8 July 2006

Dakshinamurti Shrine

This is a lovely picture of a cow with swishing tail standing in front of the Dakshinamurti Shrine on Chengam Road (between Ramana and Seshadri Ashrams). It is the cows custom to stand in front of the small Temple in the afternoon whilst the shrine is closed, the crowds are at home and everything is peaceful. The cow comes most days and stands for a long time in very much the same position, with her head leaning over the discarded puja tray, which always lies outside the shrine in the afternoons.

The name of the shrine, Dakshinamurti - can be understood thus: Dakshina = He who is facing the South, in the posture of Silence, Murti = with form, conversely, Amurti = without form. Dakshinamurti is one of the five aspects of Siva, represents the spiritual pole and is the primordial Guru, teaching through silence. The four sons of Brahma, having refused to follow the order of their ancestry and wishing to follow the Ultimate Truth, went to Dakshinamurti at Lake Manasorvar for His instruction.

It is a charming sight to see this lovely cow coming day after day to the Shrine. However one does in fact wonder what is the exact reason for this seeming pilgrimage! I recall one very special moment with Sri Sathya Sai Babas elephant Sai Gita (who lives in her own enclosure at Puttparthi). The pet elephant loves camphor and one time at the end of a puja (worship) when we had finished waiving the arati after the camphor had burnt off, Sai Gita grabbed the puja plate from us, curled her trunk around it and pressing it against her chest, inhaled long and deeply. She loves that smell of camphor and lots of animals (and people) do too!

So my question regarding the wonderful cow in this photograph. Is she indeed a Dakshinamurti devotee or is she just a camphor addict?!


Divyakka said...

That is sooo cute and funny! :-) I think she also may be attracted to the cool cement, besides liking to be near her guru Dakshinamarti, and sniffing in yummy campher!

Arunachala Living said...

I have the sneaking suspicion she is just after her camphor 'hit' - but it's very sweet seeing her there in the afternoons. So patient and so peaceful!