Gods & Goddesses

Shiva's Cosmic Dance-Half 2


Nataraja or Nataraj, the dancing type of Lord Shiva, is a symbolic synthesis of a very powerful points of Hinduism, and the abstract of the central tenets of this Vedic faith. The time period ‘Nataraj’ means ‘King of Dancers’ (Sanskrit nata = dance; raja = king). Within the phrases of Ananda Okay. Coomaraswamy, Nataraj is the “clearest picture of the exercise of God which any artwork or faith can boast of…A extra fluid and energetic illustration of a transferring determine than the dancing determine of Shiva can scarcely be discovered anyplace,

The Important Type & Symbolism:
In a marvelously unified and dynamic composition expressing the rhythm and concord of life, Nataraj is proven with 4 palms characterize the cardinal instructions. He’s dancing, along with his left foot elegantly raised and the best foot on a prostrate determine — ‘Apasmara Purusha’, the personification of phantasm and ignorance over whom Shiva triumphs. The higher left hand holds a flame, the decrease left hand factors right down to the dwarf, who’s proven holding a cobra. The higher proper hand holds an hourglass drum or ‘dumroo’ that stands for the male-female important precept, the decrease exhibits the gesture of assertion: “Be with out concern.”
Snakes that stand for egotism, are seen uncoiling from his arms, legs, and hair, which is braided and bejeweled. His matted locks are whirling as he dances inside an arch of flames representing the infinite cycle of beginning and dying. On his head is a cranium, which symbolizes his conquest over dying. Goddess Ganga, the epitome of the holy river Ganges, additionally sits on his hairdo. His third eye is symbolic of his omniscience, perception, and enlightenment. The entire idol rests on a lotus pedestal, the image of the inventive forces of the universe.

The Significance of Shiva’s Dance:
This cosmic dance of Shiva known as ‘Anandatandava,’ which means the Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, in addition to the every day rhythm of beginning and dying. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the 5 precept manifestations of everlasting power — creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and phantasm. In accordance with Coomerswamy, the dance of Shiva additionally represents his 5 actions: ‘Shrishti’ (creation, evolution); ‘Sthiti’ (preservation, help); ‘Samhara’ (destruction, evolution); ‘Tirobhava’ (phantasm); and ‘Anugraha’ (launch, emancipation, grace).
The general mood of the picture is paradoxical, uniting the internal tranquility, and outdoors exercise of Shiva.
A Scientific Metaphor:
Fritzof Capra in his article “The Dance of Shiva: The Hindu View of Matter within the Gentle of Trendy Physics,” and later within the The Tao of Physics fantastically relates Nataraj’s dance with fashionable physics. He says that “each subatomic particle not solely performs an power dance, but additionally is an power dance; a pulsating strategy of creation and destruction…with out finish…For the fashionable physicists, then Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter. As in Hindu mythology, it’s a continuous dance of creation and destruction involving the entire cosmos; the premise of all existence and of all pure phenomena.”

The Nataraj Statue at CERN, Geneva:
In 2004, a 2m statue of the dancing Shiva was unveiled at CERN, the European Middle for Analysis in Particle Physics in Geneva. A particular plaque subsequent to the Shiva statue explains the importance of the metaphor of Shiva’s cosmic dance with quotations from Capra: “A whole lot of years in the past, Indian artists created visible pictures of dancing Shivas in an exquisite collection of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used probably the most superior know-how to painting the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies historical mythology, spiritual artwork and fashionable physics.”

To sum up, here is an excerpt from an exquisite poem by Ruth Peel:

“The supply of all motion,
Shiva’s dance,
Provides rhythm to the universe.
He dances in evil locations,
In sacred,
He creates and preserves,
Destroys and releases.

We’re a part of this dance
This everlasting rhythm,
And woe to us if, blinded
By illusions,
We detach ourselves
From the dancing cosmos,
This common concord…”


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