Let’s stay with Lord Ranganatha and see the relationship between him and Lord Nataraja. Would you be surprised if one is the mirror image of the other? Look at the majestic picture of Lord Nataraja below. Wonder why this is always made in metal and not in wood or earth?
In Pancha bhoota (Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) Metal is always associated with Space and Wood is associated with Air. This system is reflected well in the Chinese system and it was not any different in our Vaastu system either. Since Lord Nataraja signifies Akasha tatva, (Vin porul) he is always made in metal – Copper or Gold or Bronze or a mix of it. The statues which were ancient had a generous amount of gold giving a luminescent look about the statues. The art and science of moulding metals to create divine forms with precise proportion dates back to thousands of years in India and the western experts think that this is a recent phenomenon. This is a complete surprise to the western world since they cannot believe that such sophistication existed before.
Dr. Ganapathi states, “Lord Nataraja also signifies the primal image being expressive of the secret of creation in the process of which formless becomes instantaneously endowed with features and of perfect form. This is the reason why the statue of Lord Nataraja is called as Silpa, the primal image and everything else which is sculpted in this universe is called as Pratima (replica) and the original and one and only sculpture is the image of Lord Nataraja”.
Mamuni Mayan states, “Bhumih pradhana vastu Syat”, means Earth by virtue of being the very basic support of all things, this is the primal and dominant Vastu”. Earth and space are manifestations of each other in the cyclical process of evolution. They both should always be considered to be in unison. This vibrant, energetic, manifest earth energy (Prithvi Tatva) is called as ‘Vishnu”.
In Vaastu satra, the Vaastu purusha is Lord Vishnu and understandably Vishnu is invoked as Vaastu purusha in Srirangam temple and offered a seat in the heart of Lord Ranganatha even today as a ritual.
Figure 44: Lord Ranganatha in the reclining pose
Lord Ranganatha represents manifest earth energy (Man porul) and hence is always made out of seasoned earth only and it should be properly painted too. He is never to be made of metal. This earth form does not support frequent mobility and symbolizes stability and immobility. This is the reason when Vibhishana kept the idol of Lord Ranganatha down at Sri Rangam it could not be moved.
The energy that is in available in every universal form is represented as Vishnu and hence he is called as Antaryami. Once the subtle becomes grosser the vibration is reduced and the grossest form would not have any creative pulsation in it. It would still have the vibration based on its nature which ensures that it retains the form and shape. But it does not have any creative pulsation and it has reached the zenith of evolution. This zenith is characterized by Lord Ranganatha in the reclining pose.
The creative pulsation (Space) is the dance and the zenith of manifestation is a reclining posture (Earth).
As we have seen, Lord Nataraja carries Light in his left hand and sound in his right hand. Lord Ranganatha carries Chakra representing light in the right hand and Conch representing sound in the left hand. The principle that the primal substance (space) has manifested as the universe (earth) and both of them are mirror images of each other is reflected in both the images.
In Chinese texts the Yang energy is associated with Heaven and the Yin as earth. Now associate the same heaven with Shiva, Earth with Vishnu and Tao with the God’s particle - with some of the text below from Lao Tzu’s “Tao te Ching”
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Something mysteriously formed, Born before heaven and Earth.
In the silence and the void, Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion, Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name. Call it Tao.
Man follows Earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao.
Tao follows what is natural.”
To sum up in the words of Dr. Ganapathi Sthapati:
· Both the temples Chidambaram and Srirangam are south facing temples.
· Lord Nataraja signifies Akasha Tatva, outer space, macrocosm, subtle unmanifested energy is the Vastu purusha, is always in dancing pose, circumscribed in 8x8 square and made of metal.
· Lord Ranganatha signifies Prithvi Tatva, inner space, microcosm, manifest gross energy, is the Vaastu purusha is always in reclining pose, depicted in a circle or a 9x9 grid and made of earth.
· Lord Nataraja represents energy with matter and Lord Ranganatha matter with energy. In the equation E = mc2, Lord Nataraja represents E and Lord Ranganatha represents mc2.
· Both these temples are a ‘must see” and a “periodic see” types and you would be amazed that the qualitative change in your mental state even if you don’t pray inside the temple but spend some time sitting or walking around the premises.
· Both these temples are perfect symbols of ancient science codified for the benefit of the society and left for generations withstanding the test of time.
Chidambaram and Sri Rangam should be ground zero for any lab that wants looks into the secrets of space and time as they represent supreme science as much as they represent spirituality. We now see that science was the basis of our spiritual faith unlike it being 2 completely different aspects today across the world.
As a wise man said, “Indians are the most ignorant about their rich past and scientific traditions.”
May we be blessed by the divine power to unravel unknown secrets about the nature!