by Sydney Solis
Hello little children! Today I want to tell you about Nataraja. Who is Nataraja you ask? He is the lord of the dance. In Hindu, nata means dance and raja means lord. He is dancing the Dance of Bliss ananda taandavam.
In Hindu mythology, he is an aspect of the God Shiva, destroying the world with the dance to make way for Lord Brahma to create the world anew.
Kids Yoga Story
There is a story that goes like this. There were some rishis - yogi monks and seers, who were not behaving very well. They were proud of their learning and powers. Shiva went to the forest to discipline them. Lord Vishnu came with him, disguised as a beautiful woman, Mohini. The rishis were furious and tried to destroy the couple with magic spells. They created a ferocious tiger out of a sacrificial fire. It was easy, however, for Shiva to overtake the tiger. He removed its skin with one of his fingernails and wrapped the skin about himself. Furious, from another fire the rishis unleashed a snake to strike Shiva. Again, Shiva simply grabbed the snake and wrapped it around his neck like a garland. Finally, the rishis created an evil dwarf Aspasmara to attack Shiva. All he had to do was press his foot on the dwarf to break its back. The rishis gave up, and lord Shiva began to dance.
Kids Yoga Philosophy
In Shiva’s right hand he holds a drum, damaru, with the tick, tick, tick beat of creation and of time that shuts out eternity and is the heartbeat of the universe. The other right hand is in abhaya mudra, which means to have no fear!
Shiva’s upper left hand holds a flame, destruction. His other left hand points to Shiva’s left foot that is lifted. It means release, moksha, freedom from the bondages of time. Shiva stands on the dwarf that the rishis tried to destroy him with. He crushes ignorance and laziness. Surrounding his dance are flames, which create and well as destroy the universe. There is the snake he caught, wrapped around his waist. It is the Shakti, the energy of the universe.
More Kids Yoga Fun with Natarajasana.