Shaivism - Concepts and symbols - Creator and Created
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Ultimate Intelligence is both male and female combined – Shakti and Shiva. The original name was Pashupati and Parvati. As Shivaism spread from both the forced migration caused by invaders and the peaceful spread from trade and exploration [usually by sea], the names became changed. In Crete:
Shiva = Zagreus or Zan and finally [Cretan] Zeus
Shakti = Cybele
To provide people with a mythological framework to help them remember the concepts, Pashupati was called The Lord of the Animals and Parvati the Lady of the Mountains. The naming served to remind people that they were simply one small part of the entire creation and that all the creation is essentially equal in its worth to Shiva/Shakti, from the tiniest fly to the largest elephant; from a pebble to a mountain.
A description of the experience
The statue is of Shiva in the ring of fire – standing on the manifestation of destruction
As the creative principle, Shiva does not utter the world, he dances it.
"Whatever the Dance of Shiva may originally have been, it became with time the clearest image of god's activity that any art or any religion may pride itself on having invented." (see Ananda Coomaraswany, The Dance of Shiva, p.67.)
According to the Greek writer Lucian (second century A.D.),
"It seems that the dance appeared at the beginning of all things and was revealed at the same time as ancient Eros, since we can see this first dance clearly appear in the ballet of the constellations and in the over-lapping movements of the planets and stars and their relationships, in an ordered harmony".
As the manifestation of primordial rhythmic energy, Shiva is the "Lord of the dance" (Nata-raja) and the cosmic universe is his theatre.