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Yajur Vedic Upanishads - XX

Dakshinamurthi Upanishad
In Brahma Vartha (Land of Brahma), under a banyan tree called Maha Bandira, many sages including Sounaka had assembled to perform a Sathra fire sacrifice. They approached sage Markandeya wearing samiths (dried twigs of banyan tree) as gloves and asked him, "How do you manage to be a Chiram Jeevi (One who does not have death) and how are you always in the happy state?"

He replied, "This is because of the knowledge of the most secret philosophy of Shiva. This very secret Shiva philosophy by which Shiva who is the Dakshinamurthy, becomes some thing which is not visible to others. He is that God who at the time of final deluge, who keeps every thing else within himself and shines because of the pleasure of his own spirit. The secret mantras about him are as follows: Brahma is the sage, the meter is Gayathri and the god is Dakshinamurhy for this mantra.

First Mantra of 24 letters: After telling "om", tell "Namo" and then "Bhagavathe Dakshinamurthaye", then the fourth form of "asmad" viz "Mahyam", then "medham Pragnam", then the root of wind "ya", added with "chcha", followed by the name of wife of fire God "swaha". This is the mantra with 24 letters. That is "Om Namo Bhagwathe Dakshinamurthaye Mahyam, Medham Pragnam Prayacha Swaha!"

Then Dhyanam (thinking abut the form in the mind, when mantra is chanted). I salute him who is white like a crystal, who holds in his hands, a chain of pearl beads, the pot of nectar which is the form of knowledge, and the mudhra (symbol) of wisdom, who ties himself with a snake, who wears the moon on his head and who wears different type of ornaments.

Second Mantra of nine letters: First Say "Om", then the first vowel with the visarga and in the end ell Panchakshari with visarga in the end, and this gives the Navakshari mantra (nine letters mantra). That is "Om Aam Aa Sivaya Nama Om!"

Then Dhyanam. Let the three eyed god who does only good, who has in his three hands, the sign of protection, deer and axe in three hands and fourth hand kept on his knee, who has tied a snake on his body, who shines white like milk, who sits below a banyan tree and who is surrounded by sages like Shuka, gives us pure thoughts.

Third Mantra: Add Broom Nama, Maya Beeja, Vagbhava Beeja, Dakshinamurthaye and Jnanam dehi Swaha to Om. The mantra would be "Om Broom, Namo Hreem Im Dakshinamurthaye Jnanam Dehi Swaha!" Then Dhyanam: Let the God Dakshinamurthy, who has a white body due to application of holy ash, who wears the crescent moon on his head, who holds in his hands, Jnana mudra (symbol of wisdom), beaded chain, Veena and books, who wears all ornaments, who wears the elephant hide, who resembles the meditating Rama, who sits on the throne of explanation and who is being served by great sages protect us always. We have to see that lamp of wisdom, which burns with renunciation as oil, devotion as wick and which shines in the full vessel of wake up state.

Devotion consists in firmly dwelling in the constant thought that "I am He." Repetition of the mantra as inseparable from Him constitutes the means to that knowledge. To be concentrated in thought upon Him exclusively proves an effective aid to it. The dedicating of all bodily activity (to Him) forms the offering. The three states of consciousness (dhâmans or avasthas, such as jŕgrat, svapna, and sushupti) are the proper time for it. The proper place is the twelve-pointed seat (i.e., the. sahasrâra or thousand-spoked wheel in the cavity of the head).

Then they asked Him again full of faith: What is His manifestation like? What is His form? And who is His worshipper?

He said: In the mighty lamp of wisdom, overflowing with the oil of vairagya (indifference to worldly objects) and furnished with the wick of Bhakti (Faith) one should kindle the light of knowledge and see. Then the darkness of delusion being dispelled, (S'iva) Himself becomes manifested. With a view to dispel the utter darkness, the devotee should produce fire, making vairagya the lower arani (stick) and knowledge the upper one; and then S'iva will exhibit to his view the hidden Reality. Dwelling in the devotee as his own very self with His inherent bliss, He revives viveka or discriminative wisdom hitherto overpowered with delusion and oppressed by duality for want of proper enquiry into truth. Thus (in the language of the Puranana) S'iva, showing Himself in all His bliss, restores to life the son of Mrikandu, hitherto oppressed with the fear of Yama, the latter dragging him with the bands of rope tied around his body.

The word 'Dakshinâ' means Buddhi. Because Buddhi is the eye by which S'iva can be directly seen, He is called Dakshinabhimtikha by the Brahma-vâdins.

At the beginning of creation, Brahmâ the Lord, having worshipped S'iva, attained power to create and was delighted at heart. The devotee in this path, steady in his effort; attains all objects of desire and becomes quite happy. Whoever studies this highly Secret Doctrine of Siva, the Reality, He is delivered from all sins. He who knows thus attains liberation.


- October 11
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