Nataraja: The Lord of the Cosmic Dance

A Shiva family portrait: While Shiva is an ascetic and the patron of Yogis and Brahmins, many forget that he also had a family. Depicted are Shiva (left) his wife Parvati (middle) and one of their children, Ganesha (right).

Shiva is a god with many titles: Mahadeva, Nataraja, Aja, Bhava, Purarati, Ugra, and countless more. Within the Trimurti of Brahma-Shiva-Vishnu he is known as "The Destroyer." Shiva is part of the cosmic cycle: Brahma creates, Vishnu sustains, and every 2,160,000,000 years, Shiva destroys. One may ask why the god to whom the complete destruction of the universe is attributed would be one of the most worshiped and venerated gods in Hinduism, and that is precisely what I intend to highlight through this storybook project.