One of the great creations of Indian art is Shiva Nataraja, symbolizing the process of creation and dissolution in terms of the dynamic dance of the divinity. On a double lotus pedestal (mahambujapitha) and surrounded by an arch (tiruvasi) set with flames, lord Shiva, king of dancers, reveal himself. The arch springs from the lotus base, symbol of manifestation. The arch is the arch of nature; each flame flares up with the fire that is on earth, in the sky.
The prostrate shape of Apasmara purusa, the demon of forgetfulness, looks up to the dancing god to whose right foot he gives support. Bent at the ankle and knee, the right leg is a stroke of lightening shooting from the hips whereas the bent leg cuts across space and let flow its movement into the curves of the foot held aloft, symbol of liberation. A sash blown off the body in a sharp turn to the right touches the tiruvasi. Body, head and crown face forward with chin raised and shoulders steady, the front left arm carries its pendant hand across the body as the left leg is raised across space and the main right hand rises with the gesture of fearlessness. The two hands behind carry a rattle drum and a flame in each hand. The hair is a nimbus of swirling rays curving in space. If on the left, his scarf touches the tiruvasi, Shiva's snake raises its hood touching the arch on the right. The image as a whole is dynamic in symmetry.
Text created by Renu Rana..