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Nataraja in Art, Thought And Literature
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Nataraja in Art, Thought And Literature
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About The Book

Nataraja as a theme represents life force itself. The ancients visualised Nataraja as a manifestation of the cosmic energy symbolising the three aspects of creation, preservation and destruction. The dance of Nataraja has always been synony- mously viewed with truth and beauty, force and rhythm, movement and change, realisation and dissolution. Nataraja has been visualised in a variety of forms by seers, poets and artists-chiselled, painted, described and sung about in many parts of India and countries in the neighbourhood since long. This itself is a testimony to the twin aspects of time and timelessness of Nataraja, both as a per- sonality and as a theme.

This book highlights Nataraja as the pre- siding deity of fine arts whether it be music, dance, painting, sculpture or epig- raphy. The Vedic roots of the cosmic dancer and the blend of tradition and modernity is woven as a thread through- out the book describing vividly the ex- ploits of the great dancer on world stage. It also contains interesting infor- mation on famous spots of the Nataraja theme and the concept of Nataraja be- yond Indian frontiers.

 

About The Author

Dr Sivaramamurthy has been one of the most acclaimed art historians of this coun- try. He had devoted an entire life time to iconography, especially to the Nataraja theme. This book is an outcome of his research as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship awarded to him in 1968. Some of the other books of the author include South Indian Paintings, Some Aspects of Indian Culture, Indian Sculpture and San- skrit Literature and Art.

 

Preface

Towards the end of 1968, I was very kindly offered a Fellowship by the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund. Nothing could have made me happier than to associate myself in a dedicated work with the name of the greatest beacon of light in India in our times. This in itself I considered an augury indeed of accomplishment of the best in research on any chosen theme. I can neither forget the encouraging exhortation of Miss. Padmaja Naidu to do my very best on a chosen theme, nor the delightful choice of theme so kindly suggested by Dr. Karan Singh, both of which constituted the initial blessing for godspeed as I started on my subject of research. Nataraja has always been a favourite theme of mine. As long ago as when I was a research student in the Madras University I had my own peculiar musings on Nataraja. "How would have Nataraja been depicted in the time of Bhaqavan Patanjali?" would be my query, and I would fancy him dancing with a single pair of arms (bahubhyam uta te nemeh). wearing his locks in ushnisha fashion (namah) kapardine, UShniShine) in the dance hall of the universe (namas sabhabhyas sabhapatibhyascha) holding the snakes (ehimscha sarvan jambhayan), himself lit up with a glow (tvisbimate), sounding the drum (namo dundubhyaya chahananyaya cha). I

would then wonder how wonderful he would have looked in the hey day of South Indian art, during the time of the Pallavas with the peculiar make up of his jatas, the yajnopavita flowing over his right arm, all his four arms in natyahastas or carrying attributes, a host of carvings from the Rajasimhesvara temple in Kanchipuram fleeting before my minds's eye. I would pause and sketch the pictures of my fancy in the appropriate style of the period, the second century B.C. and the eight century A.D. respectively. My fancy would next imagine my favourite sivatandavastotra to which I was always attracted by its remarkable alliteration, resonance and dance rhythm, not precluding its possible composition by a genius not inferior to Havana to whom it is traditionally attributed, and wonder how it would have been written by a scribe of Patanjali's time or by a contemporary of the Pallavas. I would then scribble it out with all the fervour and enthusiasm of a youngster fervently studying Indian palaeography. The result is in the two sketches on p. ix and the first three verses transcribed in Brahmi of the second century B.C. and in Pallava Grantha of the eighth century A.D.

Nataraja has always been a favourite theme of mine. I had discussed some aspects of Nataraja. the Lord of Dance, in appropriate context in several of my books but I could never imagine, until I took up this theme as a complete unit in itself for elaborate study, how vast was its scope. The material that I have collected is no doubt vast, but as I worked I realised that the theme is inexhaustible. Nataraja was no longer just in the golden hall at Chidambaram. His dance halls appeared all over our vast country. Nataraja ceased to be a theme mainly for sculptures in stone and metal in South India, and became manifest as a great concept spread allover the country-to the south, west, north and east. It did not stop at that. A magnificent theme like this, the very symbol of Indian art, thought and culture, undoubtedly cannot be confined to a limited sphere and I rightly found it everywhere, beyond the Indian frontiers, nearly allover Asia.

Finally, when I recall how Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the scholar, statesman, with a heart as wide as the ocean for appreciation of all that was good and worthy of encouragement, called for my tiny little book, the first to see the light of day, and showered his blessings on a young and unknown scholar, I feel that this great honour conferred on me, almost towards the end of my career, is indeed a supreme satisfaction for me as an author. This call asking me to conduct research on a noble theme with a fellowship instituted in the name of the noblest son of India, so that I could have his blessings again, is almost a fulfilment of all the writing in which I have been engaged all these years. I have done my best in preparing this volume on Nataraia. for which I have gathered material both literary and artistic from all over India, nay Asia and the rest of the world. My satisfaction would be complete if this book could be, as I hope, an adequate offering to the memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in whose name, this fellowship has held out for me an almost impossible ideal to accomplish.

On the third of January 1969, I bowed to the Dancing Lord at Chidambaram after witnessing his sandal bath in cold mid-winter on the sacred day of the constellation of Ardra, just as did, on the selfsame day, my ancestor of the seventeenth remote, in the sixteenth century, and composed a significant verse (given on page vi) and I commenced my study of this theme, and again on the same occasion on January 10, 1971 I completed it with the satisfaction that it has been possible to elucidate to an extent the import of the Lord's dance.

I am thankful to the Ministry of Education for permission accorded to me to take up this fellowship from the day I went on leave preparatory to relinquishing charge of the Directorship of the National Museum. It is my great pleasure to thank my colleagues in the Archaeological Survey of India and from the different Museums allover India, the Archaeological Departments in different States in India, and colleagues from Museums in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Pakistan and Ceylon. In addition to help that I have received from all these colleagues, other individuals and institutions have also extended their hand of cooperation and help. I must thank here Monsieur J. Daridan, the former French Ambassador in India, the Academy of the American Institute of Indian Studies, Banaras, and the French Academy at Pondicherry for very kindly supplying me a number of photographs as an encouraging gift for helping me in this work.

For personally acquainting myself with the famous Polonnaruva bronzes, studied in the early years of this century by Dr. Coomaraswamy and Sir P. Ramanathan, as also the ones discovered just a decade ago and discussed by Dr. Godakumbura, I had requested help from Dr. D. H. P. H. de Silva, Director of the National Museum, Colombo, who very readily responded. I cannot be adequately thankful to him and to his colleagues and to Dr. R. H. de Silva, Commissioner of the Archaeological Department in Ceylon, for all the help that was accorded to me when I was there. I was specially taken to Anuradhapura at short notice, where I could study the bronzes from Polonnaruva unearthed in 1960. Mr. Haque, the Director of the Dacca Museum very kindly provided me with photographs of the dancing Siva, described by Dr. N. K. Bhattasali, and two additional ones he had collected recently for the Museum.

The very first photograph to start my study of Nataraja was kindly supplied by Mrs. Pupul Jayakar who has one of the earliest and the most magnificent of Nataraja sculptures in her own collection, a Gupta one from Nachna. I am most grateful to her for this aid.

Recently, when Mr. Khandalavala visited the Cleveland Museum of Art in the United States of America, he noticed a dancing figure of Siva of the Basohli school and thoughtfully arranged for a photograph of it to help me in my study. To him and to Mrs. Margaret Marcus of the Cleveland Museum I am most grateful for helping me with the photograph.

Photographs most difficult to obtain were those required from Vietnam. These were very kindly procured and sent by Professor M. Jean Filliozat to whom I am most beholden.

Dr. Grace Morley, Head of the ICOM Regional Agency in Asia, has not only with infinite patience gone through this large volume of text and offered many valuable suggestions, but also, whenever out touring in South East Asia, had always my 'Nataraja' in mind to obtain, if possible, rare photographs that I might require. She thus procured some photos from Vietnam and Indonesia through the kindness of her friends Mr. Carl Heffley and Mr. Lee Fickle from Vietnam and Indonesia respectively. To both of them I offer my thanks, but I know not how to adequately thank Dr. Morley for all this kindness that she has bestowed on me.

A photograph of the most beautiful Gurjara Pratihara image of Ardhanarisvara was kindly made available by Rajamata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur to whom I am most grateful.

 

Contents

 

CHAPTER 1 NATARAJA-THE LORD OF DANCE 1
CHAPTER 2 NATYA 8
  A Peasant Ocular Sacrifice  
  Its Scope  
  Purpose of Natya  
  Its Varieties: Tandava and Lasya  
  Marga and Desi Varieties  
  The Occasion of Dance  
  Dance as Vyanjana or Suggestion Superior to Abhidha Utterance  
  Formless Siva Assumes From to Enjoy Dance  
  Other Important Deities also Delight in Dance  
  Appreciation of Dance  
  Knowledge of Dance a Blessing  
  The Quality of a Dancer  
  Essentials of Dance  
  Sculptor's Interpretation of Dance  
  Antiquity of Natya  
CHAPTER 3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SIVA'S DANCE 21
  Dance of Bliss  
  Dance of Omnipotence  
  Dance of Immanence  
  Dance of Time and Eternity  
  Dance of Omniscience  
  Dance Symbol of Creation and Sustenance  
  Maya  
  Ashtamurti  
  The Import of the Decoration of Siva's Jatas (Aharya)  
  Creation and Destruction only Transformation and Rejuvenation  
  Symbol of Life  
  Siva Auspicious  
  Destroys Fear from the Three Miseries  
  Architecture of the Universe  
  Significance of Siva on the Bull as on Apasmara  
  Dvandvasama  
  Isvara's Preeminence  
  Siva the Universal Soul Dancing in the Heart-Lotus  
  Nataraja and Ranganatha as Dynamic and Static Aspects of Identical Concept  
CHAPTER 4 KARANAS PRESENTED IN SIVA'S TANDAVA 39
CHAPTER 5 KARANAS PRESENTED BY VISHNU AS KRISHNA 56
CHAPTER 6 GANESHA, DIKPALAS AND MATRIKAS DANCE IN ACCOMPANIMENT 66
CHAPTER 7 THE VEDIC ROOTS OF THE CONCEPT OF THE DANCER 74
  Siva as Dancer in the Mahabharata  
  Siva Propounds Grammar  
  Siva, Master of Music  
  Sabhapati  
  Vyaghrapada and Patanjali  
  Dance and Music in the Veda  
  Indra and Other Vedic Deities as Dancer  
  Siva's Dance against this Background  
  Remover of Maya  
  Sahasraksha  
  Pasupati  
  Maddens Rishipantnis  
  Khatvangi  
  Gajantaka  
  Dance with Matrikas  
CHAPTER 8 NATARAJA PICTURED IN LITERATURE 81
  Literature Description of Siva's Form  
  Play of Clours  
  Blend of Iconographic Forms  
  The Third Eye  
  Ardhanarisvara Aspect  
  Aharya  
  Tandava: Mountains Tossed  
  Against Elephant Hide  
  Handicaps in Dance Movements  
  Raudra Rasa of Tandava and Bhavabhinaya  
  Nilakantha and Nilakantha  
  Forest of Arms in Motion  
  Ganga's Movement  
  Stars Scattered  
  Ashes Scattered  
  The Moon Slips  
  Effect of swift Movement of Hands and Feet  
  Skulls Vivified Chant Laudatory Hymns  
  Rechaka of Neck  
  Siva's Dance of Deluge also for Creation  
  Weird Effect of the Dance  
  Ganga as Curtain Background  
  Velocity of Dance Movement  
  A Pause  
  Dance Again  
  Abhinaya  
  Music and Dance  
  Siva Natyacharya  
  Siva Withesses Dance as a Rasika  
CHAPTER 9 NATARAJA IN HYMNAL LITERATURE 112
  Onomatopoeic  
  Poetic Fancy  
  Siva Connoisseur, Dancer, Dance Master  
  Difficult Dance  
  Multi-armed  
  Immaculate  
  Purana  
  Philosophic Import  
  Composite Iconographic Import  
  Vedic Hemistichs to Elucidate  
  Sabhapati  
  Ardhanarisvara  
  Stores on Nataraja at Chidambaram  
  Devi Witness of Siva's Dance  
CHAPTER 10 NATARAJA IN EPIGRAPHICAL LITERATURE 131
  Dedication of and to Nataraja in Inscription  
  Synonyms of Nataraja  
  Siva Dance concept Popular All Over  
  Nilakantha  
  Violent Tandava  
  Tandava and Lasya in One: Ardhanarisvara  
  Siva Dance Gathers Momentum  
  Varied Fancy on Ganga Split  
  Skulls Revived  
  Kailasa is no Dance Hall  
  Siva Dance and Expounds Grammar  
  Ashes to Purify  
  Panchakritya  
  Thunderous Foot Pats  
  Beautifying Nataraja  
  Onomatopoeic  
  Abhinaya of Devi  
  Padmanabha Fond of Dance  
  Contradictory Qualities  
CHAPTER 11 VARIETIES OF NATARAJA AS DESCRIBED IN SILPA TEXTS 139
  Sakaladhikara  
  Sritattvanidhi  
  Silparatna  
  Amsumadbhedagama  
  Silpa Prakasa  
  Devatamurtiprakarana  
  Vishnudharmottara  
  Matsyapurana  
  Kurmapurana  
  Chaturvargachintamani  
  Stotra  
CHAPTER 12 AESTHETIC QUALITY OF THE CONCEPT 149
CHAPTER 13 NATARAJA FORM IN SCULPTURE AND PAINTING 156
  Early Siva Forms  
  Gupta  
  Vakataka  
  Early Bhanja  
  Vishnukundin  
  Early Pallava  
  Early Western Chalukya  
  Easter Chalukya  
  Pallava  
  Early Pandya  
  Early Chera  
  Nolamba  
  Rashtrakuta  
  Chola  
  Late Chalukya  
  Hoysala  
  Kakatiya  
  Reddi  
  Vijayanagara  
  Nayak  
  Medieval Kerala  
  Eastern Ganga  
  Pala and Sena  
  Kamarupa  
  Karkota and Utpala  
  Gurjara Pratihara  
  Chaulukya  
  Paramara  
  Chandella  
  Haihaya  
  Gahadavala  
  Late Medieval Paintings from the Hills  
CHAPTER 14 THE NATARAJA CONCEPT BEYOND INDIAN FRONTIERS 336
  Introduction  
  Indonesia  
  Bali  
  Cambodia  
  Champa  
  Thailand  
  Central Asia  
  Nepal  
  Ceylon  
CHAPTER 15 SPOTS SPECIALLY ASSOCIATED WITH NATARAJA AND THEIR IMPORTANCE 365
  Adrisabha  
  Adichitsabha  
  Ratnasabha  
  Rajatasabha  
  Ramrasabha  
  Chitrasabha  
  Kanakasabha  
  APPENDIX A 373
  APPENDIX B 375
  BIBLIOGRAPHY 383
  INDEX 389
Sample Pages
















Nataraja in Art, Thought And Literature

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1994
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About The Book

Nataraja as a theme represents life force itself. The ancients visualised Nataraja as a manifestation of the cosmic energy symbolising the three aspects of creation, preservation and destruction. The dance of Nataraja has always been synony- mously viewed with truth and beauty, force and rhythm, movement and change, realisation and dissolution. Nataraja has been visualised in a variety of forms by seers, poets and artists-chiselled, painted, described and sung about in many parts of India and countries in the neighbourhood since long. This itself is a testimony to the twin aspects of time and timelessness of Nataraja, both as a per- sonality and as a theme.

This book highlights Nataraja as the pre- siding deity of fine arts whether it be music, dance, painting, sculpture or epig- raphy. The Vedic roots of the cosmic dancer and the blend of tradition and modernity is woven as a thread through- out the book describing vividly the ex- ploits of the great dancer on world stage. It also contains interesting infor- mation on famous spots of the Nataraja theme and the concept of Nataraja be- yond Indian frontiers.

 

About The Author

Dr Sivaramamurthy has been one of the most acclaimed art historians of this coun- try. He had devoted an entire life time to iconography, especially to the Nataraja theme. This book is an outcome of his research as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship awarded to him in 1968. Some of the other books of the author include South Indian Paintings, Some Aspects of Indian Culture, Indian Sculpture and San- skrit Literature and Art.

 

Preface

Towards the end of 1968, I was very kindly offered a Fellowship by the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund. Nothing could have made me happier than to associate myself in a dedicated work with the name of the greatest beacon of light in India in our times. This in itself I considered an augury indeed of accomplishment of the best in research on any chosen theme. I can neither forget the encouraging exhortation of Miss. Padmaja Naidu to do my very best on a chosen theme, nor the delightful choice of theme so kindly suggested by Dr. Karan Singh, both of which constituted the initial blessing for godspeed as I started on my subject of research. Nataraja has always been a favourite theme of mine. As long ago as when I was a research student in the Madras University I had my own peculiar musings on Nataraja. "How would have Nataraja been depicted in the time of Bhaqavan Patanjali?" would be my query, and I would fancy him dancing with a single pair of arms (bahubhyam uta te nemeh). wearing his locks in ushnisha fashion (namah) kapardine, UShniShine) in the dance hall of the universe (namas sabhabhyas sabhapatibhyascha) holding the snakes (ehimscha sarvan jambhayan), himself lit up with a glow (tvisbimate), sounding the drum (namo dundubhyaya chahananyaya cha). I

would then wonder how wonderful he would have looked in the hey day of South Indian art, during the time of the Pallavas with the peculiar make up of his jatas, the yajnopavita flowing over his right arm, all his four arms in natyahastas or carrying attributes, a host of carvings from the Rajasimhesvara temple in Kanchipuram fleeting before my minds's eye. I would pause and sketch the pictures of my fancy in the appropriate style of the period, the second century B.C. and the eight century A.D. respectively. My fancy would next imagine my favourite sivatandavastotra to which I was always attracted by its remarkable alliteration, resonance and dance rhythm, not precluding its possible composition by a genius not inferior to Havana to whom it is traditionally attributed, and wonder how it would have been written by a scribe of Patanjali's time or by a contemporary of the Pallavas. I would then scribble it out with all the fervour and enthusiasm of a youngster fervently studying Indian palaeography. The result is in the two sketches on p. ix and the first three verses transcribed in Brahmi of the second century B.C. and in Pallava Grantha of the eighth century A.D.

Nataraja has always been a favourite theme of mine. I had discussed some aspects of Nataraja. the Lord of Dance, in appropriate context in several of my books but I could never imagine, until I took up this theme as a complete unit in itself for elaborate study, how vast was its scope. The material that I have collected is no doubt vast, but as I worked I realised that the theme is inexhaustible. Nataraja was no longer just in the golden hall at Chidambaram. His dance halls appeared all over our vast country. Nataraja ceased to be a theme mainly for sculptures in stone and metal in South India, and became manifest as a great concept spread allover the country-to the south, west, north and east. It did not stop at that. A magnificent theme like this, the very symbol of Indian art, thought and culture, undoubtedly cannot be confined to a limited sphere and I rightly found it everywhere, beyond the Indian frontiers, nearly allover Asia.

Finally, when I recall how Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the scholar, statesman, with a heart as wide as the ocean for appreciation of all that was good and worthy of encouragement, called for my tiny little book, the first to see the light of day, and showered his blessings on a young and unknown scholar, I feel that this great honour conferred on me, almost towards the end of my career, is indeed a supreme satisfaction for me as an author. This call asking me to conduct research on a noble theme with a fellowship instituted in the name of the noblest son of India, so that I could have his blessings again, is almost a fulfilment of all the writing in which I have been engaged all these years. I have done my best in preparing this volume on Nataraia. for which I have gathered material both literary and artistic from all over India, nay Asia and the rest of the world. My satisfaction would be complete if this book could be, as I hope, an adequate offering to the memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in whose name, this fellowship has held out for me an almost impossible ideal to accomplish.

On the third of January 1969, I bowed to the Dancing Lord at Chidambaram after witnessing his sandal bath in cold mid-winter on the sacred day of the constellation of Ardra, just as did, on the selfsame day, my ancestor of the seventeenth remote, in the sixteenth century, and composed a significant verse (given on page vi) and I commenced my study of this theme, and again on the same occasion on January 10, 1971 I completed it with the satisfaction that it has been possible to elucidate to an extent the import of the Lord's dance.

I am thankful to the Ministry of Education for permission accorded to me to take up this fellowship from the day I went on leave preparatory to relinquishing charge of the Directorship of the National Museum. It is my great pleasure to thank my colleagues in the Archaeological Survey of India and from the different Museums allover India, the Archaeological Departments in different States in India, and colleagues from Museums in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Pakistan and Ceylon. In addition to help that I have received from all these colleagues, other individuals and institutions have also extended their hand of cooperation and help. I must thank here Monsieur J. Daridan, the former French Ambassador in India, the Academy of the American Institute of Indian Studies, Banaras, and the French Academy at Pondicherry for very kindly supplying me a number of photographs as an encouraging gift for helping me in this work.

For personally acquainting myself with the famous Polonnaruva bronzes, studied in the early years of this century by Dr. Coomaraswamy and Sir P. Ramanathan, as also the ones discovered just a decade ago and discussed by Dr. Godakumbura, I had requested help from Dr. D. H. P. H. de Silva, Director of the National Museum, Colombo, who very readily responded. I cannot be adequately thankful to him and to his colleagues and to Dr. R. H. de Silva, Commissioner of the Archaeological Department in Ceylon, for all the help that was accorded to me when I was there. I was specially taken to Anuradhapura at short notice, where I could study the bronzes from Polonnaruva unearthed in 1960. Mr. Haque, the Director of the Dacca Museum very kindly provided me with photographs of the dancing Siva, described by Dr. N. K. Bhattasali, and two additional ones he had collected recently for the Museum.

The very first photograph to start my study of Nataraja was kindly supplied by Mrs. Pupul Jayakar who has one of the earliest and the most magnificent of Nataraja sculptures in her own collection, a Gupta one from Nachna. I am most grateful to her for this aid.

Recently, when Mr. Khandalavala visited the Cleveland Museum of Art in the United States of America, he noticed a dancing figure of Siva of the Basohli school and thoughtfully arranged for a photograph of it to help me in my study. To him and to Mrs. Margaret Marcus of the Cleveland Museum I am most grateful for helping me with the photograph.

Photographs most difficult to obtain were those required from Vietnam. These were very kindly procured and sent by Professor M. Jean Filliozat to whom I am most beholden.

Dr. Grace Morley, Head of the ICOM Regional Agency in Asia, has not only with infinite patience gone through this large volume of text and offered many valuable suggestions, but also, whenever out touring in South East Asia, had always my 'Nataraja' in mind to obtain, if possible, rare photographs that I might require. She thus procured some photos from Vietnam and Indonesia through the kindness of her friends Mr. Carl Heffley and Mr. Lee Fickle from Vietnam and Indonesia respectively. To both of them I offer my thanks, but I know not how to adequately thank Dr. Morley for all this kindness that she has bestowed on me.

A photograph of the most beautiful Gurjara Pratihara image of Ardhanarisvara was kindly made available by Rajamata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur to whom I am most grateful.

 

Contents

 

CHAPTER 1 NATARAJA-THE LORD OF DANCE 1
CHAPTER 2 NATYA 8
  A Peasant Ocular Sacrifice  
  Its Scope  
  Purpose of Natya  
  Its Varieties: Tandava and Lasya  
  Marga and Desi Varieties  
  The Occasion of Dance  
  Dance as Vyanjana or Suggestion Superior to Abhidha Utterance  
  Formless Siva Assumes From to Enjoy Dance  
  Other Important Deities also Delight in Dance  
  Appreciation of Dance  
  Knowledge of Dance a Blessing  
  The Quality of a Dancer  
  Essentials of Dance  
  Sculptor's Interpretation of Dance  
  Antiquity of Natya  
CHAPTER 3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SIVA'S DANCE 21
  Dance of Bliss  
  Dance of Omnipotence  
  Dance of Immanence  
  Dance of Time and Eternity  
  Dance of Omniscience  
  Dance Symbol of Creation and Sustenance  
  Maya  
  Ashtamurti  
  The Import of the Decoration of Siva's Jatas (Aharya)  
  Creation and Destruction only Transformation and Rejuvenation  
  Symbol of Life  
  Siva Auspicious  
  Destroys Fear from the Three Miseries  
  Architecture of the Universe  
  Significance of Siva on the Bull as on Apasmara  
  Dvandvasama  
  Isvara's Preeminence  
  Siva the Universal Soul Dancing in the Heart-Lotus  
  Nataraja and Ranganatha as Dynamic and Static Aspects of Identical Concept  
CHAPTER 4 KARANAS PRESENTED IN SIVA'S TANDAVA 39
CHAPTER 5 KARANAS PRESENTED BY VISHNU AS KRISHNA 56
CHAPTER 6 GANESHA, DIKPALAS AND MATRIKAS DANCE IN ACCOMPANIMENT 66
CHAPTER 7 THE VEDIC ROOTS OF THE CONCEPT OF THE DANCER 74
  Siva as Dancer in the Mahabharata  
  Siva Propounds Grammar  
  Siva, Master of Music  
  Sabhapati  
  Vyaghrapada and Patanjali  
  Dance and Music in the Veda  
  Indra and Other Vedic Deities as Dancer  
  Siva's Dance against this Background  
  Remover of Maya  
  Sahasraksha  
  Pasupati  
  Maddens Rishipantnis  
  Khatvangi  
  Gajantaka  
  Dance with Matrikas  
CHAPTER 8 NATARAJA PICTURED IN LITERATURE 81
  Literature Description of Siva's Form  
  Play of Clours  
  Blend of Iconographic Forms  
  The Third Eye  
  Ardhanarisvara Aspect  
  Aharya  
  Tandava: Mountains Tossed  
  Against Elephant Hide  
  Handicaps in Dance Movements  
  Raudra Rasa of Tandava and Bhavabhinaya  
  Nilakantha and Nilakantha  
  Forest of Arms in Motion  
  Ganga's Movement  
  Stars Scattered  
  Ashes Scattered  
  The Moon Slips  
  Effect of swift Movement of Hands and Feet  
  Skulls Vivified Chant Laudatory Hymns  
  Rechaka of Neck  
  Siva's Dance of Deluge also for Creation  
  Weird Effect of the Dance  
  Ganga as Curtain Background  
  Velocity of Dance Movement  
  A Pause  
  Dance Again  
  Abhinaya  
  Music and Dance  
  Siva Natyacharya  
  Siva Withesses Dance as a Rasika  
CHAPTER 9 NATARAJA IN HYMNAL LITERATURE 112
  Onomatopoeic  
  Poetic Fancy  
  Siva Connoisseur, Dancer, Dance Master  
  Difficult Dance  
  Multi-armed  
  Immaculate  
  Purana  
  Philosophic Import  
  Composite Iconographic Import  
  Vedic Hemistichs to Elucidate  
  Sabhapati  
  Ardhanarisvara  
  Stores on Nataraja at Chidambaram  
  Devi Witness of Siva's Dance  
CHAPTER 10 NATARAJA IN EPIGRAPHICAL LITERATURE 131
  Dedication of and to Nataraja in Inscription  
  Synonyms of Nataraja  
  Siva Dance concept Popular All Over  
  Nilakantha  
  Violent Tandava  
  Tandava and Lasya in One: Ardhanarisvara  
  Siva Dance Gathers Momentum  
  Varied Fancy on Ganga Split  
  Skulls Revived  
  Kailasa is no Dance Hall  
  Siva Dance and Expounds Grammar  
  Ashes to Purify  
  Panchakritya  
  Thunderous Foot Pats  
  Beautifying Nataraja  
  Onomatopoeic  
  Abhinaya of Devi  
  Padmanabha Fond of Dance  
  Contradictory Qualities  
CHAPTER 11 VARIETIES OF NATARAJA AS DESCRIBED IN SILPA TEXTS 139
  Sakaladhikara  
  Sritattvanidhi  
  Silparatna  
  Amsumadbhedagama  
  Silpa Prakasa  
  Devatamurtiprakarana  
  Vishnudharmottara  
  Matsyapurana  
  Kurmapurana  
  Chaturvargachintamani  
  Stotra  
CHAPTER 12 AESTHETIC QUALITY OF THE CONCEPT 149
CHAPTER 13 NATARAJA FORM IN SCULPTURE AND PAINTING 156
  Early Siva Forms  
  Gupta  
  Vakataka  
  Early Bhanja  
  Vishnukundin  
  Early Pallava  
  Early Western Chalukya  
  Easter Chalukya  
  Pallava  
  Early Pandya  
  Early Chera  
  Nolamba  
  Rashtrakuta  
  Chola  
  Late Chalukya  
  Hoysala  
  Kakatiya  
  Reddi  
  Vijayanagara  
  Nayak  
  Medieval Kerala  
  Eastern Ganga  
  Pala and Sena  
  Kamarupa  
  Karkota and Utpala  
  Gurjara Pratihara  
  Chaulukya  
  Paramara  
  Chandella  
  Haihaya  
  Gahadavala  
  Late Medieval Paintings from the Hills  
CHAPTER 14 THE NATARAJA CONCEPT BEYOND INDIAN FRONTIERS 336
  Introduction  
  Indonesia  
  Bali  
  Cambodia  
  Champa  
  Thailand  
  Central Asia  
  Nepal  
  Ceylon  
CHAPTER 15 SPOTS SPECIALLY ASSOCIATED WITH NATARAJA AND THEIR IMPORTANCE 365
  Adrisabha  
  Adichitsabha  
  Ratnasabha  
  Rajatasabha  
  Ramrasabha  
  Chitrasabha  
  Kanakasabha  
  APPENDIX A 373
  APPENDIX B 375
  BIBLIOGRAPHY 383
  INDEX 389
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