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Fig 2.4 – Shiva

Text: Page 37

Shiva has many attributes that frequently seem contradictory. In the “Dance of
Creation,” Shiva dances after the destruction of the world. The dance symbolizes the cycles of creation and destruction as well as the daily rhythm of death and rebirth. The dance symbolizes the five principal manifestations of energy, which are creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. Shiva symbolizes dynamic energy, his hair swirling in the dance, dancing over the “demon of ignorance,” which personifies the triumph of Shiva over illusion and ignorance. The third eye symbolizes the emergence of enlightenment and creation of a new consciousness. The hand with the flame symbolizes destruction of evil, the arms and legs the duality of human nature and the “mudra” hand gestures used in Hindu ceremonies. The lotus flower symbolizes salvation, the purity of mind needed for enlightenment and rebirth. Shiva continues to dance for humanity, symbolic of the destructive and creative human energies necessary for the survival of a weary universe.

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