Dancing Sambandar

B 126

Dancing Sambandar

B 126


SAMBANDAR, a child of the brahmin caste and a Shaivite devotee was born at Sirkazhi near Chidambaram in the 7th century CE. He is second of the Natvars and one of the sixty-three Nayanmars. He is generally represented as standing or dancing.
Here, Sambandar is standing on a circular lotus pedestal resting on a bhadrapitha. His right leg is slightly bent and his left leg is straight. The index finger of his right-hand points upward towards heaven where Parvati resides and his left-hand holds the cup of blessed milk offered by Parvati when he was hungry and crying. It is narrated that once when he was still a small child, his father took him to a temple, left him to play in its courtyard and went for quick ablutions. In the meantime, young Sambandar felt hungry and started crying for milk when Parvati herself came to feed the young saint. On his return, the father inquired as to who had fed him. The child promptly pointed his finger upwards towards the heavens where the gods are supposed to dwell. The episode is also referred to by Shankaracharya in Saundarya Lahari.
Sometimes Sambandar images are shown holding cymbals in both hands when he sang in praise of Shiva and Parvati. His hair is done in curls. The ears are elongated and pierced. He is adorned with two ekavalis, bracelets and anklets and a girdle of bells around his waist, with a dagger attached at the back.



Object Type









12th century CE


Tamil Nadu


48.3 x 18.2 x 17.6 cms.