भूरम्भाम्स्यनिलोनलोऽम्बरमहर्नाथो हिमांशुः पुमान्
इत्याभाति चराचरात्मकमिदं यस्यैव मूर्त्यष्टकम्।
नान्यत्किञ्चन विद्यते विमृशतां यस्मात्परस्माद्विभोः
तस्मै श्री-गुरु-मूर्तये नम इदं श्री-दक्षिणामूर्तये॥
bhUrambhAmsyanilo'nalo.ambaramaharnAtho himAMshuH pumAn
ityAbhAti carAcarAtmakamidaM yasyaiva mUrtyashhTakam .
nAnyatki~ncana vidyate vimRRishatAM yasmAtparasmAdvibhoH
tasmai shrI-guru-mUrtaye nama idaM shrI-dakshhiNAmUrtaye ..
Tr. To Him who appears as the moving and unmoving universe consisting of Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space, the Sun, the Moon and the Individual Person, to Him beyond whom, supreme and all-pervading, there is nothing else how much you may search, to Him of the form of the Guru, (full of Grace and Peace) the blessed Dakshinamurti, is this prostration.
The delusion caused by mAyA can be removed only by the Grace of the Lord. The Realization of the Absolute can be obtained only by the Grace of the Lord who appears in the form of the Guru. In the Saiva Aagamas there are 36 fundamental principles, have been enunciated. Of them the only ones which are understood by a direct experience are the five elements, Sun, Moon and the Self. -- Note that 'Space', the most subtle of the five elements is also included here as subject to direct experience; because, every time you open your eyes you know that space is enveloping you. That is why the Lord is said to be of the eight-fold form (mUrty-ashTakaM) consisting of these eight. Probably this is the reason why this hymn is called dakshiNA-mUrti-ashTakaM even though it contains a total of ten verses. (ashTakam - means a hymn of eight verses).
'Beyond whom, supreme and all-pervading, there is nothing else, however much you may search' - is in fact the bottom line of all the scriptures. Cf. (B.G.15-15)
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यः
vedaishca sarvairahameva vedyaH
I am the One to be known from all the vedas. Also: M.N.U. :
यस्मात्-परं नापरं अस्ति किम्चिद्यस्मान्नाणीयो न ज्यायोऽस्ति किंचित्
yasmAt-paraM naaparaM asti kimcidyasmAnnANIyo na jyAyo.asti kiMcit
That beyond which there is no supreme, there is no greater, no smaller. edyaH
There is a piece of four chapters, of about 130 verses in the M.B., which gives a list of what Spirituality is. It is narrated to King Dhrita-rashtra by the divine sage Sanat-sujata, the mind-born son of Creator BrahmA. It turns out to be a synthesis of the entire vedanta made by the most knowledgeable person, who got his own spiritual insight by a direct inspiration from the dakshiNA-mUrti form of Shiva, the form itself being a manifestation for the very purpose of giving, not only the knowledge of Brahman, but the state of being Brahman (cf. Knower of Brahman is Brahman). In this synthesis by Sanatsujata, there is an interesting analysis of vedas versus knowledge. The question is raised: What is the result of mastery of the vedas? The answer is scholarly. Truth is One. That is all what the vedas are supposed to reveal. The root word vid, from which the word veda is derived has several connotations; to be, to exist, to know, to be conscious of, to enquire, to gain. The One that exists is the Ultimate Supreme Consciousness. The thing to know is that One without a second. This is the bottom line. That has to be enquired into. And by that enquiry you reach the highest gain, namely, moksha. This is all there is to know from the entire vedas. Instead of learning this single lesson from the vedas one keeps on going round and round the truth. Thus the vedas become a vast ocean of words. Truth does not need so much scholarship. Those who possess scholarship of the vedas are called brahmins. But the real brahmins are those who are firmly established in that One Truth. There is no single knower of all the vedas. By knowing the vedas one does not know what is to be known. The knower of the vedas knows only what the vedas say. But the knower of Truth is different. By studying the vedas one gets to acquire knowledge but neither these knowers nor the vedas themselves know the Reality. Even then, it is the vedas which point to that Reality for the knower of the vedas to become the knower of Brahman. The vedas cannot make you the knower of Brahman. Let us not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary. Like the branches of a tree which help to indicate the direction in which to look for the archlike streak of the moon two days after new moon, the vedas only show you the way. Only when your conviction of Truth is not just in your brain but also in your Being can you vouch for its validity. Let us just quote two verses in this analysis: (Chapter II: 42, 43)
न वेदानां वेदिता कश्चिदस्ति वेदेन वेदं नविदुर्न वेद्यं।
यो वेद वेदं स च वेद वेद्यं यो वेद वेद्यं न स वेद सत्यं॥
यो वेद वेदान् स च वेद वेद्यं न तं विदुर्वेदविदो न वेदाः।
तथाऽपि वेदेन विदन्ति वेदं ये ब्राह्मणा वेदविदो भवन्ति॥
na vedAnAM veditA kashcidasti vedena vedaM navidurna vedyaM .
yo veda vedaM sa ca veda vedyaM yo veda vedyaM na sa veda satyaM ..
yo veda vedAn sa ca veda vedyaM na taM vidurvedavido na vedAH .
tathA.api vedena vidanti vedaM ye brAhmaNA vedavido bhavanti..
None of the vedas know Him (who is of the nature of the Knower). For the vedas do not help us to know Him nor the known (The World). One who knows the Knower knows also the known. But one who knows only the known knows not the Truth. One who knows the vedas, knows the knowable. But neither the knower of the vedas nor the vedas themselves know That. Yet those seekers of Brahman who become the knowers of the vedas know Brahman with the help of the vedas.