Arudra Darshan on Ardra nakshatra
Arudra = the Maha Rudra who’s dancing (Rudra Tandavam)
Darshan = the special opportunity to see
It is said that Lord Nataraja blessed the devotees on this day by giving them the opportunity to witness his cosmic dance (Rudra Tandavam). This is the fifth stage of a soul, “the revelation”. Another specialty is that it is also the beginning of Brahma Muhurta of the Devas in their world known as Deva loka or Swarga loka. So Ardra nakshatra of every year in the month of Margashira/Margazhi is celebrated as the day of Arudra Darshan. Devotees usually perform early morning pooja such as milk abhishekam (pouring) and curd abhishekam on Shiva Lingam. The ancient temple of Lord Nataraja in the South India town of Chidambram will perform special annual pooja for the Lord on this day.
Performing fasting, mantra chanting and poojas for Lord Shiva, milk abhishekam are all best remedies for people with Ardra, Mrigashira, Magha, Purva and Uttara Phalguni, Swati, Moola, Uttara Ashadha, Dhanishta, Purva and Uttara Bhadrapada.
Five faces of Shiva
Lord Nataraja, the dancing form of Shiva represents the 5 different aspects of the Universe.
Salvation aka revelation aka blessing
Shaiva Siddhantam says that the five above said duties are done by Lord Shiva using Maya (illusion) while performing a dance known as Shiva Tandavam (Shiva’s cosmic dance) in Sanskrit. This dancing form of Shiva is called Nataraja, meaning the King of Dance.
You may wonder why the Supreme God of an age old culture is depicted as dancing while no other religion has anything similar to this.
Ekapada Murti (Statue) of Lord Shiva
Shiva is doing the above said five duties through his dance. Dance is the supreme art form, it combines the expressions of all other art forms. His dance moves have the power to create, preserve, destroy, conceal and reveal continuously forever. So that life will take different forms over time to reach the final stage. While explaining the Shiva’s dance, it says that the dance continues forever but there comes a time when he pauses the dance to destroy the existence of everything only to start over it again. This time is called “end of all ages” and Shiva stands on single foot during this time without dancing. This form is known as “Lord Aja Ekapada”, another form of Lord Shiva, also the deity of Purva Bhadrapada nakshatra.
I’ve written more about it on: