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Nataraja: Divine Dance Of The Cosmos

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Item Code: UBG971
Author: Kamal Kishor Mishra, Shovana Narayan
Publisher: Shubhi Publications, Gurgaon
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9788182901728
Pages: 255 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 1.98 kg
Book Description
About the Book

One of the most significant contributions of India to world culture is its conceptualization of the Universe, which incorporates the physical, social and spiritual aspects of reality. This paper Nataraja: The Divine Dance of the Cosmos explores the symbolism of the great iconic God of the Hindu Pantheon from the point of view of various traditions of Indian thought, its underlying philosophy and symbolism, including the theory of dance, architecture and sculpture. Covering among others the great Nataraja temple in Chidambaram to the most recent temple in Samabula Shiv Mandir, Suva, Fiji, Yogaville USA and one near Pondicherry on the seashore based on Literary typographical and empirical evidence. And the recent discovery of Fouth Century BC, Prakrit Ashokanbrahmin script with reference to Lord Adinath at Varanasi. Nataraja dynamic presence coalesces myth and movement. The movement is from outer to the inner. It ranges over the very core of Indian understanding of the relationship of the spirit and the senses. The Divine Dance epitomizes the ceaseless cycles of creation and destruction, without beginning of end. The dance of Shiva as Nataraja the Lord of the Cosmic Dance is eternal and timeless, moving in space and beyond space.

About the Author

Dr. Kamal Kishor Mishra is the Director of Indian Cultural Centre, High Commission of India since March 2009. He is also a Faculty, Post Graduate Department of Sanskrit, University of Calcutta (on lien). Dr. Mishra is a scholar of Oriental epigraphy, Manuscriptology and Art. He is an awardee of the Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarship for PhD at University of Delhi, Junior Research fellow at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) Post-Doctoral Fellow at Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Dr. Mishra has also served as a Joint Director at Shree Ranbir Sanskrit Research Institute, Jammu. Before joining University of Calcutta, Dr. Mishra also served as a Consultant for Academic and Research in Sangeet Natak Akademi, National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

His work includes Indianness of Cambodian Sanskrit Inscriptions, Changing Scenario of Indian Economy up to 8th Century AD on the evidence of Sanskrit Inscription and Self in Indian Narrative Tradition: Socio- Psycho analysis with Special reference to Mahabharata. He is the author of Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts, Vol-IV [2005, Shree Ranbir Sanskrit Research Institute, Jammu). Nataraja: Brahmand ka Divya Nartan [2007, Shubhi] and Shree Raghunath Mandir, Jammu [2010, Shubhi].

Shovana Narayan is the most celebrated and outstanding Kathak danseuse of India, whose phenomenal achievements in the world of dance have earned her several coveted laurels and titles. She has been conferred the most prestigious distinction of Padmashri as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards by the President of India. She has bestowed Kathak with dignity and enriched it with a deeper and wider canvas of expression and dimensions. Shovana's palette contains other media, including films and operas as well as being a dedicated guru.

Shovana Narayan is a classical example of a true Kathak, multi-faceted and dynamic, and presents a challenge to today's spectator. Her life and her works have made her a role model and peer for millions of girls of the younger generation of today.

She is also a senior serving civil servant belonging to the Indian Audits and Accounts Service (1976 batch). Married to Dr.Herbert Traxl, Austrian Ambassador, the two have a son, Erwin Ishan Traxl. Her younger sister, Ranjana Narayan, is a lawyer and a classical singer.


What is life? Perhaps a combination of being able to respond to changes in environment. potential of expansion and reduction, and rhythm Together the give rise to emotions, 'rasa that become key factors of life and which are associated with Shiva Devotion to Shiva that is omnipresent in the Indian subcontinent can be traced back to the very early stages of history. There are predominantly six doctrines Shaiva Siddhanta, Pashupata Shaivism, Kashmiri Shaiva Sampraday, Veer Shaiva, Siddha Siddhanta and Shiva Advaita, Pashupata Shaivism that finds mention in the Mahabharata as Rudra Pashupata and as Pashupata Vrat was practiced by ascetics. Shaivism blossomed in various forms in diffent parts of the sub- continent from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, amongst which Kashmiri Shaivism of the Jangam Sampraday founded in Kashmir that believes in monasticism was most popular in the north The 62 Nayanars (devotional saint poets) were popular in southern India. Several volumes throw light on principles of Shaivism, man, mystery of the temples and Siddha Yoga such as the Pratyabhigna Darshan of Kashmir, Advaita Sharva Darshan, Maheshwara Mat. Pashupata Darshan, Siddhantagama, Shaiva Vishishtadvaita and Nakuleesh Pashupata Darshan.

Devadideva and Mahadeva emerge tall among the deities whose benevolent portals are open to all irrespective of position, birth and creed. He is atmosphere-clad' ie 'clothed in the quarters of the sky' and yet is adorned with the drapery of Shakti. He is selfless and benevolent. He is Dakshinamoorty. He is 'pashupati' (protector of all beings), He is omnipresent and omniscent. The 108 names reflect his multi-layered, sometimes contradictory personality and attributes. He belongs to one and all and yet to no one. The Ashtadhyayi' of Panini and the fifth Veda, the Natyashastra, draw stimulation from Shiva's awe-inspiring personality and attributes. Therein, his attribute of Nataraja symbolising comes to the fore that sees a merger of religion, science and arts merge, and the centrality of movement in the endless dance of creation, preservation and destruction. The 'lasya' and 'tandava' are just two aspects of Shiva's nature; for he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again. As Nataraja, he represents his rhythmic play which is the source of all movement within the universe.


The glory of Hinduism lies in its acceptance of multiple paths to the divine One can choose a formless approach or a divine with form, and in the latter there is a whole galaxy of extraordinary images including Gods and Goddesses, zoomorphic deities and symbolic objects such as the Shivalinga. Over the centuries the Hindu civilization has produced remarkable images for every deity in a variety of media, including bronze, and of all these, the most powerful and evocative is surely the image of Nataraja, Lord of Cosmic Dance It represents a kinetic universe constantly in motion. Wheter it is the stately waltz of the galaxies, or the frenetic rock and roll of sub-atomic particles, every single thing in the cosmos is constantly in motion. Hence the definition of the word as 'samsara' that which constantly changes. The Nataraja image captures the movement and presents it in a most evocative form.

Of all the manifestations of Almighty, I find the Nataraja form the most imposing and inspiring I myself have delved into the worship of Lord Shiva since 1985, and the form of Nataraja has been a source of incessant inspiration for me. My private sanctum sanctorum adorns this form as the main deity In addition, the first temple of Nataraja was established by us in the precincts of our family temple Sri Raghunath Temple complex in Jammu with an astounding Shivalinga of transparent lead crystal fabricated in Germany I also sent a large and very attractive bronze sculpture of Nataraja to the Yogaville Ashram of Swami Sachidanada located in the salubrious environs to Virginia in the United States, which has been installed in a specially designed glass temple The statue of the Lord has been installed on a revolving pedestal, making it the only temple in the world that enables the devotees to see the dynamic dancing postures of Lord Shiva.

In his right hand Shiva holds the small duble-faced drum, the damaru, which represents the logos, the shabda brahma the creative word from which the universe springs. In his left hand holds the davágni the cosmic fire through which ultimately all creation moves in the eternal cycles of time. Had there been only these two arms then there would have been no space for us.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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