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Shloka 1

In this part we will explore the meaning of the first Shloka of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam.

Shloka 1
हरिः ओम्

विश्वं विष्णुर्वषट्कारो भूतभव्यभवत्प्रभुः |
भूतकृद्भूतभृद्भावो भूतात्मा भूतभावनः || 1 ||

Vishvam Vishnur Vashatkaaro BhootaBhavyaBhavatPrabhuh |
Bhootakrit Bhootabhrit Bhaavo Bhootatma Bhootabhavanah ||1||


Bhagavan is the Creator of the Universe and pervades everything and everywhere. He controls the Universe and He is the master of the Past, Present and the Future. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of all beings. He exists in full splendour and is the essence of all beings and nurtures all beings. This Shloka 1 contains the following 9 Namas:

  1. Vishvam
  2. Vishnuh
  3. Vashatkaarah
  4. BhootaBhavyaBhavatPrabhuh
  5. Bhootakrit
  6. Bhootabhrit
  7. Bhaavah
  8. Bhootatma
  9. Bhootabhavanah

the Cause and the effect; hence He is Vishvam. He pervades everything and everywhere; He is Sarva vyapi and Sarva antaryami and hence He is Vishnuh.

He controls the Universe, so He is known as Vashatkaaro. He is the Master of the Past, Present and Future, hence He is BhootaBhavyaBhavatPrabhuh.

He is the Creator and Destroyer of all beings, so He is Bhootakrit. As Bhootabrit He is the sustainer of the Universe. He exists in full splendour with his many Bhaavas.

He is the essence of all beings and is present within all beings, hence He is Bhootatma. As He nurtures all beings like a mother nurtures her child, He is Bhootabhavanah.

Thus, the very first Shloka demonstrates Bhagavan’s complete and total command over space, time and all the beings in the Universe.


Viśva means all pervading. The first nāma gives a preview of what is going to be discussed in this Sahasranāma. The Brahman alone is all pervading. He is the cause, and the effect of which is the u

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  The previous nāma said that the Brahman is beyond comprehension. This nāma says Thy name is Viṣhṇu. The significance between the first two nāmas is the root word viṣ, which means all perva

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Name 3

But, why Viṣṇu is being called Vaṣaṭkāraḥ? Yajur Veda (I.vii.4) answers this question. It says, “By sacrifice to Viṣṇu, by the sacrifice may I attain health, wealth and security as Vi

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Viṣṇu is the Lord of time, past, present and future. This refers nāma to His eternity. Only the Brahman can be beyond time. Bhūta-bhavya-bhavat refers to past, future and present and prabu is a

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Bhūtakṛt means the Creator. Kṛt refers to both creation and destruction. Viṣṇu, as the Brahman is not merely the Creator but also the Annihilator of the universe. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad

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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

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This nāma refers to His purest form of existence. The purest form of consciousness is the Brahman. The previous nāma refers to His saguṇa form and this nāma refers to His nirguṇa form. He exist

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He exists as Ātman in all the beings. Without Ātman or soul, no organism can exist. BṛhadāraṇyakaUpaniṣad (III.vii.20) explains this concept by saying, “eṣa ta ātmānantaryāmyamṛtaḥ

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He nourishes His creations. Brahman not only creates, but also nourishes. Whatever is created has to be nourished. This nāma elucidates His compassion. Brahman is full of compassion. Brahman creates

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Shloka 2

In this Part we will explore the meaning of the 2nd Shloka of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama.

श्लोक 2

पूतात्मा परमात्मा च मुक्तानां परमागतिः |
अव्ययः पुरुषः साक्षी क्षेत्रज्ञोऽक्षर एव च || 2 ||

Pootatma Paramatma cha MuktaanaamParamaaGatihi |
Avyayah Purushas Saakshee Kshetragno Akshara Eva Cha ||2||


The Lord is pure and is untainted by the actions of the body (Jivatma) in which he resides; He is the Ultimate Consciousness Who is the Knower, Seer, Sustainer, Enjoyer and those immersed in his thoughts attain Paramagati or Moksha, and enjoy the eternal bliss that is limitless.

This Shloka contains the following 8 Namas:

  • 10. Pootatma
  • 11. Paramatma (Cha)
  • 12. MuktaanaamParamaaGatihi
  • 13. Avyayah
  • 14. Purushah
  • 15. Saakshee
  • 16. Kshetragnah
  • 17. Aksharah(Eva cha)

of the body (Jivatma) in which he resides, so He is Pootatma.

He is the Ultimate Consciousness who is the Knower, Seer, Sustainer, Enjoyer and the Paramatma. Those immersed in his thoughts attain Paramagati or Moksha, so He is MuktanamParamagatihi. He is immortal, indestructible and has no decay, hence He is Avyayah.

Our body is considered an abode and He resides there and hence He is Purushah. Bhagavan is Omniscient and sees everything as a Sakshee. He is Kshetragnah as He leads his devotees to Supreme bliss. He is without destruction and eternal, so He is Aksharah.


  He is the embodiment of purity. This nāma refers to His nirguṇa aspect. Purity is the stage where guṇas, impressions and illusions are absent. The Brahman alone can be the embodiment of purity

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He is addressed as the Supreme Spirit or the Brahman. The Purest form of Consciousness is Paramātma. He is the combination of eternal existence, Pure Consciousness and Infinite Bliss. This combinatio

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Mukta means all those who are liberated. Mukta-s can find a way out of bondage, through Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu is the ultimate goal of all the liberated men. Men have attained liberation by pursuing the

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Brahman is beyond modification. He is eternal. BṛhadāraṇyakaUpaniṣad (IV.iv.25) says, “Birth-less Brahman is non-decaying and immortal.” This also proves the point that the Brahman is not b

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The one who resides in a body. Pura means a fort. Body is compared to a fort. Nine openings in the body are the nine gates. Bhagavad Gita (V.13) says, ‘navadvāre pure’. The nine openings in the b

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What does the puruṣa do by remaining within? He not only rules, He also acts as a witness without partaking in any of the activities done by the embodied mind and body. Puruṣa seated within is the

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Kṣetra is the gross body and Kṣetrajña is the soul. Chapter XIII of Bhagavad Gita is totally devoted to the discussion of Kṣetrajña and kṣetra. All these nāma-s distinguish the Brahman from

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The imperishable. The Brahman is imperishable and He alone is imperishable. The whole universe is made up of kṣaraḥक्षरःAkṣaraḥअक्षरः or perishables and the imperishable.

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