Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance)

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Mark Cartwright
by Peter F
published on 08 May 2013

Here the Hindu god Shiva is depicted as the Lord of the Dance or Nataraja and is represented in his triple role as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. He stands within a flaming halo representing Time, which is cyclical and has no end. He has one foot on the dwarf figure apasmara purusha who represents illusion and who leads men away from truth. He holds in his top left hand the fire (agni) which will destroy the universe and in his top right hand the drum (damaru) which made the first sounds of the creation. The lower right hand makes the abhayamudra gesture which calms all fear and the lower left hand points to his left foot, symbol of salvation.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

F, P. (2013, May 08). Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance). World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

F, Peter. "Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance)." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 08, 2013.

MLA Style

F, Peter. "Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance)." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 08 May 2013. Web. 05 Feb 2023.