Nataraj: Symbolism the Dancing Shiva and its Significance

It a common belief that Nataraja is a symbol of Lord Shiva, which eventually is true. But why?

Well, your answer may be a bit silly that he is the god and can have any form. But no behind any such sculpture or ancient artifacts, there is some genuine reason. Nataraja is a symbol of Lord Shiva, because in the Sanskrit context Nataraja better means, Nata – dance; Raja- the king or the Lord, Nataraja – The Lord of Dance.

According to the Hindu religion, Tandava is the dance of Shiva is the most amazing dance which nobody ever happened to do. And Nataraja is a pose form of his Dance, which clearly states that Lord Shiva is the Lord of Dance. Hence this is the sole reason that Nataraja is worshiped as the god of the Art of Dance. You may also find Nataraja in many dance academies or such places where Art is worshiped. Read more to know all Nataraja.

The Sculpture symbol of Nataraja

Nataraja resembles the Natya Shastra pose form Lod shiva dance. He holds Agni (fire) in his left backhand, the front hands show the Gajahasta (hands of an elephant) or Dandahasta (stick hand) mudra. His front hand wrapped with snake depicts Abhay (fear not). In his backhand holds a musical instrument, Damaru. There are different sculptures where his body, ankles, fingers, face, neck, head, earlobes and dress are shown decorated with different ornaments and decorative items. Standing on a base of lotus pedestal, a ring of burning flames surrounds him and he is lifting one leg and other suppressing the demon shown as a dwarf (Apasmara or Muyalaka) symbolizing ignorance is as amazing piece one could think. Nataraja is one of the best portray of Shivas Dance form Tandava, full of energy and glamour.

Lasya and Tandava

Lasya and Tandava are the two-dance forms performed by Lord Shiva and Parvati. Lasya is the dance form that resembles, grace, happiness, beauty, and manifestation. It was performed by Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. Tavndava is the dance that resembles energy, agony, anger, and destruction. Tandava was performed by Lord Shiva, the Lord of Dance. And as we are aware that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are two bodies but single soul, so both the dance forms are conveyed to Shiva. And we then know that both the dance forms are performed by Lord Shiva.

Origin of Nataraja

Though we now know that Nataraja resembles Lord Shiva. It would have been difficult unless an artist from Tamil Nadu sculpted this extraordinary art. It was the 9th and 10th centuries when the world happened to see this art and symbolize Nataraja as Shiva. It was in the Chola period when Nataraj originated and because it was the Bronze era, most of the Nataraja sculptures exist in Bronze metal. And often people believe it as mythologically true, that Shiva would exist in Bronze Nataraja.

Significance of Nataraja

The Nataraja is of great significance as it resembles Lord shiva, it too has many unseen features. At Chidambaram, (the place with wisdom atmosphere) is a holy place in Tamil Nadu the set of 12 such sculptures are present which depict the dance forms of shiva like Nataraja. Nataraja is so magnificently explained, that one surely wants to visit the place to know other such unseen facts.

Nataraja is an image of Art, a dramatic dance with an emended rhythmic and musical play that involves the mother nature into it. The beginning and the end, happiness and sorrow, life and death are effectively depicted from the ring of flame surround Lord Shiva in Nataraja.

Everything is temporary, this sculpture also depicts the temporary illusion that snares man can be put off only with his will power. It may be painful yet can be achieved. Lord Shiva standing on one foot over the Demon Apasmana. Nataraja is a great piece that explains the connection between

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