Barata Natyam is a complete universe which complexity is reflected through the mudras. Like sign language where hands are essential, Barata Natyam also uses this way of communication. A very special silent language which can only be understood when one gets the mudras' different meanings and how to assemble them.
In this article, 5 mudras and their significations will be displayed: how to use them in the good way and the meanings assigned to them.
The mudra called Mushti has a meaning as clear as its representation: it actually means "fist".
To perform this mudra, you have to close your fist and hold your arm horizontally. Your thumb covers the top of your fingers, bent into your palm.
This mudra is used to denote:
- To grab someone's hair
- To take an object
- A fruit
- To exclaim oneself
- Combative position of wrestlers
Sikara can be translated by 'heroism'. You can make this mudra directly out of the Mushti.
Your four fingers, except the thumb, are bent into your palm. Your thumb must be lift and straight.
The different meanings that can be given to Sikara are :
- The man
- The husband
- The bow
- To enquire
- The body
- To say no
- To ring the bells
- To pull a grid
- To drink
This mudra in Barata Natyam has a strictly religious meaning which is "appearance of the Goddess of Wealth". Goddess of Wealth is actually Lakshmi.
Following the mudra Sikara, your fingers are bent but your index will rise to cover the tip of your thumb.
Kapittha can be used to demonstrate:
- Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati
- To cover oneself with a veil
- Offering Incense or Light
- To apply Kajal
- Dairy cows
- Grasping the end of the saree
- Holding flowers gracefully
Katakaamukha can be translated by "opening a bracelet".
This mudra actually has three different ways of being expressed. For each set of mudra done, the Katakaamukha will change, unlike other mudras that will be repeated each time.
The first way to execute the Katakaamukha is to join the index and middle finger with the thumb. The ring finger and the little finger are up and flexible, making an angle.
Second position for Katakaamukha is actually pretty similar to Kapittha. The little and ring fingers are bent into the palm while the index and middle finger come to cover the tip of the thumb.
The last position of this three-position has to begin with the first position. This mudra consists in relaxing the middle finger and, along with the little and ring fingers, put them like a fan.
Meanings of the three forms of Katakaamukha are:
- Offering betel leaves
- Glancing and speaking
- Plucking flowers
- To bend
- Drawing the arrow at the center of the bow
- Making tinsels
Suchi has "needle" for translation. Put your arm horizontally to perform this movement, hand pointing outside.
Your fingers, except your index, will be bent into your palm, covered by the thumb. The index will be pointed up.
Except from designing a needle, Suchi also means:
- Number 1
- The sun
- A town
- The world
- The body
- To scare
- An umbrella
- An enquiry
- A wheel circumference
Are you more comfortable with mudras now? In the next article, you will discover 5 more mudras, how to perform them and what they mean.