But as Ganesha concentrated, his fat body took on an elegance all its own,
and his dance was as beautiful as the rhythm of the tides and the music of
the stars. Brahma's frown, trying hard to stay on his face, melted away, and
he broke into a smile.
"Truly you are a son of Shiva, Ganesha," said Brahma. "Like the strokes of a
pen that end each verse of a poem, Shiva's dance ends each cycle of
creation. But your dance - your dance has in it the laughter of creation
itself, the joy of the universe."
Finally Ganesha stamped and whittled, did a final whirl, and ended with his
feet planted squarely on the ground. He faced Brahma, laughing, and held his
right hand, palm facing out, in the gesture of blessing called the abhaya
Brahma bowed down to Ganesha in respect. "You who are young, yet have such
exquisite dancing in your soul, I bow to you. I was about to curse for
interrupting my thoughts, but now I bless you instead, O Ganesha. You will
be known by people as the Master of the Dance.All who perform this art in
town and in city, in temple and in court, must first invoke your blessing.
May it be so, as long as the earth shall live."
In the classical Indian dance style called Bharatanatyam, Ganesha's gesture
of blessing, the abhaya mudra, means "be not afraid." Even today, every
Bharatanatyam performance begins with a special brief dance that recalls
Ganesha's grace and seeks his blessings.
Krishnaswami, Uma. The Broken Tusk, Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha:
Calcutta, Rupa & Co, 1997.
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