Friday, October 17, 2008

The Cosmic Dance of Shiva and Quantum Physics

Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN

The image of the Cosmic Dance of Shiva gained international fame in 2004 with the installation of an idol of Lord Shiva in the Cosmic Dance form (Nadaraja) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. Lord Nadaraja is seen as a symbol of not only the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, but also the daily rhythm of birth and death which is seen in Indian mysticism as the basis of all existence.

Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN

The dance of Shiva is the dancing universe; the ceaseless flow of
energy going through an infinite variety of patterns that into one
another.

Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction
is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and
death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of
inorganic matter. According to quantum field theory, all interactions
between the constituents of matter take place through the emission and
absorption of virtual particles. More than that, the dance of creation
and destruction is the basis of the very existence of matter, since
all material particles 'self-interact' by emitting and reabsorbing the
virtual particles. Modern physics has thus revealed that every
subatomic particle not only performs an energy dance, but also is an
energy dance; a pulsating process of creation and destruction.

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Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN

"The Wave Structure of Matter Explains the Atomic Structure
of Matter. The 'Particle' as the Wave-Center of a Spherical
Standing Wave in Space" explains the cosmic dance of
Nataraja."

"Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and
destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons
and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is
also the very essence of inorganic matter," and that "For
the modern physicists, then, Shiva's dance is the dance of
subatomic matter." -Fritjof Capra in The Tao of Physics,
1975

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Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN - night view

On June 18, 2004, an unusual new landmark was unveiled at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva — a 2m tall statue of the Indian deity Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. The statue, symbolizing Shiva's cosmic dance of creation and destruction, was given to CERN by the Indian government to celebrate the research center's long association with India.

In choosing the image of Shiva Nataraja, the Indian government acknowledged the profound significance of the metaphor of Shiva's dance for the cosmic dance of subatomic particles, which is observed and analyzed by CERN's physicists. The parallel between Shiva's dance and the dance of subatomic particles was first discussed by Fritjof Capra in an article titled "The Dance of Shiva: The Hindu View of Matter in the Light of Modern Physics," published in Main Currents in Modern Thought in 1972. Shiva's cosmic dance then became a central metaphor in Capra's international bestseller The Tao of Physics, first published in 1975 and still in print in over 40 editions around the world.

A special plaque next to the Shiva statue at CERN explains the significance of the metaphor of Shiva's cosmic dance with several quotations from The Tao of Physics. Here is the text of the plaque:

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, seeing beyond the unsurpassed rhythm, beauty, power and grace of the Nataraja, once wrote of it "It is the clearest image of the activity of God which any art or religion can boast of."

More recently, Fritjof Capra explained that "Modern physics has shown that the rhythm of creation and destruction is not only manifest in the turn of the seasons and in the birth and death of all living creatures, but is also the very essence of inorganic matter," and that "For the modern physicists, then, Shiva's dance is the dance of subatomic matter."

It is indeed as Capra concluded: "Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics."

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Shiva's Cosmic Dance at CERN - night view


2 comments:

townguy said...

Hinduism contain many cosmic secretes , Lord Shiva is on of the example .

Puravin said...

That's true....Lots of effort must be put to uncover these secrets :)