Sunday, September 23, 2018

NATARAJA PUJA

Significance of Lord Nataraja
Sri Nataraja is the dancing form of Lord Shiva.  The cosmic dance of lord Shiva is called 'Anandatandava,' meaning the Dance of Bliss, and symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy—creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. The dance of Shiva also represents his five activities: 'Shrishti' (creation, evolution); 'Sthiti' (preservation, support); 'Samhara' (destruction, evolution); 'Tirobhava' (illusion); and 'Anugraha' (release, emancipation, grace).
Sri Nataraja is shown with four hands representing the cardinal directions. He is dancing, with his 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, who is shown holding a cobra. The upper right-hand holds the 'damaru' that stands for the male-female vital principle, the lower shows the gesture of assertion: "Be without fear."
Serpents that stand for egotism, 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 head is a skull, which symbolizes his conquest over death. Goddess Ganga, 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. The circle of fire represents the cosmos and especially consciousness. The cobra around Sri Nataraja's waist is kundalini shakthi, the soul-impelling cosmic power resident within all.

Arudra / Ardra is the name of a star and is the birth star of Lord Shiva (Rudra).