Shiva Nataraja: Navigating the Cycles of Life

By |May 11th, 2018|Yoga Philosophy|0 Comments|

As I was offering puja (a ritual of devotion) this morning to Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Cosmic Dance), I reflected on the great wisdom this deity represents. I pay homage to these teachings by offering various elements of the heart like flowers, rice, water, a candle flame, fruit, and incense. Afterwards I always feel refreshed. The puja is a way to restart and clear the past to begin again from a place of wholeness and positive vision. It’s like pressing the life-reset button.
Imp of Forgetfulness
Nataraja, standing on one foot on the back of the “imp of forgetfulness” (Apasmara Purusha), or the ego (that’s us!), does not kill the ego. He permits it to live. He just keeps it at bay under the foot of the dance of the universe. The deeper symbolism is that the entire universe is dancing on the “back body” of your ego. (Remember that your back body is where the universal hangs out. You cannot see your back body. It’s the mystery of life.) Your ego provides the dance floor for grace. Hmmm. That’s interesting. Maybe I need my ego. Yes, that is correct. Tantra teaches that YOU matter. What you think, say, and do is really important. The universe helps those who help themselves. Grace requires effort to be received. “The winds of grace are always blowing. But you have to set the sails.” Sri Ramakrishna.

The imp has his eyes cast upward to the lifted foot of grace above him. As long as your ego is aligned with grace and you remember the bigger energy (basically you remember your heart and the deeper purpose of what it’s all about), you will thrive. Either way, whether you align or […]