Author Topic: Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005  (Read 2518 times)


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Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005
« on: May 17, 2013, 02:22:10 PM »
(By David Godman and T.V. Venkatasubramanian)

Tiruvarur Dakshinamurti Swami, a distinguished Tamizh Saint, was born through the grace of Lord Arunachaleswara. 
The only available Tamizh biography mostly describes the miracles attributed to him, although a few of his teaching
statements are also included.  This article, based on the Tamizh biography, gives the important events in his life and
all the teachings found there.

Sri Dakshinamurti Swami was born about 200 years ago in Kilalathur, a small village close to Tiruchirapalli.  His parents,
Meenambikai and Sivachidambaram Pillai, belonged to the Karkatta Velalar community, who were traditionally land owners
and cultivators.  After their marriage, they went for many years without having a child.  In order to get a child they embarked
on a pilgrimage that took them to many places that were sacred to Lord Siva, and while they were on this journey, they
also observed many strict vows.  During  their journey they visited Tiruvannamalai, where they spent many days, worshipping
Annamalaiyar and Unnamulai, performing pradakshina of Arunachala Hill and bathing in holy waters at the foot of the Hill.

One night Lord Arunachaleswara appeared simultaneously in their dreams and told them, 'I myself will come to you and remove
your mental grief. Return home.'

They were both astonished by this manifestation of grace. The following day they went to the temple, worshipped Arunachaleswara
and then returned to their village, where they continued to meditate on Him. 

Ten months later Meenambikai gave birth to a male child. Since he had been born through the grace of Arunachala, he was
named Arunachalam.  The child soon began to display unusual traits.  He never troubled anyone for food.  He never cried.  He
was silent all the time; and he only suckled if his mother directly placed her nipple in his mouth. 

While growing up, Arunachalam remained silent.  He did not utter a single word for the first five years of his life.  His parents
were so distressed by this, they began to pray to God to help them with this matter. To alleviate their distress, Lord Arunachleswara
appeared before them in the guise of a Saiva Sannyasin.


Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 11:26:20 AM »

Sivachidambaram Pillai, impressed by the appearance of the sannysin, told him, 'My son, who was born through the grace
of Arunachaleswara, has remained completely dumb, even though he is five years old.  I request you to make him speak.'

The monk replied, 'Let me see this wonderful child.'

He went inside the house and saw the child sitting in padmasana, absorbed in the Self.

The monk told the father, 'The child has come to you as your son to redeem your clan and many other devotees.  He is not
dumb at all.  Speak to your child now.'

Siva Chidmabaram Pillai immediately asked him, 'Dear child, why do your remain with your eyes closed?'

Arunachalam replied, 'I am remaining still, [summa irukkiRen).'

The monk then asked, 'Who are you that is remaining still?'

Arunachalam replied, 'You yourself are I and I myself am you.'

The monk responded by saying, 'Satyam, Satyam, and he vanished completely!

As soon as they witnessed this wonder both parents immediately realized that the child and the mysterious sannyasin
were both Arunachleswara.  From that moment on, they behaved very carefully with their son, conducting themselves as
if they were his devotees.

His biography states that many miracles were subsequently attributed to Arunachalam, and they described in great detail.

Many years later, both his father and his mother died at the same time.  After performing their funeral rites, Arunachalam
left home and became a wandering sadhu.  Hereafter, we shall just refer to him as 'Swami'.


Arunachala Siva.                       


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Re: Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 11:23:00 AM »


During his travels, Swami reached TiruvoRRiyur where he stayed in the Samadhi shrine of Pattinathar.  In the town
at that time there was a mad brahmin girl who was behaving in a very inappropriate way.  Her father tried all possible
means to bring her back to normal, but nothing had worked.

Finally, he prayed to Siva in the TiruvoRRiyur temple, and said, 'Cure my daughter of her disease within three days. If
you don't, I shall poison her and kill her.'

That night Siva appeared in the brahmin's dream and said, 'O devotee, there is a Jnana-Siddha,  a Jivanmukta, wandering
naked around the samadhi of Pattinathar.  Take your daughter to him.  When he comes out of his inner absorption in the
Self, and casts his glance on your daughter, her madness will be cured completely. '

The brahmin forcibly took his daughter to the Samadhi shrine of Pattinathar, where he found Swami in nishta.  Some time later,
Swami came of his Self-absorption and looked at the girl, who immediately became normal.  Showing her gratitude, she walked
around Swami and prostrated to him.

Then she addressed him, saying, 'Lord!  As a result of your glance, the bodily ailment has left me.  Please now bestow your
grace so that the disease of birth is also removed.'

Swami responded by saying, 'If you renounce the concepts of Jagat (world), jiva (individual) and para (God), which are all
known, and remain as the Consciousness that knows them, the disease of samsara will cease.'

The girl returned home, shut herself in a room, and meditated continuously on the Upadesa she had received.  On the eighth
day, she attained Videhamukti [liberation at the moment of death]. 

Swami later traveled to Karaikkal where a Muslim saint, Mastan Sahib, asked him, 'What is the state in which you and I can
remain as the all-pervasive reality?'

To this Swami replied:  'If you remain in the state in which objective knowledge -- you, I, this and that - is no more, then you
can remain as the all pervasive reality.'

Swami's wandering came to an end, when he reached Tiruvarur.  He spent the rest of his life there, roaming naked.


Arunachala Siva.                     


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Re: Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 11:24:11 AM »


A man called Somanatha Mudaliar, who came from Chittoor, had been suffering from a colic that did not respond to any
treatment.  As a last resort he went to Chidambaram and prayed to Lord Nataraja, to rid him of this suffering. 

On the third day of his visit there, when he was unable to bear the pain any longer, he went into the Lord's presence and
said, 'I cannot bear this pain any more, I am going to kill myself. '

As he was preparing to execute this act, a voice from the shrine said, ' Your disease will not get cured here.  Go to Tiruvarur
and pray to Dakshinamurti.  You will get immediate and permanent relief. Do not commit suicide.'

Mudaliar went to Tiruvarur  and worshipped at the Dakshinamurti shrine in the Tyagaraja Temple. But the colic pain did not
subside even a little. Not knowing what to do next, he was totally bewildered.

That night Lord Nataraja appeared as a sannyasin in his dream and said to him, 'This is not the Dakshinamurti I mentioned
to you.  There is only wandering naked in this place. Go to him instead.'

Early following morning, Mudaliar started searching for Swami by making inquiries about him.  He eventually found Swami
in the company of dogs, eating food that had been discarded on leaf plates which had been thrown outside a house. Realizing
that this was the person he was looking for, Mudaliar prostrated to him with great devotion.

Swami looked at him, placed the food he had in his hand in Mudaliar's mouth, and asked, 'Did Natesan (Lord Nataraja) send
you here?'

Mudaliar obtained instant and permanent relief from the pain that had been afflicting him for many years.  It was only after this
event, that Swami came to be known as Dakshinamurti Swami, a name given by Lord Nataraja himself.

After this incident, Swami's fame spread far and wide, and many people came to see him.  One day the king of Thanjavur, who
ruled the area in which Tiruvarur was located, paid a visit to the town to witness the famous car festival.  Since he was a great
devotee of Swami, he wanted to donate a village to him.

He told one of his officials, 'Today I would like to have darsan of Dakshinamurti Swami and offer him as a gift a village from this
area.  Choose a suitable village and inform his disciples about this matter.'

The official shortlisted a few villages, on a chit and showed it to the local tahsildar, saying, 'Go to Swami's place and tell his
disciples that they should accept one of the villages mentioned in this note when the king comes to see Swami.'

The tahsildar informed a senior disciple of Swami of the king's wish and gave him the list of villages to choose from them.  The
disciple took the list to Swami.

However, before he could enter the hall in which Swami was lying on a cot, Swami called out to him, 'All the worlds are mere
appearance in us, like blue, yellow and other colors in the sky.  Someone is gifting a little land and another person is accepting it.
Is that person who accepts, not someone who wants to quench his thirst by drinking mirage water?'

As soon as the disciple heard these remarks, he became very afraid.  He threw away the note and never discussed it with


Arunachala Siva.                             


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Re: Sri Dakshinamurti Swami - Mountain Path - Oct. -Dec. 2005
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 09:14:16 AM »


On one occasion a group of brahmin sannyasin came to Tiruvarur on a pilgrimage.  Though they were aware of the Supreme
State of Dakshinamurti Swami, they were reluctant to go and see him because they felt that the traditionalists among the
brahmins might find fault with them.  So, they were hoping for a chance meeting to take place.

During their visit Swami was resting on the stone steps of the famous Kamalalayam tank of the temple.  The sannyasins
heard about this, and, on the pretext of doing pradakshina of the tank, went to the place where Swami was lying.  When
they arrived, they saw Swami lying on the stone steps indifferent to the hot sunshine. 

Overwhelmed by the divine appearance of  Swami, the chief sannyasin thought to himself, 'Won't it be more comfortable if
Swami lies in the shade of a tree?'

Responding to his unspoken thought, Swami replied, 'Can an insentient tree offer comfort to the Self, which is Consciousness?
If it can, the mirage water will cool a hot region. The origin of the perception of differences is the absence of Jnana Drishit
[ true vison].' 

The sannyasins took this as Upadesa and were immensely pleased by this statement.

A few days before his Maha Samadhi, Swami exclaimed, 'Finished !  Finished ! Completely Finished !' and withdrew into a
state of nishta (absorption in the Self).

He attained Maha Samadhi towards the end of August 1835, and his Samadhi shrine is located at Madappuram in Tiruvarur.


Arunachala Siva.