Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 6 – Part 1 – Introduction – The Empty Secret – வெறுமையின் வறுமை – Negating the Sunyavadis


In the fifth verse, Śankarācārya enumerated various systems of philosophy, in which there are varieties of confusion regarding the real nature of “I”; and in this sixth verse, Śankarācārya wants to refute the main system, known as mādhyamika bauddisam; or śūnyavādaḥ; which is one of the main pūrvapakṣis of vedāntaḥ. And Śankarācārya does not refute the other systems, because this shoonya vadi has already refuted others and therefore he becomes the main challenger; and therefore Śankarācārya refutes the śūnyavādaḥ in the 6th verse.

The śūnyavādi points out that the essential nature of me; or the I, is nothingness or emptiness. Not only the individual, even the essential nature of the world is nothingness or emptiness. And in support of this conclusion, he takes our sleep experience as the pramāṇam or truth. In sleep we do not experience anything; there is no objective world. In sleep we do not experience the subject also; so neither ‘seen’ is there; nor is there the ‘seer’; neither the ‘heard’ nor the ‘hearer’. Therefore the subject as well as the object, both of them are not there; and therefore śūnyam is the tatvam is their conclusion.

Now Śankarācārya shows in this verse; that in deep sleep state, it is not śūnyam or emptiness. In deep sleep state, there is pure existence; but it is an unqualified existence; which is not available for any transaction. Only qualified existence is available for transaction; unqualified existence is not available for transaction. And therefore we make a mistake that it is emptiness; because we have a general misconception, whatever is not available for transaction is non-existent. This is one of the intellectual confusions. We think the space is nothingness; because space is not available for transaction. But the truth is that, space is not emptiness or nothingness, it is a positive entity. But generally we mistake space as emptiness, because it is not avialable for seeing, touching or any other local view. The same mistake is extended to the pure existence also; because it is not available for vyavahara. And therefore, in sleep, non-transactional existence is available which is my nature. This is the essence of this verse.

To highlight the mistake or the illusion that Sunyavadis have about “existence or otherwise” Adi Sankara brings out an incident that happened during the “Samudra Manthan” (churning of the ocean) as told in the Puranas.

The story of Rahu & Ketu and Maya

According to Puranas, the birth of Rahu and Ketu dates back to the earliest of times.‘Samudra Manthan’ is regarded as one of the most important events in the history of Hindu civilization. The Solar and Lunar eclipse is also associated with ‘Samudra Manthan’. When the ocean was churned by the Asuras and Devas, ‘Amrit’ was produced. This Amrit was stolen by Asuras and to obtain the Amrit, Lord Vishnu took incarnation in the form of a beautiful damsel ‘Mohini’ and tried to please and distract the demons. On receiving the Amrit, Mohini came to Devas to distribute it to them. ‘Svarbhanu’, one of the asuras changed his appearance to a deva to obtain some portion of the Amrit. However, Surya (Sun) and the Chandra (Moon) realized that Svarbhanu was an Asura and not one of the devas. Knowing this, Lord Vishnu severed Svarbhanu’s head with his discus, the Sudarshan Charka. However, even though his head and body became separated, they still remained immortal as the separate entity because before his head was served, he managed to drink a drop of the nectar from the Amrit. The Head is known as Rahu and the headless body is the Ketu. Since then Rahu and Ketu constantly chase the Sun and the Moon for revenge as they are the cause of separating the head and body of the Asura Rahu. It is a popular belief that when they succeed in catching Sun and Moon they swallow them causing Solar or Lunar eclipse but they can’t hold them for long and Sun and Moon emerge again intact as they also had nectar and are immortal.

Let us study the Sloka 6 in detail , in the next blog which will appear on 30th September

Dakshinamurthy Stothram- Sloka 5 – Who am I ? காயமே இது பொய்யடா !

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

द्देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुः
स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः ।
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥५॥

Meaning in Tamil

ஊண் சுவாச பொறிபுலன் சலன புத்தி இவையே

‘நான்’ என முனைவுடன் மடமை கொண்டு வாதிப்பர்,

உணர்வுக்கடிமை மாதரென, முதிரா அறிவுடை பாலனென,

இகபுர இருகண்ணிலா குருடரென, மடமை நிறை மூடரென!

லீலையென மாயை புரி அம்மடமைதனை அழி

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

Those who consider the Body or Prana (Vital Force) or Sense Organs or the Changing Mind or the Void (Total non-existence) as the “I”, are Like the emotionally sensitive women or Naive Innocent Girl Child, or Blind, or a Dull-Headed. They are deluded but they vehemently assert their points. The Inner Guru destroys this great delusion created by the play of the power of Maya. Salutations to Him, the personification of Our Inner Guru who awakens this Knowledge through His profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka:

देहं प्राणमपीन्द्रियाण्यपि चलां बुद्धिं च शून्यं विदुःDeham Praannam-Api-Indriyaanny-Api Calaam Buddhim Ca Shuunyam Viduh – The various types of false identifications of Ātman that we discussed above viz., deham, pranam, indriyani, calam buddhim and shunyam

स्त्रीबालान्धजडोपमास्त्वहमिति Strii-Baala-Andha-Jaddo(a-U)pamaastv[u-]Aham-Iti – Now let us come to the comparison that Adi Śankarā makes while describing these misconceived people. स्रीबालान्धजडोपमा (strī bāla andha jaḍo pamā). These words should be taken as symbolic of four types of defective intellect, which alone can commit these mistakes:

  1. Stri – an intellect which is suppressed by emotions, which is a hostage of emotions, Emotional thralldom; very typical of womanfolk.
  2. Bāla;- is undeveloped intellect, because a bāla, a child is not capable of thinking; it is not trained; therefore bāla represents undeveloped or untrained intellect. Training through tarka, logical reasoning, he has not gone through;
  3. Andhah – represents unaided intellect; literally the word andhā means blind, and what do you mean by the word blindness here; not using the śāstra pramāṇam, makes a person partially blind. If we have to know the spiritual truth; we require two eyes – external & internal. śāstra cakṣuḥ; buddhi cakṣuḥ, These two should combine for knowledge to take place; If one of them is not there, this person becomes what? partially blind; If both are not there, i.e., no buddhi and no śāstram, totally blind;
  4. The fourth one is jadaḥ; jadaḥa means a retarded intellect, an unintelligent intellect.

भ्रान्ता भृशं वादिनः Bhraantaa Bhrsham Vaadinah. – All these people with the misconceptions have one thing in common; “braandhaaha”- delusion is the only common feature. And not only they are confused and they have got wrong conclusion, the tragic part of this conclusion is they are not available for correction. Therefore Śankarācārya says that these people are not available for reconsideration. This is what the Upanisahads also have said:

avidyāyām andare vartamānā, svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyamānāḥ.

They are steeped in ignorance, and also because of their arrogance and adamancy, “svayam dhīrāḥ paṇḍitam manyante”; they think we are omniscient. Therefore Śankarācārya says that even Bhagavan’s compassion becomes useless, in front of them. They always say “I am always right, the other person is always wrong”, These people are called “bhṛśaṃ vādinaḥ”. Śankarācārya says never waste your time, talking to them; talking to such people, is misplaced compassion. bhṛśaṃ means intensely; not ordinarily argumentators, intensely vādinaḥ;

मायाशक्तिविलासकल्पितमहाव्यामोहसंहारिणे – Maayaa-Shakti-Vilaasa-Kalpita-Mahaa-Vyaamoha-Samhaarinne.
Then Śankarācārya looks at himself; Oh my God, somehow I am not in that group of confusion; I have got an intellect, which is free from all these four-fold defects, I have got an intelligent intellect, intelligent enough to understand Brahman, and also I have got shraddha in vedānta śāstram m, and therefore I have rescued myself and if I could get out of this confusion, it is only because of the external aid I got; and what is that external aid, śāstram pramāṇam. And therefore I am indebted to śāstram; And if śāstram could be meaningful to me, I am indebted to another person; it is purely because of guru; In fact, śāstram is made a pramāṇam by guru alone; And therefore Śankarācārya says I am indebted to śāstram and more indebted to the guru, and that guru who destroyed all my confusions. That confusion-destroyer-guru, I offer my prostrations and therefore Guru. Adi Śankarācārya now defines a Guru and has a new title for Guru; what is the title given to guru? māyāśakti vilāsakalpita mahāvyāmoha saṃhāri; to that guru, who is none other than dakṣiṇāmūrti, my namaskaram. That is said in the third line. Now let us see the meaning of this long Sanskrit Word.

saṃhāriṇi – (my guru) is a destroyer; destroyer of what?
vyāmoha – (destroys) confusion, Delusion with regard to one self; self-delusion is called vyāmoha; how did this confusion come? he says;
kalpitam  - created by/caused by - caused by whom?
vilāsa - ; vilāsa has two meanings, one meaning is the sport or play; so vilāsaha means play; Play of what? maya shakthi, the power of māya; play or operation or sport of māya shakthi.

So thus, what will be final translation; the guru who is the destroyer of the great delusion caused by the play of the power of māya.

And therefore, Hey Guro, who is the destroyer of ignorance and consequent delusion permanently, I offer my namaskaram to you.

திருக்குறள், நிலையாமை அதிகாரத்தில் இக்கருத்தினையே இவ்வாறு பிரதிபலிக்கிறது.

நில்லாத வற்றை நிலையின என்றுணரும்
புல்லறி வாண்மை கடை.

நெருநல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்
பெருமை உடைத்துஇவ் வுலகு.

குடம்பை தனித்துஒழியப் புள்பறந் தற்றே
உடம்பொடு உயிரிடை நட்பு.

‘அழிகின்ற ஓர் உடம்பு ஆகும் செவிகள்,

கழிகின்ற காலவ் விரதங்கள் தானம், மொழிகின்ற வாக்கு முடிகின்ற நாடி, ஒழிகின்ற ஊனுக்கு உறுதுணை இல்லையே’

என்ற திருமந்திரம் ‘கண்டதே காட்சி, கொண்டதே கோலம்’ எனும் மடமைமிகு கருத்தினை அழிக்க உதவும்.

November Dedications

In the Tamil calendar (Solar based) of Kartigai (around mid November – mid December), the full moon day is divinely important. Two important events – the arrival of Lord Katikeya (Subramanya/Arumugam) and the manifestation of Lord Siva as an endless flame of light (even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma couldn’t find the start and the end of it in the three worlds). The lighting of the famous Deepam at the famous Hill at Thiruvannamalai happens on this day.

Today being that day, I decided to refine and rededicate two of my earlier blogs through an audio visual in the social media. Here are the links to the two videos.

அம்புலி கங்கை அணிந்த

அடிமுடி காணா இறைவனை,

அன்பர் மனங்கவர் அண்ணாமலையோனை,

அன்றே கண்டு ஆனந்தமதனை

அலை அலையாய்ப் பெற்ற,

ஆதி சங்கரனின் சிவ

ஆனந்த லகரி எனும் அருள் மறையும்,

ஆர்க்கும் அலைகள் ஆழ்கடல் தோன்றி அழிவதொப்ப,

அன்பரின் மாளா துயர் அழியும் அவனை அடைந்தால் என

அலைவாயிலில் ஆதி சங்கரன், அருளிய

சுற்றும் அரவு என பதம் அமைந்த சுபரமணிய புஜங்கம் தனையும்,

அடியேன் அறிய இயன்று, திருக்

கார்த்திகை தீப நன்நாளின்று,

ஒலி ஒளி வடிவாய் வளைதளத்தில்

ஓங்கார நாதன் திருவடியில்

உளமுருகி பணித்திட்டேன்

ஒன்றுமில்லை இவ்வுலகில்

உனையன்று வேறெதுவும்

சிரம் தாழ்த்தி வணங்கிடுவேன்

திருவண்ணாமலை அருணனே

திருச்செந்தூர் குமரனே

திருக்கார்த்திகை தீப நாள் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

Durga Pancharathnam- Verse 5

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

त्वं ब्रह्मपुच्छा विविधा मयूरी



मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ५॥

English Transliteration

tvaṁ brahma pucchā vividhā mayūrī

brahma pratiṣṭhā asya upadiṣṭa gītā |

jñāna svarūpa ātma taya ākhilānāṁ

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 5 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

त्वं – you

ब्रह्म – supreme spirit

पुच्छा – tail

विविधा – various

मयूरी – Peacock

ब्रह्म – supreme spirit

प्रतिष्ठा- install/standing firmly

अस्य – of this

उपदिष्ठा – instructed/initiated

गीता – Bhagwad Gita

ज्ञान – knowledge

स्वरूप – quality/Nature

आत्म – soul

तय – protect

आखिलानां – entire/whole/universe

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ५॥

Meaning in English

Hey Mayuri*, you are praised as the route to Brahmam,

You are the form of Brahamam established by the Bhagwad Gita too,

You are the wisdom personified, enact the sport of creation

And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

* Durga worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a peacock. And hence she is addressed as Mayuri

Meaning in Tamil

பரம்பொருளை அறிய பாதை நீதானே பெண்மயிலே

பரம்பொருளே நீயென பகவத்கீதை உரைத்திடுதே

மெய்யறிவின் இயற்சக்தியாய் ஆன்மா பேணி, அகில

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 4

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

देवात्मशब्देन शिवात्मभूता

यत्कूर्मवायव्यवचोविवृत्या ।

त्वं पाशविच्छेदकरी प्रसिद्धा

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ४॥

English Transliteration

dēvā atma śabdēna śivā atma bhūtā

yat kūrma vāyavya vacō vivr̥tyā

tvaṁ pāśa vicchēdakarī prasiddhā

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 4 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

देव – God

आत्म – Soul

शब्देन – sound

शिव – Lord Siva

आत्म – Soul

भूता – being

यत् – that

कूर्म – one of the outer winds of the body

वायव्य – one of the inner winds – the air passage from heart to centre of the forehead

वचो – speech

विवृत्या – manifest

त्वं – you

पाश – chain

विच्छॆदकरि – विच्छे करि – seek for

प्रसिद्धा – famous/well known

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ४॥

Meaning in English

Formed by Self-power of sound of Siva’s aatma, You are declared by sacred texts as the sound of Anahatha**, Which exists in Kurma and Vayavya*** as Shakthi. You are known as one cutting off worldly attachments (or the rope that drags you to death), And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

Note: From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is said to be the region of Vayu. It is black in colour and shines with the letter ‘Ya’. Carrying the breath along the region of Vayu, one should contemplate on Isvara, the omniscient. The Yogi does not meet his death through Vayu.) ( Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya are the five sub-Pranas; Kurma performs the function of opening the eyes


**Anahata sabda – just before one enter Samadhi in yoga one can clearly hear Om inside which is not heard outside the physical body after this the person goes into Samadhi.

* **Vayavya Dharana

Meaning in Tamil

சிவான்மச்சக்கர ஒலி வழி உருவெடுத்த சுயசக்தியே

உள்மூச்சு வெளிமூச்சு வாக்கினிலும் உறை சக்தியே

பாசக்கயிற்றினை செயலாக்கும் பெயர் பெற்ற சக்தியே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 3

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

परास्य शक्तिः विविधैव श्रूयसे

श्वेताश्ववाक्योदितदेवि दुर्गे ।

स्वाभाविकी ज्ञानबलक्रिया ते

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ ३॥

English Transliteration

parāsya śaktiḥ vividhaiva śrūyasē

śvētāśvavākyōditadēvi durgē |

svābhāvikī jñānabalakriyā tē

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 3 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

परास्य – Absolute

शक्तिः – Shakti

विविधैव- several

श्रूयसे – heard/extolled

श्वेताश्व – white horses ? Here it refers to Swethavatara* Upanishad,

वाक्योदित- from the words

देवि दुर्गे । – devi Durga

स्वाभाविकी – innate, natural

ज्ञान – knowledge

बल – fruit

क्रिया – act/operation

ते –

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि

Meaning in English

You are His Shakthi called Para, which is spoken in different ways, You are the one who is being celebrated by Swethavatara* Upanishad, You are by your nature , the power force in all actions and wisdom, And so please protect me , oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation. * This major Upanishad gives the basic teachings and concepts of Bhagwad Gita.

Meaning in Tamil

பலர் போற்றும் பரம் எனும் சக்தியே

உபநிடம் போற்றும் துர்கா தேவியே

உள்ளியல்பான உயர் அறிவுச்சக்தியே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 2

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

देवात्मशक्तिः श्रुतिवाक्यगीता

महर्षिलोकस्य पुरः प्रसन्ना ।

गुहा परं व्योम सतः प्रतिष्ठा

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ २॥

English Transliteration

dēvātmaśaktiḥ śrutivākyagītā

maharṣilōkasya puraḥ prasannā |

guhā paraṁ vyōma sataḥ pratiṣṭhā

māṁ pāhi sarvēśvari mōkṣadātri || 2 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

देवात्म – divine nature

शक्ति – power

श्रुति – Veda

वाक्य – utter/saying

गीता – song

महर्षि – saints

लोकस्य – people

पुरः – inside place (heart)

प्रसन्ना – kind/delight

गुहा – (deep inside) heart

परं – absolute

व्योम – Sky/heaven/space

सतः truth

प्रतिष्ठा – rest/permanently reside

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ २॥

Meaning in English

You are the self power of the divine , sung about by the Vedas,

Delighted the hearts of great saints propitiating you ,

Who have established yourselves in their hearts as Truth,

And so please protect me, oh goddess of all and oh giver of salvation.

Meaning in Tamil

இறைமையின் உள்ளடக்கம் நான்மறைபோற்றும் நாயகி

உன்துதி பாடும் பேர்முனிகள் இதயம் மகிழ்விப்பவளே

உள்ளக்குகை வெளியில் உண்மையென உறைபவளே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி

Durga Pancharathnam – Verse 1

Audio Link


Sanskrit Verse

ते ध्यानयोगानुगता अपश्यन्

त्वामेव देवीं स्वगुणैर्निगूढाम् ।

त्वमेव शक्तिः परमेश्वरस्य

मां पाहि सर्वेश्वरि मोक्षदात्रि ॥ १॥

English Transliteration

tē dhyāna yōgānu anugatā apaśyan

tvām eva dēvīṁ svaguṇaihi nigūḍhām |

tvamēva śaktiḥ paramēśvarasya

māṁ pāhi sarva eshwari mōkṣadātri || 1 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words

ते – those

ध्यान – meditation

योग – contemplation/yoga

अनुगता – follow

अपश्यन् – not seeing

त्वं – you

एव – indeed

देवीं – goddess

स्व – of self

गुणै – virtues

निर्गूढाम् – concealed/hidden

त्वं – you

एव – only

शक्तिः – Shakti

परमेश्वरस्य – better half of Parameshwara

मां पाहि – protect me

सर्वेश्वरि – Universal Mother

मोक्षदात्रि – liberator

Meaning in English

Those, who follow meditation(dhyana) and contemplation (yoga), can’t see you; indeed the Goddess hidden in your own virtues. You are the energy behind Lord Parameshwara. Protect me oh Universal Mother, the liberator for salvation

Meaning in Tamil

தியானம் தவம் புரிவோர் காண இயலா

தன்நற் பண்பினில்மறை தேவி நீதானே

சடையோனின் சக்திவடிவம் நீதானே

அண்டமதின் அன்னையே காத்தருள்வாய் முக்தி