Shri Dakshinamurti Stotram


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Introduction

shriidakshiNaamuurtii stotraM was written by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya please refer to the biography of Shankara and His other compositions of vedic literature.

shriidakshiNaamuurti stotraM is one of the minor compositions of the spiritual giant and exquisite philosopher, Adi Shankaracharya. The popularity of this hymn is not just due to the poetic masterpiece but also because it encompasses the fundamental teachings of Vedanta succinctly and briefly. Dakshninamurti (Shiva) manifests in three different forms as God, Preceptor and the Self (Atman). The all-pervasiveness of the Atman is clearly expounded in the tenth verse of the hymn.

The practice of vedanta is to get rid of avidya (ignorance) by exercising the will over attachment to the unreal, and by overcoming fear and anxiety by finding the bliss in the eternal. The sadhaka (aspirant) is often aided by a teacher who is self-realized, and the aspirant follows the teachings of this Guru, whom he/she considers to be an embodiment of God. The embodiment of Dakshinamurti in the Guru, by whose grace and grace alone the illumination becomes apparent is saluted in the fourth line of each sloka in the hymn. The final understanding that there is no duality between Guru and God is the essence of religious life, according to Advaita Vedanta. More on the knowledge of Atman can be found in brihadaranyaka upanishhad 4.4.12-21.

The stotraM aids in the comprehension of the fact that Jiva, Ishvara and Brahman are all the same on the plane of Reality. The recital of this hymn, accompanied with contemplation of the meaning, is said to enable one to reach the plentitude of realization and become one with the Brahman. (Actually, it is the realization that you are already and always Brahman).

An excellent commentary on the dakshinamurthi stotra was written by His immediate disciple, Sureshvara, and it is called maanasollaasa. Another beautiful commentary on the work is tattvasudhaa by svayamprakaashayatinindra. Both of the works, along with a lucid commentary of the dakshinamurti stotra, has been published by the Sringeri Math. The book is called 'Sridakshinamurti stotram' and translated by Dr. D.S. Subbramaiya. The book has two volumes and over 1200 pages. The fact that one requires over 1200 pages to explain the sridakshinamurti stotra provides an idea of the depth required to understand the stotra.

May shri daksinamurti lead us from ignorance to Truth.

OM tat sat


shrii dakshiNaamuurtii stotraM

.. shaa.ntipaaThaH..

AUM yo brahmaaNaM vidadhaati puurvam.h
yo vai vedaa.nshcha prahiNoti tasmai .
taM ha devamaatmabuddhiprakaashaM
mumukshurvai sharaNamahaM prapadye ..

AUM shaa.ntiH shaa.ntiH shaa.ntiH

This verse is chanted before the stotraM.

AUM. I surrender to THAT, who projected brahma at the beginning of the creation and revealed vedas. The inspiration turns my intellect towards Atman. May peace be on us for ever.

vishvaM darpaNadR^ishyamaananagariitulyaM nijaantargataM
pashyannaatmani maayayaa bahirivod.hbhuutaM yadaa nidrayaa .
yaH saakshaatkurute prabodhasamaye svaatmaanamevaadvayaM
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 1..

The universe is the reflection of a mirror. The Truth is the supreme Brahman, the one without a second. The mind, senses and intellect are all able to only discern the reflection of the Atman. The identity of the brahman and the Atman is apparent after self-illumination. I offer my profound salutations to the auspicious Guru, who is an embodiment of Dakshinamurti, and whose grace is responsible for the illumination.

biijasyaantarivaaN^kuro jagadidaM praaN^nirvikalpaM punaH
maayaakalpitadeshakaalakalanaavaichitryachitriikR^itam.h .
maayaaviiva vijR^imbhayatyapi mahaayogiiva yaH svechchhayaa
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 2..

He in whom this universe, prior to its projection was present like a tree in a seed(unmanifested), and by whose magic this was transformed(manifested) in various forms, by His own will similar to a yogi's- to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

yasyaiva sphuraNaM sadaatmakamasatkalpaarthakaM bhaasate
saakshaattattvamasiiti vedavachasaa yo bodhayatyaashritaan.h .
yatsaakshaatkaraNaadbhavenna punaraavR^ittirbhavaambhonidhau
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 3..

He, by whose light the (unreal) universe appears real, teaches the truth of brahman to those who want to know the Atman through the vedic statement tattvamasi (thou art That) and He Who puts an end to the samsaric cycle - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

naanaachchhidraghaTodarasthitahaadiipaprabhaabhaasvaraM
GYaanaM yasya tu chakshuraadikaraNadvaaraa bahiH spandate .
jaanaamiiti tameva bhaantamanubhaatyetatsamastaM jagat.h
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 4..

He whose light gleams through the senses like the light emanating from a pot with holes (in which a lamp is kept), He whose knowledge alone brings the state of knowing (I am That), He whose brightness makes everything shine - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

dehaM praaNamapiindriyaaNyapi chalaaM buddhiM cha shuunyaM viduH
striibaalaandhajaDopamaastvahamiti bhraantaa bhR^ishaM vaadinaH .
maayaashaktivilaasakalpitamahaa vyaamohasa.nhaariNe
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 5..

Some philosophers contend the body, senses, life-breath, intellect and non-existence (shunya) as the real `I' (Atman). Their comprehension is worse than that of women, children, blind and the dull. He who destroys this delusion caused by maya (and makes us aware of the Truth)- to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

raahugrastadivaakarendusadR^isho maayaasamaachchhaadanaat.h
sanmaatraH karaNopasa.nharaNato yo.abhuutsushhuptaH pumaan.h .
praagasvaapsamiti prabodhasamaye yaH pratyabhiGYaayate
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 6..

The brillance of sun exists even when intercepted by Rahu during eclipse. Similarly, the power of cognition only remains suspended during deep sleep. The Self exists as pure being even though unrecognized due to the veil of Maya. A person on awakening becomes aware that he was asleep earlier (and the dream was unreal). Similarly, a person who awakens to the consciousness of the Self recognizes his previous state of ignorance as unreal. He by whose grace alone does one awaken to the consciousness of the Self - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

baalyaadishhvapi jaagradaadishhu tathaa sarvaasvavasthaasvapi
vyaavR^ittaasvanuvartamaanamahamityantaH sphurantaM sadaa .
svaatmaanaM prakaTiikaroti bhajataaM yo mudrayaa bhadrayaa
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 7..

He, whose existence is changeless throughout the various states of the body (like old, young etc) and the mind (waking, dreaming etc), and who reveals the greatest knowledge of Atman by GYaana-mudra (the joining of the thumb and the forefinger of a raised right hand) - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

vishvaM pashyati kaaryakaaraNatayaa svasvaamisaMbandhataH
shishhyaachaaryatayaa tayaiva pitR^iputraadyaatmanaa bhedataH .
svapne jaagrati vaa ya eshha purushho maayaaparibhraamitaH
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 8..

He, whose power of Maya enables one to experience the world as multiform (like teacher, disciple, father, son etc) during both the waking and dream states - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

bhuurambhaa.nsyanalo.anilo.ambaramaharnaatho himaa.nshuH pumaan.h
ityaabhaati charaacharaatmakamidaM yasyaiva muurtyashhTakam.h .
naanyatkiJNchana vidyate vimR^ishataaM yasmaatparasmaadvibhoH
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye .. 9..

He, whose subtle and unmanifest eightfold form causes the moving and unmoving universe, and by whose grace alone does all these manifestation disappear to reveal that `All that exists is Brahman' - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

sarvaatmatvamiti sphuTiikR^itamidaM yasmaadamushhmin.h stave
tenaasya shravaNaattadarthamananaaddhyaanaachcha saN^kiirtanaat.h .
sarvaatmatvamahaavibhuutisahitaM syaadiishvaratvaM svataH
siddhyettatpunarashhTadhaa pariNataM chaishvaryamavyaahatam.h .. 10..

The verse points out to the all pervasiveness of the indwelling Spirit, Atman. By the recital, contemplation and meditation of this hymn, the disciple attains the state of oneness with Atman and realizes his unity with the universe,thus becoming the very essence of the eightfold manifestation.

vaTaviTapisamiipe bhuumibhaage nishhaNNaM
sakalamunijanaanaaM GYAnadaataaramaaraat.h .
tribhuvanagurumiishaM dakshiNaamuurtidevaM
jananamaraNaduHkhachchhedadakshaM namaami ..

This verse is usually recited at the end of the recital of the above hymn.

I offer my profound salutations to Shri maha dakshinamurti, the remover of the worldly (samasric) bonds binding us, Who is to be meditated upon as the one sitting under a banyan tree and bestowing knowledge (GYana)instantly on all the sages (and the devoted disciples).

Appendix: Word meanings

The following words and meanings are added as an appendix to allow the reader to learn Sanskrit words. My many thanks to Shrii Ganesan (deepa@tiac.net) for providing the meanings.

AUM = Refers to the Brahman, Godhood, both symbolically & otherwise; yo = (Masc.Nom.Sing.) that person;
yaH = (Masc.Nom.Sing.) that person;
brahmaaNaM = (Masc.Acc.case. sing.) God Brahman;
vidadhaati = (Verb Pr. III Per.Sing.PP) projects;
puurvaM = in the beginning (of Creation);
vai = an emphasis;
vedaan.h = Vedas;
cha = and;
prahiNoti = (Verb.Pr.III Per.sing.PP) inspires;
tasmai = ( Masc.Dative.sing.) to that person;
taM = (Masc.Nom.sing.) He;
ha = an emphasis;
devaM = God;
Atma = Self, soul;
buddhi = (Fem.Nom.sing.) intellect, Discrimination, awareness;
prakaashaM = (Masc.Acc.sing.) illumined (person);
mumukshuH = Person desiring Moksha;
sharaNaM = surrender, refuge;
ahaM = (pronoun Nom.sing.) I;
prapadye = (Verb Pr.I Per. sing.AP) surrender, resort to;
shaa.ntiH = (Fem.Nom.sing.) peace;

vishvaM = (Nr. Acc.case,sing.)) Universe; darpaNa(M ) = (Nr.Acc.case, sing.) mirror;
dR^ishyamaanaM = (Nr.Acc.sing.) looking like, appearing;
nagariitulyaM = (acc.case, sing.) like a city;
nijaantargataM = (acc. case) which is within Himself;
pashyan.h = (Pr.Participle) seeing;
Atmani = (Loc.case) within Himself;
maayayaa = (Fem. instr.sing.) through illusion;
bahiH = (indec.) outside;
iva = (indec.) like i.e as if the Universe is manifesting outside;
ud.hbhuutaM = (Acc.case) being, manifested entity;
yathaa = (indec.) as in a manner, in such a manner as;
nidrayaa = ( Fem.instr. case, sing.) through sleep(-iness);
yaH = he who;
saakshaat.h = (indec.) before one's eyes, in white and black;
kurute = (verb Pr.III P.sing. AP ) performs, acts;
prabodhasamaye = (loc.case) during wakefulness, waking state;
sva = one's own;
aatmanaaM = (Acc.case) self;
eva = itself, alone;
advayaM = (Nr.Acc,sing.) the(No-second), non-dual Self;
tasmai = ( Masc.Dative,sing.) to him;
shrii = Lakshmi, wealth (here auspicious prefix);
gurumuurtaye = (Masc.Dative,sing.) God(himself) embodied in guru;
namaH = (Nr.Nom.sing.) salutation, bowing, namaskAra;
idaM = (neuter,Nom.sing.) this;
dakshiNaamuurtaye = Masc.Dative,sing.) to dakshinAmUrti God;

bIjasya = (Nr.Poss.sing.) of the seed;
antaH = (indec.) inside;
iva = (indec.) like;
aMkuraH = (Masc.Nom.sing.) sprout;
jagat.h = (Neuter Nom.Sing.) world;
idaM = (Nr. Nom.Sing.) this;
praaN^.h = in the beginning;
nirvikalpaM = unmanifested;
punaH = (indec.) again;
maayaa = (fem.Nom.sing.) illusion;
kalpita = arranged, caused, created;
desha = (Masc.Nom.sing.) country, place, spot, space;
kaalaH = (Masc.Nom.sing.) time;
kalanaa = reckoning;
vaichitR^iya = varied, different;
chitriikR^itam.h = (Past Passive Participle verb) put in the form of a picture, painting;

maayaaviiH = (masc. Nom.sing.) magician; iva = like;
vijR^imbhayati = (Verb Pr.III ) displays brilliantly;
api = (P.sing.PP) and;
mahaayogii = (masc.nom.sing.) Great Yogi, ascetic;
yaH = (Masc. Nom.Sing.) He who;
sva = (indec.) one's own;
ichchhayaa = ( Fem.instr.sing.) by desire;
yasya = (masc. poss.case.sing.) that person's;
sphuraNaM = gerund,Nr. Nom. sing.) throbbing state (manifestation);
saada = (indec.) always;
aatmakaM = (nr.Nom.sing.) that which is within i.e.,the Reality;
asat.h = appearing as unreal, unreal;
kalpa = fictitious;
arthakaM = notions, meanings, wealth;
bhaasate = (verb.III P.Sing. Atmn.padam) shines;
saakshaat.h = (indec.) in front of the eyes, in white and black;
tat.h = that;
tvaM = thou;
asi = are;
iti = thus;
vedavachasaa = through the saying of the Veda;
yo = yaH(Masc.Nom.Sing.) He who;
bodhayati = (V.Pr. III P.Sing.Parasm.pada) enlightens, teaches;
aashritaan.h = (Masc.Objective, Acc. case, Plural) those who have taken refuge;
yat.h = Neut. Nom.sing.) that thing which;
saakshaat.h = (Ablative) by producing it in front of the eyes;
karaNAt.h = (Ablative) in white & black;

punaH = (indec.) again; aavR^ittiH = cycle, repetition, certain ``times'';
bhavet.h = (verb, sing.PP) may happen;
na = not;
bhava = (Masc.Nom.sing.) the cycle of births (& deaths);
ambhasya = (in) waters;
nidhau = (locative) (of) great quantity, heap i.e.ocean;

naanA = (indec.) diverse; chchhidraM = (Nr. Nom.sing.) hole;
ghaTaH = (Nr.Nom.sing.) pot;
udaraM = (Masc. Nom.sing.) stomach;
stithaH = ( participle,Nom.sing.) standing thing mahaa = (adj.) great, big;
diipaM = (Masc.Nom.sing.) lamp;
prabhaa = (fem.Nom.sing.) light, flame;
bhaasvaraM = bright light;
GYaanaM = knowledge, supreme intelligence;
yasya = (Masc. Poss. Sing.) that person's (whose);
tu = (indec.) emphasis;
chakshuH = Nr.Nom. Sing.) eye;
aadi = (indec.) here etc. (may also mean `the beginning' in another context);
karaNaH = (one of the 5) sensory objects, here refers to `eye';
dvArA = (indec.) through;
bahiH = (indec.) outside;
spandate = (Verb Pr. III P sing.AP) throbs, vibrates;
jaanaami = (Verb Pr.I P.sing) know;
taM = (Masc. Obj. Sing.) him;
eva = (indec.) alone;
bhaantaM = Acc. Masc.Sing.Participle noun) shining person;
anubhaati = (verb IIII P. sing. PP) shines along with that (following);
yetat = (Nr.nom.sing.) this;
samastaM = entire;
jagat.h = (Nr.nom.sing.) world;
dehaM = (Masc.Acc.Sing) body;
praaNaM = (Masc. Sing. Acc.) life-breath;
iindriyaaNi = (Nr.Nom.Pl.) sense organs;
api = and;
chalaaM = (adj.Fem.) changing;
buddhiM = (Fem.Acc. Sing.) intellect, reason, awareness;
cha = (indec.) and;
shunyaM = (Masc.Acc.sing.) Nothingness, void;
viduH = (Verb) Understand, know, consider;
strii = (Fem. Nom. Sing) a female;
baalaH = (Masc. Nom.Sing.) child;
andhaH = blind;
jaDaH = idiot;
upamaaH = comparable;
tu = emphasis;
ahaM = I;
iti = thus;
bhraantaaH = (gerund, Masc.Nom.Pl.) infatuated (persons);
bhR^ishaM = in vain;
vaadinaH = (Masc. Nom. Pl. Participle noun) People who argue;
maayaa = the great delusion Maya;
shaktiH = (Fem.Nom.sing.) Power, energy;
vilaasa = play;
kalpita = created;
mahaa = great, big;
vyaamoha = infatuation;
saMhaariNe = (Dative case) destroyer;

raahuH = (Masc.Nom.sing.) The planet Rahu; grasta = Having been grasped, caught;
divaakaraH = sun;
induH = moon;
sadR^ishaH = (Masc.person, thing) similar to;
maayaa = (Fem.Nom.sing.) the delusion Maya;
samaachchhaadanaat.h = from being covered, surrounded, eclipsed,very well;
sat.h = Reality, Existence;
maatraH = lone;
karaNa = senses;
upa = prefix;
saMharaNataH = withdrawn well;
abhUt.h = became;
sushhuptaH = awakened(after a good sleep);
pumaan.h = (Masc.Nom.Sing.) A male;
praak.h = beforehand;
asvaapsaM = well slept;
iti = thus;
prabodhasamaye = (Loc. Sing) at the time of awakening;
yaH = (Masc.Nom.sing.) He (who);
pratiayabhiGYaayate = remembers, understands;

baalya = (Loc. PI.) during childhood; aadishhu = (Loc.pl.) etc.;
api = and;
jaagrat.h = (Loc.Pl.) during awakened state;
aadishhu = etc.;
tathaa = (indec.) likewise, in that manner;
sarvaasu = (Fem. Loc. PI) in all;
avasthaasu = states, conditions;
api = and;
vyaavR^ittAsu = (Loc. Pl.) (even after the) departure (of these states);
anu = accompanied;
vartamaanaM = presence(persists, follows);
ahaM = I;
iti = thus;
antaH = inwardly;
sphurantaM = (Masc. Acc.Sing.) the throbbing;
sadaa = (indec.) always;
sva = (Masc. Acc.Sing.) one's own;
aatmaanaM = Self;
prakaTiikaroti = (Verb Pr.III P. Sing.PP) shows Himself publicly, openly;
bhajataaM = Masc.Poss.Pl.) to the worshippers;
yaH = He who;
mudrayaa = (Fem.instr.Sing.) through the sign (of hand), stamp, money;
bhadrayaa = (Adj.Fem.instr.Sing.) through auspicious;

vishvaM = (Nr. Nom. Sing.) universe; pashyati = Verb Pr.III P.sing.PP) sees;
kaaryakaaraNatayaa = (Fem.instr,sing.)(through the quality of) effect;
sva = one's own;
svaami = master;
saMbandhataH = as related;
shishhya = (fem.instr.sing.)(thro' the quality of) disciple;
aachaaryatayaa = teachership;
tathha = (both words indec.) in that manner;
iva = ike;
pitR^i = (Masc.Nom.sing.) Father, forefather;
putra = son.;
aadi = etc.;
aatmanaa = (Masc.instr.sing.) through self;
bhedataH = as different;
svapne = ( Mal,Loc. sing.) in dream;
jaagrati = (Loc.sing.) during wakeful state;
vaa = (indec.) or;
yaH = e who;
eshhaH = (Male Nom.sing.) this;
purushhaH = A male;
paribhraamitaH = (Gerund.Male Nom.sing.) whirled(person);

bhuuH = (nom.sing.) earth; ambhaaMsi = (Nr.nom.pl.) water;
analaH = fire;
anilaH = air;
ambaraM = ether;
aharnaathaH = sacrificer;
himaaMshuH = moon;
pumaan.h = Man;
aabhaati = Verb.Pr.III P.sing.PP) shines;
chara = moving;
achara = not moving;
aatmakaM = containing inwardly;
idaM = (Nr.nom.sing.) this;
yasya = (Masc.Poss.sing.) (He) whose;
eva = (indec.) thus;
muurtiH = (Male Nom.sing,) embodiment, incarnate;
ashhTakaM = (Nr.Nom.sing.) eight-fold piece, poem;
na = (indec.) no;
anyat.h = (indec.) other;
kiJNchana = (Nr.Nom.sing.) some thing;
vidyate = (Verb Pr.III P.sing. AP) exists, is present;
vimR^ishataaM = (masc.poss.pl.)(of those) who reflect;
yasmaat.h = (Masc.Absol.sing.) from (he) whose;
parasmaat.h = (Masc.Absol.sing.) from the Supreme being;
vibhoH = (Masc.Poss.sing.) of the omnipresent Lord;

sarvaH = all, everything (the Universe); aatmatvaM = composed of, Manifested by the Self;
iti = thus;
sphuTiikR^itaM = (past Participle) made tell-tale, plain;
yasmaat.h = from whose;
amushhmin.h = (Loc. sing.) in this;
stave = (Masc.?Loc.sing.) hymn;
tena = (Masc.instr.sing.) through that person;
asya = (Masc.instr.sing.) through this person;
shravaNaat.h = (Nr.Absol.sing.) from hearing;
artha(sya) = (Nr.Nom.sing.) meaning's;
mananaat.h = (both Nr. Abso.sing.) reflecting in mind;
dhyaanaat.h = (Nr. Abso. sing.) meditating;
cha = (indec.) and;
saM = good;
kiirtanaat.h = (Nr.Absol.sing.) from reciting it;
sarva = (adj.) all;
aatmatvaM = the quality of the Atman, the great Self;
mahaa = (adj.) great, big;
vibhuuti = ashes, wealth;
sahitaM = along with that;
syaat.h = Verb.) May there be;
iishvaratvaM = he quality of the Lord himself;
svataH = automatically;
siddhyet.h = (verb) May it materialise (for the worshipper);
punaH = again;
ashhTadhaa = eight-fold;
pariNataM = transformed into;
cha = and;
aishvaryaM = (divine) wealth;
avyaahatam.h = undivided;

vaTa = the banyan; viTapi = tree;
samiipe = (Nr.Loc.sing.) in the nearness;
bhuumi = (fem.loc.sing.) ground, earth;
bhaage = side;
nishhaNNaM = (Masc.Acc.sing.) the seated person;
sakala = of all;
muni = ascetic, seer;
janaanaaM = people (here groups);
GYAnadaataaraM = (Masc.Obj.sing.) him who gives knowledge;
aaraat.h = (indec.) quickly;
tribhuvana = (Masc.Obj.sing.) three worlds;
guruM = (masc.acc.sing.) teacher;
iishaM = (masc.acc.sing.) Master;
dakshiNaamuurti = (Masc.Obj.) dakshinAmUrti;
devaM = (masc.acc.sing.) God;
janana = birth;
maraNa = death;
duHkhaH = suffering;
chheda = cutting;
dakshaM = capable person, expert;
namaaM = (Verb Pr. I Per.sing.PP) I salute, bow.


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