Comment on Anand Commaraswamy's The Dance of Shiva .It is from non- fiction story.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Commaraswamy's article is a powerful one in how it reconfigures the dance of Shiva.  It takes the basic Saivite dance beliefs and the plays with how it can be interpreted.  Where I find it to be the most profound is in how it recalibrates the idea of Lord Shiva as destroyer.  The article makes mention that the destruction that Shiva feasts upon is actually the bonds of attachment that lies within our psyche as well as the bonds of ego that festers within our soul, preventing us from understanding the true nature of who we are and where we fit into his design.  When Commaraswamy writes of Shiva's redemptive power, it causes a moment of pause:

Again, Unmai Vilakkam, v. 32, 37, 39 inform us
"The Supreme Intelligence dances in the soul ... for the purpose of removing our sins. By these means, our Father scatters the darkness of illusion (maya), burns the thread of causality (karma), stamps down evil (mala, anava, avidya), showers Grace, and lovingly plunges the soul in the ocean of Bliss (ananda). They never see rebirths, who behold this mystic dance."

This is a very powerful idea that comes out of the article, in that the destruction that Shiva renders is the destruction of that which we can never destroy. It is why Shiva is depicted as a sacrificing ascetic.  He does what we cannot, does what others could never do.  We see this in the Puranas.  When the churning of the oceans take place to extract the Amrita, or heavenly nectar, the first drink to come out is poison and Shiva takes, the reason why his neck is blue. As Neelkanth saved us then, Commaraswamy's article argues that his dance is done in much the same way, to save us from ourselves.

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Religion in Literature

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