A fine example of a polished bronze sculpture of Shiva as Nataraja (Nataraj), the Lord of the Dance. The figure has four arms - The upper right hand holds the drum from which creation issues forth. The lower right hand is raised in blessing, betokening preservation. The upper left hand holds a flame, which is destruction, the dissolution of form. The right leg, representing obscuring grace, stands upon Apasmarapurusha, a soul temporarily earth-bound by its own sloth, confusion and forgetfulness. The uplifted left leg is revealing grace, which releases the mature soul from bondage. The lower left hand gestures toward that holy foot in assurance that Shiva's grace is the refuge for everyone, the way to liberation. The circle of fire represents the cosmos and especially consciousness. The all-devouring form looming above is Mahakala, "Great Time." The cobra around Nataraja's waist is kundalini shakti, the soul-impelling cosmic power resident within all. The sculpture probably dates to the 19th century and is in excellent condition, with minimal imperfections and light expected wear from age and use. Some minor polish residue is present. Dimensions: 13” h x 11” w x 4 ⅜” d.
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