Divine Intervene: Lord Shiva and his Damru.

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When Shiva beats his Damru; Evil shakes while the wise awakes.


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Shiva holding Damaru is popular in the Nataraja form. Sometimes he is shown in a dancing posture other than Nataraja and holding the Damaru. In some images, the Damaru is tied to the Trishul or trident. The sound from Damaru symbolizes the sound that originates creation and perpetuates the universe.

In Hinduism, especially by Shiva devotees, it is believed that beating of the Damaru by Shiva produced the very first sound (nada). This first sound was made in the void of nothingness. Shiva began his dance of creation to the rhythm of the Damaru. From his dance, the world came into being.

There is also a symbolism regarding the shape of the Damaru – the top portion of the Damaru symbolizes the male creativity of procreation (the Lingam), and the downward representation symbolizes the female creativity of procreation (the Yoni). Symbolically, the creation of the world begins when the lingam and yoni meet at the mid-point of the Damaru, and the destruction takes place when both separate from each other.

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There is also a legend that the sound Shiva made on Damaru was passed onto his son, Lord Ganesha, who was a famous pakawai player. He then added more sound and produced music.

Another interpretation of the sound of the Damaru suggests that the drum depicts the powers of the rhythm of the heartbeat. If you see your heartbeat, it is not just one straight line but it is a rhythm that goes up and down. The whole world is nothing but rhythms; energy rising and collapsing to rise again. So the damru signifies that. Look at the shape of the damru, from expansion it collapses and again expands.

Another symbolism suggests the sound of Damaru symbolizes the words of the Vedas.

Naga Sadhus and other Saints worshipping Shiva carry a Damru. They produce the sound during worship and also while seeking alms.

Shiva is often described as a cosmic dancer and a great musician. Shiva’s Tandavam is the cosmic dance and his Damaru (a small hourglass shape drum) represent the cosmic sound.

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Damru represents recreation, enjoyment. Damru represents reproduction as it symbolises yoni while Trishula represents death…. This means positivity and negativity are linked with each-other…there is nothing unidirectional and all is controlled by the Lord.

Damru is also a symbol of infinity, the endless time. It represents that the universe is expanding and collapsing. From where it is expanding, it is collapsing there only. It’s an endless process.

Damru symbolizes the Universe which is always expanding and collapsing. From an expansion, it collapses and then it re-expands, this is the process of creation.

The darmru is also a symbol of sound. The sound is rhythm and sound is energy. The whole universe is nothing but a wave function, it is nothing but rhythms. What does quantum physics say? It says the same thing – the whole universe is nothing but rhythms. It is just one wave (Adviata). So the damru signifies the non-dual nature of the universe.

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Also published on Medium.

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