Hasta, aka: Hastā; 23 Definition(s)


Hasta means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. 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)

Hasta (हस्त) refers to “hands”. It is one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. With these limbs are made the various gestures (āṅgika), which form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

The Classification of Hands (hasta-bheda).—The characteristics of the Hands will be set forth in order. There are two kinds,

  1. the Single (asamyutta)
  2. and the combined (samyutta).

There are twenty-eight Single Hands as follows:

  1. Patāka,
  2. Tripatāka,
  3. Ardha-patāka,
  4. Kartarī-mukha,
  5. Mayura,
  6. Ardha-candra,
  7. Arāla,
  8. Śuka-tuṇḍaka,
  9. Muṣṭi,
  10. Śikhara,
  11. Kapittha,
  12. Kaṭaka-mukha,
  13. Sūci,
  14. Candra-kalā,
  15. (Padma-) Kośa,
  16. Sarpa-śīrṣa,
  17. Mṛga-śīrṣa,
  18. Siṃha-mukha,
  19. Lāṅgula,
  20. Sola-padma,
  21. Catura,
  22. Bhramara,
  23. Haṃsāsya,
  24. Haṃsa-pakṣa,
  25. Saṃdaṃsa,
  26. Mukula,
  27. Tāmracūḍa,
  28. Triśūla.

Thus the Twenty-eight Hands are set forth. But it is said that there are as many hands as meanings.

According to another text (three others are mentioned, as follows):

  1. Urṇa-nābha (spider),
  2. Bāṇa (arrow)
  3. and Ardha-sūcika (half-needle).
Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

1) Hasta (हस्त, “palms”) refers to one of the seven “major limbs” (aṅga), which represents a division of Āṅgikābhinaya (gesture language of the limbs) as used within the classical tradition of Indian dance and performance, also known as Bharatanatyam.—Āṅgika-abhinaya is the gesture language of the limbs. Dance is an art that expresses itself through the medium of body, and therefore, āṅgikābhinaya is essential for any dance and especially for any classical dance of India. Aṅgas or major limbs include the head, hands (viz., Hasta), chest, sides, waist, and feet; at times the neck is also used as a separate limb.

2) Hasta (हस्त, “palms”) means “hand”. Hasta-bheda means different movements or gestures of the hand. Hastas follow a dance convention. They are created for the purpose of communication through dance. Each of the hastas can be used to denote various thoughts, ideas, and objects. There are various ślokas (verses) from the ancient texts that enumerate and describe the usage of the hastas. These are called viniyogaślokas. When a hasta is placed differently at different levels, the meaning also changes. Hastas are highly symbolic and suggestive. Apart from the viniyogas (usage) suggested, the dancer may innovate, if found necessary, to convey the appropriate message to the audience.

The hastas are of two categories. They are the asaṃyuta-hastas (single hand gestures) and the saṃyuta-hastas (double hand gestures). There are nṛtta-hastas (the combined hand gestures pertaining to dance) found in dance. But these hastas are not used often in Bharatanatyam.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (natya)
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).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Hasta (हस्त): A unit of measurement of distance, according to the Vāyu Purāṇa (वायु पुराण). The following table gives some idea about their relations to each other:

8 Aṅgulas = Prādeśa (?);
21 Aṅgulas = Ratni;
24 Aṅgulas = Hasta;
2000 Dhanus = Gavyūti;
12 Aṅgulas = Vitasti;
2 Ratnis or 42 Aṅgulas = Kiṣku;
4 hastas = Dhanus;
8000 Dhanus = Yojana.
Source: Google Books: Cultural History from the Vāyu Purāna

1a) Hasta (हस्त).—A son of Rocana and Vasudeva.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 24. 49.

1b) A son of Sāvarṇa Manu I.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 64.

1c) A measurement of 24 angulas.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 8. 102, 105; 101. 123.

1d) A son of Haryaśva and father of Sumanas.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 3. 19-20.

1e) A constellation;1 śrāddham that day makes one important in an assembly.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 66. 49; 82. 7.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 18. 7.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Hasta (हस्त):—Name for a particular section of the ecliptic. It is also known as Hastanakṣatra. Nakṣatra means “Lunar mansion” and corresponds to a specific region of the sky through which the moon passes each day. Hasta means “the hand” and is associated with the deity known as Savitā (God of awakening). The presiding Lord of this lunar house is Chandra (Moon).

Indian zodiac: |10°| – |23°20' Kanyā|
Kanyā (कन्या, “girl”) corresponds with Virgo.

Western zodiac: |6°| – |19°20' Libra|
Libra corresponds with Tulā (तुला, “balance”). 

Source: Wisdom Library: Jyotiṣa

Hasta (हस्त).—Cubit, measure of length. Note: Hasta is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms
Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotiṣa (ज्योतिष, jyotisha or jyotish) basically refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents one of the six additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas. Jyotiṣa concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Hasta in Yoga glossary... « previous · [H] · next »

Hasta (हस्त) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “hand”. It is one of the fourteen Adhyātma (pertaining to the body) mentioned in the Subālopaniṣad (fifth section). The corresponding Ādhibhūta (pertaining to the elements) is called ādātavya (that which can be handled) and the corresponding Adhidaivata (presiding deity) is indra. Accordingly, “the nādis form their bond (or connect them). He who moves in the hand (hasta), in ādātavya, in indra, in the nādis, in prāṇa, in vijñāna, in ānanda, in the ākāśa of the heart and within all else—That is Ātman. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow or end.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Hasta (हस्त) refers to the thirteenth of twenty-seven constellations (ṛkṣa), according to the Mānasāra. Ṛkṣa is the third of the āyādiṣaḍvarga, or “six principles” that constitute the “horoscope” of an architectural or iconographic object. Their application is intended to “verify” the measurements of the architectural and iconographic object against the dictates of astrology that lay out the conditions of auspiciousness.

The particular nakṣatra, also known as ṛkṣa (eg., hasta) of all architectural and iconographic objects (settlement, building, image) must be calculated and ascertained. This process is based on the principle of the remainder. An arithmetical formula to be used in each case is stipulated, which engages one of the basic dimensions of the object (breadth, length, or perimeter/circumference). In the context of village planning and measurement, the text sates that among the stars (ṛkṣa), the ones that are pūrṇa (odd), are auspicious and the ones that are karṇa (even), inauspicious.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Hasta (हस्त) refers to one of the forty-seven tānas (tone) used in Indian music.—The illustration of Hasta (as a deity) according to 15th-century Indian art is as follows.—The colour of his body is yellow. His face is similar to the face of a cuckoo. A viṇā is held with both hands.

The illustrations (of, for example Hasta) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

Source: archive.org: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style

Hasta (हस्त) and Mudrā both refer to “gestures” (made with the hand), and forms one of the three divisions of pratimālakṣaṇa (body postures of the icons), as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The technical term used in the texts to denote the finger poses is mudrā and hasta. The term hasta is generally used in cases where the whole of the arm along with the hand is shown in a particular pose. The term mudrā usually denotes the peculiar posture in which the palm with the fingers is shown. Hastas and mudrās thus usually indicate some action, which the god or his attendant is shown to be engaged in. The action consists of the expression of an idea by means of a particular gesture.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Hasta (हस्त) or Hastāgama refers to one of upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Sahasrāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Hasta Āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Sahasra-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Hasta; ancient Hindu unit of measurement of distance. 24 Aṅgulas make 1 Hasta, and 4 Hastas make up for a single Dhanu.

If we consider a single Yojana to be 8 miles (~12.87km), one Hasta would correspond to roughly 1.32 feet (~40.23cm)

If we consider a single Yojana to be 5 miles (~8.04km), one Hasta would correspond to roughly 9.9 inches (~25.15cm)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Hasta (हस्त, ‘hand’) is made up of the five conspicuous stars (δ, γ, ε, α, β) in Corvus, a number which the word itself suggests. According to Geldner, the ‘five bulls of the Rigveda are this constellation.

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

The hasta is a traditional Indian unit of length, measured from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. It equals 24 aṅgulas orᅠ about 18 inches, about 45 centimetres.

400 hastas make one nalva.

Etymology: The hasta (Sanskrit: हस्त (hasta); Chinese: 肘 (pinyin: zhǒu))

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Hasta (हस्त, “hand”) refers to that part of the human body from which the Buddha emitted numerous rays when he smiled with his whole body after contemplating the entire universe, according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Accordingly, having himself arranged the lion-seat, the Bhagavat sat down cross-legged; holding his body upright and fixing his attention, he entered into the samādhirājasamādhi. Then, having tranquilly come out of this samādhi and having contemplated the entire universe with his divine eye (divyacakṣus), the Bhagavat smiled with his whole body. Wheels with a thousand spokes imprinted on the soles of his feet (pādatala) shoot out six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays. In the same way, beams of six hundred prabhedakoṭi of rays are emitted from his hands (hasta).

2) Hasta (हस्त) refers to one of the twenty-seven constellations (nakṣatra) according to according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV).—Hasta is the Sanskrit equivalent of Chinese Tchen, Tibetan Me-bzhi and modern Corvi.

Hasta is classified in the third group: “The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. If the moon enters one of the six following constellations (eg., Hasta), then at that moment the earth trembles as if it would collapse, this trembling extends as far as the Garuḍa. Then there is no more rain, the rivers dry up, the year is bad for grain, the emperor (T’ien tseu) is cruel and the great ministers are unjust”.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Hasta (हस्त) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Hasta] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.

Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Hasta.—(IE 8-6), a cubit (24 aṅgulas); sometimes regarded as 36 aṅgulas (27 inches), 20(3/4) inches, 34 inches, etc., in length; cf. Śivacandra-hasta, ‘the cubit measured according to the length of the forearm of Śivacandra’ (cf. ghaḻe). (EI 23; SII 2), a square cubit; a land measure. (Ep. Ind., Vol XIV, p. 366 and note), probably the same as pakṣa, ‘a fortnight’. Note: hasta is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

hasta (हस्त).—m (S) A hand. 2 A cubit measured by the hand and arm, or from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. 3 An elephant's trunk. 4 Used plurally. The thirteenth lunar asterism, designated by a hand. 5 A block or piece of wood inserted between the top of a post and the mass which it supports. 6 A term at chess. Used, as a, ad or interj, of that mode of playing in which a piece once touched by the hand must be played.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

hasta (हस्त).—m A hand. The 13th lunar asterism. An elephant's trunk.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Hasta (हस्त).—[has-tan na iṭ Uṇ.3.86]

1) The hand; हस्तं गत (hastaṃ gata) 'fallen in the hand or possession of'; गौतमीहस्ते विसर्जयि- ष्यामि (gautamīhaste visarjayi- ṣyāmi) Ś.3 'I shall send it by Gautamī'; so हस्ते पतिता (haste patitā); हस्तसंनिहितां कुरु (hastasaṃnihitāṃ kuru) &c.; शंभुना दत्तहस्ता (śaṃbhunā dattahastā) Me.62 'leaning on Śambhu's hand'; हस्ते-कृ (haste-kṛ)

1) (hastekṛtya-kṛtvā) 'to take or seize by the hand, take hold of the hand, take in hand, take possession of'; Prov. :--हस्तकङ्कणं किं दर्पणे प्रेक्ष्यते (hastakaṅkaṇaṃ kiṃ darpaṇe prekṣyate) Karpūr. 'sight requires no mirror'.

2) The truck of an elephant; Ku.1.36; अथवा हस्तिहस्तचञ्चलानि पुरुषभाग्यानि भवन्ति (athavā hastihastacañcalāni puruṣabhāgyāni bhavanti) Avimārakam 2.

3) Name of the 13th lunar mansion consisting of five stars.

4) The fore-arm, cubit, a measure of length (equal to 24 aṅgulas or about 18 inches, being the distance between the elbow and the tip of the middle finger).

5) Hand-writing, signature; धनी वोपगतं दद्यात् स्वहस्तपरिचिह्नितम् (dhanī vopagataṃ dadyāt svahastaparicihnitam) Y.1.319; स्वहस्त- कालसंपन्नं शासनम् (svahasta- kālasaṃpannaṃ śāsanam) 1.32 'bearing date and signature'; धार्यतामयं प्रियायाः स्वहस्तः (dhāryatāmayaṃ priyāyāḥ svahastaḥ) V.2 'the autograph of my beloved'; 2.2.

6) (Hence fig.) Proof, indication; Mu.3.

7) Help, assistance, support; वात्या खेदं कृशाङ्ग्याः सुचिरमवयवैर्दत्तहस्ता करोति (vātyā khedaṃ kṛśāṅgyāḥ suciramavayavairdattahastā karoti) Ve.2.21.

8) A mass, quantity, abundance (of hair), in comp. with केश, कच (keśa, kaca) &c.; पाशः पक्षश्च हस्तश्च कलापार्थाः कचात् (pāśaḥ pakṣaśca hastaśca kalāpārthāḥ kacāt) Ak.; रतिविगलितबन्धे केशहस्ते सुकेश्याः सति कुसुमसनाथे किं करोत्यषे वहीं (rativigalitabandhe keśahaste sukeśyāḥ sati kusumasanāthe kiṃ karotyaṣe vahīṃ) V.4.22.

-stam 1 A pair of leather-bellows.

2) Skill (in using the hand); कलासु कौशलमक्षभूमिहस्तादिषु (kalāsu kauśalamakṣabhūmihastādiṣu) Dk. 2.2.

Derivable forms: hastaḥ (हस्तः).

--- OR ---

Hastā (हस्ता).—The thirteenth lunar mansion.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Hasta (हस्त).—m.

(-staḥ) 1. The hand. 2. An elephant’s trunk. 3. The thirteenth lunar asterism, designated by a hand, and containing five stars. 4. A cubit measured by the hand and arm, or from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, (equal to about eighteen inches.) 5. (In prosody,) An anapæst. 6. Possession, (figuratively.) 7. Handwriting, signature. 8. Abundance, mass; (in this sense it is used only at the end of compounds and implies “excellence,” “abundance,” &c., as keśahasta means, “A head of hair,” or “Abundance of hair,” &c.) n.

(-staṃ) A bellows. f.

(-stā) The thirteenth lunar asterism. E. has to laugh, Unadi aff. tan .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 525 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Daṇḍahasta (दण्डहस्त) or simply Daṇḍa refers to “rod, dangling” and represents one of the four ...
Abhayahasta (अभयहस्त) or simply Abhaya refers to “fear not” and represents one of the twenty-fo...
Padmahasta (पद्महस्त).—n. of a Bodhisattva: ŚsP 42.14.
Varadahasta (वरदहस्त) or simply Varada refers to “benevolence” and represents one of the twenty...
Hastagata (हस्तगत).—Adj. Fallen into one’s possession, gained, secured.
Sva-hasta.—(EI 23; CII 3; IA 8), signature or sign-manual. Cf. sva-hasta-akṣarāṇi (LP), a recei...
Nṛttahasta (नृत्तहस्त) refers to “combined dance hand gestures” and represents one of the two d...
Kaṭakahasta (कटकहस्त) or simply Kaṭaka refers to “crab-hold” and represents one of the twenty-f...
Cakrahasta (चक्रहस्त).—m. (-staḥ) Vishnu. E. cakra and hasta hand: holding a discus.
Hastakauśala (हस्तकौशल).—manual dexterity. Derivable forms: hastakauśalam (हस्तकौशलम्).Hastakau...
Hastākṣara (हस्ताक्षर).—one's own hand or signature, one's own sign-manual. Derivable forms: ha...
Hastadoṣa (हस्तदोष).—a slip of the hand. Derivable forms: hastadoṣaḥ (हस्तदोषः).Hastadoṣa is a ...
Hastihasta (हस्तिहस्त).—an elephant's trunk.Derivable forms: hastihastaḥ (हस्तिहस्तः).Hastihast...
Hastacāpalya (हस्तचापल्य).—= हस्तकौशलम् (hastakauśalam) q. v. Derivable forms: hastacāpalyam (ह...
Hastalāghava (हस्तलाघव).—1) manual readiness or skill. 2) a sleight of the hand, legerdemain. D...

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