पूतात्मा परमात्मा च मुक्तानां परमं गतिः।

अव्ययः पुरुष साक्षी क्षेत्रज्ञो अक्षर एव च ।। 2 ।।

10. पूतात्मा   (Putatma)

Meaning

Nothing stains him. He is not affected by human beings limitations.

Story

Sage Markandeya did great penance to beget Lakshmi as his daughter and Lord Viṣṇu as his son-in-law. Pleased with his devotion, the Lord granted him a boon. And one day Lakshmi appeared as a little girl under a tulsi plant. He named her Bhoomi Devi and brought her up with love and care.

When she was of marriageable age a very old and ailing Brahmin appeared at his doorstep. The sage welcomed and offered him hospitality. But the old man asked for the hand of Bhoomi Devi to cook and care for him. Markandeya tried to dissuade him saying that she was too young for him and that she didn’t even know how to cook or add salt to food.

The old man persisted saying that he was willing to eat anything without salt and he would not go till the sage gave him permission to marry the young girl called Bhoomi Devi . The sage was confused and pondered what to do. Meanwhile Lord Viṣṇu showed his real form and the sage immediately accepted his proposal.

He accepts whatever we give him.

The entire universe with all its sentient and insentient matter is BhagvAn’s body. As we learnt in the first two names, BhagvAn is residing as Atma inside every being and every being is protected and nurtured inside him. Our Agnyana (ignorance) will mislead us into thinking that all our faults and limitations affects ParamAtma as we are all HIS body and HE is our atma.

The name PUtAtma negates the question of our actions causing effect on ParamAtma. Even though there is a body and soul relationship between ParamAtma and JeevAtma, the soul is not affected by the blemishes of the body.

For example, when a person walks barefoot on the road, mud and dust gets stuck on to his feet. That mud and dust only makes his legs dirty, not his soul. The soul remains unaffected. Similarly, the effects or phalam of the actions are only felt by the physical body. ParamAtma who is the soul of all beings is unaffected by them. Instead, this jeevAtma gets elevated because of its association with the ParamAtma.

Essence and Phalam

 

Chant

11. परमात्मा   (Paramātmā)

Meaning

Nothing above him.

Story

King ShAntanu’s Son was Devavrata whom we know as BhIshma. Once BhIshma asked his father ShAntanu, the secret behind the fact that ShAntanu was always energetic and looking young for his age. ShAntanu replied that it was because he always drinks Ganga Jal and meditates on BhagvAn. BhIshma asked a second question. Father, you always tell me to meditate on BhagvAn, But I have a doubt, who will BhagvAn meditate upon?

ShAntanu was very happy to answer to this. He said, My dear Devavrat when I was like you I too had the same doubt and I went and asked RiShi NArada about it. His reply was that, once NArada visited Badrikashramam, offered his prayers at NaraNArayana parvat and asked him, Oh Lord NArayana, we all meditate upon you, But who do you meditate upon??  BhagvAn showed his VirATa Swaroopam and told him, “NArada !!, meditation on a supreme entity is mandatory for all Atmas, as there is no one superior to me I meditate on myself.

Essence and Phalam

When you chant on this name business will be good (obstacles will be removed).

Chant

परमात्मने नमः (Parmatmane namah)

12. मुक्तानां परमागतिः  (Muktanam parmagati)

Meaning

HE is the one destination whom you attain after liberation.

Story

The word muktA, refers to the liberated souls. They are freed from the bondage of karma, By Karma we understand, it is both good and bad karma. The Vedas say,a mukta is a person who is ridden off his sins just like how a horse shakes off the hair from its body. Such a liberated soul attains BhagavAn and becomes almost like Him. Here we say almost , because the jIvAtma attains mukti and takes some of the qualities of BhagavAn. For instance the jIvAtma shares the same looks of paramAtma and even holds shankha and chakra. But he still maintains his servitude. He is liberated from the material world and from his Karma but he will always be dependent on BhagavAn. The nature of mastership is not taken over by the liberated souls. Thus BhagavAn is the supreme destination whom every individual soul should attain. The word parama means Supreme and the word gati represents the attainment of the most desirable fruits. Thus the master of all such liberated souls is called MuktAnam ParamAgati.

Essence and Phalam

Obstacles in marriage will be removed.

Chant

13. अव्ययः  (Avyayah)

Meaning

HE makes everyone like HIMSELF. HE is not jealous.

Story

The meaning of this nAmA is understood from the story of Indra and king YayAti. The sole aim of kings those days was to attain the prestigious post of Indra, the king of Devas. Kings used to conduct powerful Yagnyas with this sole aim. Once king YayAti had such a desire and performed great Yagnyas. He gave away countless cows in charity, and also gave free education to the poor. As a result he accumulated good karma enough to fetch him a chance to become Indra. But the existing Indra could not bear this. He did not want to share his throne with anyone. So he went to Brihaspati, the guru of the devas. But Brihaspati clearly denied any help. He said as YayAti has rightfully earned the post of Indra, there was no other way but to shake hands with YayAti and share the throne with him. But a jealous Indra tricked him into sending YayAti out. He could not bear the thought of another king sitting next to him and ruling as another indra. So he slowly started asking him about how YayAti came to become Indra, what were the good deeds that brought him here. An innocent YayAti, at the same time a little proud YayAti began listing the things he had done, starting from his charity work, free education etc., Every time he listed one good deed he had done, His throne kept going down by one step. Finally he ended his list of good deeds with Ashwamedha Yagnya and LO!! he fell straight down on earth. Thus the great Indra who is supposed to be the God of Gods held on to his throne through devious methods. He doesn’t allow another person to share his space and wealth. But Bhagvan is so merciful, He never allows a MuktAtma to return back to this cycle of birth and death. He bestows them with a subtle body, so pure as his own. He does not let them move away from Himself. He is called Avyaya because of this quality.

Essence and Phalam

Children will stay with us without any force.

Chant

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14. पुरुष  (Purushah)

Meaning

HE himself will come to us.

Story

Let us take our pnemonic for this nAmA from the story of Melukote. The main mUrti in this temple was lost for a long time. Ramanujacharya had a dream in which NArAyana himself spoke to him and explained to him where and how HE could be found. Following the diving guidance Ramanujacharya reached the foot hills of Yadugiri and with the help of local people and his disciples started the search process. This is estimated to have happened in the Bahudhanya year, or about 1090 AD, Ramanuja was about 80 years of age. With great difficulty they cut through the forest area and finally found the place that he saw in his dream. There was this anthill grown in between two trees one Champaka and the other Vakula tree. Beneath the anthill the found the statue of Narayana. With inexpressible joy Ramanuja brought the statue out. A very lavish and extra ordinary event was arranged. Where in pails of milk were brought and abhishekam was performed followed by a detail of ritual. Ramanujacharya personally worshipped the deity for 3 days and later reinstalled the statue of Narayana. This was the mUla vigraham or the main mUrty.  Once this was done Ramanuja reinstated the forgotten tradition and thus set up a system of series of festivals both monthly and annual.  For this an Utsava vigraham (processional statue)  was required which will be used in processions and pujas . It is an image case of a compound of five select metals in fixed proportions. Ramanuja was a little worried as this was a long and difficult process. But the people there gave him an information, that,  the statue could have been taken to Delhi by the Sultan when they invaded this area. Ramanuja accordingly made preparations and walked all the way up to Delhi. The king, upon seeing the achArya and his strong resolution to bring his BhagvAn back to His own city, gave him permission to search the apartments where the ransacked treasures were hoarded. Ramanuja had not seen the idol ever in his life. So identifying the correct one could be a problem. But his inner voice kept guiding him and finally not finding it anywhere in the palace premises the guards were about to give up the search. But suddenly the Sultan remembered that his little daughter has been holding one of the idols in her apartment and she used to play with it. He remembered how attached his daughter was to the idol. He suggested that they take a look at that idol too. As they reached the premises Ramanuja felt that it was his NArAyana that  the Sultan’s daughter was playing with. But as a sanyAsi he could not enter the quarters. But the child also refused to give it to Ramanuja. A helpless king told Ramanuja, “You can take it if the statue comes with you. I cannot force my daughter” Hearing this, Ramanuja called out to his NArAyana in fatherly voice, “Chellapillai come to me.. Sampat kumara come to me..” As he kept calling, to everybody’s surprise the idol jumped and walked outside the princess’s quarters, came straight and sat on Ramanuja’s lap. Ramanuja embraced Him with the fondness of a loving parent finding his long-lost son. It shows how BhagvAn comes on his own to his true devotees and that BhagvAn is The Purusha. He gives himself unto the Muktas and Bhaktas so he is called Purusha.

Essence and Phalam

HE himself will come to us.

Chant

पुरुषः सेति इति (Purushah seti iti)

15. साक्षी  (Sakshi)

Meaning

HE is the utmost witness for everything including our innermost thoughts. But I have to ask, then only he will help us. Whenever we lit our bhakti gyanam, then slowly he enters and watches your karma and will not let anything bad happen to us.

Story

sAkshi means the witness. Here we can take the nAmA sAkshi in the sense that BhagvAn is the supreme witness of all that we do. He is the conscience that knows everything about us. Even when we think that nobody is watching us, there is always my inner conscience that watches me 24 hours. It knows what I do and what I think. BhagvAn is prevailing as Atma inside every being and He is the sole sAkshi for every act that it performs.

Another way of looking at it is, like we saw earlier, the goal of every liberated soul is BhagvAn NArAyana. He sees every one of his creations. He grants all the bliss to the muktAtma and witnesses them enjoying the bliss. He is the sAkshi for everything.

Essence and Phalam

 

Chant

ॐ साक्षिणे नमः। (om shakshine namah)

16. क्षेत्रज्ञ:  (Kshetragnya)

Meaning

HE himself is a HOLY place. We need not search anywhere. Whenever time comes, he will choose and give realization to us.

Story

BhagvAn is called kShEtragnya because He knows of a secluded place to confer His experience and presence to his Bhaktas. SriVaikuntam is the kShEtram (auspicious place) where the muktAtma can experience BhagvAn. Given that for an ordinary Bhakta could there be any such auspicious place? Yes the nAmA kShEtragnya means the one who knows of such a place and He shows us that place and guides us there. This is clear from the following story

After the RAma RAvana war was over and everyone returned to Ayodhya, Lord RAma gave presents to all those who assisted Him in the war, as a parting gift. VibhIShana was lucky to get, that mUrthy of Ranganatha which Lord RAma’s forefathers were worshipping. But as VibhIShana was crossing SriRangam, Ranganatha expressed His wish to stay there. So VibhIShana installed Ranganatha in SriRangam and returned to Lanka. After a while he came back to SriRangam to visit Ranganatha who is always in a lying down posture. Seeing this VibhIShana says are you not bored of lying down like this why don’t you walk with me. At that time Lord Ranganatha reminds him of the shore of Thiruppullani where He walked with VibhIShana. He chose that place to give His experience. So BhagvAn knows the right auspicious place so He is kShEtragnya

Essence and Phalam
Chant

ॐ क्षेत्रज्ञाय नमः। (Om kshetragya namah)

17. अक्षर (Akshar)

Meaning

Kshar rahit. One who cannot be destroyed and finished. HE is always giving, daya karuna, wisdom, worldly pleasures. Purna kripa on us is aksharah.

Story

kshara means something that decreases. Akshara is the opposite of this. He is flawless  and ceaselessly experienced by His devotees due to His inherent greatness. Hence He is called akShara. He is replete with boundless divine qualities and does not perish even a little bit.

Essence and Phalam
Chant

ॐ अक्षराय नमः। (Om aksharay namah)

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