The 108 Names of Sri Bhagavan (Ramana Ashtothara 52-68) Original Sanskrit by Sri Viswanatha Swami and English Translation & Commentary by Professor K. Swaminathan
52. Maharsi: Great seer who has realized the Truth supreme and reveals it to others.
[This name was given to Bhagavan (a youth till then known as Brahmana Swami) by the eminent scholar, Vasishtha Ganapathi Muni, himself recognised as Kavyakantha by a distinguished Pandita Parishad. (Books by Wei Wu Wei and other Western scholars refer to Sri Ramana simply as ‘The Maharshi’].
Om Maharsaye namah.
53. Bhagavan: Master of bhaga; god or godly person.
[Bhaga stands for the plenitude of aisvarya (opulence), parakrama (heroic courage), kirti (renown), splendour, jnana and vairagya (dispassion). This title too was conferred by Ganapathi Muni. Outsiders and the general public speak of him as the Maharshi; people in the inner circle call him ‘Bhagavan’. The word Bhagavan also means one who watches as a mere witness the world process].
Om Bhagavate namaha.
54. Idyah: One worthy of praise, one able to elevate those who honour him.
[Many devotees from far and near came to him and found comfort, strength, illumination, peace and joy in his presence].
Om Idyaya namah.
55. Bhâma-vidya visaradah: One well-versed in bhumavidya.
[Bhuma is the ground and Brahma is the Name of Being Awareness, the blissful experience of the pure I AM, where one sees no other, hears no other, knows no other. This is the supreme knowledge which, according to the Chandogya Upanishad, the sage Narada sought and secured from Sanatkumara, youth eternal. In south Indian poetry and folklore, Subrahmanya, Muruga, youth eternal, communicates this supreme knowledge to even common people. If poets and people see in Sri Ramana the modern manifestation of the six-faced God ever revealing the future, it is because they find him ready and able to perform the special function and play the revolutionary role of broadcasting the highest wisdom to all and sundry and doing this without dilution or distortion. For the Truth is joy in widest commonality spread].
Om Bhâmavidyavisaradaya namah.
56. Vimalah: The flawless one.
[The flaws in our human nature, which hide the Self as clouds conceal the Sun, are the dark shadows cast by the ego. Bhagavan, being wholly egoless, shines as pure Awareness free from every flaw].
Om Vimalaya namah.
57. Dirghadarsi: Far-sighted seer.
[One of transcendental vision who sees beyond time and space; one who looks through the phenomenal and sees the Real].
Om Dirgha darsine namah.
58. Aptah: Near and dear one.
[Closest of friends and kinsmen, dwelling in one’s own heart and ever available for help; atmabandhu; Self of the self].
Om Aptaya namaha.
59. Rujumarga pradasakah: Revealer of the straight, direct path.
[Since he is no other than the I, the atman within each one of us, and therefore aptah, near and dear, the goal, the path, the journey and the guide, he can never mislead us. The seeker of jnana through self-enquiry, the follower of Bhagavan, can never miss the way, or be distracted, or cease to grow in wisdom and joy. Bhagavan’s path is the vertical path, the sunward path, the inward path, growth in wholeness, in freedom and responsibility alike. In such growth, one can never lose one’s way. Horizontal movement can be in any direction, but the vertical movement, the inward movement, is deep and high, pure awareness sustaining relative awareness. Bhagavan’s followers grow like giant trees, rooted in actuality and conversing with the Sun of Reality; they are not creepers running in sundry directions. Turning to the eternal Sun, the guru within, and rooted in one’s own soil, time, place, and circumstance, one grows straight in and through the strength of joy. One counts one’s blessings and spreads brightness, as one faces the Sun and lets the shadow fall behind.
Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud Is bright and shining.
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.
Darkness is seen as only the partial or transient absence of the eternal light].
Om Rujumarga pradasakaya namah.
60. Samad k: Seer who sees only sameness, oneness, wholeness, who sees with calm, impartial eyes.
[Sama means even, not odd, balanced, not tilted. The samadrik sees things as various manifestations of one sole awareness. He sees the unity of being, the substance, not the names and forms. He takes no sides in any conflict, as he recognises no duality and is therefore ever calm, impartial, all-comprehending].
Om Samadse namah.
61. Satyad k: Seer of Truth, one who sees what is.
[He sees the permanent element in this changing universe. When a child scans a printed page, it recognises the letters but misses the meaning. The mother grasps the meaning at a glance and takes no notice of the individual letters, or notices them with and for the sake of the child. The letters are there, they are true, they have some satya. But they are not satyasya satya, the meaning, the spirit behind the letters. Bhagavan saw the reality behind appearances. But like the loving mother he also noticed the appearances, the satya which half conceals and half reveals the Sat. Name No. 17, Paramarthavit presented an earlier picture when the Srimad dvadasanta mahasthale labdha vidyodah and the mahasakti nipatena prabuddhah saw only the Self, the inner spirit, the total meaning of the universe, pure Awareness, and could not see what other people saw. Now, in the Virupaksha cave period, he reads the scriptures, talks to people at their level, recognises the need for letters to convey meaning, and so sees not only sat, the total truth, but satya, its actual, sensuous, mental, intellectual aspects which alone others have grasped. Thus like a good mother teaching her child the art of reading, he leads people step by step to higher levels of awareness, teaches them how to grow from satya to fuller satya within sat. Samadrik and satyadrik are mutually complementary terms. Every satya is a complete manifestation of the one sat. Bhagavan saw every satya in this light and hence did not choose as between one satya and another. He saw all things as whole manifestations of the whole Reality. He saw the beauty of the crescent moon. He made no invidious comparisons which make us ‘rich one moment, to be poor forever’].
Om Satyadse namah.
62. Satyah: One who is all satya, one who embodies Reality.
[The Tamil word Mei stands both for the body and for truth. Muruganar says, “Without explanation he reveals the simple truth (his bare body).” Bhagavan revealed reality by his mere physical presence. The paramartha sat, transcendental Being, is here present before our physical eyes as vyavahara satya, relative truth. His body embodied sat, the Being which is Awareness-Bliss].
Om Satyaya namaha.
63. Prasantah: One full of peace serene, the embodiment of stillness.
[Free from all distraction and dissatisfaction, he is all peace and calmness. His presence spreads tranquillity].
Om Prasantaya namah.
64. Amita Vikramah: Boundless victor, one of immeasurable heroism.
[Peace or santi is the inner or awareness aspect and Power or sakti is the outer or active aspect of reality. Perfect peace is boundless power. The power of Being and the energy of Awareness are potential in stillness and visible in movement. Prasantah is amita vikramah. The top surface of a very high column of water may be still, but the stillness holds and hides an enormous force. Bhagavan’s living peace brings active power and moulds heroes out of common clay].
Om Amita vikramaya namah.
65. SukumÅrah: The comely Son, Muruga, ever fresh, ever fair, ever fragrant, ever young.
[Pranava means ever new. Om is the symbol of jnana, the awareness which is perennially fresh, spontaneous, creative, unpolluted by any contact and purifying everything it touches. Muruga, god of beauty, god of youth, god of the future, is born of the perennially renewed union of sunlight and the Ganga at its source, both ever fresh and immaculate. Amita vikrama, the ever victorious warrior, and Sukumarah, the ever youthful hero full of courage and wisdom, delights in action every moment as he faces the future, joyous, free and unafraid].
Om Sukumaraya namah.
66. SadÅnandah: One whose bliss is perpetually renewed.
[The sun, the Ganga, brightness, vigour, movement, joy, Being manifest as bliss in becoming, reborn from moment to moment, he is sadyojata and so sadananda].
Om Sadanandaya namah.
67. MrudubhÅshi: One whose speech is sweet and gentle.
[Moonlight is calm and cool but lifeless. Sunlight on Ganga water is bright, cool, sweet and vibrant and speaks to us in whispers of a bliss for ever new. Bhagavan’s speech was a gentle ripple on the surface of deep silence].
Om Mrudu bhashina namah.
68. Dayarnava: Ocean of compassion.
[Bhagavan’s grace makes him so accessible. Siva’s grace is embodied in Muruga, who is a visible, vibrant, adorable beam of his splendour. The terrible and the sublime are now available to us in a comely, homely, manageable human form. Bhagavan Maharshi is also soft of speech and overflowing with compassion. The Sun has been caught and tamed and brought home as agni, a flame of fire born in the waters of compassion].
Om Dayarnavaya namah.