Katakamukha, aka: Kataka-mukha, Kaṭakāmukha; 3 Definition(s)


Katakamukha 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

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Kaṭakāmukha (कटकामुख) is a variant spelling for Khaṭakāmukha, a Sanskrit technical term referring to a gesture (āṅgika) made with a ‘single hand’ (asaṃyuta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

One of the Twenty-eight Single Hands (hasta):—Kaṭaka-mukha (opening in a link): the forefinger and middle finger are applied to the thumb. Usage: picking flowers, holding a pearl necklace or garland of flowers, drawing a bowslowly, distributing folded betel leaves, applying such thingsas musk or scent, speech, glancing.

According to another book: the thumb of the Kapittha handis thrown forward. This hand originated when Guha received instruction in archery from Śiva. Its sage is Bhārgava, itscolour coppery, its race Deva, its presiding deity Raghurāma.Usage: holding a pearl or flower garland or a fly-whisk, drawingout an arrow, holding out a mirror, reins, conveyance, breaking a twig, cleaning the teeth, picking flowers, distributing folded betel leaves, applying musk, embrace of harlots, drawing thebow, holding the discus, holdiag a fan, gold colour, Deva caste.

Note: The tip of the forefinger and the side of the middle finger are applied to the tip of the thumb, the third finger is bent beside the middle finger, and the little finger is also bent, but to a less degree. According to T. A. Gopinatha Rao, “HinduIconography,” Vol. I, pt. 1, description of terms, p. 16, this hand (syn. Siṃhakarṇa) in images is generally intended to receive the daily offering of a freshflower, and this is supported by the Ajaṇṭā usage. This hand is also used in teaching and is known to some iconographers, perhaps incorrectly, as Vitarka-mudrā.

(Source): archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

Kaṭakāmukha (कटकामुख, “elephant-apple”).—A type of gesture (āṅgika) made with a single hand (asaṃyuta-hasta);—(Instructions): The ring-finger and the little finger of this Kapittha hand to be raised and bent.

(Uses): It is used to represent sacrifice, oblation, umbrella, drawing up reins, fan, holding a mirror, drawing [patterns], powdering, taking up big sticks, arranging a pearl necklace, wearing garlands, gathering the ends of clothes, churning, drawing out arrows, plucking flowers, wielding a long whip, drawing out a goad, a rope, and representing a woman.

(Source): archive.org: Natya Shastra
Nāṭyaśāstra book cover
context information

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (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 (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).

Relevant definitions

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