The cosmic dance of Shiva Nataraj as king (raja) of the dance (nata) is considered a symbol of the eternal movement of the universe. Shiva Nataraj is usually surrounded by a flame wreath which on the one hand offers protection against all annoying external influences, but he is also the fire of destruction of the old from which the new can arise, symbolizing the eternal cycle of existence. In his right hand he holds a small drum that depicts the rhythm of creation. His mantra is Aum, the primal sound from which creation originated. With his second right hand he makes the couragera of reassurance. With his left hand Shiva holds a torch or flame as a symbol of destruction and renewal. The lowered left arm symbolizes obedient humility.
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