Shiva & Science

Adyan Nair
2 min readOct 10, 2020

We have so much around us to be explored: The world of space and time, matter and energy, the world of creation and destruction, and the world of psychology.

Shiva — the ultimate metaphor for the perpetual movement of creation, preservation and destruction. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art, and modern physics. It is indeed, as Coomaraswamy has said, ‘poetry, but none the less science’.

Nataraja — The Dance of the Cosmos

In his Tandava and his posture Nataraja sums up the cosmic principles of both, Creation and Destruction, displaying all the five fundamental elements — Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. The Tandava is governed by five manifestations of eternal energy: Shrishti (creation), Sthiti (sustenance), Samhara (destruction), Tirobhava (illusion) and Anugraha (grace).

The dance of the cosmos and the dance of Shiva — the Nataraja, lies a startling resonance.

Contemplating on this magnetic image, the unification takes place in the yogi’s heart and when it does, it brings about the complete cessation of all activities of the mind. Nataraja indicates the mystery of transcendence of that harmonious state with the dancing posture.

To this day the Nataraja at CERN, Geneva, continues to throw daunting shadows against its walls, perhaps reminding us mortals that like him, the dance of life and death is within each one of us too. On a subliminal level, it is a reminder that it is up to us to destroy the egoic self. And give birth to and celebrate a state of bliss — Ananda.

Science and spirituality agree that we come from nothing and go back to nothing and the entire universe is a cosmic dance. Let’s dance with our eyes closed.