The Dancer in the FlamesThis is my greatest desire: without fail,
one day you’ll show yourself to us,
My father with locks twisted like the flames
of a lighted fire
the place where you dance, in full night,
over the high flames . . .
Arputa Tiruvantati, fourteenth century Tamil poetess
Let us visit once again the hidden pine forest, where honorable hermits and their chaste wives are meditating and practicing asceticism, and see how Shiva makes fools of them. In this version of the story, there are not just seven rishis but tens of thousands. They have shaven...