Dynasty : Sena, Eastern India
Period : Late Medieval 1000 CE
Material : Stone
Location : National Museum
Current Location : National Museum
Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance, is one of the most significant forms of Shiva. The Nataraja form represents the exuberance and dance of creation which self-created itself from eternal stillness. As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performs the Ananda Tandava (dance of bliss), the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved. Shiva, as many other important Hindu gods, is a complex character with a myriad of traits, sometimes seemingly in conflict with each other. Accordingly, in his guise as Nataraja he is represented in his triple role as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. A dancing image of Siva (Natesa) on Nandi with face and tail turned up and standing on a lotus. Ten-armed Natesa holds on the right a sworda trident, a drum, and a spear. The lowest hand is in abhayamudra. In the left hands, he carries a mace,, a noose, a shield and a circular object while the lower is placed at the belly in front. Flying Gandharvas are shown at the top on the right. On the right side in the centre are shown two dancing deities, one below the other and a drummer at the bottom. On the left, dancing Ganesa is seen at the top, a dancing deity in the centre and a Gana at the bottom. The panel at the bottom shows from the left a bearded figure seated two ganas. He wears a crown in the matted locks, earrings, yajnopavita, necklaces, armlets, wristlets, anklets, waist band, a lower garment and a garland of skulls. The sculpture is made in schist.