Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Sculptures > Hindu > Shiva > Shiva – The Adi-Nratya Guru
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Shiva – The Adi-Nratya Guru

Shiva – The Adi-Nratya Guru

Shiva – The Adi-Nratya Guru

Sold Out (Can be backordered)

South Indian Temple Wood Carving
Artist: P. Sengottuvel

36.0" X 14.5" X 3.5"
8.4 Kg
Item Code:
$990.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 20 to 24 weeks
Advance to be paid now (% of product value): 20%
Balance to be paid once product is ready: 80%
The amount to be tendered as advance to back order this artwork: $198.00
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Shiva – The Adi-Nratya Guru

Verify the characters on the left

You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 7766 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This wood-statue, an excellent work of woodcarving, represents the six-armed Shiva as 'Adi-nratya-guru' – ever first teacher of dance. Shiva's statues in various postures of dance are abundant, and while describing such forms Shiva is often alluded to as the 'Adi-nratya-guru', an epithet which myths and texts give him – not a form revealing in a particular statue. He is, thus, 'Adi-nratya-guru' by scriptures – not by sculptures. In such statues he is represented either as performing a dance of vigour – 'anandatandava', or the dance of grace and beauty – 'lasya'; his form reveals dissolution, or creation; motion, or inertness; or, knowledge, or its beyondness. These are the aspects of Shiva, the dancer – not of Shiva, the 'Adiguru'. Guru – the Master, synthesises all them into his form, and the 'Adiguru', also all that, of which subsequent forms are offshoots.

The artist of this wood-piece has, however, wondrously translated into this form of Shiva this verbal analogy of the 'Adi-nratya-guru'. Shiva has not been represented in the statue as the dancer, but the Master dancer and the Innovator of dance-forms. In the sculpture, Shiva is absorbed into a dance form, which is manifold and reveals all essential 'bhavas' –aspects of existence. Shiva is known to have scanned cosmic disorder and incoherence into the vigorous and violent on the one hand, and the beauty, grace and delightful, on the other, both aspects revealing in his form as dance – 'tandava' and 'lasya', respectively. His rhythmic figure, curved on five stages at least, slightly deflecting right leg, emotionally charged face and breasts inflating with inner bliss reveal beauty and graciousness and are aspects of 'lasya'. His boisterously raised and disproportionately thrown left leg – not in accord with the rest of the figural anatomy, revealing vigour and violence, is an aspect of 'tandava'. Snake, so closely associated with Shiva, is not seen anywhere except encircling his left leg. In Indian tradition, snake is the symbol of agility and energy, and of death and long life – aspects of 'tandava', the dance of violent energy, and of dissolution and re-birth of life.

The dance is an activity, which reveals a 'bhava' – an aspect of that 'which is', that is, the existence. Such 'bhava'-revealing activity is fivefold – that which creates, sustains, veils, unveils, and destroys. The 'bhavas' that such activity – the dance reveals are six : 'shrishti' – creation; 'sanhara' – dissolution; 'vidya' – knowledge; 'avidya' – ignorance; 'gati' – motion; and 'agati' – inertness. As each of creation and dissolution, knowledge and ignorance, and motion and inertness contradict the other, in a dance they rarely appear together. This dance form of Shiva, however, unbelievably enshrines, not two but all six 'bhavas' together. The artist has ingeniously conceived the Shiva's form with six hands, each revealing a 'bhava' besides over-all rhythm, lyricism and aestheticism. The downwards cast middle right hand represents the gesture symbolising dissolution, while the golden mango – 'Hiranyagarbha' of the Rig-Veda, carrying middle left hand is symbolic of creation – re-birth of life, which the 'Hiranyagarbha' – the golden egg, seed or mango in the Rig-Veda symbolised. The upraised lower right hand, carrying rosary, is in 'vyakhyana-mudra' – the form making the mystery of existence known, while the upper left hand gesticulates that what is known is much less than what is beyond knowledge. The goad carrying upper right hand symbolizes motion, as the goad drives one to move, and the lower right hand, carrying noose that binds and renders motionless, represents inertness.

Sage Bharata, in his 'Natyashashtra, talks of four kinds of dances: ritual, non-ritual, abstract and interpretive. Ritual and non-ritual are objectives for which a dance was performed, and abstract and interpretive, the modes of dance. Like the classical 'Kathak', this dance form has the narrative thrust of Bharata's interpretive dance. The gesture of the upper left hand reveals the stage of 'varnan' – description of the theme, an aspect of almost all classical dances of India, and the middle right in 'vyakhyan-mudra' is the stage of entering into the mystery of the Cosmic Being. Various 'bhavas' are revealed using abstract symbols, which might have been the aspects of Bharata's abstract dance. If the upper left hand is in typical 'Kathak' posture, slightly deflecting right leg is a characteristic feature of 'Bharatanatyam' – another best-known classical dance of India.

Shiva's iconography is as much brilliant. The deity has been conceived with sharp feature typical of Chola bronzes. Oval face has an angular thrust with a protruding pointed chin. Lips are small but well-formed and cheeks a little prominent. The forehead, largely covered under the crown, has a prominent 'tripunda' mark. The towering 'jata-mukuta', ornamented with beads, laces and a narrow crown towards the forehead, is magnificent. Ornamentation is conventionalised except the sash loftily unfurling on sides. The 'prabha' – firearch, comprises of conventionalised banana creeper rising from the right sight and terminating on the left. Its end-part comprises a large bud. Perching on the creeper are three mythical parrots, two on the top and one seated isolated.

Delivered by to all international destinations within 3 to 5 days, fully insured.

Post a Comment
Post Review
  • I love the colors and the expression
    by Angela on 21st Feb 2007
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait
I am so very grateful for the many outstanding and interesting books you have on offer.
Hans-Krishna, Canada
Appreciate your interest in selling the Vedantic books, including some rare books. Thanks for your service.
Dr. Swaminathan, USA
I received my order today, very happy with the purchase and thank you very much for the lord shiva greetings card.
Rajamani, USA
I have a couple of your statues in your work is really beautiful! Your selection of books and really everything else is just outstanding! Namaste, and many blessings.
Thank you once again for serving life.
Gil, USa
Beautiful work on the Ganesha statue I ordered. Prompt delivery. I would order from them again and recommend them.
Jeff Susman
Awesome books collection. lots of knowledge available on this website
Pankaj, USA
Very easy to do business with your company.
Paul Gomez, USA
Love you great selection of products including books and art. Of great help to me in my research.
William, USA
Thank you for your beautiful collection.
Mary, USA
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India