Keshava Namas

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According to Vaishnavas, Vishnu, the supreme god (सर्वोत्तम) has infinite names. 24 of these names of The lord are present in a group called ‘chaturvimshati keshava namas’

Etymology[edit]

The word keshava Namas refers to the 24 names of lord Vishnu the first of which is Keshava. It is often referred to as chaturvimshati namas (चतुर्विंशति नाम)

Background[edit]

The 24 Forms of vishnu seems to have been conceived in the Mahabharatha. Its Roopa and forms are first mentioned in Agni Purana, The Rūpamaṇḍana and the Aparājitapṛcchā.[1] Apart from these they are also mentioned in vaishnava puranas such as Bhagavata and Vishnu purana. The keshava namas were thus well established during the ancient period of hinduism

Usage[edit]

  • The keshava namas are most sacred names for Vaishnavites which are recited and praised at the beginning of all Vedic pujas in Hinduism.
  • The Achamana is a ritual where the namas are used while simultaneously touching the numerous parts of the body to purify them.
  • It forms an important part of the bhakti devotional where bhaktas like Purandara Dasa have sung many devotional songs in praise of them
  • Archanas to lord Vishnu are incomplete without at least a single recitation of the namas

Iconography[edit]

  • the 24 Names of Vishnu are all represented as standing and holding 4 of his emblems the chakra, shankha, gadaa, padma

The twenty-four varieties of standing Viṣṇu images symbolize his different visible forms. The only distinguishing point or difference between these images being merely the order of emblems held by the four hands, each variety deserves a separate description.[1]

The 24 Names of keshava namas[2][edit]

Keshava[edit]

Keshava
  • order of emblems shankha, Chakra, Padma, Gada,
  • One whose own forms are - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for the creation, maintenance and destruction of universe (by synthesis of ‘K’ for Brahma, ‘A’ for Vishnu, ‘isha’ for Shiva and ‘va’ for ‘svarupa’ form),
  • One who is endowed with the rays of light spreading within the orbit of the sun,
  • One who has good, soft, dense, black hair (Kesha),
  • One who destroyed the demon Keshi in the Krishna avatara
  • The lord of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Sri Golden Aakasha (Sky/ Space)

Narayana[edit]

Narayana
  • order of emblems Padma, Gada, shankha, Chakra
  • One who is the final refuge (ayana) of all Nara (living beings), One who resides (ayana) in all the jivas (nara), One who rests (ayana) on water (nara) within the universe
  • One who does not have any blemish, and complete with all gunas (qualities)
  • Naara – Water, Ayana – Resting place, The Supreme Lord Vishnu whose resting place is water is therefore called Naarayana.
  • Nara means humans and Ayana means shelter so Narayana means the shelter of all human beings.
  • Narayana is “The Supreme Being who is the foundation of all men.
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Lakshmi White Vayu (Air/Gas)

Madhava[edit]

maadhava
  • Order of Emblems : chakra, shankha, gada, padma
  • One who is the Lord of Knowledge One who is the Husband (Dhava) of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
  • order of emblems: chakra, shanka, gada, padma
  • He is Lakshmipathi the consort of Ma, or Mahalaksmi, the Mother of the universe.
  • Jnaanadhipathi: One who is fit to be known through Madhu-vidya (kn or One who is the Lord of “Ma” or knowledge.
  • One who was born (descendant) in the tribe of Madhu (Yadu).
  • The Lord of Brahma Vidya: One who is the owner of all the attributes of Goddess of wealth
  • One who is bestower and source of sweetness (ultimate Ananda).
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Kamala Black Vahni (Fire/Light)

Govinda[edit]

Govinda

Main Article Govinda

  • Order of Emblems : Gada, Padma, Chakra, Shankha
  • One who protects the Earth, Vedas, and the Cow.
  • One who enlivens the senses.
  • One who is the owner of Golokadhāma.
  • Supreme Personality of pleasure (Ananda).
  • The protector and preserver of the universe; he is the source of power.
  • One who is the source of energy to the sun and one who provides light to this world.
  • One who is bestower and source of sweetness (ultimate Ananda).
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Padma Spatika (Crystal white) Apa (Water)

Vishnu[edit]

Vishnu

Main Article Vishnu

  • Order of Emblems : Padma, Shankha, Gada, Chakra
  • Omnipresent, all pervasive, indweller of everybody and everything.
  • An early commentator on the Vedas, Yaska, in his Nirukta, defines Vishnu as ‘vishnu vishateh; one who enters everywhere
  • ‘yad vishito bhavati tad vishnurbhavati; that which is free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu.’
  • Destroyer of the fear of samsara.
  • Giver and provider of things.
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
padmini Padma Kesara (Yellow) Prithvi (Earth)

Madhusudana[edit]

Madhusudana

Main Article madhusudana

  • Order of Emblems : Shankha,Padma, Chakra, Gada
  • He has killed Madhu named daitya.
  • One who clears all wrong knowledge (samshya, agnana, and viparitha gnana)
  • One who gives us sukha (pleasure and comfort) and removes asukha
  • One whose form is like honey
  • One who provides and knowledge to control our Indhriyas (Madhu = Indhriyas).
  • One who killed ahi, vrutra, and vrutrata daityas
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Kamalalaya Red Shabda (Sound)

Trivikrama[edit]

trivikrama

Main Article trivikrama

  • Order of Emblems : Gada, Chakra,Padma,Shankha
  • The lord who measured all the three worlds (with his single step)
  • God of three strides
  • For Devas, Manushyas, and Dhanavas, he provides sristi, stiti, and laya and he is above this.
  • In all the three worlds, has over powered the three states:

a. AdhyAtma- Concerning the SELF (soul); b. Adhibhuta- Concerning five elements (panchabootha) pR^ithvi (Earth), appu (Water), tEjas (Fire), AkAsha (Sky) & vAyu (Air); c. Adhidaiva: Concerning divine deities.

Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
ramaa (Fire) Red Sparsha (Touch)

Vamana[edit]

Vamana

Main Article vamana

  • Order of Emblems : Chakra,Gada,Shankha, Padma
  • Vamana means sundara, dwarf, handsome among all those beautiful
  • Supplier of things born out of His desire
  • He is the one who pushed Bali to patala loka
  • Vamana teaches us that arrogance and pride should be abandoned if any advancement in life is to be made, and that wealth should never be taken for granted since it can so easily be taken away
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Vrushaakapi Rising Sun (Red) Roopa (Sight/Light)

Shridara[edit]

Sridara

Main Article Sridara

  • Order of Emblems : Chakra,Gada,Padma, Shanka
  • One who has SriLakshmi in his heart . He who supports godess lakshmi
  • Sridara means:‘Dhah’ denotes bearing; ‘Rah’ stands for giving blissful joy
  • The Lord has no need for deriving joy from any external being or source, since he is ‘svaramana’ and ‘ApatakAma’;
  • It is SriH instead who derives joy by being seated on His chest, without ever becoming a ’cause’ or ‘source’ for the Lord to experience joy.
  • 610th Nama of Vishnu in vishnusahastranama
  • As per the chatur vyuha concept .. sridhara have emanated from vyuha aniruddha
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Dhanya White Rasa (Taste)

Hrishikesha[edit]

Hrishikesha

Main Article Hrishikesha

  • Order of Emblems : Chakra,Padma,Gada, Shanka
  • The lord of the senses.
  • He under whose control the senses subsist.
  • He whose hair consists of the rays of the sun and the moon, which give joy to the world.
  • 47th Nama of Vishnu in vishnusahastranama
  • As per the chatur vyuha concept .. hrishikesha have emanated from vyuha aniruddha
  • letter of gayatri mantra "go"
  • lord of the bhadrapada month
  • in achanmana .. he is indicated by folded hands in namaskara position
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Vruddhi Lightning (White) Gandha (Smell)

Padmanabha[edit]

Padmanabha

Main Article Padmanabha

  • Order of Emblems : Padma,Chakra, Shanka,Gada
  • One who has the lotus (Padma) in his navel (Nabha) which is the birthplace of Brahma the creator deity of 14 worlds within the universe, one whose navel is as beautiful as lotus flower
  • One whose nabhi (Navel) is extremely deep (one of the 32 lakshanas of the perfect Man)
  • 48th Nama of Vishnu in vishnusahastranama
  • As per the chatur vyuha concept .. padmanabha have emanated from vyuha aniruddha
  • letter of gayatri mantra "de"
  • lord of the Ashwija month
  • in achanmana .. he is indicated by touching both the thighs
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Yagna Black Vaak (Speech)

Damodara[edit]

Damodara

Main Article Daamodara

  • Order of Emblems : Shanka,Chakra, Gada,Padma
  • One who was tied with a cord (daama) around his waist (udara) in Krishna avatara by his mother Yasoda
  • One who has entire universe as his abode
  • one who removes all the difficulties of those who have complete control over senses
  • As per the chatur vyuha concept .. padmanabha have emanated from vyuha aniruddha
  • letter of gayatri mantra "va"
  • lord of the kartika month
  • in achanmana .. he is indicated by touching forehead
Lakshmi’s Name Color of Lord Tattvas (Elements)
Indira Red Paani (Hand)

Sankarshana[edit]

One who has both the powers of attraction and repulsion, Another name of Ananta Shesha (who is a part of Lord Vishnu) upon whom rests Lord Vishnu within the universe at Ksheera Sagara, One who is the Lord of Ahamkara (Individual Ego), Second amongst the fourfold manifestation (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e. Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha)

Vasudeva[edit]

One who resides (Vasu) in all living beings and in turn all living beings reside (Vasu) in him, One who is the Lord of Chitta (Subconscious mind), Foremost & Supreme amongst the fourfold manifestation (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e. Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha)

Pradyumna[edit]

One who is most wealthy, One who is most lovable, One who is the Lord of Buddhi (Intellect), Third amongst the fourfold manifestation (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e. Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha)

Aniruddha[edit]

One who is uncontrollable & unstoppable, One who is the Lord of Manas (Mind), Fourth amongst the fourfold manifestation (Chatur-Vyuha) of Lord Vishnu (i.e. Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha)

Purushottama[edit]

One who is the Supreme Purusha (Purusha + Uttama = Purushottama) or Supreme God, One who is the Supreme Purusha beyond the Kshara (Destroyable i.e. Prakṛti) and Akshara (Undestroyable i.e. Atman)

Adhokshaja[edit]

One who has eternal knowledge, One who is beyond knowledge acquired through the senses

Narasimha[edit]

Main Article Narasimha

One who took half lion-half man incarnation to protect his devotee Prahlada and to kill demon Hiranyakashipu

Achyuta[edit]

One who never loses his inherent nature and powers (i.e. One who is infallible)

Janardana[edit]

One who is protector of his devotees and destroyer of their enemies, One who is to be worshiped to get the wishes fulfilled (i.e. to be liberated from cycle of births and deaths)

Upendra[edit]

One who appeared as a younger brother of Indra in Vamana avatara

Hari[edit]

One who takes away (all the illusions, attachments, desires, pains & material existence of his devotees and destroys their material bondage i.e. gives them Moksha)

Krishna[edit]

One with most beautiful dark blue (water filled cloud) complexion, One who is attractive, one who enchants, One who took Krishna Avatara, One who is always in a state of Bliss (with his sport of creation etc.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dr. Kalpana Desai (31 December 2013). Iconography of Visnu. Abhinav Publications. pp. 10–. GGKEY:GSELHU3JH6D. 
  2. ^ Boovaraha, Upendran. "Chaturvimshadhi Roopa – 24 Keshavaadi Roopas of Lord Sriman Narayana". https://vicharavedike.wordpress.com. Upendran Boovaraha. Retrieved 25 April 2015.  External link in |website= (help)