Thandavam or Cosmic Dance

ARUDRA DARSHAN, is the day of the `Sight of Siva’, when He danced as Nataraja, the cosmic dance of creation and dissolution of the universe.
The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva (Nataraja) represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and apocalypse. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and this is the source of all energy.
The Lord danced in ecstasy in the Chitsabha. From the Damaru or Udukkai in his hands, the drum sounds and alphabets were born. The swift-footed deer that He holds in his hand represents the human mind. The skin of tiger that the Lord is attired with represents Ahankara – or ego – that He killed. The river Ganges flowing out of his matted hair represents Chit Sakthi – wisdom – and the Crescent Moon that He wears is representative of the blissfulness of the Soul.
The dance of Shiva has been discussed by many scholars.
1. It is a symbol of his rhythmic play as the source of all movements within the cosmos
2. The dance is to release the countless souls of men from the snare of illusion
3. The place of the dance – Chidambaram, the centre of the Universe – is within the heart. Chit means Heart or Soul, Sabha the Place or the Body.

The dancers in India first pay respect to Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer and start their performance. The very form of the dance posture is under research which is a perfect answer to gravity, balance, motion of the Cosmos and the same dance is taking inside us. We pray to Lord Shiva to restore the balance in me who keeps the Cosmos in balance.
The cosmic dance is of many varieties.

Siva Thandavam is a form of cosmic dance by Lord Siva in Chidambaram which consists of 108 Karanams. Siva Thaandavam is a cosmic dance of creation, protection and destruction. Other forms of Cosmic Dance of Lord Siva are Ananda Thaandavam, Sandya Thaandavam, Kalika Thaandavam, Vijaya Thaandavam, Oorthva Thaandavam, Uma Thaandavam and Samhara Thaandavam.

Miracles or ‘Thiru Vilayadal’ are countless, performed by Lord Shiva for his devotees. There was a devotee who burnt all the lamps in a Temple with water. If the Lord wishes he can burn a lamp with water!


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