Lord Dakshinamurthy, also referred to as Jnana Dakshinamurthi or Medho Dakshinamurthy, is an aspect of Shiva as a Guru who teaches us the knowledge or Jnana and improves our Medho or Medha shakti (mind power). The aspect of Dakshinamurthy represents Lord Shiva as the universal teacher of wisdom apart from his regular duty of dissolution (laya). He is the God of wisdom who can understand our minds and set our mindsets in right way without talking a single word. He is also considered as the God of Yoga or meditation.
Literally, Dakshinamurthy means ‘one who is facing south’. South is the direction which symbolizes the change – change in one’s attitude, mind power, mental strength, and the whole pattern of life.
Depiction and Iconography of Lord Dakshinamurthy:
Lord Dakshinamurthy is depicted with four arms, sitting under a banyan tree, facing the south. Surrounded by few sages who receive instructions from the Lord, Dakshinamurthi sits with a Gnana Mudra posture of hand. He is depicted as seated with his right foot on demon ‘Apasmara’ (unconsciousness). This signifies that in the form of Dakshinamurthi Lord Shiva makes us out from unconsciousness and foolishness.
Sometimes, Lord Dakshnimurthy is depicted as Veenadhara Dakshinamurthi (holding a Veena – musical instrument) or Rishabharooda Dakshinamurthy (mounted on Vishabha or bull).
Best time to worship Lord Dakshinamurthy:
The best time to worship Lord Dakshinamurthy is Guru Purnima or Ashada Purnima which comes in Ashada maasa of Hindu Panchangam. Dakshinamurthi stotram or Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam written by Aadi Shankaracharya is the most popular hymn dedicated to the Lord.