Hindu God Shiva: Destroyer & Creator

Hindu God Shiva as Lord of Dance Nataraja

Shiva destroys and creates the world anew as the Lord of Dance, Nataraja!

When many first hear of the Hindu God of Destruction, Shiva, they automatically think of something evil or alarming.  They think him something to be feared.    Yet, his powers are constructive, not just destructive.   He brings about necessary and beneficial transformation.   It can be said that the world is in a constant state of flux.   Just as life is given at birth, so too must it eventually cease to exist.   In that same regard, the world is constantly evolving and partaking in birth, deaths, and rebirths.

Hindus believe that Hindu God Shiva is responsible for the destruction of the universe in order that he may then re-create it into a more perfect form.  They believe that even now he infiltrates the world in order to shed illusion and destroy the worlds many imperfections.  Not only is he the Destroyer, he can also be thought of as a god of change or formation, causing a constant cycle of destruction and creation in order to bring about necessary good.

There is no doubt that the world as we know it houses many flaws.    In order to bring about real change, Hindus look to Shiva to re-create the world in a better image.  Worshipers look to him for guidance in ridding their troubles.  They may pray upon a Shiva statue so that he may bring about renewal in the world.  Many worship Shiva as their primary God.   Join Hindu’s around the world in worshiping Hindu God Shiva for both his destructive and constructive qualities.

Bring a Shiva or other Hindu statues into your home or place of worship from Lotus Sculpture.

Hindu God Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance

 

Statues of Hindu God Shiva the destroyer

View our statues of the Hindu God Shiva

Shiva, Hindu God of Destruction, is also known as Nataraja, Lord of Dancers, in one of his most popular forms.  He is depicted as sacred dancer, dancing to restore the universe of its fatigued nature making way for Brahma to create within the universe.  He has a restorative power revitalizing the universe and preparing for growth.  Shiva as Lord Nataraja is his most popular within Hindu temples. His likeness is often sculpted in bronze as Shiva dances around a ring of flames.  His left leg is often raised balancing over a lesser being that stands as a metaphor for the ignorance of the world.  Shiva as Nataraja is a powerful symbol of Indian culture for its spirit and energetic nature.  He represents the precise flow and generation of the universe.  Shiva as Nataraja is perhaps the most renowned symbol of Hindu art.

Nataraja statues

View our statues of Nataraja the Lord of Dance

Shiva’s dance is often said to come in two forms.  The first form represents the gentle, or the nature associated with creation upon the earth, while the second from is said to be that of violence as he destroys the tired and suffocating ways of the universe.  Shiva terminates what is weary in order to create what is profound. He tears down the old in order to make way for the new.

Legend has it that one day Shiva journeyed to a thick forest in the South of India in order to confute with the multitude of heretical sages that lived within.  Traveling with him was Hindu God Vishnu, The Preserver, disguised as a woman.  Upon arrival, the sages became very angry towards Shiva and attempted to destroy him via powerful incantations.  They first induced a violent tiger which was no match as he skinned it in one foul swoop and draped it around his body like a blanket. Next appeared a deadly serpent of which Shiva quickly overtook and hung like a necklace about his neck.  Through all their confrontation simply Shiva danced about their ring of fire laughing, destroying everything they threw his way.  Thus, Shiva became the lord of dancers, a symbol of the divine.

Shiva, Lord Nataraja Quotes

Bronze Shiva Nataraja statue

“Because You love the Burning -ground, I have made a Burning-ground of
my heart – That You, Dark One, hunter of the Burning-ground, May dance
Your eternal dance.”
~ Bengali Hymn~
Nataraja in Puja ceremony

Bronze Nataraja statue in puja ceremony

“The source of all movement,
Shiva’s dance,
Gives rhythm to the universe.
He dances in evil places,
In sacred,
He creates and preserves,
Destroys and releases.
We are part of this dance
This eternal rhythm,
And woe to us if, blinded
By illusions,
We detach ourselves
From the dancing cosmos,
This universal harmony…”
Ruth Peel

“O my Lord, Thy hand holding the sacred drum has made and ordered the heavens and earth and other worlds and innumerable souls.  Thy lifted hand protects both the conscious and unconscious order of thy creation.  All these worlds are transformed by Thy hand bearing fire.  Thy sacred foot, planted on the ground, gives an abode to the tired soul struggling in the toils of causality.  It is Thy lifted foot that grants eternal bliss to those that approach Thee.  These Five-Actions are indeed Thy Handiwork..”
~ Chidambara Mummani Kovai~
Hindu God Shiva Nataraja statue

4 Foot tall Dancing Shiva as Lord Nataraja

O Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram,
King Dancer of Thillai Ambalam,
Beloved consort of Sivakami Sundari,
Bhuvanesvari, Rajarajesvari,
Destroyer of sin, bestower of prosperity,
Remover of suffering, giver of Immortality,
Sivaya Nama Om Sivaya Namah,
Sivaya Nama Om Namah Sivaya.

Holder of Trident, drinker of poison,
Master of Yogis, ruler in the Sun,
Dweller in Kailas, rider of Nandi
Destroyer of Cupid, Lord of Siddhi,
The three-eyed Lord, the five-faced God,
The blue-necked God, the God of gods,
Sivaya Nama Om Sivaya Namah,
Sivaya Nama Om Namah Sivaya.

Thou art my Guru and sole-refuge,
Salutations unto Thee O Lord of Mercy,
Bless me with Thy shower of Grace,
Let me behold Thy benign face,
Let me merge in Thee for ever,
This is my real fervent prayer.
Sivaya Nama Om Sivaya Namah,
Sivaya Nama Om Namah Sivaya.

The Kung Foo Brothers

 Immediately I could see they were different. They were young, loved making bronze statues and had big ideas for their future.

I met Vardaraj, Varun and Sini 8 years ago in the first years of Lotus Sculpture. Varadaraj is the eldest, Varun is in the middle and Sini is the baby. They were three kids who just broke away from a bronze collective they were apprenticing at for the past ten years to start their own bronze collective. I was their first customer. Immediately I could see they were different. They were young, loved making bronze statues and had big ideas for their future. I saw myself in them as we both were striving towards the same goals. In our first meeting I also discovered Varun, the middle aged brother wanted to be in kung foo movies. I still remember that exchange when he told me his future plans. “Like Jackie Chan!'”, he said eagerly. I made him repeat it several times as I really couldn’t believe my ears and in the end came the conclusion that this tall, muscular kid from Swamimalai had bigger dreams outside of the bronze casting business. Everyone can dream! From that day on my relationship and love for the Kung Foo Brothers, as I started to refer to them, has grown 100 fold. They are part of my Indian family!

23 foot Nataraja in mold

23 foot Nataraja is its earthen mold ready for casting!

Vardaraj, the oldest, had a different dream. Besides casting the best statues Swamimalai has to offer he wanted to make the worlds largest Nataraja statue. After arriving at his workshop this afternoon I saw how close he is to realizing his dream. The Nataraja is ready for casting! The Nataraja is 23 feet tall and will weigh a total of 10 tons of pure bronze! View this amazing Nataraja! After we climbed over the enormous mold of the Nararaja I then moved inside to view my, more modest bronze statues. They are experts at the Nataraja form and I took in my 4 Natarajas I commissioned. Each a perfect representation of Shiva’s dance of destruction. In each statue, Shiva is suspended upon the prostrate dwarf, Apasmara, like he is flying, light as a feather. In my opinion there is no statue form as fine as a Nataraja with perfect proportions. It will always take a little of my breath away to see a masterpiece Nataraja as Varadaraj is so adept at creating!

Varun and Varadaraj working on a wax model of Ravendra

Varun and Varadaraj working on a wax model of Ravendra

I spent two days with the family and enjoyed their youthful, smiling mother’s, “Mama’s” cooking for lunch each day. It is always my favorite meal in India a mixture of prawn curry, chicken masala and coconut rice that is impossible to find made with such love at any restaurant. I bought them an iPhone which we spent a couple of hours figuring out the inner workings to the phone. I love watching the interplay between the three brothers. They are so close I really think they can read each others mind. Whenever they are sitting with together they have an arm over each others shoulder, whispering into the others’ ear. I often feel like I am intruding as their exchanges feel so private and personal.

While roaming around the now 30 workers Varadaraj now has working for him I took many videos of the lost wax method process to show in more detail how south Indian bronze statues are made. The process is incredibly long and tedious with 5 separate steps. I thought video is the best way to illustrate with bronze statue making process. People often times say the prices of bronze are too high on Lotus Sculpture. I know that when one fully understands the entire process and the overall work that goes into the making of one bronze statue you will wonder whey they are so inexpensive! I will adding these and many other videos to our site and youtube channel in the coming weeks.

By far my favorite piece of news I have received on this trip was that Varun has received a role as the hero in an action film in Chennai that starts filming in two months!!! He will be a kung foo hero, like Jackie Chan!!! I literally jumped off the ground when he told me this. I am so happy for him. I love when people have dreams and make them into realities. The kung foo brothers are dreamers and I am very happy to call them my friends.