by Bharata-muni | 1951 | 240,273 words | ISBN-13: 9789385005831
The English translation of the Natyashastra, a Sanskrit work on drama, performing arts, theater, dance, music and various other topics. The word natyashastra also refers to a global category of literature encompassing this ancient Indian tradition of dramatic performance. The authorship of this work dates back to as far as at least the 1st millenn...
Brahmā writes the first play and gets this performed.
1. After having worshipped [the gods presiding over the stage] I said to Brahmā, “Tell me quickly, O the mighty one, which play should be performed?”
2. [In reply] I was told by the Lord, “Perform the Amṛta-manthana (the Churning of the Ocean) which is capable of stimulating efforts and of giving pleasure to gods.
3. I have composed this Samavakāra which is conducive to [the performance of] duties (dharma), to [the fulfillment of] desire (kāma) as well as [to the earning] wealth (artha).”
4. When this Samavakāra was performed, gods and demons were delighted to witness actions and ideas [familiar to them.]
5. Now, in course of time Brahmā (lit. the lotus-born one) said to me, “We shall present today the play before the great-souled Śiva (lit. the three-eyed one).”
6-7. Then on reaching along with other gods the abode of Śiva (lit. the bull-bannered one) Brahmā paid him respects and said, “O the best of the gods, please do me the favour of hearing and seeing the Samavakāra which has been composed by me.”
8. “I shall enjoy it,” said the lord of gods in reply. Then Brahmā asked me to get ready [for the performance].
9-10. “O the best of the Brahmins, after the Preliminaries connected with the performance had been completed this (Samavakāra named the Amṛta-manthana) as well as a Ḍīma named the Tripuradāha (the Burning of Tripura) was performed in the Himalayan region which consisted of many hills and in which there were many Bhūtas, Gaṇas2 and beautiful caves and waterfalls.”
11. Then all the [Bhūtas] and Gaṇas were pleased to see actions and ideas familiar to them, and Śiva too was pleased and said to Brahmā:
12. “O the high-souled one, this drama (nāṭya) which is conducive to fame, welfare, merit and intellect, has been well-conceived by you.
13- 14. Now in the evening, while performing it, I remembered that dance made beautiful by Aṅgahāras consisting of different Karaṇas. You may utilize these in the Preliminaries (pūrvaraṅga) of a play.
Two kinds of Preliminaries
14- 16. In the application of the Vardhamānaka, the Āsārita, the Gita and the Mahāgīta you will depict properly the ideas [by means of dance movements]; and the Preliminaries which you have [just] performed are called “pure”. [But] when these dances will be added to them (pure Preliminaries) they will be called “mixed”.
16-17. To these words of Śiva, Brahmā said in reply, “O the best of the gods, tell us about the use of the Aṅgahāras.”
17-18. Then Śiva (lit. lord of the world) called Taṇḍu and said, “Speak to Bharata about the use of the Aṅgahāras.”
18- 19. And by Taṇḍu I was told the use of the Aṅgahāras. I shall now speak of them as well as of the various Karaṇas and Recakas.
19-27. The thirtytwo Aṅgahāras are as follows:—Sthirahasta, Paryastaka, Sūcividdha, Apaviddha, Ākṣiptaka, Udghaṭṭita,,Viṣkambha, Aparājita, Viṣkambhāpasṛta, Mattākrīḍa, Svastikarecita, Pārśvasvastika, Vṛścika, (Vṛścikāpasṛta) Bhramara, Mattaskhalitaka, Madavilasita, Gatimaṇḍala, Paricchinna, Parivṛttarecita, Vaiśākharecita, Parāvṛtta, Alātaka, Pārśvaccheda, Vidyudbhrānta. Uddhṛtaka, (Udvṛttaka) Alīḍha, Recita, Ācchurita, Ākṣiptarecita, Saṃbhrānta, Apasarpita, Ardhanikuṭṭaka.
Uses of Aṅgahāras
28-29. I shall now speak about their performance dependent on the Karaṇas. [And besides this] “O the best of the Brahmins, I shall tell you about the movements of hands and feet that are proper to the Aṅgahāras.
29- 30. All the Aṅgahāras consist of Karaṇas; hence I shall mention the names of the latter as well as their descriptions.
30-34. The combined [movement of] hands and feet in dance is called the Karaṇa: Two Karaṇas will make one Mātṛkā, and two, three, or four Mātṛkās will make up one Aṅgahāra. Three Karaṇas will make a Kalāpaka, four a Śaṇḍaka, and five a Saṃghātaka. Thus the Aṅgahāras consist of six, seven, eight or nine Karaṇas. I shall now speak of the hand and feet movements making up these (Karaṇas).
31-55. The Karaṇas are one hundred and eight in number and they are as follows: Talapuṣpapuṭa Vartita, Valitoru, Apaviddha, Samanakha, Līna, Svastikarecita, Maṇḍalasvastika, Nikuṭṭaka, Ardhanikuṭṭaka, Kaṭicchinna, Ardharecita, Vakṣaḥsvastika, Unmatta, Svastika, Pṛṣṭhasvastika, Diksvastika, Alāta, Kaṭisama, Ākṣiptarecita, Vikṣiptākṣipta, Ardhasvastika, Añcita, Bhujaṅgatrāsita, Ūrdhvajānu, Nikuñcita, Matalli, Ardhamatalli, Recakanikuṭṭita (Recita-), Padāpaviddhaka, Valita, Ghūrṇita, Lalita, Daṇḍapakṣa, Bhujaṅgatrastarecita, Nūpura, Vaiśākharecita, Bhramaraka, Catura, Bhujaṅgāñcita (ka), Daṇḍakarecita, Vṛścikakuṭṭita, Kaṭibhrānta, Latāvṛścika, Chinna, Vṛścikarecita, Vṛścika, Vyaṃsita, Pārśvanikuṭṭana(-kuṭṭaka), Latāṭatilaka, Krāntaka, Kuñcita, Cakramaṇḍala, Uromaṇḍala, Ākṣipta, Talavilāsita, Argala, Vikṣipta, Āvṛtta (Āvarta), Dolapāda, Nivṛtta, Vinivṛtta, Parśvakrānta, Niśumbhita, Vidyudbhrānta, Ātikrānta, Vivartitaka, Gajakrīḍita, Talasaṃsphoṭita, Garuḍaplutaka, Gaṇḍasūcī, Parivṛtta, Pārśvajānu, Gṛdhrāvalīnaka, Saṃnata (Sannata) Sūcī, Ardhasūci, Sūcīviddha, Apakrānta, Mayūralalita, Sarpita, Daṇḍapāda, Hariṇapluta, Preṅkholita, Nitamba, Skhalita, Karihasta, Prasarpita (-pitaka), Siṃhāvikrīḍita, Siṃhākarṣita, Udvṛtta, Upasṛta, Talasaṃghaṭṭita, Janita, Avahitthaka, Niveśa, Elakākrīḍita, Urūdvṛtta, Madaskhalita, Viṣṇukrānta, Saṃbhrānta, Viṣkambha, Udghaṭṭita (Udghaṭṭa), Vṛṣabhakrīḍita, Lolitaka (Lolita), Nāgāpasarpita, Śakaṭāsya, Gaṅgāvataraṇa.
56. [These Karaṇas will be used] in dance, fight, personal combat, walking as well as movements in general. Foot movements which have been prescribed for the exercise of Sthānas and Cārīs, will apply also to these Karaṇas.
57. And application of the Nṛtta-hastas which have been prescribed for dance, is generally implied in the Karaṇas.
58. I shall treat the Cārīs suitable for [representing] fight at the time of discussing the foot movements. The master [of dramatic art] should apply them on any occasion according to his histrionic talents.
59. In the Karaṇa the left hand should generally be held on the chest, and the right hand is to follow the [right] foot.
60. Listen [now] about the movement of hands and feet in dance in relation to that of hip, sides, thigh as well as to chest, back and belly.
61. The Sthānas, the Cārīs and the Nṛtta-hastas mentioned [before] are known as the Mātṛkās, the variations of which are called the Karaṇas.
Definition of Karaṇas
62. Talapuṣpapuṭa—Puṣpapuṭa hand held on the left side, the foot is Agratalasañcara, the side is Sannata (Nata).
63. Vartita—Vyavṛtta(= Vyavartita) and Parivartita hands bent at the wrist, then these hands placed on thighs.
64. Valitoru—Śukatuṇḍa hands to make Vyavartita and Parivartita-karaṇa, and thighs as Valita.
63. Apaviddha—the [tight] hand with Śukatuṇḍa gesture to fall on the [right] thigh, the left hand held on the chest.
66. Samanakha—the two Samankha feet touching each other, two hands hanging down, and the body in a natural pose.
67. Līna—the two Patāka hands held together in Añjali pose on the chest, the neck held high, and the shoulder bent.
68. Svastikarecita—two hands with Recita and Āviddha gesture held together in the form of a Svastika, then separated and held on the hip.
69. Maṇḍalasvastika—two hands moved to unite in the Svastika gesture with their palms turned upwards in a similar manner, and the body in the Maṇḍala Sthāna (posture).
70. Nikuṭṭaka—each of the hands to be moved up and down alternately between the head and another arm, and the legs also moved in a similar manner.
71. Ardhanikuṭṭaka—hands with Alapallava gesture bent towards shoulders, and legs moved up and down.
72. Kaṭicchinna—the hip serially in the Chinna pose, two Pallava hands held alternately and repeatedly on the head.
73. Ardharecita—hand with Sūcimukha gesture to move freely, feet to move alternately up and down, side in Sannata (i.e. Nata) pose.
74. Vakṣaḥsvastikā—two legs on each other in the form of a Svastika, the two Recita hands brought together in a similar manner on the chest which is bent (nikuñcita).
75. Unmatta—feet to be Añcita and hands to be Recita.
76. Svastika—hands and feet respectively held together in the Svastika form.
77. Pṛṣṭhasvastika—two arms after being thrown up and down coming together as a Svastika, two feet also to come together as a Svastika with Apakrānta and Ardhasūcī Cārīs.
78. Diksvastika—turning sideways and towards the front in course of a single (lit. connected) movement, and forming Svastika with hands and feet.
80. Kaṭisama—feet to be separated, after the Svastika Karaṇa, of the two hands one to be placed at the navel and the other at the hip, and the sides in the Udvāhita pose.
81. Ākṣiptarecita—the left hand on the heart, the right hand Recita and thrown up and sideways, and then the two hands to be Recita with Apaviddha (Āviddhaka) gestures.
82. Vikṣiptākṣiptaka—hands and feet first thrown up, then again thrown down.
83. Ardhasvastika—the two feet to make the Svastika, the right hand making the Karihasta gesture, and the left one lying on the chest.
84. Añcita—in the Ardhasvastika the Karihasta to be alternately in Vyavartita (Vyavṛttā) and Parivartita movement, and then bent upon the tip of the nose.
85. Bhujaṅgatrāsita—the Kuñcita feet to be thrown up, the thighs to have an oblique Nivartana (Nivṛtta) movement, the hip and the thigh also to have the same movement.
86. Ūrdhvajānu—a Kuñcita foot to be thrown up, and the knee to be held up (lit. stretched) on a level with the chest, and the two hands to be in harmony with the dance.
87. Nikuñcita—feet to be moved as in the Vṛścika-karaṇa, two hands to be bent at the sides, the right hand to be held at the tip of the nose.
88. Matalli—making a whirling movement while throwing back the two feet (left and right), and moving hands in the Udveṣṭita and Apaviddha movement.
89. Ardhamatalli—feet to be drawn away from the position in the Skhalita-karaṇa, left hand Recita, and afterwards to be put on the hip.
90. Recitanikuṭṭita—the right hand to be Recita, left foot Udghaṭṭita (= Nikuṭṭita), and the left hand with Dolā gesture.
91. Pādāpaviddhaka—the Kaṭakāmukha hands with their back against the navel, and feet to be in Sucī and [then] the Apakrānta Cārī.
92. Valita—hands to be Apaviddha, feet to be in Sūcī Cārī Trika turned round [in the Bhramarī Cārī].
93. Ghūrṇita—the left hand in Valita and moved round, the right hand with Dolā gesture, and the two feet to be drawn away from each other from Svastika position.
94. Lalita—the left hand with Karihasta gesture, the right one to be again turned aside (apavartita), two feet to be moved up and down.
95. Daṇḍapakṣa—observing Ūrdhvajānu Cārī, Latā hands to be placed on the knee.
96. Bhujaṅgatrastarecita—the feet to be in Bhujaṅga-trasta Cārī, the two hands to be Recita and moved to the left side.
97. Nūpura—the Trika to be gracefully turned round, [in the Bhramarī Cārī] the two hands to show respectively Latā and Recita gestures, and the Nūpurapāda Cārī with the feet.
98. Vaiśākharecita—hands and feet to be Recita, so the hip and the neck, and the entire body in Vaiśākha Sthāna (posture).
99. Bhramaraka—Svastika feet in Āskipta Cārī, hands in Udveṣṭita movement, and Trika turned round [in the Bhramarī Cārī].
101. Bhujaṅgāñcita—the feet in Bhujaṅgatrāsita Cārī, the right hand Recita, the left hand with Latā gesture.
102. Daṇḍakarecita—hands and feet to be freely thrown about on all sides like a staff (daṇḍa), and the same hands and feet to be Recita afterwards.
103. Vṛścikakuṭṭita—assuming the Vṛścika-karaṇa and the hands with Nikuṭṭita movement.
104. Kaṭibhrānta—the Sūcī Cārī, the right hand with the Apaviddha (Āviddha) gesture and the hip to be moved round.
105. Latāvṛścika—a foot to be Añcita and turned backwards, and the left hand to be with Latā gesture its palm and fingers bent and turned upwards.
106. Chinna—the Alapadma hand to be held on the hip which in Chinna pose, the body in the Vaiśākha Sthāna (posture).
107. Vṛścikarecita—assuming the Vṛścika-karaṇa, the two hands in the form of a Svastika gradually to be Recita and to show Viprakīrṇa gesture.
108. Vṛścika—the two hands bent and held over the shoulders, and a leg bent and turned towards the back.
109. Vyaṃsita—assuming Ālīḍha Sthāna, the two hands to be Recita and held on the chest and afterwards moved up and down with Viprakīrna gesture.
110. Pārśvanikuṭṭaka—Svastika hands to be held on one side, and the feet to be Nikuṭṭita.
111. Lalāṭatilaka—after assuming the Vṛścika.-karaṇa a mark (tilaka) in the forehead to be made with a great toe.
112. Krāntaka—bending a Kuñcita leg behind the back, the Atikrāntā Cārī, then the two hands to be thrown down.
113. Kuñcita—a leg to be first Añcita and left hand to be held on the left side with its palm upwards.
114. Cakramaṇḍala—the inner Apaviddha (Aḍḍitā) Cārī with the body bent and held down between the two arms hanging straight.
115. Uromaṇḍala—two feet drawn away from the Svastika position and used in Apaviddha (Aḍḍitā) Cārī and hands in Uromaṇḍala gesture.
116. Ākṣipta—hands and feet to be thrown about swiftly in this Karaṇa.
117. Talavilasita—foot with the toe and the sole turned upwards and held high on the side, and the palm of hands bent.
118. Argala—feet stretched backwards and kept two Tālas and a half apart, and hands moved in conformity with these.
119. Vikṣipta—hands and feet to be thrown backward or sideways in the same way.
120. Āvarta—the Kuñcita feet put forward and the two hands moved swiftly to befit the dance.
121. Dolāpāda—the Kuñcita feet thrown up, and two hands swinging from side to side in a manner befitting the dance.
122. Nivṛtta—hands and feet first thrown out, and the Trika to be turned round and the two hands to be Recita.
123. Vinivṛtta—observing the Sūcī Cārī, the Trika to be turned round and hands to be Recita.
124. Pārśvakrānta—observing the Parśvakrānta Cārī, throwing out hands towards the front, and moving them in a manner befitting the dance.
125. Niśumbhita—a foot bent towards the back, the chest raised high, and the hand held at the centre of the forehead (tilaka).
127. Atikrānta—observing the Atikrānta Cārī, the two hands stretched forward in a manner befitting the dance.
128. Vivartitaka—hands and feet to be thrown out, the Trika to be turned round and hands to be Recita.
129. Gajākrīḍita—the left hand bent and brought near the [left] ear, and the right hand in Latā gesture and the feet Dolāpāda Cārī.
131. Garuḍaplutaka—the two feet to be stretched backwards and the two hands—right and left—to be respectively with Latā and Recita gestures, and the chest raised up.
132. Gaṇḍasūcī—the feet to be in Sūcī position, the side to be Unnata, one hand to be on the chest and the other to bend and touch the cheek.
133. Parivṛtta—the hands raised in Apaveṣṭita gesture, the feet in Sūcī position, the Trika is turned round (in the Bhramarī Cārī).
134. Pārśvajānu—one foot in Sama position and the opposite thigh raised, and one Muṣṭi hand on the chest.
135. Gṛdhrāvalīnaka—one foot stretched backwards and one knee slightly bent and the two arms outstretched,
136. Sannata—after jumping, the two feet are to be put forward in Svastika form and the two hands to show Sannata (i.e. Dolā) gesture.
137. Sūcī—a Kuñcita foot to be raised and put forward on the ground, and the two hands to be in harmony with the performance.
138. Ardhasūcī—the Alapadma hand is held on the head, the right foot is in Sūcī [Cārī] position.
139. Sūcīviddha—one foot of Sūcī Cārī being put on the heel of another foot, the two hands to be respectively put on the waist and the chest.
140. Apakrānta—after making the Valita thigh, Apakrāntā Cāri is to be performed, the two hands to be moved in harmony with the performance.
141. Mayūralalita—after assuming the Vṛścika Cārī two hands to be Recita, and the Trika to be turned round [in the Bhramarī Cārī].
142. Sarpita—the two feet to be moved from the Añcita position and the head with Parivāhita gesture, and the two hands are Recita.
143. Daṇḍapāda—after the Nūpura Cārī, Daṇḍapāda Cārī should be observed and the Āviddha hand should be shown quickly.
144. Hariṇapluta—after observing the Atikrāntā Cārī one jumps and stops, and then one of the shanks are bent and thrown up.
145. Preṅkholitaka—after observing the Dolāpāda Cārī (= krama) one is to jump and let the Trika turn round in the Bhramarī Cārī and come at test.
146. Nitamba—arms to be first thrown up and hands to have their fingers pointing upwards and the Baddhā Cārī to be observed.
147. Skhalita—after observing Dolāpādā Cārī, hands with Recita gesture to be turned round in harmony with this.
148. Krihasta—the left hand is to be placed on the chest, the palm of the other hand to be made Prodveṣṭita-tala, the feet to be Añcita.
149. Prasarpitaka—one hand to be Recita and the other with Latā gesture, and feet to be Saṃsarpitatala (= Talasañcara).
150. Siṃhavikrīḍita—after observing the Alātā Cārī one is to move swiftly and hands to follow the feet.
151. Siṃhākarṣita—one foot to be stretched backwards and hands to be bent and turned round in the front and again to be bent.
152. Udvṛtta—hands, feet and the entire body to be moved violently (lit. thrown up) and then Udvṛttā Cārī to be observed.
153. Upasṛtaka—observing Ākṣiptā Cārī and hands in harmony with this Cārī.
154. Talasaṃghaṭṭita—observe the Dolāpādā Cārī two palms will clash with each other and the left hand to be Recita.
155. Janita—one hand to be on the chest, the other hanging loosely and observing Talāgrasaṃsthitā (Janitā) Cārī.
156. Avahitthaka—after observing Janitā-karaṇa raising hands with fingers spread out and then letting them fall slowly.
157. Niveśa—the two hands will be on the chest which should be Nirbhugna and the dancer should assume Maṇḍala Sthāna (posture).
158. Elakākrīḍita—jumping with Talasañcara feet and coming to the ground with the body bent and turned.
159. Ūrūdvṛtta—a hand made Āvṛtta (Vyavartita) and then bent and placed on the thigh, shanks made Añcita and Udvṛtta.
160. Madaskhalitaka—two hands hanging down, the head assuming the Parivāhita gesture, the right and the left feet to be turned round in Āviddhā Cārī.
161. Viṣṇukrānta—a foot stretched forward and bent as if on the point of walking, and hands to be Recita.
162. Saṃbhrānta—a hand with Āvartita (Vyavartita) movement placed on the thigh which is made Āviddha.
163. Viṣkambha—a hand to be Apaviddha, Sūcī Cārī, foot to be made Nikuṭṭita and the left hand on the chest.
165. Vṛṣabhakrīḍita—after observing the Alāta Cārī two hands to be made Recita, and afterwards these should to be made Kuñcīta and Añcita.
166. Lolita—hands on the two sides to be Recita and Añcita, and the head Lolita and Vartīta.
167. Nagāpasarpita—to draw back feet from Svastika position and the head to be Parivāhita and hand to be Recita.
168. Śakaṭāsya—beginning with body at rest, advancing with a Talasañcara foot and making the chest Udvāhita.
169. Gaṅgāvataraṇa—foot with the toes and the sole turned upwards, hands showing Tripatāka with the fingers pointing downwards and the head being Sannata.
170. I have spoken of one hundred and eight Karaṇas. I shall now describe the different Aṅgahāras.
171-173. Sthirahasta—stretching two arms and throwing them up, taking up Samapāda Sthāna, the left hand stretched upwards from the level of the shoulder, taking up afterwards the Pratyālīḍha Sthāna, then observing, successively the Nikuṭṭita, Ūrūdvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Svastika, Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna, Karaṇas.
174-176. Paryastaka—observing Talapuṣpapuṭa, Apaviddha, and Varṭita Karaṇas, then taking up Pratyālīḍha Sthāna, then assuming Nikuṭṭaka, Ūrūdvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala, Nitamba, Karihasta, Kaṭicchinna, Karaṇas,
176-178. Sūcīviddha—after showing Alapallava (Alapadma) and Sūcī (-mukha) gestures assuming one after another Vikṣipta. Āvartita, Nikuṭṭaka, Ūrūdvṛtta, Āksipta, Uromaṇḍala, Karihasta, and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
178-180. Apaviddha—Apaviddha and Sūcīviddha Karaṇas, then observing Udveṣṭita-karaṇa with hands and turning the Trika, showing with hands Uromaṇḍalaka gestures and assuming Kaṭicchinna Karaṇa.
180-182. Ākṣiptaka—assuming successively Nūpura, Vikṣipta, Alātaka, Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala, Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
182-184. Udghaṭṭita—moving Udveṣṭita and Apaviddha (Aviddha) hands and the two feet to be Nikuṭṭita, and again changing them to Uromaṇḍala gesture and then assuming successively Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
184-187. Viṣkambha—hands by turns made Udveṣṭita, feet are successively made Nikuṭṭita and bent, then assuming Ūrūdvṛtta-karaṇa hands to be made Caturasra and feet Nikuṭṭaka, assuming then Bhujaṅgatrāsita-karaṇa hands to be made Udveṣṭita, assuming Chinna and Bhramaraka Karaṇas while Trika is to be moved, then Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas to be assumed.
187-190. Aparājita—assuming Daṇḍapāda-karaṇa, hands having Vikṣipta and Ākṣpita movement, then assuming Vyaṃsita-karaṇa the left hand moving along with the left foot, then hands being Caturasra and feet having Nikuṭṭaka movement, assuming Bhujaṅgatrāsita-karaṇa and hands having Udveṣṭita movement, then assuming successively the two Nikuṭṭakas (i.e. nikuṭṭa and ardhanikuṭṭa) Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
190-192. Viṣkambhāpasṛta—assuming Kuṭṭita and Bhujaṅgatrāsita Karaṇas, Recīta hand to show the Patāka gesture, then to be assumed successively Ākṣiptaka, Uromaṇḍala, Latā, Kaṭiccheda Karaṇas.
192-195. Mattākrīḍa—assuming Nūpara-karaṇa by turning Trika, then assuming Bhujaṅgatrāsita-karaṇa assuming next Recita-karaṇa with the right foot, and then assuming successively Ākṣiptaka, Chinna, Bāhyabhramaraka, Uromaṇḍala, Nitamba, Karihasta, Kaṭiccheda Karaṇas.
196-197. Svastikarecita—hands and feet are Recita, then assume Vṛścika-karaṇa and again repeat this movement of the hand and feet, and then Nikuṭṭaka-karaṇa and the Latā gesture alternately with the right and the left hand, and then Kaṭicchinna-karaṇa
197-200. Pārśvasvastika—assuming (Dik-) svastika from one side and then the Ardhanikuṭṭaka, all these to be repeated on the side, then the Āvṛtta (Vyāvartita) hand to be placed on the thigh, then to assume successively Ūrūdvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
200-202. Vṛścikāpasṛta—assuming Vṛścika-karaṇa holding the Latā band to be held on the nose, after moving the same hand in Udveṣṭita movement, then assuming successively Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
202-204. Bhramara—assuming successively Nūpurapāda, Ākṣipṭaka, Kaṭicchinna, Sūcīviddha, Nitamba, Karihasta, Uromaṇdala and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
204-206. Mattaskhalitaka—assuming Matalli-karaṇa and moving round the right hand and bending and placing it near the [right] cheek, then assuming [successively] Apaviddha, Talasaṃsphoṭita, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
206-208. Madavilasita—moving with Dolā hands and Svastikāpasṛta feet, making hands Añcita as well as Valita and then assuming successively Talasaṃghaṭṭita, Nikuṭṭaka, Ūrūdvṛtta, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
208-210. Gatimaṇḍala—after assuming Maṇḍala Sthānaka and making the hands Recita and the feet Udghaṭṭita assuming successively Matalli, Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala and Kaṭiccheda Karaṇas.
210-212. Paricchinna—after the Samapāda Sthānaka assuming Paricchinna (i.e. Chinna)-karaṇa then with Āviddha foot assuming Bāhya Bhramaraka1 and with the left foot assuming Sūcī-karaṇa and then observing [successively] Atikrānta, Bhujaṅgatrāsita, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
212-216. Parivṛttakarecita—holding on the head hands in loose Svastika form and then after bending the body, the left hand to be made Recita, and raising the body, again the same hand to be made Recita, after this hands to show Latā gesture and assuming successively Vṛścika, Recita, Karihasta, Bhujaṅgatrāsita, Ākṣiptaka Karaṇas, then have Svastika foot; all this to be repeated after turning back completely, then asssume [successively] Karihasta.
216-219. Vaiśākharecita—along with body the two hands to be made Recita and all this is to be repeated with the body bent, then observe Nūpurpāda Cārī and Bhujaṅgatrāsita, Recita, Maṇḍalasvastika, afterwards bending shoulder Ūrūdvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas are to be assumed.
219-221. Parāvṛtta—assuming Janita-karaṇa and putting forwards a foot, then assuming Alātaka-karaṇa and turning the Trika, [in the Bhramrī Cārī] afterwards the left hand bent and on the cheek, then assuming Kaṭicchinna Karāṇa.
221-223. Alātaka—assuming Svastika, Vyaṃsita [in it hands being Recita], Alātaka, Ūrdhvajānu, Nikuñcita, Ardhasūcī, Vikṣipta, Udvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas one after another.
223-225. Pārśvaccheda—holding Nikuṭṭita hands on the chest assuming Ūrdhvajānu, Ākṣipta, Svastika Karaṇas, Trika to be turned round, then Uromaṇḍala, Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas to be assumed.
226- 227. Vidyudbhrānta—assuming Sūcī-karaṇa using the the left foot first, and Vidyudbhrānta-karaṇa using the right foot first, then Sūcī-karaṇa with the right foot moved first, and Vidyudbhrānta with the left foot moved first, afterwards assuming Chinna-karaṇa, and turning round the Trika, then Latā and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
227- 229. Udvṛttaka—assuming Nūpurapāda Cārī hanging the right and the left hands by the side, and with them assuming Vikṣipta-karaṇa, with these hands assuming [again] Sūcī-karaṇa, and turning round the Trika [in Bhramari Cārī] and then assuming Latā and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
229-231. Ālīḍha—assuming Vyaṃsita-karaṇa, striking the hands on the shoulder, and then Nūpura K, with the left foot [moving first], afterwards Alāta and Ākṣiptaka Karaṇas with the right foot [moving first] and then making Uromaṇḍala gestures with hands and assuming Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
231-233. Recita—showing Recita hand, bending it on one side and making the [same] Recita movement and then repeating this movement after bending the entire body, assuming successively Nūpurapādā, Bhujaṅgatrāsita, Recita, Uromaṇḍala and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
234-235. Ācchurita—assuming Nūpura Cārī, turning the Trika round, assuming Vyaṃsita-karaṇa and again turning round the Trika, then assuming successively Alātaka-karaṇa from the left [side] and Sūcī, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
236-238. Ākṣiptarecita—Svastika feet to be in Recita and so the Svastika hands, then with the same (i.e. Recita) movement they should be separated, and with the same Recita movement they are to be thrown up, then assuming successively Udvṛtta, Ākṣipta, Uromaṇḍala, Nitamba, Karihasta and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
239-241. Saṃbhrānta—assuming Vikṣipta-karaṇa throwing out the left hand with Sūcī gesture, the right hand placed on the chest, Trika to be turned [in the Bhramarī Cārī] then assuming successively Nūpura, Ākṣipta, Ardhasvastika, Nitamba, Karihasta, Uromaṇḍala and Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
242-243. Apasarpita—observing Apakrāntā Cārī and assuming Vyaṃsita-karaṇa with the hands moving in Udveṣtita manner, then assuming successively Ardhasūcī, Vikṣipta, Kaṭicchinna, Udvṛtta Ākṣiptaka, Karihasta and [again] Kaṭicchinna Karaṇas.
244-245. Ardhanikuṭṭaka—observing swiftly Nūpurapādikā Cārī, hands to move in harmony with the feet and Trika to turn round [in the Bhramarī Cārī], then hands and feet to make Nikuṭṭita movement, afterwards assuming Uromaṇḍala, Karihasta, Kaṭicchinna and Ardhanikuṭṭaka Karaṇas.
246. I have spoken of these thirtytwo Aṅgahāras; I shall now describe the four Recakas; please listen about them:
247. Among the Recakas the first is that of the foot, the second is that of the waist, the third is that of the hand and the fourth is that of the neck.
248. The term Recita [relating to a limb] means moving it round separately (i.e. not in any Karaṇa or Cārī) or its drawing up or its movement of any kind separately.
249. Pāda-recaka—Going from side to side with wavering feet or with differently moving feet, is called their Recaka.
250. Kaṭi-recaka—Raising up the Trika and the turning of the waist as well as its drawing back, is called the Kaṭi-recaka.
251. Hasta-recaka—Raising up, throwing out, putting forward, turning round and drawing back of the hand is called its Recaka.
252. Grīvā-recaka—Raising up, lowering and bending the neck sideways, and other movements of it are called its Recaka.
253-254. Seeing Śaṃkara (Śiva) dance with Recakas and Aṅgahāras, Pārvatī too performed a Gentle Dance (lit. danced with delicate forms), and this dance was followed by the playing of musical instruments like Mṛdaṅga, Bherī, Paṭaha, Jhañjhā, Diṇḍima, Gomukha, Paṇava and Dardura.
255. [Besides on this occasion] Maheśvara (Śiva) danced in the evening after the break-up (lit. destruction) of Dakṣa’s sacrifice with different Aṅgahāras and in conformity with proper time beat (tāla) and tempo (laya).
256. Gaṇas like Nandī and Bhadramukha seeing then [in course of this performance of Śiva], Piṇḍībandha [of different dance forms] gave names to them [and imitated these] well.
257-263. Names of Piṇḍīs specially attached to different gods and [goddesses are as follows]: Śiva—Vṛṣa, Nandī—Paṭṭisī, Caṇḍikā (Kālī)—Siṃhavāhinī, Viṣṇu—Tārkṣya, Svayambhu—(Brahmā)—Padma (lotus), Śakra (Indra)—Airāvatī, Manmatha—Jhaṣā, Kumāra (Kārtikeya)—Śikhī (peacock), Śrī (Lākṣmī)—Ūlu (owl), Jāhṇavī (Gaṅgā)—Dhārā, Yama—Pāśa, Varuṇa—Nadī, Dhanada (Kuvera)—Yākṣī, Bala (-rāma)—Hala (plough), Bhogins (serpents)—Sarpa, Ganeśvaras (the lords of Gaṇas)—Dakṣayajñavimardinī, The [Piṇḍī] of Śiva, the killer of Andhaka, will be Raudrī in the form of his trident. The Piṇḍīs of the remaining gods and goddesses will be similarly named after (lit. marked with) their own banners.
263-264. After inventing the Recakas, Aṅgahāras and Piṇḍīs, Śiva communicated them to the sage Taṇḍu who in his turn made out of them dance together with songs and instrumental music; and hence this dance is known as Tāṇḍava (i.e. of Taṇḍu’s creation).
265. Use of Gestures etc. (abhinaya) having been devised by the experts, for drawing out the sense [of songs and speeches in a play], what led to the making of dance (nṛtta), and what is its nature?
266. Why is dance made in connexion with the Āsārita songs?, It does neither relate to its meaning nor reflect its spirit.
267. [In answer to these questions] it is said that the dance is occasioned by no specific need; it has come into use simply because it creates beauty.
268. As dance is naturally loved by almost all people, it is eulogised as being auspicious.
269. It is eulogised also as being the source of amusement on occasions of marriage, child-birth, reception of a son-in-law, general festivity and attainment of prosperity.
270. Hence the host of Bhūtas have ever praised the Pratikṣepas which are used in songs and in regulating the division of dances.
271. Śiva (lit. god) too was pleased to say to Taṇḍu, “Perform this dance in connexion with the singing of songs.
272. The Class Dance (tāṇḍava) is mostly to accompany the adoration of gods, but its gentler form (sukumāra-prayoga) relates to the Erotic Sentiment.
273. Now while coming to discuss the Vardhamānaka I shall describe rules regarding the performance of the Class Dance as it was performed by Taṇḍu.
274. As in its performance Kalā and tempo (laya) attain vṛddhi (increment) due to the increment of Akṣaras it is called the Vardhamānaka.
275. After setting down the musical instruments (kutapa) the producers [of plays] should get the Āsārita performed.
276. Then after the Upohana has been performed to the accompaniment of drums and stringed instruments, a female dancer should enter [the stage] with the playing of stringed instruments and drums.
277. This playing of the [instrumental] music should be in pure Karaṇa and Jāti. And then a Cārī should be performed with steps in accompaniment of music.
278. On entering the stage with flowers in her hands the female dancer should be in the Vaiśākha Sthāna (posture) and perform all the four Recakas (i. e. those of feet, hand, waist and neck).
279. Then she should go round the stage scattering flowers from her hands to gods, and after bowing to them, she should make use of different gestures.
280. Instrumental music should not be played when there is any song to be delineated by gestures, but at the performance of Aṅgahāras drums must be employed.
281. The playing of drums (lit. instrumental music) during the Class Dance should be Sama, Rakta, Vibhakta and distinctly heard on account of clear strokes and should be properly following different aspects of the dance.
282. After following the song [with her dance] the dancer should make her exit and others [like her] will enter [the stage] in the same manner.
283. These other women will in due order form Piṇḍīs and till all these are formed they will perform the Paryastaka.
284. After forming [Piṇḍīs] these women will make their exit, and during the formation of the Piṇḍīs an instrumental music which has various Oghas and Karaṇas should be played, and it should be similar to the music at the time of the Paryastaka.
285-287. Then this Upohana should be again performed as before, and the Āsārita too; a song also should be sung and a female dancer should enter the stage in the manner described before, and she should delineate [the meaning of the song in the second Āsārita by suitable gesture] and translate the subject-matter (vastu) into a dance.
288. After finishing the Āsārita the female dancer should make her exit, and then another female dancer should enter the stage and make a similiar performance.
289. Thus at every step the rules of Āsārita should be followed by singers as well as players of the instrumental music.
291. The Piṇḍīs have four varieties: Piṇḍī [proper] Śṛṅkhalikā, Latābandha, and Bhedyaka.
292. The name Piṇḍī or Piṇḍībandha is due to its being a Piṇḍī (lump), a cluster (gulma) is called Śṛṅkhalikā, and that which is held together [as it were] by a net, is Latābandha, and Bhedyaka is to be the [separate] dance of individuals.
293. The Piṇḍībandha is to be applied in the first (lit. shortest Āsārita), Śṛṅkhalā at the Layāntara, the Latābandha in the middle one, and the Bhedyaka in the longest (i.e. Āsārita).
294. Origin [of Piṇḍīs] is twofold: Yantra and Bhadrāsana. These should be learnt and properly applied by the producers [of plays].
295. In the Vardhamāna the producer should thus use [dances]. I shall speak again about the rules regarding the performance of Chandaka songs.
296-297. I shall now speak of the dance and the instrumental music that should accompany songs consisting of the Vastu as well as of their (Aṅgas). During the performance of this song and music, a female dancer should enter the stage; at that time all the drums are to be sounded and all the stringed instruments are to be played with Kṣepa and Pratikṣepa.
298. First of all, the entire words of the song should be represented by gestures, and next the same should be shown by a dance.
299. Directions given above regarding the dance, use of gestures and the instrumental music will apply equally to the subject matter of the songs in the Āsārita.
300. This is the rule with regard to songs consisting of the Vastu. Now listen to description of songs made by Aṅgas.
301. Rules regarding the dance, use of gestures and the instrumental music which apply to words [of songs] are equally applicable in case of Chandakas which are composed of their Aṅgas (limbs).
302. During the Mukha and the Upohana the instrumental music should be played with heavy and light Akṣaras (strokes) by keeping them distinct (lit. separate).
303. When in course of a song some of its parts are repeated, the parts uttered first should be delineated by gestures and the rest are to be translated into dance.
304-305. When in course of a song some of its parts are repeated, it should be followed by the instrumental music which observes the rule of three Pānis and three kinds of tempo. On an occasion like this the instrumental music should follow the [proper] tempo.
305-308. The Tattva, the Anugata and the Ogha relate to the Karaṇa. Among these, the Tattva is to be applied in slow tempo, the Anugata in medium tempo and the Ogha in quick tempo. This is the rule regarding the instrumental music. [Different] parts of the song in case of a Chandaka are to be repeated. This is always the rule in [combining] the dance, gestures and the song, in case of songs composed in metre (nibaddba) commencement (graha of the playing of drums) should take place at their end, but in the repetition of the parts [of a large song] such commencement should take place from the beginning.
309. This should be the procedure in performing the Āsārita songs. Now consider the Gentle Dance relates to the adoration of gods,
310. The Gentle Dance with the Erotic Sentiment [relates to] a dialogue between a man and a woman when they are in love.
Occasions suited to dance
311. Now listen, O Brahmins, about occasions in plays when dance should be introduced in course of songs.
312. Experts should apply dance when the principal words of a song [in a play] as well as its [ornamental adjunct known as] Varṇa comes to a close or when any character attains good fortune [in a play].
313. And dance should take place on an occasion in a play when something connected with love occurs between a married couple, for it (the dance) will be a source of joy.
314. Dance related to the meaning of the song should also take place in any scene of a play when the lover is near and a [suitable] season or the like is visible.
Occasions when dances are prohibited
316. Dance should not be applied also at a time when a dialogue is going on with a female friend or when the beloved one is not near at hand, or has gone abroad.
317. And besides this when one realises the appearance of one of the seasons or the like from the words of a Messenger, and feels eagerness or anxiety on account of this, no dance should be applied.
318. But if during the performance of any part of the play, the heroine is gradually pacified, dance is to be applied till its end.
319. If any part of a play relates to the adoration of Śiva (lit. the deity) one should perform there a dance with energetic Aṅgahāras which he himself Maheśvara (Śiva) created.
320. And any love-song mentioning relations between men and women should be followed by a dance with delicate Aṅgahāras which Pārvati (lit. the goddess) created.
Playing of drums
322. Playing of drums should begin with the Sannipāta Graha at a time when a foot of the Dhruvā of the Khañja or the Narkuṭa class has been sung.
323. In course of a Dhruvā which consists of even number of feet with equal number of syllables, the drum should be played with the Graha by the fore finger after its [first] foot has been sung.
324. [After performing the Dhruvā song with the playing of drums as directed above] this song should be repeated with proper gestures [to delineate it], and it should be again sung, and at the end of its last foot drum should be played.
When drums are not to be played
325. Drums should not be played at a time when the principal song or its Varṇas have been finished or it is beginning afresh.
326. During the Antara-mārga which may be made by Trantris or Karaṇas, the Class Dance should be followed by drums as well as the Sūcī Cātī.
327. One who will perform well this dance created by Maheśvara (Śiva) will go [at his death] free from all sins to the abode of this deity.
328. These are the rules regarding the Class Dance arising out of its application. Tell me what more I am to speak now about the rules of the Nāṭyaveda.
Here ends Chapter IV of Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra, which treats of the Characteristics of the Class Dance.
Footnotes and references:
The legend about the churning of the ocean occurs in the Mbh. (I. 17-19) and the Viṣṇu P. (1) See Winternitz, Vol. I pp. 389, 546,
See XX. 69 ff.
ḍima—one of the plays of the major type; for its characteristics see XX. 84 ff.
Tripuradāha—As Śiva killed an Asura (demon) named Tripura, by burning him by one of his fiery arrows he is called Tripurāntaka. See JK. sub voce.
aṅgahāra—major dance figures which depend on minor dance figures (karaṇas) The word means ‘movement of limbs’. See Ag. (I. p. 91).
See below 29-30 note 1. For details about the Aṅgahāras see below 16 ff, ff.
See V. 12-15 note 3.
See V. 21 note 1.
See V. 60-63 note 3.
18-19 1 See below 247ff.
28-29 1 For details about karaṇa see 30ff below.
29-30 1 karaṇa—minor dance figure. See Ag. (I 93)
See XI. 49 ff.
See XI. 2 ff.
B. G. read one hemistich more before 56a. It does not occur in some mss. Ag. records this fact. Though these 108 karaṇas constitute general dance, which is sometimes interpolated in the acting to fill up its gaps, they (karaṇas) may be also used to embellish the movement of limbs in fights of any kind. See Ag. (I. pp. 96).
For nṛttahastas see IX. 177 ff.
For the sake of convenience, constituent parts of the karaṇas have been separately mentioned. This method has been followed by A. K. Coomaraswamy in MG.
samanakha feet has nowhere else been mentioned in the NŚ.
nikuṭṭita=nikuṭṭana. Ag. (I. p. 103) quoted the definition of nikuṭṭana from Kohala as follows: “unnamaṇaṃ vinamanaṃ syād aṅgasya nikuṭṭanam”.
For kuñcita B.G. read añcita, But Ag. (1. p. 204) read kuñcita and means by this word the alapallava gesture.
By apaviddba Ag. (I. p. 105) means the sūcīmukha gesture.
caraṇa = cārī.
vyaṃsayet= aṃsād viniṣkramaṇaṃ kuryāt (Ag).
krama = cārī.
udvāhīta side is nowhere else mentioned in the NŚ.
NŚ, does not know any caraṇa or cārī of this name, while a K. of this name occurs, and one karaṇa is very often used to define another karaṇa; see texts for 84 above, 103 and 107 below. In all these cases some mss. read karaṇa instead of caraṇa.
khalitāpasṛtān pādāu feet drawn away from the position of the skhalita K.
According to Ag, udghaṭṭita = nikuttitā for which see above 70 note.
See IX. 191.
Trika used here and many times afterwards means the trikāsthi (sacrum) the lowest point in the vertibral column where the two other bones of the legs meet.
This is Ag’s interpretation of Añcita.
This is Ag’s interpretation.
See above 70 note.
Ag. interprets the passage differently.
See above 70 note.
According to Ag. apaviddha = aḍḍitā cārī for which see XI. 22.
Ag. interprets differently.
Ag. interprets differently.
Nowhere defined in NŚ.
Ag. interprets the passage, differently.
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
According to Ag. Sannata = Dolāhasta.
According to Ag. Talāgrasaṃsthitā pāda means Janitā cari.
Same as agratalasañcara, see X. 46.
Defined nowhere in NS.
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
168 1 See above 158 note.
160 1 The term defined nowhere in NŚ.
1701Aṅgahāra defined nowhere in NŚ.
171-1731 Definition of the aṅgahāras have been translated like the karaṇas; above see. 62 note. Aṅgahāras are mostly combinations of the karaṇas.
In the definition of aṅgahāras this term has been equated with nṛtta or dance.
Defined nowhere in NŚ. 187-190
Defined nowhere in NŚ.
196-1971 In the translation of this K. Ag. has been followed.
197-2001 In the translation of this K. I have followed A g.
210-2121 According to Ag (1. p. 152) bāhya bhramaraka seems to mean a cārī of that name. But it seems that by this bhramaraka, the movement known as bhramarī has been meant. See M. Ghosh AD. 289ff, also A. K. Coomaraswamy. MG. p. 74.
For the relation between Recakas and the Aṅgahāras and the use of the Recakas see Ag.
mṛdaṅga, bherī, paṭaha, diṇḍima, dardura and paṇava are drums of different sizes and shapes, and made of different materials such as clay, wood etc. For bherī, paṇava and gomukha (possibly a horn) have see the Bhagavad-gītā, ch. 1.13. Jhañjhā means large cymbols.
The story of the break-up of Dakṣa’s sacrifice occurs in two different forms in the Bhāgavata and the Varāha P. See JK. under Dakṣa.
Piṇḍībandha—Ag. (1.170-171) explains the word. But it is difficult to make any definite idea about the piṇḍībandha or piṇḍī from his explanation. But a later work on dramaturgy discusses this word (Bh P. p. 264).
From this, the meaning of the word seems to be a term relating to group-dance. For more about pinḍībandha see 257-262, 284-285, 291-294 below.
Gāṇeśvarī means relating to Gaṇeśvaras or lords of hosts; see above III.31, 58 and III.1-8 note 7.
The story of Śiva’s killing the Asura Andhaka occurs in Rāmāyaṇa, Harivaṃśa and several Purāṇas. See JK. sub voce.
Taṇḍu’s name does not seem to occur in any extant Purāṇa. It is just possible that the name of this muni has been derived from tāṇḍava, a non-Aryan word which originally may have meant dance.
pratikṣepa—Ag. (I. p. 182) defines the term and points out that the NS. does not mention this.
Tānḍava has been translated by some as ‘wild dance’ (Haas, Daśarūpa, p. 5), but the adjective seems to be misleading. From the present chapter of the NŚ, it appears that the word meant ‘class dance’ which has been codified. It is to be distinguished from the folk-dance mentioned in later works. Tānḍava was no exclusively male dance. For the illustrations of the karaṇas taken out of old has reliefs and printed in the Baroda ed. of the NŚ. show that these were performed by women as well. These karaṇas were evidently elements of tāṇḍava; lāsya performed by women was only a gentler form of the tāṇḍava.
See above 282 note 2.
For vastu (padavastu) see Mālavi. II. 0, 5, 8, 13, 14.
Vastu here means padavastu. See above 285-287 note.
These āsāritas were distinguished by the kalās of time they required. According to Ag. (1.185) the shortest āsārita takes up seventeen kalās, the medium āsārita thirty-three kalās and the longest āsarita sixty-fìve kalās.
See notes 256 above from a passage in the Bh P. (p. 246). It is quite clear that the piṇḍībandha relates to the grouping of dancers. Of these the gulma is a general collective dance, the śṛṅkhalā is the dance in which partners hold one another’s hands, the latā is the dance of two putting their arms around each other, and the bhedyaka is the dance of each one separately away from the group.
See above 291 note.
BhP. does not identify the gulma and the śṛṅkhalikā.
See above 291 note.
See above 291 note.
Distinguishing features of the three āsāritas have been given in note to 290 above.
This passage is not clear. Ag’s explanation (I. p. 193) of the yantra and the bhadrāsana is not convincing.
See above 285-287 note 1.
For pratikṣepa see above 270 note 2.
See XXIX. 17-30.
See XXiV. 216.
See XXXI. 466 XXXII. 321 ff.
Sec XXXI. 466; XXXII. 466