A symbol of creation and destruction and the struggle to overcome ego through #spiritual #contemplation, the Shiva Nataraja, or Dancing Shiva is one of my favorite religious symbols. This explanation of the symbol by Aldous Huxley isn’t very thorough, but it’s clear and easy to understand.
I think what I appreciate so much about it is that it’s so comprehensive that you can meditate on the meaning of all reality just through the symbolism in this image. Birth, death, the infinite vastness of time and space, the insignificance of our place in it all, and the need to struggle to be better people anyway.
I wonder, were it not for the Jewish restrictions on creating images of the divine (which was more literally expressed in Islam), would we have a richer and more complex tradition of religious symbolism in the West. Something as complex as this image to describe the Abrahamic God or the Trinity and the Christian worldview.