October 18, 2013 01:43 PM

By Samriti Sharma

Chandigarh: In Indian culture we have many Devi , Devta’s  and Rishi  Munis . In Vedic period Indra, Varuna , Surya  were worshiped . Later on Lord Krishna , Lord Rama  were worshiped .The ideas of India , through the ages recognizing the kinship of man and god in every sphere. God  is the supreme artist  who guides every action of man . Idea of temples was that it had to  be a place of communication between God and man .In India only temple reflects the  universe . Dancing was considered the religious ceremony most pleasing to the gods . Indeed the gods themselves were supreme dancers .


Main principal gods are BRAHMA ,VISHNU ,SHIVA ,and their consorts are SARASWATI ,LAKSHAMI, PARVATI.   Brahma the creator , lord Vishnu the preserver , Lord Shiva the destroyer –jointly  known as trinity or trimurti .Shiva is king of dancers and called NATRAJA.  His wife PARWATI was first teacher of dance who brought the art down to earth to teach people .In rich cultural heritage of Indian art , it is impossible to separate mythology and real world . as per mythology  lord Brahma created 4 Vedas , the cosmic world , people requested the god to do something for entertainment . Lord Brahma went into deep meditation and out of 4 Vedas  drew 5th , NATYA VEDA. Lord Brahma having composed the first drama went to seek the help of lord SHIVA for the steps of dance .


Shiva composed the dance steps to help BRAHMA .Shiva taught these steps to his dispel TANDU and PARWATI. Dance steps of Shiva are known as  Tandava ( the energetic form),they were most in masculine form , Parvati added Feminine steps  LASYA (delicate form)to blend in harmony. Few people says these dances were 108 in number, but as per shaivite  sahitya they are 64 in number . but today we recognize  only 7 TANDAVA. 

 *SANDHYA TANDAVA                                     





*URDHAVA TANDAV,                           


KALIAKA,  SANDHYA   are performed at TIRUNELVELI,  in MADURAI in grave yards,  Anand   Tandav  is performed in  Chitambaram.

VISHNU  has  no  role  in  the  field  of  dance , but his consort  Laxmi  danced to attract the demons. SILAPPA-DIKRAM a Tamil   granth refer s this dance as known as PAWAD. VISHNU in   the   incarnation   of Krishna was great dancer, he danced him self alone and with others also. In SILAPPA-DIKRAM dances   of   Krishna   childhood   has   references as MAAL dances,   mainly KALIA- MARDAN , RASA LEELA has prominent place. In Tamil granth there is reference of competition of KALI AND PARVATI which they performed at chitambram .in many TANTRA –MANTRA books this dances has place where kali is performing on dead bodies in war.

Temples  are important part of Indians daily life, has impact on art, music or dance

It is interesting to note that square form was the basic structure of temple ,as in the theatre, in every temple Natya - sabha was made where music and dance performance took place as a part of religious ritual .

In  EAST INDIA  it is belief that Shiva and Parvati  initiated the first steps of Manipuri dance. They use scared texts of rig Veda .Rasa Leelas  in Manipur  gracefully depicts the love of Krishna  and  Radha . All the songs has theme of  worship through love  in all parts of India ,the mood is known as  Shringara  bhakti .

In SOUTH INDIA – land of  BHARAT-NATYAM –most of the KURAVANJIS  are dedicated to lord Shiva and very few to Krishna .The bronze figure of NATARAJA  is spiritual force of doctrine of enlightenment is embodied in powerful expression and synthesis of deep philosophy .

In ORISSA when the temple of Jaganath  puri was constructed they used same rituals as in the temples of south .later Natya -Mandir was the part of temple and Geeta gobind was the theme constantly danced and sung , sooner other song lost their popularity in 1497 king Pratap  rudra  deva made a law that only Geeta gobind of jaideva could be utilized .

CHHAU the most popular dance of Orissa and Bihar is dedicated to ARDHA_ NARISHVARA,   PURUSHA    and PRAKRITI.

Dances in today life

Today  dances  has  come  out  of  temples , there is great change in costumes ,selection of themes ,but in ancient India art religion had no separate identity. The artist revealed his vision of beauty with in temple walls. Today art has moved to stage but dedication is same.Today all over india music and dance functions are arranged on mazaars , temples .every social and  religious ceremony is incomplete with out dance.

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