“The name Shiva derives from a Sanskrit root that means “liberation” and liberation or freedom is what the dancing four-armed Shiva Nataraja expresses. He can’t stop the passage of time or the fire that surrounds him, but he can find bliss amid the chaos. His dreadlocks shake as he balance on the demon of avidya, or ignorance. In one of his hands he hold a drum on which he beats the passage of time. Another hand holds a conch shell, recalling the power of the sound of Om that reverberates through the universe. In a third hand, the flame of vidya, or knowledge, revels the internal light of our true nature. On of Shiva’s right hands is held up in Abhaya Mudra, a gesture of fearlessness. It’s the fearlessness that comes from knowing one’s own transcendent nature–that though the mortal formal you inhabit will change and die, there is an energy within you that will continue on, like a pulsation of an atom or the light from the supernova a dying star that reaches earth with its beauty.”
“Shiva’s hear is the center of the wheel; the hub that stabilizes him within the great cycles of cosmic change. The image is a reminder that you, too, can live from your center and dance, celebrating life’s ups and downs, knowing that a part of you is connected to all the pulsation of time and space.”
“Natarajasana is an homage to this idea that you can be steady and joyful at your center while change happens around you. When you make the shape of the pose, you embody both the wheel of samsara and the hub….”
And this, from the New York Times, see next post.