Lord of the Universe

Taittiriya Samhita says the Supreme One is balavignyAyah. Sayanacharya gave this word the meaning — the One who knows the strength of the enemy. But it can also be interpreted as the One who knows the strength of Balarama, and therefore takes the form of an icon along with Balarama, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse. If this meaning is accepted, then the Vedic mantra can be said to refer to Lord Jagannatha of Puri, for here Lord Krishna is seen as an icon together with His brother Balarama. But how can the mantra be interpreted as a reference to the One who knows the power of Balarama, when the word in the mantra is bala, not Balarama? Just as the name Satyabhama is often shortened to Bhama, so it can be assumed that the Vedic mantra too has shortened Balarama to bala. If that is the case, then the reference to Puri Jagannatha becomes evident. The same mantra also refers to Paramatma as sthavirah. This name occurs in the Vishnu Sahasranama also. It means that He is permanent. The mantra extols Him as pravIrah. The name vIrah occurs twice in the Sahasranama. The name that follows pravIrah, is sahasvAn. This means One who has strength. The Brahma Vaivartha Purana gives a list of the strengths of various people. A student’s strength lies in being respectful towards his teacher. Patience is the strength of a man who rules a country, and so on. But in Srimad Bhagavatam, Prahlada tells his father the fundamental truth that Lord Narayana is the strength of everyone. But the Lord depends on no one for His strength. He needs no support. The Sanskrit word sahah means strength. Lord Narayana is sahasvAn, because He supports the entire Universe effortlessly. This name too can be taken to refer to the Lord of Puri, for He is Jagannatha — the Lord of the Universe.

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