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Why Dance worship in hinduism
Posted By Sarin on May 06, 2012     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

As I said before in one of the post that we are the characters created by the supreme creator to give him comfort and pleasure.Hindu believes that dance and song worship is the utmost likeness and mode of entertainment of Supreme god. Even The supreme god (lord Vishnu) is shown dancing in various avatars (Ex: Krishna, Mohini). Beside this, the most Popular and destructive of all dance is of lord shiva, also known as shiv tandav. This dance of lord Shiva and other demi-gods gave rise to many classical dance forms like Bharat Natyam, kuchipudi, kathakali etc.
You might not be aware that dance of lord Shiva also has a scientific cosmological meaning which will be discussed in my next blog
In Hinduism, Dance is the major form of entertainment not only for humans but also for demi-gods. This is the main reason why dance is an integral part in our culture with its origin tracing to millions of year ago. Because of this culture and tradition, no movies in Bollywood (Indian film industry) are complete /hit without songs and dance. Not only Bollywood, the same is applicable to other Indian film industry too. Many Hollywood actor/Actresses mock and laugh on bollywood by disgracing dance, songs etc but since they are unaware of dance and songs being an integral part of indian culture and tradition, we should not mind their thinking and should enjoy depicting our culture through dance and songs in our movies.

Let us see many other events and aspects related to dance in Hinduism:
1) Many Hindu gods are shown enjoying dancing; and the most revered dancer among them is Lord Shiva, also known as Nataraja,(Lord of Dancing).It is said that even the other gods like watching the lord shiva supreme dance. Inspit of lord shiva supreme dance, anothr dancing incident more popular is the dance called Rasleela, starring our own Lord Krishna(12 year kid) with several gopis(Cow maids) from his village.
2)It is believed that when lord Shiva (Cosmic Dancer) dances, destruction takes place. However scriptures says that lord Shiva doesn't destroy, instead he pave the path for new creation through destruction of existing world.Note that statue of cosmic dancer Shiva(chief deity of Hinduism) includes the entire universe both formless and form.
lord shiva dance destroying the universe
3) As per the story, Gopis (Cow maids) of Krishna village was attracted to him so much that they would dance to entice and trap lord Krishna in thri love. Seeing their extreme love, and devotion, lord himself would participate in their dancing.This dancing of lord and devotees was termed as raas-leela, meaning, Raas-love (attraction), Leela- Show (Game).Note that the cow-maids were rishis (Sage) in their previous life who did severe penance to get the boon of love and devotion from the lord himself in his next human avatar.

Lord Krishna with his illusionary forms, performing raas-lela.4)This raas-leela of lord Krishna has taken the form of a grand festival and is still celebrated today as navratri. People irrespective of their religion, creed and caste dances to the tunes of deotional songs to enjoy and please the god. The kind of dances performed in this festivals vary from region to region. Another popular dancing festival is Garba, dedicated to goddess durga, which continues for nine days in festival of Navratri.

Dandiya (Raas-Lela) of navratri.
5)According to scriptures, whole existence of this universe is through the manifestation of dance of the Supreme Dancer shiva In Hinduism, lasya and Tandava represent two of the many oher form of dance). Scriptures says there are 23 celestial beings called Apsaras to provide entertainment to the gods and express truths through their dance movement. This celestial dance was performed by dancers in temples which is well preserved even today in the form of classical dance in south india. Some of the famous indian classical dancers are believed to be incarnations of apsaras.
Lord shiva tandav.
br/>6)Dance and music is an integral part of religious ceremonies, rituals and practices and so, classical dance is also considered as form of worship. In ancient times, girls education was limited only to dancing to please the diety of their temple. In fact,because of such traditions of teaching, learning and performing dances, indian classical dance forms have flourished not only in india but also all around the world

Hema malini and her daughters performing bharat nayam
Like yoga, dance induces tran ecstasy, trance and divine feeling and experience of the Gods. One who dances creates a show, through the manifestation of rhythm, music, facial expressions and body moves. When the Dancer starts the Dance begins. So, the Dancer is the creator of the dance.

Hare Krishna devotees dancing on the streets of London.

>8)One of the important concept in hinduism is nature worship where immense care and respect is given to creation in nature, from plants to animals to the whole enitties of this earth. One evident example of this is concept of bhumi namaskar in indian classical dance forms. Bhumi means earth, Namaskar means bow to show respect.In this dance form, at the beginning and end of the dance performance, the dancer prays to Gods, parents, ancestors, gurus, audiences and begs apology from Mother Earth for striking the earht with her foot while dancing.Apart from this, our dance forms are also depict normal occurences, messages, natural phenomenon, condolescences etc through dance. According to Natya Shastra, Everything from wisdom to knowledge; art to craft; device to action can be found in dance With permutation and combination of different nava rasas and postures mentioned in the Shastra, dancer is able to show her true self and any idea or concept in a simple meaningful and beautiful manner to the viewer.Indian dance forms shows a diffrent prespective to its audience as it is an amalgamation of evrything: spirituality,rhythm, melody and emotions.
9)In addition to dancing, devotees also worship gods by singing devotional songs. Two great Hindu Saints,Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Mirabai used dancing extensively as a part of their lord worship. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dance today has taken a form of a very popular tradition of dance and music called Baul.

Hare Krishna devotees dancing on streets of Birmingham

10) Conceptualization of dance in hinduism is best observed in dancing images of Hindu Gods like Siva, durga and Krishna. This images represent hinduism theology of seeing God as omnipresent, one who is behind all creation and destruction.
11)In Hinduism, one may say it is blasphemy that there are millions of god but in reality,there is only one unifying god- Brahman. Others are forms of this unifying god better called as dieties who handles the different creation and forces of life. Devotees choose any of these gods as per their like in art and metaphor of these gods. So unlike other religion, devotees are not limited to believe or follow in one dogmatic system. If the devotee believe in reverence of feminine powers, then they worship a female god. Religions often get stuck in their strict biased doctrine and forget what they are actually born to do. Referring against strict doctrine of many religions jung said thatThe motive of organized religion is to avoid people having a direct experience of the gods.
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