Hindu religion is an ocean equipped with some of the best known esoteric spiritual myths and mythological facts. These myths are mentioned in Hindu texts such as Vedas, epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana and various Hindu Puranas.
Each of these texts contain some valuable information and knowledge about Hindu gods, their stories and facts about their existence. Plethora of studies and researches have been conducted till date which still leave devotees and others curious and keen to know the eternal verities.
One of the most adventurous stories of Hindu gods revolves around Lord Shiva’s form as Nataraj. Nataraj is the most sought-after lord which is considered sacred and threatening at the same time. The image appears soothing as well fearsome when looked upon by beholders.
The unique sculpture is impeccable and astounding which leaves many visitors, admirers and devotees speechless. Here are some of the interesting facts about Nataraj idol story.
About the origin of Nataraj Form
Going as per the Hindu vedic texts such as puranas, vedas or epics there are few interesting stories mentioned which explain about the existence of Lord Nataraj. Nataraj murti is standing in one of the poses from the famous Tandava dance form. As per the texts, Lord Shiva performed Tandava in two ways expressing two feelings of anger and happiness. There are two very popular tales about the appearance of this form of Nataraj.
Stories of Nataraj idol
According to the first story, once Lord Shiva was sitting on Mount Kailash at leisure with Maa Parvati when a pleasant thought of dancing came into his mind. Lord Shiva asked Maa Parvati to participate in a dance competition with him and see who can perform better. Just then Maa Parvati appeared as Maa Kali and became the host of the program and invited all the gods to participate as an audience and musicians. Lord Vishnu was assigned the role of a judge of the dance program.
Number of gods gave music beats and Lord Shiva performed a happy dance popular as Aanand Tandava on the beats given by gods. Every one was mesmerised by the stunning dance of Lord Shiva. Pleased by the dance of Shiva, Maa Kali gave a boon to Shiva that this form of Tandava will be popular as Anand Tandava and wipe away sorrows from people’s life. The static Natya pose of this dance is known as Nataraj idol.
According to another story, Rudra Tandava was performed by Lord Shiva to control the dwarf demon Apasmara. Demon Apasmara represents spiritual ignorance, epilepsy and diseases in the universe. The powers of Apasmara grew and he became powerful. As a result he started creating nuisance in the universe, disturbing the sages and destroying the things all round. It became important to control the demon because he cannot be killed. Killing Apasmara would indicate achieving knowledge without hard work and effort.
So, one day Shiva along with Maa Parvati disguised as a beggar went to a place where sages were performing rituals. The wives of sages greeted the divine couple but male sages ordered Apasmara to attack the couple. Apasmara attacked Maa Parvati and made her unconscious. This angered Lord Shiva and he took the form of Lord Nataraj and started performing Rudra Tandava and crushed Apasmara below his feet.
Nataraj murti is an astounding standing structure of Lord Shiva depicted as a cosmic dancer according to Hindu mythology. The statue represents the state-of-the-art architecture with three basic roles of Shiva as a destroyer, creator and preserver displayed in one formation. The statue shows Lord Shiva in standing form flaunting one of the poses of a Natya Shastra from Tandavam. The statue of Nataraj is with one leg in the air and the other one stomping upon a demon Apasmara symbolising spiritual ignorance.
The statue with four hands encircled by a round frame of fire is par excellence. The upper- left hand is shown with flames of fire as Agni capable of destroying the universe. The upper right-hand is with a Damru denoting the first sound of creation in the universe. The lower left-hand is coming across the chest as Gajahastha while the lower right-hand takes the form of Abhay Mudra blessing and preserving the universe. In this way all the three roles of Shiva are covered and beautifully shown in the Nataraj Murti.
Importance of Nataraj Murti
Nataraj Murti is the gorgeous replica of Hindu mythology boosting the traditional as well as cultural values of India. The formation clearly reflects and emphasises the importance of art and culture in establishing a happy world. It shows that dance and music are very crucial for the free flow of feelings and releasing negative energies at the same time by establishing a connection with positive energies and happiness too.