UNDERGROUND WEB WORLD
SHIVA AS LORD OF THE COSMIC DANCE
“Oh you the creator, you the destroyer, you who sustain and make an end,
(Aldous Huxley, Island)
ABOUT THE NATARAJA
The Nataraja is a powerful symbol that portrays Shiva as creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe in a never ending cycle of time. Nata means "dance." Raja means "king."
The Nataraja is a well known sculptural symbol in India. It is said to appear as early as the fifth century. But its present world famous form appeared under the rule of Cholas.
Shiva's dance is set within a flaming halo that is "prabha mandala." The Prabha mandala represents time, which is shown as a circle to symbolize the Hindu belief that time is both cyclical and without end. The flames of the ring sprout from the mouths of makaras or mythical sea creatures shown at the base of the sculpture.
The energy and wildness of the dance is shown in Shiva's bent knees and the extravagant spreading of the god's hair.
In Shiva's upper right hand he holds the damuru, the hand drum that made the first sound of creation.
With his lower right hand, he makes abhayamudra, the gesture that allays fear.
Shiva's upper left hand holds agni, the fire that will destroy the universe.
His front left hand, points to his raised left foot in the gesture of gaja hasta, a symbol of salvation and liberation.
He is trampling upon a demon shown as a dwarf (Apasmara or Muyalaka) who symbolizes spiritual ignorance or illusions.
Shiva Nataraja - Lord of the Dance (World History Encyclopedia)
Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja) (Art Institute of Chicago)
Shiva as Lord of Dance (Nataraja) (Met Museum)
Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja) (Khan Academy)
Shiva Nataraja: A Study in Myth, Iconography, and the Meaning of a Sacred Symbol PDF (by Richard Stromer PHD)