Samyuta Hastas 1


Samyuta Hastas (two-hand gestures)

This page describes the different hand gestures used in Bharathanatyam. Hastas / Mudras (hand gestures) are primarily classified as 28 Asamyuta Hastas (one-hand gesture) and 24 Samyuta Hastas (two-hand gestures).

Each of the hastas can be used to denote various thoughts, ideas and objects. There are various slokas (verses) from the ancient texts that enumerate the usage of the hastas. These are called Viniyoga Slokas. Apart from the suggested viniyogas, the dancer may innovate, if found necessary, to convey the appropriate message to the audience.

[1] Anjali [Salutation]
Anjali

Viniyoga Sloka
Devataguru Vipranaam
Namaskaraepyanukramaat
Karyas shiromukhorastho
Viniyoganjali karaha

Sloka Translation:
Used for the salutation to God, Teacher and the Learned. We hold the Anjali hasta above the head for the Gods, in front of the face for the teachers and in front of chest for the learned.

[2] Kapotha [Pigeon]

Kapotha
Viniyoga Sloka
Pranaamae Gurusambhashae
Vinayangi kritaeshwayam

Sloka Translation:
To show respectful salutation to the teachers, as a mark of acceptance and to show politeness (vinayam).

[3] Karkata [Crab]
Karkata

Viniyoga Sloka
Samoohaa gamanae Tundadarshanae
Shankhapoorane Angaanaam Motane
Shaakhonnamaanecha Niyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show the arrival of a crowd, showing the belly, blowing the shanku (counch), twisting & stretching the limbs and bending branch of a tree.

[4] Swastika [Cross]
Swastika

Viniyoga Sloka
Samyogena Swastikakhyo Makarae viniyujyate
Bhayavade Vivadecha Keertane Swastikobhavet

Sloka Translation:
To show an Alligator (a crocodile), talking with fear, to show an argument and to praise.

[5] Dola [Swing]
Dola

Viniyoga Sloka
Naatyarambhe Prayoktavyam Iti Natyavidovidhuhu

Sloka Translation:
Used in the beginning of a dance.

[6] Pushpaputa [Holding Flowers]
Pushpaputa

Viniyoga Sloka
Neeraajenavidhou baala
Vaari Phaladikrehanaepicha
Sandhyayaam marghyadaanecha
Mantrapushpecha yujyathae

Sloka Translation:
To show Lamp Offering, Children, Accept Fruits, Offering to the Sun in the evenings and Chant Holy prayers.

[7] Utsanga [Holding Flowers]
Utsanga

Viniyoga Sloka
Aalinganaecha lajjayaam
Angadaadipradarshanae
Baalanaamshikshanechayaam
Utsango yujyatae karaha

Sloka Translation:
To show embracing someone, shyness, show one’s body and to show teaching discipline to children.

[8] Shivalinga [Shivalingam]
Shivalinga

Viniyoga Sloka
Viniyogastu tatsyva Shivalingasya darshanae

Sloka Translation:
To show Shivalinga (Lord Shiva).

[9] Katakavardhana [Pair of bracelets]
Katakavardhana

Viniyoga Sloka
Pattabhishaekae Poojayam Vivahadishu Yujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Coronation, to worship and to show weddings.

[10] Kartaree swastika [Crossing two scissors]
Kartaree swastika

Viniyoga Sloka

Shakhaasucha Adri Shikhare
Vruksheshucha Niyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show the branches of a tree, tip of Mountains and Trees.

[11] Shakatam [Chariot Wheel]
Shakatam mudra

Viniyoga Sloka
Raakshasaabhinayechaayam
Niyukto Bharatadibhihi

Sloka Translation:
To show Demons.

[12] Shankha [Conch]
Shankha

Viniyoga Sloka
Shankhaadishuniyujyoya
Mityevam Bharataadayaha

Sloka Translation:
To show shanku (Conch).

[13] Chakra [Discus (wheel)]
Chakra

Viniyoga Sloka
Chakrahastassa vigneyachakrarthe viniyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Chakra, the weapon of Lord Vishnu.

[14] Samputa [Containers]
Samputa

Viniyoga Sloka
Vastvaacchchade Samputecha
Samputahkara Eeritaha

Sloka Translation:
To cover things and to show the sacred box in which the idols are placed.

[15] Paasha [Rope / bond]
Paasha

Viniyoga Sloka
Anyonyakalahe Paashe
Shynkhalaayaam Niyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Playful, Quarrel, Rope and Chains.

[16] Keelaka [Axle]
Keelaka

Viniyoga Sloka
Snehecha Narmalaapecha
Viniyogosya Sammataha

Sloka Translation:
To show friendly talk.

[17] Matsya [Fish]
Matsya

Viniyoga Sloka
Etasya Viniyogastu
Matsyarthe Sammatobhavet

Sloka Translation:
To show Fish.

[18] Koorma [Tortoise]
Koorma

Viniyoga Sloka
Koormahastasyavigneyaha
Koormarthe Viniyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Turtle, Tortoise

[19] Varaha [Wild Boar]
Varaha

Viniyoga Sloka
Etasyaviniyogastu Varaharthe tu Yujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Boar (Wild Pig)

[20] Garuda [Eagle]
Garuda

Viniyoga Sloka
Garudo Garudarthe cha Yujyate Baratagame

Sloka Translation:
To show a bird called Garuda.

[21] Nagabanda [Coiled Serpent]
Nagabanda

Viniyoga Sloka
Bhujagadampatee Bhaave
Nikunchanaamcha darshane
Athrvanasya mantreshu
Yojyo Bharatakovidhihi

Sloka Translation:
To show Snakes, Creeper, Chamber and Atharva Veda Slokas.

[22] Khatva [Cot]
Khatva

Viniyoga Sloka
Khatvahastobhavedeshaha
Khatvaadishu Niyujyate

Sloka Translation:
To show Bed.

[23] Bherundha [Heavenly Bird]
Bherundha

Viniyoga Sloka
Bherundhapakshi Dampatyorbherundhaka Eteeritaha

Sloka Translation:
To show a bird couple.

[24] Avahittha [To hide (secret in heart)]
Avahittha

Viniyoga Sloka
Srungara Natanechiva Leelaa
Kanduka dharane Kucharthe
Yujyate Soyamavahitthakaraabhidhaha

Sloka Translation:
To show Love, Catching the ball and Breasts.

Images credit: Dmitry Rukhlenko

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One thought on “Samyuta Hastas

  • Prathyush

    Hi
    I studied bharatanatyam, mohiniyattam, kuchupudi, folk from when i was 3 yr old and kerala nadanam for 2 yrs contemporary dance for 1 yr and stopped. I love dance. But my studies , marriage althogether. I left dance for 8 yrs. Now with my husband’s support i am teaching some little ones bharatanatyam. With this site i am able to remember so many things i almost forgot. Thanks to you. God bless you.