In the ISKCON commentary on the Srimad Bhagavatam, various scriptural quotes are given in support of Gaudiya Vaishnava beliefs about the forms of Vishnu and his incarnations. In particular, this quote from the Vishnu Sahasranamam is given:
Also from the Mahābhārata: amṛtāḿśo 'mṛta-vapuḥ.
This means that Vishnu is Amritamsha, or he whose incarnations are eternal, and Amritavapuh, or he whose body is eternal. And indeed, this quote is found in the BORI critical edition of the Mahabharata:
100 kumudaḥ kuṃdaraḥ kundaḥ parjanyaḥ pavano 'nilaḥ
amṛtāṃśo 'mṛtavapuḥ sarvajñaḥ sarvato mukhaḥ
The Southern recension of the Mahabharata says the same thing:
kumudaH kundaraH kundaH parjanyaH pavano.anilaH.
amR^itAMsho.amR^itavapuH sarvaj~naH sarvatomukhaH.. 13-254-102
Despite all that, I have reason to believe that the verse actually says "amritasho amritavapuh" rather than "amritamsho amritavapuh". That is to say, I think it's possible that Vishnu is described "Amritasha", which means he that consumes or gives nectar, rather than Amritamsha.
The reason I suspect this is that all the commentaries on the Vishnu Sahasranamam I've come across say that it's Amritasha. Here is what this excerpt from Adi Shankaracharya's commentary says, for instance:
The drinker of nectar (Amritashah)
Being himself the source of nectar; or he who gave the nectar to Devas and himself participated in it; i.e. the nectar obtained by the churning (of the ocean of milk); or whose desire is for Amrita, i.e., immortality.
And here is what the Sri Vaishnava commentator Parashara Bhattar says:
- Amritaasah— He Who feeds with Nectar. He feeds His devotees with the Nectar viz, His auspicious qualities.
And here is what the Gaudiya Vaishnava commentator Baladeva Vidyabhushana says:
amRtam ayAcitam moksham ASayati bhojayati bhkatAn iti amRtASah – He Who feeds – bestows moksham to His devotees unasked, is amRtASah.
So what's going on here? Did all the commentators get the verse wrong? Or is the verse given in the BORI critical edition and the Southern recension of the Mahabharata incorrect?
Does anyone know whether there are other manuscripts or recessions of the Mahabharata which say "amritasho" rather than "amritamsho"?