Shiva puranam in english pdf forward this error screen to 162. Shiva as the Lord of Dance LACMA edit. Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic ecstatic dancer.
The classical form of the depiction appears in stone reliefs, as at the Ellora Caves and the Badami Caves, by around the 6th-century. The sculpture is symbolic of Shiva as the lord of dance and dramatic arts, with its style and proportions made according to Hindu texts on arts. Nataraja is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture, in particular as one of the finest illustrations of Hindu art. Lord of dance or King of dancers. Koothan is derived from the Tamil word Koothu, which means dance or performance. A male dancer is termed Koothan. Naatiyam is another word for dance in Tamil.
The dance of Shiva in Tillai, the traditional name for Chidambaram, forms the motif for all the depictions of Shiva as Nataraja. He is also known as “Sabesan” which splits as “Sabayil aadum eesan” in Tamil which means “The Lord who dances on the dais”. Indian tradition means the interdependence and fusion of masculine and feminine principles. Hindu cosmology creates everything and consumes everything, in cyclic existence or cycle of life. The fire also represents the evils, dangers, heat, warmth, light and joys of daily life. The arch of fire emerges from two makara on each end, which are water creatures of water and part of Hindu mythologies.
His legs are bent, which suggests an energetic dance. His long, matted tresses, are shown to be loose and flying out in thin strands during the dance, spread into a fan behind his head, because of the wildness and ecstasy of the dance. On his right side, meshed in with one of the flying strands of his hair near his forehead, is typically the river Ganges personified as a goddess, from the Hindu mythology where the danger of a mighty river is creatively tied to a calm river for the regeneration of life. The upper right hand holds a small drum shaped like an hourglass that is called a ḍamaru in Sanskrit. The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies forces of creation and destruction.
The opposing concepts show the counterpoise nature of life. The second left hand points towards the raised foot which suggests the viewer to be active and dance despite the circumstances, or alternatively as a sign of upliftment and liberation. The face shows two eyes plus a slightly open third on the forehead, which symbolize the triune in Shaivism. The three eyes alternatively symbolize an equilibrium of the three Guṇa: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The slightly smiling face of Shiva represents his calmness despite being immersed in the contrasting forces of universe and his energetic dance. The above interpretations of symbolism are largely based on historic Indian texts published in and after 12th-century, such as Unmai Vilakkam, Mummani Kovai, Tirukuttu Darshana and Tiruvatavurar Puranam.
First, it is seen as the image of his rhythmic play which is the source of all movement within the universe. This is represented by the circular or elliptical frame surrounding Shiva. Secondly, the purpose of his dance is to release the souls of all men from the snare of illusion. Lastly, the place of the dance, Chidambaram, which is portrayed as the center of the universe, is actually within the heart. Nataraja, states James Lochtefeld, symbolizes “the connection between religion and the arts”, and it represents Shiva as the lord of dance, encompassing all “creation, destruction and all things in between”. Nataraja is a significant visual interpretation of Brahman and a dance posture of Lord Shiva.
The details in the Nataraja artwork has attracted commentaries and secondary literature such as poems detailing its theological significance. One of earliest known Nataraja artworks has been found in the archaeological site at Asanapat village in Odisha, which includes an inscription, and is dated to about the 6th century CE. The Asanapat inscription also mentions a Shiva temple in the Saivacaryas kingdom. Nataraja gained special significance and became a symbol of royalty in Tamil Nadu. The dancing Shiva became a part of Chola era processions and religious festivals, a practice that continued thereafter. The depiction was informed of cosmic or metaphysical connotations is also argued on the basis of the testimony of the hymns of Tamil saints.
The largest Nataraja statue is in Neyveli, in Tamil Nadu. Nataraja is the god who created dance. Siwa and his dance as Nataraja was also celebrated in the art of Java Indonesia when Hinduism thrived there, while in Cambodia he was referred to as Nrittesvara. In 2004, a 2m statue of the dancing Shiva was unveiled at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva. The statue, symbolizing Shiva’s cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government to celebrate the research center’s long association with India. Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes.
In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics. Though named “Nataraja bronzes” in Western literature, the Chola Nataraja artworks are mostly in copper, and a few are in brass, typically cast by the cire-perdue process. Nataraja is celebrated in 108 poses of Bharatanatyam, with Sanskrit inscriptions from Natya Shastra, at the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India.