Nataraja or Nataraj, is the dancing form of Lord Shiva. The archetype symbolizes, Nataraj, the dancer, as the "clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of…A more fluid and energetic representation of a moving figure than the dancing figure of Shiva can scarcely be found anywhere".
Sean Johnson asserts that one of the great gifts of music and mantra is its capacity to be a healing companion to us through the inevitable challenges and struggles of life. He shares that Om Namah Shivaya is a mantra that has been very important to him in living through the darkness of loss, helping to open to grace and sustain hope at times of destruction and grief.
One of the huge COVID19 disappointments for me was having to cancel attendance at The Wild Lotus 8 day Bhakti Yoga Immersion in New Orleans in March of this year. I was planning to stay in the neighborhood I frequented when I was a lost and wandering adolescent. That wandering brought me to a mystical vision of Florence Nightingale and the call to enroll in nurses training. After graduating from Touro Infirmary School of nursing, I had the great pleasure of living in that neighborhood I think of as the riverbend where Carrolton and St. Charles avenue meet. For a while, before my brother-in-law sold me his used and well cared for Datsun, I would ride the street car from my apartment to work. I remember riding the street car home from work one afternoon, crying the whole way, mascara running down my face, after the death of a patient. It wasn't the first. But, one that was particularly filled with a sense of loss and grief.
I personally love this genre of music which seems like a modernization of ancient sound and wisdom. It brings me great comfort and equanimity. I hope you will take a listen. If you have not been down this rabbit hole of Sanskrit vibration as a path to unity, I hope you find your way there soon.
The chant Om Namah Shivaya is a love song, to ourselves. A love song we sing to our own deepest inner nature. In this song we recognize that we are the source, like a hologram, a piece of god that also represents the whole.
I will rise again, through rain and floods and wind. Knock me down and I’ll stand up. Oh I will rise again.
Om Namah Shivaya
I will see again, through the darkness where I’ve been. The clouds will pass, the sun will shine. And I will see again.
Om Namah Shivaya
I will love again, broken as I am. Life’s too short to close my heart. Oh I will love again.
Om Namah Shivaya
The invocation of Nataraja is very much in the background as barely audible background vocal track during the last few minutes of the piece.
In the Siddha yoga lineage (from which this chant comes) it is considered to be the king of all mantras. The intelligent field of conscious energy of which the universe is made, and concentrates into the dense form we know of as matter, is represented by the god Shiva. Shiva is the totality. Nataraja or Nataraj, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, is a symbolic synthesis of the most important aspects of Hinduism, and the summary of the central tenets of this Vedic religion. The term 'Nataraj' means 'King of Dancers' (Sanskrit nata = dance; raja = king). In the words of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Nataraj is the "clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of…A more fluid and energetic representation of a moving figure than the dancing figure of Shiva can scarcely be found anywhere," References https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/conversations/the-energetic-field-of-om-namah-shivaya/ ) Accessed 10/19/18) https://www.thoughtco.com/nataraj-the-dancing-shiva-1770458 accessed 10/19/18)