka which is Hari’s gunapoornatva and his doshaduratva, that He is completely full of flawless auspicious attribtutes which are non-different from him. He is a great philosopher and poet who is of very recent times. I am very much moved by his writings and hence wanted to start a blog to write about his writings. His poems on each name of the thousand names of Vishnu are really fantastic. Keeping in mind that the Shastra dictates that knowledge of the glory while reciting the name is essential to obtain the full blast of the Lord’s grace and that is possible here. One name can hardly trigger a lot of meanings for a layman.  One who has no idea of the Brihati sahasra nor of the various wonderful dhatus of the Sanskrit language has no way to remember these different meanings except by actually learning them by heart. This maybe impractical. When you read the Vishnusahasranama along with the verses to explain each nama, one will be moved to see the Lord’s grace on us as well as His great glory in the universe.

Indeed ,Purandara dasaru has not sung in vain,”Jaganmohanane Krishna jaganvane paalipane””O Krishna, the one who makes the world wonder, even as He protects and sustains it”.

He is not just the most mysterious attractive force(it is the meaning of Krishna) in the universe but becomes more mysterious as He is declared to the be the designer and protector of everyone and everything.

Shree Jagannata dasaru in the Harikathamurtha saara says

bimbaroopanu ee teradi jadapombasuru modaladavaro

ladgimbugondihanendaritu dharmaata kamagala hambalisad

anudina vishwakutumbi kotta kannana

kutsita kambaliyesoubagyavendavangrigala bhajisu

“The Supreme controller, whose image everything IS is

Beginning from the highest jiva-Brahma to the insentient objects

Know this, and don’t hanker for anything at all

Accept everything as the father of the universe’s bountiful gift

It may be a mere shawl or a handful of rice

And bow down in humble acceptance of his will

As the mystery unfolds with each nama, Hari is the most compassionate friend that anyone can hope to have and He is ever ready to come forward to help us, should we so wish it. Our wish takes the form of words sung in His worship and to express His glory.

This is done very aptly by Shree Prasanna Shreenivasa dasaru. I wish to open this great secret box for those who want to benefit by it. I shall be posting a few verses of this great work and sharing it with those of you who are interested to participate . We shall together take a peep into the glory of Paramatma not just as described in the scriptures but by linking those gunas of God to the great unexplained wonders in the world. As mentioned earlier I once again welcome you all to contribute any relevant quotes, any clippings of videos or any poetic verses from the Haridasa sahitya or even just your own words to express it.