There is another story associated with Lord Nataraja. As the Lord was dancing merrily, one of his earrings became loose and fell on the ground. Then it is said that the Lord lifted that small earring with the toes of His foot. What is the meaning behind this? There is a great secret behind this. That is why this is also called as Chidambaram-rahasyam (the secret of the infinity).
As the story goes, when the Lord effortlessly lifted the small earring merely with the toe of His foot, the entire creation was struck with wonder and amazement. Here, what it means is that we grow accustomed to whatever we are listening to around us. We do not find anything amazing or unique in that. It does not astonish us; it does not create a sense of wonder in us. But when that trivial earring was lifted off the ground by the Lord, then one suddenly gets a glimpse of the subtle, the invisible infinity. Here, it shows that this mysterious creation does not operate the way you think it does.
There is a deeper, hidden, miraculous divine power at work behind everything. You must make space in your life for that miracle of the divine to manifest. This is the deep meaning of the story. Otherwise, we usually go through life with our own limited understanding. We tend to think we understand how everything in creation operates, but it is not really so.
In South India, if someone tries to keep a secret, then others can ask him saying, "My dear! What are you trying to hide? Is it some sort of Chidambaram-rahasyam?" People jokingly ask this to one another in the South.
Who knows and who can really say? Anything can happen at any time! When we realize this, an altogether different dimension of possibilities opens before us. The possibility of the miracles that is hidden in every moment – is what is represented by the Lord lifting the small earring from the ground by His toes and effortlessly placing it back on His ear.
It is said that whatever you read in the Vedas, the Puranas and the Upanishads is not superficial or shallow. It is literally the Truth and you can see and experience it all in this vast Creation, and in this very lifetime. This story is mentioned to illustrate and assure this fact.
There is consciousness present within our whole body, and it is divided in the upper and lower halves of the body. This divine force or consciousness is called as the Kundalini Shakti. The other meaning from this story is to elevate and raise this Kundalini Shakti from the lower centres to the higher centres of the being (From the Sanskrit word ‘Kundala’ literally meaning an earring). When this Kundalini Shakti is awakened and rises within us, then our entire life becomes a dance of joy and bliss. Then nothing in the world can trouble us, and the entire world becomes amazed in wonder when the power of consciousness gets awakened and enlivened within you.
When the Lord Shiva seated deep within you rises and dances in absolute bliss, then the entire Creation is struck with amazement and wonder. This is what happened when Lord Nataraja lifted off the fallen earring from the ground even as He was engrossed in blissful dance. All the gods and goddesses were amazed to see this. It is said at that moment, huge waves of infinite love and bliss swept over the whole of creation and everyone was steeped in joy and happiness, even the gods themselves. And then, in that same state of wonder and bliss, each started dancing in joy. This is what it means.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar