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Obama as Nataraja on Newsweek Cover November 22, 2010

The Newsweek cover of November 22, 2010 edition has US President Barack Obama in Nataraja pose – the cosmic dance Hindu God Shiva as Nataraja. The cosmic dance of Shiva as Nataraja represents – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, the cosmic dance symbolically represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. It represents the Supreme Truth.

The Newsweek cover page of November 22, 2010 is headlined as "God of All Things" – Why the modern presidency may be too much for one person to handle. The Newsweek cover suggests that Obama is not God Shiva to solve all issues. But it was unnecessary to bring the Nataraja symbol into American political squabbles as Nataraja Shiva Murti is worshipped by millions of people in Hindu Temples and homes. 

It is the unparalleled insight of the ancient Saints of Hinduism that they were able to express the entire cycle of creation and transformation in one Single image of Shiva as Nataraja.

Symbolism plays a great role in Hindu religion and this symbolism is not limited to the ancient past. Hinduism is a living religion and its symbols and portraits adapt itself to need of the hour and try to express emotions of individuals in all ages. The teachings and symbols in Hinduism are based on universal truth and therefore it is applicable in all ages.

Problems start when we try to restrict the images and symbols to the ancient world and also when we are not judicious and sensible enough to know where to use the symbols. These symbols are worshipped by millions of people and when it is used for a nonreligious purpose the people using it should respect the religious sentiments of the people.

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