The Mirror of Gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

by Ananda Coomaraswamy | 1917 | 16,981 words | ISBN-13: 9788121500210

This is the English translation of the Abhinaya-darpana by Nandikeshvara: an encyclopedic manual of the art of gesticulation. It belongs to a wide range of literature known as Natya-shastra: the ancient Indian art of dramatic performance, theatrics, dance and music. The Abhinaya Darpana is an abridgement of the Bharatarnava, a much larger exposit...

Chapter 8 - Forty-four Glances

The following Glances are mentioned elsewhere:

  1. Sama,
  2. Pralokita,
  3. Snigdha,
  4. Srṅgara,
  5. Ullokita,
  6. Adbhuta,
  7. Karuṇa,
  8. Viṣmaya,
  9. Tṛpta,
  10. Viṣanna,
  11. Bhayānaka,
  12. Sāci,
  13. Dṛta,
  14. Vīra,
  15. Raudra,
  16. Dūra,
  17. Iṅgita,
  18. Vilokita,
  19. Vitarkita,
  20. Saṅkita,
  21. Abhitapta,
  22. Avalokita,
  23. Sūnya,
  24. Hṛṣṭa,
  25. Ugra,
  26. Vibhrānta,
  27. Sānta,
  28. Mīlita,
  29. Sūcana,
  30. Lajjita,
  31. Malina,
  32. Trasta,
  33. Mlāna,
  34. Mukula,
  35. Kuñcita,
  36. Ākāśa,
  37. Ardhamukula,
  38. Anuvṛtta,
  39. Vipluta,
  40. Jihma,
  41. Vikośa,
  42. Madira,
  43. Hṛdaya,
  44. Lalita.

Sama: looks like those of the women of the gods (not winking, etc.). Usage: normal circumstances.

Pralokita: casting glances on both sides. Usage: looking on both sides.

Snigdha (tender): the look that is associated with joy, pleasant anticipation, things after one’s own heart, having an inner radiance, expressing the surge of love passion. Usage: in affection.

Sṛṅgāra (love): born of great joy, in the toils of love—raising the eyebrows and looking out of the corners of the eyes. Usage: mutual glances of those who are fast bound by amorous desires.

Vilokita: looking upwards. Usage: tall things, previous births.

Adbhuta: the ends of the eyelids slightly curved, the eyebrows raised in wonder, the eyes shining. Usage: the marvellous.

Karuṇa: a downcast glance, half-vouchsafed, with tears, benevolent, the black pupil slowly moving, regarding the tip of the nose. Usage: the pathetic.

Viṣmaya (astonishment): quickly raised, straight-staring. Usage: astonishment.

Tṛpta (satisfaction): steady, wide-opened, the pupil motionless, keeping its place. Usage: resolution (utsāhd).

Viṣaṇṇa: the eyelids wide apart, eyelashes recurved, the pupil fixed. Usage: dismay, anxiety.

Bhayānaka (inspiring fear): the eyelids raised and fixed, the pupil bright and fluttering. Usage: great fear, the terrible.

Sāci: looking persistently out of the corners of the eye. Usage: secret purpose.

Dṛta (fish?): both pupils moving. Usage: excitement.

Vīra (heroic): radiant, direct, open, rather majestic, self-controlled, the pupils at rest. Usage: the heroic.

Raudra (cruel): unfriendly, red, cruel, the pupils fixed and the lids not moved, the brows contracted and raised. Usage: the cruel.

Dūra (far): slightly raised. Usage: things at a distance.

Iṅgita: sidelong glances expressing joy. Usage: secret thought.

Vilokita: looking back. Usage: things or places behind.

Vitarkita (deliberation): direct, wide-opened, the eyelids separated, the pupils fixed as if in fear. Usage: consideration (ūhā).

Śaṅkita (apprehensive): a little moved, a little at rest, slightly raised and moved to and fro, the pupils partly hidden. Usage: hesitation.

Abhitapta (burnt): the eyelids moving, the pupils gazing languidly. Usage: indifference (i. e. regarding a thing, but without interest).

Avalokita: looking down. Usage: study (paṭhanā), reflection (vicāra).

Śūnya (vacant): eyelids level, pupils visible, motionless, gaze vacant. Usage: misunderstanding (bāhyārtha grahaṇa).

Hṛṣṭa (merry): fluttering, pleasant, twinkling. Usage: laughter.

Ugra (fierce): very wide open, a little red at the corners. Usage: ferocity.

Vibhrānta (wandering): the pupils moving, rolling, unconstrained, between tears and laughter; the wandering glance of excitement.

Śānta (peace): gradually closing the lids, the eyes slightly moving, the pupils moving to the comers; the peaceful glance of dispassion.

Mīlita: nearly closed. Usage: conditions such as subjection to another’s will.

Sūcana: the eyes partly closed, following the movement of the (sūci) hand. Usage: pointing out.

Lajjita: the upper eyelid dropped, the pupil also lowered bashfully, the lashes meeting; this modest glance is used modestly.

Malina: the lashes partly closed as if by rheum, the pupils sunken; this unclean eye denotes women (i. e. dissipation).

Trasta (frightened): inwardly expanded, the pupil raised. Usage: fear and intoxication.

Mima (dull): the pupils moving languidly and slowly, squinting, the lashes seeming to touch; this dull eye indicates insipid matters.

Mukula: the lashes trembling and touching, the expression of the pupils mild, the upper lids lowered; this 'bud’ eye indicates bliss (ānanda).

Kuñcita (curved): the lashes a little recurved, the eyeballs a little sunk; dislike, or jealousy.

Ākāśa (sky): directed towards the sky, the pupil turned far back; indicating things moving above.

Ardhamukula: smiling, the pupils just visible under the lids; this ‘half-bud’ eye indicates bliss and rejoicing.

Anuvṛtta (following): repeated glancing; it is used in hurry.

Vipluta: the lids trembling, expanded, and then dropped; this ‘disordered’ eye indicates beauty in things of all sorts.

Jihma (oblique): bent back, a slow and hidden glance; used to convey secret meanings, and in envy.

Vikośa: without winking, the pupils moving, the lids wide apart; it is used in joy.

Madira: indirect, ranging, centred, unsteady, crooked; it is used to indicate the early stage of intoxication.

Hṛdaya: unsteady, flurried, the pupils moving somewhat (anaglulita), the lids recurved; it is used for mediocre things.

Lolita (graceful): the comers of the eyes closed by the movement of the brows, smiling because of the working of Love, direct; it is used in graceful posing (lalita), etc.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: