View Full Version : Shiva Nataraja

09 September 2006, 12:35 AM

There is no explicit Vedic reference for the complete image and story of Shiva Nataraja, although all of the components can be found.

naTa refers to an actor or a dancer; or a particular caste of degraded Kshatriyas.

naTa is a kind of reed or a kind of Raga.

naTI is an actress or a dancer, a courtesan, a fragrant plant, or red arsenic.

nATa is acting or dancing, or an act or dance.

nATa is a serpent demon.

nATAH are the people of Karnataka.

nATI is the language of the nATAH.

nata means bent, bent down or turned towards, bowed or bowing to, saluting, curved, inclined or inclining, hanging down, depressed, sunk, flat, deep, or cerebral.

nata is inclination.

In Tamil, nATA is the weaver’s shuttle, which is commonly made of a small hollow bamboo; ribbon or tape, or any sacred cloth or covering. And natar means to present to a superior.

raja or rajas is dust, the pollen of flowers, or the menstrual excretion; emotion, affection, or passion.

raja is one of Skanda’s attendants.

raja is the son of viraja.

rAja or rAjan indicates a king or sovereign, or the chief or best of its kind.

In Tamil, rajA is permission or leave, cessation from work, recess, holiday, or vacation. And rAjA is a king or ruler, that which is most excellent of its kind, or a title of honour conferred by the government.

Therefore, naTaraja is the dust from dancers or the pollen from fragrant flowers.

And naTaraja is red arsenic powder, or vermillion.

Sanskrit terms for red arsenic include the following:

dIptA ~ red arsenic; or a particular musical tone or Shakti.

And dIpta means blazing, flaming, hot, shining, bright, brilliant, splendid, excited, agitated, exposed to the sun, being on the wrong side, inauspicious (as opposed to shAnta), clear, or shrill (as opposed to pUrNa).

divyauSadhi ~ red arsenic.

golA or guDA ~ red arsenic or ink; or a woman’s female friend (especially Durga).

And gola or golA is a circle or sphere, a large globular water-jar, or a ball to play with.

gola indicates a ball or a globe (especially as the celestial globe or as the globe of the sun or of the earth) or a hemisphere (of the earth); myrrh; a widow’s bastard; or the conjunction of all the planets in one astrological sign.

hRdyA ~ red arsenic, or a she-goat.

And hRdya means being in the heart, internal, inward, or innermost; pleasing or dear to the heart, proceeding from or produced in the heart, beloved or cherished; or grateful, pleasant, charming, lovely, pleasant to the stomach, savoury, or dainty (as food).

hRdya also indicates the Bilva (Bel) tree; or a Vedic Mantra employed to effect the subjection of an enemy or rival.

hRdyam is thick sour milk; or an intoxicating drink made from honey or blossoms.

kalyANI ~ red arsenic, a cow, or one of the Matrikas.

kalyANa or kalyANi means beautiful, agreeable, illustrious, noble, generous, excellent, virtuous, good, beneficial, salutary, auspicious, happy, prosperous, fortunate, lucky, well, or right.

And kalyANa is a particular Raga sung at night.

kalyANam is good fortune, happiness, prosperity, good conduct, virtue (as opposed to pApa), a festival, gold, or heaven.

kalyANikA ~ red arsenic.

kalyANaka or kalyANikA means auspicious, prosperous, happy, or efficacious.

kanaTI or kunaTI ~ red arsenic.

karavIrA ~ red arsenic.

karavIra is Oleander, or a species of Soma; a sword, or a particular spell (for recovering a missile of mystic properties after its discharge); the thumb; or a cemetery.

karavIrI is a woman who has borne a son, a mother, a good cow, or Aditi.

karavIram or karavIrakam is the flower of Oleander.

karavIrakA ~ red arsenic.

karavIraka is the poisonous root of Oleander; or Terminalia Arjuna; or a sword or a cemetery.

kaTaMbharA ~ red arsenic, or a female elephant.

kaTaMbhara is the plant Bignonia Indica.

kulaTApatI or kunaTI ~ red arsenic.

kulaTApati indicates the husband of an unchaste woman, or a cuckold.

kunaTa is a variety of trumpet-flower.

kumbhakArI ~ red arsenic, the wife of a potter, or a mineral substance used as an application to strengthen the eyes and beautify the eyelashes.

kumbhakAra indicates a potter (being, according to some authorities, the son of a Brahman by a wife of the Kshatriya caste), or a serpent or a wild fowl.

manaHshila or manaHshilA, manobhidhA, manoguptA, or manohvA ~ red arsenic.

mAnana ~ consisting of red arsenic.

manogupta or manoguptA means cherished or concealed in the mind, thought or meditated on secretly.

manojnA ~ red arsenic, an intoxicating drink, Jasminium grandiflorum, or a princess.

manojna or manojnA means agreeable to the mind, pleasing, lovely, beautiful, or charming; and it indicates a pleasant place, loveliness, or beauty.

nAgajihvikA ~ red arsenic.

nAgajihvA means serpent-tongue, and it is a species of creeper.

nAgamAtR ~ red arsenic; the serpent-mother or the goddess Manasa.

naipAlI ~ red arsenic, or various fragrant plants, or the indigo plant.

nepAlI ~ red arsenic, copper, or the wild date-tree or its fruit.

nepAlikA, nepAlajA, or nepAlajAtA ~ red arsenic.

nepAlaka is copper.

nalI ~ red arsenic, perfume, smell, or odour.

nala is a species of reed (about 3m high) or a measure of length; a particular astral arrangement where all the planets or stars are grouped in double mansions; or a monkey-chief and the son of Vishvakarman.

ranjanI ~ red arsenic, indigo, turmeric, saffron, or a fragrant perfume.

ranjana means colour, dye or paint, colouring or dyeing, pleasing, charming, rejoicing, delighting, conciliating, or befriending; or red sandalwood or cinnabar.

rasanetrI, rasanetrikA, rocanI, rocanA, rogashilA, taruNapItikA, or shilA ~ red arsenic.

rocanI is a yellow pigment.

shilA indicates a stone, rock, or crag; camphor; the lower mill-stone or the lower timber of a door,the top of the pillar supporting a house; or a vein or tendon.

The essence of naTaraja is the red dust or red powder, and it is by this Shakti that the image of Shiva Nataraja is most essentially expressed.

Nataraja is the Dipta (as opposed to the Shanta or Purna) murti of Lord Shiva, who subdues the entire Gola-mandala, and brings all the Worlds together.

Nataraja is the Hridya and Kalyana; Karavira, Katambhara, Kunata, and Manojna; Kumbhakara, Manahshila, Manobhidha, and Manogupta; Nagajihva and Nagamatra; Nepala and Nepali; Ranjana, Rasanetra, Rocana, Rogashila, and Tarunapitika.

Nataraja is the veritable Shila.

nATaraja is the menses of an actress, a dancer, or a courtesan; or the passion or emotion of the dance or performance; or a poisonous venom.

nATAraja is the grinder or destroyer of the nATAH (i.e. Karnataka and its people).

nATarAja is the Lord of all the above.

nataraja is inclined to grind or pulverize.

nATArAja is the Lord of Weavers, and the Lord of the Loom (i.e. Tantra).

nATAraja is the weavers waste or leavings.

nATArajA is the cessation or leaving of work at the loom.

natarajA is exhaustion or submission.

nATAra indicates the son of an actress or dancer.

And ja, jA, or jan, indicates born or descended from, produced or caused by, born or produced in or at or upon, growing in, living at, prepared from, made of or with, belonging to, connected with, or peculiar to.

ja indicates a son of …, a father, or birth; and jA indicates a daughter, a race or a tribe.

ja also means speedy, swift, victorious, speed, enjoyment, light, lustre, or poison.

And therefore, nATAraja is a born dancer, a swift dancer, the light of dance, and the Lord of dance, who is victorious.

nATAraja is the venom or essence of performance, and is thus absolutely identical with Shakti.

aja indicates a drove, a troop (especially of Maruts), a driver, mover, instigator, or leader, the leader of a flock, a he-goat or ram, the zodiac sign of Aries.

aja is the vehicle of Agni (aja-ekapAda), and a beam of the sun (Pushan).

aja is Indra or Rudra.

aja is a mineral, or the moon.

aja means not born or existing from all eternity.

ajas is the first uncreated being.

ajA is a she-goat; and ajA is Prakriti, Maya, or Illusion.

Aja means coming from or belonging to or produced by goats.

And Aja is a vulture (cf. Sharabha).

Ajam indicates the Purva-Bhadrapada Nakshatra, which is ruled by Aja Ekapad.

And therefore, nATArAja is leader of the dancers and the instigator of their movements.

nATArAja is thus the lustre or brilliance of any performance, and the vehicle of all passion.

nATArAja is the Lord of nATArAjA (i.e. the illusion of movement and manifestation, or the Maya of Creation), and so Prakriti or Maya submits to the will of Shiva Nataraja.

nATArAja is the unborn son of an actress or dancer ~ i.e. the son of a virgin or barren woman, who by all rights should not exist.

That maiden is Aditi, and Aja-Ekapad (or Aja-Natara) is Her nameless fleet-footed offspring.

And from the perspective of nATArAja (i.e. Agni-Rudra-Shiva (http://www.geocities.com/sarabhanga/shiva.html), as the guardian of the perfect uncreated, unborn Aja), the nATArAjA (i.e. Maya, and thus Avidya or Ignorance) should not exist independently, and must be withdrawn or made to submit.

Lord Shiva Nataraja is the destroyer of all illusion and ignorance.

nATArAja is the Lord of the flock, the Lord of the goat, the Lord of the thread and the shuttle and the loom, and the fabric, and the Lord of all weavers and tailers; the Lord of the Dance, who is the manager of the whole theatre and the protector of all of its dancers and performers, and the one who draws the curtain, and He is always the last to leave, and the first to reappear at the following dawn.

Indeed it is Nataraja who lights all the lights, for He is the veritable Light of the all the worlds, whose “virgin birth” must have been a miracle or illusion (or a production of Maya ~ cf. Mary); and whose name must be denied, and whose body must be destroyed in the passion of His own self-sacrificial action in order for perfection to be returned.

As the Lord of the Dance, Nataraja sets the pace and defines the rhythm; in fact, He is the very essence of that rhythm.

Nataraja is the pure body of sound itself ~ the pure and eternal resonance of AUM ~ and He is indeed the source of the whole Veda.

Nataraja is the pure body of colour itself ~ the pure and eternal brilliance of Light ~ and He is the true Ranganatha.

Nataraja is the flux of virginal menstruation, and the art behind all mensuration (or measurements).

Nataraja is the “Man in the Moon”, whose crazy dance inspires His devotees, who are veritable lunatics intoxicated with Soma (http://www.geocities.com/sarabhanga/keshin.html).

Shiva Nataraja is both the cosmic Loom (i.e. the Creator) and the cosmic Doom (i.e. the Destroyer).

And Nataraja is Aja or “Unborn”.

Nataraja is the eternally repeating sacrifice of the “Goat” by the “Goat” (cf. Daksha Pajapati).

Nataraja is the priest (Brahma) and the oblation (Vishnu) and the sacrificial fire (Shiva).

Nataraja is Trimurti in full motion, and Nataraja is thus equivalent with Shakti. And since Nataraja (as Rhythm) is the essence of Time (i.e. Kala), that Shakti is Kali.

The precise connotations of the term Nataraja depend on exactly how you pronounce it, or spell it.

The spelling of the name IS the invocation of the image.

So how do you spell Nataraja??

See: RUDRA (http://www.geocities.com/sarabhanga/1008.html)

See also: AJAIKAPAD (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=2649&postcount=12)