Dhakshinamurthy is an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva as a guru (teacher) of all types of knowledge. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, understanding, and knowledge. This form represents Shiva as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and giving exposition on the shastras. He is worshiped as the god of wisdom, complete and rewarding meditation.
Dakshinamurti literally means 'one who is facing south (dakṣiṇa)' in Sanskrit. South is the direction of Death, hence change. In every Siva temple, the stone image of Dakshinamurthy is installed, facing south, on the southern circumambulation path around the sanctum sanctorum. Thursdays are considered auspicious to start any educational endeavors. It is on Thursdays that special worship services are offered to Dakshinamurthy in many Saivite temples.
Dakshinamurthy, in the Hindu system of beliefs, is regarded as the ultimate Guru - the embodiment of knowledge and the destroyer of ignorance. The Jnana Mudra is interpreted in this way as the thumb denotes the God and the index finger denotes the man. The other three fingers stand for the three congenital impurities of man viz. arrogance, illusion and bad deeds of the past births. When man detaches himself from these impurities, he reaches God.
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