When someone mentions the word Siva’s Dance (Siva Tandavam) the image that is conjured up in ones mind is that of Siva’s entrancingly fearsome and fast-paced dance of destruction. ( Pralaya Tandavam).
But when the Lord is blissful and ecstatic he does a dance of bliss too, a dance of consummation,( Ananda Tandavam). But it is not like the prancing and jumping-about-like a doe or a calf, I mean the delightful dance of a child , the Krishna’s Tandavam. (chindu).
It is more like the languid swells over peaceful ocean, or the fluid movements of a Mohini Attam dancer.
The Raga Kedaram is a languid, blissful sort of Raga, named after the Lord’s abode at the Himalayas, Kedaar.
Very aptly, Sri Dikshitar had chosen this Raga, set in Misra Chapu Talam ( seven beat cycle, 123, 1234) for his depiction of the Lord’s blissful dance Ananda Tandavam.
Here is my attempt at tranlation of the lyric into English.
I seek refuge in the Lord, who is loved by the tender-as-a-creeper, Parvati, his doting consort, He presides over an august assemblage named Chit, and dazzlingly dances around, joyfully.
He shines forth like a collection of Suns, a crore in number. He grants us sustenance and deliverance. He resides in the devotees’ hearts in an ethereal and microcosmic form. He is adept in looking after the poor and the wretched.
Divine sages like Patanjali and Vyaghrapada gaze at the bent-at-the-knee-in-dance-posture of His beautiful-as-a-lotus-foot, I seek refuge in Him.
He wears the cool sickle-moon and the sacred river, Ganga on His head.
His throat is tinted dark ( scorched by a deadly poison).
He supports a number of sacred sites like Kedaram.
He lords over the spirit-hordes. He wears a robe of tiger-skin. He stays in the holy city of Chidambaram.
He is the lord of a band of three thousand taciturn brahmin sages ( Deekshitars of Chidambaram).
He is the king of the entire universe. Yet he has a heart soft as butter.
He is the father of the kind-hearted guru, Kumara Swami,
He precedes the creation of the universe.
One can know him through Vedas, the ancient scriptures.
He is devoid of any desire, what-so-ever.
He can be known only through the ineffable philosophy of Adwaita, ( non-dualism)
With the nuances of the variegated forms of His dance, He amazes connoisseurs of music and dance,
I seek refuge in Him.
Here is a transliteration of the Sanskrit song into the Roman Script.
Divya Pathanjali-Vyaghrapada-darsita kunchita-abja-charanam
Seetaamsu Gangadharam Neelakandharam
Bhootesam saardoola charma-ambaram chidambaram
Navaneetha-hridayam sadaya Guruguha
Sangeeta vaadya vinoda tandava
Jaata bahutara bhaeda chodyam
pa ni ni sa thakajhanu tha sa ni ni
jhamtharitha sa ma ga ma pa; ni ma ga
tadhanataka ma ga ma ma pa sa ni ni
tajhamtari pa; ma ga tadhinkinatom
You may like to watch this YouTube video of a rendering of this song, DKJ along with visuals of the Chidambaram temple etc.,
Here is another YouTube video of a nice rendering of the song, this by Prince Rama Varma, a scion .of the Travancore royal family.