photo-66Of all Hindu Gods I find Shiv to be the most interesting. He is almost a mystery – a figure to be loved, revered and also, feared.

His avatar as Nataraj, the cosmic dancer is especially evocative.. brimming as it does with energy and power, it lends a sense of oneness with the universe through dance. (Another Shiv avatar I am fascinated by is the Ardhanareshwar)

As a symbol, Shiv Nataraj is a brilliant invention. It combines in a single image, Shiv’s roles as creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Hindu conception of the never-ending cycle of time. Although it appeared in sculpture as early as the fifth century, its present, world-famous form evolved under the rule of the Cholas. Shiv’s dance is set within a flaming halo with metaphors for every “mudra” of his.

~The God holds in his upper right hand the damru (hand…

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