Query on Nataraja

nas_ng at lms420.jsc.nasa.gov nas_ng at lms420.jsc.nasa.gov
Fri Aug 2 14:22:58 UTC 1996


         Re: Query on Nataraja,

Dear Matthew,

YES. It is true that Nataraja was famous only in Madras/Tamil Nadu
areas (ca. 1900).

I think the world popularity of Nataraja comes from
Ananda Coomaraswamy's writings. Also, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), 
the famous sculptor, praised Him with a French poem ...

The first detailed book on Nataraja was written in Tamil.
See ca. taNTapANi tEcikar (Dandapani Desigar), ATal vallAn,
1967, tiruvAvaTutuRai AtInam, 400+ pages, many plates.
Desigar quotes all the relevent passages from old tamil literature.

C. Sivaramamurti got the idea from ATal vallAn & wrote it in
English. He added few more sculptures from Badami etc.,
He gives many Sanskrit slokas written in South India by
Umapati Sivam, Appayya Diksita etc.,
(Nataraja in art, thought & literature, 1974, National Museum)

See the more recent book on Nataraja. It is a Ph.D. thesis from
Madras university. The author's grandfather was a well-known tamil
professor (pU. AlAlacuntaram ceTTiyaar)

mu. a. mANikkavElu, tamizh n^ATTil naTaraacar vazhipaaTu,
Madras, 1994

N. Ganesan
nas_ng at lms420.jsc.nasa.gov

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