उपासकानां यदुपासनीयमुपात्तवासं वटशाखिमूले ।
तद्धाम दाक्षिण्यजुषा स्वमूर्त्या जागर्तु चित्ते मम बोधरूपम् ॥ १॥
taddhāma dākṣiṇyajuṣā svamūrtyā
jāgartu cittē mama bōdharūpam||1||
May that Supreme Spirit that has taken its abode under the banyan tree taking an anthropomorphic form facing south as an act of great condescension and which is the object of meditation for the devotees remain in my mind activising my intellect.
Daksinaamurti is one of the radiant human forms which Lord Siva the Supreme Spirit takes out of His infinite mercy (daaksinya) to uplift the ripe soul from bondage. The banyan tree under which he is seated typifies the microcosm in the tiny seed of the tree and the vast expanse of its branches, leaves and roots that evolve from it respectively thereby illustrating how the Universe evolves out of the Supreme Spirit who willed in the Upanisadic words `Bahusyaam’, `May I multiply’. The banyan tree which outlives several other living species also stands for the eternality (sat) associated with the Supreme. The devotees who meditate on Him have their consciousness (cit) illumined and experience bliss (aananda). Thus Dakshinaamurti is none other than Sat-cit-aananda.
अद्राक्षमक्षीणदयानिधानमाचार्यमाद्यं वटमूलभागे ।
मौनेन मन्दस्मितभूषितेन महर्षिलोकस्य तमो नुदन्तम् ॥ २॥
Adraaksham akshina dayaa-nidhaanam
aacaaryam aadyam vatamulabhaage
Maharshilokasya tamo nudantam.
I beheld under the banyan tree the Primordial Preceptor, the receptable of undiminishing compassion driving away the darkness of ignorance of great sages by mere silence that is adorned by a gentle smile.
Sankara Bhagavatpaada records his experience in beholding te graceful form of Dakshinaamurti, who as a true `Guru’, a term which means `dispeller of ignorance’, enlightens the great sages by His mere silence that radiates light. A Guru is merely instrumental in drawing out the inherent powers of the soul. The mere presence of the Supreme in this benign form of a Guru would suffice to efface the ignorance of the soul and lit the flame of true knowledge at leads to liberation.
विद्राविताशेषतमोगणेन मुद्राविशेषेण मुहुर्मुनीनाम् ।
निरस्य मायां दयया विधत्ते देवो महांस्तत्त्वमसीति बोधम् ॥ ३॥
Mudraaviseshena muhur muneenaam
Nirasya maayaam dayayaa vidhatte
Devo mahaan tat-tvam-asi iti bodham(3)
The Great Lord endowed as he is with compassion drove away often and on, the quality of ignorance of the sages in entirely by his jòaanamudraa (the pose of fingers that confers true knowledge) and thus destroyed their nescience and ushered in the profound knowledge `That thou art.’
The power of maayaa is such that the thick veil of ignorance has got to be stormed more than once before it is annihilated. The truth of the Mahaavaakya dawns on a person only when the Lord out of His abundant grace enables him to perceive it. The ceenmudraa is an index of this grace. It is also taken to signify the non-duality of jeeva and eeshvara represented by the joining of the thumb and the fore finger. The two together stand for the pure Consciousness or cit. The mudraa that enables one to comprehend this truth is therefore called Cinmudraa.
कठोरसंसारनिदाघतप्तान्मुनीनहं नौमि गुरुं गुरूणाम् ॥ ४॥
Muneen aham naumi gurum gurunaam(4)
I offer my obeisance to that Preceptor of preceptors who, by His ambrosial glances marked by unlimited grace, was looking at the sages afflicted by the intense heat of that fierce misery of worldly existence.
Dakshinaamurti is the path finder and arch preceptor in disseminating true knowledge to the successive aacaaryas that walked on the globe. He is therefore the aadi-guru. The only way in which a `guru’ can transmit right knowledge to his disciple is kindness and compassion. As an ideal guru, Dakshinaamurti sets an example. His gleaming eyes shed nectar that soothes the intense sufferings of the aspirants. The healing touch works miracles. The sweltering heat of Samsaara is no more. The cool breeze of aananda has begun to blow in the mind of the sages.
ममाद्यदेवो वटमूलवासी कृपाविशेषात्कृतसन्निधानः ।
ओंकाररूपामुपदिश्य विद्यामाविद्यकध्वान्तमपाकरोतु ॥ ५॥
Omkaararupaam upadishya vidyaam.
May my primordial Lord, dwelling at the foot of the banyan tree, out of divine mercy appear before me, offer instruction in the mystic lore `Om’ and dispel the darkness of nescience.
कलाभिरिन्दोरिव कल्पिताङ्गं मुक्ताकलापैरिव बद्धमूर्तिम् ।
आलोकये देशिकमप्रमेयमनाद्यविद्यातिमिरप्रभातम् ॥ ६॥
Kalaabhir indoriva kalpitaangam
Alokaye deshikam aprameyam
I behold with my eyes the incomprehensible form of the Divine preceptor, the veritable dawn that dispels the beginningless darkness of Nescience, a form that appears, to be made as though with the digits of the moon or perhaps with a collection of pearls.
Again the blessed aacaarya exults in the divine vision that was vouchsafed to him by the aadiguru. The white sheen of brilliance of the vision of that Divine form is fancied by the poet philosopher as being fashioned out of the white digits of the moon and a collection of white pearls. Not satisfied with these fancies he draws a metaphor picturing the radiant Dakshinaamurti as the dawn that drives away the darkness.
स्वदक्षजानुस्थितवामपादं पादोदरालंकृतयोगपट्टम् ।
अपस्मृतेराहितपादमङ्गे प्रणौमि देवं प्रणिधानवन्तम् ॥ ७॥
Pranoumi devam parnidhaanavantam.(7)
I adore the Lord in his meditative aspect, whose left foot is placed on His right thigh, who wears the yoga vastra adorned by a serpent and who has his (right) foot placed over the body of apasmaara purusha.
The `apasmaara purusha’ represents the evil nescience that is stamped out by the Lord. In this connection we may recall the `dhyaana shloka’ is Sree Dakshinaamurti Upanishad which seeks to confer on the meditator freedom from nesceince. `Ajnaanaapaham aadim aadimagiraam artham Bhavaaneepatim nyagrodhaant anivaasinam para gurum dhyaayaamyabheeshtaaptaye’- `I meditate on the Supreme preceptor who dwells under the banyan tree, who is none other than the Lord of Bhavaanee, the import of Vedic words, the first God who destroys nescience’. (v.14).
तत्त्वार्थमन्तेवसतामृषीणां युवाऽपि यः सन्नुपदेष्टुमीष्टे ।
प्रणौमि तं प्राक्तनपुण्यजालैराचार्यमाश्चर्यगुणाधिवासम् ॥ ८॥
Tattvaartham antevasataam rushinaam
Yuvaapi yah sannu padeshtum eeshte
pranaumi tam praaktanapunyajaalaih.
I offer my obeisance, thanks to my past accumulated merit, to that Preceptor, the adobe of marvellous qualities, who despite his youthful appearance yearns to instruct His disciples, the Sages, the Supreme Spiritual Truth.
True knowledge would arise only when there is earnestness and competence both in the teacher and the taught. Here the sages, the brahmavaadins are the disciples and Lord Siva in His youthful aspect of Dakshinaamurti is the preceptor. The former are the `antevaasinah’ who dwell in the residence of the preceptor under the banyan tree and the latter who is anxious to teach them (upadeshtum eeshte) is Himself, `the very embodiment of Consciousness who leads His devotees to the realisation of the Consciousness.
एकेन मुद्रां परशुं करेण करेण चान्येन मृगं दधानः । स्वजानुविन्यस्तकरः पुरस्तादाचार्यचूडामणिराविरस्तु ॥ ९॥
Ekena mudraam parashum karena
Karena chaanyena mrgam dadhaanah
May the crest jewel among the Preceptors who holds one of his hands in the chin-mudraa pose, holds in another an axe, in yet another a deer and keeps the (fourth) hand on his thigh present Himself before me.
The `chinmudraa’ indicates that He is the be-all and end-all of knowledge par excellence. The axe stands for his skill in destroying ignorance. The deer held in his hand is suggestive of His control of the senses as a master Yogin.
आलेपवन्तं मदनाङ्गभूत्या शार्दूलकृत्त्या परिधानवन्तम् ।
आलोकये कञ्चन देशिकेन्द्रमज्ञानवाराकरवाडवाग्निम् ॥ १०॥
aalokaye kanchana deshikendram
I behold an extraordinary great prince among preceptors who is the very submarine fire (capable of consuming) the ocean of nescience. I see Him besmeared with the ash of the limbs of cupid and clad in tiger’s hide.
चारुस्मितं सोमकलावतंसं वीणाधरं व्यक्तजटाकलापम् ।
उपासते केचन योगिनस्त्वामुपात्तनादानुभवप्रमोदम् ॥ ११॥
upaasate kechana yoginash tvaam
Only a few among the Yogins worships Thee of smiling countenance and waving tresses, wearing the digit of the moon as a crest jewel, holding the lute in a hand and exuding joy arising from the sweet notes of the lute played on.
Shankara bhagavatpaada conjures up a vision of the `Saumya’ or benign aspect of the Vinaadhara Dakshinaamurti that was worshipped by a few sages, only by a few, because such a vision is vouchsafed only to those even among the learned sages who are the recipients of His special grace. Has it not been said `Yam eva esha Vrunite tena labhyah. Tasyaisha aatmaavivrunute tanum svaam (Kathoponishad, II 33).
उपासते यं मुनयः शुकाद्या निराशिषो निर्ममताधिवासाः ।
तं दक्षिणामूर्तितनुं महेशमुपास्महे मोहमहार्तिशान्त्यै ॥ १२॥
Upaasate yam munayah shukaadyaah
Niraashisho nirmamataadhi vaasaah
Tam Dakshinaamurtitanum mahesham
I meditate on Maheshvara in the form of Dakshinaamurti with a view to obtain the peace arising from the removal of the suffering caused by delusion. It is that very form which was meditated upon by sages Suka and others who are free from attachement and a sense of possession.
People of ordinary type generally pray for wealth, health, fame etc. But an ideal aspirant like Suka will seek nothing of a mundane nature for himself. Being free from the sense of `I’ and `mine’ our aacaarya following the footsteps of Suka seeks peace and the consequent bliss and thus shows the way to us to follow.
कान्त्या निन्दितकुन्दकन्दलवपुर्न्यग्रोधमूले वस –
न्कारुण्यामृतवारिभिर्मुनिजनं संभावयन्वीक्षितैः ।
मोहध्वान्तविभेदनं विरचयन्बोधेन तत्तादृशा
देवस्तत्त्वमसीति बोधयतु मां मुद्रावता पाणिना ॥ १३॥
vapur nyagrodhamule vasan
Mohadhvaanta vibhedanam viracayan
bodhena tat taadrushaa
Devas tat-tvam-asi iti
bodhayatu maam mudraavataa paaninaa.(13)
May the Lord, with his palm showing chinmudraa, endowed with a body that surpasses in lustre the jasmine flower, staying under the banyan tree, gracing the sages with looks that exude nectarine compassion, break asunder the darkness of delusion and instruct me in that Supreme Truth embedded in the scriptural text `That-thou-art’.
The aacaarya prays for the grace of the Aadi Guru to impart the import of the Mahaavaakya which proclaims the non-duality of the Brahman and Jiva. Once this Advaitic knowledge is received the veil of avidyaa is sundered and there is no more the cycle of births and deaths in this ocean of transmigratory existence.
अबोधमुद्रैरनपास्तनिद्रैरपूर्णकामैरमरैरलं नः ॥ १४॥——
Apurnakaamaih amarairalam nah.(14)
I have no need for any God whose body is not white, who does not have an eye on his forehead, who is not quietistic in appearance, who does not wear the jewel of serpent, who does not show the chin-mudraa, who has not abandoned sleep and who has not his will fulfilled.
This verse illustrates how one should have implicit faith and devotion to his ishtadevataa in a particular form which alone is a sure means aiding meditation and earning His grace, that ultimately confers liberation.
दैवतानि कति सन्ति चावनौ नैव तानि मनसो मतानि मे ।
दीक्षितं जडधियामनुग्रहे दक्षिणाभिमुखमेव दैवतम् ॥ १५॥
Daaivataani kati santi chaavanau
Naiva taani manaso mataani me
Deekshitam jadadhiyaam anugrahe
Dakshinaabhimukham eva daivatam.(15)
Many indeed are the Gods on this earth; but none of them are agreeable to my mind. The only God I adore is the One with His face turned to South who has resolved to extend his grace to the dullard.
Aacaarya’s unassailable and abiding devotion to Dakshinaamurti is again emphasised here. In His infinite mercy He has taken upon Himself to help the lowliest to attain beatitude.
मुदिताय मुग्धशशिनावतंसिने भसितावलेपरमणीयमूर्तये ।
जगदीन्द्रजालरचनापटीयसे महसे नमोऽस्तु वटमूलवासिने ॥ १६॥
Mahase namo’stu vatamulavaasine.(16)
Obeisance to that Great God dwelling under the banyan tree filled with joy, wearing the digit of the moon as a crest jewel and bearing a form pleasing with the holy ash smeared over it. He is indeed an adept in creating this magic show of this everchanging world.
The holy ash smeared over his body is the remnant of the Universe that is destroyed by Siva at the time of the mahaapralaya and it is indicative of the impermanence of the phenomenal world. This world is illusory like the product of magic and the causality of this world is to be accounted for in the indeterminable maayaa grounded in eeshvara. He is filled with joy (mudita) that arises from a sense of fulfilment.
व्यालम्बिनीभिः परितो जटाभिः कलावशेषेण कलाधरेण ।
पश्यँल्ललाटेन मुखेन्दुना च प्रकाशसे चेतसि निर्मलानाम् ॥ १७॥
Vyaalambinibhih parito jataabhih
Pashyallalaatena mukhendunaa cha
Prakaashase chetasi nirmalaanaam(17)
Thou with the long matted tresses hanging around (your face) adorned with the digits of the moon that is not full, an eye on the forehead and a face that is beautiful like the full moon shine in the minds of men of purity.
Cittashuddhi is a sine quo non for an aspirant to Self-realisation. It is only in the pure mirror of mind of such a person will reflect the radiant form of the prince of preceptors. Dakshinaamurti revealing true knowledge.
उपासकानां त्वमुमासहायः पूर्णेन्दुभावं प्रकटीकरोषि ।
यदद्य ते दर्शनमात्रतो मे द्रवत्यहो मानसचन्द्रकान्तः ॥ १८॥
Yadadya te darshanamaatrato me
Thou with Umaa as Thy consort reveal to Thy devotees the nature of a full moon. For now as I have a vision of Thee, that vision makes my mind melt as though it is a moon stone.
The murti of Umaamaheshvara is a favourite of devotees. This is seen in one of the verses addressed to this form by Sankara bhagavatpaada in his Umaamahesvara stotram : `Namaskrutaabheeshta-varapra-daabhyam..’ `Who grants the boons desired by the devotees’. This form unlike some others marked by a bundle of oddities such as ashes, skull garlands etc, is quite pleasing associated as it is with the compaassionate mother, Umaa. No wonder that the mind of the ripe soul melts at the delightful sight of Umaasahaaya.
यस्ते प्रसन्नामनुसन्दधानो मूर्तिं मुदा मुग्धशशाङ्कमौलेः । ऐश्वर्यमायुर्लभते च विद्यामन्ते च वेदान्तमहारहस्यम् ॥ १९॥
yaste prasannaam anusandadhaano
Murtim mudaa mugdhashashaanka-mauleh
Aishvaryam-aayur labhate cha vidyaam
Ante cha vedaanta-mahaarahasyam(19)
Those who constantly meditate with great exultation on Thy form with a head marked by the digit of the moon will obtain prosperity, longevity of life, true knowledge and ultimately the great secret of Vedaanta. ॥ दक्षिणामूर्तिस्तोत्रं सम्पूर्णम्॥