Shiva Dakshinamurthy, Vadapalani, Chennai

This is a way side small temple, with a shrine seeped in history, an ancient temple that still holds out against the invasion of modernity. This temple has a garbha griha that still stays lit up with oil lamps which illuminate the Linga within its interior decked in vilva leaves.

Lord Shiva, grants wishes and specially those that are made from the bottom of one’s heart. As we waited, sweating it out within the innermost prakara, the stillness in the air and the rising smoke create an unforgettable aura.

When the curtains are down, the devotees wait in chattering queues wanting to get a glimpse of the Lord while he still hides behind the curtain, as the priest performs alankaram. And once the curtains are pulled, there is stunned silence for the million lamps that light the inside, describe the beauty and energy of this shrine in a sacred glamour to be found nowhere else.

As one gasps again for breath, this beauty making every one forget their miseries is a moment no one can steal away from any bhakta, its precious, its profound and its sacred bringing such sense of peace that all the chattering is drowned into divine silence. The prayers roll on, and the arti lamps rise, one after the other as the lord is illumined with every lamp brought forward.

Divinity and sacred energy washes every devotee as they take a glimpse of the shrine of Lord Shiva within, and walk out only to turn back occasionally to catch a second glance as they proceed in silence to take their pradakshina. As one walks through the corridor, looking up at Nataraja as he dances within his chamber, his omnipresence envelopes the entire passage. The lights suddenly go out, and the passage is plunged into darkness.

It’s a darkness that transforms the temple back in to the past, to the medieval period, where only the divine lamps glow near the deities within the niches. It’s a different world, as one crosses Dakshinamurthy.

AUM yo brahmaaNaM vidadhaati puurvam.h
yo vai vedaa.nshcha prahiNoti tasmai |
taM ha devamaatmabuddhiprakaashaM

mumukshurvai sharaNamahaM prapadye ||

AUM shaa.ntiH shaa.ntiH shaa.ntiH||

I surrender to Him who projects Brahma at the beginning of all creation and reveals the sacred syllables of the Vedas. This inspiration turns my intellect and my thought towards Atman. May He bestow peace on us forever.

He sits there in silence, the Vedas flowing forth from him, a realm that comes alive, so true and so pure and so far away from the reality we know. Silence grips the air, with the shimmering light of the flickering lamps on his face, as he blesses in abhaya, seated with his divine feet on apasmara. One could stand there forever and wish for the lights never to come back. Walking around this passage, with each emblem of divinity glowing in lamp light brings such beauty to this interior; one begins to wonder, did we make a mistake by putting these electric lamps around here? As our minds seep into this reality, short lived yet worth every moment, one can see the divinity of Lord Dakshinamurthy come alive. In the still air the expression of wisdom and divine light glow on His face as he continues to teach in the subtle world:

GYaanaM yasya tu chakshuraadikaraNadvaaraa bahiH spandate |
jaanaamiiti tameva bhaantamanubhaatyetatsamastaM jagat.
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye ||

He whose light gleams through the senses like the light emanating from a pot with holes (in which a lamp is kept), He whose knowledge alone brings the state of knowing (I am That), He whose brightness makes everything shine - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

In ancient India, fire has been considered supreme. Fire is the path of enlightenment, the path of worship and the path of light. Why then destroy this experience with electric lights that brighten up the interior so much, it kills the very beauty of the “garbha griha” and the path around. Darkness is what our lives are made of and enlightenment through fire is what brings us salvation. A small example of this profound experience was what these temples tried to bring to us and we simply destroyed it with stark electric lights that kill the very experience we long for when we come here.

Temple authorities need to bring back that ancient glory that ancient divinity prescribed in our Vedas, divine verses that prescribe that temples are meant for realization of this sacred truth… Why then is this desecration to a sacred shrine accepted as a part of life?

Why then are the priests who are the seekers of enlightenment, reducing themselves to mechanical worshippers? Why then are the priests who are learned and the keepers of our faith disrespecting the very value of our sacred texts? How then can we blame anyone else for the loss of knowledge of our own culture? Are they not solely to blame? Why don’t they realize that they owe us, the answers to these very very serious questions They owe us an answer as to why corruption and materialism has taken over their minds when this country boasts of its spiritualism. What really is left of it?

raahugrastadivaakarendusadR^isho maayaasamaachchhaadanaat
sanmaatraH karaNopasa.nharaNato yo.abhuutsushhuptaH pumaan|
praagasvaapsamiti prabodhasamaye yaH pratyabhiGYaayate
tasmai shriigurumuurtaye nama idaM shriidakshiNaamuurtaye ||

The brillance of sun exists even when intercepted by Rahu during eclipse. Similarly, the power of cognition only remains suspended during deep sleep. The Self exists as pure being even though unrecognized due to the veil of Maya. A person on awakening becomes aware that he was asleep earlier (and the dream was unreal). Similarly, a person who awakens to the consciousness of the Self recognizes his previous state of ignorance as unreal. He by whose grace alone does one awaken to the consciousness of the Self - to that Dakshinamurti, who is embodied in the auspicious Guru, I offer my profound salutations.

Divine light and divine experience need to be experienced, and the ambience of these ancient temples were designed to facilitate this. In these times where spiritualism barely has any presence left, its left to one's own desire to want to discover Lord Dakshinamurthy.


JC said...

Human behaviour is difficult to explain in the normal manner by an average man. It is more difficult in the present because of lack of time on hand as generally expressed by the majority...

Basically, perhaps one can understand, how human brain apparently gets tuned according to the prevailing environment. For example, when one enters a library, one consciously remains silent, whereas, in a restaurant the barrier gets broken!

The above thus hints at the awareness of the formless generated by the solemn atmosphere inside a temple, perhaps to the earlier man who sought the Truth. But, in the present only the ritual is carried on...

Kavitha said...

How very unfortunate that even we do not have the sensibility to keep silence inside a temple for everyone's benefit!

JC said...

Call it unfortunate, or the characteristic property of time, that the present day education is being received from the west, the direction that reflects lesser evolved times compared to the north that is ruled by guru the superior...the moon...

Kavitha said...


"Characteristic properties of time"

Nice way of putting it.. i wouldnt have been so simple and short in expressing that.

Yes.. mass ignorance and its so clear and still no one is able to see it!! Strange right?

a whole country's population cant see this... we are really a bunch of blind people!

JC said...

Kavitha, As 'I' had indicated earlier also elsewhere, the wise ancients indicated occurrence of repetitive cycles of events that reflectthe characteristic property of time - with Shiva understood as Mahakal the controller of time...

'I' had also indicated how there exist simple hints in 'Nature', such as the photographs of each person that show the evolution process. One has one's own history represented through pictures snapped at different times from birth to the 'present'. And, although one might not have a written record, one has such a record in the brain whereby one can reel off words to explain the background of each picture - all relevant data associated with each...

IN view of the above, one is also aware of one's varying physical/ mental capacities associated with the self at different ages and, therefore, there is no question raised about the varying capacities at different times in regard to the self. But, one expects all people at all times to behave in the same manner that is expected from a 'normal person'...We generally accept variations in properties of metals say, but aren't able to reconcile with 'odd/ different behaviours' from humans...

JC said...

Also, 'I' had indicated how one could visualise zll physical forms as images of the same being with the help of numerous different looking images in 'magical mirrors' at the same given instant...

Kavitha said...

Joshi uncle

I had one more interesting thought in my mind.

Most temples standing today have been built on the "sthal" where either a particular event took place (say Shiva danced or Vishnu did puja etc.) or there is an emblem of worship at the current location.

Say Chidambaram doesnt have a linga because its akasha linga and that sthal within the shrine is the most important.

Now my thought goes to dwell over whether the icon representing the deity is the focus of value in that location or is it the power of the location itself?

Is this about elements of power or is this about nature being magically powerful in this prime locations???/

Where is the focus?

JC said...

Kavitha, The focus is on formlessness of creator as realised by the ancients and also on physical forms as representation of energy itself with the use of the 'panchtatvas' in the words of the ancients...

Shiva is believed representated in the physical form of earth, neutral and having unlimited space or 'sky' as the linga...and every point on earth is believed as the manifestation of its centre where energy is concentrated as the gravitational force...and temples were generally constructed at loocations that were observed to have had some miraculous powers at different times...

Anonymous said...

Hi Kavitha, Hi Joshi Uncle, Pranams everyone!

Hope all is well, love all of your entries.

Kavitha didi, many times you are noticing that so many people do not see, do not appreciate, cannot understand...

If I am not mistaken, is a symptom of Kali Yuga? And also, in the Geeta says, "Out of many millions of people, only one may inquire after the absolute truth. And out of many millions of seekers, only one may know me in truth..." [something like that]

So I think it must be rare to have the realizations and ability to see/ perceive like you do and Uncle does.

I think one sage Yogaswami said, "There is not one wrong thing!" So when we consider is Kali Yuga, and out of many millions of people, few inquire and even fewer realize, then on one hand is not surprising.

The Age of Kali is supposed to be an age of hypocrisy, quarrel, so I guess we should not be surprised some the things of this world that go on.

I appreciate your beautiful blog and all the light you shed on various topics, the beautiful pictures, the research.

Is like a nice island or oasis of beauty. I hope everyone is well, I have not had computer access since about May, but all of you are always in my thoughts as sincere sadhakas and fellow lovers of Shiv-Shakti.


Kavitha I hope you are doing okay after your friend passed...I think that was the last thing I remember happened to you when I last had internet access and you were wondering if you should even keep on doing the blog.

It seems you have found inspiration to continue life and I hope all is well with you.


Joshi Uncle, I am taking a class Survey of Mathematics, it is so wonderful to see Shiva in mathematics and even many principles of Hinduism can be expressed mathematically.

For example, our professor said that numbers love to play together and I thought, "Leela! The play of the divine dance..."

And also professor said we can prove square root of 2 is irrational number by first we try to prove is rational number; then we cannot and that is the proof and I thought, "Omigosh that is maya!" i.e.

We assume something is eternal, permanent, unchanging, full of beauty and love, and poof! we become disillusioned, disappoint, crest-fallen and so on. We try to find the eternal in that which is not, Maya is like part of the mathematical proof of the eternal.

Then the most exciting thing is our professor tell us that once you prove something in mathematics it is true forever, it is eternal. I love that so much.

In this world we try to put our faith in people, priests, institutions, leaders, relatives, and sometimes some people really disappoint us. But is beautiful to know that some things are eternal and never change.

Also the professor explain many laws of nature are working by mathematics, such as the plants grow by Fibonacci's theorem, the many things in the world the laws of nature like physics we use calculus and other mathematics as tools to understand nature's laws.

Also is very interesting, she told us about robotics and how she programs machines with computer for brains to do tasks. She said that you must program it using algorithms to do the task in such a way that the robot can work autonomously [such as Mars Phoenix lander or submersible probes that go deep into the ocean].

Then I thought, "Omigod that is the jeeva, we receive some programming from some genius, like Shiva-Shakti and demigods, and the computer program is our astrology that has the program to our mission here on earth and what we will acccomplish, see, do and learn."


Anyway, I miss you all of you and maybe I can write more again some day. Know we are ever together in the love of Shiv-Shakti, we are never separated being part of Him, as we are part of all beings and all things.

Thanks for your friendship and satsangha, I hope everyone remain in good health and happiness.

Respectfully yours, pranams ~
Shri Anon

JC said...

Hi Kavitha, and it is nice to hear from you again, Shri Anon, and to know the cause of your apparent sudden disappearance!

Human brain is a super computer, beyond human comprehension in the 'present', that is, Kaliyuga the Dark Age the point of time when evolution had believably almost just then started. It believably reached 'perfection' only at the end of Satyuga, by Shiva, that is, earth in physical form - duly supported by the solar system - our sun providing the energy that also helps in providing the sense of vision in animals too besides sustenance of forms for a limited period though...

Numerology, the use of numbers from 1 to 9 also is one of the subjects that was developed by the advanced 'ancients', or/ rather the evolved forms through Dwaperyuga and Tretayuga till the end of Satyuga when infinity was achieved. Interestingly, 'sat' means 'essence' (of physical forms) that is point source of energy to start with at the time of evolution, called Nadbindu, or '0'...and also Vishnu, literally poisonous atom...and numeral '8' in mathematics, written horizontally, is used to represent infinity...

JC said...

Shri Anon, The mythological stories indicate Vishnu to recline on the bed formed by celestial serpent Shesha (the word meaning also 'balance', alluding to infinite energy still lying balance at the disposal of Vishnu/ Krishna as His representative, after energy used in the creation of the infinite physical universe).

Vishnu is indicated to be unmoved and detached having vested the sole power to Krishna (meaqning Dark or Black)...

Also, through the story of Mahabharata, Krishna is indicated to have recelined in the W-E direction, with Arjuna as the model of Sun (white) appearing towards the side where His feet were, that is, direction East...and Red colour is believed to rule the East (reflected through depiction of Goddess Kali's red tongue, 'Kali' also meaning Black or Krishna)...while the evolved Sun (White colour that contains all other colours) is indicated to rule direction South, whereas, Yellow the Guru (Dakshinamurthy Shiva) rules North where Himalayas exist and trend in the direction W-E.

Vishnu, like Krishna, also is indicated to recline W-E...and the Himalayan range is treated as Vishnu's (infinite energy) merudand, that is, the spinal column with 'mooladhar' of 'Shakti' or Sati the consort of Shiva is believed to lie in the lower Himalayas where Kamakhya Temple is located...

"Vishnu is Shiva and Shiva is Vishnu" and both are indicated to be four handed, whereas Durga as the energy that rules North is indicated as eight-handed (thus encompassing both forms)...and formless Shiva is symbolically depicted by Shivalingas, indicated as made from different materials, or the five elements of earth, fire, water, air and sky...all of which go into any and all physical forms...

JC said...

The mythological stories interestingly convey the 'Truths', the same ones that 'scientists' also reach from time to time. Personally, 'I' came across at a certain stage in the childhood mention of Mother Yashoda seeing the whole universe inside infant Krishna's mouth! And, later it helped 'me' realise its significance when 'I' read in the Gita Krishna telling Arjuna that in reality the entire creation was within Him while because of illusion each person saw Krishna within the self - read with the belief, or realisation of Yogis, that man is a model of the universe! Thus, it was recommeneded by the yogis to reach the formless creator within oneself...each being a yogi, ie., the union of eternal soul and temporary mortal body...

JC said...

The stories indicate how the numeral '8' conveys graphically animal figures - the head and the lower body, called 'governor' and 'conception' vessals by acupuncturists who understood man as an electrochemical instrument also...Hindus imagined the human form virtually built of '8' vessels which contained essences of selected members of our solar system each of which covered eight directions...also imagined as eight hands, four each of Vishnu and Shiva...In the temples, the eight directinos were represented by the Vimanas that are formed of four triangular faces that meet at one single point at th apex, which represented Vishnu the Nadbindu the believable unique formless creator...

JC said...

Navgraha, that is, nine (9 - zero with a tail!) members of the solar system that participate in the human life drama are generally represented by nine shivalingas. The nine members included Sun as the central source of energy through the ring-planet Saturn as teh ninth one which was also called as 'son of sun' that is 'suryaputra'.

The central shivalinga, believed as the controller of two directions, upwards and dwonwards, is generally seen to be bigger in size compared to the eight other smaller ones that are placed in eight different directions each and are equal in size...

Also, as indicated elsewhere earlier also, Saturn the ring planet physically represented the four-handed Vishnu the 'sudershan-chakra dhari' believably having the said wheel-like weapon in one of His hands, while He believably held lotus flower in another that needs reading with the depiction of Brahma seated on teh said flower that grew out of His navel...

With the above background, it becomes easier to visualize Brahma to refer to our Sun and Krishna the representative of Vishnu to refer to planet Jupiter, another ring planet that is closest to Saturn...and also the finding of Black Hole to lie at the centre of our galaxy could help visualise Krishna (meaning Black) as the representative of Vishnu, ie, the entire void of the universe that is field with innumerable galaxies and clusters thereof...with the background knowledge that ancient Hindus were perhaps much advnced in astronomy...

JC said...

The expression of the realisation that man is a model of the (perfect) eternal universe also conveys our galaxy, one of the innumerable ones, as perfect, or essence of the universe, and so also our solar system, although heirarchical in function sustains our planet earth as the true essence or image of the formless creator, also called the 'Absolute Truth'...and the beauty of the design that a component of it is hidden inside each and every physical form - that undergo constant change cyclically, eternally! And, it is possible to realise it only in human form! And hence the advice to seek the Absolute Truth as long as one has the golden opportunity...

Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle,
Pranams ~

Thanks for your part in reminding us and exhorting us to become liberated even within this lifetime.

Surely as Kali Yuga become more and more hellish, there is more and more reason to strive to become liberated.

That is one thing that I read: in Kali Yuga so many miseries and misfortunes. But also more easy to become liberated. Because we don't have the sensual distractions of living in heavenly planets.

Also I read on a fire based planet, our souls like when metal is put into a fire, heated, and then shaped on the anvil by the hammer. Our sufferings help to mold and shape the growth of our character: "trial by fire".

When we see the sufferings in this world even in nice five star hotel that I could never afford to go to, like what happened in Mumbai, we realize that this world is not our eternal home.

We realize what is the point in hanging around here, because there is danger at every step. One Vaisnava writer once stated:, "This world is no place for a gentleman [or a gentlewoman].

Uncle I urge you also: to hold fast to Shiva's feet and daily to inbue yourself with the beautiful kathas of Shiva. You are so intelligent and wise, know many things and many experiences. Strive for the highest!

Meditate on Shiva without ceasing and in this very lifetime become free from repeated birth and death.

Aum Namah Shivaya
Shri Anon

Shri Anon

JC said...

Thanks, Shri Anon!

It might sound a bit odd, but from the early age 'my' attention was invited to Shiva thanks to the astrologer who cast my horoscope by suggesting one of the names as 'Bholaram'** (and Shiva is also called Bholanath the 'Simple God'!). 'I' thus learnt at an early age that 'my' horoscope was similar to Lord Shiva's - having 'Makar Rashi', that is, Moon being in the 10th house at the time of 'my' birth too!!!

Even when 'I' got married, 'I' heard my mother tell my wife that 'I' wasn't 'worldly wise' and being cheated and, therefore, it was now her duty to take care of me! And, she really whole heartedly took care of me till Dec 4, 1999. And thus it happens to be her 9th death anniversary today when 'I' am keying this comment!!!


**My siblings used to make fun of me when 'I' did some foolish thing, by calling me by that name, although the name adopted started from letter 'J' (and the initials then drew my attention to Jesus' name)!!!

Anonymous said...

Joshi Uncle,

Hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for sharing about your wife's shraddha anniversary was on Dec 4.

How's all your kids and grandkids doing? have you been to any temples lately?

I think last time I talked to you, you went to your childhood temple after years [with your sister?] and no trauma happened!


Sorry I was not able to get to computer for a long time, the server that my ISP was using blew out and at first I was too busy working to get new internet access.

Then there was the big economic recession and the price of everything began to skyrocket.
It was helping me to save some money each month to not have ISP and the electricity saved also.


Today we are learning more about Intro to Calculus. Is about the laws of nature and where they come from mathematically. I'm just in awe of it, because I am not good in Math. But is interesting to me that nature has laws.

The professor also showed a funny video from youtube about Calculus. Is called "I Will Derive". Is a spoof of a 1980s disco song called "I Will Survive". All the words of the song are changed, to explain what you have to do to understand calculus. But is the same tune and shows some math students in a funny exam situation.

You must be very good at math if you were an engineer. Were you able to understand math easily? Did someone help you with it or you understand everything all on your own?

Well when I am struggling to understand this intro to Calculus, then I realize my mind is so limited. It's very humbling experience. But is also rewarding when I struggle for a few days then I finally understand it enough to do the homework.


Tenth house is interesting in an astrological chart. Both my sisters have alot of planets in house ten and they are very career driven people, even attain some small degree of recognition in their professions.

Also a friend has Saturn in house ten that is supposed to be good for engineering, as Saturn rules the different elements that civil and structural engineers use.

Moon in house ten: does that mean you liked your career? You got alot of satisfaction out of it?
Moon = emotions. Possibly some fame also?

My moon is conjunct my Jupiter in house seven, means I like to help people learn [Bhrihaspati] and in a one-on-one situation of person to person is the best venue.


Well hope all is well. If do not hear from me, don't be sad, is because I am not able to get to a computer. But I often think of you esp I hear some nice Shiva mantras.

Take good care of yourself and hope this meets you in good health and happiness. Take shelter Lord Bholanatha!


PS - Did you know that many geniuses their teachers thought were dim-witted? A school for kids with learning disabilities I know has a coloring book of all the famous people who were told they are "stupid", and "slow" by their teachers, then later they achieve some incredible fame and recognition.

Aum Namah Shivaya
Shri Anon

JC said...

Hi Shri Anon, Truly speaking, 'I' was an average student...when in Class VII, just when summer vacations had started, 'I' went to play with a friend who was one year junior to me in school, and to my surprise found him solving Arithmetic sums. His logic was that when school reopens he would be ahead of all! 'I' also then joined him with my book and during the vacations solved all exercises...Thus 'I' did well in Maths in all school exams- thanks to a Guru, younger in age to me!

He, after his PhD in Bio Chemistry from some University in the USA, later joined IIT, Powai (Mumbai)...'I' last met him when he was going to join the faculty there...

My younger sister's daughter in law is a gold medalist in Maths, and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad...'I' asked her if 0/ 0 was still indeterminate - and she confirmed it and, therefore, maths doesn't seem capable of making one reach '0' the formless God! You need the sixth sense properly activated for that, with the truth in mind that human being at no stage can reach the Creator, for it prefers remaining detached - dark (Kali/ Krishna) and mysterious - although attached to all humans, but for a small duration only!

'I' visited yesterday a Ganesha Temple close to the residence in Mumbai with my daughter, son in law, and grandson, as desired by my daughter...In Delhi, sometimes when my younger brother and his wife so desire, we visit the Kali Temple that was introduced to us as children by our parents, who made it a practice to do so on all auspicious occasion, although on my own 'I' wasn't a temple going person by mental inclination...'I' see Shiva (or Parvati) in everything/ place! Of course, thanks to 'my wife', 'I' continue to send some money to the Kamakhya Temple every year during Navratri/ Dussehra and receive 'prasad' from a priest who performs puja on 'my' behalf...

'I' might add here that 'I' keep myself engaged in the study of application of gems for improving the efficiency of certain persons through teletherapy, by using photographs of the concerned (based on Time of birth of the concerned)...

Beswt wishes.
Aum namaha shivaya...

Anonymous said...

Joshi Uncle,

Nice to hear from you and all of your activities.

Yesterday our professor said that now mathematicians think 0/0 can have three answers:

0, infinity, or three!

[That makes me think of all sorts of metaphysical answers as to why that may be true!]

But that was just her option, she said also mathematicians argue alot, much like the various branches of the same religion sometimes do...!

Yesterday I googled "Calculus" and under "History of" it stated that calculus helps us to understand what infinity is...whew!!!


That sounds like an excellent pursuit that you are into these days!

Best wishes with everything! Nice hearing from you...Take good care!

Aum Namah Shivaya

JC said...

Yes, at least the Hindu belief also suggests Nirakar Nadbindu to have multiplied by division (like a bacterium in agar media as an example), with Brahmnad or Big Bang, into infinite physical forms. And, 'Trinity' suggests three basic aspects of the Formless in essence to indicate the apparent functions related with creation, sustenance, and destruction (or transformation) of physical forms, and '0' again - back to the original formless stage...However, as time and space related with the Creator ever remains zero, the Vedantis suggest the physical forms as illusory, review of the past as 'action replay'...

HK said...

Thankyou for the post.
Please advice the address for the temple. After reading your post, I have a wish to visit the temple