A vilakShaNa nAma of Lord dakShiNAmUrti is vidyAtIrtha. It is said:
yasya niHshvasitaM vedA vedebyo.akhilaM jagat |
nirmame tamahaM vande vidyAtIrthaM maheshvaram ||
Lord is described as vidyAtIrtha as he created the world through the Vedas which are of the form of his niHshvAsa. As all vidyAs originate from the primordial source named dakShiNAmUrti, he is referred to as vidyA tIrtha. While the Lord’s association with the Vedas and vedangas is clear, it is easy to understand his association with other branches of knowledge.
The great shAkta avatAra of mahAviShNu named parashurAma received the knowledge of dhanurvidyA from mahAdeva. The great weapon of pAshupata was granted to arjuna by shambhu. The invincible sudarshana chakra which shines in the lotus hand of nArAyaNa was created by mahAdeva from his nakha (nail). As stated in UrdhvamnAya tantra, the great sudarshana was created from the nail of mahAnR^isiMha. This clearly establishes abheda between mahAdeva and nR^ihari. Maya and vishvakarmA the great sculptors received the knowledge of shilpashAstra from mahAdeva. shukrAchArya received the secret of mR^itasa~njIvinI vidyA (we wrote earlier a quick summary of the various forms of sanjIvinI mantra that we are familiar with) from mahAmR^ityunjaya. The Lord is addressed frequently as bhiShaktama, indicating he is the greatest of doctors. Probably shiva can also be called the world’s first surgeon. Was he not the surgeon who placed the head of an elephant on gaNesha and re-attached the severed head of dakSha? Mercury, the basis for rasavidyA, called rasarAja, is the vIrya of mahAdeva, thus earning him the title, raseshvara.
The great science of yoga shAstra has also originated from yogeshvara mahAdeva. shrImadAchArya states in his yogatArAvaLI the existence of one lakh twenty-five thousand ways to achieve manolaya, each of which were taught by sadAshiva:
layAvadhAnAni vasanti loke |
manyAmahe mAnyatamaM layAnAm ||
Great yogAcharyas such as patanjali, matsyendranAtha and gorakShanAtha attained mastery in yoga through the grace of bhavAnIpati. The puruSha sUkta states: chandramA manaso jAtaH, comparing chandramA to the mind. By wearing the moon on his crown, chandrashekhara exhibits his state of complete manonigraha. The Damaru held in his hands, which led to the creation of shabdashAstra of pANini, represents incessant anusandhAna of nAda. The gajacharma worn by the Lord is indicative of ahaMkAra-nigraha. The deer held is his hands represents chitta-chAnchalya nigraha, vyAghra charma represents kAmanigraha and sarpa krodha nigraha. The waves of gangA cascading from his jaTA represents the phalasvarUpa of these nigrahas such as shAnti, shuddhi and mokSha. Thus, the very mUrti of sadAshiva is yogadyotaka. Moreover, yoga shAstra describes sadAshiva as the Adiguru of yoga:
yugAvartena shishneShu yogAchAryasvarUpiNA |
tatra tatrAvatIrNena shivenaiva pravartate ||
saMkShipyAsya pravaktAraH chatvaraH paramarShayaH |
gururdadhIcho.agastyashcha upamanyurmahAyashAH ||
te cha pAshupatA j~neyA saMhitAnAM pravartakAH |
tatsantatInAM guravaH shatasho.atha sahasrashaH ||
As stated before, dhanurveda originated from pinAkin. nItiprakAshikA describes shiva as the author of dhanurveda. The association of mahAdeva with pinAka is stated in the very first mantra of rudra prashna. The following verse from rAmAyaNa adds puShTi to the same:
yadi tuShTo mahAdeva dhanurvedo mamAnagha |
sA~NgopA~NgopaniShadaH sa rahasyaH pradIyatAm ||
vishvAmitra is described to have learnt dhanurvidyA from rudra. vAsisTha dhanurveda describes shiva as the dhanurvidyA guru of bhArgava rAma.
Shiva is explicitly described as the source of the twenty-eight shivAgamas:
aShTadashapurANAnAM kartA satyavatIsutaH |
kAmikAdiprabhedAnAM yathA devo maheshvaraH || [sUta saMhitA]
The scheme of revelation of the Agamas from the five faces of svacChanda bhairava is described below:
sadyojAtamukhAjjAtAH pa~nchAdyAH kAmikAdayaH |
vAmadevamukhAjjAtAH dIptAdyAH pa~nchasaMhitAH ||
aghoravaktrAdudbhUtAH panchA.atha vijayAdayaH |
IshAnavadanAjjAtAH prodgItAdyaShTasaMhitAH ||
Having transformed his jnAna into nAda through the rahoyAga named manonmanI yoga, Lord revealed these Agamas and taught them to sixty-four disciples. The mantras of the five, six, nine or twelve Amnayas originate from the vaktrapankaja of the Supreme Guru svacChanda bhairava.
Thus, it is easy to see why the shruti sings praise of umesha thus: IshAnaH sarvavidyAnAm. Hence also the statement referring to dakShiNAmUrti: vidyAkAmastu girisham. Glory to mahAdeva, who, by the merit of parAmbA present in him as j~nAnashakti, imparts knowledge to the world through silence. We should also take a moment here to salute our Guru shrIvidyAtIrtha, who, ever immersed in lambikA yoga samAdhi, is guiding disciples as pratyakSha parameshvara:
avidyAcChannabhAvAnAM nR^iNAM vidyopadeshataH |
prakAshayati yastattvaM taM vidyAtIrthamAshraye ||