Today, we are interested in one of the most famous manifestations of the Indian God Shiva: Shiva Nataraja.
Nataraja literally means Sanskrit "king of dance". Indeed, the terms "Nata" and "Raja" mean respectively "God" and "king". Master of creation and destruction, it punctures the whole universe thanks to its cosmic dances.
Let's go in more detail in this story.
The god of dance
For Hindus, the dance existed already before the world, because it is the king of the dance that created the world by practicing the dance of bliss.
The succession of cosmic cycles are represented by the flame circle that surrounds Shiva, and it carries a diadem channing the descent of the Celestial Ganges
Shiva has four arms: he holds a drum, called Damaru, in his highest right hand, his other right hand is in a position called Abhaya-mudra, a gesture of protection. The hope of liberation is represented by his lower left hand, which shows his leg lifted.
The importance of dance in India
In India, dance is a very important activity. It makes it possible to unite with the divine by reaching ecstasy. As God of dance, Shiva Nataraja is venerated by all Indian dancers.
A temple is also erected in his honor in Chidambaram, or the postures of the Bharata Natyam are engraved in the stone. This temple will have been built according to the legend at the very place or Shiva executed the dance of Tandava.