Shiva Nataraja – the "Lord of the dance"
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Orientation 1
Wall object 1

ABS 166

 Code: ABS 166

  Country: India (north)


  Date: 800 - 900

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 34 x 60 x 15

  Materials: Brown Sandstone

Shiva Nataraja

Shiva is one of the three main deities in Hindu religions. Alongside Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the preserver, he stands for destruction and transformation. In Shivaite mythology, however, Shiva alone is responsible for creation, preservation and destruction/transformation of the world. 
Shiva is represented here in his aspect as Nataraja, the "Lord of the Dance". He dances ecstatically, treading on the demon of ignorance, sounding his double-sided hourglass drum (damaru) and holding a flame, which is missing here. In this cosmic dance, Shiva symbolises both the creation and the destruction of the universe.
Shiva is also depicted and worshipped in other forms, most commonly in the shape of a lingam, the phallus being the ultimate symbol of creative energy. He is also represented as an ascetic absorbed in contemplation.