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Dakshineshwara – About the Dakshineshvara Form of Shiva

Shiva as Dakshineshwara is the teacher of yoga, music, all arts and sciences and holds the key to the knowledge of spiritual truths. As Dakshineshvara, Lord Shiva is portrayed as the omniscient young master conveying supreme knowledge, with his right hand raised in the gesture of teaching in silence.
The name means ‘the south facing’ and is the ultimate Guru.

Chitram Vatataror mooley
Vriddhah shishyaah gurur yuva
Gurostu maunam vyaakhyanam
Shishyaastu china Samshaya

Beneath the banyan tree they sit the disciples old men, the Guru a mere youth! The Guru speaks through silence alone. But lo! The questions of disciples dissolver on their own! (Dakshinamurti Stotram by Shankaracharya)

He teaches the reality of the Brahma through silence. He is the first manifestation of Lord Shiva in the Pashupata line.

Mouna (silence) is the best and the most potent diksha. That was practiced by Sri Dakshinamurti. Initiation by touch, look, etc., are all of a lower order. Silent initiation changes the hearts of all. (Ramana Maharshi)

Ramana Maharshi has interpreted the name ‘Dakshineshwara' as one who is capable but without form.

The murti form of Dakshineshwara

Dakshineshwara is usually depicted as the four-armed deity seated in virasana on a pedestal – the Lord is seated in the 'heroic' posture, his left foot resting on the knee of the pendant right leg, his body straight as the stem of the tree. The right foot rests on a demon symbolically representing ignorance. His uppermost hand holds the flame and cobra or damaru (hour-glass drum). He is clad in a short dhoti and adorned with jewelry. His face is always with a benign expression with his hair framing his face.

A tree rising behind him and joined by worshipers, who are older than him, at his feet is a usual feature of Dakshineshwara idol. The tree is known as Nyagrodha or Banyan (Ficus Bengalis).

Dakshinamurthy Stotra by Shankaracharya is a popular hymn dedicated to Shiva as Dakshineshwara. (People, who consider the body, senses and ego as the self are blind, deluded in Maya; those who come out of this illusion attain Moksha. - a hymn from the stotra)

Both Ramana Maharshi and Ad Shankaracharya are believed to be manifestations of Dakshineshwara.

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple in Kerala - Dakshineshwara Shiva is worshipped here.

Yoga was revealed to human beings by Shiva in this form.