Hamsasya, aka: Haṃsāsya, Hamsa-asya; 2 Definition(s)


Hamsasya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1) Haṃsāsya (हंसास्य, “swan-beak”) refers to a gesture (āṅgika) made with a ‘single hand’ (asaṃyuta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. The hands (hasta) form a part of the human body which represents one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance. With these limbs are made the various gestures (āṅgika), which form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).

(Instructions of Haṃsāsya): The forefinger, middle finger and the thumb close to one another and the remaining fingers stretched. (Uses of Haṃsāsya): It with the slightly throbbing end is used specially to indicate fine, small, loose, lightness, exit, and softness.

2) Haṃsāsya (हंसास्य, “swan-beak”) is the name of a meter belonging to the Natkuṭa class described in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 32.

(longer recension):—“the metre which has in its feet of twelve syllables, the second, the fourth, the sixth, the tenth and the last long, is haṃsāsya”.

(shorter recension):—“the metre which has in its feet of twelve syllables the third, the fourth, the sixth, the seventh, the tenth and the last long, is haṃsāsya”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Twenty-eight Single Hands (hasta):—Haṃsāsya (swan-face): the middle and following fingers are separated and extended, the forefinger and thumb are joined. Usage: tying the marriage thread, initiation, certainty, horripilation,painting (citra-samlekhana) , gad-fly, drop of water,raising the wick of a lamp, rubbing (metal on a touchstone),examining things, drawing lines, carrying garlands, signifying “Soham” (That am I), metaphor (rūpaka), saying “No!”, indicating things to be examined by rubbing, accomplishment of a task.

According to another book: the tips of the forefinger, middlefinger and thumb are joined, the rest extended. This hand is derived from Dakṣiṇa-mūrti (Śiva), when he was teaching the Tattva system to the sages at the foot of the Nyagrodha tree. Its sage is Śukha, its colour white, its race mixed, its presiding deity Caturānana (Brahmā). Usage: instructing in wisdom, ritual (pūjā), demonstration of a thesis (nirṇaya), offering sesamum, speaking, reading, singing, meditation (dhyāna), demonstrating bhāva, applying wax, horripilation, pearl, gem, sound of the flute, gathering together (samyutta), smell, own self, dropof water, taking aim, seal-ring, kissing, Brāhmaṇa caste, whitecolour.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

Discover the meaning of hamsasya in the context of Natyashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

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