Life is a dance – Life is Shiva. Shiva is Life. Life is the sum total of all things that happen in the world. Most commonly Shiva represented four-armed dancer Nataraja. These multiple arms represent the four cardinal directions. Each hand either holds an object or makes a specific mudra (gesture).
The upper right hand holds a hour-glass drum which is a symbol of creation. It is beating the pulse of the universe. The drum also provides the music that accompanies Shiva’s dance. It represents sound as the first element in an unfolding universe, for sound is the first and most pervasive of the elements. The hour-glass drum also represents the male and female vital principles; two triangles penetrate each other to form a hexagon.
The upper left hand bears on its palm a tongue of flames. Fire is the element of destruction of the world. According to Hindu mythology at the end of the world, it will be fire that will be the instrument of annihilation. Thus in the balance of these two hands is illustrated a counterpoise of creation and destruction. Sound against flames, ceaselessness of production against an insatiate appetite of extermination.
The second right hand is held in the abhaya pose (literally without fear) and so a gesture of protection, as an open palm is most likely to be interpreted. It depicts the god as a protector.
The left leg is raised towards the right leg and reaches across it; the lower left hand is stretched across the body and points to the upraised left foot which represents release from the cycle of birth and death. Interestingly, the hand pointing to the uplifted foot is held in a pose imitative of the outstretched trunk of an elephant. In Sanskrit this is known as the ’gaja-hasta-mudra’ (the posture of the elephant trunk), and is symbolic of Ganesha, Shiva’s son, the Remover of obstacles.
Shiva dances on the body of a dwarf apasmara-purusha (the man of forgetfulness) who embodies indifference, ignorance and laziness. Creation, indeed all creative energy is possible only when the weight of inertia (the tamasic darkness of the universe) is overcome and suppressed. The Nataraja image thus addresses each individual to overcome complacency and get his or her own act together.
The ring of fire and light, which circumscribes the entire image, identifies the field of the dance with the entire Universe. The lotus pedestal on which the image rests locates this universe in the heart or consciousness of each person.
Life is great – If you are stuck in life, you feel everything and everyone is against you. When you feel you can go nowhere, here is a word of wisdom from Robert T. Kiyosaki – author of New York Times Best Seller, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and host of CNBC’s show “The Millionaire Inside: Your Guide to Wealth” – as he said: “It’s easier to change your life if you change your environment first“. Do you feel the possibilities inside, when you think of these words and the actions you can take to get life flowing again. Ain’t life great. Or you might consider become one with energy through dancing. And let Mind get in contact with Body and Spirit.
A dancing body is a personification of life – There is dancing and there is Dancing. When dancing becomes Dancing there is trance. The trance dance is a ceremony that aims to harmonize the environment and its participants. Most of the time such a dance is highly repetative in form, basic is movement and mind freeing!