Vishnu Sahasranāma | by Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa
Viṣṇu Sahasranāma | by Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa
Thousand Names of Lord Viṣṇu with the “Nāmārtha Sudhā Bhāṣya” of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa.
Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa was the foremost teacher and author of Gaudīya Vaiṣṇavism of 18th century (disappeared on 1768).
He was an author of the First and most famous Gaudīya commentary on Vedānta Sūtras – namely Śrī Govinda Bhāṣya – and many other scholarly commentaries and philosophical works.
For His works on Vedic wisdom he earned the Title “Vidyābhūṣaṇa” – meaning “Ornament of Knowledge”.
What follows next is the commentary of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa to the famous Viṣṇu Sahasranāma – the 1000 Names of Viṣṇu.
The translation of the present edition on most part has been done by Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava scholars, with a little editing and correction by me where it was necessary.
While talking about Corrections – 2 big Corrections were made:
the Supreme Personality of Godhead (all instances)
– were corrected to Śrīman Nārāyaṇa:
I think it should be clear by now – when we speak about the Supreme Personality of Godhead – he is Śrīman Nārāyaṇa – there are no big discussions;
and we should praise and repeat God’s name – Śrīman Nārāyaṇa – as much as possible – instead of repeating a dubious definition in every other sentence; this thing made me personally repulsive to the Prabhupāda tradition from the very beginning, and I have decided to finish it off;
another similar instance:
demigods (all instances) – were replaced with devas.
All the rest should be intact. A literal word-by-word translation of Viṣṇu Sahasranāma has been published in a separate article. The present edition may help to reveal deeper meanings of some words and additional commentaries on the subject.
Mangalā-caraṇaṁ (by Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa)
Kṛṣṇas tri-śaktir bahu-mūrtir īśvaro
viśvaika-hetuḥ sa karotu naḥ śubham
May Lord Kṛṣṇa,
the all-powerful Śrīman Nārāyaṇa,
who appears in many forms, is the original creator of the universe,
the master of the three potencies, full of transcendental knowledge and bliss,
very dear to the devotees, and an ocean of unlimited auspicious qualities,
grant auspiciousness to us.
vyāsaṁ satyavatī-sutaṁ muni-guruṁ Nārāyaṇam saṁstumo
vaiśampāyanam ucyatāhvaya-sudhāmodaṁ prapadyāmahe
gaṅgeyam sura-mardana-priyatamaṁ sarvārtha-saṁvid-varaṁ
sat-sabhyān api tat-kathā-rasa-jhuśo bhūyo nanaskurmahe
Let us glorify Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the spiritual master of the great sages,
the literary incarnation of Lord Nārāyaṇa and the son of Satyavati.
Let us surrender to Vaiśampāyana Muni, the speaker of the Mahābhārata
who became jubilant by drinking the nectar of Lord Viṣṇu's thousand names.
Let us bow down before Kṛṣṇa's friend Bhīṣma,
the best of the wise and the son of Ganga-devī,
and let us also bow down before the saintly devotees
who relish the narrations of Lord Viṣṇu's glories.
nityaṁ nivasatu hṛdaye
caitanyātmā murārir naḥ
gajapatir anukampayā yasya
May Lord Murāri,
who has personally appeared as Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
eternally reside within our hearts.
He has mercifully purified, engladdened and liberated His devotees,
such as Gajendra and Mahārāja Pratāparudra.
prakīrtayan yāti vindate śeśaḥ
jayanti nāmāni tāni Kṛṣṇasya
All glories to the holy names of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the fulfiller of everyone's desire.
Ananta Śeṣa finds ever-fresh bliss in glorifying Lord Kṛṣṇa's holy names.
hari-bhaktās tān namasyāmaḥ
bhāṣyaṁ yeśāṁ kṛpayā
nāmārtha-sudhā bhaved etat
We offer respectful obeisances to those great devotees
who are completely devoted to chanting the holy names of Lord Hari.
It is by their mercy that I am able to write this Nāmārtha-sudhā-bhāṣya
(commentary on the Viṣṇu-sahasra- nāma,
entitled "The Nectar of the Meaning of Lord Hari's Holy Names").
Śrī Vaiśampāyana uvāca
śrutvā dharmān aśeṣeṇa pāvanāni ca sarvaśaḥ |
yudhiṣṭhiraḥ śāṁtanavaṁ punar evābhyabhyāṣata
After hearing the description of all the rules of religion
and all the purifying places of pilgrimage,
Yudhiṣṭhira enquired from Bhīṣma, the son of Mahārāja Śantanu:
Śrī Yudhiṣṭhira uvāca
kim ekaṁ daivataṁ lōke kiṁ vāpy ekaṁ parāyaṇaṁ |
stuvaṁtaḥ kaṁ kam arcaṁtaḥ prāpnuyur mānavāḥ śubham
Please tell me who is Śrīman Nārāyaṇa,
the ultimate controller of the universe?
Who is the ultimate destination of all living beings?
Whom should men glorify and worship in order to attain auspiciousness?
kō dharmaḥ sarva-dharmāṇāṁ bhavataḥ paramō mataḥ |
kiṁ japan-mucyate jaṁtur janma-saṁsāra-baṁdhanāt
What do you consider the best of all religious processes?
What mantra should one chant
to become free from the bondage of repeated birth and death?
Śrī Bhīṣma uvāca
jagat-prabhuṁ deva-devam anaṁtaṁ puruṣōttamam |
stuvan nāma-sahasreṇa puruṣaḥ satatōtthitaḥ
Śrīman Nārāyaṇa is the controller
of all moving and non-moving beings within the universe,
and He is the worshipable master of all devas.
His transcendental forms and qualities are all unlimited,
and He is the best of persons.
One should always enthusiastically glorify Him
by chanting the Viṣṇu-sahasra-nama (Thousand names of Lord Viṣṇu).
tam eva cārcayan nityaṁ bhaktyā puruṣam avyayam |
dhyāyan stuvan namasyaṁś ca Yajamānas tam eva ca
With great faith, the devotee should worship
Śrīman Nārāyaṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa,
whose forms, qualities, opulences and pastimes
are all eternal and transcendental.
The devotee should glorify Him,
continually meditate on His transcendental form,
and offer obeisances by bowing down before Him.
anādi nidhanaṁ viṣṇuṁ sarva-lōka-maheśvaram |
lōkādhyakṣaṁ stuvan nityaṁ sarva-duḥkhātigō bhavet
There was never a time when Lord Viṣṇu first came into existence,
and there is no time in the future when He will cease to exist.
He is the supreme master of all planets, all living entities,
and all devas who control the universe.
He is the all-pervading, all-knowing witness who sees everything.
A person who regularly glorifies Him becomes free from all material miseries,
and in that liberated condition becomes full of transcendental bliss.
In his commentary, Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa quotes the following verses to describe the immense potency of the glorification of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
sakṛd uccāritaṁ yena
harir ity akṣaram dvayam
baddhaḥ parikaras tena
mokṣāya gamanaṁ prati
"If one chants the two syllables Ha-ri, even once,
he becomes free from all material bondage."
sakṛd eva parigītaṁ
śraddhayā helayā vā
"O best of the Bhṛgu dynasty,
if one even once speaks the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa,
either with faith, or even casually, or with contempt,
the holy name will liberate that chanter from all material bondage."
brahmaṇyaṁ sarva-dharmajñaṁ lōkānāṁ kīrti-vardhanam |
loka-nāthaṁ mahad-bhūtaṁ sarva-bhūta-bhavōdhbhavam
Lord Viṣṇu is the protector and well-wisher
of the brāhmaṇas, aware of all principles of religion,
the Lord who expands the glory of His devotees,
the supreme monarch of all planetary systems, full of all opulences,
and the original father of Brahma, Śiva and all living entities.
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa quotes the following verses from Mahābhārata, where Kṛṣṇa explains that He is the source of all living beings.
prajāpatim ca rudram cāpy
aham eva sṛjāmi vai
tau hi māṁ na vijānīto
"The patriarchs, Śiva and others are created by Me,
though they do not know that are created by Me,
because they are deluded by My illusory energy."
eṣa me sarva-dharmāṇāṁ dharmōdhikatamō mataḥ
yad bhaktyā puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ stavair arcan naraḥ sadā
I think that the best of all spiritual activities
is to continuously and devotedly worship lotus-eyed Lord Kṛṣṇa
by reciting prayers glorifying Him and describing His holy names.
In his commentary, Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa quotes the following verses from the Vedic literatures to describe the glories of the chanting of Lord Kṛṣṇa's holy names.
The Śruti-mantra explains:
asya jānanto nāma cid-vivaktana-mahas te viṣṇo sumatim bhajāmahe om tat sat
"O Lord Viṣṇu, we worship You,
and we are fully conscious of the spiritual nature of Your holy names."
The Padma Purāṇa explains:
nāma cintāmahiḥ Kṛṣṇaś
pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto
"The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is transcendentally blissful.
It bestows all spiritual benedictions,
for it is Kṛṣṇa Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure.
Kṛṣṇa's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows.
It is not a material name under any condition,
and it is no less powerful than Kṛṣṇa Himself.
Since Kṛṣṇa's name is not contaminated by the material qualities,
there is no question of it being involved with māyā.
Kṛṣṇa's name is always liberated and spiritual;
it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature.
This is because the name of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical."
paramaṁ yō mahat-tejaḥ paramaṁ yō mahat-tapaḥ |
paramaṁ yō mahad brahma paramaṁ yaḥ parāyaṇam
Lord Kṛṣṇa is Śrīman Nārāyaṇa.
He is supremely powerful and splendid,
and it is from Him that the sun and other luminaries
derive their splendour and heat.
He is the ultimate shelter of all living entities.
He is partially manifested as the Brahman effulgence.
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa comments that Kṛṣṇa is Śrīman Nārāyaṇa, and devas are all His order-carriers. In this connection, He quotes the following verse from the Smṛti-śāstra.
yad-bhīṣā vātaḥ pavate bhīṣodeti sūryaḥ
bhīṣāsmād agniś candraś ca mṛtyur dhāvati
"Out of fear of Śrīman Nārāyaṇa the wind blows,
and out of fear of Him the sun rises.
Out of fear of Him fire, the moon, and death,
all perform their respective duties."
pavitrāṇāṁ pavitraṁ yō mangalānāṁ ca mangalam |
daivataṁ devatānāṁ ca bhūtānāṁ yō’vyayaḥ pitā
Lord Kṛṣṇa is the most purifying of all purifiers, and it is He who gives the power to remove sinful reactions to the Ganges and other places of pilgrimage.
He is the most auspicious of all auspicious personalities, and it is He who gives to Gaṇeśa and others the power to remove obstacles.
He is the most worshipable person, superior to Brahmā and all devas. He is the eternal, original father of all living entities.
yataḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni bhavaṁty ādi-yugāgame |
yasmiṁś ca pralayaṁ yāṁti punar eva yuga-kṣaye
All living beings come from Lord Kṛṣṇa at the beginning of creation.
They are maintained by Lord Kṛṣṇa while the creation is manifested,
and they enter into Him again when the creation is destroyed.
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa notes that Śrīman Nārāyaṇa is the source of the entire creation:
He quotes the authoritative statement of Vedānta-sūtra (1.1.2)
janmādy asya yataḥ
(The Absolute Truth is He from whom everything emanates).
tasya lōkapradhānasya jagan-nāthasya bhū-pate |
viṣṇōr nāma-sahasraṁ me śruṇu pāpa-bhayāpaham
Please hear from me the one-thousand holy names of Lord Viṣṇu, the supreme master and controller of the universe.
These holy names of the Lord destroy the fearful reactions of past sinful deeds.
yāni nāmāni gauṇāni vikhyātāni mahātmanaḥ |
ṛṣibhiḥ parigītāni tāni vakṣyāmi bhūtaye
In order to attain the supreme goal of life,
I shall now chant the celebrated holy names of Lord Viṣṇu.
Great sages glorify these holy names,
which describe the Lord's transcendental qualities and pastimes.
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa notes
that Lord Kṛṣṇa is Śrīman Nārāyaṇa,
although He appears in a multitude of forms,
just as the Vaidūrya stone remains a single gem,
although it appears to change colours.
The Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad explains:
eko vaśī sarvagaḥ Kṛṣṇa īḍya
eko 'pi san bahudhā yo 'vabhāti
Lord Kṛṣṇa is the omnipotent, all-pervading
worshipable Personality of Godhead.
Although He is one, He has manifested in many forms."
The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.3.28) also explains:
Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
"All of the above mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions,
or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord,
but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead."
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says:
Manifesting in innumerable forms, the Lord sometimes displays all His potencies, and sometimes He displays only a part of His potencies.
Appearing as Lord Nārāyaṇa, He displays all His potencies. Appearing in His kalā (partial) expansions, He reveals only part of His potency.
He appears as Lord Vāsudeva, who has no contact with the material world, and again He appears as Śaṇkarśaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
He appears as Kāraṇodakašāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodadaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who are completely spiritual manifestations free from any trace of matter, and who are known as the puruṣa- avatāras.
From Lord Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu Lord Kūrma and the other līlā-avatāras (pastime incarnations), as well as the Manvantara-avatāras (incarnations during the period of Manu) and Yuga-avatara (incarnations for the millennium) appear.
All these incarnations are glorified in the verses of the Purāṇas.
Conscious that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original form from whom the other forms of the Personality of Godhead emanate,
Bhīṣma now describes the holy names that describe Lord Kṛṣṇa's various forms and pastimes.