Shiva Nataraja - Chatura pose

Shiva's dance involves all of 108 poses, some of which have been sculpted in bronze as well as stone on temple walls. Here at the Brihadeshwara temple, under the rule of Rajaraja chola and the patronage of queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, one of the leading queens of the Chola dynasty are depicted the various forms of shiva.

To the Chola rulers, apart from Tanjore, Chidamabaram was another place that boasted the strong presence of Shiva. Apart from the beautiful bronze Nataraja at the Chidambaram temple a lot of similar forms have been installed along the temple niches for the diety.

Here at Brihadeshwara, along its south wall we see Shiva in the chatura pose. The chatura pose is that where the right leg is firmly placed on the apasmarapurusha (ignorance) and the left leg is raised half way into the air shortly before being stretched out as the nataraja tandava pose. Shiva wears a jatamukuta and holds the crecent moon and ganges in his hair! In this sculpture he is seen holding a trident as one of his many attributes.

Photos courtesy: Michael D. Gunther / ww.art-and-archaeology.com


Harisaranasekaran said...

Dear Kavitha
Very nice attempt. Would like to invite you to view http://www.varalaaru.com. Thanks

Harisaranasekaran said...

Hi Kavitha
This is not chatura posture. This is kaalari murthy - the killer of yama god of death. You can see markandeya hugging the linga on the right and kaala(Yama) giving him a chase on the left.

By the way, when the big temple at tanjore(Raajarajeeswaram) was constructed, the pious queen sembiyan maadevi was no more.

kavitha said...

Hi gokul, thanks for your comments! truely enlightening, but i would really like to know where you get your information from. i pick mine up from renouned art historians like J C Harle, shivaram murthy and gopinath rao and Gunther to name a few and i would tend to believe them. Definitely want to know where your references are from.