Shri Sundaresan of New Delhi had boundless interest towards God Nataraja. If Nataraja tattvam — principle of Nataraja, was feast for his intellect, Nataraja’s statues were feast for his eyes and heart.
What is the distinction in the Nataraja statue of Koneripuram? Of what sort is Nataraja of Tiruvalankadu? What is so special about the sacred physique of Thillai (Chidambaram) Nataraja? the largest Nataraja vigraham –statue in the world is at Neyveli– he would speedily throw such ample details in no time.
Sundaresan who had unshakable bhakti –devotion towards the dancing God, also had solid bhakti towards Kanchi MahaPeriyaval too, Who was often sitting motionless in silence.
Sundaresan, hands folded on his chest, stood before the Mahaswamigal.
“Have you seen the Makizhanjcheri Nataraja?”
Like an arrow the question hit him.
‘I never mentioned my antaranga –personal, interest in Nataraja to Periyaval… How did He know it?’
“No”, said Sundaresan.
“It’s near the village Panangkudi, this Makizhanjcheri. You know about the vishesham — distinction in that village? Nataraja Shivam is doing His nita-vasam –permanent living, in the Perumal (Vishnu) temple! A vigraham that is more wonderful than the one at Chidambaram. Go and see it. Come back and tell me what speciality you observed in it.”
Sundaresan went to Makizhanjcheri the very next day, and went to the Perumal temple, taking a Bhattacharya — Vishnu temple priest, with him. When the priest Heard that it was ‘Periyaval uthtiravu’– Periyava’s order, he set Sundaresan in aikyam –unity with Nataraja.
Inch by inch — tiruvasi — the circular, decorated, metal frame around the statue, locks of hair that were spread, hand that carried an udukku — a small drum, another sacred hand that carried the fiery flame, a beautiful face where a smile of Anandam — bliss snaked through, the sacred foot that was aloft, the other foot firmly rooted on the ground — Sundaresan saw every feature in the statue. His orders were to report any speciality he watched, right?
Oh! That flower of the thorn-apple plant! That’s it, which lies overturned on the Head! Shouldn’t it be straight? This one looks overturned and slipping, about to fall over the apex of the forehead? Why so?
Standing ten feet away, Sundaresan watched it. He went to see the back of the statue and was enthralled at the beauty of the back! The statue was created to portray the body-insensate state of the Ananda Thandavam –frantic dance of bliss!
Sundaresan stood before Periyaval (who asked him):
Periyava: “Doesn’t the Makizhanjcheri Nataraja look like He is in body-insensate tandavam ?”
Shri Sundaresan: “Yes, it is tatrupam –very natural, as if the thorn-apple flower on the Head overturns and is about to slip through the front of his Head.”
Periyava: “Bhesh !–well! You have looked very well at the details! Nataraja has performed different varieties of dance in different kshetras–sacred places. At Makizhanjcheri, it was unmatha natanam –crazy, frantic dance, which is an- apurva –rare natanam –dance!”
The devotees who were audience to this speech were enthralled, with loss of sensation of their body. But then, Periyaval Himself, fully conscious of his body, was wandering in the great space of Shivananda!
Categories: Devotee Experiences