Mudras- Powerful Hand Gestures

The word mudra stems from the Sanskrit root mud, which means “to delight in”. This hints at the power of these beautiful gestures to evoke deep feeling in the observer and joy in the practitioner. The word mudra also denotes “seal”, and is employed in a yogic sense to explain the process of sealing and strengthening the body’s vital energies. Mudras are an essential part of Classical Indian Dance, and are used to express the vast array of human emotion and experience.

Healing with Mudras – The workshop

Mudras are used for healing, concentration, and expanding consciousness, and they are an essential part of Indian Dance, Yoga, Taoist alchemy, and Buddhist meditation. In Indian Dance, mudras are used to communicate deep feelings and tell intricate stories. Energetically, they hold the power to transform raw life-power into subtle spiritual expression. Join us for a fascinating exploration of traditional hand mudras, and discover this simple and powerful way to access your core being, transform body and mind, and bring an element of beauty and devotion to your spiritual practice.

In Odissi Dance we use the twenty-eight asamyukta (single-hand) and twenty-four samyukta (joined-hand) mudras described in the Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikeswara, as well as additional dance mudras from the Chandrika Abhinaya and later developments. Click here for a list of the 52 fundamental Mudras of Odissi and Bharatantyam

In the Yoga tradition Mudras are used for spiritual concentration, healing, removing obstacles, clearing our inner and outer space, and other subtle energetic practices.

Mudras of India paperback 2013Mudras of India: A Comprehensive Guide to the Hand Gestures of Yoga and Indian Dance [Revised Edition, Paperback] is now available for purchase!

For thousands of years hand mudras have been used in India for healing, storytelling, emotional expression, and to evoke and convey elevated spiritual states. For the first time, the elaborate system of mudras – as applied in yoga and Indian dance – has been organized into a comprehensive, fully-indexed and cross-referenced format that allows readers access to this still esoteric body of knowledge. “Mudras of India” presents over 200 photographed hand mudras each with detailed instructions on technique, application, health and spiritual benefits and historical background. The authors have extensively researched the usage of mudras and their significance in the larger context of Indian spiritual systems, and taken painstaking efforts to ensure each mudras is rendered with correct Sanskrit name, transliteration and translation to English. The book will appeal to spiritual seekers, students and teachers of yoga and Indian Dance, scholars and lay people, and anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Indian mudras, and the transformative effects of these powerful hand gestures.

Descriptive poster of the 52 Fundamental Mudras of Indian Dance

and a poster of the 60 Hand Mudras of Yoga are now available for purchase.

 

 

 

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The Hand Mudras of India

Alapadma
AlapadmaEnglish: “fully opened lotus”
Additional Names: Sola-padma, Ala-pallava, Chakravaka
Description: Alapadma Mudra is the twentieth hand gesture of the twenty-eight single-hand mudras (asamyukta hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. It is noted in the Natya Sastra as Ala-pallava. According to mythology, the mudra originates from Shri Krishna, referring to the time when he was a young child stealing butter and milk. The associated sage is Vasanta, race is Gandharva, color is dusky, and deity is Surya, the sun.
           Technique: Turn your palm to face upward and stretch all fingers keeping them separated and extended. Turn your little finger toward your palm and fan out the rest of the fingers evenly away from the little finger.
           Application: Primarily used by performing artists to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga: Vikacha-abja(“A fully bloomed lotus”); Kapittha-diphala (“wood apple”); Aavarthaka(“circular movement”); Kucha (“breast”); Viraha (“yearning to the beloved”); Mukura (“mirror”); Poorna-chandra (“full moon”); Swondarya-bhavana(“beautiful form”); Dhamilla (“hair-knot”); Chandra-shala (“moon pavilion”); Grama (“village”); Udru-thakopa (“great anger”); Tataka(“pond” or “lake”); Shakata (“cart”); Chakravaka (“type of bird”); Kala-kalarava (“murmuring sound”); Slagana (“praise”). Additional usages are fresh ghee, sweets, head, crown, braided hair, cluster of flowers, ball, dancing, fort, palace, and sweetness.
Benefits: Stimulates all five fingers and therefore activates all Five Elements in the body, improves circulation and benefits the heart, boosts vitality and energizes body and mind.
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Kangula
KangulaEnglish: “tail” or  “plough” or “hand”
Additional name: Langula
Description:Kangula Mudra I is the nineteenth hand gesture of the twenty-eight single-hand mudras (asamyukta hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. It is also noted in the Natya Sastra.According to mythology this mudra derived from Shiva when he made a pellet from the poison that sprang from the sea of milk and held it in his hand, forming Kangula. The associated sage is Kumaraswamy, race is Siddha, color is golden, and patron deity is Lakshmi or Padma.
Technique: Tuck the ring finger in to the center of the palm and extend the remaining fingers. In a variation of this mudra, the tips of all the remaining fingers touch.

Application: Primarily used by performing artists to create context and express emotional states and specific actions. Viniyoga: Lakuchasyapala(“lakucha fruit”); Bala-kucha (“young girl’s breast”); Kalharaka(“white water-lily”); Chakora (“partridge”); Kramuka (“ betel-nut tree”); Bala-kimkinyam (“children bells”); Ghutika-adika(“pill”); Chataka (“chataka bird”); Nalikera (“coconut”); Gantika(“bell”). Additional usages denote: grapes, rudrakshaseed, holding the chin, nipples, star, balls of snow, jasmine flowers, and any small object.

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DSC_9477
DSC_9477English: “lion face”

Additional names: Singhamukha, Mriagi

         Simhamukha Mudra is the eigtheenth hand gesture of the twenty-eight single-hand mudras (asamyuktahastas) as described in the AbhinayaDarpana.

          Technique: Hold your hand raised, stretch your little finger and index finger upward while bending and applying the tips of the middle and ring fingers to meet with the thumb.

    Application: Primarily used by performing artists to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga: Vidruma (“coral”); Mouktika (“pearl”); Sugandha (“fragrance”); Alaka-sampsarsa (“stroking hair”); Akarnane (“hearing”); Prushati (“water drop”); Hrdi-samsthitah moksha-artha (“salvation”); Homa (“fire ritual”); Shasha (“Rabbit”); Gaje (“elephant”); Dharba-chalana (“waving kusha grass”); Padma-damani (“ lotus garland”); Simha-anana (“lion’s face”); Vaidy-paka-sodhana (“testing medicine preparation”).

Benefits: Utilized for peace and restorative needs in the Yoga tradition.

Note: It is known as Mriagi in the Yoga tradition and commonly used in the Yoga Tattva Mudra Vijnan form.

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Mirga sirsa
Mirga sirsa

English: “deer head”
Additional name: Chanrda-mriga

          Mirga ShirshaMudra is the seventeenth hand gesture of the twenty-eight single-hand mudras (asamyuktahastas) as described in the AbhinayaDarpana. It is also noted in the NatyaShastra.According to mythology this mudra originated from Gauri, when she drew three lines on her forehead while practicing tapas to attract Shiva’s attention. The associated sage is Makandeya; color, white; race, Rishi; and patron deity, Maheshvara (Shiva).

           Technique: Hold your hand raised, little finger and thumb stretched upward while the three middle fingers bent half way toward the palm. All fingers are extended.

    Application:  Primarily used by performing artists to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga: Strinam-artha (“women reproductive organs”); Kapoola (“cheek”); Maryadayoho (“traditional manners” or “limit”); Bhityam (“fear”); Vivadam (“argument”); Nepathya (“costume and make-up”); Ahwane (“calling” or “residence”); Tripundraka (drawing three lines on forehead”); Mriga-mukha (“dear face”); Rangavalayam (“decorating the ground with patterns”); Pada-samvahanam (“feet massage”); SarwasammelaneKarya (“gathering all”); Mandire (“house”); Chatra-dharana (“holding an umbrella”); Sopane (“stairs”); Padvinyasa (“movement of the feet”); Priya-ahvana (“inviting the beloved”); Samchara (“roaming”). Additional usages denote: wall, deliberation, opportunity, screen, order, body.   

It is often used in Odissi dance to denote a women, and represents the female principal. 

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sarpasirsa
sarpasirsa

Sarpashirsha Mudra
    English: “serpent head”
         
           SarpashirshaMudra is the sixteenth hand gesture of the twenty-eight single-hand mudras (asamyuktahastas) as described in the AbhinayaDarpana. It is also noted in the NatyaShastra.According to mythology this mudra originated from Vishnu, who used this hand gesture while becoming Vamana to protect the Devas against Bali. The associated sage is Vasava; color, yellow; race, Deva; and patron deity, Shiva.
           Technique: Hold your hand raised, fingers together and palm facing forward. Bend your fingers slightly, rounding them in and cupping the hand to form the shape of a snake hood.
    Application:  Primarily used by performing artists to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga: Chandana (“sandal paste”); Bhujaga (“snake”); Mandra (“low pitch”); Prokshana (“sprinkling”); Poshana (“nourishing”); Devasya-udakadhaneshu (“offering water to God”); Gaja-kumbhayohAspahala (“flapping of elephant ears”); MallanamBhujasthana (“wrestlers arms”). Additional usages denote: rouge, mud, doing pranayama, washing the face, charity, fondling, milk, saffron flower, bashfulness, concealing a child, image or idol, clinging, saying ‘very true’, holding the breasts of women.

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Padmakosha
Padmakosha
Padmakosha Mudra (Hasta)
    English: “lotus bud”
       
Padmakosha Mudra is the fifteenth hand gesture of the 28 single-hand mudras (asamyutta hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. The mudra is also noted in the Natya Shastra. According to mythology, it originated from Narayana when he was worshiping Shiva with lotus flowers to obtain his discus (“sudarshana-chakra”). The sage associated with this Mudra is Padmadhara, its race Yaksha-Kinnara, its color white, and its patron deity Bhargava.     
Technique: Place your palm face up and slightly bend all five fingers as you draw them toward each other, keeping them separated and the palm hollow.
           Application: Primarily used in dance and theater to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga (the traditional dance and theatre usages described in Abhinaya Darpana and Natya Shastra): Phale Bilwa-kapittha (“various fruit”); Strinam-cha-kutcha-kumbhayoh (“round breast of a women”); Avartake (“circular movement”); Kanduke (“ball”); Sthalyam “bowl”); Bhojane (“food”); Pushpa-koraka (“flower garland”); Shakaraphala (“mango”); Pushpavarsha (“showering flowers”); Manjarika-adishu (“cluster of flowers”); Japakusuma (“Hibiscus flower”); Gantarupa Vidhanaka (“bell shape” or “preparing big bowl of food for elephants”); Valmika (“ant-hill”); Kamala (“lotus”); Anda (“egg”). Additional usages denote: elephant trunk, brilliance, vessel of gold or silver, coil of hair, moderation, charm, bending a bough, coconut. 
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chandrakala
chandrakalaChandrakala Mudra

    English: “crescent moon”
      
           Chandrakala Mudra is the fourteenth hand gesture of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.         
           Technique: Fold your little, ring, and middle fingers into the palm and stretch out your index finger and thumb in 90º angle between them.
           Application: Primarily used in dance and theater to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga (the traditional dance and theatre usages described in Abhinaya Darpana): Chandra (“moon”); Mukha (“face”); Pradesha (“the distance between the tip of the index finger and the thumb”); ShivasyaMakuta (“Shiva’s crown”); Ganganadyam (“river Ganges”); Laguda (“axe” or “cane”).

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suchi
suchiSuchi Hasta (Mudra)
English: “needle”
Additional Names: Nirdeshika (According to the Abhinaya Chandrika)  
  
Suchi Mudra is the thirteen hand gesture of the 28 single-hand mudras (AsamyuttaHastas) as described in the AbhinayaDarpana. It is noted n the NatyaShastra as well. According to mythology it originates from Brahma, when he declared “I’m unique”. Its sage is Sun, its race Deva, its color white, its patron deity Visvakarma.

           Technique: Stretch your index finger up keeping the rest of the fingers collected under the tip of the thumb.
            Application: Primarily used in dance and theater to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga (the traditional dance and theater usages described in Abhinaya Darpana and Natya Shastra): Eka-artha (“denoting number one”); Parabrahma-bhavana (“supreme being Bramha”); Shata (denoting hundred”); Ravi (“sun”); Nagaryam (“city”); Lokaartham (“world”); Tatha-iti-vachanam (“to say ‘like that’”); Yat-sabdetat-sabde (“asking this? or that?”); Vyajana-artha (“solitude”); Tharjana (“threatening”); Kaarshya (“growing thin”); Shalaka (“rod”); Vapushi (“body”); Aascharya (“astonishment”); Venibhavana (“braid of hair”); Chatra (”umbrella”); Samartha (“capability”); Panou (“hand”); Romalayam (“line of hair”=such as eyebrow or on the abdomen); Bherivadana (“beating a drum”); Kulala-chakra-bramana (“potter’s wheel”); Rathanga-mandala (“chariot wheel”); Vivechana (“pros and cons”); Dina-anta (“end of the day”). In addition it used to denote: Praising, telling truth, pointing to distant place, life, walking in front, lotus stalk, sunrise and sunset, arrow, handle, listening, yearning for the beloved, recollection, nose, beak, and vision.

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Katakamukha-1
KatakamukhaVariationIIKataka-mukha Mudra

    English: “link in a chain”
        
           Kataka-mukha Mudra is the twelfth hand gesture of the 28 single-hand mudras (Asamyukta Hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. The mudra is noted in the Natya Shastra as well. According to mythology this mudra originated from Guha when he practiced archery in front of Shiva. Its sage is Bhargava, its race Deva, its color gold, its patron deity Raghu Rama.  
  
           Technique: Bring your thumb together with your index and middle fingers. All fingers stretched and active. Stretch your ring and little fingers upward. Second variation of this mudra is when you maintain Kapitta hand with your thumb and index finger while extanding the middle finger forward and the ring and little fingers upward.

           

Katakamukha-1Application: (Viniyoga denote:) Kusuma-apachaye (“plucking flowers”); Mukta-srak-damnam-dharanam (“wearing a necklace of pearls or flowers”); Sara-madhya-akarshanam (drawing the arrow at the center of the bow”); Nagavalli-pradhanam (“ offering betel leaves”); Kasturika-adivastunam-peshana (“preparing paste for musk etc.”); Gandhavasana (“to smell”); Vachana (“to speak”); Drushti (“glancing”). Additional usages denote: holding a mirror, holding reins, breaking a twig,  cleaning the teeth, plucking 

flowers, embracing, holding a discuss, holding a fan.

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Kapita

KapitaKapittha  “wood-apple”

Kapittha Mudra is the eleventh hand gesture of the 28 single-hand mudras (Asamyutta Hastas) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. The mudra is also noted in the Natya Sastra, and in Abhinaya Chandrika (as Ankusha). According to mythology this mudra originates from the time the churning of the ocean was done and Vishnu used this hand gesture to pull upon Mt. Mandara. Its sage is Narada, its race Rushi, its color smokey-white, its patron deity Padmagarbha (Vishnu).

           Technique: Curl the little, ring, and middle fingers into your palm. Stretch your thumb by the side of your palm, and cap it with the pad of your index finger directly above the tip of the thumb.

           Application: Primarily used in dance and theater to create context and express emotional states or specific actions. Viniyoga (the traditional dance and theatre usages described in Abhinaya Darpana and Natya Shastra): Lakshmyam (“Goddess Lakshmi”); Saraswatyam (“Goddess Saraswati”); Veshtane (“winding”); Taladharana (“holding cymbals”); Godohanam (“milking cowas”); Anjanam (applying collytium”); Lilakusuma-dharana (“holding flower(s) gracefully”); Chelanchala-adi-grahana (“grasping the end of a saree or a robe”); Patasya-iva-avaguntana (“covering the head with a veil”); Dhupa-dipa-archanam (“offering incense”).

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sikara

sikaraSikhara – Spire

Sikhara is the tenth mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Mushti Mudras (a fist), raise your thumb up.

Below are listed Sikhara Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana (in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Sikhara Hasta Vini Yoga:

Madhana – Manmatha or Kama, the God of love
Kaamuka – Bow
Sthamba – Pillar
Nishchaya – Certainty
Pithrukarmani – Offering to ancestors
Oshtra – Lips
Pravishtaroopa – To pour liquid
Radhana – Teeth
Prashnabhavana – Questioning
Linga – Shiva Lingam or Phallic symbol
Naastheetivachana – Saying “I don’t know”
Samarana  – Recollection Abhinayaanthikam – Intimate suggestion
Katibhandhakarshana – To lighten the waist band
Parirambhavidikrama – Embracing
Gantaninadha – Sounding a bell
 

When a dancer completes learning all of Mushti gesture usages he / she recites:

Sikhara Jujyate Bharata Dibi
This Mudra originated from Chandrasekhara (Shiva), when he held Mt. Meru as his bow.
The associated sage is: Jihna
Color: Dusky
Race: Gandharva
Patron Deity: The God of love (known in different names such as Smara, Manmatha, Kama, Madan).
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Mushti

MushtiMushti – Fist

Mushti is the ninth mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
The four fingers are bent into the palm, and the thumb wraps on top of them in to a fist.

Below are listed all of Mushti Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana (in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Mushti Hasta Vini Yoga:

Shtiram – Steadiness
Kachagraha – Grasping ones’ hair
Daartya – Courage
Vasthvadeenaamcha Dharana – Holding things
Maliaanam Yudhabava – Fighting mood of wrestlers

 

When a dancer completes learning all of Mushti gesture usages he / she recites:
Mushti Hasta Ya Mishyate

According to ancient sources, this Mudra originated from Vishnu, who used this hand gesture while he was fighting with Madhu.
The associated sage is: Indra
Color: Indigo
Race: Sudra
Patron Deity: The Moon
Some more applications: grasping, waist, fruit, agreement, saying “Very well”, sacrificial offering, greeting common people, carrying away, string hold, holding a book, running, lightness, wrestling, holding a shield, holding the hair, fisticuffs, grasping a spear.
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Arala
Arala Since Arala and Sukatana both has very few Viniyoga applications, I combine them in this post. 
 
Arala (bent) Hasta Viniyoga

Arala is the seventh mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Pataaka, bend the index finger halfway down.

Below are listed Arala Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

 
Vishadhyam Amruhtam Panay – Drinking poison or nectar
Prachanda Pavana  – Violent Wind
According to one source it was first used by Agastya in drinking the 7 seas.
Sukathunda (Parrot’s beak) Hasta Viniyoga

SukhatundhaSukathunda is the eight mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Arala, bent your ring finger halfway down as well, so both your index and ring finger are bent down in the same fashion.

Below are listed Sukhathunda Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Bhaana-Prayooga – Shooting an arrow
Kunthartha – A Spear
Aalayasyas-smridikarma – Remembering the past
Marmookthyam – Mystic feeling
Mugrabhava – Angry Mood
When one completes reciting: Sukatunda Ni Jujyatay
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Ardha chandra

Ardha chandraArdha Chandra – Half Moon

Ardha Chandra is the sixth mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Pataaka, extand your thumb out away from your palm.

Below are listed all of Hardha Chandra Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Ardha Chandra Hasta Vini Yoga:

Chandray – Moon
Krishna-Ashtami-Bhaji – 8 day of the weaning moon
Gala-Hastartha Kepicha  - seizing one by the throat
Bhala-Yudha – A spear
Devathanam-Abishechana-Karmani – Offering to God
Bukpathra – Plate
Chudbava – Origin or Birth
Katyaam – Waist
Chintayam – Thinking / Worrying
Athma-Vachakam – Contemplation
Dhyana – meditation
Prathana – Prayers
Anganam-Sparsha – touching the limbs
Prakruthanam-Namaskaram – Greeting common people
When completing the recitation of Ardha Chandra usages one recites:
Ardha Chandra Ni Jujyathay

 

According to other unknown sources this hand originated from the desire of Shiva for ornaments, of which the moon is one. Other usages for it are: bangle, wrist, mirror, astonishment, effort, intemperance, entirety, beating time, tying up the hair, supporting the cheek in grief, elephant ear, expelling evil, wiping sweat form the brow, adolescence, ability, consecration, eye brow, cloth, bow, preeminence, tightening the griddle, making a vessel, the body, movement of the feet, carrying a child, the back, white color, Vaisya caste.

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Mayura

MayuraMayura – Peacock

Mayura is the fifth mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Pataaka, bring together the tips of the ring finger and the thumb. Keep the rest of the fingers extended upward closed together.

Below are listed all of Mayura Mudra usages as described in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Mayura Hasta Vini Yoga:

Mayurasyam  -Peacock
Latayancha – A creeper vine climbing
Shakuna – Bird of Omen
Vamana – Vomiting
Alakashyapa – Moving the hair / Decorating the forehead
Nayana – eye, putting Kajal
Lalaata-Tilakam-Shucha – Putting Tilak mark on forehead
Nadyu-Ddakasya-Niksheypam – Sprinkling water over the head (As in holy bathing)
Shastra-Vaada  – Discussing the sastra
Prasi-Dhaka – Very famous
 
 

When a dancer completes learning all of Ardha-Pataaka gesture usages he / she recites:

Ebbom Marteshu Jujyate Mayura Kara Bhavanaha
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kartarimukha

kartarimukhaKartari-Mukha – ‘Arrow Shaft Face’ or ‘Scissors Face’

Kartari Mukha is the fourth Mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Ardha-Pataaka, open the index and middle fingers into scissors like shape. There are two variations of this Mudra: In the first one you keep the ring and little fingers as they are in Ardha-Pataaka and in the second variation you bring the ring and little fingers together with the thumb, all touching, as shown in the image here.

Below are all of Kartari-Mukha Mudra ways of usage as listed in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Kartari Mukha Hasta Vini Yoga:

Shtripum-sayoosthu-vishlasya – Separation of man and women
Viparyaa-sapaday-pivaa – Opposition or overturning
Luntana –stealing or rolling
Nayana-amtham – Corner of the eye
Marana – Death
Bheda-bhavana – Disagreement
Vidhyu-dartha – Lightning
Api-yekashiyaa-viraha – Married couple fights and separate / In separation from the loved one
Patana– To fall down
Latayan  – A creeper 
When a dancer completes learning all of Kartari-Mukha gesture usages he / she recites:
Yujathay Yasthu Sakara Kartarimukhaa
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Ardha Pataaka

Ardha PataakaArdha Pataaka – ‘Half Flag’

Ardha-Pataaka is the third mudra of the 28 Single Hand Mudras (Asamyutta Hasta) as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Pataaka, bend in the ring and little finger into horizontal position at the lower joint.

Below are all of Ardha-Pataaka Mudra ways of usage as listed in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Ardha Pataaka Hasta:

Pallava – Tender leaf – New growth

Phalaka – Wooden plank or panel for drawing

Theera  – River bank

Ubayoo-Rithi-vaachaka – two people together, denoting ‘two’

Krakacha – Saw

Churi-Kayancha – Pocket Knife / Small knife

Dwaja – Temple Flag

Gopura (Temple Tower)  Sringayoho (Horns) – Krishna’s holly shrine, the top of the Temple.

When a dancer completes learning all of Ardha-Pataaka gesture usages he / she recites:

Yujyathay Ardha-Pataakayan Thathakarma-Prayoogakay

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Tripataka

TripatakaTri-Pataaka – ‘Three Parts of the Flag’

Tri- Pataaka Hasta is the second Mudra of the 28 single handed Mudras as described in the Abhinaya Darpana.

How to:
From Pataaka, bend the ring finger into horizontal position at the lower joint.

Below are all of Tri-Pataaka Mudra ways of usage as listed in the Abhinaya Darpana ( in the original Sanskrit with English translation):

Makute – Crown
Vrikshya-Bhaava – Holy Tree with branches
Vajra – Thunder Bolt
Thath-thara-vaasava – Indra (God of Heaven)
Kathakee-kusuma – Screwpine flower
Deepam – Oil lamp (For ritual)
Vanhijwaalaa-vijrumbhana – Raising flames
Kapotham – Pigeon
Pathralaykaya – To draw designs or write a letter.
Bhaanaartha – To shoot an arrow
Parivarthaka – Circular movement

When a student completes learning all of Pataaka gesture usages he / she recites:

Yujyathay Tripathaakooyam Kathithoo Bharathoothamaihee

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Pataaka

PataakaPataaka Hasta is the first Mudra of the 28 single handed Mudras as described in the Abhinaya Darpana. The name Pataaka literally translates as ‘Flag’. Hasta means ‘Hand’. This Mudra is the most versatile of all Mudras and has many meanings and usages.

The thumb is slightly bent to touch the fingers and the fingers are extended. the Palm is flat. Keep in mind that in most occasions your hand gesture is held at least a hand distance away from your body to create an harmonious movement and spacious and graceful affect.

Below are all of Pataaka Mudra ways of usage as listed in the Abhinaya Darpana (Listed below in the original Sanskrit and English translation):

Natya Rambha – Beginning of the Dance (or Drama)
Vaari Vahay  –  Rain clouds
Bhana – Forest
Vasthu Nishay Dhanay – Forbidden things (avoiding things)
Kucha sthala – Bosom
Nisa – Night
Nadyaam – River
Amara Mandala – Heavens
Thuranga – Horse
Kandhana – Cutting (Ignoring)
Vaayu – Wind
Shayana – To sleep (reclining)
Gamano Dhyama – Walking (Going on a long journey)
Prathaapa – Prowess (Praised)
Prasaada – To Bless (Graciousness)
Chandrika – Moonlight
Gana Dhapa –  Strong sunlight (Unbearable)
Kavaata Paatanam – Opening and closing the door (Knocking)
Saptha Vibakthyartham – Mentioning of the seven cases
Tharanga – Wave
Veethipravaysha Bhava – Entering a street
Samathva – Equality
Angaraagaka – Massaging / Applying sandal paste
Aathmaartham – One’s self
Shapatham – Taking an oath
Thooshneem Bhava Nidharshanam – Silence, Secret act
Thaala Pathra – Palm Leaf (To write a letter)
Kayday –  Shield
Dravyaa Dis Sparshanam – Touching things
Aashirvaada – Benediction
Kriyaa – Good Deeds, Blessings.
Nrupasreshtrasya Bhaavana – An emperor or a Powerful King
Thathra thath raychi vachanam – To say this or that (“Such and such”)
Sindhu – Ocean Wave
Sukrudikrama – to be good
Sambhodhanam – Addressing (a person some distance away)
Purogaypee – To move forward
Kadga – Sword
Roopasya – Form
Dhaarana – To wear
Maasa – Month
Samvathsara – Year
Varsadhina – Rainy Day
Sammarjana – To sweep

When a student completes learning all of Pataaka gesture usages he / she recites:
Yevamardyeshu Yujanthay Pathaaka hasta Bhaavanaahaa.

 

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