Thiruvathira on January 10, 2020: Ardra and Physics

Ardra and Physics*

Tomorrow is aaruthra Darshan in all the 

Shiva temples.
Cosmic dance of Shiva (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
 The cosmic dance of 
Shiva symbolises the interplay of dynamic and
 static divine energy flow, containing the five 
principles of eternal energy — creation,
 preservation, destruction, illusion and
 emancipation. Shiva dances in ‘Rudra Tandava’ 
or the dance of destruction in an aureole of 
creating wild thunder storms all around the
 universe, even shattering the Sun, the Moon 
and stellar bodies with his matted hair, marks of 
ash on the forehead, trident, drum, lifting his 
left leg and balancing over a demon of 
ignorance, with snakes crawling over his arms, 
legs, and braided hair that depict egotism. His 
upper right hand holds an hourglass drum or
 'dumroo' standing for the male-female vital 
principle, while the lower gestures us to "Be
 fearless". A skull on his head depicts conquest 
over death. Goddess Ganga, epitomising the 
holy river, sits on his hairdo. His third eye 
represents omniscience, insight, and 
The ‘Lasya’ or the gentle form of his dance,

 known as ‘Aananda Tandavam’ or dance of bliss 

is associated with the creation of the world,

 after its total destruction. Shiva’s two different

 cosmic dances take place in one’s 

‘Chidambaram’ or in the sky of the mind,

 portrayed as the centre of consciousness 

situated at the altar of one’s heart.

Shiva is the symbol of ‘Brahmam’, the universal 

consciousness. The cosmic serpent called 

‘Kundalini’, draped by the Lord of all

 is mythically present in every living form. 

Arousal of the ‘kundalini’ is a metaphor for the

 awakening of the seven energy centres or 

‘chakras’ situated in the spine.

The European Centre for Research in Particle 

Physics in Geneva-CERN had unveiled in 2004 

the two metre-tall statue of Nataraja, the form

 of Shiva depictd in dance pose. The dancing 

Indian deity, representing the cosmic cycles of 

creation and destruction also depicts the 

dynamics of subatomic particles, the basis of 

creation of the universe that is being 


by physicists around the world.
The linkage between

 the ancient Vedic mythology, religious 

symbolism, art and modern physics has been 

commented in the following way.

 “Every subatomic particle not only does an 

energy dance, but is also an energy dance; a 

pulsating process of creation and 

destruction...without end...For the modern

 Physicists, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of 

subatomic matter.”

*Write-up received from Vathsala Jayaraman via Exrbites Group email 


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