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Monday, February 07, 2011

Why Arunachala?

Why is Arunachala the spiritual center?

Title: The Concept of Sri Dakshinamoorthy
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 20, 2009, 10:02:01 AM
A clue to Bhagavan's role in this world can be discovered in His
association with Sri Dakshinamoorthy, the manifestation of Siva
as the Supreme Teacher. During His early days on Arunachala, Bhagavan said that he discovered a secret place on the north side of the Hill where lay a secluded banyan tree. It was here, He was stung
by bees, for intruding on this sacred site.

Who is this Dakshinamoorthy? And what is the significance of this figure in the advaitic tradition? And why do Bhagavan's devotees identify Dakshinamoorthy with Bhagavan Ramana?

The first substantial historical record about Dakshinamoorthy is in
Suta Samhita of Skanda Puranam. It is believed that Sankara studied this Suta Samhita eighteen times before composing his
Brahma Sutra Bhashyam. Perhaps it was Sankara's familiarity with this text, which eventually inspired him to compose the profound
Sri Dakshinamoorthy Stotram. Bhagavan Ramana's translations of
Sankara's works include this Stotram, apart from Viveka Choodamani, Atma Bodham and Drik Drisya Vivekam. There is also
a Dakshinamoorthy Upanishad, as part of Krishna Yajur Vedam, but some scholars regard it as a late interpolation into the canon. In popular worship today, there is a statue of this god on the southern side of the main shrine of Siva temples inn South India, though it is rare a temple is dedicated exclusively to it. In Tiruvannamalai,
Mother's Shrine in the Asramam, has got an exquisite Dakshinamoorthy stone image on southern side.

According to Hindu mythology, Dakshinamoorthy is a manfistation of Siva, who taught the four sons of Brahma in Silence. It is said that he sits under a banyan tree. (Vada Ala Vruksham). His left leg is crossed over the right knee in Virasana, his lower right hand poised in Chinmudra, which indicates Perfection, and his lower left clasps a bunch of palm-leaves to indicate that he is the master of the established teachings. On his upper right, he holds the drum which indicates he is in harmony with Time and Creation, because it is vibration which manifests as Form. His upper left hand holds a flame, the fire of Knowledge which destroys ignorance.

There is a further esoteric meaning. Dakshinamoorthy is the Effulgent Self as revealed by Bhagavan Ramana. Dakshinamoorthy is experienced on the right side (dakshina) and yet he is formelss (amurti), that is limitless. Dakshinamoorthy is the very form of Awareness (Dakshina)... We find this interpretation in the Dakshinamoorthy Upanishad. Semushee Dakshina Proksha....

The same idea is connected to Avalokiteswara, the Buddhist bodhisattva, whose name connotes the lord who looks down on the world (ava=descent; loka=world, isvara-lord). While Dakshinamoorthy or Avalokiteswara looks down in Silence and compassion, we look north or up to receive their grace.

Bhagavan Ramana has mentioned a direct reference to Dakshinamoorthy, in Verse 2 of Sri Arunachala Ashtakam. "

Who is the seer? I sought within. I watched what survived the Seer viz., the Self. No thought arose to say, 'I saw'. How then could the thought that 'I did not see' arise? Who have the power to convey this in words?, when even you could do so in ancient days by Silence only? Only to convey by Silence, Your State, You stand as Hill, shining from heaven to earth!"

(Source: Mountain Path, Aradhana 2006, Editorial.)

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