Nataraja's Earring

Harsha V. Dehejia hdehejia at CCS.CARLETON.CA
Sun Dec 6 10:49:25 UTC 1998


Nataraja wears a female earring in his left ear (kundala) while his right ear, though pierced, is bare. One can explain this by child like stories which say that his right earring fell off while dancing. The truth of the matter is that Nataraja is an ardhanirshvara and therefore must express his feminine aspect.  This is stylised by the kundala. Nataraja cannot be in a state of ananda (bliss) without a dynamic harmony of purusha and prakriti, Shiva and Parvati, male and female. This is the foundational doctrine of Kashmir Shaivism.

The image of the ardhanarisvara is a visual paradigm of Kashmir Shaivism epistemology (see my Parvatidarpana, Motilal Banarasidass, 1997). So is the marriage of Shiva and Parvati

Harsha V. Dehejia
256, Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON
Canada. K2P 1L9.
Telephone 613-233-3103
Facsimile   613-829-2560 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list