Saturday, June 22, 2013


THE INDIAN LORD OF DANCE - When you enter a dance academy or a Hindu household, you will see the Nataraja idol. Nataraja, the cosmic dance is a form of Lord Shiva. As the name implies, Nataraja is the Indian Lord of Dance. The idol was made during the ruling Chola empire in 10th century. Nataraja is considered as the best piece of art by the art of sculpture. Every dancer worships to the idol before commencing their act.
The story: In Deodar forest, many sages spent their lives seeking the supreme truth. Gradually, the sages deluded themselves with self-importance and this became a matter of pride for them. These sages claimed that they had renounced the world, but practiced every form of sensual indulgence. Lord Shiva decided to teach a lesson to these sages. 

He came to earth in the form of a young handsome hermit. He seduced the sages and their wives who came running behind Him. The sages held Shiva responsible for their lack of restraint and decided to destroy His temptation. The sages used their magical powers and created a tiger, serpent and a goblin. They set their created things upon Shiva. 
Shiva skinned the tiger alive, wrapped the serpent around his neck and started dancing on the back of goblin. Lord Shiva's dance was very powerful which created tremors, broke mountains and shook the heavens. Gods came over to see the aggressive Shiva dancing.
Lord Shiva curbed the ambition (by skinning tiger), destroyed passion (by wearing serpent) and crushed the ego (by dancing on the goblin) of the sages. This dance was considered the cosmic cycle of generation, organisation and destruction.

Lord Shiva is worshiped as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. Amrisha, author of the article, explains that the dancing form of Lord Shiva is often considered destructive as the cosmic dance unveiled the truth, but brought destruction all over the world. “Lord Shiva as Nataraja is holding fire (Agni) in his left hand and drum (Damaru) on his right. His front left hand is pointing downwards towards the raised left foot. Agni burns, destroys yet energises whereas the drum makes the final sound of death and produces primeval vibrations of life. He is surrounded by a wheel of Sansara which is the infinite cycle of births and re-births,” she says.

Shiva is often pictured doing his Tandava dance of destruction. He is seen with four hands and one leg up, as an expert dancer, and one leg dancing on a small person called the Apasmara-purusha who symbolizes the ignorance which make us lose our clarity and consciousness of our real identity. In two of his hands he holds the damaru drum and fire. The drum represents sound which is supported by ether. This is a sign of further creation after the annihilation or destruction. Fire represents the Pralayagni, or the fire of universal destruction. Thus, Shiva holds the symbols of cyclical universal creation and annihilation. The other two hands represent protection and blessing for those who take refuge of Him or of his spiritual knowledge.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
"Shiva and Durga: Their Real Identity"  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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