The Sabha of Chidambaram

the Chit Sabha of the Chidambaram Nataraja temple
The Chit Sabha, veranda and base

After a previous post about the Chit Sabha in the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram I was asked what is actually in the Sabha. I am happy about the question, it is a good question, but not answered in a jiffy. So I have decided to give a series of posts about this. And this is the first one.

As I explained in my previous post, the name Chit Sabha means Hall of Wisdom. There are several sacred objects residing there. More importantly maybe even, is that it is also the residence of intangible or metaphysical concepts, rather than objects. I will get to all the various aspects in due time.

Today I want to tell something about what is the central idea of the sacred as expressed in the Chit Sabha. The Chit Sabha, Hall of Consciousness or Wisdom is the sacred space where the divine is present in three essential ways. As Form, as Formless-Form, and as Formless.


When you think about it, this kind of covers everything. It is a kind of comprehensiveness, a fullness.

The divine as Form is the Lord, the Nataraja, the Dancing Shiva. Shiva dancing his Cosmic Dance, the Ananda Tandava.

The divine as Formless-Form is the Shiva as Chandramoulishvara, also called the Chrystal Linga. This is as it were an abstract representation of the essence of the cosmos.

The Formless presence of the divine is the Akasha Linga. This is the Chidambaram Rahasya, the Secret of Chidambaram.



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