Dakshinamurti and Nataraja

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jul 17 11:51:38 UTC 1999

Ref: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgadkw/members/palaniappan-patanjali.html,
Madurai and Chidambaram: The Tamil Cities that created Important
Sanskrit Myths.

  >>competition between Pandyas of Madurai and the Pallavas/Cholas
  >>associated with Chidambaram, [...]
  >>It was not that Chidambaram alone tried to emulate Madurai.
  >>Madurai did reverse too.

        {See the 9-10th century Chola bronze from PoruppumETTupaTTi
        in Madurai district. A beautiful masterpiece of NaTarAja
        where the *right* leg is lifted up (kunchita pAdam).
        Even though Cholas were in control of Pandyan Madurai then,
        they pay respects to the native tradition by casting NaTarAja
        in the local tradition, opposite of the Chidambaram mode.

        Additionally, the five sabhas where Nataraja dances -
        there is only one in Pallava area (AlaGkADu),
        only the Chidambaram in Chola terrain, But *three*
        dance halls in Pandya country! - silver hall at Madurai,
        copper hall in Nelveli, and citra hall at Potiyil (kuRRAlam)
        shows adapting Dance motifs of Chidambaram.}

Shiva dancing in the Madurai temple silver hall appears
in Cilappatikaaram (5th cent. CE) pAyiram(foreword).

    "atirAc ciRappin2 maturai mUtUr
     kon2raiyam caTaimuTi man2Rap potiyilil
     veLLi ampalattu naLLiruT kiTantEn2"

Sambandhar from the Choladesham, in the 7th century, sings
about Madurai Shiva dancing vigourously. While Chidambaram
absorbed certain aspects of Daxinamurti, Madurai takes on
the Dance motifs of Nataraja as well.

     "mutirunIrc caTaimuTi mutalva, nI muzaGkazal
      atiravIci ATuvAy - azakan2 nI, puyaGkan2 nI,
      maturan2 nI, maNALan2 nI, maturai AlavAyilAy!
      caturan2 nI, caturmukan2 kapAlam Ettu campuvE!"

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