Four Directions – The South (दक्षिण)

We have read in previous part, how east is the first Direction where Indra was anointed as the king of the Devas and The first sound of “Om (ॐ)” was created here, one thousand times.


Four Directions – The East (पूर्व)

Now, Garuda narrating the next direction South aka दक्षिण to Galawa Rishi, who was the pupil of Vishvamitra. Galawa was a Rishi (sage) and still he fell owing to his obstinacy and this is the story narrated by Narada to Duryodhana, how obstinacy led to Galava’s defeat.

When Galawa completed his study from Vishvamitra’s Gurukul and serviced to Vishvamitra, when Vishvamitra was only surviving on air and tested by Dharma himself. Galawa asked from his Guru (teacher) that what Guru Dakshina (Teacher Fee) should be given to him?

Galawa said; “What dakshina will I give you for having performed the task of my preceptor? Man’s rites only succeed when dakshina has been given. When dakshina has been paid, virtuous ones are freed from their debts. Dakshina is the fruit of a sacrifice, obtained in heaven, and is therefore said to constitute peace. O illustrious one! Tell me. What will I give my preceptor?” 

Vishvamitra knew that he had already been honoured by his service and pleased, so he repeatedly asked Galawa to go away. But despite Vishvamitra repeatedly asking him to leave, Galawa kept repeatedly asking, ‘What will I give?

Vishamitra was slightly enraged at Galawa’s great obstinacy and told him, ‘Give me eight hundred horses that are as white as the rays of the moon and possess a single black ear each. O Galawa! Go now and do not delay.

Galawa became worried about it and when he became exhausted while thinking the way and means, he worshiped to lord of the Universe (Vishnu) and pleased by his penance Vishnu sent Garuda for Galawa’s help.

Now, Garuda had asked where should they go for help and in which Direction. East is already described and he is describing South direction and it’s reason for the name as Dakshin.

Garuda continued; “In ancient times, Vivasvat aka Surya performed a shrouta sacrifice here. Because he offered this direction as Dakshina to his preceptor, this direction is known as Dakshin (south or दक्षिण).

It is there that Pitripaksha (Shradha ceremony) of the three worlds is established. It is said that the gods who sustain themselves on warm oblations also dwell here. The Vishvadevas also live here, together with the ancestors. They are worshipped through sacrifices in this world and are given equal shares.

एतद्द्वितीयं धर्मस्य द्वारमाचक्षते द्विज |

त्रुटिशो लवशश्चात्र गण्यते कालनिश्चयः ||४||

This is known as Dharma’s second gate. Time is computed here through trutis (one-fourth of a kshana) and lavas (Two trutis).

The Devarshis always dwell here, as do those who dwell in the world of the ancestors. All the rajarshis, having transcended pain, live here. Dharma, truth and karma are heard of here. Immersed in one’s karma, one goes there. This is the direction that everyone must traverse. But confounded by ignorance, they do not obtain happiness.

There are thousands of Nairritas there. They have been created to obstruct those who have not perfected their souls. There, in the groves of Mandara, dwell brahmana rishis and gandharvas sing songs that steal the heart and the mind.

Raivata heard the chants of the Sama Veda being sung here (son of the Sun god). He gave up his wife, his advisers and his kingdom and left for the forest. Savarni and Yavakrita’s son (son of the Sun god) established limits here and the sun does not transgress them.

अत्र राक्षसराजेन पौलस्त्येन महात्मना |

रावणेन तपश्चीर्त्वा सुरेभ्योऽमरता वृता ||१२||

अत्र वृत्तेन वृत्रोऽपि शक्रशत्रुत्वमीयिवान् |

अत्र सर्वासवः प्राप्ताः पुनर्गच्छन्ति पञ्चधा ||१३||

The great-souled Poulastya Ravana, the king of the rakshasas, performed terrible austerities here and obtained immortality from the gods as a boon. Because of his conduct, Vritra became Indra’s enemy here.  All living beings are reduced to the five elements here.

Men who are the performers of evil deeds are cooked here. The river Vaitarani is here and is surrounded by people who cannot cross it. After having faced extreme happiness, men confront extreme unhappiness here. On returning here, the sun releases tasty water. Having reached the solstice, with the nakshatra Dhanishtha (The winter solstice begins with the nakshatra Dhanishtha), it again begins to release the cold.

In earlier times, I was oppressed by hunger here and began to think about satisfying it. I (Garuda) obtained a large elephant and a large tortoise that were fighting with each other (will post this story later). The great rishi Shakradhanu was born here from the sun. He is the one who is known as the divine Kapila (Vishnu Avtara), the one who consumed Sagara’s sons (will post this story later).

Here the brahmanas named the Shivas became learned in the Vedas and obtained success. After having studied all the Vedas, they attained Yama’s abode. This is the city named Bhogavati, ruled over by Vasuki, the serpent Takshaka and Airavata.

At the time of death, one encounters a great darkness here. It cannot be penetrated by the sun or the black-trailed fire itself. You will yourself travel along this path of grief. Tell me if you wish to go.  Otherwise, hear about the west!!!


Four Directions – The West (पश्चिम)

Post Author: Mahabharata World

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