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This question is not a duplicate of the following question.

What scriptures mention Shiva's Dakshinamurthi form?

This answer under the above question, explains that Dakshinamurty form of Lord Shiva is described in Suta Samhita of Skanda Purana in Mochak Kathanam of Mukti Khanda.

My question is as follows:

Is there any esoteric explanation to Shiva's manifestation as Sri Dakshina Murty, as a Guru of all Sages which are like embodiment of Dharma tree and who have transcended even Vedas, they are sitting around that Banayan tree?

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Shiva means "the auspicious/kind one". The word Shiva is used as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra.

Like other epithets like Indra, Rudra, etc, Shiva is an epithet used to indicate the auspiciousness/kindness of the Almighty God.

For example:

In respect of Agni: (RV I.31.1)

तवमग्ने परथमो अङगिरा रषिर्देवो देवानामभवः शिवः सखा | तव वरते कवयो विद्मनापसो.अजायन्त मरुतो भराजद्र्ष्टयः ||

You, Agni, the first Aṅgiras, the seer, the god, became a kindly comrade of the gods. Under your commandment were born the sage poets working with their know-how—the Maruts with glinting spears.

In respect of Indra : (RV II.20.3)

स नो युवेन्द्रो जोहूत्रः सखा शिवो नरामस्तु पाता | यः शंसन्तं यः शशमानमूती पचन्तं च सतुवन्तंच परणेषत ||

May Indra, called with solemn invocations. the young, the Friend, be men's auspicious keeper, One who will further with his aid the singer, the toiler, praiser, dresser of oblations.


Coming to the aspect of Shiva's manifestation as Sri Dakshina Murty, as a Guru of all Sages which are like embodiment of Dharma tree and who have transcended even Vedas, they are sitting around that Banayan tree, in my opinion, this concept is referring to manifestation of Almighty God.

We have to remember that a Guru of all Sages, which are like embodiment of Dharma tree and who have transcended even Vedas, can only be the Almighty God.

It does not indicate manifestation of Sankara or Husband of Uma as Sri Dakshina Murty, as the term Shiva is an epithet of the formless Almighty God.


Further, Dakshina Murty doesn't indicate facing Southern direction, but indicates propounder/follower of Vedic way of life.

We have to remember that dakshinAchAra is referring to the right handed Vedic path as opposed to vAmAcAra or left handed non-vedic path

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  • "Further, Dakshina Murty doesn't indicate facing Southern direction, but indicates propounder/follower of Vedic way of life." Good conclusion and you can probably add that dakshina here meams "right" rather than south, referring to the right handed vedic path as opposed to vAmAcAra or left handed non-vedic path.
    – user17987
    Jul 25 '20 at 18:50
  • my answer has since been updated please. @idolworshipper Aug 2 '20 at 14:23
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Dakshinamurthy is an instructor form of Shiva who teaches truth to seekers through silence. Anyone seeking moksha and an authentic Brahmgyani Guru should worship Dakshinamurthy aspect of Lord Shiva as explained in Dakshinamurthy Strotram by Adi Shankaracharya

मौनव्याख्या प्रकटित परब्रह्मतत्त्वं युवानं वर्षिष्ठांते वसद् ऋषिगणैः आवृतं ब्रह्मनिष्ठैः । आचार्येन्द्रं करकलित चिन्मुद्रमानंदमूर्तिं स्वात्मारामं मुदितवदनं दक्षिणामूर्तिमीडे ॥१॥

1: (Salutations to Sri Dakshinamurthy) Whose Exposition through Profound Silence is Awakening the Knowledge of the Supreme Brahman in the Hearts of His Disciples; Who is Himself Youthful ... 2: ... but is Sitting Surrounded by Old and Great Sages who are Devoted to Brahman, 3: The Hands of the Supreme Spiritual Teacher is Forming the Cin-Mudra (gesture of the Knowledge of Brahman) and Whose Appearance is Still and Blissful, 4: Who is Rejoicing in His Own Self which is reflected on His Blissful Face; Salutations to Sri Dakshinamurthy.

चित्रं वटतरोर्मूले वृद्धाः शिष्या गुरुर्युवा । गुरोस्तु मौनं व्याख्यानं शिष्यास्तुच्छिन्नसंशयाः ॥३॥

3.1: It is indeed a strange picture to behold; At the root (i.e. base) of a Banyan Tree (Vata) are seated old Disciples (i.e. aged Disciples) in front of an Young Guru, 3.2: The Guru is Silent, and Silence is His exposition (of the Highest Knowledge); and that (Silence) is severing the doubts (automatically) from the minds of the Disciples.

बाल्यादिष्वपि जाग्रदादिषु तथा सर्वास्ववस्थास्वपि व्यावृत्तास्वनुवर्तमानमहमित्यन्तः स्फुरन्तं सदा । स्वात्मानं प्रकटीकरोति भजतां यो मुद्रयाभद्रया तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥७॥

7.1: During Boyhood and Other stages of Life (Youth, Old age etc), during Waking and Other states (Dreaming, Deep Sleep, Turiya etc) and Similarly in All Conditions ... 7.2: ... the Atman Always Shines as the "I" Within, Free from All Conditions but at the same time Present in All Conditions, 7.3: The Inner Guru Awakens this Knowledge of One's Own Atman to those who Surrender to Him; this Knowledge which is represented by the Auspicious Cin-Mudra, 7.4: Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakshinamurthy.

सर्वात्मत्वमिति स्फुटीकृतमिदं यस्मादमुष्मिन् स्तवे तेनास्य श्रवणात्तदर्थमननाद्ध्यानाच्च संकीर्तनात् । सर्वात्मत्वमहाविभूतिसहितं स्यादीश्वरत्वं स्वतः सिद्ध्येत्तत्पुनरष्टधा परिणतं चैश्वर्यमव्याहतम् ॥१०॥

10.1: Since the Divine Essence in All is Made Clear in this Hymn, 10.2: Hence by Listening to It, Contemplating on its Meaning, Meditating on It, and Glorifying it, 10.3: One becomes Endowed with the Greatness of the Knowledge of the Divine Essence ( present in All ); Perhaps the Divine Essence by Itself ... 10.4: ... will Awaken within him after that Again, the Eightfold Manifestations of Divine Powers (Siddhis) Unimpeded.

Further Dakshina murthy does not mean facing south(like interpreted by some modern translators) as the original name of directions in Sanksrit are:-

Forward - purataha (पुरतः),

Backward - prashthataha (पृष्ठतः),

Left - vaamataha (वामतः)

Right - daxinataha (दक्षिणतः)

So, the Dakshina or Daxinataha in Dakshinamurthy means an idol in right or right path of salvation as opposed to vama or left path of Maya.(The usage of word Dakshina is parallel to as used in the name of Dakshina Kali who has a right foot ahead.

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From the esoteric point of view the Dakshinamurti form represents the personification of knowledge and wisdom.

Out of the several forms of Siva described in the puranas and the agamas, the Dakshinamurti is also one.

It is a benign aspect of his. Since he was facing south (dakshina = south) at the time of teaching the sages in a secluded spot in the Himalayas, he came to be known as Dakshinamurti. Sometimes the word 'dakshina' is interpreted as jnana, knowledge or wisdom, in which case he represents the very personification of knowledge and wisdom.

The Concise encyclopedia of Hinduism by Swami Harshananda

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