Siva-Nataraja: the lord of the dance, drama and music Siva--the cosmic dancer, transformer, liberator.

Author:Merchant, Vasant V.

Siva as the cosmic dancer, as transformer, the liberator of energy from the spiraling and coiling nature, primordial, mysterious, symbol of spiritual ardor and passion for accomplishment and continuity of life, as the regenerator of the universe is the most classic and revered, well-known icon of Hinduism. The movements of Siva's dance orders the rhythms and melodies of the universe, at once a dance into meditative states of transcendence. His dance is the dance of cosmic evolution of matter which knows no beginning, no middle, and no end, and is entwined and engulfed in spirit--from cell to spirituality.

In consonance with the new age science and theoretical energy-physics, matter has transcended the process of showing connectedness with the whole and its interconnectedness within and without, with spirit, consciousness and energy moving in continual dance of transformation. Many parallels are found in Siva's dance representing the endless cycles of life, as they move from state to state, from morphose to metamorphoses. A new world view is emergent--one that is related closely to the views of mystics of all ages and traditions, and subtle energy medicine and science.

Siva is known as the destroyer of evil and ignorance, not destroyer for the sake of destruction, but for the sake of regeneration; transformation, transmutation, for recreating, cleansing out and eliminating the debris, the dross and the gross, transforming into strength, power, force (Shiva tramples the dwarf of ignorance and destroys Muyalakan, demons).

OM NAMO SIVAYAH as mantra represents fearlessness and protection against evil, accident, and death. Its philosophy of involution and evolution of energy and spirit leaves its imprint in every material, physical, fiber, nerve, cell, atom, molecule, proton, photon--the power to transcend--from the individual to the collectivity. In the words of Lama Angarika Govinda "to the enlightened man (human) whose consciousness embraces the universe, to him (her) the universe becomes his/her body".

In the yoga of the ida and pingala nadi blending into Sushumna from the physical, vital, mental and supramental, to infusing and permeating power of the spirit into matter, in the dynamic Tandava Nritya--dance of bliss--the body becomes the spirit, and explicates the ultimate principle of Beauty--Sundaram--in bhakti yoga, in devotion, purity, piety (in puja ritual) in integrating it with the Eternal Moral Order i.e. applying the principle of...

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