Hastas of Hastalakshanadeepika

Updated: Oct 26



Hastas or Mudras convey the meanings of songs, helps in expressing an emotion through gestures according to the situation, making it a visual treat to the audience. They play the most important role in Angika Abhinaya. Each finger of our hand has a name:


· Little Finger: Kanishta

· Ring Finger: Anamika

· Middle Finger: Madhyama

· Index Finger: Tharjani

· Thumb Finger: Angushtam


These fingers are used to portray 24 hand gestures or Hastas which has been codified in the Hasta Lakshana Deepika.

The word “Hastalakshanadeepika” means The Lamp Showing the Purpose of the Hand Gestures.



The Hastas classified in the Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana is slightly different from those in Hasta Lakshana Deepika.While Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana are popularly followed by other traditional forms. The kerala traditions hand gestures are recognized to be from the scripture of Hastalakshanadeepika. The 24 hand gestures mentioned are:


1. Pathaka

2. Mudrakya

3. Katakam

4. Mushti

5. Kartharimukha

6. Shukhathunda

7. Kapithakam

8. Hamsapaksham

9. Shikaram

10.Hamsasyam

11.Anjali

12.Ardhachandram

13.Mukuram

14.Bhramaram

15.Soochikamukham

16.Pallavam

17.Tripathakam

18.Mrighasheersham

19.Sarpashiras

20.Vardamanakam

21.Araalam

22.Oornanabham

23.Mukulam

24.Katakamukham


The Shloka for Hasta Lakshana Deepika: -


|| Hastah PatakoMudrakhya KatakoMushtirithyapi

Kartharimukhasamjascha Shukathunda Kapithakah

Hamsapakshashchah Shikaro Hamsasyah Punaranjali

ArdhachandrashchaMuhuro Bhramaro Soochikamukhah

Pallavastripatakashcha Mrigasheershahoyasthathaah

Punah Sarpashirasamjanjo Vardhamanakarithyapi

Araala Oornanaabhascha Mukhulah Katakamukhah

Chaturvimshathirithyathe Karaashastranjasamathaah ||






Resourced from various links


Written by Ananya Nair



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