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19 Facts About Nataraja
Natesa is another alternate equivalent term for Nataraja found in 1st-millennium sculptures and archeological sites across the Indian subcontinent.
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The details in the Nataraja artwork have been variously interpreted by Indian scholars since the 12th century for its symbolic meaning and theological essence.
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In contrast, Sharada Srinivasan questions the link to Chola, and has presented archaeological evidence suggesting that Nataraja bronzes and dancing Shiva artwork in South India was a Pallava innovation, tracing back to 7th to 9th-centuries, and its symbolism should be pushed back by a few centuries.
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The details in the Nataraja artwork have attracted commentaries and secondary literature such as poems detailing its theological significance.
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Srinivasan notes that Nataraja is described as Satcitananda or "Being, Consciousness and Bliss" in the Shaiva Siddhanta text Kunchitangrim Bhaje, resembling the Advaita doctrine, or "abstract monism, " of Adi Shankara, "which holds the individual Self and supream Self (Paramatma) to be one, " while "an earlier hymn to Nataraja by Manikkavachakar identifies him with the unitary supreme consciousness, by using Tamil word Or Unarve, rather than Sanskrit Chit.
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One of the earliest known Nataraja artworks has been found in the archaeological site at Asanapat village in Odisha, which includes an inscription, and is dated to about the 6th century CE.
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Nataraja was worshipped at Chidambaram during the Pallava period with underlying philosophical concepts of cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, which is found in Tamil saint Manikkavacakar's Thiruvasagam.
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Similarly, Nataraja artwork has been found in archaeological sites in the Himalayan region such as Kashmir, albeit in with somewhat different dance pose and iconography, such as just two arms or with eight arms.
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Nataraja gained special significance and became a symbol of royalty in Tamil Nadu.
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