Dakshinamurti Stotra, translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri, , at sacred-texts.com
To Him whose eightfold body is all this moving and unmoving universe, appearing as earth, water, fire, air, âkâsa, the sun, the moon, and soul; beyond whom, supreme and all-pervading, there exists none else for those who investigate; to Him who is incarnate in the Teacher, to Him in the Effulgent Form Facing the South, to Him (Siva) be this bow!
1. How can Mâyâ of this sort cease?—To him who thus asks, Devotion to Isvara Is taught as the means to that end.
2. Of the thirty-six tattvas or principles which are the bodies of Paramesvara, the eight forms are immediately perceived by all.
For the thirty-six principles enumerated in the Saiva-Agamas, see chapter, II, 31–42.
3. Inasmuch as manas cannot readily ascend to incomprehensible matters, the Guru teaches the contemplation of Sarvâtman, of the Universal Self in the eight (visible) forms (mentioned in the ninth stanza).
The meaning of the ninth stanza may be explained as follows:
4. In the Brahmânda,—in the body of the Virâj,—as well as in the body of man, the aggregate of the thirty-six principles is present everywhere.
The visible universe is made up of the eight forms mentioned in the ninth stanza. The aggregate of the thirty-six principles constitutes the body of Mahesvara. This, again, is two-fold, the Adhidaiva and the Adhyatma, Cosmic and Personal. The. former constitutes Brahmanda, made up of the fourteen worlds; and the latter constitutes the pinda, the body of each individual. These two are one, as cause and effect, the one being evolved out of the other. The devotee should regard every principle in the individual or microcosmic body as one with the corresponding principle in the Brahmanda or macrocosm. He should also regard the Soul (Purusha) embodied in the former as one with the
[paragraph continues] Soul embodied in the latter. He should then contemplate Mahes’vara as the Self (Atman) common to both. When the antah-karana is steadied in the contemplation of the one Atman, the devotee, by the Grace of the Supreme Lord, intuits Him in His essential being, and attains the Supreme End. This whole process will be detailed below.
5. The microcosmic (vyashti) manas pervades this microcosmic body. Therefore, the individual body should be regarded as one with the universe.
The Sruti (Bri. Up. 3–5-13) declares that manas, prana and vach of the individual soul are infinite in space and time, i.e., are one with the Hiranyagarbha, otherwise called Lingatman. The Hiranyagarbha functions chiefly in manas and has the Brahmanda for His body, and He may, therefore, be regarded as pervading the individual body which has been evolved out of the Brahmanda. Thus, as being equally pervaded by Lingatman, the individual body may be looked on as one with the Brahmanda.
6. By contemplating Mahesvara (dwelling) in the microcosm (vyashti), the devotee will become co-extensive with the macrocosm. This the Sruti has declared ten times in the words "he unites with Atman."
Having first enumerated the five kosas (sheaths) of the individual, the Taittiriya-Upanishad (2–8) declares five times that the devotee attains unity with Brahman, dwelling in the anandamaya kosa as the basis of all, in the words " He unites with annamaya Atman; he unites with pranamaya Atman; he unites with manomaya Atman; he unites with vijnanamaya Atman; he unites with anandamaya Atman." Again, later on, the Upanishad speaks of the five kosas in the macrocosm, and at the end (3–10) declares five times, as shown above, that the devotee attains unity with Brahman.
Now the Vartikakara teaches how to see the macrocosm in the microcosm:
7. In the bosom of Brahmānda, seven worlds such as Bhûrloka are said to exist. These dwell in the (seven) âdhâras (in the human body), form Mûlâdhara up to Brahmarandhra:
8. The back-bone is the Mahâmeru, and the bones near it are the Kulaparvatas. The Ganges is Pingalâ Nâdî, while Idâ is said to be Yamunâ.
9. Sushumnâ is the Sarasvatî, and other nâdîs the other sacred rivers. The seven dhátus are the seven dvípas; sweat, tears and the like are the oceans.
10. In the mûlâdhâra dwells the Kâlâgni, amidst bones is Bâdaba fire. In sushumnâ lies the fire of lightning, and the earthly fire in the region of the navel.
11. In the heart lies the sun-fire; in the skull, the lunar orb; the eye and other sense-organs are the other luminaries.
12. As the worlds are supported by the pravahana and other vâyus, so is the body supported by the ten vâyus such as prâna.
13. Starting from the mûlâdhâra, prána enters Idâ and Pingalâ in the form of the sun, and goes out through the nostrils and disappears at a distance of twelve inches.
14. Coming as the moon from a distance of eight inches, it (the same prâna) enters within through the two nâdîs. As apâna (it) throws out the dung, the urine, the wind, and the semen.
15. As Agni (Fire) and Soma (Moon) in one, it enters into the cavity of Sushumnâ; and rising up to Brahmarandhra, it grows into Udâna.
16. Vyâna spreads every day throughout the body the essence of the food eaten, while Samâna ever kindles the bodily fire.
17. Nâga produces hiccup; Kûrma closes and opens the eye; Krikara causes sneezing; Devadatta gives rise to yawning;
18. Dhananjaya causes distension and leaves not even the corpse.
Akâsa affords space within the body as well as without.
There is the same akasa both in the microcosm and in the Macrocosm.
19. The Sun and the Moon, the regulators of time, are the prâna and the apâna of the embodied beings (i.e., in the microcosm). The witness (within) is the Purusha (without).
That is to say, the personal soul in the microcosm corresponds to the cosmic soul, the Hiranyagarbha in the macrocosm.
20. Practising the Samanaska-Yoga—this devotion with manas,—a Yogin, perfect in the eight-stepped Yoga, rises to Amanaska (Isvara), to Him who has no manas.
21–22. Serenity of mind, contentment, silence, restraint of the senses, kindness, generosity, faith, straightforwardness, tenderness, patience, sincerity, harmlessness, continence, reflection, fortitude, these among others are said to be Yamas, forms of self-control to be exercised by the mind.
23–24. Bathing, cleanliness, worshipping, japa (saying prayers), homa (offering oblation), tarpana (propitiating), penance, charity, endurance, bowing, pradakshina
[paragraph continues] (circum-ambulation), austerities, fasting these among others are said to be Niyamas, forms of self-control to be effected through the body.
24–26. Svastika, Gomukha, Padma, Hamsa—these are the Brâhmic postures (Asanas). Nrisimha, Garuda, Kûrma, Nâga—these are the Vaishnava postures. Vîra, Mayûra, Vajra, Siddha—these are the Raudra postures. Yoni is the Sâkta posture. Paschima-tânaka is the Saiva posture.
Brahmic, etc.: appropriate to the contemplation of Brahma, etc. For a description of the postures, see works on Yoga.
26–27. The posture for the Niràlambana-Yoga, is nirâlambana (lit. propless, involving no specific position of hands, feet or other members of the body); meditation should be on the Nirâlamba, and the Nirâlamba is Sadâsiva, the Unconditioned, the Paramâtman.
27. Restraint of breath comprises Rechaka (emptying), Pûraka (filling in), and Kumbhaka (stopping).
28. The restraining of all the sense-organs from their objects is said to be Pratyâhâra by those who know the process of pratyâhâra.
29. The fixing of the manas on some object of thought (âdhâra) is termed Dhâranä, concentration.
The object of thought may be one of the six chakras in the body, or the Divine Being in the form of Vishnu, etc., imaged in the heart.
Meditation of Brahmâ, Vishnu, Siva and the like is termed Dhyâna.
Dharana is the mere fixing of the manas and prana on some object; while Dhyana consists in a continuous stream of thought directed to Vishnu or some such object of thought.
30. Steadiness of buddhi in Dhyàna is called Samâdhi; while the Amanaska-Samâdhi is free from all thought (of differentiation).
31. When chitta, the thinking principle, attains steadiness, prâna becomes steady.
For steadiness of chitta, the devotee should practise Yoga with Dhyàna.
32. To contract apana, to restrain prana, and to fix the tongue on the uvula,—this is a means to Yoga, to the restraining of chitta.
33. When chitta becomes steady and prana is centred within, then, on gaining control over the five elements, respectively, the following marks appear:
Control over the five elements (bhutas) may be gained by practising Dharana on their respective seats in the body. The seat of earth extends from the foot to the knee; the seat of water from the knee to the navel; the seat of fire, from the navel to the throat; the seat of air, from the throat to the region between the eyebrows; and the seat of akasa, from that region to Brahma-randhra.
34. Small quantity of dung, urine, and phlegm; health and lightness of the body; fine smell, voice, and complexion,—these form the first group of marks of Yoga, (marks of control over the earth-element).
35. Not to be affected by the tips of thorns, not to become immersed in water and mire, power to endure hunger, thirst and the like,—these form the second group of marks of Yoga, (marks of control over the water-element).
36. Power to eat and drink much, to endure sun and fire, to see and hear far,—these form the third group of marks
of Yoga, (marks of control over the fire-element).
37. To leap like a frog, to jump over trees like a monkey, to walk in the air,—these form the fourth group of marks of Yoga, (marks of control over the air-element).
38. Knowledge of all times, superhuman powers such as animâ, possession of endless powers,—these form the fifth group of marks of Yoga, (marks of control over the àkàsa-element).
39. When pràna reaches sushumnâ, Nâda (sound) of eight sorts is heard within: like the sound of a bell, a drum,
a conch, an ocean, a viná (a musical instrument), a flute, cymbals, etc.
40. When prâna dwells in Brahma-nâdi (sushumnà), the Divine Being appears in forms like those of fire, lightning, stars, the moon and the sun.
41. In each breath the sun runs as many yojanas as there are breathings of a man in a day.
42. By breaths numbering twenty-one-thousand-and-six-hundred, Atman daily repeats the mantra "Soham, He I am." for the prolongation of life.
43. By omitting s and h, and by merging a in o preceding it, the Pranava (Om) is formed.
44. The wise say that a, u, m, the bindu and the nada are the five aksharas (sounds) of the Pranava.
The bindu is the nasal vowel-sound, without which the consonant m cannot be sounded. The nada is one with the sonant prana. It starts from Muladhara and becomes manifested in the cavity of the nadi through which the heated prana passes. The component parts of Pranava being manifested by this nada, the Pranava is said to end with nada. Thus a, u, m, bindu, and nada are the five aksharas or sounds residing in Pranava, i.e., in the body of man which is called Pranava.
45. Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadâsiva,—these dwell in the five
aksharas in conjunction with the thirty-six principles.
46. By the Guru's grace, the devotee attains the eight-stepped Yoga; by Siva's Grace, he attains perfection in Yoga which is eternal.
Perfection in Yoga consists in the intuitive recognition of the true nature of Atman.
47. To Him who is Being, Consciousness, and Bliss; who dwells in Bindu and Nâda; who has no beginning, middle or end; to the Guru of the Gurus be this bow!
This explains the meaning of pranava. Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss, represented respectively by a, u, m, constitute the Pranava and form the essential nature of Brahman. Bindu and nada stand for name and form, the one standing
for the manifested name and form, and the other for the unmanifested name and form; so that they show that He is the cause of the origin, continuance and dissolution of the universe. They describe Him through His acts, but not as He is in Himself.
48. Thus ends the ninth chapter in brief in the work called Mânasollâsa, which expounds the meaning. of the Hymn to the blessed Dakshinâmurti.