|Cosmic dance of Shiva. wikimedia.org|
'' 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)
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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|
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.”