Fierce Dancing Lord Nataraja
Nataraja is an apt representation of the extraordinarily rich and complex cultural heritage of India. In Sanskrit etymology, ‘Nata’ means dance and ‘Raja‘ means Lord, to which Shiva accurately complies as being the Lord of the dancers. This cosmic figure performs the dance of bliss (anandatandava) in a combined representation of creation, protection, destruction, embodiment and release. Sculpted in a unique colour combination of green and gold, the sculptor has kept up to the innate beauty of Shiva’s representation as Nataraja.
The Lord dances in a multilayered flaming halo called prabhamandala, which definitely here is an attraction to the sculpture, having the inner layers etched in a circular golden highlighted pattern and the outermost one is concerned with fearful flames of destruction, topped with a Kirtimukha face atop. Every bent of his legs, hands and the body stance is perfectly shaped as he stands with his right leg on the dwarf demon, Apasmara symbolic of ignorance and the lifted left leg reveals the grace with which he dances to the cosmic tunes of damru held in one of his hands.
Note that each of the heavenly symbols and decorative accessories of Shiva are highlighted in golden colour that catches the attention of the viewers to every detail. The four arms represent the four cardinal directions and each hand either holds a cosmic object or makes a mudra. The serpents prominently visible around Nataraja’s matted hair, waist, legs, arms and neck are symbolic of his power over these deadly creatures, hence protecting his devotees of their fears. The hair strands flying out from either side is a representation of the power and rage of his dance and on the contrary, the smile on his face is symbolic of the bent towards the bliss of self-absorption.
19.40 INCH HEIGHT X 16.50 INCH WIDTH X 4.70 INCH DEPTH