Doṣaparihārāṣṭakam by Acharya Sridhara ‘Ayyaval’

with Swamini Svatmavidyanandaji

The doṣa-parihāra-aṣṭakam is a 300-year-old Sanskrit composition of the scholar-saint of Tanjavur, Sri Sridhara Venkateshacharya ‘Ayyaval’. The word “doṣa” means a defect, and “parihāra” means removal. In this aṣṭaka, octet, presented creatively as a conversation with Lord Shiva, Ayyaval invokes the Lord’s grace to rid himself of the habit of constantly complaining about situations and finding faults in others. He concludes that this tendency poses a great hindrance to sarvātmabhāva, the blessing of the vision of oneness. As long as one is finding fault in others and trying to “fix” them, one can never fully assimilate the truth of oneself as Īśvara. This text is a hidden gem in the treasure-chest of Vedanta, whose luminescence is a guiding light for all earnest seekers of self-knowledge.

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