Thousands of years ago, it is said that Gods decided to share their unique knowledge through the Vedas, holy texts received by the Wises.
But it is also said that Gods and Goddesses asked Lord Brahma to create another Veda that men could understand more easily. This Veda would take the shape of an art... this is how Barata Natyam was born.
Ever since, this dance remains the privileged way to communicate with Gods and to tell their stories to men, thanks to movements and facial expressions. That is, in a sense, a way to touch Divine with fingertips...!
This divine expression is found in the different mudras. Once again, we made for you a special transcription of 5 of these divine movements...
The first mudra of this article is called Chandrakala and means "Digit of the moon".
To master this mudra, hold your arm horizontally. Bend your fingers in your palm, excepting the thumb and index. These two fingers are straight and pointed.
Different meanings are given to Chandrakala:
- The moon
- The face
- Curved things
- The cover on Shiva's head
- The Ganga river
- The distance between the thumb and the index
- Objects of a similar shape
- A club (weapon)
This second mudra can be translated by "Lotus bud". To execute this movement, stretch your fingers as if you want to grab something but don't bend them.
The different meanings given to Padmakosha are:
- Women's bosoms
- A circular movement
- A bunch of flowers
- To eat
- A banana
- An egg
- The lotus
- A ring bell
- An ant hill
- A mango
- A cooking pot
One of Sarpashirsha representations and one of its most common translations is "snake's head".
From the mudra Patàka, when your fingers are straight and tight, slightly bend them.
Meanings that we can find for Sarpashirsha are:
- Sandal paste
- Middle tone
- To nourish
- To sprinkle
- To give water to Gods and wises
- Elephant's ears
- To wash one's face
- To move back and forth
Mrigashirsa means "deer's head".
To perform this mudra, join the index, middle finger and ring finger altogether. These fingers must be straight and tight to one another, slightly bent forward from the knuckles.
The little finger and thumb are straight and held separated from the other fingers.
Mrigashirsa has several meaning, between which we can recognize:
- A deer's head
- Lord Krishna (when realized with both hands)
- A woman's cheeks
- A house
- To play veena
- The fear
- A quarrel
- Costume or dress
- Feet massage
- To hold an umbrella
The first meaning and translation of Simhamukha is « lion's face ». This signification refers to Lord Narashimha Murthy, known in Hindu mythology for having a lion face.
This is the way you can do Simhamukha: join the middle and ring fingers together with the thumb, all fingers straight. Your index and little finger are also straight but pointed up.
These are the different meanings that can be given to Simhamukha :
- The pearl
- To give
- An elephant
- A rabbit
- Darbha, herb used for Pooja ritual and know as sacred in many other Hindu rituals.
- A garland made of lotus
- A fire sacrifice
- Preparation of medicine by physicians
And now... it's your turn! Read, learn and perform these 5 mudras before reading our next article!