It’s none other than the Lord Nataraja Tandavam, the cosmic dancing form of Lord Shiva that depicts the lifecycle, Creation, Protection, Upliftment, Liberation, Destruction. Looking at the posture, the upper right hand (in Damaru-Mudra) holds ‘Damaruk’ that represents sound resulting in ‘Creation’. The upper left hand holds ‘Fire’, representing ‘Destruction’. Coming to the right, the second right hand (Abhaya-Mudra) symbolizes ‘Protection’, while the posture of second left hand pointing down-side towards the raised left foot represents ‘Upliftment & Liberation’, and the right leg positioned on the back of the demon, Apasmara, represents ‘suppression/killing of ignorance/illusion (demon)’. The surrounding circle of flames and fire explains the cycle of transmigration (ego suffering through endless births and deaths before attaining salvation). The snake around his waist is Shakti/Kundalini (source of energy) that resides in everything and the scattered matted tresses, usually piled up in a knot, loosen during the dance and collide with heavenly bodies, knocking them or destroying them utterly. With all these processes taking place simultaneously, the face of the Lord, straight and neutral, represents ‘Neutrality’ while performing the entire process irrespective of the process happening around. Scientists also call this as ‘Cosmic Dance: The Dance of Atoms’. The temple that hosts this sacred idol is Chidambaram (portrayed as Centre of Universe), Tamilnadu.
India gifted a 2m statue of Lord Nataraja to the European Center for Research in Particle Physics(CERN), where the statue is on permanent display.