Aug 14, 2008


विश्वं विष्णुर्वषट्कारो भूतभव्यभवत्प्रभुः।

भूतकृद्भूतभृद्भावो भूतात्मा भूत भावनः॥

വിശ്വം വിഷ്ണുര്വഷട്കാരോ ഭൂതഭവ്യഭവത്പ്രഭുഃ

ഭൂതകൃത്ഭൂതഭൃത്ഭാവോ ഭൂതാത്മാ ഭൂത ഭാവനഃ

விஸ்வம் விஷ்ணுர் வஷட்காரோ பூத பவ்ய பவத் பிரபு:

பூத க்ரித் பூத பிரித் பாவோ பூதாத்மா பூத பாவன:

ವಿಸ್ವಂ ವಿಷ್ನುರ್ ವಷಟ್ಕಾರೋ ಭೂತ ಭವ್ಯ ಭವತ್ ಪ್ರಭು:
ಭೂತ ಕೃತ್ ಭೂತ ಭ್ರಿತ್ ಭಾವೋ ಭೂತಾತ್ಮಾ ಭೂತ ಭಾವನ:

విశ్వం విష్ణుర్ వషట్కారో భూత భవ్య భవత్ ప్రభు:
భూత కృత్ భూత భ్రిత్ భావో భూతాత్మా భూత భావన:

Viswam Vishnur Vashatkaro Bhootha Bhavya Bhavath Prabhu:
Bhoothakrith Bhoothabhrith Bhavo Bhoothathmaa Bhootha Bhavana:

1. Visvam -
He whose manifestation is the whole universe of forms: the Viraat-Purusha. The cause is always present in the effects and as such That Form from which the whole universe has emerged out can only be its own manifestation. The whole cosmos of gross forms is His own expression, and therefore, He is called as Viraatpurusha. ‘Sa eva Sarva- Bhootaatmaa Visvaroopo Yato-Avyayah’. The Sanskrit term Visvam comes from the root Vis, to enter: Thus it means He who has created and entered into the entire universe, as the All-Pervading Reality. It can also mean, That into which the entire universe has entered to remain therein established. In the Upanishads also we have assertions of similar ideas. It is only when intellectually, we view the Lord that we come to recognise Him as the ‘cause’ for the universe. When viewed through contemplation, since the effect is nothing other than the cause, there can be no world other than Him. In fact, there is nothing other than the Supreme. In the Mandukya Upanishad we read ‘Omkaara Evedam Sarvam’. In Geeta ‘OM ltyekaaksharam Brahma’.
2. Vishnuh - The term Vishnu is dissolved as Veveshti Vyaapnoti iti Vishnuh-That which pervades everywhere is Vishnu. That which has the nature of pervasiveness is Vishnu. He is the one who pervades all and nothing ever pervades Him. ‘Eesaavaasyam Idam Sarvam’-All this is indwelt, pervaded by the Lord. This very same idea is described in the typical style of the Puranas, in the incarnation of the Lord as Vaamana, the short-boy (Vamana), who, with His three feet, measured the entire universe. Because of this act, the Lord got the name Vishnu, says Mahaabhaarata. Vishnu Purana (3-1) says: The root Vis means ‘to enter’. The entire world of things and beings is pervaded by Him and the Upanishad emphatically insists in its mantra ‘whatever that is there is the world of change’. Hence it means that He is not limited by space (Desa), time (Kaala) or substance (Vastu).

3. Vashatkaarah -
ln the ritualistic portion of the Vedas we find many mantras ending with ‘vashat’ and they are used in pouring devoted and dedicated oblations. Thus the term Vashatkaara means: He who is invoked, and for propitiating whom, the oblations are poured in Vedic ritualism, using mantras ending with vashat.
Also Vashatkaara can mean yajna in its association and thus the term in its suggestion can signify ‘He who is of the form of the Yajna’. In the Upanishads also we find this meaning endorsed when the Upanishad mantra says: “Yajno vai Vishnuh” - Yajna itself is Vishnu.
4. Bhoota-bhavya-bhavat-prabhuh - He who is the Lord (Prabhu) of the Past (Bhoota), the Future (Bhavya) and the Present (Bhavat). Time is the concept of the intellect; it expresses itself in the interval between experiences. Experiences are registered as thoughts and thoughts are ever changing. This very change is known and experienced by us. The knower of the change must be something other than the change. Thus, He who is the Illuminator of all changes, meaning the Consciousness (Aatman) is the Lord Vishnu. He is the One who is not conditioned by time.

5. Bhoota-krit
-The Creator (Krit) of all creatures (Bhoota). This word can be dissolved in two ways: (a) One who creates the creatures (Bhootaani Karoti iti Bhoota- Krit) or(b) One who annihilates all creatures (Bhootaani Krindati iti Bhoota-krit).
In both these cases, Brahman, the Supreme is the One Reality that seems to function as the Creator, Sustainer or Destroyer, when He functions through different gunas in the Total-Mind. Functioning through a preponderance in Rajoguna, He becomes the ‘Creator’; through Sattvaguna the ‘Sustainer’, and through Tamoguna, He Himself expresses as the ‘Destroyer’.
Extra comments: Subjectively, the Atman functioning through my own mind and intellect is I, the individuality. My personality entirely depends upon the quality and texture of my own thoughts. I myself become according to the moods of my mind the creator, sustainer and annihilator of my world of experiences. He who manifests and functions, in these three aspects, is the Supreme Vishnu.
6. Bhoota-bhrit - One who nurtures ("brith") and nourishes all beings (living creatures: "bhoota") in all their attitudes is this Great Reality and, therefore, He is called as the Bhoota Bhrit. In Geeta there is an elaborate description of this idea in the l5th Chapter where the Lord points out how, He, as the light in the sun, fertility in the earth, growth in the plants, nourishment in food, heat in fire, -becomes Himself the ‘eater’, and, therefore, how He Himself presides over all the functions of the body and mind, and apparently nurtures and nourishes the creatures, who are in fact nothing other than Himself.

7. Bhaavah
-One who ‘becomes’ (Bhavati iti Bhaavah) Himself into the movable and the Immovable beings and things in the world. He is the Pure Existence in all the sentient organisms and the insentient objects in the universe. Hence He is indicated by the term Bhaavah.

8. Bhootaatmaa
- He is the Aatman (soul) of all the beings ("bhoota"): The very ‘Be’ in the living beings. Just as the same universal space manifests in all rooms as the room-space, so the Infinite Life manifesting through any given vehicle is called the Aatman of the vehicle. It is well known that space everywhere is one and the same; so too, the One Reality sports as though different Aatmans. This One Universal Soul is called in Vedanta the Supreme Brahman (Para-Brahman) . In Bhaagavata, the Lord is addressed as “You are the One Self in all living creatures ever illumining all their experiences.’’ In Kathopanishad: “The One enchanting Truth that revels in every form manifesting in plurality”.

9. Bhoota-bhaavanah
- One who creates and multiplies the creatures; meaning the One, who is the cause for the birth and who is responsible for the growth of all living creatures.

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Inspiration & courtesy:
Contribution of Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, Professor, Department of ECSE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, U.S.A.

Sanskrit script Courtesy:
Shri. N. Krishnamachari