Aug 28, 2008


लोकाध्य्क्षः सुराध्य्क्षो धर्माध्यक्षः कृताकृतः ।

चतुरात्मा चतुर्व्यूहश्चतुर्दंष्ट्रश्चतुर्भुजः॥

ലോകാധ്യക്ഷഃ സുരാധ്യക്ഷോ ധര്മാധ്യക്ഷഃ കൃതാകൃതഃ

ചതുരാത്മാ ചതുര്‍ വ്യൂഹഃ ചതുര്‍ ധംഷ്ട്രഃ ചതുര്‍ ഭുജഃ

லோகாத்யக்ஷ ஸுராத்யக்ஷோ தர்மாத்யக்ஷ க்ரிதாக்ரித

சதுராத்மா சதுர்வ்யூஹ சதுர்தம்ஷ்டிர சதுர்புஜ

ಲೋಕಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷಃ ಸುರಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷೋ ಧರ್ಮಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷಃ ಕೃತಾಕೃತಃ

ಚತುರಾತ್ಮಾ ಚತುರ್ ವ್ಯೂಹಃ ಚತುರ್ ದಂಷ್ಟ್ರಃ ಚತುರ್ ಭುಜಃ

లోకాధ్యక్షః సురాధ్యక్షో ధర్మాధ్యక్షః కృతాకృతః

చతురాత్మా చతుర్వ్యూహః చతుర్ దంష్ట్రః చతుర్ భుజః

lokaadhyakshah suraadhyaksho dharmaadhyakshah krita-akritah

chaturaatmaa chaturvyoohas-chatur-damshtras-chatur-bhujah.

133. Lokaadhyakshah – One who presides over all fields of experiences - all lokas. President is one who is responsible for the conduct of the assembly; he guides the discussion in a disciplined manner, and ultimately at the end of it all, he dissolves the meeting. All through the discussions he never interferes with the freedom of speech and action of the members, if they act within the agenda of the day. Similarly, the Lord presides over all the fields of activities, never interfering with the freedom of the individuals to act. “The Supreme Purusha in this body is also called the spectator, the permitter, the supporter, the enjoyer, the great Lord, and the Supreme Self.” From the Puranic standpoint the Lord in His Vaamana manifestation was installed as the king of the three worlds and, therefore, this name, say the Pauraanikas.
134. Suraadhyakshah - The President of the Heavens to whom the Devas run for protection when they are threatened by their constant enemies - the Daityas and the Asuras. When in the Heaven of our bosom, the thought-angels are threatened by the negative tendencies and criminal purposes, He to whom the good in us surrender totally for sure protection and safety is Vishnu, the President within the bosom.
135. Dharmaadhyakshah - Presiding over the activities of the living organisms, Consciousness levels, illumining both the good and the evil therein. The One Sacred factor that constantly thus illumines all the nature and functions (Dharma) of the body, mind and intellect is the Dharmaa- dhyakshah, Lord Vishnu.
136. Kritaakritah -Kritam = that which is done = that which is manifested or created Akritam, therefore, is that which has not manifested or become. The former (Kritam) indicates all the “effects” manifested out of the Creator’s activities, and the latter (Akritam) is the “cause” from which no manifestation has yet emerged -it is still unmanifest. The Self, the Atman, is the ‘Post’ -in the ghost-in-the-post example -upon which the cause and the effect, the unmanifest and the manifest, like the “ghost” apparently come to play (Kritam = Vyaktam, A-Kritam = A-Vyaktam).
137. Chaturaatmaa - The Self is described as four-fold when we consider the Atman as the Glory (Vibhooti) of the Self. Thus, the Essential factors, with which alone the endless play of creation, sustenance and destruction can continue, are the glories of the Self (Aatma-Vibhooti). In Vishnu Purana, four distinct vibhooties of the Lord - when He functions as the creator, sustainer and destroyer - are found enumerated. From the standpoint of a Vedantic student, since in the Non-dual Reality there cannot be anything other than It- self, all the plays of the gross, the subtle and causal bodies, in the microcosm and in the macrocosm, are the glories (vibhooties) of the One Self. In the Absolute, in the Eternal, all these are transcended; these - the waker, dreamer, deep-sleeper, the Tureeya - are all Its Glories. The Possessor of these Glories is the One that transcends even “Tureeya”; He is called as the Tureeyaateetah.
138. Chaturvyoohah - One who manifests into the four mighty powers (Vyooha). The Truth, that plays thus Himself in these four levels having apparently created the world of experiences, is Vishnu, the All-Pervading. According to the Vaishnava literature, for the purpose of creation, Maha Vishnu Himself became four mighty powers (Vyooha) and they were called Vaasudeva, Samkarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. One who has Himself these four mighty powers, necessary for the conduct of plurality, is the Great Self, Maha Vishnu.
139. Chatur-Damshtrah - The canine teeth fully developed in the upper and the lower rows, as in the case of carnivorous animals, are called in Sanskrit as Damshtraa. This is reminiscent of the Powerful Damshtraa of the Lord when He took the form of Nara-Simha to protect Prahlaada. Also in the Puranas we find that the Great white Elephant of Indra, “ Airaavata,” has four tusks - He whose glory is the four-tusked Airaavata is Maha- Vishnu. To the student of the Upanishad, it is indeed very clear that these four ‘tusks’ or ‘teeth’ are nothing other than the four paadas which Mandukya thunders - "Chatushpaada". The manifestation of the Might and Glory of the Supreme are the play of the waking, dream and deep-sleep conditions. With reference to these three, transcending them all, is the fourth plane-of-consciousness the Springboard for all these three. He, whose Glory are all these four grinding, crushing, fearful experiences of duality, is the One Non-dual Self, the Great Maha Vishnu.
140. Chaturbhujah – “One who has four hands”. It is famous that Maha Vishnu has four hands and they carry the Conch, the Discus, the Mace, and the Lotus. According to the Puranas, these four are used by the Lord in maintaining Dharma among mankind. The ‘Conch’ calls man to the righteous path that directly leads to Peace and Perfection, the Divine Vishnupada. Very many of us in the enchantment of the immediate sense-joys refuse to listen to the small inner voice of conscience, the sound of the Paanchajanya-conch, and so He wields the ‘Mace’ and we come to suffer small calamities and tragic jerks in our smooth existence -communal, social or national. If still the individual is not listening to the call of the ‘Conch’, the wheel-of-time, Chakra annihilates the entire. The call and the punishment are all only to take man towards his Ultimate Goal, represented by the “Lotus” in His hand. Subjectively Vishnu is the Self within, who manifests as the four-armed ‘subtle-body’ to serve as the Eesa of the gross physical structure, in all its actions and protect it with existence. The “Subtle-body” as the inner-equipment (Antah-Karana) functions as four mighty powers -mind, intellect, chit and ego. Chit is the ‘Lotus’, intellect is the ‘Conch’, ego is the ‘Mace’, and mind is the ‘Discus’. All these four are wielded by the One Infinite Blue-bodied Narayana, clothed in His ‘yellow garb’, manifesting to maintain and sustain the world of good and evil. Since the Self functions thus in a four-fold pattern, Vishnu has the appellation, “the four-armed Lord.”



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