Hymn To Dakshinamurti

Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, was an extremely high Initiate and in a certain sense, according to Theosophy, the reincarnation of Gautama Buddha. He wrote a mysterious hymn called the Dakshinamurti Stotra or Dakshinamurti Stotram, which some Theosophists believe is referring to the nature and the role of the great Being spoken of by H. P. Blavatsky in “The Secret Doctrine” as the Wondrous Being, the Nameless One, the Initiator, the Great Sacrifice, the Solitary Watcher, the Maha-Guru, the ever-living-human-Banyan, and the Tree from which the Adepts grow. Our article The Great Sacrifice & The Mystery-Land of Shambhala can be read by clicking here.

Shankaracharya said that the Guru who is venerated in the hymn is the Adi-Guru, meaning the First Guru, the First of all Spiritual Teachers, and he recognised him as an embodiment of Shiva. In one place where HPB talks about Shambhala (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 502) she also makes mention of “Rudra Shiva, the great Yogi, the forefather of all the Adepts – in Esotericism one of the greatest Kings of the Divine Dynasties. Called “the Earliest” and the “Last,” he is the patron of the Third [i.e. Lemurian], Fourth [i.e. Atlantean], and the Fifth [i.e. ours] Root-Races.”

The full version of the Hymn to Dakshinamurti or the Dakshinamurti Stotram consists of ten paragraphs or stanzas. A very clear rendition of it is included below, from the August 1989 issue of “Hermes,” the monthly magazine of the United Lodge of Theosophists in Santa Barbara, California, USA, and which was the predecessor to today’s “Vidya” magazine. “Dakshinamurti” literally means “the one who faces south,” which suggests an image of a great Being who is sat at the top or very highest or uppermost point and embraces the entirety of the world within his far-reaching gaze. A short extract from it used to be included in every issue of “The Theosophical Movement” when that magazine (from the United Lodge of Theosophists in Mumbai, India) was edited by B. P. Wadia.

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A U M

HYMN TO DAKSHINAMURTI
THE INITIATOR OF INITIATES

I extol Dakshinamurti, the handsome youth who has transmitted the truth of Parabrahm by silent speech; who is surrounded by a host of venerable sages as disciples, all absorbed and established in meditation upon Brahman; who is the Supreme Teacher; who displays the sacred sign of fusion of the soul with the Absolute – the joining of forefinger and thumb – the paragon of bliss; who has a resplendent face replete with the rapture of the Self-Existent.

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1. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, who by means of maya as by dream, sees the inward cosmos within Him like unto a city seen in a mirror and manifested as if outward; who comprehends, at the time of awakening, His own unitary SELF!

2. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, who like a magician or even like a mighty Yogin manifests through his own volition this cosmos which in the beginning is indivisible like the sprout in the seed, but which is again rendered composite under the variegated conditions of Space and Time projected through maya!

3. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to Him whose very resplendence is the essence of the Real, blazing forth into the objective realm which is like unto the Unreal; to Him who enlightens those who seek Him through the Vedic saying “THAT THOU ART”; to Him by knowing whom truly there will be no more descent into the ocean of Becoming!

4. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to Him who is luminous like the light of a great lamp set in the belly of a pot with many apertures; to Him whose gnosis emanates through the eye and other organs; to Him who blazes forth as the presence of gnosis, thus making the entire cosmos shine brilliantly!

5. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to Him who destroys the great delusion produced by the sport of Mayashakti; those who apprehend the “I” as body and breath, the senses and the volatile intellect or the Void, are deceived like women and children, whilst the blind and the foolish prate profusely!

6. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to the Self who in deep, dreamless sleep regains pure Being, when the veiling by maya is withdrawn, like unto the solar or lunar eclipse, and on waking realizes that “I have dozed until now!”

7. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to Him who by means of the blessed mudra of his hand displays to his devotees His own Self that forever blazes forth from within as “I”, constant amidst all the inconstant states such as infancy and so on and also as waking consciousness!

8. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the form of the auspicious Guru, to the Purusha who, when dazed by maya, sees in dream and on waking the cosmos with its contrasts, such as cause and effect, owner and owned, preceptor and pupil, and, likewise, father and son!

9. May this obeisance be directed to the Blessed Dakshinamurti, to Him who takes the guise of the auspicious Guru, to Him whose eightfold Form is this entire motionless and mobile cosmos, manifesting as earth, water, fire, air, aether, the sun, the moon and the soul; beyond whom, all-pervading and supreme, there exists nought else for those who truly search!

10. Since the state of the Universal Self has thus been expounded, by listening to this, by pondering its meaning, by meditating on it, and by chanting, there will naturally arise the lordship and supreme splendour of universal selfhood, and again, will be attained the unobstructed sovereign power that presents itself in an eight-fold manner.

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Ah! The Wonder of the Banyan Tree!
The disciples are elders; the Guru is a youth;
The Teaching of the Guru is SILENCE.
The doubts of disciples are all dispelled.

ADI SHANKARACHARYA

Dakshinamurti Stotram
Rendered by Punarvasu

Banyan Tree, painting by G. Manohar Raja

~ BlavatskyTheosophy.com ~