Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 1 – ஆன்மாவும் அண்டமும் – SELF & THE UNIVERSE – “JIVA & JAGAT”

We saw in the last two blogs the Vedantic Concepts behind the Mirror and Dream. Let us now see how Bhagwadpaada Adi Sankara uses these two examples and teaches us further.


विश्वं दर्पणदृश्यमाननगरीतुल्यं निजान्तर्गतं

पश्यन्नात्मनि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतं यथा निद्रया

यः साक्षात्कुरुते प्रबोधसमये स्वात्मानमेवाद्वयं

तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥१॥

தமிழ் மொழிபெயர்பு

நிலைக்கண்ணாடியில் பிரதிபலிக்கும் நகரமன்றோ

நிலையிலா இவ்வுலகமதின் நிழற்படம் நம்முள்ளே !

நம்முள்ளுறை தரணிதனை, நாம் உறவாடும் வெளியுலகமென

மனத்திரையில் காண்போம், விழித்தவுடன் மடியும் கனவென !

அவ்வாறே மாயையினால் மருவுடனே நமை அறியா நமக்கு,

ஆன்மீக விழிப்புணர்வூட்டி நம்முள்ளுறை தூய ஒருமையான

பரம்பொருளே நானெனும் ஆன்மா” எனும் அறிவு புகட்டும்

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி  பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

The Meaning:

“To Him who by illusion of Ātman, as by sleep, sees the Universe existing within Himself – like a city seen to exist within a mirror – as though it were manifested without; to Him who beholds, when awake, His own very Self, the second less; to Him who is incarnate in the Teacher; to Him in the Effulgent form facing the South, to Him (Siva) be this bow!”

First Line of the Sloka

विश्वं दर्पणदृश्यमाननगरीतुल्यं निजान्तर्गतं पश्यन्नात्मनि मायया बहिरिवोद्भूतं यथा निद्रया

Vishvam Darpana-Drshyamaana-Nagarii-Tulyam – viśvam means this visible universe; the universe which we see in our waking state is comparable to darpaṇa dṛśyamāna nagari tulyam, comparable to the reflected city being seen in a huge mirror.

Nija-Antargatam – This visvam is within oneself only

Pashyann-Aātmani – This visvam (the world we are experiencing within ourselves only) is actually existing in me, ātmani pasyathi.

Mayayaa –  because of the “aadhiṣṭāna ajnānam” i.e., avidya or maya (Ref the previous blogs)

bahiri udbhūtam – appears as though outside,

yathaa – like

nidrayaa – when we are asleep,

(the dream world which is really existing within ourselves appears as though outside, when we are asleep – implied meaning).

Iva – By using the word iva: as though outside, Sankaracharya conveyed that it is really not outside, everything is inside me only.

Second Line of the Sloka

यः साक्षात्कुरुते प्रबोधसमये स्वात्मानमेवाद्वयं Yah Saakssaat-Kurute Prabodha-Samaye Sva-[A]ātmaanam-Eva-Advayam

Yah:  – In this context refers to the sleeping person “supta puruṣaḥ”; and this sleeping person was seeing the svapna viśvam outside; the sleeping person was seeing the dream world outside;

prabhodha samaya –  but when the sleeping person wakes up, what is his experience; his outside dream world is resolved into himself. All elements of svapna viz. svpna deśa disappears into himself; svapna kālaḥ, svapna padārthaḥ, svapna jīvaḥ, they all dissolve effortlessly; since the entire dream world is resolved into himself, what remains? he the waker alone remains. Therefore, “supta puruṣaḥ, prabodha samaye,

advaiyam svatmānam sākṣātkurute” –  meaning that on waking up, the sleeping person recognises himself as the secondless one; without any dream object. After waking up, I do not see the waker; I claim myself to be the waker. This claiming is called sākṣātkāraha. I should not use any other verb. If I say I see the waker, waker appears to be another person. If I say I experience the waker; it appears as though waker is different. Suppose I say I become the waker; even that word is not correct strictly because; there is no becoming involved; I was the waker before, I am the waker now, therefore, I do not even become the waker. I claim myself to be the waker; this claiming is called sākṣātkāraha.

Similarly, in self-knowledge, I do not experience the ātma/ In self-knowledge I do not see the ātma. In self-knowledge I do not become the ātma; In self-knowledge I claim I am the ātma. And this peculiar process of claiming is called sākṣātkāraha. So, it is not coming face to face. sākṣātkāraha, if it is translated as direct experience, we will have all kinds of misconception that when I wake up Brahman will be standing in front, smiling, giving darshanam. It is not like that, I am the waker. Therefore, prabhoda samaye, on waking up supta puruṣaḥ svātmaanam advyayam eva sākṣātkārute.

Last Line of the Sloka

तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये Tasmai Shrii-Guru-Muurtaye Nama Idam Shrii-Dakssinnaamuurtaye

tasmai  – means prabuddha puruṣāya; to that woken-up person, who is a jnāni; who is liberated; who knows I am jagatadhishtaanam, to that jnani my namaskaaram. So tasmai prabuddha puruṣāya, jnānine namaha. And who is that jnāni?

Shree gurumurthaye – who alone is a guru, who alone can serve as a guru and who is my guru, gurumoorthaye.

Namaha – my salutations.

Thus we can see that a complex concept in Philosophy is explained by Adi Sankara in just two lines using two simple day to day events in human life – the examples of viewing in a mirror and dreaming captures the essence of Vedanta. We will conclude the Sloka 1 in the next blog with a summary.


மேற்கோள் நூல்கள்

1. Dakṣiṇāmurty. Sthothram – Talks By Swami Paramarthananda; Transcribed by Sri P.S. Ramachandrn; Published by :Arsha Avinash

2. Dakshinamurti Stotra with Mānasollāsa of Sureśvarācārya translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri

3.சங்கரரின் தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி தோத்திரம்: சைவசித்தாந்த விளக்கம் – முனைவர்கோ.ந. முத்துக்குமாரசுவாமிwww.tamilhindu.com/

4. Prof. Mahadevan, IIM, Bangalore – https://www.sanskritfromhome.in/course/daksinamurtiSthothram /

5. https://Vedāntaḥstudents.com/class-notes/#1539832350612-778c6bda-cf96

6. தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி ஸ்தோத்திரம் – பகவான் ரமண மகரிஷி

Dakshinamurthy Stothram – Sloka 1 – Introduction – Part 2 – Dream

We saw in the first part, the four features of the Mirror and the reflected image. These are adhiṣṭānatvam, sathyatvam, asaṃgattvam, advaiyatvam (the supporter, independent existence, unaffectedness and unitary nature of the Mirror and the opposites for the reflected images. Now let us see what happens in a dream.

The features of a dream:

Now have a look at the image below; someone (let us say it is myself) is having a dream about London.

Here I am, an young executive, after presenting my credentials to the HMS Authorities, I am being taken around for a tour of SW1 areas of London ( the dream city – स्वप्न नगरि svapna nagari) where I will be working. Wow. What a dream (स्वप्न svapna). Wow.

This Dream is a projection from myself; it is exclusive and unique to me and cannot be a collective event. For the purpose of the dream, I create a world within myself, a SW1 area in London, create the Queen, create the PM at 10 Downing St, create people and objects (in the lighter sense I have become a the God- the Brahman). My Dream is real but the events in the dream are imaginary. I create a dream and I enter into it either as an actor or as a witness. Dream is related to what I know; the world as experienced by me is required for all dream transactions. Within the dream I am not a creator; I am either an actor or a witness. In the dream, who am I is a function of where I want to associate myself with. The creator, the witness and the dreamer are one and the same and all are happy to perform the roles associated.

Summing up the two attributes of my dream are:

a) Entire dream and events, everything happens within me/inside me – “nija anthargatham” and

b) The whole thing is Externally Projected.“Bahir-Iva-Udbhuutam”

So, my Svapna nagaram, the dream world is one thing and the entire dream world is resting/residing in Me the waker; to be precise in my mind, in my mind it is resting, but since the mind is an integral part of the waker, I will use the expression, waker. So the mirror of the first example is comparable to the waker and the images/reflections of the first example is comparable to the स्वप्न प्रपछः svapna prapachaḥ the dream world.

1. Here I-the-waker, am the adhiṣṭānam, support, the basis for the entire dream world. The dream time; the dream space; As long as I support through sleep, the dream world continues, the moment the I the waker withdraws the support, the dream word collapses.

2. I-the waker, lend existence to svapna nagari, which means without me, dream world cannot exist, whereas without the dream world, I can, Thank God, I happily exist.

3. Whatever events happen in the dream world, has nothing to do with waker. In this particular dream case, the waker that is me, did not have a work permit, a visa and even a passport. I reached the airport in no time, flew to London in no time, everything was done with no time and space constraints at all.. In short, I the waker is asaṃgah, the dream event does not touch me at all.

4. The dream object and people; how many? OR whatever be their number, none of them can be counted, the only countable one is waker, and therefore, the people in dream are as good as non-existent. The Queen, the HMS Authorities, the Staff everyone are all non existent and therefore I am advayaha, I-the waker.

Here is a pictorial representation of the dream’s features

Waking up from a dream:

Let us take an example to understand the process of waking up from a dream. In a dark room, a rope is (wrongly) perceived as snake. Reacting to this snake, either one is afraid of it and tries to run away from it or one tries to catch it to earn something out of it. The game (reaction) of ‘run-and-chase’ continues as long as snake is perceived. The reason for this behaviour is our ignorance i.e. absence of the knowledge of truth. When we switch on the light, snake simply disappears and rope manifests itself without any effort on our part. Snake simply vanishes leaving no trace of itself. Snake was superimposed on Rope. Wrong perception made it look real. Snake ‘veiled’ the rope. Snake was real only until darkness prevailed. Now let us get back to the dream!

  • The dream world is inside me and it is unreal (mithya) but the dream world appears to be outside me, and real, when I am asleep (nidrāḥ). In other words, sleep (nidrāḥ) makes the inside-dream-world, outside and not only that,it makes the unreal-dream-world look as though real. To put it in a technical manner, my sleep state is not aware of my Waker nature which essentially means that Waker-ignorance is sleep (nidrāḥ). More technically, waker is adhiṣṭānam and therefore adhiṣṭāna-ignorance is nidrāḥ. Or still more technically, Waker-aadhiṣṭāna ajnānam eva nidra iti ucyate. When I am asleep, when I have adhiṣṭāna-ajnanam, the inside-dream appears outside and false-dream appears real.
  • When sleep (nidrāḥ) goes away i.e., at prabodha samaya (prabhoda is waking, samaya means at that time) I am aware of my waker status. So waking up is nothing but waker-knowledge. Prabhodha is nothing but adhiṣṭāna jnānam. And when I am aware of myself as the waker, when I have adhiṣṭāna jnānam, the outside dream is no more outside, and, the real dream is no more real; it is falsified.

In the same way, this world is experienced as separate object due to veiling power of māyā. Once this veil, the root cause of ignorance is removed, Self, the Brahman, shines by itself. This world is true only until the truth is veiled. The world talked here is better understood if we take it as ‘mental world’ or ‘Jīva shṛṣṭi’.

With the two examples of Mirror & Dream in these two introductory blogs,let us digest these learnings and proceed to the Sloka in the next blog.


To be continued in next week.