(Last Updated on : 17/04/2015)
Lord Dakshinamurti as an incarnation of Lord Shiva
represents the ultimate knowledge and awareness. He is worshipped as the wisdom god. Dashinamurti's image can be seen on the south wall of the inner circumambulator passage of all Lord Shiva temples in South India. He is Shiva's aspect as the teacher of music, yoga and other sciences. According to the Shaivites he is the bestowal of knowledge. The word 'dakshina' means south in Sanskrit language
. The sculpture of this deity therefore in most of the temples is found facing the southern direction.
He is mostly seen in the form of a teacher of the scriptures and seated under a banyan tree on the tiger skin. The right hand of the god needs to be in the 'Jnana Mudra' and the tips of the index finger and the thumb should touch in order to form a ring. A demon named Apasmara Purusha, who symbolizes ignorance, was shown under his feet.
There is a famous posture of the god Dakshinamurti which is in the Yogic form. A temple of the Pallava era in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
represented the Yoga
Dakshinamurti. The two other temples where he is shown in a similar posture are the Siva temple at Tiruvottriyur, Chennai and at Nanjangodu in Karnataka
. He is also known by the name Vinadhara Dakshinamurti' as teacher of both vocal and instrumental music. Beautiful pieces of 'Vinadhara Dakshinamurti' can be found in Tamil Nadu. He is also called 'Guru Vaaram' as he is regarded to be an excellent preceptor. His other images include Veenadhara Dakshinamurti; Rishabharooda Dakshinamurti and so on.
Dakshinamurti is worshipped on Thursdays in many Shaivite temples. Some temples conduct special pujas on the night of the Guru Purnima
which is considered as the appropriate time for worshipping the lord.
There are only a few temples where Dakshinamurti is the chief deity. In Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain
one of the twelve Jyotirlingas is that of Dakshinamurti. Other famous temples are the Vaikom Mahadeva temple, Kerala
and Alangudi in Tamil Nadu. A big temple of Lord Dakshinamurti was created in the Shrutisagar Ashram in Maharashtra
in the year 2007.