Om is the most powerful sacred symbol in Hinduism that allows us to feel the universe in supreme consciousness by its vibrating chants. Nataraja form highlights Lord Shiva as the Lord of the Dance, who is the creator as well as the destructor of this universe. This sculpture justifies the cosmic mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ which means that universal consciousness is one which is Lord Shiva; standing on this dwarf demon, Apasmara, symbolic of avidya that encompasses ignorance. Highlighted on a supremely carved multilayered lotus leaf pedestal, Lord Shiva performs his Tandava depicting an immortal connection of religion and arts.
Shiva in this iconic posture of four hands and two legs positioned in an energetic dance, carries a damru (drum) producing cosmic sounds of past, present and future and agni (fire) in the left upper hand, signifying all the forces of creation and destruction; framed within a dynamic, solid and beautiful double ringed prabha mandala (arch of flames) representing that fire which creates and consumes everything and anything and moves in tune to the beats of Shiva’s drum and rhythm of his steps.
Garbed in his short dhoti and ornamented not only with alluring jewels but also with the deadly serpents that uncoil on every part of his body. His loosely tied long hairs of a yogi stream out in individual strands because of the fierceness and ecstasy of the dance; despite being immersed in his energetic dance, that slight smile on his face, showcases him as wearing the mask of god’s eternal essence.
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