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English Translation, Notes and the Text critically edited for 
the first time from original manuscripts with Introduction 




With Illustrations 




Published by 

Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay 
6/1 A, Banchhararn Akrur's Lane, Calcutta. 

Price Rs. lO'OO 

Printed by J. C. Sarkhel, at the Calcutta Oriental Press Private Limited, 
9 Panchanan Ghose Lane, Calcutta 9. 


The first edition of the Abhinayadarpanam published twenty three 
years ago was welcomed by all interested persons including the late 
A. K. Coomaraswamy whose translation of the work named The 
Mirror of Gesture (Cambridge, Mass. 1917) directed my attention to 
this Sanskrit text. Still for various reasons I could not think of 
publishing its second edition even after it was out of print for a long 
time, and there was some demand for it. One such reason and an 
important one too, was that I then engaged myself in studying the 
Natyasastra and was planning a translation of this important work, and 
thought that this would be of greater use to readers interes- 
ted in the subject. Coomaraswamy also published in the meantime 
a revised edition of The Mirror of Gesture (New York, 1936) and 
utilised my work for the revision. This also relieved me for the 
time being from the urgency of undertaking a second edition. But, 
for the last three or four years, even after publication of the 
first volume of the translation of the Natyasastra, Calcutta, 1951, 
I have been receiving earnest enquiries from various quarters whether 
a copy of the Abhinayadarpanam niay still be available. Some of the 
enquirers gave me to understand that they had read the translation 
of the Natyasastra but still required a copy of the Abbinaya- 
darpanam. Hence, I could no longer remain indifferent in this regard, 
and have come gradually to believe that a new edition of this work 
may remove a real want of a class of readers. It seemed that its 
very brevity while it dealt with all essential gestures and postures 
used in Hindu dance and drama, had made it something like a 
favourite of the student of these arts. My hesitation about publishing 
a second edition was thus finally overcome. On taking up the prepa- 
ration of a copy for the press I found that some of the views expressed 
in the introduction and notes have undergone some change during the 
last twentythree years, and my idea about the need of readers of 
the book is also no longer quite the same. So I have slightly modified 

the introduction and notes by making necessary emendation and 
omission here and there. It may be hoped that these changes 
have added to its usefulness. If some readers may still require 
additional information on certain topics they are requested to refer 
very kindly to the translation of the Natyasastra which, treats of all 
relevant matters in much greater detail. 

3 ist March, 1957. MANOMOHAN GHOSH 


Subjects Page 

Preface to the Second Edition ... ... ... lii 

Notes on Illustrations ... ... ... vii 

Abbreviations and Symbols ... ... ... viii 

INTRODUCTION ... ... ... i 

(1) PRELIMINARY ... ... ... i 

i. The Present Edition ... .. ... I 

2. The Translation ... ... ... 2 

3. Critical Apparatus ... ... ... 2 

4. Reconstruction ... ... ... 5 

(2) ABHINAYA: ITS MEANING ... ... 6 

5. Drama and Hindu Plays ... ... 6 

6. Object of Hindu Plays ... ... 7 

7. The Technique o Plays ... ... & 

8. Abhinaya ... ... ... 8 

9. Importance of the Study of Abhinaya ... 14 

(3) ABHINAYA: ITS HISTORY ... ... ... 17 

10. The Origin of Abhinaya ... ... 17 

11. The Development of Abhinaya ... ... 20 

12. The Literature on Abhinaya ... ... 22 

(4) ABHINAYADARPANA ... ... ... 24 

13. Scope of the work ... ... ... 24 

14. The Abhinayadarpaiia and the 

Bharata-Natyasastra ... ... 26 

15. The Abhinayadarpana and the Bharatainava ... 29 

16. The Abhinayadaipana and the 

Samgitaratnakara ... ... ... 31 


17. The Style and the Method of Treatment ... 31 

1 8. The Author of the work ... ... 32 

19. The Place of Nandikesvara ... ... 33 

20. The Time of Nandikesvara ... ... 33 

21. The Antiquity of the work ... ... 34 

TRANSLATION & NOTES ... ... ... 39 


THE SANSKRIT TEXT ... ... ... 81 

Select Glossary ... ... ... 

Corrections ... ... ... 

Index ... ... ... ... 149 


In Page 73 Pataka, Tripataka, Ardhapataka, Kartarimukha, 
Mayura, Ardhacandra, Arala, Sukatunda, Musti. 

,, 74 Sikhara, Kapittha, Katakamukha, SucI, Candrakala, 

Padmakosa, Sarpaslrsa, Mrgaslrsa, Simhamukha 

> 75 Kahgula (side), Alapadma, Catura (side\ Bhramara, 
Hamsasya, Hanisapaksa, Sandamsa, Mukul, Tamra- 

76 Trisula, Vyaghra, ArdhasucI, Kataka, Palli, Anjali, 
Kapota, Karkata, Puspaputa. 

,, 77 Sivaliriga, Katakavardhana, Kartarisvastika, Sakata, 

Samkha, Cakra, Samputa, Pasa. 
,, 78 Kurma, Matsya, Kilaka, Varaha, Garuda, Bherunda, 

Nagabandha, Khatva. 
,, 79 Kangula (front), Simhamukha (front), Catura (front) 

and Svastika. 

N.B. For Simhamukha see pp. 74 and 79 and for Kangula, 
Catura and Svastika see pp. 75 and 79. 


A. = Manuscript of the text in the Adyar Library. 
AD = Abhinayadarpana 

B. = Manuscript of the Bharatasastra Grantha 
Bh A = Bharatarnava. 

Ch.ed = Chowktamba Edition. 

I. = Manuscript known as the Abhinayadarpnnam from the 
India Office Library. 

Mbh = Mahabharata. 

MG The Mirror of Gesture, ed. Coomaraswamy and Duggirala 
(Cambridge, Mass.) 1917. 

NS Natyasastra. 

P. = Manuscript of the so-called Bharatarnava from Poona. 

R. =Ramayana. 

SR nrSamgltaratnakara. 

V. =Manuscript of the text in Visvabharati. 

Note Numerals in the Select Glossary refer to the number 
of slokas and their translation. 



i- THE PRESENT EDITION. Though the Nataka a typical form 
Hindu drama, forms, a large section of Sanskrit literature, our 
knowledge about the way in which the art of producing a play 
developed in India, is still very inadequate. 1 This is due mostly to a 
lack of sufficient materials. The only work which gives us a clear 
and comprehensive idea of the Hindu stage is the Natyasastra. Yet 
for the study of history of the development of ancient Indian thea- 
trical art, this work, though very important in many respects, is not 
quite sufficient by itself. We need therefore make no apology in offer- 
ing for the first time a critical edition of Nandikesvara's Ahhinaya- 
darpana which exclusively treats of gestures in a manner rather different 
from the NS., which also has these among other things as its subjects 
of treatment. The Mirror of Gesture published with an illuminating 
introduction by A. K. Coomaraswamy, claims to be a translation of 
this work. But on comparing it with our text, it has been found out 
that the text used in preparing the MG is not exactly identical with 
the AD, though the former has absorbed a major part of the latter 
work and supplemented the same by making occasional quotations 
from other works of the same class (see 2). And an important feature 
of our text is its treatment of items like postures and movements 
etc. dependent on feet, such as Mandala, Sthanaka, Carl and Gati, 
which although omitted by the original of the MG, is indispensably 
necessary for the complete understanding of Hindu histrionic art. 

The MG, though it does not fully represent the AD, has been a 
very useful contribution to our knowledge regarding the production of 

1 This was written in 1934. Conditions have changed since the publica- 
tion o the translation of the NS. in 1951 by the Asiatic Society. 

2 For the meaning of this term and the following ones, see "Select Glossaiy' 
at the end* 


Hindu plays. The present edited text of the AD will, it may bd 
hoped, supplement such a knowledge ; for in it some fresh materials 
have been brought to light for the first time. 

2. THE TRANSLATION. The translation has not been made very 
literal. Students of Sanskrit will however experience little difficulty 
about the language of the AD. A few words which have been used 
in it with special import and may for this reason offer difficulty to 
readers, have been explained in the Select Glossary. 

3. CRITICAL APPARATUS. The present text has been reconstruc- 
ted from five manuscripts, of which two arc complete and the rest 
fragmentary. The two complete MSS, do not fully agree with each 
other regarding the order in which various topics have been treated. 
In this respect the fragmentary MSS, also vary with the complete ones 
as well as among themselves. The following description of the MSS, 
will among other things notice this mutual variation. 

M. A Devanagarl transcript of the only complete MS, (in the 
Telugu script) of the work (No. 304 of the collection made in 1894) 
in the possession of the Madras Government Oriental MSS, Library 
(vide p. xxix of the Report of a Search of the Sanskrit and Tamil MSS 
for the year 1893-1894 by Sheshagiri Shastri). 

V. A plain-leaf MS (fairly complete) in the Telugu script, in 
the possession of the VisvabharatI, Santiniketan. It bears the number 
3038. Its size is 16-2" x i" and it has 29 leaves. This MS puts 
the bandhavd-hasta-laksanam last of all and omits the navagrahahasta- 
laksanam, navarasab and avasthabhedah (dasavasthati). And moreover 
its treatment of the nrttahastah and pada-bhedah is incomplete. 

A. 1 A palm leaf MS (not complete) in the Telugu script with a 
Telugu ttka from the Adyar Library. It has 53 leaves. It bears the 
number XXII. C. 25. Its size is 5-8" x 1-4". 

A. 2 Another palm-leaf MS (not complete) in the Telugu script 
from the Adyar Library. It bears the number XXII. C. 38. It size 
is8 5 "x 1-2". 


A. 3 A incomplete paper MS in Telugu script from the Adyar 
Library. Ic bears the number VIII. J. 9. Its size is 9. 3" x 6'8" 
and has 14 pages. 

Besides these five MSS of the AD the following printed work and 
MSS have been utilized for the reconstruction of the text: 

MG. The Mirror of Gesture (Cambridge, Mass., 19 17) edited by 
A. K. Coomaraswamy and Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya. This work 
is a translation of the Skt. text briefly described before (see i). It 
is based on the second edition (in Telugu character) of the original 
published under the editorship of Tiruvenkatacari of Nadamangalam 
(MG. p. 10). With reference to the passages it has in common with 
the AD, the original of MG in places seems to suffer from textual 
corruptions. But in spite of such defects this work renders valuable 
aid in determining the position of the Navagrahahastas which appear 
only in M (see 4). It arranges the subject of its treatment in the 
following order : (Items not occurring in the reconstructed text of the 
AD have been marked with asterisks.) 


*A dialogue between Indra and 


Variety of dances, 

Eulogy of Natya, 

Definition of Ndtya etc., 

Occasion for dances, 

Sabha etc., 

#Seven limbs of the Sabha, 





Patras disqualifications, 


*Patrasya bahib'franah, 

*Patrasya antah-franab, 





Nine movements of the Head, 

*Twenty-four movements of the 

Head according to another book, 

Eight Glances, 

^Forty-four Glances according to 

another book, 

*Six movements of the Brow 

according to another book, 

Neck movements, 



Hasta-bhadab, Hands of planets, 

Twenty-eight Asamyuta hastes Hands of the Ten Avataras, 

(with alternative definitions for 24 Hands of the four castes, 

hands from another book), The following have been taken 

Twenty-three Samyuta-hastas, from another book : 

The same from another book, *Hands of famous emperors, famous 

Twenty-seven Samyuta hastas rivers, seven upper worlds, seven 

form another book, lower worlds, 

Eleven hands of relationship, Hands indicating trees, land ani- 

Hands of gods and goddesses, mals, birds and water animals. 

I. From the India Office Library we received two MSS. (nos, 
3028 and 3090) named AD. One of them is in the Telugu 
script and the other is a Devanagarl transcript of the same. On 
examination it appeared to be a work dealing with abhinaya and tala 
belonging probably to the school of Aiijaneya cited as an authority 
on samgtta in various works; for, the end of the abhinaya portion of 
this work, reads as iti a(a}njaneya-matam. But this abhinaya portion 
is frangmentary and seems to be a compilation from different sources. 
Slokas 90-95,96, 970-983, 101-102, 104-105 of the AD occur in it 
with a few variations worthy of notice. 

P. This is the MS no. 42 of the Appendix Collection A 
(19 16-18) of the Government MSS Library with the Bhandarkar 
Oriental Research Institute* Poona. It has been entered in the 
Catalogue of the Institute published in 1925 as the Bharatarnava. 
This fact led to an examination of this MS, for the AD, according 
to a passage in the MG, was an abridgment of the Bharatarnava. The 
examination of the MS however revealed the fact that the work though 
it possibly had some connexion with the BhA, was not itself the same. 
(For details see 5) In spite of this, the MS which has certain 
passages in common with AD, was of help in reconstructing our text. 
B. This is the MS no. 40 of the Appendix Collection A. (1916- 
1918) of the Govt. MSS Library placed with the B.O.R. Institute, 
Poona. It has been named in the Catalogue of MSS published by the 


Institute as the Bharata-sastra-grantha. This work appears to be a 
curious complilation of passages from various works including the NS. 

Besides quotations from different works which this MS names, it 
contains passages from unmentioned sources which include Dandin 
and Nandikesvara. The portions taken from the latter author's AD 
consist of viniyogas of the Asamyuta-hastas. These offer some variants. 
The author of this Bharata-sastragrantha appears to have been a com- 
mentator of the Prasanna-raghava-, for he refers to himself as follows: 
asmatkrta-prasanna-raghava-tikayam . 

4. RECONSTRUCTION. The present edition of the text of 
the AD has been based principally on V, but the navagraha-hasta- 
laksana which occurs only in M, has been accepted as belonging to 
the work. Support in this matter has been available from the MG 
which does not ascribe it to granthantara though all its borrowings 
from works other than the AD have been prefixed with such ascrip- 
tions. The fact that the planet-worship in India was not later than 
the early centuries of the Christian era 3 when the gods of the Puranic 
pantheon were already established, may also give us additional justi- 
fication to consider the nava-graha-basta-laksana as belonging to the 
original AD. For we do not know why planetary deities should be 
considered later than other deities who in their Puranic character were 
not probably very old. And as some of the planets have been men- 
tioned in the Atbarva-vcda, planetary deities may in fact be as old as 
some of the deities of the Vedic pantheon. 4 Passages on rasa and 
avastha which occur only in M. and have no support from MG, 
have not been included in the edited text. They have been separately 
shown at the end. 

3 Kaye. Hindu Astronomy, Calcutta, 1924, p. 107, 

4 Ibid., pp. 12-13. 



5. DRAMA AND THE HINDU PLAY. To understand pro- 
perly the meaning of the word abhinaya (roughly speaking, the word 
for 'histrionic art* in Sanskrit) it is necessary to have a clear notion 
about the nature and spirit of Hindu plays which are often called 
'dramas/ A Hindu play which is called a drsya or preksya kavya or 
natya or rtipaka in Sanskrit, though it has some superficial resemblance 
to drama, is not identical with the same thing; rather there is a consi- 
derable difference between the two. The names such as ru-pa and 
drsya kavya which include all kinds of Hindu plays, give us clue 
to the difference. A play is called rufa or riifaka, i. e., 'having-a- 
form' on account of its visibility (drsyata). 1 And the term rupaka is 
applied to a play on the analogy of a figure of a speech of the same 
(i.e., rtipaka or metaphor), because in a play we assume a non-distinc- 
tion between characters (dramatis personae) and the actors representing 
them. 3 And drsya (preksya) kavya means a poem which is to be seen 
i.e., a poetical composition capable of being enjoyed not by its reading, 
but from its stage representation. In earlier times it was called preksa. 
The idea of action seems to be missing altogether in these names. And 
the very nature of a Hindu play discloses its relative neglect of action.* 

The word natya, which is also a synonym for a rupa or drsya kavya 
and points to its lyrical nature, throws further light on the point. In 
accordance with the etymological meaning of this word which is 
derived from the root nat (=*nrt) meaning 'to dance,' Hindu plays are 
compositions in which rhythm and lyrical elements preponderate, 
and action is given a very minor scope.* 

1 Dasariipa, 1.8. 

2 Rasarnava-sttdhakara. Trivandrum (III, 2.) p. 209, also Dasarupa, i, 9. 

3 S. Rice. The Sanskrit Drama in Indian Arts and Letters. Vol. i, 
pp. 96-97. 102, 4 Levi, Le thefara indian t pp. 29-3,0. S. Rice, op t cit., p. 89, 


All these go to show that realism in the ordinary sense has no 
place in Hindu plays. And after a closer examination of them, 
one is sure to discover their suggestive character and the consequent 
demand on the imagination of the spectators. 5 Those who are 
accustomed to realism in art may call that demand inordinate, but 
Hindu theorists on the subject believe that the highest aesthetic enjoy- 
ment is not possible without giving the greatest possible scope to 
imagination, and are therefore in favour of avoiding realism. For, no 
amount of making things appear as real to spectators, can be successful 
unless the latter call imagination to their aid. In this connexion we 
may quote Sylvain Levi's apt remark in translation. 6 "Indian genius 
produced a new art which the word rasa summarizes and symbolizes, 
and which condenses it in one brief formula: 'the poet does not 
express but he suggests". 

Having regard to these characteristics of Hindu plays, they 
may perhaps suitably be called 'lyrico-dramatic spectacles,* but not 
'dramas' from which their aim and object as well as the attitude of 
their actors and spectators greatly differ. 

6. THE OBJECT OF HINDU PLAYS. To evoke rasa in the spectator 
is the aim and object of the Hindu play-wright. The term rasa has 
been translated as 'flavour,' 'Sentiment' or 'poetic sentiment'. These 
translations, however, are of not much help to anyone, unless an 
explanation is offered. And the nature and characteristic of rasa will 
be quite clear when the relative position of spectators and actors, is 
considered. "We see on the stage, for instance, Rama, and Slta who 
excites his affection, aided by suitable circumstances of time and place; 
this affection in intimated by speech and gesture alike, which indicate 
both dominant emotion of love and its transient shapes in the various 
stages of love requited. The spectacle evokes in the mind of the 
spectator impressions of the emotion of love which experience has 
planted there, and this ideal and generic excitation of the emotion 

5 S. Rice, op. cit.t p. 102. 6 Le thedtra indien, p. 417. 


produces in him that sense of joy which is known as Sentiment (rasa). 
The fullness of the enjoyment depends essentially on the nature and 
experience of the spectator, to whom it falls to identify himself with 
the hero or any other character, and thus to experience in ideal form his 
emotions and feelings. He may even succeed in his effort to the 
extent that he weeps real tears, but the Sentiment is still one of 
exquisite joy. We may compare the thrill of pleasure which the most 
terrifying narration excites in us, and we are all conscious of the sweet- 
ness of sad tales."* 

7. THE TECHNIQUE OP PLAYS. Before considering the literary 
technique as well as the technique of representation (abhinaya), the 
two means by which plays evoke rasa, attention should be paid to 
their main guiding principles. It is the doctrine of suggestion that 
lies at the basis of Hindu plays and indeed of all other arts of India. 
Hence it is found that a Hindu playwright's method of depicting a 
character, is different from that of his fellow-artist in the West. 
Instead of giving prominence to his varied activities, the Hindu play- 
wright would build up the character by mentioning characteristic 
emotional complexes suggestive of it as a whole. 8 

That verses of varied forms are abundantly used in Hindu 
plays, is simply for the purpose of calling forth emotion by means of 
the lyrical element present in their musical recitation. 

b\ ABHtNAYA. The Sanskrit word abhinaya is made up of the 
prefix abhi 'towards* and the root ni 'to carry'. Thus it means 
'representing (carrying) a play to (towards) spectators'. 9 According 
to the Sahitya-darpana that representation is called the imitation (or 
visualisation) of the conditions (physical and mental) of the characters 
in a drama. 10 But the aesthetic significance of the imitation will 

7 A B. Keith, Sanskrit Drama, p. 321, (The italics in the quotation arc 
ours) . 

8 S. Rice, op. cit., p. 102. 9 MS. VIII. 6; 
10 bhavcd abbinayo' vasthanukarab, ch, VI. 2. 


hot be clear unless the object of plays, viz., the evoking of rasa in 
the spectators, is taken into consideration. Hence we see Mallinitha, 
the famous commentator, defining abhinaya as movements for sugges- 
ting rasa (Sentiment) and bhava (State) 11 . For this reason, the word 
abhinaya may be said to be the means for disclosing to spectators the 
beauty or manifold pleasurable aspects of the play which cannot be 
adequately appreciated by simply reading its text. In consideration 
of all these facts, abhinaya may be termed the 'suggestive imitation' 
of the various moods and emotional states of characters in a play. 
Therefore, in spite of an apparent similarity between abhinaya and 
acting, the latter term, whenever it is used in connection with Hindu 
plays, does not mean quite the same thing. From the word nata (the 
Sanskrit word for 'actor* primarily meaning 4 a dancer') and such words 
as natayati (derived from the same root nat meaning 'to dance') it 
appears that the ancient Hindus had their plays 'danced' and not 
'acted'. This is corroborated by the evidence cf the Harivamsa 
(Visnuparva, ch. 93, si. 28.) which uses an expression like natakarn 
nanrtuh (danced a play). Rajasekhara (c. xotli century A.C.) too, 
in his prologue to the Karpura-tnanjari has an expression like 'sattaatn 
naccidavvam* ( a Sattaka is to be danced). Hence in course of the 
abhinaya of a play which is but a poem to be seen (drsya-havya), 
rhythm in all its possible aspects plays an important part. And its 
rhythmical character conveyed through abhinaya and dance, made it 
suitable for the suggestion of the deepest and the most tender emotions 
which tend to evoke rasa (Sentiment) in spectators. 

Depicting narratives by meanes of dance and abhinaya, is still to 
be found in the Saiva ritualistic dances of the Nilapuja found in 
Bengal. 12 The peoples of Indonesia (Java and Bali) which can trace 
the history of their connection with India to a very remote past, still 
depict stories from the Mahabharata and Puranas by means of dance. 

11 abhinayo rasabhavadi'vyanjaka-cesti-visesah on Kiiata, X. 4i. 

12 A popular festival in honour of Siva (Nilakan^ha) in the closing week of 
the Bengali year, 


Rabtndranath Tagore during his visit to this country noticed such 
dances. Of this he writes that "in their plays and musical perfor- 
mances, from beginning to end, their movements, battle-scenes, 
love-scenes, even their clowning, everything is danced. One who 
knows their peculiar dance-language, 13 can follow the story with the 
help of words. The other day we witnessed a dance in the Fajah's 
palace which, we are told, represented the story of Salva and Satya- 
vati, making it clear that not only emotion but also narration, is 
transmuted into dance by them. 14 In that connection Tagore very 
clearly explains how rhythm and gestures, the two elements of dance 
may convey the beauty of a narrative to spectators, "The events 
of human life," he says, "in their outward aspect, arc all displayed as 
movement. So, when any event of outstanding importance has to be 
portrayed, it is but natural that its movement should be given a corres- 
ponding dignity by the addition of rhythmic grace. The dance here 
is just such giving of rhythmic prominence to the events of a story, 
keeping in the background, or leaving altogether, the words. The 
Puranic legends, which in poetry, have to make their appeal only 
through the ear, are here addressed to the eye. Of the words that 
are the vehicle of poetry, the rhythm is governed by the natural laws 
of music, but the meaning is artificial, depending on sound-symbols 
mutually adopted by men. Both are necessary for the poem. In 
the dance of these people, likewise the rhythm alone is not sufficient 
for this kind of dance. Their tongue is silent, but the whole body 
does the talking by signs as well as by movements, Nothing could 
be more foreign to any actual field of battle than this form they give 
to their dance-warfare. But if some fairy land had been governed by 
the rule that fighting must be done rhythmically, a false step entail- 
ing defeat, then this is the kind of battle that would have been waged 
there. If anyone is inclined to smile at such lack of realism, he 

1 3 Angika abhinaya or gesture is an essential part of this dance-language. 

14 Letters from Java. The Visvabharati Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. j, 1928, 
April, pp, 2-3. 


needs must also laugh at Shakespeare, whose heroes not only fight in 
metre, but even die to it." 15 

In addition to this, Tagore refers to the historical dances of Japan 
and writes that, "There words are also used, but all the movements 
and gestures are of the dance type, and they have a wonderful 
appeal. In dramas where the words are metrical, it is surely incon- 
sistent to leave the movements realistic.' 1 Then regarding Hindu 
dramas he says that "our very words for dramas or play, nataka, 
shows that dance was its essential feature." 16 

Unless we start with the conception that abhinaya is something 
allied to dancing, and meant for suggesting ideas and emotions to 
spectators, we shall never be able to appreciate such merit as 
Hindu plays might possess. Besides this, one should consider in 
detail the four different branches into which abhinaya has been divi- 
ded, viz, angika, vacika, aharya, sattvika. 1 ^ 

(i) Angika abhinaya is the use of artistic gestures. Its rules 
regulate the actors* bearing, walk and movements of features and 
limbs. 18 But consistently with the object which Hindu playes have, 
the forms of gestures and movements prescribed in manuals of abhi- 
naya (such as the AD) are not quite realistic, and besides they are 
often made with reference to imaginary objects. For instance, the 
way of holding a flower by a beau, is not that in which it is ordinari- 
ly held, while a gesture may show that a bee is worrying a maiden 
though no actual bee is visible, and a particular movement of the 
body may show the ascending or descending from a place which may 
not actually be represented on the stage. 1 * 

Abhinaya means not only carrying out occasional directions of the 
playwright as regards the various special movements and positions 
which the dramastis per^onae are to assume, but also suggesting effec- 
tively to spectators the full aesthetic import of a play by suitably 

15 Ibid. 1 6 Ibid. 

17 NS. VIII. 9 ; AD. 39 8 NS. VIII. 11-15 ; AD, 40. 

19 Jyotrindranjith Thakur, Prahandha^rnanjat'i, p. 305, 


reproducing along with his speech or song, appropriate gestures codi- 
fied in manuals of abhinaya. Even in carrying out the directions of 
the playwright the actors are to use gestures etc., as laid down in 
those manuals. All this will be clear from the following directions 
of Raghavabhatta given in his commentary of the Sakuntala (ed. 
Nirnayasagara), for depicting the vrksa-secana (watering plants), 
bhramara-badha (an attack by a bee) and visada (grief) etc. In these 
he has used the SR, a work later than the AD. (vide 18). Raghava- 
bhatta's words are quoted below in translation. 

Watering plants (vrksa-secana) slightly bending the body with 
the Avadhuta head and the Adhomukha face. After holding near 
the shoulder the NalinI and the Padmakosa hands. 

Attack by a bee (bhramara-badha) with the Vidhuta head, the 
Kampita lips and the turned down Tripataka hand near the mouth. 

Bashfulness in love-making (srngaralajja)<with the Paravrtta head 
and the Lajjita eye. 

Despair (visada) with the Dhuta head and the Visanna eye. 

Avoiding an attempt to raise one's chin (mukhonnayana-parihara) 
with the Paravrtta head and the Viniguhita lips. 

Plucking of flowers (puspavacayana) with the Uttana Arala left 
hand and the Hamsasya right hand taken side-ways. 

Making toilet (prasadhana) putting the Tilaka mark on the fore- 
head with the ringfingcr of the Tripataka hand, wearing rhe garland 
with the Paranmukha and the Sandamsa (right and left) hands, putt- 
ing on Tatakas (ornament of upper arms) and ear-rings with the two 
Bhramara hands, and painting lac-dye on the feet with the Kartarl- 
mukha hand, and wearing a ring with Hamsasya and the Cyuta-san- 
damsa hands. 

Obstacle in walking (gatibhanga) with the Orudhrta Can. 

Coming down from a high place (avatarana) with the Gahgavata- 

Mounting a chariot (rathadhirohana) with the Ordhavajaiiu Carl. 

The code of gestures and movements prescribed for the different 
limbs was binding on the nata\ so much so, that in (he rqatter of 


gesticulation the term 'originality* can scarcely be applied to him, 
for what is required of him, is not his own interpretation of a play, 
but a representation of the same in accordance with the prescribed 
rules. The ideal Hindu playwright, as far as the language and the 
development of the plot are concerned, is to leave no obscurity which 
would require the interpretation of the nata, but in building up his 
characters, he (i. e., the playwright) is to touch only those characteris- 
tic moods which, properly represented, would suggest the full aesihe- 
tic value he desires to impart to them. 

To the nata the play is, as it were, a lyrical poem, and the abhinaya 
manuals, an account of the notes to be used in setting the former 
to music. As the musician has neither the liberty nor the necessity 
of inventing new notes or haphazardly applying the existing ones, so 
the nata has no room for being original by inventing gestures etc.. 
for that is the business of masters (acarya) of the art who know the 
theory and practice throughly. 20 In consequence of this, the specta- 
tors were spared the necessity of putting up with fanciful interpreta- 
tions which individual natas might make at their cost. In spite of 
this the nata had sufficient scope for free grace and fitting variations on 
the usual play of limbs. 

(ii) Vacika abhinaya may roughly be called die use of proper 
pronunciation, modulation of voice, accent and rhythm. 21 According 
to some Hindu theorists it occupies the first place in a play, because 
all other branches of abhinaya viz., angika, aharya and sattvika, depen- 
ded more on it than it does on them. 22 But the meaning which they 
have for this vacika abhinaya is more extensive than the modern 
rules of proper dramatic delivery. The use of different dialects and 
proper forms of address to persons according to their rank or social 
status are also included. These rules of the Hindu theorists arc 

20 A. K. Coomaraswamy, The Mirror of Gesture^ pp. 3-4. 

21 NS. XVIIl-XIX. 

22 Ramdas Sen, Aitihasika rahasya (Bengali) Part II, second Edition, Cal. 
1885, p. 97. 


very elaborate and well-adapted to bring out the lyrical qualities 
of a play. 

(iii) Aharya abhinaya. The costume and the appearance of the 
nata help him in his work. They reveal the sex, rsce, sect or class, 
social or other position of the character represented. The part which 
costume and physical decorations etc., play, is called the aharya 
abhinaya , 23 

(iv) Sattvika abhinaya. This is the representation of eight psy- 
chic conditions arising from the vital principle itself. These eight 
conditions are: motionlessness, perspiration, horripilation, change of 
voice, trembling, change of colour, tears and fainting. 24 But as these 
are sometimes to be expressed with the help of suitable gestures or 
movements of limbs, some modern scholars could, however, discover 
no distinction between the sattvika and angika abhinayas. 25 But 
their confusion is due to overlooking the fact that while the angika 
abhinaya is mostly on external things, and represents ideas conveyed 
by words, and intellectual changes in a man, the sattvika abhinaya 
is a thing expressing the psyche ; because the eight conditions enumer- 
ated above proceed from the inmost recess of the soul and pervade 
the whole body. Owing to their distinctive and deep-seated nature, 
they (i. e. the eight conditions) from a separate branch of the abhinaya, 
But in spite of this possible distinction, it cannot be denied that the 
sattvika abhinaya has every chance of degenerating into the angika 
abhinaya when the nata lacks the genius as well as proper training in 
his art. 

rightly observed that no play is more than potentially such till it is 
acted. Hence in order to understand a play properly, one must see it 
produced on the stage in the manner in which the author designed it 
to be done. If this, however, be not possible one should at least know 

23 Ramdas Sen of. cit. t pp. 97-98, MS. XXIII, 2-3. 

24 Ramdas Sen, op. cit. t p. 93, N5. XXIV, 1-2. 

25 Cf. Keith, of. cit. t pp. 367-368, 


thoroughly that particular manner, otherwise there is every chance of 
misunderstanding it, in spite o sympathetic imagination or artistic 
taste. The Hindu plays, as far as our knowledge goes, cannot be said 
to have been properly appreciated by modern critics, merely because 
they were studied without adequate attention to the technique of their 
representation on the stage. Those who have made any generalisation 
on their value, depended merely on the treatises on the literary 
technique of those plays (such as the Dasarupa or the Sahityadarpana), 
which themselves are not fully intelligible unless they are read along 
with treatises on abhinaya and other branches of the prayoga-vijnana 
(art of production). That this latter subject has much to do with the 
proper appreciation of Hindu plays has been recognized by few scholars 
and emphasized by none. The few stage-conventions which some of 
them picked out as grotesque or meaningless, were a hindrance rather 
than a help to such an appreciation. Hence it is clear that the Hindu 
art of abhinaya requires to be investigated more carefully. And its 
practical details as well as the principles underlying them should be 
subjected to a most exhaustive scrutiny. 

(i) Abhinaya and Painting. In the Visnu-dbarmottara?* it has 
been said that the canons of painting are difficult to be understood 
without an acquaintance with the canons of dancing. This remark is 
not intelligible to one who is not aware of the fact that dancing 
includes abhinaya, and was to a great extent responsible for its origin, 
although in later times it came to be associated more or less exclusively 
with the performance of natyas. An acquaintance with abhinaya, in 
fact, gives the student of painting a more or less definite idea about 
the postures of men according to changes (physical, mental and spirit- 
ual) to which they arc subjected by the different objects surrounding 
them. The value of a treatise on abhinaya lies in the fact that it 
presents to us a more or less systematic and elaborate study of the 
possible artistic gestures which, when reproduced on the stage by natas, 
may evoke rasa in the spectators. Anyone who has some idea about 

26 Ed. Venkatcsvara, Bombay, 1912* Part III, ch, 2 II. 4. 


the technique of painting will understand how the descriptions of 
varying gestures by head, hands eyes, lips and feet etc., would help a 
student of painting to acquire skill in depicting the human form 
in its endless variety of poses. In fact the canons of painting such as 
are given in the Visnu-dharamottara and the Abhilasitaratha-cintamani, 
give nothing but the anatomy of the human form considered in its 
motionless condition, while the canons of dancing (which includes 
abhinaya) consider the human form in its rhythmic movement for the 
purpose of evoking some rasa, and can thus vivify the knowledge of 
that anatomy by revealing its artistic possibilities. 

(ii) Abhinaya and Sculpture, The Visnu-dharmottara 27 is also of 
opinion that one who does not know the canons of painting, cannot be 
acquainted with the canons of making images. This will be clear to 
one who has understood the relation between painting and abhinaya 
given above. And a study of the AD may be expected to remove 
all doubt in this matter. 

27 Part III ch. 2. In connection with rules for making images the Sama- 
ranganasutradhara (vol. II pp. 30 iff. of the COS Edition) describes the hand 
gestures etc., almost in the language of the MS (IX. ^ff), 



10. THE ORIGIN OF ABHINAYA. (a) 'Abkinaya, though closely 
connected with rupakas or natyas, is not restricted to them alone in 
its application. An essential part of nrtya (pantomimic dance) is 
abhinaya^ and gttas (songs) are made perfect when they are accompain- 
ed by proper angika (physical) gestures to suggest their spirit. Hence 
it is natural that abhinaya apart from natya should have its own 
history to which git* (song), nrtta (dance) and nrtya contributed their 
part. Not only the composite nature of its growth, but also the 
different social phenomena which influenced the entire history of 
abhinaya, should be taken into account for its proper comprehension. 
For instance, rituals, folk-songs, folk-dance and folk-plays contributed 
to the growth and development of this art as well as of natya (drama) 
itself. Different masters of the art of abhinaya who flourshed in 
course of its long history, did also do their part in this matter; but 
at this distant date we lack adequate materials to study accurately 
either thp relative priority or the importance of the different forces 
which in some way or other might have influenced the growth of 
abhinaya, we shall consider below only a few facts which reveal the 
characteristics that abhinaya has in common with other social institu- 
tions, sacred or secular as a means of suggesting the complex nature 
of its growth. 

(i) Gtta and Abhinaya. It it a well-known fact that at a certain 
stage of their evolution, gita, (vocal music) nrtta (including nrtya) and 
vadya (instrumental music) came very rightly to be considered not 
only homogeneous but also mutually dependent. The word samgita 
which includes these three arts and which has often been mistranslated 
as merely 'music* was an invention belonging to this stage. This inclu- 
sion is of help in understanding the connexion between gita and nrtta 
(nrtya). And abhinaya 9 as will be seen later on very clearly, is connect- 


ed with nrtya. Therefore, the relation between gita and abhinaya 
becomes clear. In practice also, the same relation is to be seen even 
now; for Indian singers, even when they are not dancers, usually 
accompany their singing with gesticulation. "This is of two kinds, of 
which the first, quite distinct from what is spoken of in the present 
treatise, is a hand movement reflecting the musical form; the reflec- 
tion of empathy (sadharam), is sometimes very impressive or graceful, 
but not less often grotesque. The second, known as bhav-batana or 
'shewing of moods' is of the type here described as abhinaya, or 'ges- 
ture' and differs from (abhinaya applied to) Natya only in the greater 
relative importance of the music and the words". 1 

(ii) Nrtya and Abhinaya. The indispensable connection between 
nrtya and abhinaya can be gathered from Dhananjaya's description of 
the former. He says nrtya is the representation of concepts conveyed 
by words (fadarthabhinaya). 2 ' The description of Sarhgadeva establishes 
the connexion more clearly. He says 'that which expresses bhavas 
(States) by means of angika (gesture) is nrtya.'- But according to 
Catura-Kallinatha, the commentator of the SR, angika- in this place 
includes vacika as well as sattvika abhinaya.* But there are, as will 
be seen later on, other factors which contributed their share to the 
development of natya and abhinaya, although the contribution of 
nrtya is surely the more important. This importance will be better 
understood when we observe the fact that abhinaya has almost always 
been discussed in the works on samgtta in the chapter devoted to nrtta 
(nrtya), and works like AD which treat only of abhinaya, look to 
this as an art concerning solely the nartaki (dancing girl). 5 - This mode 
of treatment probably points to the fact that abhinaya first came to 
be studied and systematized in connexion with nrtya, and hence the 
sign of that dependence even in works prepared much later when it 
came to be largely associated with natya. 

1 MG. p. 8. [Words enclosed! within square brackets are ours. 

2 Dasarupa I. 14. 

3 SR. VII. 28. 

4 Jika, on SR. VII. 28. . 5 AD, si, 23b-27a 


The relation of abhinaya to natya (drama) may be said to have 
become more intimate through the relation of the latter to nrtya, for 
the NS, the well-known work on natya and the musical arts, clearly 
lays down that a play should be so written that dance can be added 
to it. 6 It is this prescribed association of nrtya with Hindu plays that 
entitled the latter to the name natya which means literally a thing to 
be danced, or performed by a nata (originally a dancer, subsequently 
the performer of natya). Indeed, it has already been mentioned that an 
expression like natakam nanrtuh (danced a drama) was used in the 

(iii) Ritual and Abhinaya. (a) Vedic. The part which the Vedic 
ritual might have played in the origin of Hindu plays has been ably 
discussed by more than one scholar. 8 In spite of there being no 
unanimity of opinion among them all, it may be said that the ritual of 
the Vedic age contributed, even if it might be to a small extent, to 
the origin of abhinaya. The testimony of the NS, in this connection, 
that natya as a whole has sprung from the four Vedas, and that 
specially abhinaya can trace its origin from the Yajurveda, may not be 
lightly dismissed. 9 - And also the fact that the Vedic hymns, at least 
Samans, are still chanted mostly with some kind of: gesture, should 
be remembered in this connection. 

(b) Epic Recitation and Abhinaya. The recitation of epic poems 
such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata t the Bhagavata and other 
Puranas, which generally takes place on the occasion of religious 
festivals, has some kind of abhinaya ascociated with it. For Kathakas 1 - 
just like good orators, are required to make a liberal use of gestures 
for impressing the audience with what they deliver. The theory 

6 NS. XVII. 123. 

7 Harivamsa, Cal. (1827 Saka) II. 93-28, p. 314. 

8 Keith, op. cit,, pp, 23-27. 9 NS, i. 17. 

10 Kathakas or those who read before an audience episodes from 
original epics (Mbh. or R.) or the Puranas, and explain them with the art of a 
good story-teller interspersing their narration with songs, or musical recitation 
of original Sanskrit passages. 


of the origin of Hindu plays from epic recitation which is otherwise 
justified, receives on additional support from this fact too. 

(c) Tantrik Mudras and Abhinaya. Tantrik mudras (ritual ges- 
tures of the hand) have some resemblance to the manual gestures 
used in abhinaya. This however, is not sufficient to allow us to 
suggest any clear connection of Tantrik ritual with the origin of 

(d) Folk-arts and Abhinaya, Folk-songs, folk-dance and folk-plays 
also contain some elements of abhinaya in them. Popular ballads of 
ancient times may also be supposed to have been sung with some sort 
of crude abhinaya, and similarly folk-dances and folk-plays also were 
probably accompained by this. These folk-arts can be witnessed even 
now-a-days in the Gambhlra, the Gajan and the Nllapuja (of Bengal) 11 
and the Ramallla (of the Uttar Pradesh), thus affording some material 
al for us to arrive at their historical prototypes. The Mahavrata cere- 
mony of the Vedic times might be a trace of their early existence. 13 - 

ji. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ABHINAYA. (a) Before the time 
of Kalidasa. As the word freksa used in Kautilya's Arthasastra 
has been taken to mean a dramatic show it may be assumed 
thar abhinaya was in vogue in the ^th century B. C. At the 
time of Patanjali (c. 140 B.C.) too, the art seems to have been 
largely practised. 1 - In the age that followed, this art made further 
progress, the first testimony of which is the fragments of Asvaghosa's 
plays. This great Buddhist poet is placed by Sten Konow in about 
150 A C,, but Keith is for placing him earlier. 14 

In the Saptasatakam (Saptasatt or Sattasai) of Hala alias Satavahana 
nadaa (nataka) and pavvararnga (purvaranga") are mentioned side by 

1 1 Haridas Palit. The Gambhira belongs to the Malda district and the 
Nilapuja to all parts of Bengal. 

12 Hillebrandt, Ritual Litteratur p. 147. Sten Konow, Das indische Drama, 
p. 42, Keith, op. cit. 9 23-24. 

13 Keith, op. cit., p. 31. 

14 Sanskrit Drama, p. 70. 


side. 1 - The word furvaranga, being a technical word connected with 
the production of a natya on the stage, shows that the art of abhinaya 
was at that time in a more advanced stage than in the age of Patafij- 
ali. As for the date of Hala, Winternitz says that he must have 
reigned either in ist or 2nd century A. C., at the earliest. 18 The 
Avadanasataka, a Sanskrit Buddhist work describes the performance of 
a Buddhist nataka. The description of the nataka in that work, is 
enough to show that the age which produced the work witnessed con- 
siderable development of the art of abhinaya, The mention of the 
wjrd 'natacarya* in the sense of master-wdta or the professor who 
trained the natas (and was consequently the director of a party of 
natas} 9 gives us good reason to presume that the art of a nata had 
by that time become important enough in the eyes of the people to 
accord to its venerable teacher the title of acarya which was generally 
to given a master of seacred works like the Vedas and the Vedangas 
etc., This Avadanasataka is a work considered to have been written 
between 200 A. C. and 253 A.C. 1 - 

More copious reference to abhinaya is to be found in the Hari- 
varnsa. 1 * The word abhinaya with its derivatives has been used in 
it nearly a dozen times. This fact together with mention of technical 
words like nandi, nepathya t and vidiisaka gives us ample ground for 
presuming that the work was written at a time when the art of 
abhinaya reached a high degree of development. The lower limit of 
the date of the Harivamsa varies between 200 A. C. and 400 A. C. 1 ' 
There should, however, be no objection to placing the work in the 
second century, for the Bhasa-plays including words like can, gati 
used in connexion with abhinaya have been assigned to 300 A. C. 

1 5 Kavyamala ed. p. no; Weber's ed. p. 127. 

16 Wintsrnitz. Gescbicbte der indischen Litteratur, Vol. 3, p. 103; also 
Weber's ed. of the Saptasatakam, p. xvii. 

17 Levi, of. cit., p. 320 Avadanasataka (ed. Speyer) Vol. 2, pp. 29-30. 

18 II. 92-93. 

19 Hopkins, The Great Epic of India, pp. 387, 398. Winternitz,, op. cit., 
Vol. i, p. 401 (Jransl. p. 464). 


(b) In the age of Kalidasa. The improvement made by Kalidasa 
in the exstant drama of his time consisted in assigning a more or less 
prominent place to song and dance. In this respect he probably 
made a departure from the style of his predecessors. It seems 
that in the beginning Kalidasa with this innovation was rather 
afraid of the admirers of old masters like Bhasa, Saumilla and others; 
hence, in spite of the firm self-reliance which always characterizes a 
great genius, he uses song and dance very cautiously in the 
Malvikagnimitra. The success of this which must have raised him in 
the estimation of his contemporaries, convinced him of the fitness of his 
method, which he applied more freely in the Vikramorvasi the proper 
production of which would enable one to see the best specimen of the 
art of abhinaya. 

The value of Kalidasa's innovation from the standpoint of the art 
of abhinaya is immense. Hindu plays poems in their conception 
and lyrical in their character became after him unique spectacles 
in which the lyrical element was given the fullest prominance by 
the more important scope given to song and dance. 

(c) After Kalidasa. The art of abhinaya does not seem to have 
made much much advance after Kalidasa. For the plays of post- 
Kalidasian age are composed more or less after the manner of that 
great genius. But it is sure that from time to time gestures were 
studied afresh, new gestures were added to their number, and some- 
times the old ones also were slightly modified. All these we shall 
see below under the literature on abhinaya. 

12. THE LITERATURE ON ABHINAYA. The treatise on abhinaya 
which can be called the earliest is, the Natasutras of Silalin and 
Krsasva mentioned by Panini (c. 600 B.C.). We do not exactly 
know what these contained, but if any conjecture on the subject is 
allowable, we may presume in the light of a study of the later works 
on nrtya and abhinaya that Silalin's and Krsasva's work contained 
among other things a description* probably classified of gestures 
and postures etc., and where and how the nata was to use them, 


The NS which among ether things treats oE abhinaya, is 
thus the earliest available work dealing with the subject. It has 
sometimes been assumed that the NS in its earliest from was a stitra- 
text meaning by the term a work consisting of highly compressed 
prose formulae such as the Astadhyay'i of Panini. If such actually 
existed it might have been earlier than the BhA which, as its abridge- 
ment shows, was in all probability a versified work. But we are 
afraid that the above assumption is based on a very weak foundation. 
Though the MS has often been referred to as the Natyasutra and its 
author the Bharatamuni of dubious existence, has been called the 
stitrakara, it is highly doubtful if anything except the present NS 
written in metres or its prototype of a like nature, ever existed. A 
careful examination of the word stitra will support this view. It is on 
the basis of this word and of the word karika occurring in the text of 
the NS (VI, ii. 31) that one makes the above assumption. As the 
meaning of the word karika is quite plain, we are to discuss only the 
meaning of the sutra. It is generally believed, and perhaps very 
firmly, that this word means a work containing highly compressed 
prose formulae on any subject such as the Astadhyayt or the 
Brahmasiitra. An authority like Abhinavagupta deals a cruel blow 
to such a belief. In his comments on NS. VI. n. 31, he is not for 
distinguishing between karika and the stltra. In the mangalacarana 
of the Abhinava-bharati, he has called the very NS the Bharata-siitra. 
Together with this fact, one should remember that the Rk-pratisakhya 
written entirely in verse, has been called the Parsada-sutra. This also 
is noteworthy that the Southern Buddhists called their scriptures 
(written in prolix prose) suttas ( = siitras) and the Northern Buddhists 
too call some of their metrical treatises sutras (e.g., the Madhyanta- 
vibhagasutra of Maitreya-natha). The stitra (thread) which runs 
through flowers in a garland seems to have led to a metaphorical use 
of the word. Hence stitra means merely central principles or essential 
rules. On taking this view of the meaning of the word sutra we 
may consider the NS (in metre) to be the earliest available work on 


Then come the Agnipurana and the Visnudharmottara t which 
make room for a treatment of abhinaya in their body. The date of 
the Visnudharmottara has not been critically discussed by any 
authority, but it may be that this work belongs to a period not later 
than 500 A. C. 20 And the Agniparana has been placed in the latter 
half of the 8th century. 21 

20 Indian Antiquary, XIX, p. 408. Jolly, Hindu Law and Customs* p. 69. 

21 S. K. De, op, cit , p. 103. 



13. SCOPE OF THE WORK. The AD treats in details the 
angika abhinaya which inculdes gestures, postures and movements 
dependent on feet. The exclusive attention paid to the angika abhinaya 
is due to its importance with reference to the training of the natya and 
nftya. 1 The same importance may be said to have been recognized 
by Amarasimha the famous lexicographer, for he mentions in his Kosa 
only angika abhinaya and the sattvika, primarily dependent on the 
former. 2 

(a) Gestures. To understand the proper value of gestures which 
furnish the basis of the angika abhinaya one should observe their 
application in other department of social activities. Gestures are first 

1 Cambodian dancers who owe their art to ancient India still learn this 
with great pain. See, Gestures in the Cambodian Ballet by J. Cuisihier in 
Indian Art & Letters, 2nd issue for I$f2y. 

2 Sec the Amarako^a under 'Abhinaya*. 


met with in the languages of primitive people. It is sure that they 
played an important role in the evolution o human speech. A gesture 
is used by mutes and even by others when they meet persons speaking 
a language unintelligible to them. And often it so happens that 
some ideas cannot be adequately expressed or explained without some 
gesticulation accompanying words spoken. This clearly shows the 
power of suggestion that is inherent in gesturse. It is no wonder, 
therefore, that they were combined with dance the first-born among 
arts of mankind and have been endowed with rhythm to call forth 
rasa in persons witnessing dance. But they have other uses besides 
this. The ritualistic use of gestures known as mudras is an instance 
of it. Sadhakas (devotees) of the Tantrik school use them. According 
to some they are meant to emphasize and intensify their thought, and 
thus giving them the bliss (mud) of meditation. But gestures used in 
abbinaya and nrtya differ from mudra. And nrtya and abhinaya also 
have different principles of utilizing them. For in nrtya gestures are 
used by themselves, whereas in natya they are used in accompaniment 
of words, to suggest their meaning. 

But whatever might be the difference of principle regarding the 
application of gestures in nrtya, abhinaya and mudra they agree in 
one respect: in all those cases they tend often to be artistic and 
symbolical, rather than natural and simple. After the introductory 
matters (1-48), the AD treats the following kinds of gesture: * 

i. Nine gestures of the head (49-65). 

ii. Eight gestures of eyes (66-79). 

iii. Four gestures of the neck (79-87) 

iv. Twenty-eight gestures by one hand (87-165) and four 

additional gestures (166-172) 

v. Twenty-three gestures by both the hands (172-203) 

vi. Gestures for representing gods (204-215) 

vii. Gestures for representing the ten Avataras of Visnu (216^225) 

viii. Gestures for rcspresenting different castes etc. (226-231) 

ix. Gestures for representing various relations 


X. Gestures of hand for dance in general, and the method of 

moving hands in dance (244-249). 

xi. Gestures for representing nine planetary deities (250-258) 
(b). Postures and Gait. After treating gestures, the AD treats 
of postures and various movements of the body depending principally 
on feet (2595.). It is a plain fact that the carriage of the body and 
its various movements often characterize a person. On assuming this, 
the theorists of the art of abhinaya have codified postures, and move- 
ments of the body depending on feet. 

i. Mandalas and Sthanakas or sixteen modes of standing and 

resting (260-282). 

ii. Utplavanas of five kinds or leaping movements (282-289) 
iii. Bhramarls of seven kinds or flight movements (298-332) 
iv. Caris, and Gatis or eighteen kinds of gait (298-332) 

One peculiarity is noticed in the treatment of the above items. 
Unlike that of gestures definitions of various postures (except in the 
case of Sthanakas) and feet-movements are not accompanied by their 
viniyoga (application). An explanation of this fact is available at the 
end of AD in the following terms : 

"Mandalas, Utplavanas, Bhramarls, Caris and Gatis according to 
their relation to one another, arc endless in number and variety. Their 
uses in dance and drama arc to be learnt from the sastra, tradition of 
the school and through the favour of good people^ and not otherwise 
(322-324.)" This probably shows that at a very time when no work 
was compiled, the uses already recorded incase of the above movements, 
depended solely on the principles known to teachers. Probably fot 
this reason we do not get them in writing in the AD which follov/s 
a very early tradition. 

Sastra (not the Bharata-Natyasatra) has been many times referred to 
as an authority in the AD, and the extant N5 in its chapters VIII-XI, 
treats of the angika abhinaya (gesture), Hence a comparison of the 
two works becomes necessary. 


(a) Head-gesture. According to the MS. (Ch, VIII) there are 
thirteen gestures of head while Nandikesvara has only nine. Among 
them five gestures have common names in both the works; besides 
this, the names of two gestures agree partially. 

A comparison of the names, definitions and viniyoga (application) 
of the head gestures in the two works shows that the gestures named 
Adhomukha, Alolita, ( = Lolita), Dhuta, Kampita, Paravrtta and Pari- 
vahita are defined in each work in a similar manner. As regards their 
applications also the two works have a considerable agreement ; besides 
this, the definition of the gesture Udvahita in the AD, agrees substan- 
tially with the Utksipta of the MS. 

(b) Eye-gestures. According to the NS. (Ch. VIII. 101 ff.), 
there arc three classes of eye-gestures, such as, (i) eyes for expressing 
eight rasas, (ii) eyes for expressing sthayi-bhavas, and (iii) eyes for ex- 
pressing sancari-bhavas. Each of the classes (i) and (ii) in their turn 
has eight varieties, while the class (iii) has twenty varieties. But the 
AD (66ff.) is not so elcborate in its classification or division of these 
gestures. It enumerates only eight kinds of them. The classificstion 
in the two works has not any common name. 

(c) Neck-gestures. The NS (Ch. VIII. i64ff), enumerates nine 
kinds of these gestures while the AD (jgff) gives four kinds of them. 
The two enumerations possess no common names. 

(d) Hand-gestures. Though the NS and AD agree in classify- 
ing the hand-gestures into three classes, and though these three classes 
possess many common names, they differ as regards the number 
in each class as well as well as in their definition and application. 
Let us consider them separately. 

(i) Single-band gestures 9 . According to the NS (Ch. IX), there 
are twenty-four gestures in this class, while in the AD, their number 
is twenty-eight. In both the works twenty-two gestures have common 
names Their description and application too in the two works have 
considerable agreement, 


The comparison of the two works on this point yields these facts : 
i. The definition of the following thirteen gestures is similar 

in both the works : 

Pataka, Tripataka, Ardhacandra, Arala, Sukatunda, Musti, Sikhara 
Padmakosa, Sarpasiras, Mrgaslrsa, Catura, Bhramara, Mukula. 

ii. The following gestures have some points of agreement 
as regards their application. The number of those points 
varies in each case, and it has been noted against the name 
of each gesture mentioned below. 

Pataka (2), Tripataka (2), Ardhacandra (i), Musti (/), Katakamu- 
kha (4) Padmakosa (j) Sarpasiras (5) Mukula (2), 

iii. Except in the cases mentioned in (ii) above the viniyoga 

(application) of the gesturas vary in the two works, 
iv. The definitions of the following gestures vary in both the 
works: Kartarlmukha, Katakamukha, Kapittha, SucI, 
Kangula, Alapadma (Alapallava), Hamsapaksa, Sandamsa, 

v. The following gestures of the NS, are subdivided according 
to their viniyogas (uses) and special instructions have been 
given as to how a gesture is to be used in different groups 
of things: Pataka, Tripataka, Arala, Suclmukha, Catura, 

(2) Combined-band gestures. The NS (Ch. IX) names thirteen 
gestures of this class, while the AD gives twenty-three. 

As a result of the comparison of the combined-hand gestures named 
similarly in the two works, we have the following facts : 

i. The following gestures in both the works have substantially 
the same definitions, and their applications also agree mutu- 
ally to a great extent,:; Anjali, Kapota, Karkata and 
ii. The gesture named Puspaputa is almost similarly defined in 

both the works, 

tii. The remaining three gestures are differently defined and 
applied in the two works. 


(3). Nrtta-hastas. According to the NS. (Ch. IX. 1735.) they 
arc twenty-seven in number and different from the single-hand and 
combined-hand gestures. But their number in the AD is thirteen, 
and they are not anything different from the single or combined-hand 
gestures; for, six of them (Pataka, Tripataka, Sikhara, Kapittha, 
Alapadma and Hamsasya) are the same as the single-hand gestures of 
the same name, and the remaining seven (Anjali, Svastika, Dola, 
Kataka-vardhana, Sakata, Pasa and Kllaka) are the same as the 
combined-hand gestures of the same name. Thus, whatever might be 
the number of gestures in each group, the total number of hand- 
gestures arc sixty-four according to *the NS, and fifty-one according 
to the AD. 

(c) Cart. According to the NS, Carls 8 are thirty-two in number 
and are divided into two classes; (i) earthly (bhauma) and (ii) heavenly 
(aka'sagamt). But the AD, has only eight Carls and they constitute 
only one class by themselves. The two works have no name common 
in their Carls. 

(i) Mandala. According to the MS, Mandalas 4 are twenty in 
number and arc divided into two classes: (i) earthly (bhauma) and 
(ii) heavenly (akasika), but the AD gives only ten of them and does 
not classify them at all. The two works have no common names in 
their mandalas. 

these works arc ascribed to Nandikesvara, and the authors of 
the two works may be indentical. The tradition recorded 
in the opening verses of the text used for the MG says that the AD 
(vide notes on si. i), is an abridgement of the BhA. But nothing 
like this is to be found in any of the five manuscripts collated for the 
present edition. Hence in the beginning we disbelieved it. However 
being informed that a manuscript named the BhA, exists in the 
library of Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Poona, we procured a loan of 
it for placing our conclusion on a surer basis. This led to a through 

3 See NS. XI. iff. 4 Sec NS. XI. 4. 


examination of the same work, which treats of abhinaya as well as 
nrtya. And the following are the results : 

The Poona MS of the so-called BhA, which we have called P 
appears, to be a different work or at best a recasting of the old work 
of the same name. In the body of the work the following passage 
occurs : alapacartm vaksyc'ham Bharatarnavam-amanthya 

This adds to one's doubt as to the so-called BhA., being the 
original work of Nandikcsvara, and shows that it is a compilation which 
depended on his work as well as that of the so-called Bharata i.e. his 

At the end of the chapter referred on misellaneous hands it writes 
bharatartha-candrikayam bhudhara-raja'duhitrracitayam, and the coloph- 
on, which follows this, is (f. 42) iti sri-Nandikesvara-viracita-Parvati- 
prayukta-bharatartha-candrika-nanartha-prakaranam samaptam-astt. 

Read together with the superscription (nandibharatokta-samkfrna- 
dhyayah) at the head of this section, the above colophon offers a puzzle 
and again adds to our doubt as to the so-called BhA, being identical 
with Nandikesvara's work of the same name. It may be altogether a 
different work of the name of the Bharatartha-candrika depending on 
Nandikesvara as well as the so-called Bharata for its material. 

This MS however, gives the name of the work as the BhA. The 
discoverer of the MS, it is sure, depended on this only, for labelling 
the work as the BhA. These various ways of describing the work 
probably shows it to be something other than the original work of 

In its treatment of hand-gestures of the first two kinds (asamyuta 
and samyutahastas), P resembles to a great extent the AD. The 
number of asamyttta-hastas (single-hand gestures) is twenty-eight in 
the AD, whereas their number is twenty-seven in the P. Of these, 
twenty-six gestures have similar definition and description in both the 
works. The number of sarnyuta-hastas (combined-hand gestures) in 
the AD, is twenty-three while in the P their number is sixteen. Of 
these, seven have common names in the two works, and the definition 
and application of six only have a substantial agreement in the both, 


but the treatment of nrtta-hastas in the P, is different from that 
of the AD, Unlike the AD, the P describes a new set of hand- 
gestures called ftrtta-hastas. In this regard, the latter work bears 
resemblance to the extant MS. The number of nrtta-hastas are 
sixteen in the P, whereas their numder is no less than twenty-seven 
in the NS. Of these, twelve common name are found in both the 
works, but their definitions and applications differ. 5 

The SR being evidently a work posterior in date to the AD, 
it is not necessary to compare the two. It goes without saying 
that SR which was compiled from various sources such as the 
NS and AD, has treated gestures etc., more elaborately (vide SR. 
i, 4-12, 14-16, 21-23, 40-43, 75, 55-56, 72, in, 145, 187, 
189-190. Ch. VII). But it should be mentioned that the author of 
the SR, has from time to time retained the very language of the 

Besides the above, the SR, in other cases too bear clear evidence of 
an influence of the AD. 

The present work is written in a simple style. It is even 
simpler than the chapters which the NS, devoted to nrtta and 
abhinaya. There are some grammatical anomalies 6 and stock phrases 
like kirtitah purvasuribbih, ucyate natyakovidaih, froktah nrtya- 
karmavisaradaih are very often used for filling up the verse i.c > for 

Nandikesvara's method of treatment in the AD, is analytical. He 
considers the gestures of different limbs separately, though in actual 
abhinaya, some of the limbs cannot have independent movement'. 
And moreover the gesture of one single limb is never used, except 

5 Sec the treatment of the nrtta-hastas in the N$. (Ch. IX 1738.) 

6 See notes on slokas 31 and 34* 

7 See Us, 89-93 of the AD. 


for a short time, to the exclusion of the rest. In the MS, the 
synthetic method has been combined with the analytical one. For, in 
it we find not only the enumeration of the gestures of different limbs, 
but also their combination in the form of karanas and angaharas*. 

1 8. THE AUTHOR OF THE WORK. It is not easy to say 
anything with certainty about the life and times of Nandikesvara, the 
reputed author of the AD. This name has been found not only in 
connexion with abhinaya, but also in relation to works on various other 
subjects, such as, Tala, Rasa, Yoga, Tantra, Kama-sastra, Purva- 
Mimamsa and Lingayet Saivism. The three works named Tala- 
laksana 9 , Taladi-laksana and Talabhinaya-laksana have been ascribed 
toN. Rajasekhara in his Kavya-mimamsa cities one N. as a writer on 
rasa. There is a work named Yoga-taravati l( * from the hands of one 
N. The Nandikesvara- tilaka 11 has N. frankly as its eponymous 
author. The Pancasayaka mentions this name as a writer on the 
Kamasastra, and Vatsyayana, too, in his stitra refers to one Nandi 
whom Aufrecht is inclined to identify with N. The Prabhakara- 
vijaya 1 * a Purva-Mlmamsa work has also one N. as its author. 
Besides this, the author of the Lingadharana-candrika 1 - a work on 
Lingayet Saivism is N. Surely we cannot see a single person in all 
these Nandikesvaras. But it is probable that N, in connexion with 
tala, and abhinaya was the same person, and he might have been 
different from the writers on Yoga, Tantra and Purva-Mlmamsa. 

The testimony of Sarngadeva, the author of the SR which quotes 
passages from the AD, seems to corroborate the first part of the above 
view; for, according to him, N was an authority on samgita, that is, 

8 See NS. IV f 30-33. 59. 

9 Burnett's 'A Classified Index to the Skt. Mss. in the Palace Library, 
Tanjore, p. 45; S. K. DC of. cit, t p. 35. 

10 Triennial Catalogue of Manuscripts collected for the Govt. Oiiental 
Mss. Library, Madras (TCM.) vol. IV, and (nos. 3308 b and V 4403 c). 

1 1 TCM. vol. III Pt. I pp. (no. 2595) 

12 TCM. vol. IV. Pt. I. pp. 4909. 

13 TCM. vol. IV Pt. I. (no. 3433). 


he made some contribution to the art which includes tala and abhinaya. 
It is difficult to say whether N the writer on ars amatoria was 
identical with the writer on sarngita of the same name. But as the 
Chapter XXV of the NS dealing with courtezans can be considered 
an integral part of the original work, one can say that the identity of 
the two authors is not at all improbable. However, any decision on 
the point being very uncertain we shall consider here N merely as a 
writer on sarngita, and as such he was a mortal human being and not 
a god of the same name with whom popular imagination in course 
of time tended to identify him. He was possibly a follower of Siva. 

An account of the Lingapurana shows that Nandikesvara the 
attendant of Siva 14 was originally a mortal the son of a blind 
woman named Silada who prayed to gods for an immortal son and 
was given by Siva a son named Nandi. This Nandl came afterward 
to be known as Nandikesvara and was immortalized by Siva as the 
chief of his ganas. 

Mm. Ramakrishna Kavi identifies Nandin or Nandikesvara with 
Tandu. According to him N was the author of Nandtsvarasamhita, the 
whole of which work is extinct now except a chapter on histrionics 15 , 
and this chapter on histrionics is probably the AD. In the absence of 
sufficient proof in support of this statement, we may consider this as a 
more plausible suggestion based on similarity of names. 

Nandikesvara being pupular in some parts of southern India, our 
author of the same name seems to have been an inhabitant of that 
part of the country. 

20. THE TIME OF NANDIKESVARA. If . the suggestion of 
Mm. Ramakrishna Kavi who identifies N with the author of 

14 Gopinath Rao, Elements of Hindu Iconography, Vol. II. part II 

PP. 455-459- 

15 The Quarterly Journal of the Andhra Hist. Research Society Vol. III. 
pp. 25-26. Nandisvara-samhita like the Manu-samhita may have been the work 
of an author other than Nandikesvara. 


NanJtsvara-samhita, can be accepted, a guess may be made about the 
date of our author. For, N is quoted by Matanga, a writer on 
samgita, and may probably be anterior to the latter by nearly a century. 
The date of Matanga can be roughly fixed, for, he is mentioned in 
the Tamil work named Silappadikarana which has been assigned the 
^th century A.G. Hence, Matanga who was more or less a century 
earlier than the writer of the Tamil work, ban be placed in the 4th 
century. This gives the date of N who was perhaps a century 
earlier than Matanga, as the third century A.C. 

21. THE ANTIQUITY OF THE WORK. The AD is said to be 
an abridgement of the BhA, of the exact nature of which we 
practically know nothing. And besides his there is the Nandisvara- 
samhita which probably claims the AD, as one of its chapter. Hence, 
the work in the present state of our knowledge cannot be placed as 
early as the 300 A.C. the probable time for N. 

Lack of sufficient materials has made the determination of the date 
of the AD a very difficult problem. We shall, however, attempt to 
give below our reasons for a tentative date on the basis of available 

The lower limit to the date is to be had from the SR, a work 
written about 1247 A.C. 16 

There are passages common to the AD and the SR. The fact that 
the SR mentioned the name of N as one of the authorities on samgita 
gives one occasion to presume that Sarngadeva the author of the SR, 
knew works like the AD, Tdlabbinaya-laksana, Talalaksana and 
Bharatarnava ascribed to N, and quoted from some of them. Hence, 
in the present case, SR appears to be the borrower from the AD. The 
opposite possibility seems to be non-existent on the following grounds : 

It has been shown above that the treatment of gestures in the NS 
is partially different from the AD and more elaborate. And the 
treatment of these in the SR, is more or less in conformity with that 

1 6 Preface (p. 3) of the Anandasrama ed. of the SR. 


of the MS, though the former has made its classification more elaborate. 
Thus in their treatment of gestures of AD and SR may be said to 
have slight agreement. But SR in its treatment of Carls, Sthanas 
(or Sthanakas) and Mandalas is quite different from the AD 
which is less elaborate, or in other words, less developed. In view of 
these facts it does not appear probable that a work partially compiled 
from a later treatise like the SR, will be passed off in the name of an 
ancient master like N whom the author of the SR (Ch. I. 17), had to 
recognize as one of the authorities. 

To ascertain the upper limit to the date of the AD, is however a 
comparatively difficult task. The only light which we may have in 
this from the NS which also treats of gestures is its chapters VIH-XII. 
As we have noticed before, the treatment of the gestures of head 
and hand in the NS, bears some resemblance to that of the AD. 
Now, what may be the reason of such a resemblance? An attempt 
to answer this question suggests the three following alternatives : 

1. the AD is indebted to the MS, or 

2. the NS is indebted to the AD, or 

j. these two works are indebted to a common source. 

For convenience* sake, let us discuss the first two of the alterna- 
tives together. It appears, on the following grounds, that the AD has 
not borrowed things from the NS. 

(a) The classification of the gestures of head and hand in the 
NS is more developed than that of the AD. 

(b) Instances in which these gestures can be used are also more 

numerous in the NS. 

One, however, cannot be sure on this point. Thoug h the general 
tendency of such things are towards development, it will be nothing 
extraordinary if one assumes that the AD might be the abridgment 
of an over-elaborated treatise. Indeed there is a story that the AD is 
an abridgment of the BhA the exact nature of which we do not know. 
So there may be a chance that the AD might be the borrower in this 


case. But die BliA has been ascribed to N himself, and besides this, 
there exists some dissimilarity in the two works as regards the appli- 
cation of the gestures which have substantially identical definitions. 
Besides this, the two works at times follow separate traditions of their 
own. (vide notes on si. 15 and 35) Thase two facts taken together 
make one highly sceptic about the existence of such a possibility. This 
brings us to the second alternative, viz. the possibility of the NS 
being the borrower. The comparative elaboration of the classification 
of head and hand gestures probably points to such a direction. The 
difference in the application of the common gestures may again be 
cited here to the detriment of this theory. But one may explain away 
this difficulty by suggesting that the NS being a later work improved 
upon the things borrowed. This improvement can be noticed not only 
in increase of the number and variety of gestures, but also in the 
modification of application of certain gestures which such increase 
entailed. Instances of such improvement made on things, borrowed 
from earlier works, are not rare in the later Sanskrit literature. For 
example, the SR which is unquestionably a work later than the NS, 
has closely followed the NS, in its section on gestures, but at the same 
time it has added to the number of gestures given in the latter work, 
and has modified the uses of some of them. A study of the develop- 
ment ot the number and variety of alamkaras will also reveal the same 
fact. The four alamkaras of the MS, increased in some of the 
latter-day treatises on Sanskrit poetics to almost four dozen. The 
increase of the number of nayakas which was four according to the 
MS to sixteen in the Dasartifa, is also another fact of the same nature. 

The above explanation gives us room for presumption that the 
source ot the AD might be earlier than the extant NS, at least its 
chapters VIII and IX. And it cannot be said that there is no chance 
of this NS being a borrower from the work of N. Indeed we have 
something like an evidence of this borrowing of the NS, (from 
Nandin's work) in the shape of the colophon at the end of the Kavya- 
mala edition of the NS, which reads as samaptascayam (?) nandibha* 


ratasamgitapustakam. This colophon which has puzzled more than 
one scholar 17 may be said to record the tradition about the growth of 
the extant redaction of the NS which possibly incorporated and ampli- 
fied Nandikesvara's original work as well as some earlier Natyasastra. 
But as in the present state of our knowledge we do not know anything 
about either the original work of N or the supposed earlier NS, the 
probability of AD and the N5 borrowing from a common source comes 
to the foreground. 

Such being the case we cannot give any precise idea about the 
upper limit to the date of the AD. But in spite of this, the work does 
not seem to be quite recent. The treatment of the ten Avataras of 
Visnu made in the AD, probably points to this direction. In its enu- 
meration of the Avataras this work omits Buddha and gives Krsna's 
name in his stead. This ommission may be explained as an anti- 
Buddhistic bias of the author. But considering the fact that the 
Hindus raised Buddha to an Avatara (incarnation) and respectfully 
mentioned him in works belonging to later ages, the theory of an anti- 
Buddhistic bias becomes weak. That the AD puts the name of Krsna 
in the place of Buddha in its enumeration of the ten Avataras 
allows one to presume that the work might have been written in an 
age when Buddha was still outside the Hindu pantheon. The 
Matsya-purana (47.247) and the Bhagavata-pxrana (i.3,24), 18 men- 
tion lor the first time Buddha as one of the ten Avataras of Visnu. 
The lower limit to the date of the Matsyapurana is the sixth century, 
and the Bhagavatapurana is probably of a later date. Thus one 
may be tempted to fix the upper limit to the date of the AD as the 
hfth century of the Christian era. But as we do not have any 

1 7 Some have taken this colophon together with chapters (of the NS) on 
git A and vadya only and not with the entire work. Probably due to a wrong 
impression that satngtta means only 'music' they did not venture to connect the 
colophon with the whole of the MS, a work on samgita which is mades up of 
the three things : gita, v2etya and nrtta. 

18 Hemchandra Raychaudhury, Materials for the Study of the Early 
History of the Vaishnava Sect, Calcutta, 1*920, page, 105. 


definite knowledge about the evolution of the Avataia theory through 
different ages, it would not be worth while to make any such 

Now, to sum up our investigation about the date of the AD, we 
may say that the work surely existed at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, and it may have existed even a few centuries earlier. But 
its existence (in the present form) before fifth century is doubtful, 
though the kernel of the work may go back to a more remote 
period still. 


i. Saluation. We bow to the sattvika Siva whose Jingika is the 
world, vacika is the entire language, and whose aharya is the moon and 
the stars etc. 

2-7. Origin of Natya. In the beginning Brahman gave the 
Natya-veda to Bharata. Bharata together with groups of Gandharavas 

i This sloka of the AD has been taken by the author of the SR without 
any acknowledgement (VII. i). This work however recognizes Nandikesvara as 
an authority on sarngita which includes nrtya and abhinaya (II. 17, 21). 
Besides the first sloka, SR takes from the AD others as well. These have been 
pointed out in the Introduction 16. 

For meanings of sattvika, angika, vacika, and Sharya see 1 1-14. 

In this loka Siva has been compared with an actor whose means of expres- 
sion is gesture and posture as well as voice and costume. One aspect of 
Hinduism sees in him the Supreme Divinity who reveals himself through the 
world, the human speech and the starry firmament. The conception of $iva as 
a cosmic dancer and actor (Nata-raja) is often to be met with in Hindu literature 
(cf. MG. p. 13). TVo very beautiful examples of the same occur in Mudrarak- 
sasa, I. 2. and the Abhinava-bharati on N5. (COS) IV. 260. 

In the MG, mahgala-sloka has been followed by a dialogue between Indra 
and NandikesVara (lndra-Nandtkesvara-samv3da) which does not occur in any 
ms, of the AD used- for this edition. The substance of this dialogue is as 
follows : Once Indra met NandikesVara and said that he intended to gain victory 
over Natasekhara a Daitya dancer, and needed for this purpose authentic 
knowledge of the art of dancing. Then Indra was advised to listen to the Bhara- 
tarnava composed by NandikesVara, in four thousand verses. This formidable 
extent of the work frightened Indra who begged NandikeSvara to relate to him 
the entire law of dancing in a more concise from. The latter took pity on his 
exalted student and revealed to him the AD which was an abridgment of the 
Bharatarnava. The story is evidently a later creation. (For any possible relation 
of the AD with the BhA. see Introduction 15). 

2-7 The MG omits this passage, TQhe mythical account given here about 


and Apsarasas performed natya, nrtta and nrtya before Siva. Then 
Siva having remembered his own majestic performance (dance), caused 
Bharata to be instructed in that [art] by his attendants (ganas). And 
before this, on account of his love [to Bharata] he gave to the latter, 
instructions in lasya through Parvatl. Knowing about tandava from 
Tandu, sages spoke of it to mortals. Parvatl on the other hand instruc- 
ted Usa, the daughter of Bana in lasya. The latter taught [the art] 
to milk-maids of Dvaraka, and they taught this to women of Sau- 
rastra who in their turn taught this to wom?n of other countries. In 
this nanner this [art] was traditionally handed down, and has come to 
stay in the world. 

7*1 1. Eulogy of Natya. Brahman collected themes of recitation, 
abhinaya, vocal music and rasas from the Rk, Yaju, Sama and 
Atharva Vedas respectively, and made rules for this art (sastra) which 
grants dutiful life (dbarrria), wealth (artha) and enjoyment (kama) as 
well as liberation (moksa), and which promotes fame, self-confidence, 
fortune and cleverness, and which gives rise to peace, patience, libera- 
lity and pleasure, and does away with misery, affliction, sorrow and 
despondency. This [art] is valued even more than the bliss which 
persons medicating on Brahman (the Supreme Soul) experience. Other- 
wise how could it captivate the heart of sages like Narada? 

ii-i2. Variety of Dances (Natana). Dance which has this four- 
fold aspect [of abhinaya] is of three kinds : natya, nrtta and nrtya, 
according to sages like Bharata and others. 

12-14. Occasions for Dance. Natya and nrtta should be 
witnessed particularly at the time of a festival. Those who wish for 

the origin and development of natya, nrtta and nrtya agrees substantially 
with that given in the NS. IV. 5,17. 

7-11 cf. NS. I. 17, 105, 107. 

1 1. 12 The MG omits lib. The four items in nb, refer to pathya, 
abhinaya, gtta and rasa mentioned in 8. 

12-14 Compare the NS. IV. 262-263. 

The songs of Alha along with dance and abhinaya are still found to be per- 
formed in U.P. at the birth of children (I owe this information to Prof. Kshiti 


good luck should cause nrtya to be performed on occasions like the 
coronation celebrations of kings, a festival, a procession with an image 
of a god, a marriage ceremony, reception of a friend, entry into a [new] 
town or house, and birth of a son ; for it (nrtya) is auspicious. 

15. Natya: Natya or Nataka which has some traditional story 
tor its theme is an adorable [art] 

Nrtta : That [dance] which does not express States (bhava) 
by means of ahhinaya, is called nrtta, 

16. Nrtya: That (dance) which suggests Sentiments (rasa) and 
States (bbava), is called nrtya. This dance is always fit to find a place 
in the court of great kings. 

17. Characteristics of a President (sabhapati). The President of 
the audience should be wealthy, intelligent, discriminating, an expert 

Mohan Sen of the Visvabharati). Only two generations ago Hindu women in 
some parts of Bengal celebrated births and marriages by songs and dance which, 
however, could be witnessed by all. This dance by ladies has now gone out of 
fashion, though girls may still be found who dance during their vratas, but 
recently attempts are being made to revive these old dances and introduce new 
ones. In many parts of Western India, dance is still greatly in vogue the 
beautiful Girba dance of Gujarati women is a living art, and is well-known. 
Dance as a domestic as well as religious institution still lingers over a great part 
of India. 

15 Pitjyam means 'adorable* i.e. 'worthy of admiration*. The distinction made 
by the AD between nrtta and nrtya is not observed by the MS. This probably 
shows that the two works follow two divergent traditions. From the MG we 
learn that nrtta 'is that form of dance which is void of Sentiment (rasa) and 
Stite (bhava) (p. 4) ' 

1 6 In the MG this is followed by a division into lasya and tanduva, of 
which "Lisya dancing is very sweet, and Tandava dancing is violent," 

17 Evidently the original of the MG reads this differently, and the tead- 
ing there seems to be corrupt (p. 15). The sabhapati means here the President cf 
the assembly of spectators. His functions are to make pronouncement of the 
merit of a performance of a play and to distribute rewards to the sutradhara or 
leader of the troupe of dancers and actors. For another definition of sabhapati 
see SR. VII. 1346-1350. It should be noted in this connexion that this honour 
of presiding over an assembly of spectators was given to one, on merit only. 



in making awards, versed in the lore of music, versatile, celebrated, 
having pleasing virtues, well-acquainted with gestures which express 
desires and States, without envy or malice, well-disposed to people, 
possessed of rightful conduct, kind, patient, disciplined, well-versed in 
arts and proficient in abhinaya. 

1 8. Characteristics of an Adviser (mantrin). The Advisers of 
such a President, who speak in an intelligent and dignified manner, are 
well-off and have a desire for fame, understand Stares (bhava), are able 
to distinguish beween merit and demerit, know the arts of love, are 
upright and well-versed in polity, have a kind heart, are good scholars, 
who are expert in distinguishing between different dialects, and possess 
a poetic faculty such Advisers shine [in the assembly] . 

19. Character of the Audience (sabba). The audience which 
is as it were, the Wishing Ttee 9 (kalpa-v rksa) shines with the Vedas as 
its branches, the Sastras as its flowers and the scholars as the bees 
adorning it. 

20-23. Arrangement of the Audience: A President of the 
audience as described before should sit joyfully [in the hall] with his 

1 8 The reading of the original of the MG seems to be different here, (see 
p. 15). The description of the mantrins is not found in any of the principal 
works on samgita. This again may be said to show that the AD follows a 
tradition which is different fiom that of the rest (vide notes on 15). The func- 
tions of the mantrins seem to he assisting the President. The need of an 
expert for the appreciation of different dialects (i.e. Prakrits) probably points to 
a time when the difference among them were not easily marked. 

19 The MG adds to the character of the audience the following : "whete 
men of truth are found, shining with good qualities, famous for righteous con- 
duct, honoured by kings, adorned by the Vedas; where the Vedanta is'expoun- 
ded; when distinguished by the sound of voice and lute (vma)\ possessing heroes 
of reknown, ornamented by resplendent princes, shining with royal splendour" 
(p. 15), This gives also the seven limbs of the audience as men of learning, 
poets, elders, singers, buffons and those who are familar with history and my- 
thology (p. 15), 

20 The srulikara, according to Prof. Kshiti Mohan Sen, is represented in 
modern times by the instrument called Tan-pura. 


face towards the east. On his two sides should sit poets, advisers and 
friends. Dance should be performed in front of him. And the place 
[of dance ] is called ranga (the stage). When the dancing girl will be 
in the ranga, a very good dancer (nata) should remain near her. On 
her right side should stay two men with cymbals, and two [persons 
with] mrdangas (drum) should be on her two sides. A singer should 
remain between the latter two, and the drone (srutikara) should be 
near at hand. In this order should a group of players sit at the begin- 
ing of a natya. 

23-25. Characteristics of a Dancing Girl (patra). She should be 
slender-bodied, beautiful, young, with full round breasts, self-confident, 
witty, pleasing, knowing well when to begin [a dance] and when 
to stop, having large eyes, able to perform in accompaniment 
of vocal and instrumental music, and to observe the proper 
time-beats (tala), having splendid dresses and possessing a happy 
countenance. A girl having all these qualifications is called a 
dancer (patra}. 

26-27. Her Disqualifications. The ten kinds of women that 
should be avoided in the natya are : women with white specks in their 
eyeballs, or women who have scanty hair, or have thick lips or pendant 
breasts, or who are cither very fat or very thin, or are either very tall 
or very short, or hunch-backed, or have no voice. 

23-25 The word patra for a dancing girl is to be noted: it is found in 
Medieval India (in Hindi) as patura and patnnya, in the s.imc sense. A dancing 
giil must be beautiful; for accoi cling- to SR the true dance relates to a beautiful 
body, and dances other than this, ate caricatures (Vll. 1249). Next to her 
personal beauty, % good make-up is necessary for a dancing girl. The NS. 
speaks of the qualifications of the patra (XXVII. 97-98). A description of the 
patra occurs also in the SR (VII, 1241-1244), 

26-27 The MG evidently leads vesyZ natye vivarjitah (p. 16). Jhis is 
obviously a misreading. The SR does not give any specific p2tra-do$a> but 
says that absence of gunas (qualities) is to be counted as dosa of a pfitra. (see 
VII. 1247). 


27-28. Essentials of a Dancing Girl. Agility, steadiness, rekha, 
practice in bhramari movement, the glancing eye, endurance, memory, 
devotion [to her art], [clear] speech, good s nging power, these ten are 
the essential qualities of a dancing girl. Dance should be performed 
by a dancing girl possessing these qualifications. 

28*30. Qualities of Bells. Tiny bells (kinkint) made of bronze 
(kamsya) should have pleasant sound, and should be well-shaped, and 
have stars as their [tutelary] deities, and should remain one anguti 
apart from one another. The dancing girl should bind a hundred of 
them or two hundred in each of her two feet with blue thread in 
tight knots. 

31. Introductory Benediction etc. Praising Ganapati the god of 
muraja ( = drum) and the Sky, one should pray to the Earth. Then 

27-28 Rekha in this passage has a technical meaning. A definition of the 
same occurs in the SR. yil. 1226. This word may be translated as 'harmony 
of lines in adjusting limbs in dance* or as 'graceful lines of the figuie,' For 
bhraman see 289$. 

The above enumeration of the merit of the patra by the AD has been 
described by the MG, as patrasya antah pranah (inner lives) which lias been 
supplemented by a quotation from some unknown source which dcsciibes 
patrasyah bahih pranah (outer lives). The outer lives of the patra are as follows : 
"the drums, cymbals of a good tone, the flute, the chorus, the drone, the lute 
(v'ma), the bells, and a male singer (gayana) of reknown." 

The definition of a dancer or actor (nata) given in the MG is as follows : 
"Wise men say that the dancer (or actor) should be handsome, of sweet speech, 
learned, capable, eloquent, of good birth, learned in scriptuies (sastras) of art 
and science, of good voice, versed in song, instrumental music, and dancing, 
self-confident, and of ready wit". Such an* enumeration shows the scholastic 
tendency in the later theorist, for the passage is surely from a late work 
treating of abhinaya. This does not occur in the AD. 

31 The MG omits this section as well as the three following slokas on siuli 
and puspanjali, but curiously enough describes in a passage quoted from else- 
where the Vulgar dance as a dance begun without prayer etc., and opines that 
those who witness the Vulgar dance will have no children and will be reborn 
in animals' wombs (p. 17). 

The parasmai-pada of the loot rabh in this sloka and in slokd 34* is a 


by means of various musical performances one should offer worship 
[to these gods]. Again after many kinds of charming tunes have 
been performed, the dancing girl should have the permission of her 
preceptor for beginning to dress herself suitably. 

32. Praise of the Goddess of Ranga. O Goddess of ranga, victory 
to thee. Thou art the patron of the actor-class, the embodiment of 
the joy accruing from States (bbavas) and Sentiments (rasas), yours is 
the kala (art) that only can charm the whole world, victory to thee. 

33"34' Offering of Flowers. Then to destroy evils, to protect 
living creatures, to please gods, to bring edification to spectators, 
welfare to the leader [of the fl4ta-group] , to protect the dancing girl 
[herself] and to make the teaching of her preceptor fruitful, the 
dancing girl should begin to offer flowers [to gods] . 

35-36. After finishing the fiirva-ranga in this way, she should 
perform the nrtya. Her nrtya and songs accompanied by abhinaya 

violation of grammatical rule. This may not be explained as a sign of the 
antiquity of the work, for writers of technical treatises naturally cared more 
for the subject than the grammar and the style. And this violation of grammar 
may also be due to the influence of Prakrit which the author of the work in all 
likelihood spoke. The MG omits this passage (Prarthanddtkam). 

32 The MG omits this. It is cuiious that a goddess is invoked as tlie pre- 
siding deity of the stage. 

The NS simply mentions that gods should be bowed to (IV. 273) and enu- 
merates them earlier (III. 23^.) This also may be intcrpietcd as shewing that 
the AD follows a tradition of its own. 

33-34 The MG omits this. Offering of flowers (ptispanjalt) has been men- 
tioned in the N$ too (IV. 272). All these fotmalities campulsory at the begin- 
ning of a dance or drama show probably their original religious character. For 
the root rabh see notes on 3 1 above. 

35 Dhanika in his vrtti on Dhananjaya's Dasaritpa (ed. Hall. p. in.) 
defines Purvaranga. 

According to Raghavabhatta 12 only among its 22 limbs are to be called 
Purvaranga proper. These 12 limbs are Utthapana, four kinds of Paiivartana, 
and the 7 parts of the Nandi such as Apakrsta Dhruva, Suskavarsta Dhruva, 
Rangadvara, Cari, Mahaciri, Trigata and Prarocana (vide. NS. V. 22f.) 

Bhava (the expression of States by means of gesture) as well as well as tala 


should show States and conform to proper beats of time. She should 
sing with her mouth, express the meaning [of the song] by [gestures 
of] her hands, show States by her eyes, and beat time with her feet. 
Where the hand goes, eyes also should go there. Where the eyes go 
mind also should go there. Where the mind goes there the State 
(bhava) should follow, and where there is the State, there the Sentiment 
(rasa) arises. 

Four kinds of Abhinaya 

38. It is said that abhinaya is preponderant there i.e., in the 
nrtya described before. Theie are four kinds of abhinaya: angika 
(of limbs.) vacika (of speech), aharya (of dress etc.) and sattvika, 

39. Angika abhinaya is shown by means of limbs. 

Vacika abhinaya has a place with regard to kavyas (poems) 
and natakas (dramas) which are made up of speech. 

40. Angika abhinaya is the decoration of the body by means of 
necklaces and armlets etc. 

40-41. Sattvika abhinaya is performed with sattvika emotions 
by those who know how to represent them. Motionlessness, perspira- 
tion, horripilation, change of voice, trembling, change of colour, 
tears and fainting are the eight sattvika conditions. 

42. Angika is named as such because it is expressed in three 
ways by anga t pratyanga and apanga. 

42*43. Anga: The six, such as, head, hands, chest, sides 

(beat of time) was essential for the proper performance of dance, drama, and 
songs in a drama. 

36-37 These two slokas sum up one cardinal principle of the Indian dance 
and abhinaya. 

39 In the MG (p. 17) we have an etymology of the word abhinaya (cf, NS, 
VIII. 5flE.) and after this it is stated that the AD is concerned with the angika 
abhinaya only. 

40-41 MG omits this portion and the first half of 42. 

42-43 MG has 'armpits' (kaksa) for 'chest' (vaksa). Perhaps on an analogy 


(flanks), waist (hips) and feet are called angas. Others include neck 
also among these. 

43-45. Pntyanga. The six, such as, shoulder-blades, arms, 
back, belly, thigh (calves) and shanks are called pratyangas. Others 
add three more, such as, wrists, elbows and knees to this, and the 
neck also. 

45-49. Vpanga. Scholars called shoulder an upanga, and eyes, 
eyebrows, eyeballs, cheeks, nose, jaw, lips, teeth, tongue, chin and 
face are also called upangas. Thus upangas in the head are twelve 
in number. In other limbs there are besides these others, such as 
heels, ankles, toes and fingers. I speak of theie things according 
to sastras ( = rules of the art) which were extant before me. They i.e., 
angas, fratyangas and upangas are to be used in every dance. Their 
description will be given in due order. But when an anga (major 
limb) moves, the pratyanga and upanga also move; hence all of them 
are not described here in this work. 


49-50. Sama, LJdvahita, Adhomukha, Alolita, Dhuta, Kampita, 
Paravrtta, Utksipta and Parivahita are the nine named 
by those well-versed in the rules of natya. 

of the enumeration of six limbs in connexion with drama and dance, the six 
accessories the Vcdic studies have been called sadanga. For obvious reasons limbs 
named in the two groups are not identical. 

The N$ agrees with the AD in its enumeration of the sadahga (cf. MS. 
VIII, 13). 

43-45 A pare mean* 'other authorities' which may be persons as well as 
books; most probably both are meant here. The NS does not enumerate the 
fratyangas though it mentions the word once in this connexion (Vide VII f, 12). 

45 Updngas mentioned in the MS. VIII, 13. are only six. 

48-49 This plea for not defining all the different pratyangas and upangas is 
good, a,nd is in sharp contrast with the elaborate of upangas in the NS, (Vide 
VIII. 37-171). 

49-50 After treating of these head gestures the MG quotes a different 


51. Sarna (level): The head when it is motionless but is not 
bent or raised up is named Sama. 

51-52. Uses: Sama head is used at the beginning of nrtya, in 
sitting for prayers etc., in pride and feigned anger of love, stupefaction 
and cessation from action. 

52. Udvahita (raised-up): When the face is raised up, the head 
is named Udvahita. 

53. Uses: In denoting a flag, the moon, the sky, a mountain, 
[bodies] moving in the sky or skywards, and very high objects, the 
wise people use the Udvahita head. 

54. Adhonwkha (down-cast face): When the face is cast down, 
the head is called Adhomukha. 

54-55. Uses: In denoting bashfulness, grief, bowing, anxiety, 
fainting, things placed below, and a plunge in water, this head 
is used. 

55-56. Alolita (rolling): When the head is moved round it is 
called Alolita. 

56, Uses: In denoting sleepiness, possession by an evil spirit, 
intoxication, fainting, travelling, a wild and uncontrolled laughter, this 
head is used. 

treatment of them according to which they are twentyfour in number 
(p. 19). 

Though the MG fathers the above upon Bharatacarya, the N5 treats the 
head-gesture differently (cf. VIII. 15-35). 

51-52 The MG gives the uses of the Sama head as * Prayer, authoritative 
speech, satisfaction, anger, indifference, or inaction* (p. 18). 

52 The MG has 'raising the head and keeping it still', (p. 18), 

53 The MG has Dizziness, hesitation, laughter, etc./ after 'fainting.* 
54-55 The MG has 'regarding anything vile* after 'bowing* (p. 18). 
56 The MG has 'dizziness, hesitation, laughter, etc/ after 'faintness.' 


57. Dhitta (shaken sideways): When the head is moved from 
the left side to the right one and vice-versa, the head is called Dhuta. 

57*59* Uses: In denoting 'It does-not-exist,' looking repeatedly 
to sides, discouraging others, astonishment, sadness, unwillingness, 
effect of cold and fever, fear, the first stage of drinking liquor, battle 
effort, forbidding, revenge, glancing at one's own limbs and calling 
one from sides, this head is used by Bharata and others. 

60. Kampita (nodded) : When the head is shaken up and down, 
it is called Kampita. 

60-6 1. Uses: To denote the offence taken, saying *Do stop', 
enquiry, hinting, calling from near, inviting the deities, and threaten- 
ing, this head is used. 

61. Paravrtta (turned-round): When the face is turned round, 
the head is called Paravrtta. 

62. Uses: In denoting the command 'That should be done** 
anger, shame, turning away the face, slighting, hair [or the head], and 
a quiver, this head is used. 

63. Utksipta (thrown-up): When the head is turned aside and 
then raised up, it is called Utksipta. 

64. Uses: To denote the command or request 'Take this* of 
'Come', the supporting of [something] and acceptance, this head is 

65. Parivahita (widely moved) : When the head is moved from 
from side to side like a cbauri, the head is called Parivahita. 

65. Uses: In denoting infatuation, yearning for the separated 

57-59 The MG gives the uses as looking 'repeatedly at thing, condolence 
with others, astonishment, dismay, indifference'... preparing for battle, rejection, 
impatience,. ..summoning fiom both sides, ,..SR assigns some of the Uses to the 
Vidhuta and some to the Adhuta head. (cf. yil. 65, 57). 

62 The MG gives the uses as follows : 'Saying "Do this", aversion, modesty, 
quiver, relaxing the features, slighting, hair, etc.* Raghavabhatta quotes the AD 
on the Paravrtta head. (Nirnayasagara ed. p. 40)4 



lover, uttering the praise of deity, satisfaction, approval and cogitation, 
this head is used. 


66-67. According to ancient masters, glances are eight in number 
such as, Sama, Alokita, Sacl, Pralokita, Nimllita, Ullokita, Anuvrtta 
and Avalokita. 

67. Sama (level): The [straight] glance [without moving the 
eye-lashes], like that of a female divinity, is called Sama. 

68. Uses: It is used to denote the beginning of a natya, scale, 
an effort to guess what another persons is thinking, surprise, and 
the image of a god. 

69. Alokita (keen glance) : Gazing quickly with open eyes is 
called Alokita. 

69-70. Uses : It is used to denote the turning of a potter's 
wheel, showing all sorts of objects, and begging. 

70. Sacl (sidelong) : Looking out of the corner of the eyes 
is called Sacl according to those versed in the rules of the Natya. 

71-72. Uses: It is used to denote hinting, touching moustache, 
making a mark with an arrow, a parrot, remembering, and beginning 
of deeds. 

72. Pralokita (wide-glance) : Looking from side to side, is called 

66-67 The NS also describes eight glances, but differently (VIII. 101-105). 
Evidently a different tradition has been followed there. In addition to 
the eight glances the MG gives from another source forty four kind of 
glances (pp. 21-22). 

68 The expression 'thinking of some other persons' seems to be the trans- 
lation of a wrong reading for anyacinta-viniscaye in the original of the MG. 

69 The MG has this as 'swiftly turning with keen glances' (p. 21). 
72 The MG has here 'aiming arrow, hinting and Kulata natya.' 


73. Uses : It is used to denote things situated on both sides, 
excessive affection, moving, and idiocy. 

74-75. Nimllita (closed): Half-closed eyes make the Nimllita 

74-75. Uses \ It is used to denote a snake, being under another 
man's power, muttering [prayers etc.,] meditation, salutation, lunacy, 
and keen observation. 

75. Ullokita (looking up): Looking upwards is called Ullokita. 

76. Uses: It is used to denote the top of a flag, a tower, the 
heavenly orbs, previous birth, height and moon-light. 

77. Anttvrtta: Glancing quickly up and down is called Anuvrtta. 

77. Uses: It is used to denote angry looks, and greeting of 

78. Avalokita (looking clown): Looking downwards is called 

78-79. Uses: It is used to denote looking at a shadow, 
reflection, excercise, fatigue, study, looking at one's own limbs. 

Neck Movements 

79-80. Neck Movements: According to those who know of 
States (bhava) there are (our necks : Sundarl, Tirascina, Parivartita, 

80. Sundari: When the neck is moved to and fro horizontally 
it is called Sundarl. 

81. Uses: It is used to denote the beginning of affection, 
effort, in the sense of 'completely,' width, and approval with pleasure. 

82. Tirascina: The neck making an upward movement on 
both sides like the gliding of a snake, is called Tirascina. 

73 The MG has 'making signs, moving and discordant mind/ 
74-75 The MG has 'the appearance of a sage (rsi) 9 . 

Besides these the MG gives six movements of brows as mentioned elsewhere. 
$l T ne MG has "well-done** recollection, badinage, sympathetic pleasure.' 


83. Uses: Ic is used to denote excercise with a sword, and the 
gliding of a snake. 

83-84. Parivartita: The neck moving from right to left like a 
half-moon, is called Parivartita. 

84-85. Uses: By those who know the natya-tantra, it is used 
to denote female dance (lasya), and kissing two cheeks of the 

85-86. Prakampita. The neck when it is moved backward and 
forward like the movement of a she-pigeon's neck, is called Prakampita. 

86-87. Us* s: h * s usec l to denote saying 'you and T, folk-dances, 
swinging and the inarticulate murmurings, and the sound uttered by a 
woman at the time of conjugal embrace (manita). 

Classification of Hands 


87-88. Now the characteristics of hands will be described by me. 
They are of two kinds: single and combined. 

88-92. Single Hands: In the beginning the characteristics of 
single hands will be told. They are twenty-eight in number: Pataka, 
Tripataka, Ardhapataka, Kartarlmukha, Mayura, Ardhacandra, 
Arala, Sukatunda, Musti, Sikhara, Kapittha, Katakamukha, SucI, 
Candrakala, Padmakosa, Sarpasiras, Mrgaslrsa, Simhamukha, Kangula, 
Alapadma, Catura, Bhramara, Hamsasya, Hamsapaksa, Sandamsa, 
Mukula, Tamtacuda and Trisula. 

88-92. Pataka (flag). The hand in which the thumb is bent to 
touch the fingers, and the fingers are extended, is called Pataka. 

94-100. Uses: It is used in the beginning of a natya and to 
denote the clouds, a forest, forbidding things, bosom, might, a 
river, region of gods, the horse, cutting, wrnd, lying down, attempt 

86-87 The MG has 'counting' (ssganite?) for manite. 

87-88 The MG puts in after this, twelve lives of hands (hastafranjh). 


at going, prowess, favour, moonlight, strong sunlight, forcing open 
doors, meaning of seven case-endings, wave, entering a street, equality, 
anointing the body of one's ownself, taking an oath, silence, palmyra 
leaf, shield, touching things, benediction, the ideal king, saying 'such 
and such a place', the sea, succession of good deeds, addressing a 
person, going forward, holding a sword, a month, a year, a rainy day, 
and cleaning with broom. 

100. Tripataka (a flag with three). When the ring-finger is bent 
in a Pataka hand, it is called Tripataka. 

i o i- 1 02. Uses: It is used to denote a crown, a tree, the vajra 
(thunder bolt of Indra), and the bearer of vajra (Indra), the ketaki flower, 
a lamp, raising flames, a pigeon, patterns drawn on the face or breast 
(fatralekha), an arrow, and turning round. 

ioj. Ardhapataka (half-flag): If the little finger of the Tripataka 
hand is bent down, it is called Ardhapataka. 

103-104. Uses : It is used to denote leaves, a board or slab for 
writing or painting, the bank of a river, saying 'both', a knife, a 
banner, a tower, and a horn. 

105. Kartarimttkha: If the fore-finger and the little finger of 
the same hand (Ardhapataka) are outspread it is called Kartarimukha. 

106-107. Uses: It is used to denote the sparation of a man 
and a woman, overturning or opposition, plundering, a corner of an 
eye, death, estrangement, lightning, sleeping alone during separation, 
falling and weeping. 

1 08. Maytira (peacock)^ When the ring-finger of the Kartarl- 

100 It is noteworthy that janantike ( = aside) does not occur in the viniyoga 
of the Tripataka hand, though the Dasartipa refers to it (vide Ed. Hall, i. 95). 

I o i- 1 02 The MG has 'cheek* ( kapola) for 'pigeon* ( kapota). 
The MG gives additional definitions of hands from another work. The 
author of this work invents the sage (rsi], race (vamsa), colour (varna) and 
the guardian deity (devata) etc., of the hands (pp. 27!!). We cannot ascertain 
what led him to give a Yedic colouring to these evidently extra-Vedic things. 


mukha hand is joined to the thumb, and other fingers are extended, it 
is called the Mayura hand. 

109*110. Uses: It is used to denote the peacock's neck, a 
creeper, a bird, vomiting, removing hair, an ornamental mark on the 
forehead (tilaka), scattering (agitating) river-water, discussing the 
Sastras, and a famous thing. 

in. Ardhacandra (half-moon): If the thumb of the Pataka 
hand is stretched out, the latter is called Ardhacandra. 

112-113. Uses: It is used to denote the phase of the moon on 
the eighth day of the dark fortnight, a hand seizing the throat, a spear, 
consecrating an image, a dining plate, origin, waist, musing, one's 
ownself, meditation, prayers, touching limbs, and greeting by common 

1 14. Arala (bent): When the fore-finger of the Pataka hand is 
curved, the latter is called Arala. 

114. Uses: It is used to denote drinking poison, nectar etc., 
and violent wind. 

115. Stikatunda (parrot's head): Arala, when its third finger is 
bent, is called Sukatunda. 

1 15-1 16. Uses: It is used to denote the shooting of an arrow, 
a spear, remembering one's abode, saying of mystic things, and violent 

116-117. Musti (fist): When the four fingers are bent into 
the palm and the thumb is set on them, that hand is called Musti. 

117-118. Uses: It is used to denote steadfastness, grasping the 
hair, holding things, and the fighting mood of wrestlers. 

1 1 8. Sikhara (peak): If the Musti hand has its thumb, raised 
up it becomes Sikhara. 

1 19*121. Uses: It is used to denote amour (or god of love), a 
bow, a pillar, certainty, making offering to manes, the upper lip, some- 
thing entered, a tooth, questioning, the phallic symbol, saying 'no', 


recollection, near about abhinaya (?), pulling at the girdle, the act of 
embrace, and sounding a bell. 

121-122. Kapittha (elephant-apple): If in the Sikhara hand 
the fore-finger is bent over the top of the thumb, it is called Kapittha. 

122-124. Uses : It is used to denote LaksmI, SarasvatI, holding 
cymbals, milking cows, collyrium, holding flowers at the time of 
dalliance, grasping the end of robes, gathering of cloth and offering 
incense or light. 

124-125. Katakamukha (opening in a bracelet) : The Kapittha 
hand with the fore-finger and the middle finger applied to the thumb, 
is called Katakamukha. 

125-127. Uses: It is used to denote picking flowers, holding 
a pearl necklace or garland of flowers, drawing the middle of the bow, 
offering betel leaves, preparing the paste of mask and sandal etc. 
by rubbing them against something, applying perfumes to something, 
speaking, and glancing. 

127-128. Stici: The Katakamukha hand with its fore-finger 
raised is called Suet. 

128-131. Uses: It is used to denote the number one, the 
Supreme Soul (Para- bra h ma), one hundred, the sun, a city, the world, 
saying 'like that* and 'that which', in the sense of crowdless, threaten- 
ing, growing thin, a rod, body, astonishment, a braid of hair, an 
umbrella, capability, hairs, beating drum, the potter's wheel, circum- 
ference of a wheel, consideration, and decline of the day. 

132. Candrakala (digit of the moon): The Sucl hand after 
releasing the thumb is called Candrakala. 

132-133. Uses: It is used to denote the moon, the face, the 

span of the thumb forefinger and objects of that shape, the crown 
of Siva, Ganga (the Ganges) and a cudgel. 

134. Padmakosa (lotus-bud) : When the fingers are separated 
and a little bent and the palm is also a little hollowed, the hand is 
called Padmakosa. 


135-137. Uses: It is used to denote fruits, such as the bel and 
an elephant-apple, round breasts of a woman, a circular movement, 
ball, cooking pot, taking meals, a flower-bud, mango, scattering 
flowers, cluster of flowers, japa flowers, bell, an ant-hill, a lotus and an 

1 37. Sarpatirsa (snake-hood) : When the tips of fingers in the 
Pataka hand are bent, it is called Sarpasirsa. 

138-139. Uses: It is used to denote sandal paste, a snake, the 
middle tone, sprinkling, nourishing, giving water to gods and sages, 
the moving to and fro of the two kumbbas (the slight protuberances 
of the head) of an elephant, and arms of wrestlers. 

139. Mrgasirsa (deer-head) : When the thumb and the little 
finger of the Sarpasirsa hand are extended it becomes Mrgasirsa. 

140-142. Uses: It is used to denote women, cheek, awheel, 
limit, fear, quarrel, costume or dress, calling, tripandraka mark on 
the forehead, a deer's head, a lute, massage of the feet, getting of one's 
all, the female-organ, holding an umbrella, stepping, and calling the 

142-143. Simhamukha (lion-face): When tips of the middle 
and the third finger are applied to the thumb and the rest of the 
fingers are extended, the hand is called Simhamukha. 

143-144. Uses: It is used to denote boma, a hare, an elephant, 
waving jrf-grass, a lotus garland, a lion's face, preparations of 
medicine by physicians, and rectification. 

144. Kangula: The Padmakosa, when its third finger is curved, 
becomes Kangula. 

145-146. Uses: It is used to denote lakuca fruit, bells worn by 
children, any other bell, a partridge, a betelnut tree, a breast of a 
young girl, a white water-lily, the cataka bird and the cocoanut. 

146. Alapadma, When fingers beginning from the little finger 
are bent and separated from one another, the hand is called Alapadma. 


147-149. Uses: It is used to denote a full-blown lotus, elephant- 
apple, circular movement, a breast, separation from the beloved, 
looking-glass, the full moon, beauty, the hair-knot, a moon-tower, 
(turret) a village, height, anger, a lake, a cart, a cakravaka, murmuring 
sound, arid praise. 

149-150. Catura. When the thumb is placed at the foot of the 
third finger and the fore-finger and adjoining two fingers are clinging 
to each other and the little finger is outstretched, the hand is called 

150-152. Uses : It is used to denote musk, a little, gold, copper, 
iron, wet, sorrow, aesthetic pleasure, an eye, difference of castes, proof, 
sweetness, slow gait, breaking to pieces, face, oil and ghee. 

152-153. Bhramara (bee). When the thumb and the middle 
finger touch each other and the fore-finger is curved and the remaining 
fingers are outstretched, the hand is called Bhramara. 

153-154. Uses: It is used to denote a bee, a parrot, a wing, a 
crane, a cuckoo, and similar birds. 

154-155. Harnsasya (swan-beak). If the thumb and the fore- 
finger touch each other and the remaining fingers are outstretched the 
hand is called Harnsasya. 

155-157. Uses: Blessing or festival, the tying with thread, 

ascertaining instruction, horripilation, pearls, putting forward the 

wick of a lamp, a touchstone, a jasmine, a painting, the act of paint- 
ing, and a dyke impeding a current. 

157-158. Harnsafaksa (swan-wing). If the little finger of the 

SarpasTrsa hand is outstretched, the hand is called a Hamsapaksa. 


158-159. Uses: It is used to denote the number six, cons- 
truction of a bridge, putting nail- marks, and covering or sheath. 

159-160. Sandamsa (pincers). If the fingers of Padmakosa 
are brought close to one another and drawn apart from one another in 
quick succession, the hand is called Sandamsa. 



160-161. Uses: It is used to denote the belly, presentation o 
an offering to deities, wound, a worm, great fear, worship, and the 
number five. 

161-162. Mukula (blossom). If the five fingers of a hand meet 
together, the hand is called Mukula. 

162-163. Uses : It is used to denote a water-lily, eating, the 
god of love [with his five arrows], holding of a signet or seal, the navel 
and a plantain flower. 

163. Tamracuda (cock). If the fore-finger of the Mukula is 
curved the Tamracuda hand will result. 

164. Uses: It is used to denote a cock, a crane, a crow, a camel, 
a calf and a pen. 

165. Trisula (trident). If the thumb and the little finger are 
curved, the hand is called Trisula. 

165. Uses : It is used to denote a W-leaf, and the idea of 

1 66. Vyaghra (tiger). If the little finger and the thumb are 
bent in the Mrgaslrsa hand, the Vyaghra hand will be the result. 

167. Uses. It is used to denote a tiger, a frog, a monkey and 
a mother of pearl. 

167. Ardhasuci. If the thumb is moved above in the Kapittha 
hand, the result will be the Ardhasuci hand. 

1 68. Uses: It is used to denote a sprout, young ones of a bird, 
and big worms. 

168-169. Kataka. If the middle finger and the third finger are 
joined together the result is the Kataka hand. 

169-170. Uses: It is used to denote calling and moving. 

166 This hand and the three following ones (167, 168, 169) have not been 
enumerated in the list of single hands (59-62). The MG omits this hand, 
and mentions two more single hands such as Urnanabha and Bana. 

168-170 The lacunae in the text have been suggested by the editor. [The 
mss. do not show them. 


170. Palli, If in the Mayura hand the middle finger is put on 
the back of the fore-finger, the Palli hand will be the result. 

171. Uses : It is used to denote a village or a hut. 

171-172. These (single hands) will [also] form combined hands 
according to exigencies of abhinaya. Their ways (characteristics) 
with reference to their objects will be shown in due order. 


172-175. According to older teachers including Bharata and 
others, the combined hands are twenty-three in number. They arc : 
Anjali, Kapota, Karkata, Svastika, Doll, Puspaputa, Utsahga, Sivalihga, 
Katakavardhana, Kartarlsvastika, Sakata, Sankha, Cakra, Samputa, 
Pisa, Kllaka, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha Garuda, Nagabandha, Khatva 
and Bherunda. 

176. Anjali. If two Pataka hands join the palms it is called 

176-177. Uses: It is to be held on the head, face and bosom 
respectively in the salutation of a deity, a preceptor and a Vipra 

172-175 In this connexion the MG gives the following: *When two single 
hands are combined that is a combined hand. Even though the origin and 
meaning remain the same the patron deity always differs 1 . But the origin rnd 
the patron deity have been mentioned only in the case of following hands : 
Anjali, Kapota, Karkata, Dola, Puspaputa, Utsanga and Katakavardhana. In- 
stead of twenty-three, the MG gives twenty-four Samyuta hands. The one 
additional hand here is called Avahittha which is two Alapadma hands held on 
breasts. 'Erotic dance (srhgara-natana) holding a playball, and the breasts are 
its viniyoga (uses)'. 

The MG gives twenty-seven combined hands from another book. 
None of these names except Svastika is to be found in the list given in the 
present text. The MG which is never tired of quoting gives a third list of 
(twenty-seven) Samyuta hands (p. 43). Names and descriptions of these hands 
in many cases correspond to those mentioned above. 


177. Kapota. Anjali becomes Kapota when the two [Pataka] 
hands meet only at their base, side and end. 

178. Uses: It is to be used in salutation, addressing a pre- 
ceptor, respectful acceptance or agreement. 

178-179. Karkata. When the fingers of one hand are run 
through the opening between fingers o the other, and the fingers re- 
main either inside (towards the palm) or outside (on the back of the 
hand) the hand is called Karkata. 

179-180. Uses : It is used to denote the coming of a multitude, 
showing the belly, filling the conch-shell with wind, twisting or stretch- 
ing of limbs and pulling a branch down. 

180-181. Svastika. When two Pataka hands are put across each 
other at their wrist, they form the Svastika hand. 

181. Use: It is used to denote a crocodile (makara). 

181. Dola. When the Pataka hands are placed on the thigh 
the Dola hand is formed. 

182. Use: It is used at the beginning of natya. 

182. Pusfafuta. When two Sarpasusa hands meet on one side 
they form the Puspaputa hand. 

183. Uses: It is used in waving lights before an image of a god, 
as an act of adoration, taking of water, fruit etc. giving offerings to 
gods, evening, and a flower invested with magical power. 

184. Utsanga. If hands showing Mrgasirsa are placed on the 
upper arm of opposite hands the Utsanga hand is made. 

185. Uses: It is used to denote embrace, displaying armlets and 
such other ornaments, and coaching of boys. 

1 86. Sivalinga. When Ardhacandra is held by the left hand 
and Sikhara by the right, the Sivalinga hand is made. 

1 8 6. Use: It is used in showing the phallic symbol* 


187. Katakavardhana. When a Svastika is made by placing two 
Katakamukha hands at their wrist, it is called Katakavardhana. 

188. Uses: It is used in coronation, worshipping, and marriage 

1 88. Kartarlsvastika. When a Svastika is made by two Kartarl 
hands [placed at their wrist] it is called Kartarlsvastika. 

189. Uses: It is used to denote branches, hill tops, and trees. 

189. Sakata. When the middle finger of the Bhramara hands is 
stretched it becomes Sakata hand. 

190. Use: This hand is often used in playing in the role of a 
Raksasa (demon). 

150-191. Sankha. When thumb of a Sikhara hand meets the 
other thumb and is clung round by the fore-finger [close to the latter 
thumb] the hand is called Sahkha. 

191. Uses : Itisused to denote conch-shell and such other things. 

192. Cakra. When the palms in Ardhacandra hands arc put 
across each other they make Cakra hand. 

192. Uses: It is to denote a cakra (wheel). 

193. Satnputa. When the fingers in Cakra hands are curved, 
it is called the Samputa hand. 

193. Uses: It is used for covering things and in representing a 

194. Pasa. When the fore-fingers of SucI hands are close to 
each other [bent inwards], the hand is called Pasa. 

194. Uses: It is used to denote a mutual quarrel, a string and a 

195. Ktlaka. When the little fingers of the Mrgaslrsa hands are 
bent inwards and close to each other, the hand is called Kllaka. 

195. Uses: It is used to denote affection and a jocose talk. 
187 The SR mentions this as the KbatakavardhamSna. 


196. Matsya. When one hand is placed on the back of another 
and the two thumbs are out-stretched, the hand is called Matsya. 

197. Use: It is used to denote a fish. 

197. Kurma. When the tips of thumbs and little fingers of the 
Cakra hands are bent, it is called the Kurma hand. 

198. Use: It is used to denote a tortoise. 

190. Varaha. When one Mrgaslrsa is placed above another and 
the thumb of the one hand meets that of the other and vice versa, the 
hand is called Varaha. 

199. Use: It is used to denote a boar. 

200. Garuda. When palms of two Ardhacandra hands are placed 
horizontally with the two thumbs placed on each other, the hand is 
called Garuda. 

200. Use: It is used to denote Garuda. 

201. Nagabandha. The Sarpaslrsa and the Svastika hands placed 
together will make the Nagabandha hand. 

201. Use: It is used to denote the Nagabandha. 

202. Khatva. Placing one Catura hand on another Catura hand 
with the fore-finger and and thumb of each released, will make the 
Khatva hand. 

202. Uses: It is used to denote a bedstead and a litter. 

203. Bherunda. When the two Kapittha hands arc joined at 
their wrists, the Bherunda hand will result. 

203. Uses: It is used to denote the Bherunda, and a pair of birds. 

Hands for Deities 

204. Now the hands which are prescribed for the dramatic re- 
presentation and the sculptural construction of deities arc being 
described in the following order: 

203 A fabulous being named Bherunda is sometimes met with in the Bengali 


205. Brahman: Brahman is to hold Catura with his left hand, 
Harnsasya with his right one. 

205. Siva : Siva is to hold Mrgasirsa with his left hand and 
Tripataka with the right one. 

206. Visnu: Visnu is to hold Tripataka with both his hands. 

206-207. Sarasvati: Sarasvatl is to hold Sue! with her right 
hand and Kapittha with the left one raised on a level with the 

207-208. Parvatt : ParvatI is to hold Ardhacandra with the 
right hand held up, and Ardhacandra should be held by the left 
hand also, but it should be held down. The two hands should 
be in Abhaya (fear-dispelling) and Varada (giving a boon) poses 

208. Laksmi : Laksmi is to hold Kapittha hands near about 
her shoulders. 

209. Ganesa: Ganesa is to hold Kapittha hands placed on his 

209-210. Kartikeya; Kartikeya is to hold Trisula with his 
left hand and Sikhara with the right one held up. 

210*211. Manmatha: Manmatha is to hold Sikhara with his 
left hand and the Katakamukha with the right one. 

211. Indra: Indra is to hold Tripataka and Svastika in his 
two hands. 

212. Agni: Agni is to hold Tripataka with his right hand 
and Kangula with the left one. 

213. Yama: Yama is to hold Pasa with his left hand and 
Suci with the right one. 

213. Nirrti: Nirrti is to hold Khatva and Sakata with her two 

205 The MG mentions *5iva' as 'Sambhu'. 

209 The MG mentions 'GancsY as YighncsVara/ 


214. Varuna : Varuna is to hold Pacaka with his left hand 
and Sikhara with the right one. 

214-215. Vayu: Vayu is to hold Arala with his right hand 
and Ardhapataka with the left one. 

2 1 5. Kuvera : Kuvera is to hold Padma (lotus) with the left 
hand and the Gad! (mace) with the right one. 

Hands for the Ten Avataras 

216. Matsya: Show the Matsya hands on the same level with 
the shoulders. This is called the hands of the Matsya-Avatara. 

217. Kiirmai Show the Kurnia hands on the same level with 
the shoulders. This is called the hands of the Kurma-Avatara. 

218. Varaha: Show the Varaha hands on a level with the waist 
and keep them on the sides. This is called the hands of the god 

219. Nrsimha : Hold Simhamukha with the left hand and 
Tripataka with the right one. This is called the hands of Narasimha. 

220. Vamana: If the left hand holds Musti up and the 
right hand also holds Musti but downwards, the result will be 
Vamana's hands. 

221. Parasurama: If left hand is placed in the waist and the 
Ardhapataka is held by the right hand, the result will be 
Parasurama's hands. 

222. Ramacandra: If Kapittha is held by the right hand 
and Sikhara by the left one, the result will be Ramacandra 's hands. 

223. Balarama : If Pataka is held by the right hand and the 
Musti by the left one, the result will be Balarama's hands. 

224. Krsna: If the Mrgaslrsa hands facing each other are held 
near the face, the result will be Krsna's hands. 

225. Kalki : If Pataka is held by the right hand and the 
Tripataka by the left ooc, the result will be Kalki's hands. 


Miscellaneous Hands 

226. Raksasa: If the Sakata hands are held at the mouth the 
result will be the hands of a Raksasa. 

226-227. Brahmana: When Sikhara is held by two hands 
and the right hand is held horizontally to indicate the sacred thread, 
the result is the Brahmana hands. 

227-228. Ksatriya: If the Sikhara is held horizontally by the 
left hand and Pataka is held by the right one, the result is the 
Ksatriya hands. 

228-229. Vaisya: If the Hamsasya is held by the left hand and 
Katakamukha by the right, the result will be the Vaisya hands. 

229-230. Sudra: If Sikhara is held by the left hand and the 
the Mrgaslrsa by the right one, the result will be the Sudra hands. 

230-231. In a similar manner there will be hands named after 
the eighteen castes according to their profession. Hands of the 
inhabitants of different countries are also to be understood by the 
wise people in a similar manner. 

231-232. Husband and Wife: If Sikhara is held by the left 
hand and the Mrgaslrsa by the right one, the result will be the hands 
of a married couple. 

232-233. Mother: If Ardhacandra is held by the left hand and 
Sandamsa by the right one, and the left hand is turned round over the 
belly, the result will be the mother hands. 

233. Use: It is used to denote a mother and a virgin. 

234-235. Father: If the right hand of the mother hands holds 
Sikhara, the result will be the father hands. 

235. Uses: It is used to denote a father and a son-in-law. 

236-237. Mother-in-law: If Hamsasya is held by the right 
hand at the throat, and Sandamsa is held by the right one, and the 
left hand is afterwards rubbed round the belly, the result will be the 
mother-in-law hands. 


237-238. Father-in-law: If in the right hand of the mother-in- 
law hands, Sikhara is held, the result is the father-in-law hands. 

238-239. Husband's Brother: If Sikhara is held by the 
left hand and Kartarlmukha is held by the right one, and the hands 
are placed on sides, the result is the hands of the husband's brother. 

239-240. Husband's Sister: If at the end of the preceding 
hand the right hand shows the gesture indicating a woman (i.e., the 
Mrgaslrsa), the result will be the hands of the husband's sister. 

240-241. Elder and Younger Brothers: If the Mayura hands 
are shown in the front and on the two sides, the result will be the 
hands of the elder and of the younger brother. 

241-242. Son : If one holds the Sandamsa on the belly and 
moves it afterwards and holds the Sikhara by his left hand, the 
son's hands result. 

242-243. Daughter-in-law: If after showing the son's hands one 
shows with the right hand the gesture expressing a woman (i. e., Mrga- 
slrsa), then the result will be the daughter-in-law's hands. 

243-244. Co-wife : If one shows the gesture for a woman (i. c., 
Mrgasirsa) with both the hands after showing the Pasa hand, then the 
co-wife's hands are made. 

Hands in Nrtta 

244-247. The movements of Nrtta-hastas is of five kinds. They 
are known to be movements upwards, downwards, on the right, on the 
left and in the front. The moving of hands should be in the manner 
of that of the feet. The left one (foot or hand) should be on the 
left and the right one on the right. This is noticed by those who 
know the rules of nrtta. (For 247 see the translation of the 
verse 28.) 

248-249. The thirteen hands such as Pataka, Svastika, Dola, 
Anjali, Katakavardhana, Sakata, ) } asa, Kllaka, Kapittha, Sikhara, 
Kurma, Hamsasya and Alapadma are fit to be used in Nrtta. 


Hands for Planets 

250. The San: IE Alapadtna and Kapittha arc shown by 
two hands near about the throat, the Sun's hands are formed. 

251. The Moon: If Alapadma is shown by the left hand and 
Pataka by the right one, hands produced are called that of the Moon. 

252. Mars: If SucI is shown by the left hand and Musti 
by the right one, Mars's hands are produced. 

253. Mercury: If Musti is horizontally held by the left hand 
and Pataka by the right one, then Mercury's hands are produced. 

254. Jupiter: Showing Sikhara to indicate the sacred thread 
will make the hands of a Rsi or Brahmin as well as that of Jupiter. 

255. Venus: To hold Musti with both hands and to keep the 
left hand high up and the right one down, will make Vcnus's hands. 

256. Saturn: To show Sikhara with the left hand and Trisula 
with the right one, is to make Saturn's hands. 

257. Rahu: To show Sarpaslrsa with the left hand and 
SucI with the right, is to make the hands of Rahu. 

258. Ketu : To show SucI with the left hand and Pataka 
with the right, is to make the hands of Ketu. 

Feet in Dance 

259-260. Feet in different positions and with different move- 
ments will be described in accordance with the old tradition. These 
[positions and movements] give rise to Mandala (posture), Utplavana 
(leaping movement or jumping), Bhramarl (flight movement) and 
Padacarl or Carl (gait). Their definitions are to follow. 

Standing Postures (Mandala) 

260-261. There are ten standing postures: Sthanka (simple 
standing), Ayata, Alldha, Pratyalldha, Prchkhana, Prerita, Svastika, 
Motita, SamasucT, and Parsvasuci. 

262. Sthanaka: Standing with Samapada feet in the same line 
and touching the hip with Ardhacandra hands, will be Sthanaka. 


263. Ayata: Standing with two feet half a cubit apart from 
each other in a Cacurasra posture and at the same time bending knees 
a little apart and placing one of them upon the other, will give rise to 
the Ayata posture. 

264-265. Alfdha: Place the left foot before the right one at a 
distance of one cubit and a half, make Sikhara with the left hand 
and Katakamukha with the right one ; this, according to Bharata and 
others, will give rise to the Alidha posture. 

266. Pratyatidha: If hands and feet are interchanged in the 
Alidha posture, it will be called Pratyalldha. 

266-267. Prenkhana: Putting one foot by the side of another 
heel and having Kurma hands, will give rise to the Prenkhana posture. 

267-269. Prerita: Putting one foot violently [on the earth] at 
a distance of one cubit and a half from another and standing with 
knees bent and one of them put across another and holding the Sikhara 
hand in the breast and showing thePataka hand stretched out, will give 
rise to the Prerita posture. 

269-271. Svastika: The right foot should be put across the left 
foot, and the right hand should be put across the left hand ; thus will 
be the Svastika posture. 

271-272. Motita: Rest on the earth with the forepart (toes) of 
the feet and touch the earth with each knee alternately and make 
Tripataka with both the hands ; this will give rise to the Motita 

272. SamasUci: A posture in which the earth is touched with 
toes and knees is called Samasucl. 

273. Parsvasuci: A posture in which the earth is touched with 
toes and by one knee on one side, is called Parsvasucl. 

Varieties of Resting Postures (Sthanaka) 
274-275. Resting postures are of six kinds according to the 


placing of feet. They arc Samapada, Ekapada, Nagabandha, Aindra, 
Garuda and Brahma. 

275. Samapada : Standing with two feet alike is called Samapada. 

276. Uses: It is used in offering flowers [to gods] and playing 
in the role of gods. 

276. Ekapada : Standing with one foot and laying the other 
across the knee of that foot will give the Ekapada position. 

277. Uses: It is used to denote motionlessness and the practice 
of penance (tapasya). 

277-278. Nagabandha: Standing like a serpent intertwining 
two feet and two hands together will give the Nagabandha posture. 

278. Use : It is used in showing the Nagabandha. 

278-279. Aindra: Standing with one leg bent and the other leg 
and knee raised and hands hanging naturally, will give rise to Aindra 
posture. Uses : It is used in suggesting Indra and a king. 

280-281. Garuda: If in the Alldha posture one knee is put on 
the ground and the two hands jointly show the gesture (?) it will be 
the Garuda posture. Use : It is used to denote Garuda. 

281-282. Brahma : Sitting with one foot on one knee and 
another foot on another knee will give rise to Brahma posture. 

282. Uses : It is used to denote japa (repeated muttering of 
prayers) and similar matters. 

Different Kinds of Leaps (Utplavana) 

282-285. Now, the definition of various leaps will be given. 
They are of five kinds : Alaga, Kartari, Asva, Motita and Krpalaga. 

284. Alaga : Leaping with both the feet and placing Sikhara 
hand on the hip, at the same time, will be Alaga. 

285-286. Kartari: Leaping on toes with Kartarl hands held 
behind the left foot, and holding on one's waist a downward Sikhara 
hand ac the same time, will be Kartari jump. 


286 287. Asva: First, leap on two feet and then place them 
together, and make Tripataka with both the hands. This will be Asva 

287-288. Motita: Leaping on both sides alternately like a 
Kartari, will be Motita jump. 

288-289. Krpalagai By heels of both the feet alternately touch 
the hip and keep Ardhacandra hands between the two. This will 
make Krpalaga. 

Various Flights (Bhramarl) 

289-291. Here, we shall describe various flights [in a dance] . 
According to persons versed in the Natypsastra they arc seven : 
Utpluta, Cakra, Garuda, Ekapada, Kuncita, Akasa and Ahga. 

292. Utpluta: If a person moves round his entire body from a 
Samapada posture, he is said to perform the Utpluta bhramarl. 

293. Cakra : If keeping feet on the earth and carrying Tripataka 
hands, one moves round rapidly one then performs Cakra bhramarl. 

294. Garuda : Stretch one foot across another and put the knee 
on the earth and then move about rapidly with outstretched arms. 
This will be the Garuda bhramarl. 

295. Ekapada: Moving round alternately on one foot will be 
the Ekapada bhramarl. 

296. Kuncita: Moving round with knees bent will be the 
Kuncita bhramarl. 

296-297. Akasa : If one moves round his entire body after making 
his fully stretched feet wide apart in a jump, he will make the Akasa 

297-298. Anga: If one leaps with feet half a cubit apart and 
then stops, he performs the Ahga bhramarl. 

Different Gaits 

298-300. Now the definition of various Carls will be told by me. 
According to persons who know Bharata's works well they arc eight: 


Calana, Cankramana, Sarana, VeginT, Kuttana, Luthita, Lolita, and 

301. Calana (walking): Advancing a foot from its natural place 
will be Calana (walking). 

301-302. Cankramana (making a leap) : Persons well-versed in 
natya say that a gait made by two feet carefully raised up and thrown 
sideways alternately, is called Cankramana (making a leap). 

302-303. Sarana (moving): Moving like a leech that is covering 
ground, by joining one heel with another [at each step] and holding 
at the same time Pataka hands, is called Sarana (moving). 

304-305. Vegim (running) : If a nata walks swiftly on his heels 
or toes or by his entire sole, and holds Alapadma and Tripataka hands 
alternately, he is said to go with VeginI (running) gait. 

305-306. Kuttana (pomid'mg): The striking of the earth with 
the heel or the fore-part of a foot or the entire sole, is called Kuttana. 

306. Luthita (rolling) : Performing Kuttana from the Svastika 
posture, is called Luthita (rolling). 

307. Lolita (trembling) : Slowly moving a foot which has not 
touched the earth after performing Kuttana as described before, is 
called Lolita (trembling). 

308 Visama (rough): Setting the left foot to the right of the 
right one, and the right foot to the left of the left one alternately at 
the time of walking, is called Visama (rough) gait. 

Different Kinds of Stepping 

309-310. The different kinds of stepping with their definitions 
will be told gradually. These are ten in number: Goose-step, Peacock- 
step, Deer-step, Elephant-step, Lion-step, Snake-step, Frog-step, Heroic- 
step and Human-step. 

311-312. Goose-step: Placing slowly one foot after another at a 
distance of half a cubit and bending on two sides alternately and 
carrying Tripataka with both hands, will be stepping like a goose. 


312-313. Peacock-step: To stand on toes and to carry Kapittha 
in both the hands and to move both the knees alternately will be 
making Peacock-steps. 

313-314. Deer-step: Running forward or sideways like a deer 
with Tripataka on both the hands will be called Deer-step. 

314-315. Elephant-step: To walk slowly with Samapada feet 
with hands holding Pataka on both sides is to have Elephant-step. 

315-316. Horse-step: To raise the right foot and jump in quick 
succession and to hold Sikhara with the left hand and Pataka with 
the right [hand] will be the Horse-step. 

317. Lion-step: First stand on toes and then jump forward 
swiftly and proceed in this manner with Sikhara held in both the 
hands. This will be the Lion-step. 

318. Snake-step: If one holds Tripataka with both hands 
and on boch sides and walks as before, he is said to move like a snake. 

319. Frog-step: If one holds Sikhara with both hands and 
steps almost like a lion, he is said to go with Frog-steps. 

320. Heroic step: Coming from a distance holding Sikhara 
with the left hand and Pataka with the right one, will be called the 
Heroic step. 

321-322. Human step ; When one goes round in quick suc- 
cession and puts the left hand on the waist, holds Katakamukha 
with the right one, he is said to move with Human steps. 

323-324. Mandalas, Utplavanas, Bhramans, Carls, Gatis accord- 
ing to their relation to one another are endless in number and variety. 
Uses of these in dance and drama are to be learnt from the Sastras, 
tradition, and through the favour of wise people. 
















































rf 3*T' 



' flffW 




n^ %\\ 


. ] 


ftf ra: 



ft Pi 41 'I: 

H^ \\\ 







cftfrf 51^ 

j II? 00 II 







f g 53^ flfetfe 







4O 5 






: 5r^tfS?r: 



5!TtnctfT =3 

1 14 


3 fwr* ^T qi'qtj Ttg^t \\\\*\\ 


mm I^T gfa IRS an 

: ii ^ a ^11 
















I2 5 

: I 




ftr^rr Tf^ftRraT n 

* cf^fcf 


f? sfarrfa fo ^ TOT 


' TTsf 



%flf c!t JfT^ 


ff u 


N. B. Numerals refer to the serial numbers of the slokas in the 
Text; and (i) and (ii) indicate respectively the ist and the 2nd halves 
of the slokas. 

1 V. q$T for si M. 3&m for 3 gp?: 

2 M. *u4 for gpJ* ; V. *n?qraftq*TOt *RO:, M. 3%^ for ?n$: 

3 V. crorr ?<tf *Tfaff sip^ ; VM. 
sjgs^al ??::. V. sigf5 ^ crat R: 

4 M. cf<|^HI ^ 

5 VM. 5^1 g 

6 For 6(ii) S. reads 

7 VM. cf?f: T^RT for 

8 V. <mf ^Tftm M. <nsf ^ifw4 -, S. ^rfir^nn^ *fcf, V. 

1 1 V. sj^T' =^38^ ..... 5? for 
13 VM. cf5f for c^ ; VM. S 

14 S. ^WJ for g^T^fir: ; S, i^ for 

15 M. <r^ ?^ for 3 
1 6 VM. 

S. q?ni: for qqsf: S. 
ft^' and M. q^^rac wrerfiRf f r 
9 V. >!i<rt^^W ^, M. s 
10 M. ^rrfif ^ft^r^ ; S. 

1 7 A 1 wft for $re ; M. ^flit^f: ^n^r^ ; V. ^511^5125^^3^ ; A a 

18 M. ^i^H^i for 

19 A^ 2 wi^r^ ^ ^; A 1 gftftcTH, A a ^fi??f for 

20 M. 5iT^pci^w^5^T ; VA a q%g: for 
2 1 Mss. nrg*^ for ^ 35^ ; M. 



23 A a 

24 A a 

25 M. TO^HJCT ; VM. 5Tf^;5^f5fr ; A a sg<0R&i for 

27 VA 2 ^TT *T3zf f^rm: for ^fm: ^n^I ^f^TT: ; Mss. s 

28 Mss. Sf^t nt^T: for ?3\ Tt^f ; M. ?tf ^R' for ^rf w|: 

29 Mss. S^?T 5TW^ for *C^TT ^W ; M. 
3 1 Mss ^ff^T^ for sfifsrsft^ ; V. 

32 V. 

33 V. gs^ errft WWIJT^ -, M- 

34 V. inrR^TO ; M. 

35 M. ??f $r4" 5 Mss. 

36 MA 3 W^MH^ft?f ; A 3 ^5f[^fsT^^H ; A 1 ^^*qt for 
A 2 ?fT5WTd^ ; A 1 cTRTm^ft and A 3 cTMf^^ for ^T^ 

37 A 1 3ffit ?TT^t ; A 1 ^cf: *n^TT: for cT^t HRT 

38 M. srfwiit g^* 

39 M. ^sftfwqr: ; S. ?RfTftr^tS^4^r^ ^ : M. adds to this the 
following *tvnt&W OTtf*t ^rf%%^[ ^^; S. HT3%JT for 

VM, frnfor f r ft^if^cr 

42 Mss. T5J for ^t^T ; S. qr*t for qn^ 

43 P. smrrfa for ^^Pr ; SP. ^vn^qt f r ^ft^i'r^^ ; SP. 

44 P. qffe^Tf^q^t ; P. >5TOHtfa for fTO%3 ; P. *T3^ for 

45 V ffar =sri^>i[5r-3 s M. iftfr^^rRftqifng, V. ?fe ijfit 5 P. 


1 20 

52 M. spwrfrfaTO^ ; MV. if 

54 V. SUTT^Tj, for 

56 M. ^=^H for 

58 VM. 5RP9i, M. ^r fwft for 

59 M. ^ for ^ ; M. 

60 V. tffitTJ^it: for Si 
6 1 S. TOi^lf?OT 

62 V cm4^R^5rrf^ ; M. ^TOF^, for 

66 A 1 3TRfrft*T for siratftg 

67 V. tffi^f g^fT^Hct, M. qftf^: gOTflqrf ; A r M. ^TR for 

68 M. 

69 M. 

70 MV. f^^Rt for 2TT^5^f ; VM. SRTTCHTct ; A 1 A 3 
for ^T?f 

72 V. ^B^ fo?: *fiRki ; A 1 A 2 ^T^t ?fe fopq^ for 
A!A 2 ^^f^r^ for 

73 M. ^ for ft^ ; A 1 ^ 5T*i'ftT% and M. S*refTO* for mf 

74 M. &&fa$ ; for ?<^ ; M. cRcnfr, A 1 q r ^ for <TT^ ; MA 1 A 3 

^T^qr^ ; V. Wt^ for TO^ff^ 

75 M. |r^HT5tTOtWH A 1 |T?iqjtn^r^wij, VM 1 ft^PB^ for 

77 M. wsiffrftd^pi; for 

78 VA^ a ft^T* ^ ^ ^ qw 

79 V, *vr*Nfb$ TT^, V. ^r ^ qftqfSsft for 

8 1 MA 3 ^qiq^ for <TOT ^c^, V. ft*i&, A 1 firsKt for 

82 M. qRt$S^*fT*fr ^ =^f%cfT ; V. =3Rf*rci; for 

83 A a ^fJ| A 

84 V. qftff^ for 

85 M. ?lTSref% for 3T3ST3?a ; A 2 fan *u for 

86 M. gi*T<5[5*Fg% 5^3$ ^ft 5^ fifths for 86(ii) 

87 A 2 353% . A 2 ^^ for ste^ 

88 V- srcfpisr p?T ; A 1 A 2 sratfwr: for ft^TT ; A 3 

89 1. T^ssfam;: I. j?^psrr^Rw. M. ^^i^ s*ra, V. 
A 3 ^^^?r^r: 

90 I. gfiwrftreRN ; A 2 cRfqR*r: ^^sRiig^: ; A 3 P. 

91 A 1 ^f3^^T5f?5r^:, MV ^rg^^t^r?!^:, A 8 
srfgOTnswwjs. A 3 nFT^fMq?T^:, P. 

^, MA 6 A 6 &nw for ^rrat 

92 I. ^srsnrerer: wn, 1. rn^r^t^^rm (*r)t ; A 3 

P. *5TRf ^TTJT^^rqj^t^ ; I. ff^fiRf^RT ; I. adds to this couplet 
the following : 

93 PA 3 has for this the following : 

I. also has 'the same with v. i. 

94 VPA X A 3 ft^% for B. ft^% 

95 VPA 2 B 5^ ^^^ ; P, *ri): ^^ ; B. ^g^^ ; A 3 BP 
I. WOTtftft ; B srar^ ^ 5TcU^ ^ ; A 1 fR^ft for i=Rtfft 

96 P. q^i^ **& ; BI. q^i^^^, B. ^fw%, M. gw% ; I 
between g6(i) and 96(ii) the following : 


97 ! 3**tft'*rWT 3[sfo B. omits 97-99. Yhis couplet (97) is 
continwed in I. as follows : 

98 M. ftr^, V. ^^ for fa 

99 M. ^-^ ^ V. ^>ft ^ 

100 A 2 (T^nfirj for V&m$ ; A 1 
1. TcTT^T^^T^JTTcI, B. 
following : 

f^^^R ?fcT 

1 01 A 3 i^nrts 

102 V. *H3Trfi[f*T: for 


:, A 3 

; P. reads for I oo (ii) the 
: and I. has the same 
:, M. contiuing this by 

; A 3 

for the whole couplet A 1 A 3 - read 

: and A 3 - reads 
: and P1B read 

103 I. cTWm^B: ; P. 

104 B. ^BT^^ T^f^ltf 
5Rtn?TJ, P. 5pft*T%: B. 

105 A 1 ^Ff: *W$ *3T<t * 
whole couplet A 3 reads 

* * * 

and P. 

: for 104^), for 5Rfrr%, M. 

A 2 V. 


1 06, P. frqqfaq^fq *, A 3 frrefe^sfq *r B. omits io6(ii) 
107 M. finc^ v& gsn, BA 3 fo^ ^ ^, B. omits 107(1!) and reads 
io7(i) as frq^sfq- toft fiRi V&ftg*:; M. g?q^ otf for 

1 08 A 1 f%&t ^ ^fswrferr ; A 2 , ^if tfswnftcn:, P. f%s1 
A 3 P 

109 A r BP %KW\ ^?nffi^ for ^ ^ ^rr ; BP. 
(?T^P.) gftm^fw^TR^: for io9(ii) ; Mss. ^^^qfT 

no M. jrefr^r, A 2 8f5?^|^r, V. ^i^^jr ; Mss. zfa&s: for 

A a f^f^l^: for ^^n^^TT ; B. omits 1 10 

1126. f sqjigtfT vrrf^ 1 T^f^4%sfq =ST ; A 1 *jsng and B. 
A 2 ^gt for VT^T^, B. omits i i2(ii) 

113 A 1 =trift cSRiR ^q^f, V. ^nft- ^fwW^ B omits H3(ii) and 
has sniKfTSff SfWBT^^f^ar: Sg^% for 1 13(11) 

114 Mss. <r*ft ^. A 3 ft^i^n^ B. tf4rwfrnfe; M. 

=5T- B. continues 114 with ^T^f^: ^m ST g 

115 B. omits ii5(ii), A 3 jygu? and A J M. ^^rw for 
1 1 6 M. *%*rg*5W# ; A 8 vn^sfir 5^^ ; BV. omits i i6(i) 
117 A 1 tfggtftafiga, M. ^fg^qftgcT ; A!A 2 A 3 ^sqfoK^ . for 
ii7(ii) and n8(i) P. and B. have the following: 

P. fotf 


^rf STftRf f^?c^5 ^fgfir: ^nftr^ft^ n 
118 Sec v. 1. of 117 for n8(i) A 3 reads n8(ii) as 

c: TO and P. as ^fo^qf^l: fti^: tfsitf RRT: 

^ 133 

1 19 A 3 gives the entire viniyoga for 1 19-1 21 (i) as *T^% $T*T% *!? 
*?TO sp% vpftsft ^ I <f<J$ ftrefar ^ g^ forar- w and B. has 
it as 3Tf ..... , f*RT*3rsf ^ ...... I 

while P. has it as 

120 See notes on 119, V. ^fa?nrifa% for 

M. qfwT^ firfwJt 

121 See nots on 119, A 2 foreft g^^t 
For I2i(ii) and 122(1) A 3 reads 

WfJ^?: f fecIT 

And P. reads 

122 For 122(1) see notes on 121, A 3 ^: sfts^f ^fT^t TT^ni^-, A 

B. has 122(11) as 


123 B. omits 123. Mss. 

124 B. tfqw qft^fSer: ; A 3 ^fe^ ^fr^^r ^%citgOT^n, M. 

T, V. ^fiTftRrtgOT^ws, A 1 g 

125 A X A 3 M[ *rc3TT*h, Mss. ^l^nq'^. The entire viniyoga of 
$3fl>Tg*sT?*sr or I25(ii) and 126(1) has been given PB. as 

3 (^3 B) 

( 3^T^ B ) 


126 MV qfa*$r for tfa^r See v. 1. of 125 

127 V. ?fe*TT^ ^ ^^RT. Sec v. 1. of 125 and 128(1!) 

128 V. f^r: ^tfly^: <Jtaj: srrarf^nf^nih, M. 

:. For I27(ii) and 128(1). A s has 

n: \ 

and P. has 

A l A a MV ^^^ for 

129 A 1 A 2 ^?TT?^f for ^>T^r ; PB. ^W%^T(<tT)<ir *$& for 129(11) 
PB. have ^^ (s3T 

130 MV. $Rq ^T^T^T^3f^, A 1 A 2 

J P. 

A 3 <rr*3jt ^ ^j^f^T^, A 1 ffanrof ^BJ^Rrw?^ ; PB. omit 

131 B. omits this, A 3 has 131(11) as 
and P. has ^n$fr fiTJ^q?^ q^t 

133 For 133(1) A 1 has WR?ir cfft cR^T ftf^^T 5fsfr ^ Mss. 
f^Rfts?^ ftf^ft^t ; PB. omit this couplet and P. gives sfi^f^f: 

134 M. sr'gsajT fTOTTs ; AI A 3 fftcf W^K^: ; A 1 A 2 omit the seond 
half of 134* 

135 M. ^g%Scq^THl^ ; V t ^cf% for $*%, PBA 3 read the whole 
as follows:] 

*ft% ^T^frt (B. ^JTTT ) 
^ (A 3 *w$ ) ^n^rr^ (B. qrsnsf : 

136 A 2 sKrzsft PBA 8 this and 137(1) as follows: 

ftftsfaft fJTjj?^ (6?v=ft^ B.) ii 


137 Sec v. 1. for 136. V. ?w$t =sref TO^teT 5<ftfan I PV. <fin%<ffi- 

fa^ra g<f*fl$, A 3 <mraf srforarR ^, M. TOTO *fo?TT*T %t 

138 MA 1 A 2 fcrftVB^j, MV. ^5 OTTOfofNf*WV see notes 
on 139. 

139 For 138(11) and 139(1) BA 3 P have the following: 

(A 8 

3 n 


; V. ^fafTOSE 51^% ; A 
, M. $frsfg<&T 51^ 

140 For 140(1) B. has sfarf ^ ^^rfif W% ^^^TTW ; V, 

^fir ; A 2 ^tf %ft, A 1 f^ifiRft, M. fipift for f^rr^, V. 

S^TIfl% %5^%, A 2 m^A for ^TTfT^ for 140(11) See v. 1. on 141 

141 For 140(11) and 141 PBA 3 have the following: 

A 3 ) 1%$ *F^T^% i 
frrft ^T^I^ (^nr^ A 3 ) ^^ ^ firj^rt n 

: II 
M. %$ qft<$ for ^rwf^, A 1 A 2 omit 141(1!) 

142 A 1 ^r>n^ q^f^fi^ 37^ ^zrot^ A 1 omits 

143 For 143(1) A 3 has ^: ft'fT5^Tfi?>T^[Tf<T^^T:, M. ftff 

^ MV. *T?s} *&& for ?|^5Rn^ A. q^ltft: A 1 T^irat: - for 
143(1!) see notes on 144 below. 

144 For 143(1!) and 44(1) P. has 

M. |?T?T% ^ft^ ^513^ ; V. $regf%% *?t?^ P. 
A 5 


145 B %*w for <rrf^, A 3 wRiwrraf for ^faff^r ; for 
A 3 ?fnRfe and A 1 wfmft, PB 
For 145 (ii) See v. I. on 146 
For 145 ii and 146 (i) A 3 BP read 

T. II 

> : i B ) \\ 

V. reads 146(4) as ^i^% ^q% %^ ^Rg^^5f^^[ A 3 
^ for 3>faS[3TT ^f%cTT^ A 3 fiROTHjftOTWis P fiK^T^TSTTSR: 

147 V. rr^4%sfir ^ for *n*ra% f% for 147 See v.l. on 148 below 

148 For 147, 148 and 149(1) P reads 


and B reads 

and A 3 reads 

* * 

149 Mw^^?:% 'TOmTORft f^^ ; see 148 also for I49(i). V 
T: f%2T-' see v. 1. of 150 

150 For 149(11) and 150(1) A 3 and P read 

( P ^ ^r^f f. ^T: ) II M ^% %w^3^: ^T:, A 
:, PB ftftK$f ^ ( Pr B 
for gtf% 

151 B omits this, M ^ for Wf, A a ^W^ ^ ^t^ for 
A 1 J^T^fTcT^ for 

153 For 152(11) and 153(1) A 3 reads 
^WHTfofiT^ft faf ** 

^CTT: sKrrftcrrartfft sf ^: q sro^t w u 

and P reads 

M qft for q%, ror 153(11) see v. 1. of 154 

154 A 2 SWtf(^: ^ ^q: qJtfeft *raT*TO:, M qftMgt ^^tw:, A 1 A 

; for 153(11) and 154(1) B reads 


g^% srawitstf ^^T^RT^^ II 

For 155(11) see v. 1. of 157 

156 M Jjf^T^t for ^ife^T^ V f^% Htel^t see v. 1. of 157 

157 For 155(11), 156 and 157(1) PB. read f^^T %^% 

i flT^Hi ^ stss *n^in^fsf^q% (B. fir^r%) i 

^ B) ^rift frf^PUt ftfiTT^ I 

r: i V. ^ 3 5f^r^^ ^r ^d 

158 P. flftf^ufjTfteq^, see vl. of 159 

159 For 158(1!) and 159(1) PB read 


A 1 A 2 ^s^f g^ vr^Ftfr ; A l A a M ^cfm: for 159(1!) see 
v. 1. of 160 
1 60 For 159(11) and 160(1) P reads 

: II 

M. ^tf^^t 5fT^r^tfttj ; i6o(ii) see v.l. of 161 


161 For i6o(ii) and 161(1) BP. read *ftfc% 3^ *rfrfa?<ft (B. ^i 

(B. i^fr) gfararef ^ fcra (B 
(B. f<rer) tf^RT tf&T Tft*p% (B. fopq^) n MV. 

162 A^ 2 ^s4 *f8* *rr^frt:, VM, ^?rrw 5 for 162(11) P 

reads OT}pqiW^T5?p^fwfR5:, M. fg^sfrr^ ; for 162(11) see 
v. 1. of 163 

163 For 162(11) and 163(1) P reads 



and B reads 

M. ^i^ $^gs^ ; for 163(11) P. reads 

164 For the entire 164 B reads 

1 66 Mss ?f^ for ?f^ A 1 
w, A 1 

for f ^f^T^ ^% $1% A 1 reads *T% fqpfCTT^, A 3 reads 3? 
^T^I^t 5 A 1 5?j^ cTT^JT^5 $(t ^^tfirt: for i62(ii) 
165 M. $fai& 3 Risu^**, A 2 ft^ ^otc^g^s A 1 ^39 for 

t X 39 

169 For 169 and 170 Mss read 

It is highly probable that these lines have been mutilated and 
confounded. I have therefore suggested the reading as shown in 
the text. 

171 Mss 
175 A 

V. srfif jfffir: A a ^frofOT^ ff^cnf^fa: M. 

176 A 2 

177 A 1 

178 MVA 1 RJTT^^f, A 2 srqr^-g^, A 3 %vm sronoWf^, A 3 

; ?M ft^cTT: ; A 2 5^5^^: for f^:^^ 

179 M. ^Fcrfflft ^^ ; M. 

1 80 A 2 sfarr*ftaft ^Tt^rpft w^sPr ^r, A 3 ^ 

181 M. rf^Prqt ^rfe^T^: ; A 3 qrcn^n^, MVA qr?rr% 35 

182 A 3 ;narnF$ ^ ^nrt Wf^nt ft^g 1 VMA'A 2 

183 Mss ^ra^rrR[ for ^ift'^rf^ ^. cf 9iqW in S. VII 198. A 1 
5Tf% V. ^% ^f V. ^TOfcafaft ^, A 1 

184 A 1 3<OTr*fTT f^ftf^f fir^T^ ^rf^fa: V. 

HTCfl^fcfa:, A 3 

185 VA 3 ^ ffi^r: for 

1 86 A 2 fipqRr ftreR: ; A 1 
187 Mss ^frar?Rff, M. JTT 
1 88 M. frrorjfir 5^ 

190 M. %%^r^ for %^T?cf, for i9o(ii) see v. 1. of 191 


191 A 1 cf^T qf^, A 2 irTsfen g<TOT, V. m&h 5 <mi snftre for I9o(ii) 
and 191 A 3 reads 


: u 

: n 

192 For the entire couplet A 3 reads 

^iwn'nw^ ? B: t 
tftstf ^rt ft^??^ li 

193 For 103(1) A 2 ^? R5gj[%^pR gat ^ftf ^32; ; for 193(11) V. 

194 A 1 ?T3T^ TW, A 2 ^?3TT TT^r, for 194(1!) A 2 reads 
; for the entire couplet A 3 reads 

A 2 reads ^ |if ^r TO ^ >2f ^ot 
195 For the 195(1) ^ S^ ^ ^^t ^t^r^: *^: ^f^cf: A 1 

M. wlg^^, M. ffirfsRjfa^ ^^^ : f r *^^^ ftftg^i? for the 
entire couplet A 3 reads 

196 For the entire couplet A 3 reads 

197 A 2 3>faE%: ; for 197(11) See v.l. for 

198 For 197(11) 

M. *J*T*ftq &yqW&ftwtfW% 9 A 1 

^i^ft? ^^K^Tftjffifwi 5 * or X 9^CO see v - ' ^ 1 99 

199 M. ^q^ for fft^, M. ^^ ^CT^T ^T ^^ ; for 198(11) and 199 
A 2 reads 

200 A J A 2 ^T^sfE for JT^f^ f^TTf^ V. has s?V. ^T ^I^ft f^t and 

A 3 has ftqfqt TWt 5^- 
20 1 For the entire couplet A 3 reads 

202 For the entire couplet A 3 reads 

203 M. continues the couplet by 

205 M. ^g ^^f^, A 1 f'gi^ 3R3[%*ir, A 3 fm^ft ^^ ^ MA 


206 A 1 finen% *a, A 2 fiwerrwwrt f^g, A 3 f^cn^ g, AiA 2 MV 
^rNtf% ; A 2 ^s^-ir ^ ; A 3 ^ ^i-^r ^i|^, for 206(1!) see 

v. 1, of 207 

207 For 206(11) and 207(1) A 3 reads 

Mss ^PTCT ^sfir for ^firw%sfir V. 

208 M. q^<ft for 

209 V. %<sK\f%% 

210 A 3 Rft wgTO ; V. 

211 M 

212 V. 

218 M. $5g c c|: 3*: 

216 A 3 qgsqTWncw wrtstf 

217 A 3 g<Fgi#o for i^fjfi A 8 V ^TOTOI ^ 5?g^ 5$:, for the 
entire couplet A 3 reads : 

^l TO? ww 

219 For 219(11) M. ^ 

220 For the entire couplet A 3 reads 

222 M. 

223 M. 

225 A X V 

227 Mss ^cfl^ ; for 227(11) see v. 1. of 228 

228 For 227(ii) and 228(i) A 3 reads 

-, Mss ffffT^: ^^, for 228(11) see the v. 1. for 229 
229 For 228(11) a.nd 229(1) A 3 reads 

231 V. 

232 V. *& ^frfasftfer: V. 

:, V. 


233 A 2 






234 A L A 2 V 

235 For 235(1) A J A 2 V reads 

236 Mss ^TT^ TO'. 

237 Mss %q: ^ ^i: 

238 V. ^jfaqfam for 

240 V. JTl^lf^ f^j: for 

241 V 

246 V. 



247 This is repeated ; see 37 

248 V. 
250 M. 
254 Mss 
256 .Mss 

263 V. 
265 M. 
278 V. 

280 Mss 
282 M. 

285 For 

286 M. g?;: 

287 M. 

288 V. 
291 V. 




-, V. 
, M. 



Mss <*fqc*r* V. 


^ for 

i 4 4 

295 V. 
301 V. 
306 Mss 
309 V. 
312 V. 
3.3 V. 
314 V. 
319 Mss 

322 M. 

323 M. 

324 M. 


- Mss 



, V. 

CRT: for 

: V. 


Abbreviations : u. = utplavana; g. =gati; h, = hasta; gr.=sgriva; 
c. =carl; dr. = drsti; bhr. = bhramarl; m. = mandala; s. = siras; sth.= 
sthlna; u.=sutplavana. Numerals refer to the number of slokas. 

anga 42-43. 

ariga bhr. 297-298. 

agni h. 212, 

anjali h. 176-177 

adhomukha s. 54-55. 

anuvrtta dr. 77. 

arala h. 114. 

ardhacandra h. 111-113. 

ardhapataka h. 103-104. 

ardhasucl h. 167-168. 

alaga u. 284. 

alapadma h. 146-149. 

avalokita dr. 78-79. 

asva u. 286-287. 

asamyuta h. = gesture by one hand 

akasa bhr. 296-297. 

angika = gestures and postures in 

drama and dance 39. 
ayata m. 263. 
alldha m. 264-265. 
alokita dr. 69-70. 
alolita s. 55*56. 
aharya = dress and decoration o 

the body. 40. 
Isvara ( = $iva) h. 205 
utksipta s. 63-64 
utplavana = jumping movements 

in dance and drama. 

utpluta bhr. 292 
udvahita s. 52-53 
utsanga h. 184-185. 
ullokita dr. 75-76. 
ekapada bhr. 29^. 
ekapada sth. 276-277. 
aindraka sth. 278-279. 
kataka h. 168-170. 
katamamukha h. 124-127. 
katakavardhana h. 187-188. 
kapittha h. 121-124. 
kapota h. 177-178. 
kampita s. 60-6 1. 
karkata h. 178-179, 
kartarl u. 285-286. 
kartarimukha h. 105-107 
kartarl-svastika h. 188-189. 
Kalki h. 225. 
kahgula h. 144-146. 
Kartikeya h. 209-210. 
kilaka h. 195. 
kuncita bhr. 296. 
kuttana c. 305-306. 
Kuvera h. 215, 
kurma h. 197-198. 
kurmavatara h. 217. 
Krsna h. 224. 
krpalaga u. 288-289. 



Ketu h. 258. 

Ksatriya h. 227*228. 

khatva h. 202. 

gajalllag. 314-315, 

gati = mode of walking or setting 

Gancsa h. 200. 

Garuda bhr, 294. 

Garuda sth. 280-281. 

graha = thc right manner of begin- 
ning a tune, song or dance. 

cakra bhr. 293. 

cakra h. 191-192. 

cahkramana c. 301-302. 

Candra h. 251. 

candrakala h. 132-133. 

catura h. 149-152. 

calana c. 301. 

cari = dancing movement in which 
the action of feet if promi- 

tika = indication, expression, ges- 
ture, cf. atikya saha jayaya- 
Cha. Upanisad. 

dola h. 181-182. 

tamracuda h. 163-164. 

tirasclna gr. 82-83. 

turangim g. 315-316. 

tripataka h. 100*102 

trisula h. 165-166. 

dampatl h. 231-232. 

devara h. 238-239. 

dhuta s. 57-59. 

nartana = dance and drama. 

natana = a general term for natya, 

nrtya and nrtta. 
nanandr h. 239-240. 
nagabandha h. 201. 
nagabandha sth. 277-278. 
naty a = stage representation of a 

story or the part of a story 

with recitation, costume, songs 

and dance, 
nayaka = one who pays for a dance 

or dramatic performance 
Nimi h. 213. 
nrtta = merely symmetrical and 

rhythmic movement of limbs, 
nrtta h.=gestures used in dance 

and abhinaya 
nrtya = pantomimic dance, a dance 

which represents feelings and 

moods through gestures 
Nrsimha h. 219. 
pataka h. 93-100 
padmakosa h. 134-137 
paravrtta s. 61-62. 
Parasurama h. 221. 
parivahita s. 64-65. 
parivatita gr. 83-84. 
palli h. 170-171 
pada-cari = carl. 
Parvati h. 207-208. 
parsvasuci m. 273. 
pasa h. 194. 
pitr h. 234-235. 
putra h. 241-242. 
puspaputa h. 182-183, 



prakampita gr. 85-86. 

pratyahga 43. 

pratyalidha m. 266. 

pralokita dr. 72-73. 

prasanjita = excessive affection. 

prcnkhana m. 266-267. 

prerita m. 267-269. 

Balarama h. 223. 

Budha h. 253. 

Brhaspati h. 354^ 

Brahma sth. 281-282. 

Brahma h. 205. 

Brahmana h. 226-227. 

bhava = State 

bhavana = representation (lit, that 

which affects an idea to be 

represented), 98, 106 etc. 
bhavana = see bhavana, 
bhavita = represented, 
bhujahgl g. 318. 
bherunda h. 203. 
bhramara h. 152-154. 
bhramarl = flight movement of the 

body in dance 
bhratr (kanistha) h. 142-143. 

(jyestha) h. 142-143. 
Mahgala (Mars) h. 252. 
mandala = posture in general in 

dance and drama, 
manduki g. 319. 
matsya h. 196-197. 
matsyavatara h. 216. 
manmatha h. 2 1 0-2 1 1 . 
mayura h. 108-1 10. 

mayuri g. 312. 

matr h. 232-234. 

manavl g. 321. 

mllita dr. 74-75. 

musti h. 1 1 6-1 18. 

mukula h. 161-163. 

moksa = the right manner of releas- 

ing or bringing to a close a 

tune, song or dance. 
motita m. 270.271. 
motita u. 287. 
mrgaslrsa h. 139-142. 

Yama h. 213. 

rasa = sentiment 

raksasa h. 226. 

Ramacandra h. 222. 

Rahu h. 257. 

rekha=see notes on 27. 

Laksmi h. 208. 

lasya = female dance. 

luthita c. 306 

lolita c. 307. 

Vaisya h. 228-229 

Varaha h. 198-199. 

Varahavatara h. 218. 

Varuna h. 214. 

vacika = oral expression, proper 

delivery 39. 
Vamanavatara h. 220. 
vayu h. 214-215. 
vlra g. 320. 
Vinayaka h. 209. 
visama-sancara c. 308. 



Visnu h. 206. 
vcginl c, 304-305. 
vyaghra h. 166-167. 
sakata h. 189-190. 
sahkha h. 190-191. 
Sanaiscara h. 256. 
sikhara h. 118 121. 
sivaiinga h. 186. 
sukatunda h. 115-116. 
ukra h. 255. 
Sudra h. 229-230. 
srutikara = drone. 

svasura h. 

svalru h. 

Sanmukha h. 209-210. 

sapacnl h. 242-243. 

sama dr. 67-68. 

samapada sth. 275-276. 

sama samasucl m. 272. 51-52. 

sarnputa h. 193, 

samyuta h. = gesture by both the 


sarana c. 302-303. 
SarasvatI h. 206-207. 
sarpasiras h. i37* I 39' 
saci dr. 70-72. 
sattvika 40-42. 
sirnhl g. 317. 
simhamukha h. 142-144. 
sundarl gr. 80-8 1. 
sucl h. 127-131. 
surya h. 250. 
sthanaka = standing or sitting 

posture 262. 
snusa h. 242-243. 
svastika m. 269-270. 
svastika h. 180-181. 
hamsl g. 31 1-312. 
hamsa-paksa h. j 57- 159. 
hamsasya h. 154-157. 


7 1 



I Read Hasta-bhedah 


Le theatre in die n 

Kapittba for Tripataka 


abhaya pose, 63 
Abhilasitartha-cintamani, 1 6 
AbhinavabharatI, 23, 39 
Abhinavagupta, 23 

Abhinaya, iyff; and painting, 15; 
and ritual, 19 ; and sculpture, 
1 6 ; and song, 17 ; and 
Tantrik mudras, 19 ; develop- 
ment of, 2off ; four kinds of, 
46 ; importance of the study 
of, i^ff; inKalidasa'sage, 22; 
literature of, 22 ; meaning of, 
8 ; origin of, 17. 

Abhinayadarpana, 2^ff ; and 
Bharata-natysastra, 26ff ; and 
Bharatarnava, 2()R ; and Samgit- 
ratnakara author of, 31 ; 

accent in the stage-speech, 13 

action in Hindu plays, 6 

adviser to Sabhapati, 42 

Agnipurana, 24 

Aitihasikarahasya, 13 

alamkaras, growth of, 36 

Alha, songs of, 40 

Andhra Hist. Research Society, 33 

anga, 46 

ahgahara, 32 

Apakrsta Dhruva, 45 

Apsarasas, 40 

art of producing plays, 1 5 

artha (wealth), 40 

Asvaghosa, 20 

Atharvaveda, 6, 40 

audience (of a play), 42 

audience arrangement of, 42-43 

Avadanasataka, 21 

aharyabhinaya, (costumes etc.), 14 

akasagami cari, 29 

alapacari, 30 

angikabhinaya, i 

angika, agents in, 46 

ballads, ancient Indian, 20 

Bengali folklore, 62 

Bharatasastra, 26 

Bharatasastragrantha, 5 

Bharatasutra, 23 

Bharatacarya, 48 

Bharatarnava, 4 

bhauma .,29 

bhauma m, 29 

Bhagavata-purana, 37 

bhava (state), 46 

bhav-batana, 18 

bhraman, 44 

Brahman, 40 

Brahmasutra, 23 

brows, movements of, 51 

Burnell, 32 

cakravaka, 57 

Cambodian dancers and abhinaya, 


castes, to show eighteen, 65 
Catura Kallinatha, 48 
Caturasra posture, 68 



cari, akasagaml, 29; 

bhauma, 29 
cataka, 23 

Coomaraswamy, A. K. 1,3 
Costumes in the stage, 14 
dance in Hindu drama, 9, 10 
dance language, 10 
dance, occasion for, 40-41 variety 

of, 40 

dancing girl, 43; beauty of, 43; 
disqualification of, 43; make- 
up of, 44 

Dandin, 5 

Dasarupaka 6, 18, 45, 53 

Dhananjaya, i8(?) 

Dhanika, 45 

dharma (dutiful life), 40 

dialects in the stage, 42 

dramatic delivery, 13 

drone, 42 

Dvaraka, milk maids of, 40 

Earth-goddess pujas to, 44 

folk-arts and abhinaya, 20 

folk dance, 17 

folk plays, 17 

folk song, 17 

Gambhlra, 20 

Gandharvas, 39 

Ganapati, 44 

Gahga, 55 

Garba dance, 41 

goddess of rathga, praise of, 45 

Harlvamsa, 9 

Hala, 20 

Hillebrandt, A, 20 

Hindu Astronomy, 5 

Hindu dance, principles of, 46 

Hindu iconography Elements of, 

Hinduism and Siva, 39 

Hindu plays, action in, 6, lyrical 
nature of, 6; objects of, 6 
occasion for, 9-10; suggestive 
character of, 7; technique of, 8 

Hindu playwright's playbuilding 

Hindu women of Bengal and 
dance, 41 

Indian dance, principles, 46 

Indonesian dance and drama, 9-10 

Indra and Nandikesvara, 39 

Japa flower, 56 

Janantika, 50 

Kalpavrksa, 42 

Karana, 32 

Karpuramanjarl, 9 

Kathakas, 20 

Kavi, Ramakrisbna 33 

Kama (enjoyment) 40 

Kavyamlmansa, 32 

Kavyaprakasa, 5 

Krsasva, 22 

Laksml, 55 

Levi, Silvain, 6, 7 

Lihgadharana-candrika, 32 

Lingapurana, 33 

Lingayet Saivism, 32 

lyrical nature of Hindu plays, 6 

Madhyanta-vibhaga-sutra, 23 



Mahabharata, 9 

Mahavrata, 20 

Maitrayanatha, 23 

makara, 60 

make-up of a dancing girl, 43 

Mallinatha, 9 

mandala, 29; bliauma, 29; and 

akasikl, 29 

mantrin (adviser to President), 42 
Manusamhita, 33 
Matanga, 39 
Matsyapurana 37 
Malavikagmmitra 22 
Mirror of Gesture i 
modulation of voice 1 3 
moksa (liberation) 40 
mudra, meaning of 25 
Mudraraksasa, 39 
muraja, 44 
music, vocal, 40 
Nandibharata, 29 
Nandikesvara, place of 33; 

time of, 34 
Nandikesvaratilaka, 32 
Nandl, 32 

Nandlsvarasamhita, 33-34 
nartakl, 43-44 
nata, def. of, 44 
Nataraja, 39 
Natasekhara, 39 
natacarya, 21 
nalikera, 56 
Nandl, 21 
Narada, 40 

natya, etymology of origin of, 40 

Natyaveda, I 

nayaka, 41, 42 

nepathya, 21 

nine planetary deities, 5 

Nilapaja, 9, 20 

nrcta, 40 

nrtya, 40 

nrtya and abhinaya, 18 

offering flowers in the stage 45 

padma (lotus), 64 

painting and abhinaya 15, 1 6 

parabrahma, 55 

patralekhal, 53 

Patanjali, 20 

Palit, n, 20 

Parsadasutra 23 

patra (dancing girl), 44 

patur, paturiya, 44 

puspaksl, 43 

puspanjali, 45 

Prabandhamanjari, 1 1 

Prabhakaravijaya, 32 

Prasanna-raghava-tika, 5 

Prakrits, 42 

President of the audience, 41, 42 

pronunciation, 13 

Puranic gods, evolution of, 5 

Rabindranath Tagore, 10 

Rao. Gopinath 33 

Raghavabhatta, 12 

Rajasekhara 9, 32 

realism in Hindu plays, 1 1 

recitation in a play, 40 



Rgveda, 40 
Rkpratisakhya 23 
rekha, 44 
rhythm, 13 
Rice, S., 6, 7 
ritual and abhinaya, 19 
ritualistic dance, 9 
ritual, Vedic, 19 

Saiva ritualistic dance, 9, 20 

Sakuntala 12, 22 

Sambhu, 63 

Salva and SatyavatI story, drama 

of, 10 

Sarngadeva, 33 
Silada, 33 
Silalin, 22 
Siva, 33 
Siva's dance, 39 
srhgara-natana, 59 
srutikara (drone), 43 
sadanga in natya, 47; 

in Vedic studies, 47 
sabha (andience), 42 
sabhapati, 42 
sabhapati's adviser, 42 
salutation, 39 

Samarahgana-sutradhara, 16 
Samgltaratnakara, 39 
Sanskrit Drama, 9 
SaptasatI (Gatha), 2 1 
Saptasataka, 21 
Saras vati, 55 
Sattasai, 2 1 
Saumilla, 22 
Saurastra, women of, 40 
sadharani, 18 

Sahityadarpana, 8 

Samaveda, 19 

sculpture and abhinaya, 16 

Sen, Kshitimohan, 42 

Sen, Ramdas, 13 

Shakespeare and realism 10, n 

Silappadikarana, 34 

song and abhinaya, 8 

Sten Konuw, 20 

sthanaka, i 

sutradhara, 42 

sutra, meaning of, 23 

Tagore Rabindranath, 1 1 

Tandu, 40 

tala (time beat), 46 

Talabhinayalaksana, 32 

Talalaksana, 32 

Taladilaksana, 32 

tandava, 40 

Tanpura, 43 

Tantrik mudras and abhinaya, 20 

tradition, use of, 79 

tripundraka, 56 

upahga, 48 

Usa, 40 

Vacika abhinaya, 13 

varada pose, 31 

Vatsyayana, 32 

Vedic colouring of the Natyasastra,53 

Vighnesvara, 63 

Vipra (Brahmin), 59 

Visnudharmottara, 16 

Western Drama and Hindu plays, 6 

Woodroffe, Sir John, 25 

Yajurvcda, 40 

Yogataravall, 32