Long ago, the sages in Taragam forest performed severe penances to achieve great powers. Soon, they began to think that they were stronger than gods and started creating havoc on earth.
When Lord Shiva heard about them, he appealed to Lord Vishnu and said, “We need to do something to stop them.” Lord Vishnu agreed and they made a plan.
Lord Shiva took the form of a young, handsome sage, while Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a beautiful maiden, Mohini. Together, they went to the Taragam forest and approached the sages.
The sages looked at Mohini and immediately fell in love with her dazzling beauty. Their wives were equally enamoured with the young sage. After some time, the sages woke up from their stupor and realised that someone was playing a joke on them. This enraged them immensely and decided to take revenge.
The sages started to perform yagnas. The young sage was amused by the turn of events and stood beside them to witness the spectacle. Within moments, an angry tiger leapt out of the fire and pounced on the young sage. But with a smile on his lips, the sage merely grabbed the tiger in mid air and crushed it effortlessly. He ripped off the tiger’s skin and placed it around his waist.
The sages could not believe what they saw. Nevertheless, they carried on with their yagna, and a fiery serpent sprang out of the fire. The young sage caught the serpent and coiled it around his neck.
Next the sages brought froth an evil demon dwarf, Mulayaka, from the fire. The demon charged at the young sage. Lord Shiva resumed his true from, and without any difficulty, crushed Mulayaka to its death with his feet.
On realising that the rage of the sages is not diminishing. Lord Shiva started dancing, accompanied by celestial music. His enthralling performance pacified the sages, and the world stopped to watch him dance. The beat of his damru became the heartbeat of the world, the celestial water flowing from his tresses illuminated his body and his body engulfed the whole cosmos. Such was Lord Shiva’s dance that it became symbolic of all the natural laws of the world, expressed beautifully.