(The concept of sannyAsa - an excerpt from Deivathin Kural)
*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 VishNu.
*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 poison..
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 /
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*.