Abhinaya-darpana (English)

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

The English translation of the Abhinaya-darpana (“the mirror of gesture”) 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 m...

Chapter 17 - Hands denoting Devas

Hands that indicate the forms which accord with the character and actions of Brahmā and other Devas:[1]

Brahmā: left hand Catura, right hand Haṃsāsya.

Śambhu: left hand Mṛga-śīrṣa, right hand Tripatāka.

Viṣṇu: Tripatāka with both hands.

Sarasvatī: left hand Ardha-candra, right hand Sūci.

Pārvatī: Ardha-candra with both hands, the left upward, the right downward, making Abhaya and Varada (Fear not, and Charity).

Lakṣmī: two Kapittha hands held at the shoulders.[2]

Vijñeśvara: two Kapittha hands held forward.

Śanmukha: left hand Triśūla, right hand Śikhara, held upwards.

Manmatha: left hand Śikhara, right hand Kaṭaka.

Indra: Tripatāka hands crossed.

Yama: left hand Pāśa, right hand Sūci.

Nairṛti: Khaṭvā and Śakaṭa hands.

Varuṇa: left hand Śikhara, right hand Patāka.

Vayu: left hand Ardha-patāka, right hand Arāla.

Kuvera: left hand Padma, right hand Gada.

Footnotes and references:


Showing Deva hands is referred to in a subsequent section as ‘deva-vibhāvana.’


‘Held at the shoulders’ is to be understood in the case of all the Deva hands unless otherwise indicated.

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