“The source of all movement,
Gives rhythm to the universe.
He dances in evil places,
He creates and preserves,
Destroys and releases.
We are part of this dance
this eternal rhythm”.
The lord of dance – Nataraja, is the most fascinating and worshipped from of lord Shiva. Shiva takes the form of Nataraja to create and destroy the rhythm of this cosmos, which is Maya (illusion) in form of Universe. Nataraja is associated with ‘Tandav’ and Lasya both. But lasya is performed by the goddess Shakti (Parvati).
This two dance forms resulted in the origin of the seven classical Indian dances today we know. The iconography of Nataraja was developed during Chola period in between 9th and 10th century. But by the 12th century, this Nataraja of Chola Dynasty became the universal symbol of Hindu art.
To recognise and respect the Indian art, India post issued the definitive stamp on Nataraj of Thiruvalangadu in 1949 at the second anniversary of Indian Independence. .
This Nataraj on a stamp is shown with four hands representing the cardinal directions. He is dancing with his left foot elegantly rose and the right foot on a prostrate figure — 'Apasmara Purusha'. His upper left-hand holds a flame and the lower left-hand points down to a dwarf, who is shown holding a cobra. Nataraja’s upper right-hand holds a 'dumroo' that stands for the male-female vital principle, the lower hand shows the gesture of assertion: "Be without fear" .
Any form of dance which connects a dancer with the cosmos represents the message of Nataraj and understands the enjoyment and bliss of dancing. Famous dancer and musician Michal Jackson describes this in his word as “Consciousness express itself through creation”. This world we live in is the dance of the Creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on.”
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