Oct 3, 2008


धर्मगुब्धर्मकृद्धर्मी सदसत्क्षरमक्षरं।

अविज्ञाता सहस्राम्शुर्विधाता कृतलक्षणः॥

ധര്മഗുബ്ധര്മകൃദ്ധര്മീ സദസത്ക്ഷരമക്ഷരം

അവിജ്ഞാതാ സഹസ്രാംശുര്വിധാതാ കൃതലക്ഷണഃ

தர்மகுப்தர்மக்ரித்தர்மீ சதசத்க்ஷரமக்ஷரம்

அவிஞாதா ஸஹஸ்ராம்சுர்விதாதா க்ரிதலக்ஷண

ಧರ್ಮಗುಬ್ಧರ್ಮಕೃದ್ಧರ್ಮೀ ಸದಸತ್ಕ್ಷರಮಕ್ಷರಂ

ಅವಿಜ್ಞಾತಾ ಸಹಸ್ರಾಮ್ಶುರ್ವಿಧಾತಾ ಕೃತಲಕ್ಷಣಃ

ధర్మగుబ్ధర్మకృద్ధర్మీ సదసత్క్షరమక్షరం

అవిజ్ఞాతా సహస్రాంశుర్విధాతా కృతలక్షణః

dharmagub dharmakrit dharmee sadasatksharamaksharam
avijnaataa sahasraamsur vidhaataa kritalakshanah

475. Dharmagup -One who protects the Dharma. In the Bhagavad Geeta the Lord says: “In every cycle I shall manifest for re-establishing Dharma.”
476. Dharma-krit -One who acts Dharma. Though He, as the Absolute Consciousness that illuminates everything, is beyond all Dharma and Adharma, Sri Narayana exemplifies what is the righteousness by His own conduct. He is, therefore, called as Dharma-Pravartaka. In the various incarnations, the Lord has exemplified how the generation should live under the ever-changing kaleidoscopic pattern of circumstances that play around us at all times.
477. Dharmee -The Supporter of Dharma; meaning the very Seat of all Dharma. Just as the waves exist in the ocean; just as the cotton supports the cloth; just as all the ornaments exist in gold-so Sri Narayana, the Infinite Truth is the very essence and support of the entire universe. Narayana is the Throne at which all righteousness take their refuge. Without direct reference to Him and His Glory, righteousness has no meaning; just as law books of a country are empty pages when the Government falls.
478. Sat -The Existence in all things and beings is the same ever, and it is All-pervading. The sun exists; the space between the sun and the earth exists; the ocean and the creatures therein exist; the physiological organs and their functions, mind and its activities, the intellect and its agitations -all exist. This Ever-present Principle of Existence is Sri Narayana. That which remains the same without any change in and through all changes, unaffected ever, same in the past, present and the future is called in Vedanta as ‘Satya.’ One who has all these natures is called Sat-Purusha. In the Upanishads, the Supreme Brahman is indicated as ‘Satya’ –“This, O Child, indeed was Sat.” In the Geeta while describing the Changeless Factor behind the eternally changing matter, Bhagavan says: “That which is the All-pervading in this world, that alone is indestructible and no one can destroy it.”
479. A-Sat -The Conditioned; Limited; the One who appears at this moment as the limited, conditioned, and therefore confined only to the world of plurality. That which actually is not, but apparently seems to be there, is called a delusion and this is indicated by the word “ A-Sat.” In the Vedantic terminology, higher-Self (Param) is ever Immutable and Eternal, while the lower-Self (A-param) constituted of all the universe of manifested things and beings, is mutable and ephemeral. Sri Narayana Himself is, in His Apara nature, expressing as the world of the many that we today recognise around us. Bhagavan Sri Krishna confesses to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Geeta: “Arjuna, I am at once immortality and mortality. I am both existence and non-existence.”
480. Ksharam -The Perishing. One who is the very Immutable Self in all things, that appears to suffer from constant mutation: The changeless-core in the midst of all the changes. All the changeable and variable things and beings of the Universe play in Him who is the only Substratum and, therefore, the Immutable Eternal Reality is called here as the Mutable; the changing and the dying waves are all ever nothing but the changeless ocean indeed.
481. A-ksharam -Imperishable. In order to recognize the change, there must be a changeless entity knowing it. If one ornament is to become another, there must be indeed the changeless consistent gold permanently supporting it all the time. In the same way, there must be a Changeless Factor which must be the essential core, that holds together the pattern of the constant changes, which together constitute the play of the universe. This Changeless Factor is called Narayana. Krishna says in Bhagavat Geeta: “all creatures together constitute the Kshara-purusha and the Changeless in an creatures is the A-kshara-purusha.”
482. Avijnaataa -The Non-knower. Here we must carefully understand the term ‘knower.’ The “knower” of the emotions and thoughts is the Self, imprisoned in the body, mind and the intellect, and, therefore, functioning as the perceiver, feeler, thinker-called in the Vedanta Sastra as the “Jeeva,” This individualised personality is the ‘doer’ and the ‘enjoyer’, in the calamitous world of activities. Sri Narayana is the Pure-Self, who has not been contaminated by the matter- vestures and their agitated-nature, and the consequent sorrows. Therefore, ‘Vishnu,’ the Pure-Self, is indicated here as Non- Knower (A-vijnaataa), meaning the “Jeeva.”
483. Sahasra-amsuh -The thousand-rayed. As the Pure Consciousness, He is effulgent, and in the Upanishads we read that even the sun, moon and stars gain their effulgence from Him alone. In fact the Upanishads conclude that all living creatures are resplendent after His effulgence alone. Or, we can say that it means Sri Narayana, in the form of the Sun, illumines and nourishes the world of living creatures; because the name of the Sun in Sanskrit is ‘Sahasraamsuh.’ In praising the Lord Sun it is usual to sing of him as ‘Sooryanaaraayana.’
484. Vidhaataa -All-supporter .As the final sub- stratum for everything, the Lord supports the entire universe of living creatures, and nobody supports Him, He alone is His own support. The Lord is at once the material, instrumental and the efficient causes for the universe of forms.
485. Krita-lakshanah -One who is famous because of six qualities, such as glory, righteousness, fame, wealth, knowledge and detachment. Again following the Puranic literature, Sri Narayana is the one who made on His own bosom the great mark of the feet of Maharshi Bhrigu. In fact from the standpoint of pure Vedanta, the term indicates the Ever-existing Pure Consciousness which is the very goal (Lakshana) to be ultimately achieved for liberation. Lakshana also means the scriptural textbooks and, therefore, the term also can mean He who is the author (Krita) of the Scriptures (Lakshana).



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