Natya Shastras, Shilpa Shastras

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

Natya Shastras, Shilpa Shastras… The Naṭya Sastra is an ancient Text, which was written by the great sage Bharata Muni, approximately before 2000 years ago.

The text describes the performance of various dance movements, and it also includes the various stages in the dance performances, such as topic of the play, construction of a stage in order to perform dance, body language, decorating the body with rich costumes, contribution put by the director, producer, and the interest shown by the audiences etc.

We can state that the Gurus of the Natya Shastra are none other than our Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. Lord Shiva was the founder of the Natya Shastra, and he was the one who has first performed the divine dance on his holy abode, Mount Kailash. Likewise, our great Lord Krishna used to wonderfully dance with his favourite friends Gopikas, and he is also said to be the master of dance.

The details about Natya Shastra were also cited in our Puranas, and in that, it was mentioned that the celestial dancers would perform dance in the court of Lord Indra.Ancient kings also used to witness the dance performances of the Dancers in their court, especially during their leisure hours, as a part of their entertainment activity. Some kings have even gifted few villages to the dancers, in recognition to their talents.

Shilpa Shastras means designing of sculptures by the sculptors, and it is a combination of art and architecture. This form of art would be mostly used to design temples and towards creation of idols for selling it to the Craft Shops. Designing of sculptures involves lot of human work, and it also takes lot of time, in order to get the finished product in a proper manner.

Ancient kings were shown much attention on the formation of sculptures, since these kings were constructed lot of temples which requires lot of sculptures of the deities. The great King Raja RajaChola who has built the Thanjavur Big Temple was very expert in Shilpa Shastras, and during his time, where there was no advanced technology, he has constructed a wonderful temple for Lord Shiva by using well designed tools, and the temple is also very good in architecture.

For designing even a small sculpture, the blessings of the god is required, and, since the ancient kings were staunch devotees of the almighty, they were able to finish the desired task without much difficulty.


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