Dakshinamurthy Stotram

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The Dakshinamurthy Stotram is a hymn to Shiva, explaining metaphysics of this universe,Advaita Vedanta.

Introduction[edit]

The Dakshinamurthy Stotram expounds the theory or philosophy of Advaita vedanta. It was written by Adi Shankara.

Dakshinamurthy is an incarnation of Shiva, the supreme god of knowledge. Dakshinamurthy is an aspect of Shiva as a guru of all types of knowledge, and bestower of jnana. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, understanding and knowledge.[1] This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and giving exposition on the shastras.

A Stotra or Stotram स्तोत्र (stotra) is a Sanskrit word, for a hymn addressed to Divinity. It can be a prayer, a description, or a conversation.

Unlike most of the stotras of Hindu gods, which are in the form of description of anthropomorphic forms, or mythological deeds of those gods, Dakshinamurthy stotram takesform of conceptual and philosophical statements. Repeated chanting and/or meditating on the meaning of these verses is expected to help a spiritual practitioner of Advaita vedanta get thoroughly established in an Advaitic experience.

The Dakshinamurthy stotram is arguably the most important small verse to be attributed to Adi Shankara.[citation needed] In a compilation of ten stanzas there is a concise and vivid description of the philosophical significance of the form of Siva, giving the very essence of the Indian idea of epistemology. It differs from every other attempt in a very basic sense, in that it is holistic rather than purely reductionist.

Translation of the Sri Dakshinamurthy Stotram[edit]

Below follows a translation of the Dakshinamurthy Stotram.[2]

Text of the Dakshinamurthy Stotram[edit]

I praise and salute that Dakshinamrthy,

Who faces the south,
Who explains the true nature of the supreme Brahman,
Through his state of silence,
Who is young in looks,
Who is surrounded by disciples who are old Sages,
Whose minds are fixed on Brahman,
Who is the greatest of teachers,
Who shows the Chinmudhra[1] by his hand,
Who is personification of happiness,
Who is in the state of extreme joy within himself,
And who has a smiling face.

Similar to the image of a town as seen in the mirror,
When one sees the image of the world within him,
The world appears as if it is outside.
It is similar to his seeing due to illusion,
During the state of sleep,
That the one real fact appears as many different truths,
And he realizes,when he wakes up and sees the reality,
That he is really the one and only one soul.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

Like the germ inside the seed is its part,
But becomes different after development
The many places and time which are before us,
Are drawn by illusion in the board of life in a peculiar manner,
By a great savant or an expert Siddha,
Who can create them as per their will,
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

He who exists as the real light of truth,
And shines in the false world of appearance,
And He who teaches disciples the great saying,
“Thou art that”[2] after realizing its import,
Gets away from this cycle of life and death.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

Like the light emanating from a lamp,
Kept in a pot with many holes,
Goes out in all directions,
In the person in whom the wisdom goes out
Through the openings of ear, eye, mouth and thought,
And when that person realizes that ‘I know myself”,
This whole universe shines after Him alone,
Who shines in the consciousness as the knower.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

Those great philosophers, who think that,
The body, the soul and the fickle intellect,
The concept of emptiness and all other nothingness,
Are nothing but themselves,
Are similar to the women children, blind and the ignorant.
It is only He who can destroy, this veil of ignorance,
And wake us up from this state of deceit.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

Similar to the Sun when being masked by the serpent Rahu,
Knows that it was existing, once the eclipse is over
That man whose senses are suppressed
When he is asleep,
Because of the veil of illusion,
Realizes that he was in the state of sleep,
When he wakes up.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

Salutations to him who shines and exhibits,
Himself by the beatific Chinmudhra of the hand,
That he exists within the humans as self,
Forever and non changing,
Even during the changing states of childhood, youth and old age
And even during the states of sleep, dream and wakefulness.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.
The truth as represented by the concept of Brahman, exists always.

The world sees as cause and effect,
The differences between us and our lord,
The distinction between teacher and the taught,
The distinction between father and son,
And so the man is confused by illusion,
And believes in these differences,
During the times of dream and wakefulness.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

To the sake of which supreme Brahman,
The universe is shining as self,
Which is Movable and immovable, with its aspects?
Of water, fire, air, space,
The sun, moon and the individual soul,
And also to those who examine the truth behind,
The meaning of this universe and find,
That it Consists of nothing but,
The God who is every where.
Salutation to the God facing the south,
Who is the greatest teacher.

The concept of the Athma,
Which is explained in this poem of praise,
Hearing which, understanding which,
Meditating which and singing which,
One would attain the state of the godliness,
And the great state of self-realization,
And also you would get the eight powers of occult,
Without any problems in between.

Appendix[edit]

The following three stanzas as well as the first stanza are chanted after the main stotra:[2]

It is strange to see,

The very old disciples,
And the very young teacher,
Who sit under a banyan tree,
With the teacher always observing silence,
And the students getting all the doubts cleared.

Salutations to that Dakshinamurthy,
Who is the meaning of the pranava, “om”,
Who is the personification of unalloyed wisdom,
Who is crystal clear in his thought,
And who is the epitome of peace.

Salutations to that Dakshinamurthy,
Who is the teacher of the entire world,
Who is the doctor to those,
Afflicted by the disease of birth and death

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Dallapiccola, Anna (2002), Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend, ISBN 0-500-51088-1 

External links[edit]