नटराज, naṭarāja 

"The Dance King"; Shiva as a Space Dancer

Nataraja is usually depicted as a bronze statue, where Shiva dances in a halo of fire, lifting his left leg and standing with his right foot on the body of a demon or dwarf that symbolizes ignorance. One pair of Shiva’s hands is closed in Abhaya-mudra, the second pair holds the all-purifying cosmic fire (Agni) – a symbol of transformation, and the damaru drum, a symbol of all creation and the epitome of life itself.

The dance performed by Shiva Nataraja is called tandava. It conveys fury, rage, power, and is associated with the destruction (samhara) of the Universe, which is performed by Shiva in the form of a destroyer – Rudra. At the same time, Shiva’s dance is necessary to maintain the rhythm of life and create the world. While Shiva dances, all creatures live.