Cosmic Dance Of Shiva

Cosmic Dance Of Shiva

Human existence in the world still feels like a mystery to many experts and scientists. There are a lot of questions that do not have any answers. A theory suggests that our entire universe is a mix of various particles that follow supreme energy rules. In Hinduism, many saints and sages have explained that the world is as simple as it is complex to understand. You have to enlighten yourself to know the real meaning of the universe and its existence.

The cosmic dance of Shiva is called the Tandava. Lord Shiva or Shiva Natraja performs the Tandava to bring energetic vibration to the entire universe. This dance form of Lord Shiva also depicts another famous form of Shiva, Nataraja. The dance of Shiva or Tandava has two different states, and the cosmic dance of the Shiva also defines the true energy of himself as Lord Nataraja, the god of dance.

Forms of the Dance of Shiva - Tandava

The two forms of Tandava, the cosmic dance of Shiva or god nataraja are Rudra Tandava and Ananda Tandava. Let us understand both the dance of shiva.


Rudra Tandava:

Lord Shiva or Nataraja is one of the three Tridev, Brahma – the creator of the universe, Vishnu – the preserver of the world and Lord Shiva – the destroyer. Rudra Tandava is the cosmic dance of Shiva, and it symbolises the destruction of the world. The destruction doesn’t mean the end of the world. The dance of shiva is the destruction of the evil within us. It also signifies getting out of the cycle of birth and death. Rudra Tandava brings new life after the destruction of evil.

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Ananda Tandava:

This dance of Shiva in the form of his purest existence transforms into Shivam – the Satchidananda state of mind. Unlike Rudra Tandava, the dance of shiva is not associated with the end of the birth and death cycle. The cosmic dance of Shiva or Lord Nataraja is the symbol of overwhelming emotions and happiness. It is the true sense of absolute joy of life that is not touched by the mundane world.

These two forms of the dance of Shiva shows the distinct persona of Lord Shiva or God Natraj. Rudra Tandava is like a fire, and Ananda Tandava is the pure bliss of Shiva’s dance.

Meaning of the Cosmic Dance of Shiva

In the Hindu religion, as per the mythology, Tandava – the cosmic dance of Shiva can create the universe and destroy it. The meaning of the cosmic dance of shiva is the energy vibrations in the world when Lord Shiva dances in the form of Lord Nataraja, the god of dance.

There is no Adi (Beginning) or Anta (End) of Lord Shiva. In Hinduism, people believe that our universe is on the lap of Lord Shiva and the Nataraja form of Shiva is the symbol of the birth and death cycle in a dancing way. Nataraja form of Shiva and the cosmic dance of Shiva together are the symbol of the circle of life in the world.

Tandava, the dance of shiva, is not just a simple dance to entertain the crowd. It is the actual form of dancing by the world’s best dancer Lord Nataraja. Even scientists have an opinion that the universe is nothing less than a dance of different particles. Nataraja Dance is the sacred dancing form, and it signifies the creation and destruction with the shake of the leg.

Do you know about the Dancing Avatar of Lord Nataraja ? 

The Lasya - Tandav Association

Lasya is the dance performed by Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. She responds to the Tandava dance of Shiva with the Lasya dance movements. This style of shaking a leg is the symbol of happiness, grace and beauty of the universe. Goddess Parvati is the Adi Shakti, and she is also the Prakriti and both ShivShakti balance the energy of the universe.

The Nataraja Statue

The Hindu mythology describes Nataraja as the Dance God and form of Lord Shiva. There is a mention of the Nataraja statue at Ellora caves and Badami Caves around the 6th century BC. Another Bronze Nataraja Statue is from the 10th century BC and associated with the Chola Dynasty of Southern India. The Bronze Nataraja statue is presently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Lord Krishna and The Cosmic Dance of Shiva

Tandava is also associated with Lord Krishna. In his childhood, Lord Krishna was playing with his friends at the banks of the river Yamuna. The toy fell into the river, and Krishna went on to dive in the river. At that time, Kaliya Nag, a mighty snake and his family, lived inside the river. Due to the Snake’s venom, the water of the river turned into poison.

Lord Krishna reached Kaliya’s hideout and taught him a lesson. He promised to leave the river and also take the poison out of it. He then commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna by allowing him to stand on his head. Lord Krishna then danced on his head, and the dance form was the Tandava.

The Meaning of Nataraja Form

Lord Shiva takes the pose of Nataraja while he performs the cosmic dance called Tandava. The Nataraja form signifies that this art is born out of the great Lord Shiva and establishes Shiva as lord of the dance. Let us understand the Nataraja form in detail.

  • In the Nataraja form, Lord Shiva stands on his left leg and uplift the right leg. This is a Natya Shastra pose of Lord Shiva ecstatically.
  • The Lord Nataraja holds fire in his back left hand, and the front hand is in the form of an elephant, also known as Gajahasta Mudra. This pose is also called Dandahasta.
  • One hand on the front side has a snake around it that shows the Abhaya or the one without any fear. There is a Damru, a musical instrument like a Dhol in another hand at the back. This is also known as the Damaru Hasta Mudra, which means time and rhythm.
    Lord Nataraja is decorated with many attractive items, and all of them have symbolic importance of their own.
  • The Nataraja form explains that Lord Shiva has immense strength, yet he is calm and composed in this pose. He has three eyes that signify the sun, the moon, and the third one for the eternal knowledge source.
  • The Lord Nataraja is standing on a pedestal of lotus and surrounded by a circular fire frame, which means the universe itself. As per Hindu mythology, the circular perimeter of fire behind the Lord Nataraja is Prabha Mandala. It is the symbolic representation of the life-cycle, creation and end of everything.
  • This form has a dwarf demon under it, known as Apasmara Purusha. He is the symbol of evil. Thus, ultimately this pose shows the demolishing the evil and rising above it with power.

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Wrapping Up

Lord Shiva, in the form of Nataraja, performs Tandava, the cosmic dance of shiva. The Dance form is the portrayal of the circle of life and its connection with the cosmos. It also symbolises the flow of energy to know the ultimate self. Many sages and saints believe that our life and the world are connected with each other. Also, as per the theory of cause and effect, through the dance at the similar rhythm of the universe, we are one and the same as the world.