As the bronze in the mould cools down and the wax surrounding it is melted away in the traditional style of the lost wax art form, what remains is an elaborate statuette of Lord Shiva in his dancing form as Nataraja. Body twisted in a graceful pose that came straight out of the pages of the Natyashastra, Nataraja dances away divinely, feet trampling a demon. From the two aspects of Natraja’s personality, here he is performing the Tandav, associated with the destruction of the cosmos.
Lord Shiva’s primary role in the trinity of the gods is to destroy the universe when the right time comes. However, his dancing is simultaneously associated with a gentler form, Lasya, which happens during the creation of the universe. Within himself, Lord Shiva as Nataraja holds these extreme dichotomies—offering an end to the chaos of life and creating a new life as well. In this beautiful idol, he holds his damaru in one hand, the booming noise of which sparks when the universe is first created. His open palm facing the devotees is a reassurance and a blessing all in one. The giant halo around him is the fire of illusion that burns through the realisation of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
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