Significance of Shiva Tandavam

Krishna Paksha Pradosham in Aadi falls on July 21, 2017.

The Pradosham Kalam is an auspicious time to worship Lord Shiva as he is seen in his ecstatic state of dancing before Goddess Gowri who is seated on a throne embedded with precious gems before him.


Whenever we think about Lord Shiva, His Tandavam comes to our mind immediately. He is Nataraja who is the exponent of dance and is ever venerated for his Tandavam (ecstatic dance). He asked his attendant Tandu to teach sage Bharath about Natya Sashtra.


Siva Thandavam


Shiva’s Tandavam is His vibrant, energetic ecstatic dance which signifies the manifestations of His cosmic energy in the form of creation and destruction. It manifests five aspects: Shrishti, Sthiti, Samhara, Tirobhava, and Anugraha meaning creation, preservation, destruction, illusion, and release from worldly bondage.


Tandavam of the Lord signifies that Lord Shiva is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and releases us from the worldly illusion in the end. It is He who is responsible for every movement in the Universe as signified by his Dance and in the end, destroys everything and goes to a state of Ananda.


Shiva’s Tandavam is of two kinds:


             Rudra Tandavam  

             Ananda Tandavam.


When He is in a rage, He dances vigorously and makes every being in the Universe shudder with His dance movements.


His Rudra Tandavam portrays Him as the creator, destroyer of the Universe and His Ananda Tandavam showcases His happy mood.


Legend behind Rudra Tandavam


There is a story behind Lord’s Rudra Tandavam. Goddess Sati burnt Herself after the insult She received in the Daksha Yagna. Knowing this, Shiva got enraged and started dancing in a violent manner and it is what is called His Rudra Tandavam.



Sandhya Thandavam


Sandhya Tandavam is the dance Lord Shiva performs during Pradosham. During this time, Shiva seats Goddess Gowri on a throne made of precious stones and dances on the horns of Nandi.Sarawathi plays the veena, Lakshmi sings, Indra plays the flute, Vishnu plays mridangam and Brahma keeps the rhythm. Other devas and deities watch this spectacular and holy scene. It is such an auspicious time and praying to Shiva during this time will bestow all good things in life.


Goddess Parvathy dances to the movements of Lord Shiva. Her movements are gentle and Her dance is called Lasya.


The great God Shiva is the maestro of dance and following the instructions by His attendant Tandu, the sage Bharat introduced the intricacies of the classical dance called Bharatanatyam.










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