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Thillai Nataraja Temple, or the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, is dedicated to the dancing form of Nataraja. This temple is located in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Lord Shiva, is seen in a dancing pose here. Chidambaram when split into two words, means Chit (gyana or wisdom) and Ambaram ( akasha or space).
There are 8 temples of Lord shiva which exactly fall in the same longitude (79°E 41'54") and the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram is one among them too. This is really a stunning marvel as it was built around the 2nd century AD and was rebuilt by the Cholas in the 10th Century AD in an era which did not know of satellites or satellite indicating locations. Read on to know more.
Apart from other mysteries surrounding this temple, the architecture of the temple at Chidambaram resembles the human physique. Scientists have explored the mystery of this temple for centuries and finally have concluded that the Nataraj posture resembles the cosmic dance. When we see the universe beyond the galaxy level, we reach a point where the whole space looks like an exact replica of a Nataraj statue.
Chidambara Rahasyam: Secrets
- The temple in its construction resembles the human body with all its minute parts.
- There are five walls that encircle one another which denote the five kosas or sheaths of human existence. five walls encircling one another are the kosas (sheaths) of human existence. The five Koshas are the Annamaya (material body), Pranamaya (vital force or prana), Manomaya (thoughts),Vigyanamaya (intellect) and Anandamaya (bliss) portions of the human body.
- Lord is seated as jiva in the body which is his house. The Sanctum is always unlit as it depicts the heart that is enclosed from all sides. The entry gopuras are the feet of a person who is lying on his back.
- The flag post denotes the sushumna nadi that raises from the base of the spine mooladhar to the sahasrar which is the vertex in the head.
Chidambaram Temple And Its Symbolism
- The roof has 26,000 golden tiles (see picture), denoting the number of breaths of a person in a day.
- These tiles are fixed to the wooden roof with the help of 72,000 nails depicting the number of nadis (the invisible ducts carrying energy to various parts of the body).
- The heart is on the left side of the chest. Similarly, the sanctum or Ponnambalam is aligned towards the left side.
- Atop the Chitsabha roof, there are nine kalasas that depict nine Shaktis or powers.
- The roof has 64 cross wooden reapers which stand for the 64 arts.
- The Artha mandapa has six pillars that denote six shastras.
- The Mandapa next to the Artha mandapa has eighteen pillars that stand for the eighteen Puranas.
- There are five steps leading to the Chit sabha from the Kanaka sabha depicting the five-lettered Panchakshara mantra ( Na ma chi va ya)
- The Chit sabha roof is supported by four pillars symbolic of the four Vedas.
Nataraja's dance represents the five divine acts of:
a. Creation- He holds damaru in his right hand. He is the origin of Sound. He is the point of the creation of all beings.
b. Protection- He shows the 'Abhaya Mudra', in the other right hand which shows he is a kind protector .
c. Destruction- His left hand is the abode of fire, that destroys the world when it is time. When everything is destroyed, ash remains, which he has applied to his body.
d. The foot, which is on the ground shows the gesture of hiding.
e. The raised foot shows the gesture of bestowing.
- Nataraja Stowards his left, has Parvati and to his right is the screen, which, during deeparadhana, is removed to let us see five long golden bilva leaf hangings. Behind this there is nothing. The dikshitars or the priests of this temple, explain that the Parvati idol is the sagun brahman, which leads to Lord Shiva, which is nirgun brahman. This is part of the Chidambara rahasya that these priests explain.
- Shiva's dance, which is usually known as cosmic dance is referred to as Anand tandava by the people of Chidambaram.
- In a nearby mandapa called chitrakoota, we can see Lord Vishnu in a fully reclining yoga nidra pose on the sesh nag bed. From a particular angle, you can see Lord Nataraja on his left side.
- Sages Patanjali and Thirumoolar were the audience for Lord Shiva's tandav in Chidambaram. So their figures are embossed on the silver doors of Chit sabha.
- After 8 years of research, western scientists have found out that Lord Nataraja's big toe is the center point of the magnetic equator of the world. This temple is also located at the Center Point of world 's Magnetic Equator.
- Of the 5 temples, that represents the pancha bhootas, Chidambaram denotes the Skies. Kalahasthi denotes Wind. Kanchi Ekambareswar denotes land. All these 3 temples are aligned in a straight line at 79 degrees 41 minutes Longitude. This can be understood by studying it in google.
- There are 4 pillars holding the Kanagasabha representing the 4 Vedas. Ponnambalam has 28 pillars denoting the 28 agamas and methods that are used to worship Lord Shiva. These pillars support 64 +64 Roof Beams which denote the 64 Arts. The cross beams denote our blood vessels.
- The dance of Lord Nataraja is described as Cosmic Dance by the Western Scientists.
- Devotees staunchly believe that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati reside inside the sanctum and only enlightened souls can see them.
- Lord Shiva is worshipped in three forms, the ratna sabha, the crystal lingam, and the chidambara rahasya form. Firslty Ratna Sabha is a small idol of Natraja made of ruby, which glows when the flame is shown at the backside of the idol.
- Second is the crystal lingam which is worshipped 6 times a day. The third is the "Chidambara Rahasya" in which God is worshipped as formless. In this ritual, the priest unveils the black curtain that represents ignorance and reveals the golden bilva leaves which denotes wisdom. This is based on the idea that Lord Shiva leads one from ignorance to wisdom.
- CERN, the largest particle physics lab, installed a 2m tall Nataraja Statue in 2004. The centre is dedicated to conduct research over deepest secrets of 'cosmic dance' of the universe. CERN is the abbreviation for the French "Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire", or European Council for Nuclear Research, that was founded in 1952 with the intention of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe. Physicists and engineers at CERN use the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments to research the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles
Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Boldsky does not believe in or endorse any superstitions.
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