This is the temple for Dakshinamurti as mentioned in yesterday’s post. It is part of a patasala where young Brahmin boys go for their training as young as 10 years old! They live communally and during our visit seemed to be genuinely happy in spirit of what might be considered to be fairly austere conditions.
There are a few interesting facts about Dakshinamurti. He is always shown facing south…as opposed to most deities who are facing east. South is the direction of Yama, the god of death, and is generally considered to be the least auspicious direction.
But this ties into Shiva’s form as Mrytunjaya…the victor over death. Shiva is facing south to rule over death and protect his devotees.
Hereis the first verse of the Dakshinamurti Stotram by Adi Shankaracharya
Vishvam darpanadrishyamaananagariitulyam nijaantargatam
Pashyannaatmani maayayaa bahirivodhbhuutam yadaa nidrayaa
Yah saakshaatkurute prabodhasamaye svaatmaanamevaadvayam
Tasmai shrii guru muurtaye nama idam shrii dakshinaa muurtaye
The universe is like a mirror of the ultimate truth that is the supreme Brahman; the one without a second. The mind, senses and intellect are able to discern the reflection of Brahman as Atman. The ultimate identity of atman as Brahman is fully apparent after self-illumination. I offer my deepest appreciation to the auspicious guru, an embodiment of Dakshinamurti, and whose grace is responsible for my enlightenment.