Kathak Mudras

        Names of the five digits:

      1. kanishthika(pinky)
      2. anamika(ring finger)
      3. madhyama(middle finger)
      4. tarjani(pointer finger)
      5. angootha(thumb)
    1. Kapithh: Kapithh mudra is formed by placing the pointer finger on the thumb in the shikhar mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict charity/money exchange, referring to the goddess Saraswati, playing the Manjeera(cymbal), holding a veil, holding a flower garland, or milking a cow
    2. Katakamukh: Katakamukh mudra is formed by bending the middle finger along with the pointer finger in the Kapithh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict plucking flowers, holding flower garland or pearl necklace, giving out paan(betel leaf),or rubbing kasturi(musk) or chandan(sandalwood)
    3. Soochi: Soochi mudra is formed by straightening the pointer finger in the Katakamukh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict a count of one, to show contempt and surprise, to refer to a thin person, to refer to individuals(you or me)
    4. Chandrakala: Chandrakala mudra is formed by releasing the thumb in the soochi mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict a moon, or Lord Shiva’s headgear
    5. Padmakosh: Padmakosh mudra is formed by separating the fingers and twisting them while closing the palm slightly
      1. Usage: used to depict leaves, flower buds, eggs, or a rotating object
    6. Alapadma: Alapadma mudra is formed by spreading the fingers and bending them slightly
      1. Usage: used to depict lotus, flower, full moon, the hair on the head, or  pulling something
    7. Sarpashirsh: Sarpashirsh mudra is formed by folding the fingers forward in the pataka mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict making sandalwood paste, a snake/cobra, offering water, or a strong man’s muscles
    8. Mrugashirsh: Mrugashirsh mudra is formed by raising the pinky and thumb from the Sarpashirsh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict gossipping, arguing, melody, modesty, footfall, a meeting of any kind, or the face of a deer
    9. Simhamukh: Simhamukh mudra is formed by raising the pointer finger and lowering the ring finger in the Mrugashirsh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict lion head, rabbit head, elephant head, necklace 
    10. Kangool: Kangool mudra is formed by folding the ring finger in the Padmakosh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict a partridge(chakor),white lotus,or coconut
    11. Bhramar: Bhramar mudra is formed by folding the pointer finger on the thumb and joining the middle finger with the thumb
      1. Usage: use to depict a bumblebee, crane, parrot’s eyes, feathers, cuckoo
    12. Chatur: Chatur mudra is formed by placing the thumb at the base of the ring finger in pathaka mudra. 
      1. Usage: used to depict the act of saying “come”,” let’s go”,” that’s enough” etc.
    13. Hamsaasya: Hamsaasya mudra is formed by holding the thumb and the pointer finger together and spreading the rest of the fingers
      1. Usage: used to depict an auspicious occasion, tying a string/rope, delivering sermons, pearls, fixing a lamp’s wick, or the act of drawing/painting
    14.  Hamsapaksh: Hamsapaksh mudra is formed by raising the pinky in the Sarpashirsh mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict a sculpture/carving, a dam
    15. Mukul: Mukul mudra is formed by pulling all of the fingers together
      1. Usage: used to depict the handling of currency, the end of a meal 
    16. Saundosh: Saundosh is formed by repeatedly opening and closing the Padmakosh mudra 
      1. Usage: used to depict a stomach, sacrifice, wound, fear, suffering
    17. Tamrachood: Tamrachood mudra is formed by slightly bending the pointer finger in the Mukul mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict a stork, crow, camel, written material
    18. Trishool: Trishool mudra is formed by bending joining the thumb and the pinky while keeping the other fingers straight
      1. Usage: used to depict a bill sheet, a trident, vine
    19. Vyaaghra: Vyaaghra mudra is formed by  bending the thumb and pinky slightly in the Mrugashirsh mudra while spreading out the rest of the fingers
      1. Usage:used to depict a lion/tiger,baby goat(kid),monkey,pearl
    20. Palli: Palli mudra is formed by placing the pointer finger slightly behind the middle finger in the Mayura mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict beli(knot)
    21. Ardhasoochi: Ardhasoochi is formed by straightening the pointer finger in the Pathaka mudra
      1. Usage: used to depict flower buds, birds, large animals

Sanyukt Hast Mudras (Joined Hand Gestures)

 

Anjali Hast (Salutation): Anjali hast mudra is formed by holding both hands together in pataka hasta mudra. 

  • Usage: Used for offering prayers to deities, teachers/gurus and brahmins. The Anjali hast is formed above the head for greeting deities, at the face for teachers and at the heart for brahmins. 

Kapot Hast (Dove): Kapot hast mudra is formed by joining both hands together at the wrist and the tip of the middle finger.

  • Usage: Used for offering salutations, conversing with teachers, making vows or while accepting anything. 

Karkat Hast: Karkat hast mudra is formed by interlocking the fingers and letting them point outward.

  • Usage: Used for bending branches, tying bodies, pot belly, stretching the body, blowing a conch etc.

Swastika Hast: Swastika hast mudra is formed by crossing both hands in opposite directions at the back of the wrist while holding them in pataka hast mudra. 

  • Usage: Used for crocodiles, conflicts, praise etc

Dola Hast: Dola hast mudra is formed by holding both hands by the thighs in pataka hast mudra.

  • Usage: Use at the beginning of an act, in welcoming a lover, or in unconsciousness.

Pushpa Puta Hasta: Pushpa puta hast mudra is formed by holding both hands together in Sarpa Shirsha mudra.

  • Usage: Used for offering prayers, receiving or offering water, flowers and rice, chanting mantra

Utsang Hast Mudra: Utsang hast mudra is formed by crossing the hands and placing them on the opposite arms in MrigaShirsha hast mudra. 

  • Usage: Used to embrace, show coyness, depicting armlets (bajuband), wearing and removing clothes etc

Shivaling Hast Mudra: Shivaling hast mudra is formed by placing the right hand in Shikhar mudra on the left hand in pataka mudra.

  • Usage: Used exclusively to depict Shivaling.

Katakavardhan Hast Mudra: Katakavardhan hast mudra is formed by crossing both hands at the back of the wrist in katakamukh hast mudra 

  •  Usage: Used to depict a king sitting on the throne, prayers, wedding etc.

Kartari Swastika Hast: Kartari Swastika hast mudra is formed by forming the kartari mudra in each hand and holding both hands in swastika mudra

  • Usage: Used to depict trees, branches, mountaintops etc.

Shakat (Demon) Hast Mudra: Shakat hast mudra is formed by forming the bhramar hast mudra in each hand while stretching out the middle finger, and then placing each hand on the opposite arm.

  • Usage: Used typically to depict rakshasas and demons. 

Shankh (Conch) Hast Mudra: Shankh hast mudra is created by holding the right hand in the shikhar mudra, placing it in the palm of the left hand, enclosing the right hand with the three middle fingers of the left hand and merging them with the pinky finger of the right hand. 

  • Usage: Used exclusively to depict a conch.

Chakra (Wheel) Hast Mudra: Chakra hast mudra is created by holding both hands together at the wrist in Ardhachandra (half-moon) hast mudra, and locking the middle finger of the left hand with the ring finger of the right hand.

  • Usage: Used to depict wheel or disc.

Garuda Hast Mudra: Garuda hast mudra is created by forming the ardhachandra (half-moon) hast mudra in both hands while leaving the fingers open, crossing the thumbs and joining them together.

  • Usage: Used to depict Garuda and bird expressions

Samputa Hast Mudra: SAmputa hast mudra is created by joing the palms of both hands, folding all the fingers as well as the thumb inward.

  • Usage: Used to cover objects

Pash (Snare) Hast Mudra: Pash mudra is formed by locking the pointer finger of both hands in the Sudhi mukha hast mudra.

  • Usage: USed to depict fights, being tied/trapped in a net/chains, etc

Matsya (Fish) Hast Mudra: Matsya hast mudra is formed by placing one hand on top of the other and spreading out the thumbs. 

  • Usage:  Used exclusively to depict fish

Coorma (tortoise) Hast Mudra: Coorma hast mudra is created by clasping both hands together while spreading out the pinky finger and thumb of both hands

  • Usage: Used exclusively to depict coorma (turtle)

Varaha (Boar) Hast Mudra: Varaha hast mudra is created by holding one palm on top of the other palm in mrigashirsha hast mudra, while stretching out and joining the pinky finger and thumb of the opposite hands

  • Usage: Used exclusivley to depict varaha (boar)

Kilaka Hast Mudra: Kilaka hast mudra is created by crossing the hands and locking the pinky fingers while holding both hands in chatur hast mudra.

  • Usage: Used to depict love and affection

Nagabandh Hast Mudra: Nagabandh hast mudra is created by holding both hands in sarpa shirsha hast mudra and placing on the opposite wrist.

  • Usage: Used to depict being coiled/tied by the snake

Khatava Hast Mudra: Khatava hast mudra is created by holding the pinky finger, pointer finger and the thumb of both hands erect, bending the ring finger and middle finger of both hands towards the palms and then joining the folded ring and middle fingers of both hands together. 

  • Usage: Used depict a cot (khat) or palanquin (palaki).

Bheroond Hast Mudra: Bheroond hast mudra is formed by conjoining Kapitth hast mudra with the back of the wrists. 

  • Usage: Used to depict a pair of the bheruhi bird.

Vardhamana Hast Mudra:  Vardhamana hast mudra is created by crossing both hands in the Chatur hast mudra at the wrists. 

  • Usage: Used to depict smile, differences, horms etc.