dakSiNAmUrti story

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Jan 21 11:52:15 EST 1999

Dear Ramakrishnan,

Thanks a bunch. Forgot the 1972 paper by J. Bruce Long.

Since I am on travel, can you please check for me from
the article:
1) whether Dakshinamurthy form is mentioned in J. Bruce
Long's paper?
2) Lord 'Siva teaching under a banyan tree - does it occur
3) 'Siva teaching grammar.

Appreciations to you for this help.

CilappatikAram (ca. 400 AD) is the first Indian text mentioning
Dakshinamurthy. 'saiva aagamas mentioning Dakshinamurthy
(Sivacharyars of Tamil Nadu are the preservers of
'Saivagama tradition, many were created by them) are
later than CilappatikAram.

Qcil23x90 \BT cIrttaku ciRappin2 vArttikan2 putalvan2 \et
Qcil23x91 \BT Al amar celvan2 peyar koNTu vaLarntOn2 \et
Qcil23x92 \BT pAl nARu cev vAyp paTiyOr mun2n2ar \et
Qcil23x93 \BT taLar nA Ayin2um maRaiviLi vazAatu \et
Qcil23x94 \BT uLam mali uvakaiyOTu oppa Ota \et
Qcil23x95 \BT takkiNan2 tan2n2ai mikkOn2 viyantu \et

Note the word takkiNan2 = DakSiNAmUrti.

Did you read my posts with the title: 'Siva Nandi.
I would like comments, additional info, ...

Any more 'Siva iconographical forms other
than the four mentioned (Ananda tANDava naTarAja,
Lingodbhava, Somaskanda, DakSiNAmUrti), please let me know.

With kind regards,
N. Ganesan

A very late, but hopefully not totally useless reply. Apart from the
information given by Dr. Ganesan, the following sources may be useful.

It is not been researched very well when the name daxiNAmUrti (DM) first
occurs (if it is at all possible) in Sanskrit texts. The earliest seems
to be in the shaiva Agama-s.

For iconographic representations of DM, refer to Elements of Hindu
Iconography, by T.A.Gopinatha Rao, Vol 2, part 1 and Vol 2, part 2. He
has given Sanskrit quotes from the utatarakAmikAgama, vishhNudharmottara
purANa (which is mentioned by Al-Beruni), a.nshumadbhedAgama, etc. There
are also various photographs of different forms of DK. As Dr Ganesan
mentioned, all these are from South India and I think it's a good
hypothesis that shiva as DK originated in Tamil Nadu.

However, the idea of shiva as teacher seems to be much older. But, not
in the form of DK. See "Siva as Promulgator of Traditional Learning and
Patron Deity of the Fine Arts", J. Bruce Long, ABORI, Vol 52, pp. 67-80.
He gives quotes from the mahAbhArata and also points out that the idea
can be found in the R^ig veda itself. Also the shvetAshvatara Upanishhad
(usually dated 4-5th century BC) and a shaiva upanishhad, comes close to
making the identification of shiva with the teacher.

Dr Ganesan mentioned the DK stotra ascribed to sha.nkara, but the
ascription has been doubted. See for eg, Encyclopedia of Indian
philosoiphies, Karl Potter, Vol III, pp. 317-318. However, Gussner has
tried to show by stylometric analysis that it is indeed a genuine
composition, "A Stylometric Study of the Authorship of Seventeen
Sanskrit Hymns Attributed to Sa.nkara", JAOS, pp. 259-267, 1976.
Whatever be the case, the hymn is 2-3 centuries later than the Tamil
Hymns of the shaivite saints.

The tantric text, prapa.ncasAra tantra attributed also to sha.nkara has
a chapter on DK. See chapter 28 in that text, Prapa.casAra tantra, Ed A.
Avalon. This attribution is also doubtful. Padoux in his book "vAc",
classifies this as a non-sectarian tantra and hypothesizes that it is
the work of Vidyasha.nkara tIrtha, the head of the Sringeri Mutt in the
1200s. However, as pointed out by Avalon, there are earlier references
to this text.

Thanks to Dr Ganesan for the references from the Tamil texts. I was
planning to post a question on that myself!

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