Pancha Sabhai Sthalams / Sthalangal

Shivas as Lord of Dance NatarajaLord of Dance, Nataraja represents the Big Bang (creation of universe) from his dance. He is portrayed as below,

  • He dances in space surrounded with fire that represents Big Bang and that happened in space (aahasam)
  • His crest holds crescent moon and Devi Ganga along with all living beings that shown by snake (from his head). Before destroy and facilitate Brahma to create new universe, He preserve all living beings in Himself. He saves panja bootham (5 states of material) Land (Moon), Water (Ganga), Fire (on His left hand), Air (His breathing) and Space (where he dance) which is more important for creation
  • His Upper right hand holds small drum (udukkai) which symbolizes sound originating as OM
  • His left upper hand holds flame the representation of destroy
  • His lower right hand shows abayam that means I am there to protect you from evil and ignorance
  • Left lower hand represents that you surrender yourself completely to Me and I am here to give liberation (free from birth) and enlighten (Gnanam)
  • Snake around from his waist represents the Kundalini Sakthi (the divine power in every one), His right leg standing on demon Muyalagan represents that everyone to eradicate laziness and uplifted right leg represents everyone to uplift the Kundalini Sathi to achieve the immortally living with Lord Siva
  • He is always in a dancing pose with one leg down and the other in the air. One hand as abhaya hastam (the hand that gives blessings) and other swings in air pointing towards the leg that is in the air called Kunjidapadam or Thookiyathiruvadi (the lifted leg), Which is were all the anmas (souls) are supposed to get their mukthi.

Among the many Shiva temples, five temples - Chidhambaram, Maduarai, Thiruvilankadu, Tirunelveli and Kutralam, are very revered and is known as the five sabhas. It is said Lord Shiva has danced at these five places as Nataraja, to benefit different devotees in different occasions.

Thandavam(Dance) Hall Temple Location Element
Kali Thandavam Rathinachabai Vada aaranyeswarar Temple Thiruvalangadu, Chennai Emerald
Ananda Thandavam Porchabai Natarajar Temple Chidambaram Gold
Sandhya Thandavam Vellichabai Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai Silver
Muni Thandavam Thamirachabai Nellaiappar Temple Tirunelveli Copper
Tirupura Thandavam Chithirachabai Kutralanathar Temple Courtallam Art

Dance of Nataraja also represents his Five Activities

  • Shrishti - creation, evolution
  • Sthiti - preservation, support
  • Samhara - destruction, evolution
  • Tirobhava - illusion
  • Anugraha - release, emancipation, grace

 

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