Excerpts from the Nama-Ghosa: Namanvaya

Nāmānvaya refers to the Analysis of the Lord’s Name. In this section of the Nām Ghosā, Madhavadeva dwells upon the true meaning or purport of the Names of Lord Krishna.

Meaning of the Name ‘Krishna’

The word ‘Krish’ is indicative of ‘earth’;
na’ subsisteth in ‘happiness’.
The two have become one word ‘Krishna
Who is the paramount (parama) Brahma.
The name signifieth simply ‘happiness’ (ānanda)
[Verse 140]

The pains (krishatā) of beings do always go off,
Whilst doing service at the feet of the Lord.
Know thou, for this reason, God is called ‘Krishna’.
This well-known explanation is beautiful indeed!

Meaning of the Names ‘Sadānanda’ and ‘Nityānanda’

At all times He is Self-Blissful (nijānanda), Full of Happiness,
Undivided Joy that ceaseth not.
Therefore is the Lord called 'Sadānanda' (Ever-Joyous),
'Nityānanda' (Eternally-Joyous) for sure.

Meaning of the Name ‘Nārāyana’

Know ye ‘ka’, ‘i’, ‘sa’ these three
Are the meanings for Brahmā, Visnu and Maheswar respectively.
The particle ‘va’ signifieth Nārāyana
Hence He is called 'Kesava',
Who covereth the trinity.

Meaning of the Name ‘Acyuta’

In serving the feet of Lord Krishna,
Man is able to avoid any fall brought about
In this world mysteriously.
It is for this reason that the Lord is called ‘Acyuta’ (The Infallible One)
By the saints, certainly.

Meaning of the Name ‘Narottama’

By worshipping the Feet of Krishna,
Even the worst (among men) become the best (uttama).
Know that for this reason,
The name ‘Narottama’ of the Lord
Has become famous in the world.

Meaning of the Name ‘Narasimha’

By knowing the Lord and worshipping Him,
Man (nara) becomes free from illusion,
And wanders about fearlessly as a lion (simha).
Hence the Name of God became ‘Narasimha’ (Man-Lion).
Thus the sages speak.