Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Dynamics of Hindu God ''Dancing Shiva'', a symbol of endlss flow of energy

Cosmic dance of Shiva. wikimedia.org
Above image:  The above bronze idol of God Shiva, the cosmic dancer is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Shiva ; Chola period (880-1279), ca. 11th century Tamil Nadu, India Copper alloy; H. 26 7/8 in. (68.3 cm); Diam. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm) Gift of R. H. Ellsworth Ltd., in honor of Susan Dillon, 1987 (1987.80.1)...............................
'' If a single icon had to be chosen to represent the extraordinarily rich and complex cultural heritage of India, the Shiva /Nataraja might well be the most remunerative candidate. It is such a brilliant iconographic invention that it comes as close to being a summation of the genius of the Indian people as any single icon can. Sculptures of Shiva dancing survive from at least as early as the fifth century, but it was under the rule of the great Chola dynasty of southern India (880-1279) that the world-famous iconographic type evolved. The setting of Shiva's dance is the golden hall of Chidambaram, at the center of the universe, in the presence of all the gods. Through symbols and dance gestures, Shiva taught the illustrious gathering that he is Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer. As he danced, he held in his upper right hand the "damaru," the hand drum from which issued the primordial vibrating sound of creation. With his lower right hand he made the gesture of "abhaya," removing fear, protecting, and preserving. In his upper left hand he held "agni," the consuming fire of dynamic destruction. With his right foot he trampled a dwarf like figure (apasmara purusha), the ignoble personification of illusion who leads mankind astray. In his 
dance of ecstasy Shiva raised his left leg, and, in a gesture known as the "gaja hasta," pointed to his lifted leg to provide refuge for the troubled soul. He thus imparted the lesson that through belief 
in him, the soul of mankind canbe transported from the bondage 
of illusion and ignorance to salvation and eternal serenity. Encircling Shiva is a flaming body halo ("prabhamandala," or surrounding effulgence) that not only establishes the visual 
limits of this complex and dynamic composition but also symbolizes the boundaries of the cosmos.'' .........................(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:India_statue_of_nataraja.jpg)

creation and destruction of lands, Plate tectonics courses.lumenlearning.com
crustal destruction due to collusion.  Convergent boundary .weebly.com
 The concept of Cosmic dancer of Hindu God Nataraja is a unique one, covering the realms of divinity, spirituality and cosmology. It subtly covers the   unsurpassed rhythm, beauty, power and grace of  Nataraja.  His dance of bliss '  represents the interplay of dynamic as well  as static  energy flow operating  for aeons on this earth - the creation of new land mass on one side of the mantle of the earth  and destruction of land in the subduction zone (creating earthquakes,  tsunamis, etc) on the other side as postulated in the theory of ''Plate Tectonics''Divergent boundaries
creation of plates. Divergent boundary. weebly.com
.   His dance posture, lifting one leg and resting the other leg on the demon  is symbolic of maintaining  balance between

destruction and formation of lands on the earth. Plate tectonics. sciencedirect.com
creation and destruction. This balancing act  represents the dynamics  of creation and destruction in the world, accentuated further by the dancer's composed  face in the center of the two hands in which the polarity of creation and destruction is dissolved and transcended.  Philosophically, his leg resting on the demon symbolizes his act of removing arrogance, ego and ignorance in us, for these traits take us no where.   God Shiva  represents Pancha Bootha, five essential elements that the living creatures  need  to live on this earth.  The five principles of eternal energy — creation, preservation, destruction, illusion and emancipation govern the denizens on this earth.  Shiva's  fierce dance called  ‘Rudra Tandava’ or the 'dance of destruction' in an aureole of fire, creating wild thunder storms all around the universe, volcanic eruptions and
generation of Tsunami. tsunami-alarm-system.com/
even elimination of the Sun, the Moon and stellar bodies with his matted hair represents an integral natural process going on within the earth and in the atmosphere.    The  hour-glass- shaped drum that he is holding in his lower right hand, marks  male-female union needed for propagation of lives on this earth. The continuous pulsating sound of the drum - 'dumroo'  epitomizes the continuous creation process going on in  this planet and others. The crawling of  snakes over his arms, legs, and braided hair  depicts egotism that has to be done away with. The 'Abhaya mudra' of his  upper right hand suggests his blessings to us to "Be fearless" and  get  rid of ego and pride.  It is  the sign of 'do not fear' symbolizing  composure and  peace. The remaining left hand pointing down to the uplifted foot  personifies  release from the spell of maya.  The  skull on his head depicts conquest over death. The presence of Goddess Ganga on his hairdo (jadamudi) represents  the holy river (water). His third eye called Gnakkan represents  insight and enlightenment. When in rage, it is like a terrible  inferno,  engulfing everything in the aureole of fire!  His body in blue color is  symbolic of the sky. His vast dancing theater, sabha being the  entire firmament.
The gentle dance of bliss ''the ‘Lasya’known as ‘Aananda Tandavam’  is linked with  the creation of the world, and this dance takes place  in the Shiva temple at  Chidambaram (which represents the sky).  
Shiva is the symbol of ‘Brahman’, the universal consciousness and he has the cosmic serpent called ‘Kundalini’ crawling over his body.  It  is said,  it is mystically present in  all creations.  The awakening of the seven  hidden energy centers is archived through the practice of meditation and concentration at a focal point on the forehead and this is done by the ‘kundalini’ yoga - that teaches how to  trigger the energy centers within us.


It is a basic fact the humans  fall under three groups of Gunas - mental-make-up.   They are satvic, tamasic and rajasic. Likewise, the divine entity is divided into nine, of which 8 can be achieved   by human intellect - earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and pride. The ninth one  is a riddle, it is  the mystery of creation.
Dancing Nataraja, the cosmic dancer .fritjofcapra.net
Above image: A special plaque next to the Shiva statue at CERN explains the significance of the metaphor of Shiva’s cosmic dance with several quotations from The Tao of Physics.

The European Centre for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva-CERN had installed in 2004 the two meter-tall statue of dancing Nataraja,  representing the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction and also  dynamics of subatomic particles. One must recollect the  comments made by the famous  Physicist Fritjof Capra, in his book ‘The Tao of Physics’ (1975) “Every subatomic particle not only does an energy dance, but is also an energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction...without an end.''
'' Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter,” and that “For the modern physicists, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cosmic-dance-of-Shiva/articleshow/10485316
https://www.fritjofcapra.net/shivas-cosmic-dance-at-cern/

https://navrangindia.blogspot.com/2017/01/hindu-god-shivas-mysterious-cosmic-dance.html