"O my Lord, thy hand holding the sacred drum has made and ordered the heavens and earth and other worlds and innumerable souls. Thy lifted hand protects both the conscious and unconscious order of thy creation. All these worlds are transformed by Thy hand bearing fire. Thy sacred foot, planted on the ground, gives an abode to the tired soul struggling in the toils of causality. It is Thy lifted foot that grants eternal bliss to those that approach Thee. These Five-Actions are indeed Thy Handiwork."
~ Chidambara Mummani Kovai~
Nataraj is the form of SHIVA with the representation of cosmic dance with purpose of releasing humans from illusion of the idea of the “self” in this physical dimension. This dance form presents creation (symbolized by the drum), protection( symbolized by hand gesture “Abhay hasta”), destruction (symbolized by fire around the circle), embodiment (symbolized by foot planted on the ground), and release (symbolized by the foot held aloft).