You might have heard in the news that there is a 2m tall Lord Shiva’s statue at the CERN LAB of LHC(large hadron collider) in Swiss Franc border placed in 2002 .In this article let us know about the significance of the Statue and why it is placed there , before that let me describe what CERN is : The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states.Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership. CERN is an official United Nations Observer.
CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN through international collaborations. The main site at Meyrin hosts a large computing facility, which is primarily used to store and analyse data from experiments, as well as simulate events. Researchers need remote access to these facilities, so the lab has historically been a major wide area network hub. CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.
Significance of the LORD SHIVA’s statue :
In the Hindu religion, this form of the dancing Lord Shiva is known as the Nataraj and symbolises Shakti, or life force. As a plaque alongside the statue explains, the belief is that Lord Shiva danced the Universe into existence, motivates it, and will eventually extinguish it.
As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performs the Ananda Tandava (dance of bliss), the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved. The symbolism in the art has been variously interpreted by scholars since the Chola empire era:
1.He dances within a circular or cyclically closed arch of flames (prabha mandala), which symbolically represent the cosmic fire that in Hindu cosmology creates everything and consumes everything, in cyclic existence or cycle of life. The fire also represents the evils, dangers, heat, warmth, light and joys of daily life. The arch of fire emerges from two makara (mythical water beasts) on each end.
2.His legs are bent, which suggests an energetic dance. His long, matted tresses, are shown to be loose and flying out in thin strands during the dance, spread into a fan behind his head, because of the wildness and ecstasy of the dance.
3.On his right side, meshed in with one of the flying strands of his hair near his forehead, is typically the river Ganges personified as a goddess, from the Hindu mythology where the danger of a mighty river is creatively tied to a calm river for the regeneration of life.
4.His headdress often features a human skull (symbol of mortality), a crescent moon and a flower identified as that of the entheogenic plant Datura metel.
5.The upper right hand holds a small drum shaped like an hourglass that is called a ḍamaru in Sanskrit. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for “ḍamaru-hand”) is used to hold the drums It symbolizes rhythm and time.
6.The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies forces of creation and destruction. The opposing concepts show the counterpoise nature of life.
7.A cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, while his palm shows the Abhaya mudra (meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), suggesting not to fear nearby evil, as well as evil and ignorance surrounding the devotee as he or she follows the righteousness of dharma.
8.The lower left hand is bent downwards at the wrist with the palm facing inward, we also note that this arm crosses crosses Naṭarāja’s chest, concealing his heart from view. It represents tirodhāna, which means “occlusion, concealment.”
9.The face shows two eyes plus a slightly open third on the forehead, which symbolize the triune in Shaivism. The eyes represent the sun, the moon and the third has been interpreted as the inner eye, or symbol of knowledge (jnana), urging the viewer to seek the inner wisdom, self-realization. The three eyes alternatively symbolize an equilibrium of the three Guṇas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
10.The dwarf upon whom Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara purusha , and who symbolises the demonic evil and ignorance over which the sacred dance of Shiva gives victory.
11.The slightly smiling face of Shiva represents his calmness despite being immersed in the contrasting forces of universe and his energetic dance.
THIS GORGEOUS GILDED STATUE OF Nataraja stands proudly within the grounds of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. It looks like something you’d expect to find in a temple or art museum, not at a renowned scientific research center.
The statue was a gift from India. It honors CERN’s long-standing relationship with the country, which began in the 1960s and continues to this day.
The artwork is an artistic metaphor for CERN’s study of the “cosmic dance” of subatomic particles.As I mentioned about in Hinduism, Nataraja is a depiction of the god Shiva as the cosmic dancer. The god, who danced the universe into existence, preserves it, and will one day destroy it, is a symbol of shakti, or life force.
Nataraja’s dance of creation and destruction has been somewhat of a metaphor for modern physics since physicist Fritjof Capra used it to describe the field’s relationship with the cosmos in the 1970s. A plaque below the statue bears a quote from Capra explaining the metaphor.