|SHIVA - THE NATARAJA -
THE KING OF DANCERS
[THE COSMIC DANCER]
Shiva is also called by the well-known name of NATARAJA,
the lord of the cosmic dance. Numerous images of Shiva in his dancing pose are available throughout
India and this image of Shiva is also the most popular one amongst the foreigners.
The small drum of Lord Shiva is the symbol of rhythm and sound. In fact rhythm
is there in the whole movement of the universe and sound is the medium, musical
and divine, that comes from the word of Supreme Deity, and carries revelations
and the truth. Sound with atmospheric either also represents the primeval outburst
[UNION OF SUBSTANCE AND ENERGY]
|SHIVA - THE YOGIC RAJA
[THE GREAT ASCETIC]
Shiva's name SHANKARA means the Giver
of Joy, and other name SHAMBHU means the
Abode of Joy. As MAHESHWARA he is the Divine Lord, the
source of knowledge. In
Maheshwara are coordinated the three energies from which knowledge flows, the
power of understanding (JNANA), the will (ICCHA) and action (KRIYA). Shiva is
MAHAKAL, the Lord of Death but much more correctly the Lord
of Time. Before anything
could come to exist, time has to be present. In fact time is the first condition
for the existence of the world. It is prior to space.
The image of ARDHANARISHWARA, half-male and half-female, represents Lord Shiva
as the union of substance and energy, the life principle and Shakti.
Shiva's another well-known name is Yogi Raja, i.e., the
Lord of Yoga. He is himself
represented as the perfect or the greatest ascetic. He is the last word in austerity,
penance and meditation. This method of Yoga is different from rituals and therefore
in some earlier Hindu scriptures, Shiva is accused of teaching the secrets of
higher truths to those who are low born or who are not properly qualified for
ritual practices. To Lord Shiva is attributed revealing to mankind the method
and technique of Yoga, which in these days is very popular in the West.
This god in many images is shown to have five faces looking towards East, West,
North and South while the fifth one is shown looking upward. The five aspects
represented by these five faces are:
The face looking upward is called ISHANA (the Ruler), and is copper-colored.
He is the embodiment of all forms of learning and represents the enjoyer of nature,
The eastern face of Shiva is called TAT-PURUSHA (the Supreme
Man) and is yellow-colored.
It represents all nature connected with earth, the sense of smell and the anus
as the organ of action.
The western face of Shiva is red and is called YAMA DEVA
(the Left- hand Deity);
it represents Ego (Ahamkara) and corresponds to the element fire. It is connected
with the sense of sight.
The southern face of Shiva is blue or sometimes blue-black,
it is called AGHORA BHAIRAV (the Non-fearful or the Frightful), it represents Intellect (Buddhi)
and Eternal Laws (Dharma). It is connected with the sense of hearing and the
organ of speech.
The northern face of Shiva is called SADYOJAT (the suddenly
born) and is white
in color. It represents the mind and corresponds to sacrificial elixir (Soma).