Shiva, the destroyer, shares the divine trinity of Hinduism with Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the preserver. Shown here as Nataraja, or supreme dancer, Shiva becomes the supreme deity who at once destroys and creates the universe. Creation is indicated by the drum held in his upper right hand, as sound is the primary manifestation of creative energy. The flaming mandorla and the flame in his upper left hand symbolize the world’s destruction. The “fear not” gesture of his lower right hand offers protection, while his fourth hand, pointing down to his foot, promises salvation. One foot is resting on a dwarf figure, symbolizing the stamping out of ignorance, while the other foot is in a dancing pose that signals the release of souls to an eventual salvation.