dákṣiṇā [diś] is the Sanskrit name of the Deccan plateau

Dakshina (Sanskrit dakṣiṇā, the feminine of dakṣiṇa "south, southern", but also "right-hand side, able, dexterous, clever") in the historical Vedic religion is the term for the recompense paid by the sacrificer for the services of a priest, originally consisting of a cow (according to Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra 15, Lāṭyāyana Śrautasūtra 8.1.2). The term itself is derived from this, the feminine dakṣiṇā being a term for a cow able to galve and give milk (a prolific cow, milch-cow) in the Rigveda.

Dakshina is personified as a goddess along with Brahmanaspati, Indra and Soma in RV 1.18.5 and RV 10.103.8, and is the reputed authoress of RV 10.107 according to the Anukramani. In later literature, in the Manusmrti and in the Ramayana, the term acquires a more general meaning of "thanks" or "a gift".


Gurudakshina refers to the tradition of repaying one's teacher or guru after a period of study or the completion of formal education. This tradition is one of acknowledgment, respect, and thanks. It is a form of reciprocity and exchange between student and teacher. The repayment is not exclusively monetary and may be a special task the teacher wants the student to accomplish.

See also

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