Tirumular: “Atbudha Dance”

(ca. 400–700)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The “Atbudha Dance” is a devotional poem excerpted from the last chapter of Tirumular’s Tirumantiram. This poem reflects the outpourings of the heart of the legendary yogi Tirumular as he witnesses Nataraja performing the Cosmic Dance of Creation and Destruction. Each verse conveys with emotional intensity the awe, wonder, and ecstasy experienced in the presence of the great Cosmic Dancer. The theology of Shaiva Siddhanta is poignantly couched in the devotional lines of the poetry. Nataraja is the eternal, enlightened guru who dances within...

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Shiva Nataraja (Yale University Art Gallery)

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