One of the most popular manifestations of Shiva, as Nataraja, depicts Shiva
dancing in a ring of fire. Dancing the cosmic dance 'tandava', he has his
right leg firmly planted on the back of Apasmara Purusha, the symbol of
ignorance. What is notable is that despite the violence of the dance, his
expression is detached. His left leg is raised high up in a slant and the
right one on Apasmara is bent at the knee. The back two hands hold the
damaru and a ball of fire each. While Shiva's right hand is raised in abhaya
mudra, the left hand comes across his body in a gaja hasta mudra. Owing to
the violent movements, his hair flows in all directions as do the ends of his
waist sash, touching the tiruvasi. A serpent also uncoils from his body,
with his hood on this circle of fire. Inconspicuous, but very much present
is Ganga, on top of his hair.
This beautifully crafted image is placed on a well decorated pedestal.
This description by Renu Rana.
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