[Advaita-l] Kanchi Maha-swamigal's Discourses on Advaita Saadhanaa (KDAS-73)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 28 08:57:12 CDT 2006


For a Table of Contents of these Discourses, see
For the previous post, see


*nishThA shAntiH parAyaNaM* comes in Vishnu-sahasranAmaM. Some names occur
here in a chain, relating to each other beautifully on the same concept.
There are nine names (of God)  strung together like flowers in a garland, on
the idea of SannyAsa. 

*.. nirvANaM bheshhajaM bhishhak /
sannyAsakRt shamaH shAnto nishThA shAntiH parAyaNaM *//

*nirvANaM* is the end of jnAna-yoga. He is the same as the saguNa-mUrti

*bheshhajaM* means medicine. He is the medicine in the form of jnAnaM for
the disease of samsAra. 
Muthut-tANDavar was a devotee of God Nataraja. He lived before the age of
the musical trinity of Tamilnadu. When a snake bit him he considered Lord
Nataraja as the only medicine and sang an extempore  Tamil composition
beginning with *aru-marundoru tani marundu*   (meaning: the rare medicine,
the unique medicine) on Lord Nataraja. He was relieved from the snake

When the poison of karma invades the system the medicine of jnAnaM that is
the antidote for the poison  is only the Lord.

He is not only the medicine; but He is also the Doctor who gives the
medicine! So He is *bhishak* (Doctor). Here in Tiruvanmiyur (in Chennai,
India) the Lord presents Himself as "marundIshvara" (the Lord who is the
medicine). In the town called Vaideesvaran Koil he is called
"Bhava-roga-vaidyanatha swami' meaning the JnAna-Acharya who cures the
disease of samsAra. In his commentary on Vishnu Sahasranama, the Acharya
says "the Doctor who gave the medicine of the Gita for all the world".

In the Gita the Lord gave his final diagnosis and the curing medicine, which
is SannyAsa.  He leads us on through the path of karma yoga ultimately to
the SannyAsa in jnAna yoga. In the science of Ayurveda, they first give you
a laxative-type of medicine and then only they give you the medicine that is
needed for the illness. So also the Lord gives first the laxative of karma
yoga so that all our karma-garbage may be exhausted and then finally when he
gives the medicine of jnAna, he prescribes sannyAsa.  In the beginning it
was he who created the four Ashramas and made Sannyasa the fourth Ashrama.
So He is *sannyAsa-kRt*, the maker of SannyAsa.

We saw a lot about *shama*.  That is also the form of the Lord. When the
mind stills to rest that is shamaM. That is in fact the heart of jnAna yoga,
its life. Right now it is unbridled in us and from this through the various
stages of its control little by little, we have to go through several steps.
Finally when nothing of the mind is left, it rests in the Atman; that is the
destination point.  That is the goal of a SannyAsi. At this place the
Acharya gives a quotation which pinpoints a unique  dharma for  each
Ashrama.  It says: "For the SannyAsi his dharma is shamaM; for the
Vana-prastha, his dharma is the conglomerate of tapas and vratas, all
together called niyama; for the householder the dharma is charity; and for
the brahmachari it is serving the guru.

*yatInAM prashamo dharmo
niyamo vanavAsinAM /
dAnameva gRhastAnAM
shushrUshhA brahma-chAriNAM //

Next comes the name *shAntaH*.  He who has shama is shAntaH.

Only next to this, the word *nishThA* appears. Having become a sannyAsi, and
then also a shAnta for whom the mind is totally at rest, he establishes
himself firmly in the nishThA of the experience of jnAna, that state is also
the Lord.  This is The SaguNa Brahman who is our Lord with attributes, in
His nirguNa state.

And in that state there is a total peace. Therefore *shAntiH*. And that is
the supreme goal; therefore *parAyaNaM*. 


As soon as the sannyAsa is taken, one gets the mahAvakya-teaching. To
receive that is shravaNaM. 'mananaM' is the chewing and churning of that in
the mind by repetitions and analysis. Following that is the dhyAna that is
done to get the direct experience; this is called nidhidhyAsanaM. These
three complete the sAdhanA.

These three (shravaNa, manana and  nidhidhyAsana) are actually commands  of
the Vedas. The same Upanishad which talks about shama, dama, uparati and
titikshhA (BrihadAraNyakopanishad: II-4-5) also gives the commands about
these three.  But shama, dama, etc. are not directly given as  an order,
they are recommended only indirectly by saying that a jnAni would have these
treasures of spirituality, namely he will be a "shAnta, dAnta, uparata" etc.
But these three have been what is called an 'injunction' in the form of a
formal order. *shrotavyo mantavyo nidhidhyAsitavyaH*.  "The Atman principle
only  has to be listened to, has to be repeated in the mind and has to be
meditated on" - this is the rule.

We shall take these one by one now.


(To be Continued)
PraNAms to all students of advaita.
PraNAms to the Maha-Swamigal.

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