We often see a statue of dancing Shiva, Nataraja, inside the classrooms or with traditional Indian Dance forms or dancers, respectively, but what is it? Why is it considered as devotional? How is it connected with Shiva?
Know the story behind Sunat Nartak Avatar of Shiva in this column.
1. Shiva took a form of Nat, meaning dancer. This avatar of Lord Shiva is known as Sunat Nartak or Nataraja.
2. According to Puranas, when Lord Shiva agreed to marry Parvati, she came back to her house.
3. At the same time, Devtas worried that, if Himalaya got his daughter married to Lord Shiva, then he would also reach Godly status.
4. Devtas shared the concern with Lord Shiva. Shiva, dressed as a Sunat Nartak, went to Himalaya’s house.
5. He danced there by heart, pleasing everyone around Him.
6. Once His performance finished, Himalaya asked him what he wanted as a prize. Shiva then asked him for his daughter’s hand for marriage.
8. Before leaving from Himalaya’s abode, Lord Shiva revealed his identity to Parvati. When he was gone, Parvati told this truth to her parents.
9. They felt sorry, apologizing, but since they abused Shiva, they had already fallen from Godly status and were no more in the good-books of Devtas.
Sunat Nartak thus is a Divine form of dancing Lord Shiva. Throughout the Indian Subcontinent, the Sunat Nartak is depicted as Nataraja. As Michael Jackson is to the Western Dance-forms like popping and break-dance, Nataraja is an ultimate devotional deity for each professional Traditional Dancer of Bharatanatyam.