NATARAJA – SHIVA, THE COSMIC DANCER
Nataraja Shiva, the dancer in the great celebration of divine life,
which is Shivas cosmic dance, symbolizing the universal blossoming of the consciousness, originates in the primordial vibration (spanda).
This infinitely subtle movement, coming from the Heart, is expressed by Hara (The Charming Shiva), who is simultaneously a poet and an actor, whose universe is a theatre, and who interprets from beginning to end the cosmic play, assuming at the same time all the parts to be played.
He performs this play by perpetually creating and destroying the universe, hiding under the veil of the illusion, Maya, and at the same time, revealing His true nature.
The ultimate purpose of His dance is to offer supreme freedom to the one who purified his mind and heart, and is now able to see the divine glory.
Thus, the yogi learns from the master of the cosmic dance how to gradually get rid of the burden of matter, and of all confinements, doubts, or restrictions, then becoming as Shiva, the yogi dances as a hero in the night of the cosmic ecstasy.
Once the yogis consciousness has united with the divine consciousness, the yogi, recognizing Himself as the Divine Self (ATMAN) and charmed by this beautiful radiant light attains the supreme state of freedom, and becomes united with the supreme energy, Uma.
His whole being dances in a wonderful game, in rhythm with the universe. Now he heads into any direction, without a particular purpose, according to his divine inspiration.
Utpaladeva compares the free and detached pilgrimage into the divine consciousness with the wandering of the beings subject to inferior desires, who lead life after life in the company of their own limited ego:
“Some people wander, oh Lord, completely pleased inside their own revealed divine self.”
At this stage, as Utpaladeva notices, the bliss of the divine ecstasy encloses everything, including the physical body, which, once fed and fortified by the nectar of a pure and intense love, becomes worthy of worshipping Shiva.
This pure love also manifests itself in a cosmic body, which can only be compared to infinite bliss:
“Those who love you infinitely, happily worshiping you, live here, in the river of becoming, samsara, enjoying the waves of fresh ambrosia, flowing from your divine self.”