Lord Siva’s divine dances fall into many categories. ‘Nama Sivaya’ is known as the ‘Sthula Panchakshara.’ ‘Na’ indicates His feet; ‘ma’ His abdomen; ‘si’ His shoulders; ‘va’ His face and ‘ya’ His matted locks.

The ‘Sthula Panchakshara’ indicates the Lord’s dance, which is responsible for our birth.

The Lord takes pity on ‘atmas’ and in order to liberate them, He gives them birth so that they may worship Him and be liberated,, K. Sambandan said in a discourse.

‘Sivaya Nama’ is known as the ‘Sookshma Panchakshara.’ The hand that holds the musical instrument is represented by ‘Si;’ ‘va’ is represented in the lower left hand; ‘ya’ is symbolised in the hand that shows the ‘abhaya mudra,’ that is the protecting pose; ‘na’ is expressed in the hand that holds the flame; and ‘ma’ is represented in the feet that press down demon Muyalaka.

The circle of fire around the dancing God represents ‘AUM.’ So Lord Siva, assuming the ‘Sukshma Panchakshara’ as His body, gets rid of our karma, destroys our pride and grants liberation to the soul.

The dance of the Lord is known as ‘gnana natana.’ He first dances to grant birth to ‘atmas’ so that they may live on this earth and make attempts to liberate themselves. He then dances the dance of knowledge so that the born souls may be liberated. The purpose of this dance is to ensure that we get ‘gnana’ and thereby attain ‘moksha.’

The Chidambaram dance

There is yet another dance called Ananda Natana or the dance of joy. This He dances in the Chidambaram temple.

Goddess Sivagami watches it and so do Vyagrapada and sage Patanjali.

There are those who are not concerned about worldly matters. Their minds are focussed on God. This dance is for such devotees. Those who see it will attain moksha.

However, it cannot be seen easily by everyone. It can be seen only by ‘Jivan muktas.’

The fact that the Goddess is witness to this dance itself will save us. Through Her grace, we shall become recipients of His grace, and since we are recipients of the Lord’s grace, we shall attain ‘moksha.’