Shiv Jee | Miscellanea

Om Namah Shivaaya

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See also   Shiv Mahimn Stotra,   Shiv Sahastra Naam

According to Hindu mythology, Shiv, the God of the gods, is also known as Nataraaj, or the King of dancers.
It is believed that his ultimate performance was his Taandav Nritya, a dance form which when enacted, started destroying the Universe. Two stories abound as to why he performed this dance.

One version says, that this dance symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy - creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. The dance of Shiv also represents his five activities - Srishti (creation, evolution); Sthiti (preservation, support); Sanhaar (destruction, evolution); Tirobhaav (illusion); and Anugraha (release, emancipation, grace). He is said to have performed this dance, having become weary of the Universe and wanting to destroy it so that Brahmaa could continue with his duties of creation.

Another version is that being grieved on the death of His consort, Satee, He started dancing with the body of Satee on his shoulders, and the dance assumed alarming proportions when the entire Universe was being destroyed. At first, all the gods prayed to Vishnu, the Savior, to help and He used His Sudarshan Chakra, to cut the body of Satee into pieces, hoping that this would stop Shiv from continuing to dance. The 51 places where these body parts fell are known as " Shakti Peeth". But when this could not stop Shiv from continuing with His dance, they all prayed to Mahaa Maayaa, the highest form of Shakti to intervene and stop Shiv. She responded his dance by taking the form of Mahaa Kaalee and lying down in the dance path of Shiv. The moment Shiv's foot fell on the body of Mahaa Kaalee, his stupor was broken and he awoke, stopping his Cosmic Dance.

Lankesh Raavan, of Raamaayan fame, a learned and wise Braahman, and an ardent devotee of Shiv has composed Shiv Taaandav Stotram in the honor of Shiv and recited it. It is believed that Raavan, after conquering the earth and all it had to offer, turned to Shiv and asked for liberation from this cycle of birth and death, or Moksh. Since he had already been blessed with indestructibility by Shiv, he was advised to go and seek Moksh from Vishnu, but they being enemies, Raavan refused to do so, and in his egoistic way, lifted Mount Kailaash, the abode of Shiv, and wanted to take it to Lankaa. However, Shiv, forced raavan to put the mountain down and in this process crushed Raavan's hands. He in anguish then prayed by this Stotra, reciting the Shiv Taandav Stotra. Hearing that Stotra, Shiv Jee got very pleased, he spared his life and blessed him. Since Raavan kept crying for 1,000 years, Shiv said - "From this day you will be known as Raavan.."

According to the Hindu Almanac, which has six seasons in a calendar year, Nataraaj Jayantee is celebrated when seasons change with Abhishek and Poojaa of Shiv in the form of Nataraaj. Those who cannot perform the Abhishek and Poojaa, as specified in the Hindu texts, can benefit by listening to or reciting the Shiv Taandav Stotra.

Those interested in listening it can listen to it, or download it following this link:
The Sanskrit version of the Stotra, in Devanaagaree script, with meaning in English, is also available at:



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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on March 15, 2003 and Updated on February 12, 2013