Photographer's Note

Tracing its origins to the Natya Shastra, an ancient treatise on classical Indian dance, written by sage Bharatha, Bharatha Natyam is a highly traditional and stylised South Indian dance form.

It went into disrepute in the middle ages due to prevalent social conditions. The renaissance of the art form was possible mainly due to the efforts of luminaries such as E. Krishna Iyer, T. Balasaraswati, Kumbakonam K. Bhanumati and Rukmini Devi Arundale among others in the early decades of the last century. Currently the dance form enjoys world wide popularity and appreciation.

The scene depicted here is from the Hindu mythology "Gajendra Moksham" or The Elephant King's release from rebirth.

The story is that Gajendra, the elephant king is caught by a crocodile while drinking water from a pond. Unable to free himself, he surrenders himself to Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe and prays to him with a prayer learnt during a previous birth. Vishnu frees him by slaying the crocodile with his "Sudharshana" discus.

Of course, as with all Hindu mythological stories, there is an esoteric meaning which goes thus....

The human is Gajendra.
The world is the lake, where human plays with his kith and kin.
The crocodile symbolizes the Death and Difficulties that attack man.
Surrender to the Lord to be free from rebirth.

Long note. : - )

nirajsinha, thaprem, anitaj, Angshu, Luan, ramesh_lalwani, oochappan, eskay001 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Guru Prasad (gpsony) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 128 W: 13 N: 97] (448)
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