After having referred two of the three main activities of the Brahman, His third activity of sustenance is made as a separate nāma. It is on His support, the universe is holding on.
Bhagavad Gita (IX.5) says, “All those beings abide not in Me; but behold the wonderful power of My divine yoga; though the Sustainer and Creator of beings, My self in reality dwells not in those beings.”
When the Brahman assumes three different roles, the Creator, the Sustainer and the Absorber, He is dominated by one of the three guṇa-s. Brahman has two aspects, one is His nirguṇa form and another is His saguṇa form. Guṇa-s are associated only with His saguṇa form. His nirguṇa form is the purest form.
६. ।।ॐ भूतभृते नमः।।
6. Om Bhūtabhṛte Namah
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 BhootaBhrit. 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.
INTERPRETATION GUIDED BY SANT VANI (WORDS OF SAINTS)
The sustainer of beings. He who is the sustainer, supporter, and real source of deep-strength as the indwelling ‘governor’ of our lives.
Bhūtānibibhartiitibhūtabhrt – keeping the sattva-guṇa of māyā under His control, He is the one who sustains the world and all the beings. He nourishes and keeps the world going. Being the material cause, He is in the form of the world and He sustains the world. Just as we sustain all the elements in our dream.
This is the sixth name in the Vishnu Sahasranama and for the first time offers an opportunity for practical application of its interpretation in our daily life as we will see later in this post. We already saw in the earlier post discussing the name BHŪTAKṚD, how BHŪTA refers to “that which has ‘become’” including the 5 principle-elements that make up the Universe and all other beings and objects – animate and inanimate.
Therefore, BHŪTABHṚT: here refers to “He, who assuming the ‘Sattva-guna’ sustains, protects, nourishes, and supports all the ‘BHŪTAS’ in the Universe.
This name has a deep significance to each individual at a practical and personal level. Many of us, in fact most of us depend on others and/or factors outside us for our own security, happiness, peace and so on. The greatest assurance this name BHŪTABHṚT: provides us is the confidence that it is that very person who pervades and envelops the entire Universe who also is the indwelling “आधार शक्ति स्तम्भ” (Adhara-Shakthi-Stambh) – the central pillar of our support-base within.
It is in realizing this that we truly realize our own ‘true-selves’ – instead of looking for our ‘fulfillment’ in others and/or external sources, we remain secure in the steady knowledge that no matter what happens outside of us, however great the upheavals, we can hold on to the deep peace within. Support and assurance is sure to come.
Sri Krishna elaborates this very same principle in three shlokas of the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15; Purushottama Yoga; 13-15.
गामाविश्य च भूतानि धारयाम्यहमोजसा ।
पुष्णामि चौषधीः सर्वाः सोमो भूत्वा रसात्मकः৷৷15.13৷৷
“Entering the earth I support and nourish all beings including the medicinal herbs”.
अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रितः ।
प्राणापानसमायुक्तः पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम्৷৷15.14৷৷
“Dwelling in the body of living beings as that fire/tejas called “Vaiśvanara” and working in conjunction with the Prāna and Apāna digest all that is eaten by them”.
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टोमत्तः स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च ।
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्योवेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् ৷৷15.15৷৷
“I dwell in the hearts of all and the perception of their own selves comes through me. I am the (knower as well as) smritis, the vedas, and the vedanta (and also that which the vedas and vedantas refer to as the ultimate truth)”.
“He who is the sustainer, supporter, and real source of deep-strength as the indwelling ‘governor’ of our lives”.