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Dakshinamurti Stotra, translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri, [1920], at

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Eighth Stanza of the Hymn.

To the Atman who, deluded by Mâyâ, sees, in jâgrat or svapna, the universe in variety, as cause and effect, as master and servant, as teacher and disciple, as father and son, and so on to Him who is incarnate in the Teacher, to Him in the Effulgent Form Facing the South, to Him (Siva) be this bow!

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What is Bondage, Liberation and Maya?

1. If, apart from the Light, no object exists, then how arises all the experience ending with initiation into the Supreme Truth?

2–3. Who is bound and liberated? Why is one bound? What may be the definition of Mâyâ? Thus may an enquirer ask. With a view to answer these questions, and in order (that the disciple may) understand the matter with ease, what has been taught in the seven stanzas is again told in brief.

4. Repetition in word or sense can be no fault here (in this Sâstra). Frequent

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reiteration only shows how momentous the theme is.

The meaning of the eighth stanza may be explained as follows:—

All experience is a Fiction.

5–6. To imagine in Paramesvara, in the One Self-luminous Existence, the relation of cause and effect and other things of various sorts, is like imagining, the head of Râhu, empty space in âkâsa, 'my self,' the body of an idol, and so on,—as not referring to distinct realities.

Rahu and Ketu are, respectively, the head and the trunk of one Rakshasa's body severed into two; so that, when one speaks of the head of Rahu, we cannot suppose that the head exists distinct from Rahu. The two are, in fact, one. Similarly when Paramesvara is spoken of as the cause of the universe, we should not understand that the universe is distinct from Paramesvara. There is only one existence, namely, Paramesvara.

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7. Isvara amuses Himself assuming, of His own accord, the forms of worshipper and the worshipped, of teacher and disciple, of master and servant, and so on.

8. He who is a son with reference to his father is himself the father with reference to his son; one alone, indeed, is imagined in various ways according to mere words.

9. Therefore, on investigating supreme truth, we find that the Light alone exists. False (mithyâ) indeed is all notion of difference in Atman, caused as it is by Mâyâ.

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The meaning of "mithya"

10. Falseness (mithyâtva) consists in being nullified when right knowledge arises. Then, the master instructing the disciple and all else appear like a dream.

Truth taught through fiction.

11. The Vedanta, though in itself false may enable one to understand the Real Truth, like the idol of a God, or like a drawing, or like a reflection.

Maya nullified by knowledge.

12. All our mundane experience is a display of Mâyâ. Like unto sushupti, Mâyâ is nullified by knowledge of Atman.

Maya defined.

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13. The name 'mâyā' is given to an appearance which cannot be accounted for. It is not non-existent, because it appears; neither is it existent, because it is nullified.

14. It is not distinct from the Light, as the dark shadow is distinct from the sun. Neither is it identical with the Light because it is insentient. Nor can it be both distinct from and identical with the Light, because it is a contradiction in terms.

Or, Maya may be compared to the shadow which conceals the sun from the view of those who are blind by day. Here the sun's light itself appears to be a shadow; and the shadow, therefore, has no distinct existence from the light.

15. It is not said to be made up of parts, because no parts caused it. Neither

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is it devoid of parts, since in the effects it is made up of parts.

16. This harlot of a Mâyâ, appearing only so long as not scrutinised, does deceive the Atman by her false affectations of coquetry.

Moksha is the eradication of Maya.

17. Some seek not her radical destruction. How, in their view, can there be a release from manas?

18. Manas is subject to the three avasthas of jagrat, svapna, and sushupti, which revolve like a wheel, as the chief cause of the illusions of duality.

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19. On account of these (illusions) manas performs acts and is again bound by them. A mere witness of manas is the Atman beyond, just as the sun (is the witness of our acts).

20. Just as the sun is never affected by acts which are done by creatures below, so also, Atman, witness as He is, is never bound by the doings of manas.

21. That Atman does acts, that He is bound by them, and that He is released from them, is true only in a figurative sense; it is a mere illusion.

22. Just as the sun, though untouched by smoke, clouds, dust and fog, yet looks as if he were covered by them, so

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[paragraph continues] Atman looks as if He were covered by Mâyâ.

23–24. Just as a young lad whirling round and round in sport, sees the world around him revolving round and round and the heavens containing hundreds of moons; so Jiva, deluded by Mâyâ, in virtue of the vâsanâs (tendencies caused by former experience) sees this whole universe revolving in various forms.

25. In contact with manas, the Divine Atman looks as if He were coursing through the world, just as the sun, by contact with water, appears to move in many a form.

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26. That man who, by practice of Yoga, has freed manas from objects, becomes abstracted from this world, and he shall, at once, grow into a Jivanmukta.

27. The Sruti says: By Mâyâ, Siva became two birds always associated together; the One, clinging to the one unborn (Prakriti), became many as it were (vide Mundaka-Up. 3-1; Yâjniki-Upanishad 12–5).

28. Thus ends the Eighth chapter in brief in the work called Mânasollâsa which expounds the meaning of the Hymn to the Blessed Dakshinâmurti.

Next: Chapter IX. Devotion to Isvara