Hymn to Sri Daksinamurti by Adi Sankaracarya

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Item Code: NAQ392
Author: Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati
Language: Sanskrit Text With Transliteration and Word-to-Word Meaning English Transl
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9788175971233
Pages: 120
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 100 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

The pregnant import of this ethereal declaration forms the basis for exploration of the Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta in Sri Adi Sankaracarya’s Daksinamurti Stotra. Though containing only ten verses, it packages a punch of arguments, assertions and negations that clarify the confusion seekers have and guides them to the goal of spiritual Realisation through the practice of upasana.

Swami Chinmayananda’s commertary on the Daksinamurti Stotra is a compelling guide to understanding its philosophical import, subtlety of expression and confident assertions.


Sri Daksinamurti Stotra is one of the shortest and the most important works of Sri Adi Sankaracarya, which is known for its philosophical import, subtlety of expression and confident assertion. With unerring dexterity, the Master addressed these stanzas to the students who have already studied fully the sastras to reach new heights in their seats of meditation.

Diacritical marks are used for the transliteration of Sanskrit words in the verses and the commentary. This will help the readers to pronounce the words correctly.

A key to the transliteration and pronunciation has been added in the beginning of the books.


Of all the hymns of Sri Sankara, Sri Daksinamurti stotra is the shortest, but at the same time, in its philosophical import, subtlety of expression and confidence of assertion, it is one of the most inspired works of the advaita philosopher. On a small canvas, Sankara has, with unerring dexterity, crammed all the arguments of non-dualists against the preachers of dualism. Naturally, the stanzas are loaded with suggestions and to dive into their rich depths, special training is necessary for the students.

In shorts, these stanzas are not lessons addressed to new initiates, but they are discussions with students who have already studied fully the sastras and are now ready to enter into their meditation seats.

A strict pattern of thought development is observed in these ten stanzas, which are linked together into one monumental garland of philosophical thoughts, based on the declarations of the rsis of the Upanisads.

The opening stanza, while indicating the pluralistic world of perceptions, shows how they are all the play of the one infinite Reality and it insists that to realise this Truth, through the help of a proper Teacher, is to gain the ultimate goal of human existence.

The first two stanzas describe how the perception of the false - a world of delusive names and forms superimposed upon the infinite ever-present Realty - has come about.

Stanzas 3 and 4 explain the methods by which this misapprehension of the Infinite expresses itself from within each one of us through the vehicles of our perception.

Stanza 5 indicates how this delusory power of Maya confuses some great students of the Upanisads and even greater thinkers and philosophers.

Stanza 6 focusses our attention upon our own experiences in life. It indicates the methods by which, through a scientific analysis of our own vivid experiences in the three planes of Consciousness - waking, dream and deep sleep - we can easily come to realise that the Reality behind our individual personality is the Reality behind the entire universe.

Stanza 7 points out what is the fathomless substratum upon which alone is reflected the play of change that dances to the tune of finitude and sorrow.

Stanza 8 answers the material scientists and the secular observers of the world, who consider the world as real because it is constantly yielding to them a series of definite sets of experiences.

In stanza 9, the usual technique of upasana is prescribed for those diligent students, who, even after a deep and careful study of the previous stanzas, are not able to fully appreciate the import of them all. Lack of integration within will make students unfit for such subtle flights to the lofty heights of Vedanta, when it discusses the ultimate theme. To help them gain the necessary integration, this stanza prescribes an upasana.

The concluding stanza states that these are not ideas to be merely heard or understood, but that each student should reflect upon them and make them his own. It also explain show, as a result of this education, each one of us can achieve an unfoldment of his or her own personality to a diviner dimension and to the eventual attainment of Liberation.

These stanzas have unsuspected depths, though superficially they have a simple and direct meaning. Every phrase that is used in them has a definite purpose and it is lined up against an army of opponents, who believe and argue against the conclusions of the philosophy of Vedanta.

Thus, the Sankhyans, the Vaisesikas, the Naiyayikas, the Carvakas and the Buddhists, not to mention the various minor groups, all come under the annihilating intellectual fire of Acarya Sankara in these discussions.

Here we meet not only Sankara, the devotee, but we discover Sankara, the disputant and Sankara, the champion of advaita philosophy, armed to the teeth, fighting against all misconceptions, illogical arguments and hasty conclusions, which are alien to the letter and spirit of the declarations of the Upanisads.

The contents being so sublime, it is not easy to understand for the new initiates, who might read these articles prompted by mere idle curiosity. To those who have already studied a couple of Upanisads and atleast a few chapters of the Bhagavad-gita, this series of talks through print will be of immense use. Such serious students alone are addressed here by me in these discussions. If anyone, not yet familiar with the contents of the Upanisads, finds this book difficult, he is invited to go through the earlier books prescribed by us in our ‘Scheme of study’.

These ten stanzas are a summary of the arguments in the Upanisads, of the declarations in the Brahma sutra and of the Bhagavad-gita.

The declaration of the Upanisads, ‘Brahman alone is the Reality, the world of change is a delusion’ is the theme that is taken up here in these ten stanzas by Acarya Sankara. He elucidates its subtle imports with a philosophical scholarship, tempered by kindness towards those, who cannot directly understand the deeper suggestions of the thoughts of the Upanisads.

As it stands today, we have a commentary (Vartikam) upon these ten stanzas by Sankara’s great disciple Sri Suresvaracarya. This is entitled as ‘Manasollasa’. To help the students in both the original and the vartikam, we have again a book of lucid notes given by Sri Svayamprakasa Yati.

The Guru upasana indicated here runs as a unifying idea through all the ten stanzas. It is meant not for those seeking material benefits, but only for those who are desirous of achieving the wisdom of the Self (atma-labha).

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