Dakshinamurthy sthotram – Dhyan

This is the translation of the dhyan that accompanies the Dakshinamurthy sthotram, usually chanted either before or after the sthotram. This is again one among those numerous sthotrams that are very commonly recited, taught often and yet understood the least. As I have indicated before, I am a fan of Shakaracharya, Guru Nanak and so many others who had such insight to write these kind of sthotrams. What astounds me the most though, is not the sthotram themselves, but the how? How can a person perceive this and then be able to translate that perception into such beautiful words? The high level of steadiness or silence or stillness that they should have had in their own existence, so they can perceive this is incomprehensible and can only be practised to be understood! No words can describe that silence! The first verse of this sthotram describes that silence very well.

maunau vakyAm prakatita para brahma tatva yuvAnaM
varShiShTAnteva sadraShigaNairAvrutam bramhaniShTaiha
AcAryendra karakalita cinmudraAnandarUpam
svAtmArAman muditavadanam dakshinAmUrthymIDe

mauna + vyakanAm + prakatita + para + brahma + tatva + yuvAnaM =
silence + of thoughts + is revealed + remote + creation + concept + strength
varShiShTa + anth + eva + sa + druShTi + gaNai + Avrutam + brahma + niShThaiha =
strength + end + this + he + perceives + multitude + that which is encompassed + creation + intent upon
AcArya + indra + kara + kalita + cin + mudra + Ananda + rUpam =
guided by + senses + doer + impelled + awareness + impression + happy + form
svA + Atma + raman + mudita + vadanam + dakshinAmurthymIDe =
one's own + self + pleasant + rejoicing in + describing + is called Dakshinamurthy

Here, it should be noted that yuva can be translated as youth and varShiShTa as old person. But both of these have no relation to the silence of the thoughts. yuva can also mean strength in which case varShiShTa takes on the meaning of strongest. This translates to:

In the silence of the thoughts is revealed the strength of the concept of remote creation. At the end of this strength is perceived this encompassed multitude, intent upon creation. Guided by the senses, the doer is impelled by the impression of awareness in the form of happiness, rejoicing in the description of one’s own self, is called Dakshinamurthy.

What a beautiful verse! This silence here should not be mistaken for laziness or idleness, because in idleness thoughts are present, we just don’t act upon them. This is a state where there are no thoughts at all, the split second before the thoughts start flowing again, we can perceive that strength with which we create thoughts! And at the end when we start to lose that split second silence, we realise how we are so intent upon creating these thoughts! The beauty of this verse can only be understood if we try to be without thoughts! What a verse!

Vatta-Vittapi-Samiipe-Bhuumi-Bhaage Nissannnnam
Sakala-Muni-Janaanaam Jnyaana-Daataaram-Aaraat |
Tri-Bhuvana-Gurum-Iisham Dakssinnaamuurti-Devam
Janana-Maranna-Duhkhac-Cheda Dakssam Namaami ||2||

vaTa + viTapi + samIpe + bhUmi + bhAge + niShaNNaM =
encompass + expansion + analogous to + place + part + rested on
sakala + muni + jaNaNaM + jnAna + dAta + araM + ArAt =
each and every + impulse + collection + knowledge + divided + suitably + immediately
tri + bhuvana + gurum + iSham + dakshinAmUrti + devam =
three + existence + chief + potential + dakshinamurthi + energy
janana + marana + dukha + cheda + dakShaM + namAmi =
birth + death + sadness + separation + capable + yielding

In all these verses, I have translated guru as chief or prime. Given the context, this is what makes sense. In the standard translations Dakshinamurthy is referred to as a human God, and hence guru turns out to be a teacher. But, if we go by the fact that these verses are talking about silence of thoughts, I am not sure Dakshinamurthy is a terminology for some divine God. It is a state of existence, hence Guru become chief or prime. This translates to:

Resting in a portion of a connected analogous expansion, each and every collective impulse, knowledge suitably divided immediately, the prime potential of this triple existence is the Dakshinamurthy energy capable of yielding to the separation of the birth, death, sadness.

Citram Vatta-Taror-Muule Vrddhaah Shissyaa Gurur-Yuvaa |
Guros-Tu Maunam Vyaakhyaanam Shissyaas-Tuc-Chinna-Samshayaah ||3||
Nidhaye Sarva-Vidyaanaam Bhissaje Bhava-Roginnaam |
Gurave Sarva-Lokaanaam Dakssinnaamuurtaye Namah ||4||

citram + vaTa + taror + mUle + vRuddhAM + shiShya + guru + yuvA =
perspective + encompass + overcoming + root + cut off + communicative + chief + strength
gurostu + maunam + vyakhyAnAm + shishyAstu + cinna + samshayAh =
primarily + silence + thought + communicative + impression + attached
nidhaye + sarva + vidyAnAM + bhiShaje + bhava + roginAm =
absorbed + each and every + knowledge + restore + coming into existence + instability
gurave + sarva + lokAnAm + dakshinAmurthaye + namah =
primarily + each and every + world + yielding to dakshinAmurthi

Here, it should be noted that shiShya is different from shishya, the first is pupil or to be taught, while the second is to communicate. As I have said before, Guru in here can be teacher or prime or chief. If Guru is taken as teacher, then shiShya become pupil. But the same if Guru becomes prime, pupil makes no sense, so the word should have been shishya or communication. These set of verses are talking about “silence”, hence my take is that it has to shishya or communication and hence this translation. This translates to:

Overcoming the encompassing perspective, cutting off the root which is communication, its prime strength, primarily silence of the thought which is attached to the mark of communication. Absorbed into each and every knowledge is the restoration of the instability of coming into existence primarily all the universe yielding to Dakshinamurthy.

Om Namah Prannava-Arthaaya Shuddha-Jnyaanaika-Muurtaye |
Nirmalaaya Prashaantaaya Dakssinnaamuurtaye Namah ||5||
Cit-anaaya Maheshaaya Vatta-Muula-Nivaasine |
Sat-Cit-Aananda-Ruupaaya Dakssinnaamuurtaye Namah ||6||
Iishvaro Gurur-Aatmeti Muurti-Bheda-Vibhaagine |
Vyoma-Vad Vyaapta-Dehaaya Dakssinnaamuurtaye Namah ||7||

om + namah + praNava + arthAya + shuddha + jnyana + eka + murthaya =
OM + yielding to + reverberation + notion of + free from + knowledge + one + form
nirmalAya + prashAntAya + Dakshinamurtaye namah =
pure + tranquil + to dakshinamurthy + yield
cit + anAya + maheshAya + vaTa + mUla + nivAsaya =
awareness + disorderly + prime isha + encompass + root +resting
sat + cit + Ananda + rUpAya + dakshinAmUrtaye + namah =
being + awareness + happiness + form + to dakshinamurthy + yielding
ishwaro + guru + atma + iti + mUrti + bheda + vibhAgine =
due to potential + prime + self + this + form + distinction + between parts
vyoma + vad + vyApta + dehAya + dakshinamurthaye + namah =
space + describe + permeation + by the body + dakshinamurthy + yielding

sat-cit-ananda-rupa is typically translated as existence-conciousness-bliss. I have translated it as “being aware in the form of happiness”, or being aware of happiness. This translates to:

OM yielding to the notion of reverberation, free from knowledge of one form, yielding to pure tranquil Dakshinamurthy, surrounded by the prime root potential resting in disorderly awareness, being aware in the form of happiness, yielding to Dakshinamurthy, this prime self of the potentials is the form of distinction between parts, permeation of space described by body yielding to Dakshinamurthy