Sri Nataraja Swami

Nataraja Swami
Real Story/Benefits

The Story - Shiva Puranam

Maharudra determined Parvati to the test for her exceptional penance, and she successfully passed all the trials. He materialized in front of Parvati, who had immersed herself in deep meditation with closed eyes. Upon opening her eyes, she witnessed the divine splendor of Lord Rudra. In response to Parvati’s desire to marry him, he pledged to marry her. Parvati then expressed her wish to become his consort, with the condition that he visit her residence.

Agreeing to this condition, Rudra took on the disguise of Budubudiki (a two handed Nataraja Swami). Standing before her house, he captivated everyone with his enchanting songs and dance. During this period, Parvati’s father, Himavanta, had gone to the Ganga River. Menaka Devi, Himavanta’s wife, offered wealth to Rudra, but he declined and asked her to offer Parvati to him.

When Himavanta returned and learned about this, he insisted on expelling the Budubudiki. At that moment, the disguise was shed, revealing Rudra’s true form as Nataraja Swami, astonishing Himavanta, Menaka Devi, and all others present. He disappeared in few seconds.

After this incident Himavanta felt depressed. which resulted in manifestation of shiva again. Himavanta and Menaka prostrated at him and offered their daughter to him.

Nandiswara to Sanatkumara

Shailo Daddarshatam
        Tatra Tishnuroopa Dharamdhritam
        Tato Brahma Swaroopam Cha
        Suryarupam Tatatkshanat

Nataraja Swami, in his dancing form, astounded Himavanta and Menaka Devi by transforming into Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, and Lord Sun.

        Tatodaddarshatam Tata
        Rudrarupam Mahadbhutam
        Parvati Sahitam Ramyam
        Vihasantam Sutejasam    

Subsequently, he briefly manifested as Maharudra, standing alongside Parvati, momentarily entrancing Menaka, Himavanta, and other onlookers with this remarkable occurrence. Rudra swiftly disappeared within seconds.

Nataraja Depiction-Key features

  1. Abhaya Mudra (Blessing Hand): The blessing hand showcases the essence of his mastery, conveying that nothing in this universe functions without his consciousness.
  2. Symbols in Hands:

    i). Nataraja holds various symbols in his hands, including the Damaru (drum) which bestows eternal wisdom, and symbolises the sound of creation.

    ii). Agni (fire), symbolizing (Pralayagni-the destructive fire).

    iii). Other hands may display gestures with specific meanings.

  3. Legs:

    i) The dancing Shiva typically has one leg raised which symbolises illusion.

    The other placed on a dwarf-like figure known as Apasmara Purusha which represents ignorance and illusion.If Observed, Apasmara raises one of his legs, which represents ignorance and the departure from his original state. This gesture metaphorically signifies that we all have departed from our original state of Shiva and become immersed in ignorance, the realm of Maya.

    The Story of Apamasara Purusha

    One day Nataraja Swami was wandered undressed, and other sages were engrossed in performing havan rituals. Witnessing his brilliance, the divine attraction led all the consorts of the sages towards him.

    Enraged by this incident, they resorted to performing Naga Prayogam on Swami, but he effortlessly adorned himself with snake skins around his waist and entire body. Undeterred, they then attempted Vyaghra Prayoga, but Nataraja Swami skillfully removed the skin and draped it as his attire.

    Astonished by this, the sages sent Apasmara Purusha, a formidable demon, who was ultimately crushed beneath Nataraja Swami’s feet. The lotus seat under Apasmara Purusha symbolizes Nataraja Swami, dispelling ignorance and illusion.

    Following this realization, the sages acknowledged that Apasmara was Rudra himself. In response, they apologized and reverentially prostrated at his feet.

  4. Matted Hair: Shiva’s matted hair is often depicts limitless worlds, representing his connection to nature and his ascetic lifestyle.
  5. Chakram: The Circle surrounding him signifies his mastery in keeping Maya, the illusionary aspect of existence, under his control.
  6. Dancing Pose: Nataraja is shown dancing within a circle of flames, representing the cosmic fire of creation and destruction. The dance is known as the “Ananda Tandava,” symbolizing the rhythmic and dynamic nature of the universe.

Sri Nataraja Swami-Benefits of Worship

Sage Vyaghra and the Sage Upamanyu are devoted worshipers of this deity and his consort, Shivagami Devi. Nataraja Swami in Sanskrit terms denotes a princely status in the realm of performing arts.

  1. Unmarried gets married. Specifically, Love Birds shall worship him for their successful marriage.
  2. Attains eternal wisdom by eliminating ignorant wisdom.

Sri Shivagamidevi Anushtanam