viShNu sahasranAma - nAma 1

Savithri Devaraj sdevaraj at EXPLORER.CSC.COM
Mon Sep 27 19:37:48 CDT 1999


The All.  He whom the upanishads indicate by the passage 'yataH sarvANi
bhUtAni' as the cause of the ganeration, sustentation and dissolution of
the universe.  He is brahman, the non-dual supreme being. The term
viShvam meaning 'the all or the whole manifested universe' indicates
Him, both in relation to his adjunct of the universe and without it.  As
the effect can indicate the cause, He is called by the name viShvam -
the universe of manifestation having its source in Him and thus forming
His effect.
Or, alternatively, as the universe has no existence apart from him, He
can be called viShvam, the universe. In support of it are the
upanishadic statements: 'Brahma ev`edam viShvam idam varistham' - this
universe is verily the supreme brahman (Mu. Up 2-2-11). 'Purusha ev'edam
viShvam' - all this universe is the purusha himself (Mu. Up. 2-1-10).
According to the root meaning also viShvam can mean brahman or the
supreme being.  Its root 'viShati' means enter or interpenetrate.
Brahman interpenetrates everything, according to the upanishadic
passage:'Tat shrshtvA tad evAnuprAvishat' - having projected the
universe, he entered into it (Tait. Up. 2-6). Also 'Yat prayAnty
abhisamviShanti' - that into which all beings enter at the time of
dissolution (Tait. Up. 3.1). Thus brahman enters into its effect, the
universe, and the universe enters or dissolves in Him. Thus in both
these senses, he is viShvam.

Author's note - This is only a summary of Sri.Sankara's commentary,
which is largely an elaboration with quotations from various other
sources also to substantiate the points mentioned above.


>From Translation and commentary of Sri SankarAcArya. Translated by
Swami Tapasyananda.


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