• THE VITAL FORM AND SYMBOLISM IN A.K.COOMARASWAMY’S “THE DANCE OF SHIVA”


    Designation : Research Scholar, Marudhar Kesari Jain College for Women, Vaniyambadi, Vellore.


    Journal Name : Reserach maGma


    Publication Date : 11/10/2017




    Abstract :
    The dance of Shiva is the most important aspect of Hinduism. The Vedic religion as in Hindu mythology the dance of Shiva is a creation and destruction involving the whole cosmos: This cosmic dance of Shiva is called ‘Anandatandava’, the dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. This comic activity is the central motif of the dance. In a marvelously unified and dynamic composition expressing the rhythm and harmony of life, Nataraja is shown with four hands represent the cardinal directions. He is dancing with the left foot elegantly raised and the right foot on a prostrate figure-‘Apasmara Purusha’, the personification of illusion and ignorance over whom Shiva triumphs. The upper left hand holds a flame, the lower left-hand points down to the dwarf, is shown holding a cobra. The upper right holds an hour glass drum or ‘dumroo’ that stands for the male-female vital principle, the lower shows the gesture of assertion: “Be without fear”.” Snakes that stand for egoitism, are seen uncoiling from his arms, legs and hair, which is braided and bejeweled”. His matted locks are whirling as he dances within an arch of flames representing the endless cycle of birth and death. On his hand is a skull, which symbolizes his conquest over death. Goddess Ganga, the epitome of the holy river Ganges, also sits on his hairdo. His third eye is symbolic of his omniscience, insight, and enlightenment. The whole idol rests on a lotus pedestal, the symbol of the creative forces of the universe.


    Keywords :
    Aanandatandava, Preserver, Destroyer


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