Nataraja: Shiva, the Lord of Dance

   Posted by: admin   in Contemporary Art

Have you seen the depiction of great Lord Shiva in magnificent artworks crafted by several artists throughout the period of time?

You must have. The most known of all forms of Shiva is the Nataraja.

The dancing figure of Shiva has become a source of theme for numerous artists. In the head office of CERN in Switzerland, the artefact of Nataraja is placed at the entrance only.

Even in various Lord Shiva paintings, this form has been exhibited beautifully.

Do you have any idea about the essence of this form of Shiva?

If no, this is the blog you should read. In the least words I am going to throw light on the hidden meaning of Nataraja form of Shiva.

Shiva: The lord of dance

Do not misinterpret by the tagline ‘lord of dance’ by imagining Lord Shiva as a choreographer or something like that.

Yes, he was a choreographer, but not of some dance form but of the universe.

The dance he is depicted doing in all the artworks is known as the cosmic dance or also known as the ‘tandava’.

This dance form is supposed to both create and destroy the universe. If you get a chance to witness this exquisite form of Shiva in any of the artwork, just notice the bend knees.

The bend knees and the exorbitant spread out of the hairs are known to reflect the wildness and energy that is involved in the cosmic dance.

Artists ensure to depict the Omni-present aspect of Lord Shiva by exhibiting a skull, a crescent moon and a datura blossom in his locks.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Lord Shiva paintings is the personification of Ganga from his locks. The famous tale goes like when Shiva made Ganga come down to earth calmly by allowing her to flow through his hairs.

Another interesting factor is the numerous hands shown in the manifestation of Nataraja form of Lord Shiva.

One of the hand is holding damru representing Shiva is dancing on his own tunes. Damru also signifies that it was the holy sound of drums that led to the creation of entire universe as we know it.

Few of the artists also signified Damru as an hour glass showing Shiva controls time.

The beat of the damru or drum is assumed to be the core of the cosmos and is represented as Maya.

In another hand, Shiva is shown holding Agni, the fire (divine) that will ultimately sweep out the entire universe.

Another hand of Shiva shows a specific stature known as Abhaya mudra. This is considered as a gesture to provide blessings as per Hinduism.

This mudra or gesture is supposed to trim down all fear and make us calm.

Lord Shiva paintings depict this deity’s another hand points towards his left foot which is in Gaja hasta mudra. This gesture represents salvation and liberation.

Final words

The grace of Nataraja form of Lord Shiva is immense and I have tried to decipher few of the interpretations of this magnificent physical manifestation. For more updates like this, stay tuned.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 at 7:21 am and is filed under Contemporary Art. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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