Along with Brahma and Vishnu, Siva is one of the three great gods of Hinduism. Siva has many roles but is best known as both the destroyer and restorer of life. Siva is also the lord of the dance and is often shown dancing, as in this bronze statue. The circle of flames surrounding Siva represents the continuous creation and destruction of the universe. In one of the god’s hands are the flames of destruction; in another, he holds an hourglass-shaped drum that beats the creative heartbeat of the cosmos. Other hands perform movements of benediction and reassurance. With his right foot, Siva is crushing a dwarf that represents the illusionary world of maya. The sculpture is both a work of art and a way to remind Hindus of the complex, sometimes contradictory nature of the Hindu religion and of life itself.