You know, in Devabháśá [Sanskrit], tańd́u means to jump or a phase of jumping. Tańd́u plus sna suffix makes it Táńdava. Táńd́ava means where jumping is the main spirit. You know, while preparing rice from paddy, those newly-created rice jump like this. And that’s why in Sanskrit rice is called tańd́ula. Uncooked rice, that is – cooked rice is called odanam. Similarly, Táńdava means a dance having the spirit of jumping, and it was a creation of Lord Sadáshiva; and it has a healing effect in almost all the limbs of the body and also in the brain; and the lalita mármika dance that you do while chanting kiirtana was invented by Párvatii; and very recently, perhaps on 6th September, I invented kaushiki, because for ladies there was a necessity for a dance similar to táńdava, and kaośikii will serve the purpose; and I hope most of you have already learnt it. It will have a very good effect on your physical body, on your mind and on your spirit.
[The author’s personal assistant says “Táńdava,” and the jingling of ankle bells can be heard.]
Good, very good, well done.
Just now I said something regarding Táńdava. Táńd́ava is a fight. In this fight one is fighting against death, against waning, against decay. Death is represented by the skull, and the fighting spirit of human beings is represented by a knife. In the entire sphere of human expression this fight between the good force and the evil force – merits and demerits – death and life – this type of fight is going on and will be going on forever.
Wherever there is want of fight, whenever one surrenders before evil force, one is sentimentally dead.
27 November 1978 morning, Mumbai