योगो योग-विदां नेता प्रधान-पुरुषेश्वरः ।

नारसिंह-वपुः श्रीमान केशवः पुरुषोत्तमः ।। 3 ।।

18. योगो (Yogah)

Meaning

The word Yoga as we understand has diverse meanings. Some of which are meditation, fitness, union, remedy etc.Here the meaning is limited to the word “means”, which in sanskrit is “Upaya”.

Story

Near Gokulam, Rshi Gargacharya had his ashram. He and his disciples were carrying out their daily routine. A curd seller who is called dadi bhAnda crosses the ashram. Rishi calls him to buy curd from him. But at that moment all the curd was sold out and so dadi bhAnda offered to go to Gokulam and get some curd for the Rishi. At Gokulam he found one gopastri having a pot full of curd. Dadi bhAnda buys it from her and was about to leave the place when a little boy came running towards him crying out Hey!! that is mine give it to me , give it to me.

Our dadi bhAnda has heard about Krishna from the discourses of the Rishi but has never seen Krishna. So without knowing who it was, he stopped the boy and said that he was taking the curd to the Rishi. But before the curd seller could save it, the pot was already in the hands of the little boy and he started lifting the pot and drinking the curd directly from it. Annoyed by the boys behavior he was about to scold Him but they both were distracted by the sound of some gopastri who was shouting Krishna !! Krishna !! where are you hiding after stealing my butter. Wait let me get my hands on you!!.. Hearing this the little boy who was none other than Krishna begged the dadi bhAnda to allow Him to hide inside the curd pot. Having mercy on the little boy he allowed Him to hide inside the pot, covered it and sat on it. When the gopastri came and asked if he had seen Krishna, the curd seller lied that he had not seen anyone around that place. Dissappointed, the gopastri went on her way searching for Krishna.
By now the dadi bhAnda had understood who the little boy was. Having heard that Krishna is Bhagavan Himself and that He gives Moksham to His Bhaktas, the curd seller wanted to utilise the opportunity. When Krisha asked him to let Him out dadi bhAnda laid a condition. He would let Him out only if He grants him Moksham. Hearing this Krishna teased him by pretending not to understand what the curd seller was talking about. But dadi bhAnda was adamant. He was not ready to release Krishna without getting what he asked for. Krishna was pleased with his perseverance so He granted dadi bhAnda Moksham.

But now our dadi bhAnda had one more request. He slowly said, Krishna , I have heard that, Moksham means reaching Vaikunta lokam. After going there atma continues to serve the Lord in the same way it was serving in bhoo lokam. If I go to vaikuntam I will still serve you as a curd seller. So give Moksham to my curd pot also, was his request. Seeing his dedication and Bhakti Krishna gave Moksham to the curd pot too. Great acharyas say that if someone could come back from Vaikuntam and narrate the status, they will surely tell us about the curd pot which is sitting close to the dadi bhAnda playing its role in serving Narayana. So how did the curd pot which is inanimate, attain Moksha given that it had not done any karma which could lead to Moksha. The pot had performed neither karma yogam nor gnyana yogam nor bhakti yogam. Still it attained Moksham because Krishna himself became yogam here, the means for the pot to attain Moksham. That is why HE is called Yogaha.

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19. योग-विदां नेता (Yoga vidAm netA)

Meaning

One who leads those who practice yoga until they reach their goal which is Moksham. Here practice yoga does not mean the fitness exercise yoga. It refers to the conscious  actions that a bhakta is performing in order to attain Moksha.

Story

Bhagavan says in Gita,

“On those who meditate on me, with single-minded devotion, those who want to be with Me unceasingly, I confer on them the bliss of union with Me constantly never to return back to samsAra again.”

This makes us understand that, even in dadi bhAnda’s case Krishna had created a chain of incidences and given an opportunity to him to ask for Moksham, and then awarded it to the curd seller. He facilitates the attainment of our goal which is Moksham.

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20. प्रधान-पुरुषेश्वरः (Pradhan purusheshwar)

Meaning

Technically the name means, one who is the Lord of primordial matter as well as the jivatma. Simply speaking, He is the owner of the bond and the one who is bound.  PradhAna refers to the cause of bondage, and purusha refers to the jivAtma. He destroys PradhAna and rescues Purusha which is the jivAtma..

Story

To understand and remember the meaning of this nAmA let us see the story of Ghatotkacha and his son. BhEma married HidimbA a woman of rakshasa jAti who bore him a son by name Ghatotkacha.  As he grew and attained the right age, parents BhEma and HidimbA looked for a good girl as bride for their strong son. Around the same time , Lord Krishna defeated NarakAsura in a battle and in the same battle NarakAsura’s commander in chief Mura was also killed. Mura had a daughter by name KamalakAntaka. She was also terrorising innocent people in her own way and Lord Krishna wanted to slay her too. But Lord BramhA stopped Him and said, this girl has the potential to be good. Let us give her a chance to be so. Let us get her married to Ghatokacha.

But when they approached KamalakAntaka with this proposal she put forward 2 conditions for marriage. First, the boy has to defeat her in archery. And the second condition she will marry only that person , to whose questions she does not have answers.

Ghatokacha defeated her in archery and now he had to ask her a tricky question. His question was this,…” In anger, an Asura kills his wife. But before dying she gives birth to a baby girl. This guy being Asura having all the qualities of an Asura lies to that girl about her birth and marries her at a later date and she bears a child to him. Now what will the child call her, Mother ?? or Grand Mother ?? “   Kamalakantaka could not answer this question so as per the condition she married Ghatokacha and they lived a peaceful life. Their son Barbarika grew up in Lanka. Once when BhEma visited Lanka, he was challenged by Barbarika to a battle. Not knowing that Barbarika was his grandson both engaged in a nasty battle. In the end Barbarika was about to kill BhEma when Samudhra Raja, the king of oceans stopped them and revealed their true identity. Now this Barbarika was full of ego . At the time of Kurukshetra war while all the great warriors on Pandava side were planning strategies to defeat Duryodana and his brothers, Barbarika insulted them by saying I can single handedly destroy them in one hour. At that moment Lord Krishna recollects, Barbarika’s previous births and how he had behaved in the same manner filled with ego and ignorance. These qualities combined with great physical strength is a deadly weapon against innocent Bhaktas. So Lord Krishna cut his head off with Sudharshana chakra. Seeing his grandson slayed BhEma spoke thus, “All said and done my grandson was an excellent warrior and his only dream was to be a part of kurukshetra battle. So may he be allowed to at least watch it “. For this Krishna agreed and his head was placed in a tree hollow facing the battle ground. Once the battle was over Barbarika’s atma reached vaikuntam. Bhagavan, destroyed pradhAna which was in the form of Barbarika and gave Mukti to the jivAtma which is the Purusha. So he is called pradhAna purusha Ishvaraha.

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21. नारसिंह-वपुः (Narsingh vapu)

Meaning

He who possesses a body of a man and lion. He removes the impediments to devotion to Him. He removes the fear of His devotees. More than anything, Bhagavan appears as soon as the request is made without any delay.

Story

This is understood from the story of the debate between Mandana Misra and Adi Sankara. One whose garland dries first will be declared as Loser. The idea was that, the person who has is not able to compete  will be more anxious to win and this will increase the heat in his body and his garland will dry fast. Here Mandana Misra’s garland was showing signs of drying and his wife who happened to be the judge for this debate session lost her balance and felt sorry for her losing husband. She secretly came to his rescue by starting to ask questions related to married life. Sankara  having taken up sanyasa at a very early age had no knowledge about grahasta life. He said he could participate in the debate only after experiencing it and travelled  to Ahobilam. The debate was suspended till his return. Sankara reached ahobilam and found a dead body which appeared to be of a king who had been attacked by a wild animal just a while ago. Sankaracharya took this as a God sent opportunity to experience a king’s life. So he used his yogic powers to leave his own body and entered the king’s body. For a while he lived the life of a king and understood the status. But some miscreants who found out the truth when they saw acharya’s body lying  in a cave, started to burn the body. Realising what was happening, Acharya again using his yogic powers, rushed back into his body but unfortunately his right hand had started getting destroyed by the blazing fire. At that moment, he started chanting the Nrusimha Karavalamba slokam and Lo! Before one could wink his hand was restored to its healthy state and he was also protected from the fire. Sankara came back to continue his debate with Mandana Misra and won the debate is History.

So we see, nArasimha vapuhu is the one who comes instantly to protect you. And we also understand that, normal rationalisation should not be applied to anything concerning BhagavAn.

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22. श्रीमान (Shreeman)

Meaning

The one who has a lovely form.

Story

Even when He takes a form that is uncommon and unthinkable, BhagavAn is beautiful. He is charming. His form is celestial. Even in the form of a man and a lion combined in one body He is very attractive. To the ones who want to be away from Him, He still appears frightful. But to the ones who are like Prahalada, filled with pure bhakti, he always appears handsome, majestic and merciful.

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23. केशवः  (Keshavah)

Meaning

There are two interpretations to this nAmA: 

  • kesava is the one who has beautiful locks of hair.
  • One who Slayed the demon named Kesi who was sent to kill Krishna as a child , by his uncle Kamsa.
Story
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24. पुरुषोत्तमः (Purushotamah)

Meaning

Unlike popular understanding, the word purusha does not mean man, instead it means ‘individual’. There are three tatvas in this world – Achit, Chit and Isvara. All insentient objects are called  Achit. The sentient object Jeevatma is called Chit. Which is further divided into Badda, Mukta and Nitya. Badda simply means bonded. All beings that are born in this world are bonded. Mukta is that atma which elevates in knowledge about Bhagavan and surrenders to him unconditionally. He reaches Vaikunta and becomes Muktatma. But Nitya is the ones who is always with Bhagavan serving him constantly, and who are not born in this world, like Garuda, Vishvaksena. Finally Ishvara is one.

The one who is different from the Achit is Purusha

The one who is different from Baddatma is Utpurusha

The one who is differe nt from Muktatma is Uttarapurusha

The one who is different from Nityatma is Uttama Purusha. He is celebrated by the name Purushottamaha.

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