Five Names Of Vishnu Chanted By Yashoda For Krishna’s Protection

[Krishna and Yashoda]“Mother Yashoda was firmly convinced of the Vedic injunctions about the importance of cows and the holy name of Vishnu; therefore she took all shelter in the cows and the name of Vishnu just to protect her child Krishna. She recited all the holy names of Vishnu so that He might save the child.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 6)

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The mood of vatsalya-rasa is so strong in mother Yashoda that she is not consciously aware of the Divine nature of her son, who was brought to her in the middle of the night from Mathura, where He first emerged from the womb of Devaki, who is the wife of Vasudeva and the sister of Kamsa, the wicked ruler of Mathura.

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]Kamsa wanted that child killed, and the transfer in residence made no difference. He simply sent various associates to do the deed, with one of them being the witch named Putana. She smeared poison on her breast and tried to feed it to baby Krishna, but the result was the death of Putana instead.

Seeing her large, hideous form lying dead in the rural community of Vrindavana, with little Krishna innocently playing on top of her, Yashoda felt relieved and also afraid. To further protect her son, she chanted various names of Lord Vishnu, who was known to the people to be Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

1. Maniman

The Supreme Lord is wealth personified. This is one of the opulences He possesses in full. In truth, whatever quality we would consider to be an opulence, God has it. He is never lacking anything. Since no one can compare to Him, one name for Him is Anupama.

Jewels are a sign of wealth, and they help to enhance beauty. Vishnu is like a string of jewels, since He possesses the most beautiful, transcendental body. Yashoda asked that this feature of Vishnu protect baby Krishna’s thighs.

2. Yajna

This name is significant in the sense that so many rituals take place where the participants make use of the word for identification but remain unaware of its true meaning. In general conversation yajna refers to a sacrifice. Some type of formal worship conducted by man for a specific purpose.

Yet no matter the stated purpose, the person enjoying is the same. Even if the yajna is dedicated to a divine figure different from Vishnu, He remains in the background. Without His sanction, the phala, or fruits, of the ritual could not manifest. Yashoda prayed that Vishnu as Yajna protect Krishna’s legs.

3. Achyuta

This name refers to a person who never falls down. Not just in the literal sense of letting gravity take hold, but also succumbing to pressures, being defeated, not carrying through successfully with a desired objective, and the like. Vishnu always wins. No one is able to defeat Him. He controls maya, after all. The powerful illusory energy of the material world works at His direction. If Achyuta could protect Krishna’s arms, then Yashoda’s son would never fail in the use of those arms.

4. Hayagriva

The literal meaning is a person with a horse-face. Not meant as an insult or metaphor, one time Vishnu took this transcendental form. Hayagriva rescued the Vedas from characters of ill intent and returned them to Lord Brahma, the creator. Yashoda prayed for the protection of Krishna’s abdomen, and since Hayagriva was known to be capable of defeating powerful asuras, such protection would be sufficient.

5. Keshava

[Krishna and Yashoda]This name has several meanings. Vishnu has long, beautiful hair, and so the name suits Him. Vishnu also killed the Keshi demon while in the avatara of Krishna. The assumption is that Yashoda referred to Vishnu specifically, not knowing that her son was non-different from him. The slayer of the Keshi demon would protect Krishna’s heart.

In Closing:

From Mathura through Yamuna going,

New mother son’s nature not knowing.

So when danger to Him coming,

Anxious in prayer becoming.

Mercy of Lord Vishnu sought,

That never again in danger caught.

Like Krishna on dead witch to play,

Yashoda with names of Lord to pray.

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