Nataraja – Cosmic ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva

Angikam bhuvanam yasya vachchikam
Sarva vangmayam
Aaharyam Chandra taradi
tavam namah Satvikam shivam


Nataraj “the lord of dance”, is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic euphoric dancer. The two most common forms of Shiva’s dance are the Lasya (the gentle form of dance), associated with the creation of the world, and the Tandava (the violent and dangerous dance), associated with the destruction of weary worldviews – weary perspectives and lifestyles. In essence, the Lasya and the Tandava are just two aspects of Shiva’s nature; for he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again.

This statue is a well-known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture. The statuette is symbolic of Shiva as the lord of dance and dramatic arts, with its style and proportions made according to Hindu texts on arts. In this form Lord shiva, the destructor lord here is depicted holding Agni (fire) in his left back hand, the front hand in gajahasta or dandahasta mudra, the front right hand with a wrapped snake that is in abhaya (fearless) mudra while pointing to a Sutra text, and the back hand holding a musical instrument usually a dambru. He is surrounded by a ring of flames, standing on a lotus pedestal, lifting his left leg and balancing over a demon shown as a dwarf who symbolizes ignorance. The dynamism of the energetic dance is depicted with the whirling hair which spread out in thin strands as a fan behind his head. The beauty and the ferocity of the destructor lord is immeasurable.

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