Faith

Symbolic significance

Vallalar, in his Deiva Manimalai, worries that his mind refuses to pay heed to him. As a result, he says, he has not studied about the Lord’s feet. Saints always advise seekers of moksha to focus on God’s feet. In fact, there is a symbolic significance to the dancing God Nataraja, where His hands and feet show us the path to liberation, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse.

In Lord Nataraja’s upper right hand is a drum, called the udukkai. This shows that it is Lord Siva who performs the task of creation. The lower right hand is in abhaya mudra, which shows He performs the task of protecting. The upper left hand has fire, to show that He is responsible for dissolution at the time of Pralaya — the great deluge. The lower left hand points to His lifted foot as the means to liberation. So, this hand shows that He is the One who grants liberation through His mercy. While the left leg is lifted, the right foot rests on a demon called Muyalakan. Our ignorance and ego keep us from realising God and we think the joys of this world are permanent. But Siva destroys our ignorance and ego, just as He crushed Muyalakan.

Kasyapa Sivachariar, in his Kanda Puranam, says that when Lord Muruga and the demon Soorapadman fight, the Lord after some time controls the demon’s ego. The demon, who till then had been abusing the Lord, begins to praise him. There are a few verses of Soorapadman’s praise of Lord Muruga in the Kanda Puranam. When the Lord withdraws His grace, the demon begins to abuse Him again, showing that for the ego to be got rid of, His grace is necessary. Ultimately Lord Muruga splits the demon’s body into two. One part becomes a peacock, which becomes the Lord’s mount. The other half becomes a rooster and adorns His flag.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 6, 2021 8:31:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/symbolic-significance/article26115605.ece

Next Story