What for god Shiva - the Great ascetic or God of sensuality?
In India, as we know, are a lot of gods. One of them - Shiva - better known, than Ganesh, Sarasvati or Lakshmi, for example. This is God of creation and destruction at the same time. Main of “ Trinities “ Vishnu is Brahma - Shiva. Patron of pets.
Shaivism along with Vaishnava - very esteemed religion in India. This honoring in the south of the country is especially brightly expressed. The earliest image of Shiva is carried to the 2nd or 1st century BC. God in the temple Gudimallama modeled from a stone (in the north of the state Madras) costs against a lingam (a phallus - a symbol of divine force) as if making with it a whole. Height of a sculpture is equal to human height - 1 m 52 cm Shiva is represented strong and self-assured, cheerful and ready to action. It costs on yaksha shoulders - beings awful: with a huge mouth and protruding eyes, a powerful trunk. Yaksha represents forces of nature here, and Shiva - the highest aspect of a creative creative power of the Universe.
Probably, Shiva - one of the few gods who so successfully combine asceticism and sensual delights in all of them manifestations, cruelty and mercy, destructive force the creating beginning... Its image - the lord of the Universe in dance creating the worlds - is beautiful and attractive. Not without reason Shiva Nataradzha (the dancing Tandava - creation dance, man`s dance) became the favourite image of sculptors of India. In this surprising shape of Shiva the religion, philosophy and art are reflected and weaved together.
Since X-XI centuries, the main place among images of a deity is allocated to Nataradzhe. According to the legend, through the main pupil Tandu Shiva trained the wise man in Bkharatkh - the founder of theater. According to the Tamil Shaivite literature five acts of space activity - a panchakritiya were attributed to Shiva: shisht - creation; stkhit - protection, maintenance; a samkhara - destruction; a tirobkhava - a zavualirovaniye in Maya (illusion, matter); an anugrakha - release.
The early images of Shiva Nataradzhi cast from bronze are found in the south of India and Ceylon (where they could be delivered by the Tamil masters). They are dated X - the middle of the 12th centuries. Up to the 17th century the tradition of molding of the dancing Shiva was widely developed. These images glorified is southern - the Indian metal sculpture. Nataradzha - a symbol of the movement, circular motion of the world. Its sculptural image draws one of poses of dance of ecstasy of Anand - a tandav. The majority of poses is represented in a stone sculpture of gateway towers of the temple of Shiva Nataradzhi in Chidambaram. In Anand - a tandava Shiva is represented with the raised left leg, two pairs of hands, legs and the case are in difficult rhythmic interaction. This pose is traditional and remains during the millennium. Practically all figures of Shiva which can be found in esoteric shops represent this image.
Balance in dance symbolizes eternity of the movement of the Universe; the fluttering locks of hair - the energy radiated by a deity. The dwarf similar to the child, under Shiva`s leg personifies the forces of evil, ignorance attracted by Maya. Usually Nataradzha surrounds the beautiful burning nimbus - tiruvaz, symbolizing material forces of the Universe. The Dancer holds a small bilateral barabanchik in the right hand - to Dhamar - a symbol of awakening of the Universe to new life through vibration of a sound. The second right hand is bent in gesture abkhaya - is wise, gesture of encouragement, a favoring. In the left hand adjoining from a tiruvaza, Nataradzha holds a flame - agn - a symbol of clarification and updating of the world. The second left hand is extended across a breast in situation Gajah - a hasta (“ the stiffened trunk of an elephant “) pointing to the trampled demon. Otherwise this gesture is called a danda - a hasta and means the power and force.
Deities two-floors - in this case it is expressed in Shiva`s earrings: extended, man`s, in the right ear, belonging to deities of the highest rank and called Makar - a kundala, and round, female, simple and called the Father - a kundala, in left. On the right in a beautiful hairdress of a dzhat - the mukuta is placed the maiden of waters with a fish tail - a symbol of sacred Ganges; at the left settled down a half moon and Vasuki`s cobra as symbols of divinity and Shiva`s strength. Other cobra twisted around Nataradzha`s waist means his world energy. Two eyes - the Sun and the Moon, the third - in a forehead - Fire. A skull at the hairdress basis - a symbol of dispersion of the world at the end of evolution, and a necklace from skulls of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra - involution and evolution of the Universe. It is a strong image. Not only in art sense, but also in philosophical.
Shiva`s cult the most widespread and favourite on North - the country West at Rajputs. And Shiva he seldom here is called: it either Makhadev or Great god. One of favourite images - the Great ascetic meditating on the Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Forms Shiva - Bhairawa (Bkher) and Shiva - Ekaling are also very esteemed. Bhairawa is represented in the form of the man`s figure standing on a lotus with a garland from snakes on a neck, with elf-lock, four hands. In hands at it to Dhamar, the bowl for drink of blood of prostrate enemies made of a human skull, a sword and a trident. The Ekaling - the fallichesky symbol from a stone painted by graphite or minium with five, eight persons on a circle. Lingam - the yoni (a unification man`s and a feminine) is invariable attribute of the temple of Shiva and a subject of worship.
Shaivas have own set of sacred books. Unlike Vaishnavites Shaivas reduce value of the guru which only role consists in disclosure of true nature of mentoring. There is a set of sects of adherents of Shiva: the Shaiva, a pashupata, a kapalika, a kalamukha, a virashayva, etc.
the Powerful lord of the Universe, the dancing Almighty and the terrible defender devoted is also bright mythological character. With a name of Shiva as it became already clear, not only the religious way, but also culture and art of India, its philosophical component is connected.
of All good.