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Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam dancer. Happily married to Dileep Kannan. Daughter of Mr. E.M Haridas & Mrs. Girija Haridas. Daughter-in-law of Dr. K. P Kannan & Mrs. Shobhana Kannan

March 25, 2012

Mudras/Hastas in Mohiniyattam – II (Various Uses)

Continued from [Mudras/Hastas in Mohiniyattam – I]


Mudras can be called the alphabets of classical dance which help in conveying expressions more profoundly. Alphabets form words, similarly, combining Mudras forms meanings. Hence these combinations of Mudras are divided into three:
  1. Asamyuktha Mudras: Showing a Mudra with just one hand. E.g. Showcasing 'woman' with the Hasta Katakam
  2. Samyuktha Mudras: Showing the same Mudra on both hands. E.g. Showcasing the 'King' - having the Hasta Pataka on both hands.
  3. Sankalana MudrasShowing different Mudras on both hands at the same time or showing different Mudras with the same hand. E.g. Showcasing the 'Cow' – Katakam on the left hand & Pathaka on right hand. The 'Tree' – Hold Araala first and then followed by Soochikamukha.


The table below gives a small description of the various uses of the 24 Mudras according to the classification above:-

Hastas
Asamyuktha Hasta
Samyuktha Hasta
Sankalana Hasta
Pathaka
clip_image002
Singing, Way, Throat, Distance, Tongue, Forehead, Day, Ray of Light
Earth, King, Sun, Wind, Ox, Lion, Creeper, Vessel, Crown, Devotee, Companion, Path, Foot, Seat, Crocodile, Hell, Banner, Body, Door, Wedding, Sweet
Dance, Dancers, Elephant, Shepherd, Empire, Cow, Night
Mudrakya
clip_image004
Desire, Doubt, Announcement, Heart, Thought, Knowledge, Peak
Mind, Sacred Thread worn by Brahmins, Movement, Everything, Life, Clothes, Sage
Ocean, Heaven, Equal, Saying No, Blow, Grow, Noble Person, Happiness, Virtue, Slightly, Hence, Death, Forget, Wealth
Katakam
clip_image006
Woman, Mirror, Bracelet, Fragrance
Krishna, Vishnu, Stars, Blue Lotus, Anklet, Waistband, Gold, Silver, Flower Garland, Holy Sacrifice, Lakshmi, Chariot, Sleeping, Precious Stone, Arrow, Ear Rings
Flower Arrow belonging to Kamadeva, Veena, Flower, Lord Ram, An Asura (Demon), Garden, Playing, Female Cuckoo, Beautiful Girl, Little Girl, Daughter
Mushti
clip_image008
Bow, Courageous Man, Asking what/ why/ how
Good Quality, Strength, Describing, Wear, To Start, Pulling
Mountain, Rising, Sunset, to give birth, to abandon, to mock, to tolerate, to stay, Father, Lord Indra, Truth, the most, to bless, to tie, Win, Cursing, to accept
Kartharimukha
clip_image010

Speak, Hear, Procrastinate, Human, Come, Slowly
Brahmin, Listen, Fame, Sin, Hunger, Cold, Animosity, Boy
Family, People, Nearby, Face, Open space, Parasuraman, Commencement, Home, Girl, Imagination, Addressing you, Addressing by Name
Shukathunda
clip_image012
Bird, Hook
Decision, Quarrel
Male Parrot, Female Parrot
Kapitha
clip_image014
Showing Two
Reason, Inquiring, Fault, Climbing, Drinking, Walking
Hamsapaksha
clip_image016
Me, Enough, Saying No, To lie down, Saying before, Hair
To bow, Matted Hair, Betrayal, Sandalwood Paste, Lord Manmata, To fill up, To save, Fish, Saying No, Addressing someone with respect, Laying the bed, Friendship, The Gods, Cheek
Moon, Lord Manmatha (Kamadeva - The God of Love), To Kill, Moonlight, To understand, Lord Shiva, Anger, Bless, Hair, to beg
Shikharam
clip_image018
Eyes, Mark on the forehead, Lightning
Walking, Climber
Centre, Lord Indra, To See
Hamsasya
clip_image020
Odour
Colour, Rice, Mercy, Love, Soft, Dust
Lips, Lover (Male & Female), Lotus Stalk
Anjali
clip_image022
To Give, To receive, Bowing to God, Bowing to one’s Guru (Teacher), Deer, Worship, Retching
Ardhachandra
clip_image024
Asking who/ when/ where/ how, Mind, Insult, Leaf
Happiness, Fatigue, Lake
Noble person, Laughter, Smile, Beauty
Mukhuro
clip_image026
Bee, Enemy
Separation from dear ones
Brother, Right Method
Bhramaro
clip_image028
Song, Exists, Drink holy water
Peacock, Rain, Cloud, Fear, Water, River, wings, Elephant Ears, Crying
Soochikamukha
clip_image030
Showing someone, Saying like that, Proper, showing the number One, Difficulty, Forehead, showing the world, showing quietness, showing eyebrows, showing something else, Crying, Drowsiness
Proper, Showing one by one, Showing a get-together, World, Climate, Break, Fall down
Tree, Death, Listen, Showing slightly, Hence, Beauty
Pallava
clip_image032
Plastering, Saying Now, Food offered to Gods, Any Offering to Deity, Far, Enemy
Book, Peak
Tripathaka
clip_image034
Saying No
Conversing with God, Gods
Mrigashirsha
clip_image036
Animal, Salt reed grass
Supreme being, Lotus petal
Sarpashiras
clip_image038
Snake, Child
Elephant Head, Gift, Serpent Head, Flower Offering, Drinking water, Snakes
Food for animals
Vardhamanaka
clip_image040
Lower lip, Kind of mark on the forehead, oblation to ancestors
Honey, Jewel
Araala
clip_image042
Cruel Man, Pride, Teeth, Bud, Showing the round shape of the Full Moon, To Think
Poison, Sin, Plant
Tree
Oornanabha
clip_image044
Ball
Snow, Lake,Fire, Light, Lotus, Horse, Heat, Jackal
Blooming of a flower, To play, Beauty, Garden, Roar, Crying aloud
Mukula
clip_image046

Eat, Mongoose, the number 5, Monkey, To wither
Luck, Purity, Auspicious Deed
Smile, Shepherd
Katakamukha
clip_image048
Heart, Ascetic’s water pot
Domestic Help, Intoxication, Warrior, Tied Up
To Kill, War

Mudras for the Gods

Name of Gods
Right Hand
Left Hand
Brahma (The Creator)
Hamsapaksha
Katakam
Ganapathi (Lord of Beginnings and Remover of Obstacles)
Pathaka
Katakamukha
Subramanian/ Muruga(God of war and victory)
Kartharimukha
Kartharimukha
Agni (God of Fire)
Mukula
Mukula
Agni (God of Fire)
Oornanabha
Oornanabha
Yama (God of Death)
Katakamukha
Katakamukha
Varuna (God of Water & Sky)
Mudrakya
Mudrakya
Varuna (God of Water & Sky)
Pathaka
Pathaka
Vayu (God of Wind)
Hamsapaksha
Hamsapaksha
Kubera (God of Wealth)
Kataka
Kataka
Saraswathi (Goddess of Knowledge, Music, Arts and Science & Brahma’s consort)
Kataka
Kataka
Parvati (Lord Shiva’s consort)
Kataka
Mrigashirsha
Vishnu (The Preserver)
Kataka
Kataka
Shiva (The Destroyer/ Transformer)
Tripathaka
Mrigashirsha


Mudras for Dasavatar
Dasavathar
(10 Incarnations of Vishnu)
Right Hand
Left Hand
Matsya (Fish)
Hamsapaksha
Hamsapaksha
Koorma (Tortoise)
Clasping both the hands and bending the middle fingers
Varaha (Boar)
Anjali
Anjali
Narasimha (Half Man – Half Lion)
Pathaka
Kartharimukha
Vamana (Dwarf)
Katakamukha
Mushti
Parashurama
Kartharimukha
Mushti
Sri Ram
Kataka
Mushti
Balarama
Kataka
Kataka
Sri Krishna
Kataka
Kataka
Kalki
Mushti
Oornanabha/Katakamukha


Mudras for Relatives

Relative
Right Hand
Left Hand
Father
Hold Mudrakya & then leave
Mushti
Mother
Kataka
Kataka
Son
Hold Mudrakya & then leave
Kartharimukha
Daughter
Hold Mudrakya & then leave
Kataka
Female Friend
Pathaka
Kataka
Male Friend
Pathaka
Pathaka
Husband
Mushti
Mushti(Thumb should rise)
Wife
Hold the left hand
Mukula
Older Brother
Mudrakya
Mushti
Younger Brother
Mukura
Mushti
Sister
Mukura
Kataka

A noticeable factor in the above Mudras representing relatives are that the female relatives have Kataka as a common Mudra while for male relatives, the Mushti Mudra is most common.


Mudras for Certain Mythological Characters

Character
Right Hand Left Hand
(Main Antagonist in the Ramayana)
Pathaka
Kartharimukha
(Eldest Kaurava – Main Antagonist in the Mahabharata)
Pathaka
Kartharimukha
(Duryodhana’s brother)
Pathaka
Araala
(Eldest Pandava – Protagonist in Mahabharata)
Pathaka
Mudrakya
(2nd Pandava)
Pathaka
Katakamukha
(A Villain in the Mahabharata)
Mushti
Mushti
(Monkey King who assisted Sri Rama in the Ramayana)
Pathaka
Mukula
(Illegimate son of Queen Kunti {mother of Pandavas} in the Mahabharata)
Kataka
Kataka
(Son of Brahma)
Hamsapaksha
Mushti
(Older of brother of Sugriva - slain by Sri Rama in the Ramayana)
Pathaka
Mukula
(Monkey God & ardent devotee of Sri Rama in the Ramayana)
Hamsapaksha
Hamsapaksha

Some of the character representations are the same in the above table. For E.g. Ravana & Duryodhana have the same Mudras but this can be identified in accordance to the narration or the story which is being depicted.

March 5, 2012

Mudras/Hastas in Mohiniyattam - I

 
Mudras or Hastas plays the most important role in Angika Abhinaya. It has the place of alphabets in a language. Mudras convey the meaning of a song, helps in expressing an emotion better through gestures according to the situation and hence making it a visual treat for the Rasikas or the audience.


HAND
Each of these fingers has a name.
1. Little finger – Kanishta
2. Ring Finger – Anamika
3. Middle Finger – Madhyama
4. Index Finger – Tharjani
5. Thumb – Angushtam
 
These fingers are used to portray the 24 hand gestures or the Hastas which has been codified in the Hasta Lakshana Deepika which literally means the Lamp showing the Purpose of Hand Gestures (of which the author is unknown). It should been noted that the Asamyutha Hastas (Single Hand Gestures) classified in the Natyashastra is slightly different from those in Hasta Lakshana Deepika. Mohiniyattam follows the Abhinaya concepts written in Hasta Lakshana Deepika and Abhinaya Darpana(Mirror of Gesture) authored by Nandikeswara.

The Sloka for Hasta Lakshana Deepika :-
Hastah PatakoMudrakhya KatakoMushtirithyapi
Kartharimukhasamjascha Shukathunda Kapithakah
Hamsapakshashchah Shikaro Hamsasyah Punaranjali
ArdhachandrashchaMuhuro Bhramaro Soochikamukhah
Pallavastripatakashcha Mrigasheershahoyasthathaah
Punah Sarpashirasamjanjo Vardhamanakarithyapi
Araala Oornanaabhascha Mukhulah Katakamukhah
Chaturvimshathirithyathe Karaashastranjasamathaah
 
Pathaka, Mudrakya, Katakam, Mushti, Kartharimukha, Shukathunda, Kapithakam, Hamsapaksham, Shikaram, Hamsasyam, Anjali, Ardhachandram, Mukuram, Bhramaram, Soochikamukham, Pallavam, Tripathakam, Mrigasheersham, Sarpashiras, Vardhamanakam, Araalam, Oornanabham, Mukhulam, Katakamukham are the 24 hand gestures.

No Hastas Picture Method
1 Pathaka
Pataka
The Thumb should be close to the hand. Bend the ring finger from middle. Rest of the fingers are straight up.
2 Mudrakya
Mudrakyam
The tips of the thumb and the index finger should be touching each other and rest of the fingers are held straight up.
3 Katakam
Katakam
Keeping the Mudrakya Hasta, fold the middle finger onto the palm near the thumb
4 Mushti Mushti Fold all the fingers like a fist with the thumb across the index finger
5 Kartharimukha Kartarimukha The little finger is pointed up, the index finger, middle finger and ring finger is folded down like showing number 3 and the thumb is placed on the side of the index finger
6 Shukathuda Shukathunda The index finger is held up folded like a hook. Rest of the fingers are folded into the palm with the thumb kept on top of the fingers.
7 Kapitham Kapitha Hold the index finger and middle finger up together. The ring finger & middle finger is folded with the thumb over the folded fingers.
8 Hamsapaksha Hamsapaksha All the fingers are held up
9 Shikhara Shikaram Hold the Kapitha Mudra(No:7) and bring the middle finger forward & index finger back. Like showing scissors
10 Hamsasya Hamsasya The tips of the index finger and middle finger are placed on the tip of the thumb. The other two fingers are held up.
11 Anjali Anjali Hold all the fingers together. The palm should be slightly cupped.
12 Ardhachandra Ardhachandra The palm should be facing up and then open all the fingers.
13 Mukhura 13.Mukhuro The index finger and little finger is held up. The middle finger and ring finger is folded and also slightly bed in a rounded fashion without touching the thumb.
14 Bhramara Bhramaro The index finger is folded and rest of the fingers are pointed up.
15 Soochikamukha Soochikamukha Only the index finger is pointed up like showing the number 1 and rest of the fingers are folded with the thumb across the folded fingers.
16 Pallava Pallava All the fingers are pointed up except the thumb which is kept under the ring finger.
17 Tripataka Tripataka All the fingers are held close together with the tip of the thumb slightly bend
18 Mrigashirsha Mrigashirsha The index finger and little finger is pointed up. The ring finger and the middle finger are folded straight with its tips touching the tip of the thumb.
19 Sarpasiras 19.Sarpasiras All the fingers are held close together with its tip slightly bend on top
20 Vardhamanaka Vardhamanaka Only the thumb is open. All the other fingers are bend with the index finger touching the middle of the thumb and rest on top of the other.
21 Araala Araala The index finger is held straight with the thumb and the middle finger touching either sides of the index finger. The little finger and ring finger is bent.
22 Oornanaabha Oornanabha All the fingers are equally bent forward.
23 Mukula Mukulo All the fingers tips touch each other
24 Katakamukham Katakamukha All the fingers are folded here with the thumb coming out in between the middle finger and ring finger.


These Mudras or hand gestures are portrayed by one hand or both hands at various positions depicting characters, words, describing the lyrics. The placement position of each Mudra is very important as each Mudra held at different positions has a meaning of its own. In the images below, you see the dance holding the same Mudra (Katakam) but the way of holding it is different hence depicting different meanings. In the first image, Katakam is held as a mirror & in the second image Katakams are depicting a flute.
 
 
IMG_3821
Dancer holding Katakam as flute
IMG_3820
Dancer holding Katakam as Mirror
 













These images  shows the importance of how & where the Mudras should be held.