Shankara as Lord of Dance (Nataraja), ca. 11th century. Indian (Tamil Nadu). Chola period (880–1279). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of R. H. Ellsworth Ltd., in honor of Susan Dillon, 1987 (1987.80.1) #dance #Shiva | As a symbol, Shiva Nataraja is a brilliant invention. It combines in a single image Shiva's roles as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time.
Linga with one face (Ekamukhalinga), Shahi period, 9th century Afghanistan. The linga (phallic emblem of Shiva) symbolizes the great generative force of the universe. When plain (simply phallic), the linga represents Shiva in his most abstract form. In this example, Shiva's face has emerged from the central shaft. He is adorned with earrings and a necklace. His hair is worn in a double bun with a crescent moon on one of the buns.