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From the 10th century ce, the standard sculptural representation in South Indian temples of Śiva Naṭarāja, the best-known example being at Cidambaram, where it represents Śiva wildly and ecstatically dancing one world age (yuga) to destruction and ushering in the next. The figure is four-armed: the upper right hand holds a drum, the lower right makes the abhaya-mudrā, the upper left holds a flame, the lower left points to the god's raised left foot, beneath which the devotee may take refuge. With his right foot, Śiva is standing on the dwarf, Apasmāra, who symbolizes ignorance. The whole image is usually surrounded by a flaming aureole.


Subjects: Hinduism.

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