The Dakṣiṇāmūrtistōtram by Ādi Śaṅkara consisting of ten stanzas is a profound Vedantic text expounding the various tenets of Vedanta. The hymns are in praise of Lord Dakṣiṇāmūrti visualized as the embodiment of Self-knowledge. Hence, the text describes the reality of the Self as the limitless Brahman in ten verses which are linked together in such a way leading to the discernment of the one indivisible reality threading through the individual self, the world, and the causal principle, Īśvara. The text pulls together the philosophical content of the Upaniṣads, the Bhagavad Gītā and the Brahmasūtras – the three core pillars of Vedantic knowledge and presents a comprehensive summary. The profundity of the ten verses inspired Surēśvarācārya, a well-known disciple of Ādi Śaṅkara, to write a lengthy commentary (vārtika) known as Mānasōllāsa, meaning that which invigorates the mind of an assiduous seeker of Self-knowledge.
Course Learning Objectives:
In this course students will:
a) Examine the ten meditation verses of the Dakṣiṇāmūrtistōtram
b) Discuss their meanings through a detailed exposition of the verses
c) Interpret the relevant commentaries on the text
d) Recognize the nature of the Self, in relation to the world and its cause
e) Establish a grounded understanding of the core teachings of Vedanta
There will be one 90 min class every week. This will consist of a lecture for 75 min and a 15 min Q&A pertaining to the subject matter discussed. Class-room participation is encouraged.
Purchasable Readings before the Course:
1. Hymn to Sri Dakṣiṇāmūrti of Ādi Śaṅkara – A commentary by Swami Chinmayananda, 2009
2. Sri Dakshinamurti Stotram: In praise of the teacher of teachers, by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Kindle edition from https://www.amazon.com/
3. Sri Daksinamurti Stotram of Sri Sankaracarya by Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati, 2002, – https://www.avgbooks.org/
4. Dakshinamurti Stotra with Manasollasa, Swami Harshananda, https://www.amazon.com/
Required / Elective: None
Prerequisites: Some exposure to the Vēdānta śāstra and ability to read Sanskrit.
Faculty: Dr. Venkataraman Swaminathan
Start Date: July 12, 2022
End Date: September 20, 2022
Time: 07:00 pm EST – 8:30 pm EST
Quarter Offered: Summer 2022