WHAT IS THE DECODATION OF NATARAJA, THE COSMIC DANCER ?-PART-02..SHIVA-03
THE INTRODUCTION OF LORD SHIV ;-
1-Indian mythology has some really cool gods; there’s charming Sri Krishna, the very “sanskari”Sri Ram and blissed out Shiva. it’s only Shiva, a reluctant householder,who is Dressed in tiger skin, wearing wild flowers, lost in meditation up in the mountains,, playing the soulful veena.
2-Shiva is wild, unconventional and unattainable, the very epitome of cool. He can dance up a storm, like when he performed the mighty “tandava”, threatening all of existence when he lost Ma Sati.
3-He is never petty and his love for Ma Parvati, who can be temperamental and is credited with the fierce incarnations of Ma Kali and Ma Durga, is unconditional.
4-He is not afraid to be in touch with his feminine side. As Ardhanarishvara, he becomes one-part woman, with Ma Parvati figuratively and literally a part of him. This is a husband totally attuned to his wife’s needs and willing to let her into his heart, body and mind.
5-Theirs is a relationship of equals and true companionship. According to mythology, when Shiva decides to consume the cosmic poison from the gods’ “Samudra Manthan” or ocean’s churning, it’s Ma Parvati who steps in to hold his neck so it doesn’t spread to his body, earning him the title of Neelkantha or blue-throated.
6-It’s, therefore, not surprising that Indian women across generations have fasted for a husband like Shiva.If you see even his traditional myths, Lord Shiva treats his wife with immense love and respect. We all know the story of his devastating grief after Ma Sati died. And his respect and love for Ma Parvati, the reincarnation of Ma Sati, is legendary.As one read in the Puranas as well, it is a strong, deep and respectful relationship between the husband and wife.”
7-Shiva is at ease with strong women. “Very clearly . So often, even in the traditional myths, Ma Parvati does what she thinks is right. Even opposing Lord Shiva very often. But he respects her right to do what she thinks is right. They have a respectful relationship towards each other. Modern husbands and wives can learn a lot from them.”
8-Shiva represents the possibility of transformation, “to fall in love with him is to transform one’s life, to liberate oneself from societal expectations and to discover one’s true nature. Shiva is both the life force and the death force, so it is daring in taking him as a lover or husband.” We can relate to stories of Shiva and Ma Parvati, how they quarrel and play just like human lovers.
9-They embrace for eons at a time,but as the yogi, he disappears to the mountaintop and she becomes frustrated and longs for him. All the different aspects of Shiva are what make him fascinating.”It’ makes him the ultimate husband caring for equality and respect.
WHO IS NATARAJA ?--
02 FACTS;-- 1-The depiction of Shiva as Nataraja ( "Lord of Dance") is popular. The names Nartaka ("Dancer") and Nityanarta ("Eternal Dancer") appear in the Shiva Sahasranama. His association with dance and also with music is prominent in the Puranic period.
2-In addition to the specific iconographic(symbolic representation) form known as Nataraja, various other types of dancing forms are found in all parts of India, with many well-defined varieties in Tamil Nadu (in southern India) in particular. WHAT IS THE ICONOGRAPHY OF DANCE?--
05 FACTS;-- 1-India is the only place where our gods must dance. If they cannot dance they cannot be a god.. This is because the closest analogy(a comparison) you can give to the phenomenon of creation, is that it is like a dance.
2-Today, modern physicists are using such words – they say creation seems to be in a dance. If you observe a dance, on the surface, there seems to be no logical coherence (to stick together) to what is happening. But if you look closely enough, there is a very profound system to the whole process. 3-Creation seems to be absolutely random and accidental, but with closer observation, everything seems to be synchronized in some way. For example, in Indian classical dance, the dancer may seem to be just moving their hands and legs about at random. On the surface, there seems to be nothing to it. But if you watch closely enough, there is a very deep coherence to everything that is happening.
4-If that coherence was absent, you would not enjoy the dance. To be able to do seemingly illogical things like throwing your hands and legs around, but still have an absolute coherence to everything that you want to depict takes years of training and practice.
5-If the dance has that geometric aesthetic, it will impact the viewers in a certain way, though they may not know the story or understand what the dance is. The same goes for music in a different dimension. IS IT MICROCOSM & MACROCOSM?-
06 FACTS;-- 1-One of the theories that is being thrown around in science over the last few years is Constructal theory. What they say is that whether you take an atom, a human being, an elephant or the cosmos – the fundamental design is the same. It is only the complexity that increases in sophistication. 2-This is something we have always said in yoga. The microcosm and the macrocosm are essentially the same design. It is from this that the yogic practices began. We said anda, pinda, and brahmanda – the ingredient that makes this life, the individual person, and the cosmos – are three manifestations of the same thing.
3-They are all in the same synchronicity. And because it is the same design, you can put one into the other. You can eat a carrot and make it into a human being because it is the same design. 4-So, the nearest analogy and the closest description you can give for the way the cosmos is functioning is that it is a dance, because it all seems to be at random, but there is perfect organization and synchronicity behind it.
5-It is just that most people’s idea of organization is too intellectual and divisive. For example, let’s take a nice, manicured garden and a forest. A garden means everything is organized. A forest means no organization. 6-But if you don’t attend to the garden for three months, it will be gone. But a forest can live for millions of years without your attention. So which would you consider as better organization? IS NATARAJA, THE COSMIC DANCER ?---
07 FACTS;-- 1-So, because creation is a dance, we said the divine is a dancer. If he is not a dancer, how could he make this dance happen?
2- When we say Shiva is Nataraja, we are not talking about an individual dancing. You might have noticed that in the depiction of Nataraja, there is a circle around him. The circle is always the symbol of the cosmos because when anything moves, the most natural form that happens in the existence is a circle.
3-Anything that happens by itself is a circle or an ellipsoid – which is a slightly distorted circle –because a circle is the shape of least resistance. The planet, the moon, the sun, these are all circles. 4-This is why the circle around Nataraja symbolizes the cosmos. He is a cosmic dancer. That is how he is always described. This is not about an individual dancing across the cosmos. We are saying the cosmos is in a dance and the dance is guided by a certain intelligence.
5-Since we are individuals and we understand everything as separate life forms, we individualize it as Nataraja for our own perception. The word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not” or “that which is nothing”. It is nothing, it is empty space, but it is dancing. Because it is dancing, everything is happening. 6-You cannot understand the dance because everything that you understand will only be a wrong conclusion. But you can experience the aesthetic of the dance, or you can become the dance.
7-If you experience the beauty of the dance by observation, we say you are a seeker. In society, you may be called by different names – maybe a scientist – but still you are a seeker. You want to know what it is, so you are paying attention. If you become the dance, you become the divine, you become a yogi. That is the choice you have. THE DECODATION OF SHIVA'S DANCE;--
08 FACTS;-- 1-This cosmic dance of Shiva is called 'Anandatandava,' meaning the Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death.
2-The dance is a pictorial allegory (A story, poem,etc. that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning)of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy —
3- The dance of Shiva also represents his five activities:
1-'Shrishti' (creation, evolution)
2-Sthiti' (preservation, support)
3-Samhara' (destruction, evolution)
5-'Anugraha' (release, emancipation, grace) 4-The overall temper of the image is paradoxical, uniting the inner tranquility, and outside activity of SHIVA. IN a marvelously unified and dynamic composition expressing the rhythm and harmony of life, Nataraj is shown with four hands represent the cardinal directions.
5-He is dancing, with his left foot elegantly raised and the right foot on a prostrate figure — 'Apasmara Purusha', the personification of illusion and ignorance over whom Shiva triumphs.
6-The upper left hand holds a flame, the lower left-hand points down to the dwarf, who is shown holding a cobra. The upper right-hand holds an hourglass drum or 'dumroo' that stands for the male-female vital principle, the lower shows the gesture of assertion: "Be without fear." 7-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 within an arch of flames representing the endless cycle of birth and death. On his head is a skull, which symbolizes his conquest over death.
8-Goddess Ganga, the epitome of the holy river Ganges, also sits on his hairdo. His third eye is symbolic of his omniscience, insight, and enlightenment. The whole idol rests on a lotus pedestal, the symbol of the creative forces of the universe. THE SCHOOLS & VIEWS OF SHAIVA;--
09 FACTS;-- 1-Nayanars (or Nayanmars), saints from Southern India, were mostly responsible for development of Śaivism in the Middle Ages. Of the schools today, many Śaivite sects are in Kashmir and Northern India, with Lingayats and Virasaivas from Southern India.
2-The Saiva Siddhanta is a major Śaivite theory developed in Southern India.Śhiva's life is often depicted in short stage dramas to help his devotees (particularly nayanmars) better understand his aspects. This is greatly explained in the Thiruvilayadalpuram. This form is especially prevalent in South India, particularly Tamil Nadu. 3-In Gaudiya Vaishnavism he is considered the best of devotee of Vishnu (vaisnavanam yatha sambhu) and also an aspect of Vishnu.
4-The example of milk and yogurt is used to describe their difference in Brahma Samhita. He is depicted as meditating on Sankarsana, an expansion of Balarama. He also plays an important role in Sri Krishna-lila as Kshetra-pala, protector of Vrindavan, holy dham of Sri Krishna. As Gopisvara Mahadeva he also guards rasa-lila grounds.
5-Urdhvamnaya Tantra, is ascribed to him. This tantra, contemporarily available only in parts, is praised in chapter 3 of the Kularnava Tantra as 'the secret of secrets'.Śhiva is an icon of masculinity. In mythology and
folklore, he can be interpreted to inspire masculine characteristics of the most extreme: absolute virility and fertility; aggression, rage and supreme powers in war; his resolve, meditation is absolute, as is his love for his consort. This form of Shiva is strongly worshipped in Tantric Hinduism. 6-Apart from Shaivism, Śhiva also inspires Shaktism in Hinduism, which is strong in Assam and West Bengal, the eastern states of India. Shakti is the root power, force of Śhiva. Shakti, his prime consort, is the female half of the Supreme Godhead.
7-It is the root of the life force of every living being, and the entire Universe. The bond of absolute love, devotion and passion which embodies the existence of Śhiva and 8-Shakti, is considered the Ultimate Godhead form by itself, that a man is an incomplete half without a woman, who is the Ardhangini, (the Other Half) of his existence and power. 9-The pilgrimage to Amarnath (just over the Chinese line of the Himalayas, deep in the highest mountains of the world, on Mount Kailash) and Anantnag in Kashmir are the most difficult and dangerous, yet exalted pilgrimages for Hindus of all sects, ethnic origins and classes. The glaciers in sacred caves forms the Shivalinga or the natural embodiment of his linga.