|The hair of the
head is braided, the upper part tied to form a Crown, the lower falling loose and whirling
in the dance. At the base of the crown is a human skull, symbol of Siva's destroying
energy. On the lower braid is a mermaid on the right, representing the river Ganga symbol
of fertility and of God's grace.
tradition the Ganga: the celestial river, was permitted by Siva to descend on earth in
answer to the prayers of King Bhagiratha, and the force of the fall was broken by Siva by
receiving it in his matted locks for a time, to save the earth from being crushed by the
weight of the falling stream.
On the loose braids on the left are
the crescent Moon, symbol of Siva's grace and glory, symbol also of time, and a cobra
which by its deadly venom may be taken as a symbol of destruction and obscuration, but
here it is a symbol of the cosmic force-Kundalini.