Tandabam – Dance of Destruction


DANCE OF DESTRUCTION

Nataraja – the most famous depiction of Lord Shiva is not only an epitome of ethereal beauty but also symbolizes a very important piece of the Hindu mythology. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is known as the ‘Adi dev‘ which means – the oldest of the Gods. He is known to be an ecstatic dancer. And ‘Nataraja‘, which literally means ‘the Lord of the Dance’ in Sanskrit, is the form Lord Shiva took when he performed ‘Tandaba‘ – the dance of destruction.

The dance, which is also called ‘Rudra Tandaba‘, symbolizes the never-ending cycle of creation and destruction of the universe. In this form, Shiva is seen standing on a dwarf figure named ‘Apasmara‘ or ‘Muyalaka‘. According to mythology, the dwarf demon ‘Apasmara‘, who symbolizes ignorance and illusion, attained immortality. He kept getting more and more arrogant of his powers and eventually challenged Lord Shiva. It was then when Shiva took the form of ‘Nataraja‘ and performed the dance of destruction, crushing ‘Apasmara‘ under his right foot. Since ‘Apasmara‘ could not be killed in order to preserve the balance between knowledge and ignorance in the world, Lord Shiva forever remained in his ‘Nataraja‘ pose, suppressing ‘Apasmara‘ for eternity. Therefore, the ‘Nataraja‘ avatar of Shiva is a message that ignorance can be overcome by knowledge, music, and dance.

In this pose, Shiva is represented with four arms and flying locks as he whirls around in his dancing frenzy. His locks are decked with a skull, datura blossom, and a crescent moon, which symbolizes that he is omnipresent. The sacred Ganges is flowing through his locks. His third eye represents spiritual wisdom, power, and enlightenment. Through the third eye, Shiva can see beyond the apparent and destroy all evil.

He is seen providing the music and rhythm of his dance by himself, holding a small drum – the ‘Damaroo‘ (usually resembles the shape of an hour-glass) in his upper right hand. In his upper left hand, Shiva holds the fire – ‘Agni‘ which can destroy the universe. In his lower right hand is seen a Cobra, originally belonging to ‘Apasmara‘, which appears to be slain or tamed. Hence, his lower right-hand makes the gesture of blessings – ‘Abhaya Mudra‘ which calms all fear. And his lower left hand, which sweeps across his torso in the dancing pose pointing towards his left foot, makes the gesture of ‘Gajahasta‘, symbolizing salvation and liberation. In his right foot, Shiva is crushing ‘Apasmara Purusha‘ who represents ignorance and illusion which leads humanity away from the Truth. And his left foot is an expression of exuberance of energy displayed during his dance.

The ring of fire – ‘Prabha Mandala‘ behind the Lord represents the endless circle of birth and death. The outer edge is fire and the inner edge, the waters of the oceans.

Thus, the dance of destruction is not just a dance, but a representation of the motion of the whole universe around us and how God plays all the three roles of creation, preservation, and destruction simultaneously in His grand gesture.

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A Woman


I dare not describe what women are, my vocabulary falls terribly short of worthy words! So, here are few of my most favourite quotes of all time:

The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes because that’s the doorway to her heart, the place where LOVE resides.

Audrey Hepburn

I alone cannot change the world. But I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Mother Teresa

Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.

Malala Yousafzai

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.

Oprah Winfrey

Women are meant to be loved, not understood.

Oscar Wilde

Don’t let anyone tell you, you’re weak because you’re a woman.

Mary Kom

A charming woman does not follow the crowd, she is herself.

Loretta Young

A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty.

Rudyard Kipling

One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.

Simone de Beauvoir

And, the last but not the least, an anonymous quote:

Every man needs a woman when life is a mess, because just like the game of chess – the queen protects the king

Happy women’s day to all the women in the world!

Courtesy: [Wikipedia]

Depth (3D)


Depth (3D)

Playing around 3D art is so much fun! I tried it for the first time and already finding it awesome.

Below is a picture of the same artwork taken from the top. To manipulate the perspective and bring out the 3D effect, the above shot was taken by placing the camera towards the below end of the original work at a rising angle.

Original drawing of the 3D art

The original drawing is done on an A4 size sheet with simple red and black ink (Staedtler). Yes, the work is a bit tedious and takes countless adjustments (especially, if you are doing without standard measuring tools that professional 3D artists use). But the end result is so much satisfactory! There are few simple tricks which, if you can master, will help you realize the 3D effect you have in your mind more easily. One of them is adding a shadow depending on where you want to place your source of light. For this particular case, applying a gradual dark shade towards the pit of the well makes the depth come out even more. If time permits, I plan to write few more articles on 3D art.

Occasionally, adding a simple real-life subject (e.g. a pen or pencil) can increase the 3D effect dramatically.

Artwork with an actual subject

I hope much more are waiting to come !!

Enigma


17-enigma

Are you watching closely?

The Empty Swing


15-the-empty-swing

The Empty Swing

I wait for her to come and play

Everyday…

I spread my arms to cover her from the sun

To watch her having fun…

I tell the wind to gently pass and make no hustle for a while

So that she could smile…

I tell my leaves to moist the air

As she rolls down her hair…

I tell the grass to be gentle on her feet

As she climbs the swing to sit…

And as she sways swiftly underneath my shadow, her legs stretched facing the hill

I cautiously hold on to the ropes and keep vigil…

And when she asks “How are you?”, and plays me as her confidante

I just want to hold her in my arms; alas, I can’t…

Now she does not come to see her friend anymore, years have gone

I stand here alone…

I keep looking down the valley to hear the bell

She used to come riding her bicycle…

But, In my heart I know, I will see her again before I go

Though the cold bites harder now when there is snow…

Let the seasons pass by, the fall and the winter, the summer and the spring

Till then, I will hold on to the empty swing…