Showing posts with label Nataraja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nataraja. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Nataraja In The Hindu Pantheon?

 


Shiva's incarnation as the "Lord of the Dance." The most renowned Nataraja picture may be seen at Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu's temple town.

The temple was built during the reign of Vira Raja (927–997 C.E.) and is dedicated to Nataraja.

The depiction of Nataraja, on the other hand, is well-known, especially in southern Indian bronzes from the Chola era (9th–13th centuries).

One of Shiva's most fundamental qualities as a god is that he transcends all duality; the Nataraja picture represents this notion.

Shiva dances in a circle of fire, which represents birth and death, yet he is unaffected by these powers.

Shiva's matted hair sway wildly as he dances, revealing the power of his action, yet his countenance remains emotionless and undisturbed.

One of his four hands is occupied by the creation drum, while the other is occupied by the destruction fire.

His third hand is raised palm upward in a "fear not" gesture.

The fourth point is to his upraised foot, which is a sign of heavenly kindness and shelter for the devotee (bhakta).

His other foot smashes a demon, demonstrating his ability to exorcise evil.

The picture is a well-crafted theological message that can be "read" by people with the necessary skills.

Shiva and Kali, the goddess, seek to settle their rivalry with a dancing competition in Nataraja's founding tale.

Shiva eventually triumphs over Kali by emerging as Nataraja and performing an athletic (tandava) dancing style that Kali is unable to imitate due to her feminine modesty.

Regardless of its mythic origins, Chidambaram's Nataraja temple has been a major center for traditional Indian dance for over a thousand years.

Relief sculptures illustrating the 108 fundamental dance positions can be seen on the temple's eastern wall (karanas).

These postures are crucial in traditional Indian dance, especially in the Bharatanatyam school, which is Tamil Nadu's most popular dance form.

~Kiran Atma


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