Shiva, symbolizes destruction and renewal, rebirth but also death and liberation and the union of oppositions. Shiva in the Hindu pantheon: Shiva represents the 3rd aspect of the trimurti formed by Brahma, creation and Vishnu, maintenance.
This statuette of Shiva symbolizes: perpetual movement
One of Shiva Gangadhara'stories (for there are many)
A king, named Sagara, decided to prove that he was more powerful than the Gods: for this purpose he organized the sacrifice of a horse: Indra, king of the Gods, furiously stole the horse and hid it from Kapil, a wise man in constant meditation. Sagara, mobilizing his 60,000 sons, found and attacked Kapil: he killed them all. Ashuman, grandson of Sagar, realizing the error committed, begged his forgiveness. Kapil then told him that this would be accomplished when one of his distant descendants would bring down from the heavens the goddess Gangâ, the sacred river. After many asceticisms, Bhagaritha succeeded in convincing Brahma who ordered Ganga to come down to earth. Furious, She decided to destroy the earth by pouring herself into it tumultuously. Bhagaritha interceded with Shiva who, coming down from Mount Kailash, welcomed Ganga in his hair.
There are several versions concerning the coming of Ganga on earth, sometimes it is Ganga, solicited by the gods to fecundate the earth, who asks for Shiva's help so that the earth is not destroyed... Sometimes Vishnu is at the origin of the birth of Ganga (Vishnu Purana).
Shiva Nataraja is usually represented standing in a circle of fire and symbolizes dance and thereby the perpetual movement that constantly animates the universe.
Here Shiva seems to appear out of nowhere: when receiving Ganga in her hair, she fiercely fought Shiva and the earth was shaken, turned over which explains the position of Shiva head down.
The right arm, bent elbow holds the Damaru (drum): the sound of the damaru represents the primordial sound, the one that generates a new beginning but also the rhythmic drive of the universe.
In opposition, the left hand spreads the fire that destroys.
These two symbols put in opposition underline the incessant movement of creation/destruction necessary for life.
The second right arm, bent elbow makes the gesture of protection (or absence of fear Abhaya mudra) while the hand of the second left arm crushes the dwarf of ignorance, Apasmâra and underlines the victory of knowledge.
The sacred cord (yajnopavita) and loincloth symbolize movement.
The hair represents Ganga welcomed by Shiva.
The necklace hanging slightly down emphasizes the movement. The two earrings, one male and the other female, symbolize the union of opposites.
Attribute and weapons
The wheel of fire or wheel of the universe (birth / destruction): The wheel of fire or wheel of the universe (birth/destruction): this fire symbolizes the pure energy, primordial to any manifestation but also the fire of purification: it is to be noted that in this statue, the wheel is rather in the shape of an arch, symbolizing a door.
The serpent coiled on the right arm making the gesture of protection, is a symbol of eternity, of renewal.