Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Indian Classical Dances

Hasta Mudra - Palm Movements in dance

Home
Elements
Bhavas
Appearance
Hasta Mudra
Hand Gestures
The Navarasas
Styles
Gesture & Posture
Feet in Dance
Technique
Rasa
Movements
Qualities & Performances
Contact

hastra-mudra01.jpg

Hasta mudra, Palm Movements, or gestures of the palm play a very important part in Indian dancing. They symbolize an emotion, mood or some object or an animal or a person. The two most important varieties are: -

1. Asamyukta or single -Palm gestures
2. Samyukta or double Palm gestures

1. Asamyukta
Ardha-Chandra HastaThrough the Natya Shastra and the Abhinaya Darpanam limit themselves to 26 and 28 gestures respectively, several more have crept in. Here the single-handed gestures are divided into different groups.

Group 1
This group consists of 8 mudras whose basic sign is Pataka Hasta. The mudras are variations of this gesture.

1. Pataka Hasta (Flag)
2. Triputaka Hasta (Flag in 3 parts)
3. Ardha-Pataka Hasta (Half-Flag)
4. Mayura Hasta (Peacock)
5. Kartari-Mukha Hasta (Arrow-Shaft)
6. Ardha-Chandra Hasta (Half moon)
7. Suka-Tunda Hasta (Parrots Beak)
8. Arale Hasta (Bent or crooked hand)

Pataka Hasta can be reprent with the wind, the dwelling of Gods, a year, a river and various other actions and objects.

Group 2
The basic sign of this group is Musti. The Mudras under this group are:-

1. Musti Hasta (Fist)
2. Sikhara Hasta (Spire)
3. Kataka Hasta (Crab)
4. Kapittha Hasta (wood-apple)
5. Chandra Kala Hasta (Digit of the moon)
6. Suchi Hasta (Needle)
7. Tamara Kuda Hasta (Cocks comb)
8. Kataka Mukha Hasta (Crab face)

The Musti hasta may imply a furious mood, gripping of the hair, restraining or carrying a sheild.

Group 3
The Padmakasa Lasta is the basic sign of this group. The remaining gestures are variations.

1. Padmakosa Hasta (Lotus Bud)
2. Mukula Hasta (Flower Bud)
3. Ardha-Suchi Hasta (Half needle)
4. Bhramaram Hasta (Bee)
5. Chatura Hasta (Four fingered)
6. Sarpa-sirsa (snakes hood)
7. Mrga-sirsa Hasta (Deer)
8. Simha-Mukhe Hasta (Lions Face)
9. Bana Hasta (Arrow)
10. Hamsaya Hasta (Swans bill)
11. Hansa Paksha Hasta (Parrots beak)
12. Langula or Kangula Hasta (tail)
13. Urna Nabha Hasta (spider)
14. Samdamsam Hasta (tongs)
15. Trishula Hasta (trident)

The basic sign of the Padmakosa Hasta can be indicating the opening of a lotus, picking up food, strewing flowers.

hastra-mudra02.jpg

2. Swastika Samyukta
The Natya Shasta describes only 13 double handed gestures and the Abhinaya Darpanam refers to 23. The numbers have since increased.

Double hand gestures are a combination of single-handed mudras.

The following are the gestures with Combined Hands (Samyukta Hastas): -

1. Anjali: (salutation)
2. Kapota: (humble)
3. Karbta: (Crab)
4. Swastika: (praising)
5. Dola: (Swing)
6. Pushpaputa: (Flower casket)
7. Utsanga: (Embrace)
8. Shiva-(Linga)
9. Kataka Vardhana
10. Kar/ari-Swastika: (Crossed arrowshafts)
11. Shakata: (Car)
12. Garudapaksha: (Garuda wing)
13. Nishedha: (Warning)
14. Shankha: (Conch shell)
15. Chakra: (wheel)
16. Gamputa: (box)
17. Pasha: (a chain)
18. Kilaka: (affection)
19. Matsya: (fish)
20. Kurma: (tortoise)
21. Varaha: (boar)
22. Garuda: (bird)
23. Nagabandha: (the coil of a snake.)
24. Khatwa: (Cot)
25. Bherunda: (pair of birds)
26. Makara: (sea)
27. Vardhamana: (Increase)
28. Viprakirna: (Loose)
29. Arala-Katakamukha: (giving pieces of betel leaf)
30. Suchasya: (Needle-face)
31. Ardha Rechita: (invitation)
32. Kesha-Bandha: (Tying the hair)
33. Mushthi-Swastika
34. Nalini-Padmakosha: (cluster of flowers)
35. Urdhestitals-Padma: (indicating desires)
36. Ulbana: (Abundance)
37. Lalita: (mountain)