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Lord Nataraja Idol...

Posted by
Sunder (Chennai, India) on 15 February 2011 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

Shiva as Nataraja – Symbolism and Meaning hidden in the Natraja Murti

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) performs the Tandava – the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and resolved.

Here are the symbolism and meaning hidden in the Nataraja Idol

Upper Right Hand: In his upper right hand Shiva holds the damaru – a small drum shaped like an hourglass. It symbolizes the sound that originates creation and perpetuates the universe.

Upper Left Hand: The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies final destruction, the dissolution of form, out of which a new world will arise.

Below Right Hand: The second right hand shows the Abhaya mudra (meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), giving freedom from fear and bestowing protection from both evil and ignorance.

The Below Left Hand: The second left hand points towards the raised foot which signifies upliftment and salvation. It also follows the form of an elephant trunk, alluding to wisdom.

The Dwarf on which Shiva Dances: The dwarf on which Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara, symbolizing Shiva's victory over ignorance, which can never be completely eliminated, but it can be overcome.

Flame: The surrounding flames represent the manifest Universe.

Snake Around Waist: The snake swirling around his waist is kundalini, the Shakti or divine force thought to reside within everything. His dance is so vigorous that his hair, usually in matted locks piled on his head, becomes loose and flies about him.

Ganga on Hair: Seated within his hair is the diminutive figure of Mother Ganga, the river goddess, with her hands folded. When the river descended from heaven to earth, Shiva broke its fall with his hair, thereby keeping the earth from being crushed by its force.

Face of Shiva: As he dances the world in and out of existence, Shiva maintains a stoic face, representing his neutrality of being in complete balance.

Source: The Hindu Blog

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

perb picture and thank you for all the explanations very interesting. Good day.

15 Feb 2011 6:21am

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

very well taken

15 Feb 2011 6:28am

Michael from Chester, United Kingdom

Beautiful shot Sunder.

15 Feb 2011 7:12am

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

Lovely tones and detail!

15 Feb 2011 7:34am

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Good clear focus

15 Feb 2011 7:34am

Phil from Sausset les Pins, France

Nice and wonderful details , Phil

15 Feb 2011 7:58am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

Bien vu ! Je te souhaite une agréable journée

15 Feb 2011 8:19am

marci from in, Morocco

all of this is so interesting! great shot and fabulous documentarian!

15 Feb 2011 8:25am

tataray from france, France

Belle capture intéressante !.. ))

15 Feb 2011 8:56am

kitty from Seoul, South Korea

Have you read a book called 'Cutting for Stone' ? One of the characters is called Shiva.

15 Feb 2011 9:03am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Interesting Sunder, I never knew the meaning and the representation..

15 Feb 2011 9:11am

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India


15 Feb 2011 9:26am

pete from Australia

very interesting both the pic and the text...

15 Feb 2011 9:41am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Beautifully dancing the cosmic dance. Excellent documentary

15 Feb 2011 10:21am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

Such a rich culture, such a great shot

15 Feb 2011 10:42am

Benkirane Thami from Fès, Morocco

Avec tes explications, on comprend mieux la valeur de cette magnifique sculpture dynamique!
Bonne journée lumineuse!

15 Feb 2011 11:06am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Nice statue of Shiva

15 Feb 2011 12:31pm

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Superb capture of this intriguing Idol and piece of art! Interesting details you provide as well.

15 Feb 2011 12:43pm

¨‘°ºO Dutçh Oº°‘¨ from Neverwhere, United States

Lovely statue.

15 Feb 2011 1:36pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

A wonderfully complex symbol which you have explained beautifully! I always enjoy learning about other cultures and their beliefs. Thank you very much for sharing Sunder! ;-)

15 Feb 2011 2:02pm

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Love to see all those different details in this statue and your explanation is perfect, I had a great time reading and watching!

15 Feb 2011 2:14pm

Thea from Leeuwarden, Netherlands

A beautiful and intriguing piece of art! Great shot and interesting info that goes with it!

15 Feb 2011 2:37pm

Juliango from Caen, France

Great details !!!

15 Feb 2011 3:21pm

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine shot of this special emblem. Solid color and detail too. Very nice shot.

15 Feb 2011 4:03pm

Julie from Easton, United States

I have to agree the details to this shot really are nice!

15 Feb 2011 5:18pm

Richard Standley from Carquefou, France

Lovely capture and thank you for the interesting words!

15 Feb 2011 5:49pm

Franz from Baden, Austria

a very precious image of a wonderfully crafted statue, and an intriguing and thrilling introduction to the symbolism behind it!

15 Feb 2011 5:59pm

✿ Anina ✿ from Auckland, New Zealand

A lovely statue and thanks for the very interesting information.

15 Feb 2011 6:35pm

Nige Bowsher from United Kingdom

Super detail

15 Feb 2011 7:57pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

fine capture. thanks for the commentary

15 Feb 2011 9:28pm

Bill Brown from California, United States

Excellent capture!

15 Feb 2011 11:56pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful photo. Thanks so much for the explanatory text.

16 Feb 2011 12:27am

Georgie from Sherwood Park, Canada

Beautiful statue and many thanks for the info.

16 Feb 2011 2:27am

Satvik from Columbus, United States

What a beautiful idol ! Great shot

16 Feb 2011 4:25am

Becky from los angeles, United States

how beautiful and fantastic description - I have always wondered about this. Marvelous - Thank you!!

16 Feb 2011 4:30am

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Nice close-up with great detail of this ornate statue. Love the write-up as well.

16 Feb 2011 4:43am