Secrets of Tandava Dance: 108 Poses from Natya Shastra Legend

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This article by Abhishek Anand

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Table of Content

  •  Introduction

  • The Legend of Tandava

  • Natyashastra mentions 108 poses of Tandava

  • The relation between Tandava and Yoga

  • Basic Hand and Leg Postures of the Dance

  • The 10 Categories of Karanas

  • Leg Stances (Mandala Bhedas)

  • Feet Position in Gait ( The Chari Bhedas)

  • Speed of Movement (Gati Bhedas)

  • The Single Hand Gestures (Asamyuta Hasta)

  • The Double-handed Gestures (Samyuta Hasta)

  • Head Movements

  • Eye Movements

  • Neck Movements

  • The Complete and Ordered List of 108 Karanas in Tandava

  • Conclusion


The Legend of Tandava

Old stories tell of a time when God Shiva attended a play, staged by the sage Bharata and his hundred disciples (Some accounts say they were his hundred sons). The play was called Tripura Dahan and Bharata was staging it at the behest of God Brahma.

Shiva, who was attending the show with his ganas, was impressed by the performance. He suggested to Brahma that it would get even better if the drama being acted out on the stage was embellished with dancing. A grateful Brahma requested Shiva to teach the art of dance to Bharata. Bharata, at the time, was in the process of compiling the epic, Natyashastra.

Shiva accepted Brahma’s request graciously and instructed Tandu, one among his retinue of ganas, to teach Bharata the secrets of dance.

Tandu was a masterful dancer. There were many dance forms that Tandu had learned during his time with Shiva. But teaching the divine dances of Shiva was a difficult task. Tandu realized that every time his god danced, it was a new form. For Natyashastra, which was for the consumption of common folk, Tandu could only choose one. He remembered a graceful dance routine he had once seen Shiva perform against a dusky Kailasha sky. Tandu taught the one to Bharata, who later added it to the Natyashastra. In honor of his teacher, Tandu, Bharata called this dance form, the Tandava.

Natyashastra mentions 108 poses of Tandava

Natyashastra is an ancient treatise on dramatics. It is derived from the vedas. The authorship of this monumental work is attributed to Sage Bharata, but many contemporary vedic scholars believe that Natyashastra contains contributions from multiple authors. It is believed to have been compiled during the four hundred years from 2nd Century BC to 2nd Century AD.

Tantra The Science & Natya The Art: The Two - Faceted Reality - Book

It’s said that God Brahma wrote the Natya Veda. But this was not fit for common consumption. The Natya Shastra was written to retell the messages of Vedas in a form easily grasped by the common folk.
 
Irrespective of its being for the consumption of common folk, the Natyashastra is a comprehensive work on various aspects of performing arts. It has over six thousand verses contained within thirty-six chapters. It covers dramatic composition, play structure, stage construction, acting, articulations, costumes, rhetoric, musical theory, dance forms, and methods of integrating them all into a forceful performance. It combines theory and practice and presents a coherent, unified view of dramatic arts.


Natya Brahman - Theatric Universe: A Concept of Ancient Indian Theatre (An Old and Rare Book)

Natya is a technical term denoting the dramatic arts where emotions and information are imparted through hand gestures and abhinaya (acting). Nritta is a term that denotes abstract dance that emphasizes the synchronization of the dancer’s body with rhythm using timed movements. In a strict sense, there is no poetic meaning to a Nritta performance. Nritya (as opposed to Nritta) is a juxtaposition of Natya and Nritta, where the two separate art forms combine to produce a perfect harmony of technique and expression.
 
These 108 poses of Tandava are also carved into the walls of the Thanjavur temple, built around a thousand years ago.

Natyashastra classifies the body movements into those of the major and the minor limbs. These primary limb movements are then further categorized into smaller modulations known as Caris, mandalas, and karanas. Each has its own set of rules according to the text.

The Relation between Tandava and Yoga

The karanas and angaharas all arise from fundamental yogic postures. Many of the 108 karanas employ various yogic postures like Garudasana, Natarajasana etc. When yoga is used with stylistic expression it becomes an instrument to evoke Rasa.
 


All dancers who practice dance as a yoga routine get the following 10 benefits:

  1. Javah: Swiftness

  2. Sthiratva: Steadiness

  3. Rekha: Symmetry

  4. Brahmari: Versatility

  5. Drishti: Sharpness of eyes

  6. Ashramaha: Ease

  7. Medha: Intelligence

  8. Shraddha: Devotion

  9. Vacho: Clear speech

  10. Geetam: Ability to sing

It is important for a dancer to have a wide variety of physical and mental skills to take their art to the highest levels.
The Yogic postures like Garudasana, Padahastasana, Trikonasana, Virasana, which are standing poses, are excellent for developing leg strength, and a dancer is advised to practice them with diligence. One-legged poses like Vrikshasana, while helping with leg strength, also help achieve an excellent sense of balance and ability to focus on a single point. Other recommended asanas for dancers are Mayurasana, Titibasana, Vrichikasana, Dolasana, and Hamsasana, to name a few.


Basic Hand and Leg Postures of the Dance

The dance as described in Natyashastra is called Bharatnatyam, after the sage Bharata who wrote about it. Tandava, while having its own distinct characteristics, is considered a part of Bharatnatyam.
 
In a dance performance, music is very important. It determines the composition, depiction, and performance of the dance. The pure Dance sequences (Nrtta) follow the patterns of the melody, rhythms and tempo of the music. And, the Abhinaya follows the nature (Sthayi-bhava) and content of the lyrics (Sahitya). The lyrics are interpreted according to the use of a series of transitory states (Sanchari-bhava). Various other innovative gestures and expressions are used in the performances.
 

नाट्यशास्त्रम्: Natyashastra - BOOK

The Natyashastra is a huge book that can get quite technical for the uninitiated. To understand the 108 poses of Tandava as described in the Tandava Vidhi chapter, some understanding about the basic terminology in Bharatanatyam is required.

Karana

Natyashastra dedicates twelve of its chapters to the study of dance. The forms are codified in terms of karanas.
 
Hasta pada sama yoga nritya karanam bhavet
हस्त पद सम योग नृत्य कारणं भवेत् 


The word karana derives from Sanskrit, kar, meaning, to do. Karana is the act of doing. In dance, its meaning translates to refer to the transitions between the different poses. A karana is made up of hand movements (hasta), posture (sthana), and leg movements (chari).
 
Chapter four of Natyashastra, Tandava Lakshanam, is one of the most important chapters for the study of dance. It is here that Bharata describes Tandava Vidhi, the rules of dancing Tandava. The rules are in the form of long descriptions of 32 angaharas and 108 karanas, and how these body movements and postures are to be used to choreograph a performance of Tandava.


The 10 Categories of Karanas

The Karanas are often categorized as below:

  1. Sama Karanas: The stable positions.

  2. Hasta Karanas: The hand movements.

  3. Swastika Karanas: Positions when hands and legs are crossed.

  4. Rechita Karanas: Movement of hands, feet, and neck.

  5. Vrishchika Karana: The scorpion pose.

  6. Sthana Karana: Karanas derive their names from the location of the dance.

  7. Chari Karanas: Leg movements.

  8. Kati Karanas: Circular movements.

  9. Pada Karanas: Feet movements.

  10. Uru and Parshva Karanas: Movements in other parts of the body like the waist or the sides.


Neo Desi Karanas (A Sequential Link) - Book

Here follows a listing of basic gestures for ready reference.

Leg Stances (Mandala Bhedas)

The shloka says:

Sthaanakam chaayataalidham prenkhanapreritaani cha
Pratyaalidham swastika cha motitam samasoochikaa
Paarshwesoochiti cha dasha mandalaaniritaaneeha

स्थानकं छायातालिधं प्रेणखानाप्रेरीतानि च प्रत्यालिदं स्वस्तिकं च मोतीतं समासूचिका पारश्वेसोचिति च दशा मण्डलानिरीतानिः

Mandala Bhedas or the standing postures are:

Sthanaka: Standing with feet together. They are 6 in number.

  1. Samapadam: Feet placed together, standing straight.

  2. Ekapadam: one leg standing, the other foot across the knee.

  3. Nagabandham: twisted legs and hands.

  4. Aindram: Standing on one bent leg.

  5. Garuda: sitting down on one knee and raising both hands.

  6. Brahma: Sitting in Padmasana.

  7. Aayata: Heels together, toes facing outside and knees bent.
  8. Aalida: Foot placed diagonally in front.
  9. Prenkhana: One foot at the heel of the other.
  10. Prerita: Forcefully Moving one leg away.
  11. Pratyaalida: When Aalida is done on the reverse side.
  12. Swastika: Placing one leg across the other.
  13. Motita: Sitting on the toes with raised heels, alternate knees touching the ground.
  14. Samasoochi: Sitting on the toes with both knees on the ground.
  15. Parsva Soochi: Sitting on the toes and placing only one knee on the ground.


Feet Position in Gait ( The Chari Bhedas)

  • Chalana - Walking. Taking a step forward from the original position.

  • Chakramana - Making a leap. After leaping in the air, stretch each leg sideways alternatively.

  • Sarana - Moving. Holding both hands in pataka, keeping the feet in samapada and moving sideways, like a leech.

  • Vegini - Running. Holding alapadma and tripataka alternatively and moving very fast on the heels, toes, or the entire sole of the feet.

  • Kuttana - Pounding. Beating the legs forcefully on the ground with the heels, toes, or soles.

  • Lutita - Rolling. Standing in swastika mandala, and then rolling out the foot to kuttana chaari.

  • Lolita - Trembling. After doing kuttana chaari the foot is moved slowly, without touching the ground.

  • Visama Chaari - Rough walking. Setting the left foot to the right of the right foot and setting the right foot to the left of the left one and walking


Speed of Movement (Gati Bhedas)

  • Hamsi Gati - Goose step. Place one foot after the other slowly, at a distance of half a cubit, with knees slightly bent and bending the body alternately on either side, with both hands held in kapittha.

  • Mayurigati - Peacock step. Moving on the toes with knees bent sideways and going down alternately with both hands held in kapittham

  • Mrigi Gati - Deer step. Hold the hands in tripataka in front, running forward or sideways, like a deer in leaps.

  • Gajalila Gati - Elephant step. Hold both hands in pataka on either side, walking heavily and slowly, swaying both hands, and placing the feet in samapadam.

  • Turangini Gati - Horse step. Hold the left hand in shikharam and right hand in pataka, moving quickly forward in jumps of quick succession, with the right leg lifted up.

  • Simhi Gati - Lion step. Stand on the toes, then jump forward swiftly and proceed in this manner, with both hands in shikharam.

  • Bhujangi Gati - Snake step. Hold both hands in tripataka and move quickly in zigzag on the toes.

  • Manduki Gati - Frog Step. Hold shikhra hands together and move forward on the toes while jumping.

  • Vira Gati - Heroic step. Hold the left hand in shikhara (shield) and the right hand in pataaka outstretched and move forward with firm steps.

  • Maanavi Gati - Human step. Hold the left hand in the waist in pataka, swing the right hand in katakaamukham in semi-circles, back and forth, and walk majestically.


The Single Hand Gestures (Asamyuta Hasta)

These are the 28 single-hand gestures:

  1. Pataakam - flag

  2. Tripitaka - Three (parts of a) flag

  3. Ardhapataka - Half flag

  4. Kartari Mukham - Scissors face

  5. Mayura - Peacock

  6. Ardha Chandra - Half moon

  7. Araala - Bent

  8. Shuka Tundam - parrot’s beak

  9. Mushti - closed fist

  10. Shikharam - peak

  11. Kapitham - elephant-apple

  12. Katakamukha - opening in a bracelet

  13. Suchi - needle

  14. Chandrakala - crescent

  15. Padmakosha - lotus bud

  16. Sarpasheersha - Snake’s hood

  17. Mrigashirsha - Deer’s head

  18. Simhamukha - Lion’s face

  19. Kangula - Tail

  20. Alapadma - Lotus in full bloom

  21. Chatura - Square

  22. Bhramara - Bee, Beetle

  23. Hamsasya – Swan’s beak

  24. Hamsapaksha – Swan’s wing

  25. Samdamsha - Pincers

  26. Mukula - Bud

  27. Tamrachuda - Rooster

  28. Trishoola - Trident


The Double-handed Gestures (Samyuta Hasta)

These are the 24 double-handed gestures:

  1. Anjali - Salutation

  2. Kapotha - Pigeon

  3. Karkata - Crab

  4. Swastika - Cross

  5. Dola - Swing

  6. Pushpaputa - Holding Flowers

  7. Utsanga - Holding Flowers

  8. Shivalinga - Shiva Lingam

  9. Kataka Vardhana - Pair of bracelets

  10. Kartari Swastika - Crossing two scissors

  11. Shakatam - Chariot Wheel

  12. Shankha - Conch

  13. Chakra - Discus (wheel)

  14. Samputa - Containers

  15. Paasha - Rope/ bond

  16. Keelaka - Axle

  17. Matsya - Fish

  18. Kurma - Tortoise

  19. Varaha - Wild Boar

  20. Garuda - Eagle

  21. Nagabanda - Coiled Serpent

  22. Khatva - Cot

  23. Bherunda - Heavenly Bird

  24. Avihitha - To hide (secret in the heart)

Head Movements

  • Samam - keeping the head motionless and the eyes in a fixed gaze

  • Udvāhitam - head tilted up

  • Adhomukham - downcast or bowing down in greeting

  • Ālolitam - moving the head in a circular motion

  • Dhutum - moving the head from side to side

  • Kampitam - moving the head up and down

  • Parāvrttam - turning the head away in malice

  • Utkṣiptam - turning the head to one side and raising it up

  • Parivāhitam - swaying the head from side to side in a wavelike motion

Eye Movements

  • Samam - eyes are motionless and straight or even

  • Ālokitam - the circular movement of eyes

  • Sāci - looking askance

  • Prālokitam - glancing towards both sides with wide eyes

  • Nimīlitam - half-closed eyes

  • Ulokitam - eyes raised in the upward glance

  • Anuvrttam - speedily moving the eyes up and down

  • Avalokitam - eyes downcast

Neck Movements

  • Sundarī - neck movement horizontally on both sides

  • Tiraścinā - an upward and downward movement of the neck on both sides, suggesting the gliding of the snake

  • Parivartitā - movement from right to left

  • Prakampita - moving the neck forward and backward

The Complete and Ordered List of 108 Karanas in Tandava

  1. Talapuṣpapuṭa: Handful of flowers / तलपुष्पपुटं
  1. Vyavṛtta: Inverted/ वर्तितं
  1. Valitorukam : Folded thigh / वलितोरुकं
  1. Apaviddham : Violently shaken/ अपविद्धं
  1. Samanakham : Level nails/ समनखं
  1. Līnam : Inserted/ लीनं
  1. Swastikarecitaṃ : Whirling cross/ स्वस्तिकरेचितम्
  1. Maṇḍalasvastikam : Crossed region/ मण्डलस्वस्तिकं
  1. Nikuṭṭakam : Shouldered arms/ निकुट्टकम
  1. Ardha-nikuttakam : Half- shouldered arms/ अर्धनिकुट्टं
  1. Kaṭicchinnam : Split waist/ कटिच्छिन्नं
  1. Ardha-rechitakam : Half – whirl/ अर्धरेचितकं
  1. Vaksha Swastikam : Crossed chest/ वक्षःस्वस्तिकमेव
  1. Unmattam : Frenzied/ उन्मतं
  1. Swastikam : The Cross Pose / स्वस्तिकं
  1. Prastha Swastikam : Crossed at the back / पृष्ठस्वस्तिकं
  1. Dikswastikaṃ : Crossed/ दिक्स्वस्तिकं
  1. Alātaṃ : Circling/ अलातं
  1. Katisamam : Level waist / कटीसमं
  1. Ākṣiptarecita : To cast off / आक्षिप्तरेचितं
  1. Vikṣiptakṣipta : Thrown over / विक्षिप्ताक्षिप्तं
  1. Ardha Swastikam : Legs crossed in swastika / अर्धस्वस्तिकं
  1. Anchitam : Placing / अञ्चितं
  1. Bhujanga Trasitam : Fear of a serpent / भुजङ्गत्रासितं
  1. Urdhva Jaanu :Raised knee / उर्ध्वजानु
  1. Nikunchitam : Bent / निकुञ्चितं
  1. Mattali : Reeling drunkenly / मत्तल्लि
  1. Ardhamattali : Semi- intoxicated reeling / अर्धमत्तल्लि
  1. Rechitanikuttitam : Whirling shouldered arms / रेचिकनिक्कुट्टं
  1. Pādāpaviddhakam : Piercing the heels / पादापविद्धकं
  1. Valitam : Folded in /  वलितं
  1. Ghūrṇitam : Reeling / घूर्णितं
  1. Lalitam : Graceful / ललितं
  1. Daṇḍapakṣam : Stiff side / दण्डपक्षं
  1. Bhujangatrastarechitam: Reeling with the fear of the serpent / भुजङ्गत्रस्तरेचितं
  1. Nūpuram : The anklet /  नूपुरं
  1. Vaishakha Rechitam : Whirling limb / वैशाखरेचितं
  1. Bhramaraṃ : Bee / भ्रमरं
  1. Chaturam (caturaṃ) : Four fingers / चतुरं
  1. Bhujaṅgāñcitam : Touch of the Serpent / भुजङ्गाञ्चितं
  1. Dandakarechitam : Stiffened hands and legs / दण्डरेचितकं
  1. Vrishchik Kuttitam : Scorpion in nikutta / वृश्चिककुट्टितं
  1. Katibhraantam : Waist moved violently / कटिभ्रान्तं
  1. Lataa Vrishchikam : Scorpion creeping down / लतावृश्चिकं
  1. Chinnam : Split /  छिन्नं
  1. Vṛścikarecitam: Whirling scorpion / वृश्चिकरेचितं
  1. Vrishchikam : Scorpion / वृश्चिकं
  1. Vyansitam : Beguiled / व्यंसितं
  1. Pārśvanikuṭṭakam : Folded arms on the side / पार्श्वनिकुट्टकं
  1. Lilatilakam : Forehead mark / ललाटतिलकं
  1. Krāntakam : Bending kunchita leg back / क्रान्तं
  1. Kunchitam : Angular bend / कुञ्चितं
  1. Chakra Mandalam : Turning the body / चक्रमण्डलं
  1. Uromandalam : Chest region / उरोमण्डलं
  1. Akshiptam : Scattering / अक्षिप्तं
  1. Talavilāsitam : Upturned toes / तलविलासितं
  1. Argalam : Barred / अर्गलं
  1. Vikshipta : Throwing about above with hands and feet thrown backwards and sideways / विक्षिप्तं
  1. Aavartan : Whirlpool / अवृत्तं
  1. Dolaapaadam : Swinging the leg / दोलपादकं
  1. Vivrittam : Unwound / विवृत्तं
  1. Vinivṛttam : Reversed Vivritta / विनिवृत्तं
  1. Pārśvakrāntam : Movement to one side / पार्श्वक्रान्तं
  1. Niśumbhitam : Stamping / निशुम्भितं
  1. Vidyut-bhrāntam : A sudden flash / विद्युत्भ्रान्तं
  1. Atikrāntam : A step forward / अतिक्रान्तं
  1. Vivartitakam : Unfolding / विवर्तितकं
  1. Gajakrīḍitakam : The sport of elephants / गजक्रीडितकं
  1. Talasamspoṭitam: Clapping / तलसंस्फोटितं
  1. Garuḍaplutakam : The flight of Garuda / गरुडप्लुतकं
  1. Gaṇḍasūcī : Cheek Needle / गण्डसूची
  1. Parivṛttam: Circling about / परिवृत्तं
  1. Paarsvajaanu: Knee to one side / पार्श्वजानु
  1. Gṛdhrāvalinakam : Like a Vulture / गृध्रावलीनकं
  1. Sannatam : Hands well bent / सन्नतं
  1. Śūci: Needle / सूची
  1. Ardha Śūci: Half Needle / अर्धसूची
  1. Sūcīviddham : Probing with a needle / सूचीविद्धं
  1. Apakrāntam : Oblique gait / अपक्रान्तं
  1. Mayūralalitam : Peacock’s grace / मयूरललितं
  1. Sarpitam : Creeping serpent/ सर्पितं
  1. Dandapadam : Stiff leg / दण्डपादं
  1. Harinaplutam : The flight of the deer / हरिणप्लुतम्
  1. Prenkholitam : Cradle swing/ प्रेङ्खोलितं
  1. Nithambam : Posterior/ नितम्बं
  1. Skhalitam : Tripped/ स्खलितं
  1. Karihastam : The elephant’s trunk/ करिहस्तकम्
  1. Prasarpitakam : Moved to the front/ प्रसर्पितम्
  1. Simhavikreedhitakam : Lion’s sport/ सिंहविक्रीडतं
  1. Simhaakarsitam : Pulled by a lion/ सिंहाकर्षितम्
  1. Udvṛttam : Lifted up/ उद्वृत्तं
  1. Upasṛtakam : Moved towards/ उपसृतम्
  1. Talasaṃghaṭṭitam : Clapping palms/ तलसंघट्टितं
  1. Janitam : The origin/ जनितं
  1. Avahittakam : Pointing fingers/ अवाहित्थकम्
  1. Nivesham : Settling/ निवेशम्
  1. Elakākrīḍitam : A ram’s sport/ इलकाक्रीडतम्
  1. Ūrūdvṛttam : Twisted thigh/ उरूद्वृत्तं
  1. Madaskhalitakam : Moving drunkenly/ मदस्खलितम्
  1. Viṣṇukrāntam : Vishnu’s movement/ विष्णुक्रान्तम्
  1. Saṃbhrāntam : Bewilderment/ सम्भ्रान्तम्
  1. Viṣkambham : Extended/ विष्कम्भम्
  1. Udghaṭṭam : Standing on tiptoes/ उद्घट्टितम्
  1. Vṛṣabhakrīḍitam : Bull’s sport/ वृषभक्रीडितं
  1. Lolitam : Rolling/ लोलितं
  1. Nagāpasarpitam : Serpentine movement/ नागापसर्पितं
  1. Śakaṭāsyam : The cart wheel/ शकटास्यं
  1. Gaṅgāvataraṇam : Descent of the Ganga/ गङ्गावतरणं

The first of the 108 karanas that describe the Tandava poses in Nāṭyaśāstra. It is used for Pushpanjali, the offering of flowers to the divine. The left hand is the Puṣpapuṭa hand, holding the flowers to be offered. The back foot is in Agratalasañcara. The side of the back is held in Sannata (Nata). The right heel is raised, and the weight of the leg rests upon the big toe of the right foot.

वामे पुष्पपुटः पार्श्वे पादोऽग्रतलसञ्चरः ।
तथा च सन्नतं पार्श्वं तलपुष्पपुटं भवेत् ॥ 61-62 ॥
vāme puṣpapuṭaḥ pārśve pādo’gratalasañcaraḥ ||4-61||
tathā ca sannataṃ pārśvaṃ talapuṣpapuṭaṃ bhavet |

  

कुञ्चितौ मणिबन्धे तु व्यावृत्तपरिवर्तितौ ।
हस्तौ निपतितौ चोर्वोर्वर्तितं करणं तु तत् ॥ 62-63॥
kuñcitau maṇibandhe tu vyāvṛttaparivartitau ||4-62||
hastau nipatitau corvorvartitaṃ karaṇaṃ tu tat |

 

In the karaṇa, Vyavṛtta Parivartita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the head leans slightly to the right. The hands are bent at the wrist and rest lightly on the thighs, facing outwards. The left foot is turned to the side and resting flat on the ground. The right foot is in a kunchita pose, heels raised and toes touching the ground.

शुकतुण्डौ यदा हस्तौ व्यावृत्तपरिवर्तितौ ।
उरू च वलितौ यस्मिन्वलितोरुकमुच्यते ॥ 63-64॥
śukatuṇḍau yadā hastau vyāvṛttaparivartitau ||4-63||
ūrū ca valitau yasmin valitorukam ucyate |

 

In the karaṇa Valitoru of Nāṭyaśāstra, the hands are held in of Śukatuṇḍa, where both hands make Vyavṛtta and Parivartita, like in the previous karana. The dancer stands erect, feet flat on the ground in sama. Legs are closed together and thighs in valita.

आवर्त्य शुकतुण्डाख्यमूरुपृष्ठे निपातयेत् ।
वामहतश्च वक्षःस्थोऽप्यपविद्धं तु तद्भवेत् ॥ 64-65॥
āvartya śukatuṇḍākhyamūrupṛṣṭhe nipātayet ||4-64||
vāmahastaśca vakṣaḥstho’pyapaviddhaṃ tu tat bhavet |

   

In the karaṇa Apaviddha of Nāṭyaśāstra, the left arm is held in front of the chest. Right arm is extended, in Śukatuṇḍa mudra, coming to rest on the right thigh, the palm turned inward. This pose is often used for representing a musician holding a musical instrument.

श्लिष्टौ समनखौ पदौ करौ चापि प्रलिम्बितौ ।
देहः स्वाभाविको यत्र भवेत्समनखं तु तत् ॥ 65-66 ॥
śliṣṭau samanakhau padau karau cāpi pralambitau ||4-65||
dehaḥ svābhāviko yatra bhavetsamanakhaṃ tu tat |

  

In the karaṇa Samanakha of Nāṭyaśāstra, the body is held naturally erect. Legs kept together, feet flat on the ground, in Samanakha. The arms hanging straight down by the sides.

पताकाञ्जलि वक्षःस्थं प्रसारितशिरोधरम् ।
निहञ्चितांसकूटं च तल्लिनं करणं स्मृतम् ॥ 66-67 ॥
patākāñjali vakṣaḥsthaṃ prasāritaśirodharam ||4-66||
nihañcitāṃsakūṭaṃ ca tallinaṃ karaṇaṃ smṛtam |

  

In the karana Līna of Nāṭyaśāstra, hands are held in Anjali, with palms brought out in front of the chest in pataka pose. Shoulders are bent but the rest of the body - along with the neck, and legs - is erect and the head is held high. The sculpture in Thanjavur also depicts ganas joining in the dance around Shiva.

स्वस्तिकौ रेचिताविद्धौ विश्लिष्टौ कटिसंश्रितौ ।
यत्र तत्करणं ज्ञेयं बुधैः स्वस्तिकरेचितम् ॥ 67-68 ॥
swastikau recitāviddhau viśliṣṭau kaṭisaṃśritau ||4-67||
yatra tatkaraṇaṃ jñeyaṃ budhaaiḥ swastika recitam |

  

In this karana Swastikarecita, the body stands erect. Both feet are flat on the ground in sama pose, close together facing the front. The head, neck, and body are erect. The face is turned slightly to the left. The arms are in Recita and Āviddha gestures, crossing each other to form a Swastika. Then they are separated in a graceful motion and brought to rest on the hips. In the Thanjavur relief, two gaṇas are shown flanking their Lord.

स्वस्तिकौ तु करौ कृत्वा प्राङ्गमुखोर्ध्वतलौ समौ ।
तथा च मण्डलं स्थानं मण्डलस्वस्तिकं तु तत् ॥ 68-69 ॥
swastikau tu karau kṛtvā prāṅgamukhordhvatalau samau ||4-68||
tathā ca maṇḍalaṃ sthānaṃ maṇḍalasvastikaṃ tu tat |

     

In the karana Maṇḍalasvastika of Nāṭyaśāstra, the knees bent and jut out to the sides. Feet are flat on the ground in sama position. Two hands are crossed in swastika in front of the chest, palms facing upwards. The head is tilted slightly to the right. The lower half of the body is holding the Mandala Sthāna stance.

निकुट्टितौ यदा हस्तौ स्वबाहुशिरसोऽन्तरे ।
पादौ निकुट्टितौ चैव ज्ञेयं तत्तु निकुट्टकम् ॥ 69-70 ॥
nikuṭṭitau yadā hastau svabāhuśiraso’ntare ||4-69||
pādau nikuṭṭitau caaiva jñeyaṃ tat tu nikuṭṭakam |

  

In the karana Nikuṭṭaka of Nāṭyaśāstra, feet are kept in the same pose, flat on the ground. A gap is left between the two heels. The trunk bends at the waist. The two arms are held in line with the shoulders. Forearms are also bent, with the fingers pointing towards the neck. The head is thrown backward and is turned slightly to the left.

अञ्चितौ बाहुशिरसि हस्तस्त्वभिमुखाङ्गुलिः ।
निकुञ्चितार्धयोगेन भवेदर्थनिकुट्टकम् ॥ 70-71 ॥
añcitau bāhuśirasi hastastvabhimukhāṅguliḥ ||4-70||
nikuñcitārdhayogena bhavedarthanikuṭṭakam |

  

The karana Ardha-nikuttakam of Nāṭyaśāstra is similar to Nikuttikam, the previous karana. The difference liest in the more pronounced backward bent of the body from the waist upwards. The right hand is next to the ear while the left is on the chest. The hands are in ala pallava gesture. Samagadeva says if the Nikuttaka karana is done with limbs of one side rather than both, it becomes Ardha-nikuttaka.

पर्यायशः कटिश्छिन्ना बाह्वोः शिरसि पल्लवौ
पुनःपुनश्च करणं कटिच्छिनं तु तद्भवेत् ॥ 71-72 ॥
paryāyaśaḥ kaṭiśchinnā bāhvoḥ śirasi pallavau ||4-71||
punaḥpunaśca karaṇaṃ kaṭicchinaṃ tu tat bhavet |

  

The Karana Kaṭicchinna of Nāṭyaśāstra is often used to suggest a sense of wonder to the audience. The head is turned slightly to the left. The shoulders are bent and Chinna is the undulating movement of the hips. Hands are in the Pallava pose, where they are first brought together in pataka, and wrists are loosened and swung sideways. This hand gesture transition, from pataka to Pallava, is done many times. Feet are kept flat on the ground facing sideways. Heels are kept slightly apart.

अपविद्धकरः सूच्या पादश्चैव निकुट्टितः
संन्नतं यत्र पार्श्वं च तद्भवेअर्धरेचितम् ॥ 72-73 ॥
apaviddhakaraḥ sūcyā pādaścaaiva nikuṭṭitaḥ ||4-72||
saṃnnataṃ yatra pārśvaṃ ca tadbhaveardharecitam |

  

In the karana Ardharecita of Nāṭyaśāstra, the lower body is in mandala sthana, knees are bent, and toes are turned towards the sides. Left foot flat on the ground in the same pose. Right foot in kunchita pose. Torso bent to the left. The left hand (in the Thanjavur temple representation) is in front of the chest in Sūcimukha pose. The other hand is fully extended above the shoulders and moves freely.

स्वस्तिकौ चरणौ यत्र करौ वक्षसि रेचितौ
निकुञ्चितं तथा वक्षो वक्षस्स्वस्तिकमेव तत् ॥ 73-74 ॥
swastikau caraṇau yatra karau vakṣasi recitau ||4-73||
nikuñcitaṃ tathā vakṣo vakṣassvastikameva tat |

  

In the karana Vakṣaḥsvastikā of Nāṭyaśāstra, knees are bent sideways. Left foot in sama, flat on the ground. The right leg is crossing the left at the ankles forming the sign of a swastika. The waist slightly lowered. The trunk is bent to the left. The arms are crossed in swastika in front of the chest, palms in arala mudra.

आञ्चितेन तु पादेन रेचितौ तु करौ यदा
उन्मतं करणं तत्तु विज्ञेयं नृत्यकोविदैः ॥ 74-75 ॥
āñcitena tú pādena recitau tu karau yadā ||4-74||
unmataṃ karaṇaṃ tat tu vijñeyaṃ nṛtyakovidaaiḥ |

  

In the karana Unmatta of Nāṭyaśāstra, the lower part of the body in Ardha-mandali, knees bent, feet facing sideways. The feet are in Añcita, their soles flat on the ground. Hands move in Recita. The Thanjavur relief represents Shiva’s right arm in pataka, the left hand is bent in ala-pallava mudra and placed next to the navel. The face is turned slightly to the left with the head thrown back.

हस्ताभ्यामथ पादाभ्यां भवतः स्वस्तिकौ यदा
तत्स्वस्तिकमिति प्रोक्तं करणं करणार्थिभिः ॥ 75-76 ॥
hastābhyāmatha pādābhyāṃ bhavataḥ svastikau yadā ||4-75||
tatsvastikamiti proktaṃ karaṇaṃ karaṇārthibhiḥ |

  

The karana Swastika of Nāṭyaśāstra is the primary swastika pose. The arms are crossed in front of the chest. The face is turned to the left with the head thrown back at an angle. Legs cross each other in partial swastika near the shins. The right foot is in front and flat on the ground while the heel of the left foot is lifted off the ground and toes curled upwards. The knees are shown bent in a square formation.

विक्षिप्ताक्षिप्तबाहुभ्यां स्वस्तिकौ चरणौ यदा
अपक्रान्तार्धसूचिभ्यां तत्पृष्ठस्वस्तिकं भवेत् ॥ 76-77 ॥
vikṣiptākṣiptabāhubhyāṃ swastikau caraṇau yadā ||4-76||
apakrāntārdhasūcibhyāṃ tatpṛṣṭhasvastikaṃ bhavet |

  

In the karana Pṛṣṭhasvastika of Nāṭyaśāstra, the body, face, and head turned towards the right. Hands are thrown up and then brought down to cross each other in a Swastika position in front of the chest. Head tilted down. The left hand is in kaṭakā-mukha gesture facing up while the right is in patākā gesture, also facing up. The lower part of the body from the waist tends to swing towards the left. The feet also come together to form a Swastika using Apakrānta and Ardhasūcī Cārīs.

पार्श्वयोरग्रतश्चैव यत्र श्लिष्टः करो भवेत् ।
स्वस्तिकौ हस्तपादाभ्यां तद्दिक्स्वस्तिकमुच्यते ॥ 77-78 ॥
pārśvayoragrataścaaiva yatra śliṣṭaḥ karo bhavet ||4-77||
swastikau hastapādābhyāṃ tat dik swastikam ucyate |

  

In the karaṇa Dikswastika of Nāṭyaśāstra, the upper body turned to the right in a single movement. The arms are crossed at the chest in a Swastika pose. The lower part of the body is facing the front. The knees are bent and turned to the side. The right foot is flat on the ground on sama facing side, while the left crossing in svastika at the ankle has the toes on the ground, heel raised in kuñcita pose.

अलातं चरणं कृत्वा व्यंसयेद्दक्षिणं करम् ।
ऊर्ध्वजानुक्रमं कुर्यादलातकमिति स्मृतम् ॥ 78-79 ॥
alātaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā vyaṃsayeddakṣiṇaṃ karam ||4-78||
ūrdhvajānukramaṃ kuryādalātakamiti smṛtam |

  

In the karaṇa alāta of Nāṭyaśāstra, the upper part of the body is bent to the left. After making the pose Alāta Cārī, the neck, and the head are turned slightly to the right; and the hands are brought down from shoulder levels. The right arm is bent and holds a trident at the level. The left is bent, facing the front at chest level, and holds the patākā gesture. The leg movement ends in Ūrdhvajānu Cārī.

स्वस्तिकापसृतः पादः करौ नाभिकटिस्थितौ ।
पार्श्वमुद्वाहितं चैव करणं तत्कटीसमम् ॥ 79-80 ॥
swastikāpasṛtaḥ pādaḥ karau nābhikaṭisthitau ||4-79||
pārśvamudvāhitaṃ caiva karaṇaṃ tatkaṭīsamam |

  

In the karaṇa kaṭīsama of Nāṭyaśāstra, the upper part of the body is slightly bent and turned to the right. The right arm is at the navel and the left is placed on the hip, and the sides in the Udvāhita pose. The lower part of the body is down, with the knees bent sidewards. The feet move away from the swastika to apakrānta pose.

हस्तौ हृदि भवेद्वामः सव्यश्चाक्षिप्तरेचितः ।
रेचितश्चापविद्धश्च तत्स्यादाक्षिप्तरेचितम् ॥ 80-81 ॥
hastau hṛdi bhavedvāmaḥ savyaścākṣiptarecitaḥ ||4-80||
recitaścāpaviddhaśca tatsyādākṣiptarecitam |

  

The ākṣipta rēcitam of the Nāṭyaśāstra is the twentieth pose of Tandava. The lower part of the body below the waist is almost identical to the previous karaṇa, kaṭisama. The left foot is flat in sama pose on the ground. The heel of the right is lifted with the toes stamping the ground as if almost standing on the toes. The knees are bent. The torso leans to the left. The right arm is raised, bent, and in ala-Pallava. The left is at heart, bent facing front in kaṭakāmukha gesture.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left hand is on the heart while the right moves up and down by the side. Accordingly, the hand moves out from the chest and is brought back again, in a Recita with Apaviddha gestures. The feet follow the hand movement.

विक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं च तसैवाक्षेपणं पुनः ।
यत्र तत्करणं ज्ञेयं विक्षिप्ताक्षिप्तप्तकं द्विजाः ॥ 81-82 ॥
vikṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ ca tasaaivākṣepaṇaṃ punaḥ ||4-81||
yatra tatkaraṇaṃ jñeyaṃ vikṣiptākṣiptakaṃ dvijāḥ |


Karaṇa vikṣipta-ākṣipta is the twenty-first pose of Nāṭyaśāstra. In this, the knees bend and the body is lowered down. Hands are first thrown up. The legs follow the pattern. The hands are then brought down. This movement is repeated again and again.

स्वस्तिकौ चरणौ कृत्वा करिहस्तं च दक्षिणम् ।
वक्षस्थाने तथा वाममर्धस्वस्तिकमादिशेत् ॥ 82-83 ॥
swastikau caraṇau kṛtvā karihastaṃ ca dakṣiṇam ||4-82||
vakṣasthāne tathā vāmamardhasvastikamādiśet |

     

In Ardha-svastikarn, the twenty-second karana, as defined in the Nāṭyaśāstra, the lower part of the body is in swastika, with the legs crossed; the left foot is in sama and the right in nikuñcita poses. The right arm is in karihasta pose and the left is on the chest. The head tilts to the left.

व्यावृत्तपरिवृत्तस्तु स एव तु करो यदा ।
अञ्चितो नासिकाग्रे तु तदञ्चितमुदाहृतम् ॥ 83-84 ॥
vyāvṛttaparivṛttastu sa eva tu karo yadā ||4-83||
añcito nāsikāgre tu tadañcitamudāhṛtam |

  

In Añcita, the lower part of the body is almost the same as in the previous karaṇa ardha-swastika. The left hand at the chest is thrown out and brought around near the nose. Bharata's Nāṭyaśāstra does not define the position of the lower body. It only speaks about the movement of the hands and says the same hand (kari-hasta) is extended and taken to the nose and should be in an ala-pallava pose.

कुञ्चितं पादमुत्क्षिप्य त्र्यश्रमूरुं विवर्तयेत् ।
कटिजानुविवर्ताच्च भुजङ्गत्रासितं भवेत् ॥ 84-85 ॥
kuñcitaṃ pādamutkṣipya tryaśramūruṃ vivartayet ||4-84||
kaṭijānuvivartācca bhujaṅgatrāsitaṃ bhavet |

  

In Bhujaṅgatrāsita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is placed on the ground in sama pose, while the right is lifted and is across the body to the left as in Naṭarāja images. The body is twisted to the right at the waist and so is the face. The right arm is at waist level in the pose of pushing or preventing something. The left hand is on the chest in patākā, palm facing in.

कुञ्चितं पादमुत्क्षिप्य जनुस्तनसमं न्यसेत् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तावूर्ध्वजानु प्रकीर्तितम् ॥ 85-86 ॥
kuñcitaṃ pādamutkṣipya janustanasamaṃ nyaset ||4-85||
prayogavaśagau hastāvūrdhvajānu prakīrtitam |

  

In the ūrdhvajānu karana of Bharata's Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is flat in sama pose; the right knee is raised above the chest. The right hand with its elbow on the raised knee holds a trident while the left is at the chest. The face has a gentle turn to the right.

वृश्चिकं चरणं कृत्वा करं पार्श्वे निकुञ्चयेत् ।
नासाग्रे दक्षिणं चैव ज्ञेयं तत्तु निकुञ्चितम् ॥ 86-87 ॥
vṛścikaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā karaṃ pārśve nikuñcayet ||4-86||
nāsāgre dakṣiṇaṃ caiva jñeyaṃ tat tu nikuñcitam |

  

In karaṇa nikuñcita, the left leg is in the front, planted flat; the right is raised and bent at the back in vṛścika pose. The whole posture suggests a person running forward. The right arm is bent and is in front of the chest in śuka-tuṇḍa pose; the left is in kaṭakā-mukha held below the right hand.

वामदक्षिणपादाभ्यां घूर्णमानोपसर्पणैः ।
उद्वेष्टितापविद्धैश्च हस्तैर्मत्तल्ल्युदाहृतम् ॥ 87-88 ॥
vāmadakṣiṇapādābhyāṃ ghūrṇamānopasarpaṇaaiḥ ||4-87||
udveṣṭitāpaviddhaaiśca hastaairmattallyudāhṛtam |

  

The karaṇa mattalli of Nāṭyaśāstra suggests the pose of playing the percussion instrument, mattala. The legs are slightly bent and the feet are flat on the ground. Both the arms are extended Sideways as striking the mattala vigorously and the palm is in tripatākā pose; the fingers are shown pressing the sides of the drum. The chest is bent slightly forward; the head is turned to the left.

स्स्खलितापसृतौ पादौ वामहस्तश्च रेचितः ।
सव्यहस्तः कटिस्थः स्यादर्धमत्तल्लि तत्स्मृतम् ॥ 88-89 ॥
sskhalitāpasṛtau pādau vāmahastaśca recitaḥ ||4-88||
savyahastaḥ kaṭisthaḥ syādardhamattalli tatsmṛtam |

  

In ardha-mattalli, the right leg is almost in the sama position as the previous karaṇa. The right hand is on the thigh; the left is raised above the shoulders in ala-Pallava. Bharata says the legs should glide and get separated. The left hand should wobble in rēcita; the right should be on the thigh.

रेचितो दक्षिणो हस्तः पादः सव्यो निकुट्टितः ।
दोला चैव भवेद्वामस्तद्रेचितनिकुट्टितम् ॥ 89-90 ॥
recito dakṣiṇo hastaḥ pādaḥ savyo nikuṭṭitaḥ ||4-89||
dolā caiva bhavedvāmastadrecitanikuṭṭitam |

  

In the karaṇa rēcita-nikuṭṭaka, the left leg is flat, in sama; the right is in kuñcita, the toes touching the ground. The knees are bent to form a square. The right arm is raised above the shoulder while the left is on the navel. The head is turned to the left. Bharata says that the right hand should flutter, the right leg should stamp on the ground, and the left hand should be hanging in dola hasta.

कार्यौ नाभितटे हस्तौ प्राङ्मुखौ खटकामुखौ ।
सूचीविद्धावपक्रान्तौ पादौ पादापविद्धके ॥ 90-91॥
kāryau nābhitaṭe hastau prāṅmukhau khaṭakāmukhau ||4-90||
sūcīviddhāvapakrāntau pādau pādāpaviddhake |

  

In the karaṇa pāda-apaviddhakam of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is flat on the ground while the other is in śūci. The knees are bent and form a square. Both the arms are in front of the chest in kaṭakā-mukha pose. The body is bent to the right with the face slightly tilted down.

अपविद्धो भवेद्धस्तः सूचीपादस्तथैअव च ।
तथा त्रिकं विवृत्तं च वलितं नाम तद्भवेत् ॥ 91-92 ॥
apaviddho bhaveddhastaḥ sūcīpādastathaaiava ca ||4-91||
tathā trikaṃ vivṛttaṃ ca valitaṃ nāma tadbhavet |

  

In valitam, the left leg is flat while the right is in śūci. The knees are bent to form a square. The right hand is extended above the shoulders in the daṇḍa pose. The left is bent and is on the chest. The hand and the face are turned to the right. The hand in sarpa siras pose should be moved away from the body in apasrita, according to Nāṭyaśāstra. Similarly, the leg should be in śūci-pāda. The waist and body should be twisted in valita karaṇa.

वर्तिताघूर्णितः सव्यो हस्तो वामश्च दोलितः ।
स्वस्तिकापसृतः पादः करणं घूर्णितं तु तत् ॥ 92-93 ॥
vartitāghūrṇitaḥ savyo hasto vāmaśca dolitaḥ ||4-92||
svastikāpasṛtaḥ pādaḥ karaṇaṃ ghūrṇitaṃ tu tat |

    

In karaṇa ghūrṇita, the left leg is bent, the foot flat on the ground in sama pose; the right leg is bent and crosses the other leg in svastika with the back of the toes touching the ground. The right hand is rotated and brought to the side, in ghūrṇita. The left-hand swings forward and backward. The feet gently unlocked from the swastika crossing. The body is bent to the left gently; the face is turned to the left.

करिहस्तो भवेद्वामो दक्षिणश्च विवर्तितः ।
बहुशः कुट्टितः पदो ज्ञेयं तल्ललितं बुधैः  ॥ 93-94 ॥
karihasto bhavedvāmo dakṣiṇaśca vivartitaḥ ||4-93||
bahuśaḥ kuṭṭitaḥ pado jñeyaṃ tallalitaṃ budhaaiḥ |

  

In Lalita, the legs are in catura pose: the left leg is flat on the ground in sama and the right is in kuñcita. The right hand is folded and holds kaṭakā-mukha. The left hand is extended sideways in latā-hasta. There is a gentle tilt of the head. Bharata defines this karaṇa as follows. The left hand should be in kari-hasta and the right folded; the feet should repeatedly stamp.

ऊर्ध्वजानुं विधायाथ तस्योपरि लतां न्यसेत् ।
दण्ड्पक्षं तत्प्रोक्तं कर्णं नृत्यवेदिभिः ॥ 94-95 ॥
ūrdhvajānuṃ vidhāyātha tasyopari latāṃ nyaset ||4-94||
daṇḍapakṣaṃ tatproktaṃ karṇaṃ nṛtyavedibhiḥ |

  

In daṇḍapakṣa, the left leg is flat in sama on the ground with a deep bend of the knee. The right knee is raised up to the waist in the Ūrdhvajānu pose. The toes are pointing to the ground. The extended right hand, the latā-hasta, is placed on the raised knee. The left hand is folded and is in level with the shoulder. The palm, held in patākā, faces the front. The body above is bent to the right. The head is tilted to the right face, turning left.

भुजङ्गत्रासितं कृत्वा यत्रोभावपि रेचितौ ।
वामपार्श्वस्थ्तौ हस्तौ भुजङ्गत्रस्तरेचितम् ॥ 95-96 ॥
bhujaṅgatrāsitaṃ kṛtvā yatrobhāvapi recitau ||4-95||
vāmapārśvasthitau hastau bhujaṅgatrastarecitam |

  

In Bhujaṅgatrastarecita, the left leg is on the ground while the right is lifted and is across the body as in Naṭarāja images. The earlier bhujanga-trasita karaṇa is also in the sama pose. Both arms are moving towards the lifted foot. The body is also bent slightly forward and the face and eye follow the hands. The earlier karaṇa with a similar name showed the fear and warding off the snake; the present one shows a fluttering forward movement of the hands.

त्रिकं सुवलितं कृत्वा लतारेचितकौ करौ ।
नूपुर्श्च तथा पादः करण् नूपुरे न्यसेत् ॥ 96-97 ॥
trikaṃ suvalitaṃ kṛtvā latārecitakau karau ||4-96||
nūpuraśca tathā pādaḥ karaṇe nūpure nyaset |

  

In the karaṇa Nūpura, the legs are in a square formation with the feet flat on the ground. The two arms are stretched above the shoulders like the wings of a bird. The two other arms are brought down by the side of the waist; the face is turned to the left.

रेचितौ हस्तपादौ च कटी ग्रीवा च रेचिता ।
वैशाखस्थानकेनैतद्भवेवैशाखरेचितम् ॥ 97-98 ॥
recitau hastapādau ca kaṭī grīvā ca recitā ||4-97||
vaaiśākhasthānakenaaitadbhavedvaaiśākharecitam |

  

In Vaiśākharecita, the feet are separated by two spans and facing out are in vaiśākha-rēcita pose. The knees are bent and the legs are in square formation. The right hand is on the chest in patākā pose; the left is extended to the side, a little below the shoulder. The head is thrown back with the face tilted up.

आक्षिप्तः स्वस्तिकः पादः करौ चोद्वेष्टितौ तथा ।
त्रिकस्य वलनाच्चैव   ज्ञेयं भ्रमरकं तु तत् ॥ 98-99 ॥
ākṣiptaḥ svastikaḥ pādaḥ karau codveṣṭitau tathā ||4-98||
trikasya valanāccaaiva jñeyaṃ bhramarakaṃ tu tat |

  

In bhramaraṃ, the legs are crossed in svastika, forming a square. The right hand is raised and bent; the palm is in ala-pallava; the left hand is bent and lowered with the fingers pointing towards the waist. The body and the face are almost straight.

अञ्चितः स्यात्करो वामः सव्यश्चतुर एव तु ।
दक्षिणः कुट्टितः पादश्चतुरं तत्प्रकीर्तितम् ॥ 99-100 ॥
añcitaḥ syātkaro vāmaḥ savyaścatura eva tu ||4-99||
dakṣiṇaḥ kuṭṭitaḥ pādaścaturaṃ tatprakīrtitam |

  

In the catura pose of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs form a square. The left hand is lowered to the waist and is in śūci, pointing. The right hand is folded and raised above the shoulder. This follows the previous one except for the leg position, which is the square in this instead of being crossed, and is a transition to the next stage.

भुजङ्गत्रासितः  पादो दक्षिणो रेचितः करः ।
लताख्यश्च करो वामो भुजङ्गाञ्चितकं भवेत् ॥ 100-101 ॥
bhujaṅgatrāsitaḥ pādo dakṣiṇo recitaḥ karaḥ ||4-100||
latākhyaśca karo vāmo bhujaṅgāñcitakaṃ bhavet |

  

In Bhujaṅgāñcita, the right leg is raised and thrown across the body to the left in a bhujanga-trasita pose. The hand, folded, shows abhaya as in Naṭarāja images. The head is slightly turned to the back with the face looking to the left.

This popular pose is carved in the temples of Lord Sundarēśvara in the Madurai region. Bronzes of this pose are found in the Madurai Minākṣi temple and the surroundings. While the familiar Naṭarāja pose is a creation of the Cōḷas, this pose was patronised by the Pāṇḍyas who adopted it from Bharata's Nāṭyaśāstra.

विक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं तु समन्ताद्यत्र दण्डवत् ।
रेच्यते तद्धि करणं ज्ञेयं दण्डकरेचितम् ॥ 101-102 ॥
vikṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ tu samantādyatra daṇḍavat ||4-101||
recyate taddhi karaṇaṃ jñeyaṃ daṇḍakarecitam |

    

In Daṇḍakarecita, the left leg is stretched with the foot flat in sama on the ground. The lower body is twisted at the waist with the hip in the front; the right leg is bent, and placed on the ground about three-and-a-half span apart; the heel on the ground is in añcita; the body above the waist is turned to the front; the side is to the right. The neck, face, and head are turned and tilted at the back. The left arm is thrown up on the side like a daṇḍaka. The right is bent and is at the back. The forearm of the right hand holds the ala-pallava pose. The waist is twisted forcibly with the torso bent backward.

वृश्चिकं चरणं कृत्वा द्वावप्यथ निकुट्टितौ ।
विधातव्यौ करौ तत्तु ज्ञेयं वृश्चिककुट्टितम् ॥ 102-103 ॥
vṛścikaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā dvāvapyatha nikuṭṭitau ||4-102||
vidhātavyau karau tat tu jñeyaṃ vṛścikakuṭṭitam |

  

In Vṛścikakuṭṭita, the left leg is placed on the ground, with the foot flat in sama pose and the knee bent. The right leg is bent and raised up to the waist. This leg resembles the raised tail of a scorpion and hence vṛścika. Above the waist, the side of the body is bent to the right while the chest is raised up. Both the arms are folded in the front at the chest; the hands are in patākā hasta. The neck, face, and head are turned to the left and tilted to the back.

सूचिं कृत्वापविद्धं च दक्षिणं चरणं न्यसेत् ।
रेचिता च कटिर्यत्र कटिभ्रान्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 103-104 ॥
sūciṃ kṛtvāpaviddhaṃ ca dakṣiṇaṃ caraṇaṃ nyaset ||4-103||
recitā ca kaṭiryatra kaṭibhrāntaṃ taducyate |

   

In Kaṭibhrānta, the right leg is flat on the ground and the left is agartala-sanchara. The side of the body above is bent. The neck, face, and head are tilted to the right. Both arms are lifted to the side in daṇḍa-hasta resembling the wings of a bird. The emblems on the hands are not distinct.

अञ्चितः पृष्ठतः पादः कुञ्चितोर्ध्वतलाङ्गुलिः ।
लताख्यश्च करो वामस्तल्लतावृश्चिकं भवेत् ॥ 104-105 ॥
añcitaḥ pṛṣṭhataḥ pādaḥ kuñcitordhvatalāṅguliḥ ||4-104||
latākhyaśca karo vāmastallatāvṛścikaṃ bhavet |

  

Latāvṛścika pose of the Nāṭyaśāstra resembles a running person. The left leg is bent, the foot is flat on the ground while the right is raised unto the waist and bent at the back in vṛścika pose. The right hand is near the chest, holding śuka tuṇḍa gesture. The left arm is stretched above the shoulder in a latā gesture. The face is turned to the side with a slight tilt to the back.

अलपद्मः कटीदेशे छिन्ना पर्यायशः कटी ।
वैशाखस्थानकेनेह तच्छिन्नं करणं भवेत् ॥ 105-106 ॥
alapadmaḥ kaṭīdeśe chinnā paryāyaśaḥ kaṭī ||4-105||
vaaiśākhasthānakeneha tacchinnaṃ karaṇaṃ bhavet |

  

In Chinna, both legs are bent, forming a square. Feet are planted flat in sama position, facing sideways and turned away from each other. The right hand is bent and placed on the thigh. The left is bent and raised on the side. The face and head are thrown back.

वृश्चिकं चरणं कृत्वा स्वस्तिकौ च करवुभौ ।
रेचितौ विप्रकीर्णौ च करौ वृश्चिकरेचितम् ॥ 106-107 ॥
vṛścikaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā swastikau ca karavu bhau ||4-106||
recitau viprakīrṇau ca karau vṛścikarecitam |

    

In Vṛścikarecita, the left leg is bent and placed flat in sama on the ground while the right is lifted at the back and bent and raised like a tail of a scorpion. The body above the waist is almost straight with a slight swing to the right; the face and the head are thrown to the backside. The two arms are spread straight at the back like the wings of a bird.

बाहुशीर्षाञ्चितौ हस्तौ पादः पृष्ठाञ्चितस्तथा ।
दूरसन्नतपृष्ठं च वृश्चिकं तत्प्रकीर्तितम् ॥ 107-108 ॥
bāhuśīrṣāñcitau hastau pādaḥ pṛṣṭhāñcitastathā ||4-107||
dūrasannatapṛṣṭhaṃ ca vṛścikaṃ tatprakīrtitam |

  

The Vṛścika karaṇa resembles the previous one with one change: The arms are bent and placed on the shoulders. According to Bharata, the hands should be placed on the shoulders. The lifted leg should bend at the back like a scorpion and be held at a distance. The Tanjavur panel conforms closely to this prescription.

आलीढं स्थानकं यत्र करौ वक्षसि रेचितौ ।
ऊर्ध्वाधो विप्रकीर्णौ च व्यंसितं करणं तु तत् ॥ 108-109 ॥
ālīḍhaṃ sthānakaṃ yatra karau vakṣasi recitau ||4-108||
ūrdhvādho viprakīrṇau ca vyaṃsitaṃ karaṇaṃ tu tat |

  

In Vyaṃsita, the left leg is stretched and planted away from the body. The right is bent and placed to the right. The pose is like a hero drawing the string of a bow to discharge an arrow. It is called the ālīḍha pose. The left hand is straight in level with the shoulder while the right is bent and is at waist level holding a paraśu. The head is tilted back and the face is turned to the left.

हस्तौ तु स्वस्तिकौ पार्श्वे तथा पादो निकुट्टितः ।
यत्र तत्करणं ज्ञेयं बुधैः पार्श्वनिकुट्टितम् ॥ 109-110 ॥
hastau tu svastikau pārśve tathā pādo nikuṭṭitaḥ ||4-109||
yatra tatkaraṇaṃ jñeyaṃ budhaaiḥ pārśvanikuṭṭitam |

  

In Pārśvanikuṭṭaka, both the feet are bent and placed flat on the ground, one span apart but the toes facing the sides in the opposite direction. The chest above the waist is slightly expanded and bent turning to the right. Both the hands are crossed at the chest in swastika. The head is tilted backwards.

वृश्चिकं चरणं कृत्वा पादस्याङ्गुष्ठकेन तु ।
ललाटे तिलकं कुर्याल्ललाटतिलकं तु तत् ॥ 110-111 ॥
vṛścikaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā pādasyāṅguṣṭhakena tu ||4-110||
lalāṭe tilakaṃ kuryāllalāṭatilakaṃ tu tat |

  

In Lalāṭatilaka, the left leg is placed on the ground with the feet flat in sama and the knee bent. The right leg is lifted up and bent and the toes virtually touching the forehead. The body and the waist are bent heavily to the left and the chest is pushed to the front. The hands are held in añjali at the chest on the left side. The face and the head are tilted back.

पृष्ठतः कुञ्चितं कृत्वा व्यतिक्रान्तक्रमं ततः ।
आक्षिप्तौ च करौ कार्यौ क्रान्तके करणे द्विजाः ॥ 111-112 ॥
pṛṣṭhataḥ kuñcitaṃ kṛtvā vyatikrāntakramaṃ tataḥ ||4-111||
ākṣiptau ca karau kāryau krāntake karaṇe dvijāḥ |

  

In Krāntaka, the left foot is straightened and placed flat in sama on the ground. The lower body is twisted at the waist with the right hip and leg turned to the front; the knee is bent and the foot is placed two spans in the front flat suggesting forward movement. The side and the chest are turned to the front. The face and head are slightly bent facing the front. Both arms are extended downward in latā hasta.

आद्यः पादो नतः कार्यः सव्यहस्तश्च कुञ्चितः ।
उत्तानो वामपार्श्वस्थस्तत्कुञ्चितमुदाहृतम् ॥ 112-113 ॥
ādyaḥ pādo nataḥ kāryaḥ savyahastaśca kuñcitaḥ ||4-112||
uttāno vāmapārśvasthastatkuñcitamudāhṛtam |

  

In Kuñcita, both the legs are bent at the knee forming a square. The left leg is in sama, flat on the ground while the right is in kuñcita, the toes touching the ground in tala sancara. The upper body bends to the right side. The face and the head are tilted to the right, the left arm is placed on the left thigh while the right is at the chest level, bent in an ala-pallava pose.

प्रलम्बिताभ्यां बाहुभ्यां यद्गात्रेणानतेन च ।
अभ्यन्तरापविद्धः स्यात्तज्ज्ञेयं चक्रमण्डलम् ॥ 113-114 ॥
pralambitābhyāṃ bāhubhyāṃ yadgātreṇānatena ca ||4-113||
abhyantarāpaviddhaḥ syāttajjñeyaṃ cakramaṇḍalam |

  

In Cakramaṇḍala, the leg is stretched straight, placing the foot sideways in sama. There is a twist at the waist, the hip, and leg turned to the right, and the right leg planted in front about three spans apart. There is the suggestion of forward and swinging movement. The body above the waist is bent to the left; the face and the head are tilted to the right. The face is looking at the front. Both the arms are thrown down on the side in almost latā hasta, like a creeper.

स्वस्तिकापसृतौ पादावपविद्धक्रमौ यदा ।
उरोमण्डलकौ हस्तावुरोमण्डलिकस्तु   तत् ॥ 114-115 ॥
svastikāpasṛtau pādāvapaviddhakramau yadā ||4-114||
uromaṇḍalakau hastāvuromaṇḍalikastu tat |

  

In Uromaṇḍala, both the legs are bent at the knees forming a square; the left foot is flat in sama pāda, while the right is in agartala-sancara forward movement. The body above the waist is almost straight with a gentle tilt to the right. Both the arms are bent and are at the navel level. The face is turned towards the right and the head is slightly thrown back.

आक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं च क्रियते  यत्र वेगतः ।
आक्षिओतं नाम करणं विज्ञेयं तत्द्विजोत्तमाः ॥ 115-116 ॥
ākṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ ca kriyate yatra vegataḥ ||4-115||
ākṣiotaṃ nāma karaṇaṃ vijñeyaṃ tatdvijottamāḥ |

  

In ākṣipta karaṇa of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the knees are bent and the legs below are crossed in the swastika. The dancer faces to the left while the left hand is on the thigh, and the right is in śūci.

ऊर्ध्वाङ्गुलितलः पादः पार्श्वेनोर्ध्वं प्रसारितः ।
प्रकुर्यादञ्चिततलौ हस्तौ तलविलासिते ॥ 116-117 ॥
ūrdhvāṅgulitalaḥ pādaḥ pārśvenordhvaṃ prasāritaḥ ||4-116||
prakuryādañcitatalau hastau talavilāsite |

In the karaṇa Tala-vilāsita of Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs form a square with bent knees. Feet are planted flat on the ground, toes turned in opposite directions. The trunk is arched slightly. The face is turned to the right. The arms are at shoulder level, bent at the elbow. The hands are brought next to the ears. The right arm is extending slightly away.

पृष्ठतः प्रसृतः पादौ द्वौ तालावर्धमेव च ।
तस्येव चानुगो हस्तः पुरतस्त्वर्गलं तु तत् ॥ 117-118 ॥
pṛṣṭhataḥ prasṛtaḥ pādau dvau tālāvardhameva ca ||4-117||
tasyeva cānugo hastaḥ puratastvargalaṃ tu tat |

  

In karaṇa argala, the legs are in the front and bent. The Nāṭyaśāstra says the leg should be stretched at the back two-and-half span apart while the hand should be in conformity with the leg movement. The right leg is stretched and placed about four spans at the back. The left arm is stretched to the front in level with the shoulder and is poised as if holding out a bow. The right arm is bent and is kept at the chest as if pulling back an arrow. The face is tilted back.

विक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं च पृष्ठतः पार्श्वतोऽपि वा ।
एकमार्गगतं यत्र तद्विक्षिप्तमुदाहृतम् ॥ 118-119 ॥
vikṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ ca pṛṣṭhataḥ pārśvato’pi vā ||4-118||
ekamārgagataṃ yatra tadvikṣiptamudāhṛtam |

  

In the karaṇa vikṣipta of Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs are in a square formation. The left foot is flat and is turned to the side. The right is in kuñcita with its heel raised and the toes touching the ground. The arms are stretched to the side like a shaft level with the shoulders. The two hands are in a perfectly straight line. The body, face, and head are straight.

प्रसार्य कुञ्चितं पादं पुनरावर्तयेत् द्रुतम् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तौ तदावर्तमुदाहृतम् ॥ 119-120 ॥
prasārya kuñcitaṃ pādaṃ punarāvartayet drutam ||4-119||
prayogavaśagau hastau tadāvartamudāhṛtam |

    

In the karaṇa āvarta of Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs are in a square formation. The left leg is flat on the ground in the sama pose while the right is in the kuñcita pose as in the previous karaṇa. There is a bent to the body in this pose. The right hand also bends at the elbow and is raised parallel to the head. The left hand is lowered down. The head is tilted to the right.

कुञ्चितं पादमुत्क्षिप्य पार्श्वात्पार्श्वं तु डोलयेत् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तौ डोलापादं तदुच्यते ॥ 120-121 ॥
kuñcitaṃ pādamutkṣipya pārśvātpārśvaṃ tu ḍolayet ||4-120||
prayogavaśagau hastau ḍolāpādaṃ taducyate |

  

In the ḍola-pāda of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is flat on the ground, in sama with the knee bent at an angle. The right is stretched straight across as a shaft. The right and the left hands are also stretched and move towards the lifted foot. The body above the waist is bent to the front, and the head faces the lifted foot.

आक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं च त्रिकं चैव विवर्तयेत् ।
रेचितौ च तथा हस्तौ विवृत्ते करणे द्विजाः ॥ 121-122 ॥
ākṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ ca trikaṃ caiva vivartayet ||4-121||
recitau ca tathā hastau vivṛtte karaṇe dvijāḥ |

  

In the vivṛtta karaṇa of the Nāṭyaśāstra, both the legs are bent and are placed flat on the ground in sama position. The whole body along with the legs is turned with the back towards the onlooker. The face is to the left side. The right hand is bent at the waist level while the left hand rests at the hip. The hands must be in rēcita.

सूचीविद्धं विधायाथ त्रिकं तु विनिवर्तयेत् ।
करौ च रेचितौ कार्यौ विनिवृत्ते द्विजोत्तमः ॥ 122-123 ॥
sūcīviddhaṃ vidhāyātha trikaṃ tu vinivartayet ||4-122||
karau ca recitau kāryau vinivṛtte dvijottamaḥ |

  

Vinivṛtta, the sixty second karana of the Tandava Vidhi as described in Nāṭyaśāstra, is also a bent leg posture. The left foot is in sama pose facing sideways. The right leg is in the kuñcita. The body is bent to the left side. The arms are held in kaṭaka pose, close to the pit of the arms. The face leans towards the left side.

पार्श्वक्रान्तक्रमं कृत्वा पुरस्तादथ पातयेत् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तौ पार्श्वक्रान्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 123-124 ॥
pārśvakrāntakramaṃ kṛtvā purastādatha pātayet ||4-123||
prayogavaśagau hastau pārśvakrāntaṃ taducyate |

  

In the karaṇa pārśva-krānta of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is planted flat on the ground while the right is lifted like in the classic Naṭaraja pose. The arms are bent with hands near the armpit in patākā pose. The body, neck, and face are facing the front. The kuñcita foot should be lifted, held on the side, and stamped in front, according to Bharata. The hands should move appropriately.

पृष्ठतः कुञ्चितः पादौ वक्षश्चैव समुन्नतम् ।
तिलके च करः स्थाप्यस्तन्निस्तम्भितमुच्यते ॥ 124-125 ॥
pṛṣṭhataḥ kuñcitaḥ pādau vakṣaścaaiva samunnatam ||4-124||
tilake ca karaḥ sthāpyastannistambhitamucyate |

  

The karaṇa is known as Nisthambita or Niśumbhita. In this pose, the legs are placed about four to five spans apart, exhibiting a fast stride. The left arm is lowered around the thighs while the right is raised and is near the forehead. The face is turned to the left. The leg is bent at the back. The chest is thrust out and the hand is as if applying a tilak.

पृष्ठतो वलितं पादं शिरोघृष्टं प्रसारयेत् ।
सर्वतो मण्डलाविद्धं विद्युद्भ्रान्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 125-126 ॥
pṛṣṭhato valitaṃ pādaṃ śiroghṛṣṭaṃ prasārayet ||4-125||
sarvato maṇḍalāviddhaṃ vidyudbhrāntaṃ taducyate |

The sixty fifth karana is the vidyut-bhrānta of the Nāṭyaśāstra. The left leg is planted on the ground while the right is raised at the back as the tail of a scorpion vṛścika. Both the arms are bent and raised on the sides like the wings of a bird. The right side of the body is bent while the chest is raised up. The head is thrown back and the face turned to the left.

अतिक्रान्तक्रमं कृत्वा पुरस्तात्सम्प्रसारयेत् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तावतिक्रान्ते प्रकीर्तितौ ॥ 126-127 ॥
atikrāntakramaṃ kṛtvā purastātsamprasārayet ||4-126||
prayogavaśagau hastāvatikrānte prakīrtitau |

  

In the karaṇa atikrānta of the Nāṭyaśāstra, both the right and the left foot are flat on the ground but are apart by about four spans suggesting a powerful forward movement. The body is twisted to the right and so is the face. The right hand is raised up to the head as if giving a slap. The left hand is down straight on the side.

आक्षिप्तं हस्तपादं च त्रिकं चैव विवर्तितम् ।
द्वितीयो रेचितो हस्तो विवर्तितकमेव तत् ॥ 127-128 ॥
ākṣiptaṃ hastapādaṃ ca trikaṃ caaiva vivartitam ||4-127||
dvitīyo recito hasto vivartitakameva tat |

  

In the karaṇa vivartitaka, as described by Bharata, the legs are bent and crossed in swastika. The right hand is bent and holds patākā while the left is extended by the side like a daṇḍa in line with the shoulder. The head is tilted back but faces the front.

कर्णेऽञ्चितः करो वामो लताहस्तश्च दक्षिणः ।
दोलापादस्तथा चैव गजक्रीडितकं भवेत् ॥ 128-129 ॥
karṇe’ñcitaḥ karo vāmo latāhastaśca dakṣiṇaḥ ||4-128||
dolāpādastathā caaiva gajakrīḍitakaṃ bhavet |

  

In Gajakrīḍitaka, the sixty eighth karana of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is stretched and firmly placed on the ground while the right is stretched to the front with over five spans gap in between. The left hand, according to Bharata, should be near the left ear in añcita. The right hand should be in latā-hasta. The body above the waist is twisted to the front. The right hand is extended down in latā-hasta swinging like the trunk of an elephant, while the bent left hand scratches the left ear of the elephant.

द्रुतमुत्क्षिप्य चरणं पुरस्तादथ पातयेत् ।
तलसंस्फोटितौ हस्तौ तलसंस्फोटिते मतौ ॥ 129-130 ॥
drutamutkṣipya caraṇaṃ purastādatha pātayet ||4-129||
talasaṃsphoṭitau hastau talasaṃsphoṭite matau |

  

In the sixty ninth karaṇa of Tandava, Tala-samspoṭita of Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs are placed three spans apart representing a sideways walking motion. The left leg is straight while the right is bent. Both the legs are flat on the ground. The body is turned to the right, so also the face. Both the arms are in the pose of clapping in front. In the Thanjavur relief, a fairly big gaṇa is dancing in front of Shiva.

पृष्ठप्रसारितः पादः लतारेचितकौ करौ ।
समुन्नतं शिरश्चैव गरुडप्लुतकं भवेत् ॥ 130-131 ॥
pṛṣṭhaprasāritaḥ pādaḥ latārecitakau karau ||4-130||
samunnataṃ śiraścaaiva garuḍaplutakaṃ bhavet |

  

The figure of garuda-plutaka suggests the flying movement of a garuda. The right leg is bent and planted on the ground. The left leg is also bent but raised behind the back to represent the tail feathers. Both the arms are raised up like the wings of a soaring bird. The face is turned to the right and raised high.

सूचिपादो नतं पार्श्वमेको वक्षःस्थितः करः ।
द्वितीयश्चाञ्चितो गण्डे गण्डसूची तदुच्यते ॥ 131-132 ॥
sūcīpādo nataṃ pārśvameko vakṣaḥsthitaḥ karaḥ ||4-131||
dvitīyaścāñcito gaṇḍe gaṇḍasūcī taducyate |

  

In the gaṇḍa-śūci-karaṇa of Nāṭyaśāstra, both the legs are bent forming a square between them. The left foot is flat in sama pose while the right is in śūci. The left hand is on the chest in ala-pallava while the right is raised up to the cheek in añcita. The torso is slightly bent to the front with the head casting its eyes down in nata.

ऊर्ध्वापवेष्टितौ हस्तौ सूचीपादो विवर्तितः ।
परिवृत्तत्रिकं चैव परिवृत्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 132-133 ॥
ūrdhvāpaveṣṭitau hastau sūcīpādo vivartitaḥ ||4-132||
parivṛttatrikaṃ caiva parivṛttaṃ tat ucyate |

  

The main aspect of karaṇa parivṛtta of the Nāṭyaśāstra is a complete turning around of the torso. The panel shows the back view. The left leg is flat on the ground while the right is in śūci, the toes touching the ground. Both hands are raised.

एकः समस्थितः पाद ऊरुपृष्ठे स्थितोऽपरः ।
मुष्टिहस्तश्च वक्षःस्थः पार्श्वजानु तदुच्यते ॥ 133-134 ॥
ekaḥ samasthitaḥ pāda ūrupṛṣṭhe sthito’paraḥ ||4-133||
muṣṭihastaśca vakṣaḥsthaḥ pārśvajānu taducyate |

  

In the karaṇa pārśva-jānu of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the figure of the dancer on the Thanjavur temple walls is somewhat crude as it remains unfinished. The right leg is shown on the ground while the knee of the left is lifted up with the toe touching the ground in śūci. The bent right hand is in level with the shoulder. The left hand is stretched to the side lower than the shoulder.

पृष्ठप्रसारितः पादः किञ्चितञ्चित जानुकः ।
यत्र प्रसारितो बाहू तत्स्यात् गृध्रावलीनकम् ॥ 134-135 ॥
pṛṣṭhaprasāritaḥ pādaḥ kiñcitañcita jānukaḥ ||4-134||
yatra prasārito bāhū tatsyāt gṛdhrāvalīnakam |

  

In the karaṇa gṛdhrāvalinakam of Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is in a forward movement while the right is about four spans back. The arms are raised to give the impression of the outstretched wings of the vulture. The head is tilted back as the face is raised towards the sky suggesting an upward movement.

उत्प्लुत्य चरणौ कार्यावग्रतः स्वस्तिकस्थितौ ।
सन्नतौ च तथा हस्तौ सन्नतं तदुदाहृतम् ॥ 135-136 ॥
utplutya caraṇau kāryāvagrataḥ swastikasthitau ||4-135||
sannatau ca tathā hastau sannataṃ tadudāhṛtam |

  

The seventy-fifth karaṇa of the Nāṭyaśāstra is named sannatam. The legs are crossed at the thigh with the legs straight, the right forward, and the left at the back. The arms are bent and in the samputa-mudrā at the navel. The body, neck, and face are straight.

कुञ्चितं पादमुत्क्षिप्य कुर्यादग्रस्थितं भुवि ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तौ सा सूची परिकीर्तिता ॥ 136-137 ॥
kuñcitaṃ pādamutkṣipya kuryādagrasthitaṃ bhuvi ||4-136||
prayogavaśagau hastau sā sūcī parikīrtitā |

  

In the karaṇa śūci of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left leg is flat on the ground in sama with a bend at the knee. The right, also bent, has its toes pointing to the ground in śūci pose. Both the arms are spread like the wings of a bird.

अलपद्मः शिरोहस्तः सूचीपादश्च दक्षिणः ।
यत्र तत्करणं ज्ञेअयमर्धसूचीति नामतः ॥ 137-138 ॥
alapadmaḥ śirohastaḥ sūcīpādaśca dakṣiṇaḥ ||4-137||
yatra tatkaraṇaṃ jñeyamardhasūcīti nāmataḥ |

  

In karaṇa ardha śūci of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the lower part of the body is similar to the previous karaṇa and so are the arms. The right hand is bent and placed on the thigh while the left is near the waist. The upper part of the body follows the previous karaṇa.

पादसूच्या यदा पादो द्वितीयस्तु प्रविध्यते ।
कटिवक्षःस्थितौ हस्तौ सूचीविधं तदुच्यते ॥ 138-139 ॥
pādasūcyā yadā pādo dvitīyastu pravidhyate ||4-138||
kaṭivakṣaḥsthitau hastau sūcīvidhaṃ taducyate |

  

In śūci-viddham, the left leg is planted straight on the ground; the right is in agra-tala-sancara (the forward movement). The right arm is placed on the thigh. The body is kept straight.

कृत्वोरुवलितं पादमपक्रान्तक्रमं न्यसेत् ।
प्रयोगवशगौ हस्तवपक्रान्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 139-140 ॥
kṛtvoruvalitaṃ pādamapakrāntakramaṃ nyaset ||4-139||
prayogavaśagau hastāvapakrāntaṃ taducyate |

  

In Apakrānta of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the body below the waist is twisted with the hip turned to the side. The right leg is in forward movement while the left is at the back, flat in sama pose. The upper body is turned to the front with the arms raised in patākā pose at an angle. The face and head are turned to the right. The karaṇa depicts twists at the waist, body, and neck.

वृश्चिकं चरणं कृत्वा रेचितौ च तथा करौ ।
तथा त्रिकं विवृत्तं च मयूरललितं भवेत् ॥ 140-141 ॥
vṛścikaṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā recitau ca tathā karau ||4-140||
tathā trikaṃ vivṛttaṃ ca mayūralalitaṃ bhavet |

   

The karaṇa mayūra-lalita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, resembles a pose of running. The left leg is in añcita (heel on the ground) while the right is lifted at the back as in vṛścika suggesting the plumes of a peacock. Both arms are raised like spread-out wings.

अञ्चितापसृतौ पादौ शिरश्च परिवाहितम् ।
रेचितौ च तथा हस्तौ तत्सर्पितमुदाहृतम् ॥ 141- 142 ॥
añcitāpasṛtaasṛtau pādau śiraśca parivāhitam ||4-141||
recitau ca tathā hastau tatsarpitamudāhṛtam |

   

In the karana sarpita of Nāṭyaśāstra, the legs are in a square formation. The right arm stretched straight, is lowered down while the left is bent and raised up. The body is bent slightly to the right. The head is facing down. Both feet are to be moved from the Añcita position and moved apart from each other. The head drags away in a graceful flowing motion while performing the Parivāhita gesture. Both hands are maintained in Recita.

नूपुरं चरणं कृत्वा दण्डपादं प्रसारयेत्
क्षिप्राविद्धकरं चैव दण्डपादं तदुच्यते ॥ 142-143 ॥
nūpuraṃ caraṇaṃ kṛtvā daṇḍapādaṃ prasārayet ||4-142||
kṣiprāviddhakaraṃ caiva daṇḍapādaṃ tat ucyate |

  

The karaṇa Daṇḍapāda of Nāṭyaśāstra is often performed after the Nūpura Cārī. The hand is extended and whirled around in quick motion. For this pose, perform the Nūpura Cārī. After this, Daṇḍapāda Cārī should be assumed. In this, the hand is in Āviddha and should be shown quickly. The foot that was earlier in Nupura cari should be stretched in Dandopada cari. The hand movement should be quick while maintaining the Aviddha pose.

अतिक्रान्तक्रमं कृत्वा समुत्प्लुत्य निपातयेत्
जङ्घाञ्चितोपरि क्षिप्ता तद्विद्याद्धरिणप्लुतम् ॥ 143-144 ॥
atikrāntakramaṃ kṛtvā samutplutya nipātayet ||4-143||
jaṅghāñcitopari kṣiptā tadvidyāddhariṇaplutam

  

In the Harinaplutam of Nāṭyaśāstra, Atikranta Cari is performed through a jump and the foot is made to fall on the ground with the other shank is kept in Ancita. After performing the Atikrāntā Cārī with feet, the dancer should jump and come back to a resting position. While the jump the shanks should be bent and thrown up in accordance with the pose. In this pose the dancer should jump up but ensure that while coming down, the shanks are first bent and then straightened.

डोलापादक्रमं कृत्वा समुत्प्लुत्य निपातयेत्
परिवृत्तत्रिकं चैव तत्प्रेङ्खोलितमुच्यते ॥ 144-145 ॥
ḍolāpādakramaṃ kṛtvā samutplutya nipātayet ||4-144||
parivṛttatrikaṃ caiva tatpreṅkholitamucyate |

  

In the karaṇa Prenkholitam of the Nāṭyaśāstra, perform the Dola Pada Cari, jump well, and then land suddenly by turning the sacrum. After assuming the Dolāpāda Cārī there is a jump, followed by the Trika turn round, ending the movement in the Bhramarī Cārī before coming to rest. The dancer should jump and come down, turning about gracefully using the Trika movement.

भुजावूर्ध्वविनिष्क्रान्तौ हस्तौ चाभि ( धो ) मुखाङ्गुली
बद्धा चारी तथ चैव नितम्बे करणे भवेत् ॥ 145-146 ॥
bhujāvūrdhvaviniṣkrāntau hastau cābhi(dho)mukhāṅgulī ||4-145||
baddhā cārī tatha caaiva nitambe karaṇe bhavet |

  

In the karaṇa Nitamba, the hands move above the shoulders and then get lowered with the fingers of the two hands close. The arms are to be first thrown up and hands are positioned to have their fingers pointing upwards. The posture of Baddhā Cārī is to be observed with the feet. Arms go out in this movement. Fingers are kept facing the body while feet are kept in the Baddha cari pose.

दोलापादक्रमं कृत्वा हस्तौ तदनुगावुभौअ
रेचितौ घूर्णितौ वापि स्खलितं करणं भवेत् ॥ 146-147 ॥
ḍolāpādakramaṃ kṛtvā hastau tadanugāvubhau ||4-146||
recitau ghūrṇitau vāpi skhalitaṃ karaṇaṃ bhavet |

  

In the karaṇa Skhalita of the Nāṭyaśāstra the Dolapada Cari is followed by Recita and Ghurnita. The feet are kept in a position of performing Dolāpādā Cārī. Hands with Recita gesture to be shaken and turned round, in the ghurnita movement, moving in harmony with the legs.

एको वक्षःस्थितो हस्तः प्रोद्वेष्टिततलोऽपरः
अञ्चितश्चरणश्चैव प्रयोज्यः करिहस्तके ॥ 147-148 ॥
eko vakṣaḥsthito hastaḥ prodveṣṭitatalo’paraḥ ||4-147||
añcitaścaraṇaścaaiva prayojyaḥ karihastake |

  

In the karaṇa Karihasta of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the left hand is to be placed on the chest. The palm of the other hand is twisted to perform Prodveṣṭita-tala. In this pose the palm is rotated to turn the face upwards. The feet are to be placed in the karana of Añcita.

एकस्तु रेचितो हस्तो लताख्यस्तु तथा परः
प्रसर्पिततलौ पादौ प्रसर्पितकमेव तत् ॥ 148-149 ॥
ekastu recito hasto latākhyastu tathā paraḥ ||4-148||
prasarpitatalau pādau prasarpitakameva tat |

  

In the karaṇa Prasarpitaka of the Nāṭyaśāstra, one hand should be in Recita and the other performing the Latā gesture. The legs are kept spread in the position Saṃsarpitatala. Feet are then moved in Talasañcara movement with the soles grazing the ground.

अलातं च पुरःकृत्वा द्वितीयं च द्रुतक्रमम्
हस्तौ पादानुगौ चापि सिंहविक्रीडिते स्मृतौ ॥ 149-150 ॥
alātaṃ ca puraḥkṛtvā dvitīyaṃ ca drutakramam ||4-149||
hastau pādānugau cāpi siṃhavikrīḍite smṛtau |

  

In the karaṇa Simha vikreedhitaka of the Nāṭyaśāstra, one foot moves forward in Alata and the other foot follows it. The hands move in synchronization with the feet. First, perform the Alātā Cārī with the feet. One foot in Alata Cari is placed on the ground, the other one takes a quick step forward. The foot has to move swiftly and hands should follow the feet.

पृष्ठप्रसर्पितः पादस्तथा हस्तौ निकुञ्चितौ
पुनस्तथैव कर्तव्यौ सिंहाकर्ष्तके द्विजाः ॥ 150-151 ॥
pṛṣṭhaprasarpitaḥ pādastathā hastau nikuñcitau ||4-150||
punastathaaiva kartavyau siṃhākarṣitake dvijāḥ |

  

In the karaṇa Simhakarsita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the foot is extended backward and the hands are Nikunchita. The same action is repeated again and again. One foot is to be stretched backward. The hands are to be bent in Kuncita and turned round to bring it to the front of the body. The hand is to be bent again in the final position.

आक्षिप्तहस्तमाक्षिप्तदेहमाक्षिप्तपादकम्
अद्वृत्तगात्रमित्येतदुद्वृतां करणं स्मृतम् ॥ 151-152 ॥
ākṣiptahastamākṣiptadehamākṣiptapādakam ||4-151||
udvṛttagātramityetadudvṛttaṃ karaṇaṃ smṛtam |

  

In the karaṇa Udvṛtta, the body, hand, and feet are moved violently thrown up. Hands, feet along with the entire upper body are to be moved violently. After this, the whole body is moved as if in the action of jumping and throwing something up.

आक्षिप्तचरणश्चैको हस्तौ तस्यैव चानुगौ
आनतं च तथ गात्रं तयोपसृतकं भवेत् ॥ 152-153 ॥
ākṣiptacaraṇaścaaiko hastau tasyaaiva cānugau ||4-152||
ānataṃ ca tatha gātraṃ tayopasṛtakaṃ bhavet |

  

In the karaṇa Simhakarsita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, get your feet in the position of Ākṣiptā Cārī. The hands should follow in harmony with this Cārī. The body is kept slightly bent.

दोलापादक्रमं कृत्वा तलसङ्घट्टितौ करौ
रेचयेच्च करं वामं तलसङ्घट्टिते सदा ॥ 153-154 ॥
ḍolāpādakramaṃ kṛtvā talasaṅghaṭṭitau karau ||4-153||
recayecca karaṃ vāmaṃ talasaṅghaṭṭite sadā |

  

In the karana Talasaṃghaṭṭita, Bharata asks to observe the Dolāpādā Cārī. The feet are in Dolapada Cārī, the two palms clapping and clashing with each other. The left hand is kept in Recita.

एको वक्षःस्थितो हस्तो द्व्तीयश्च प्रलम्बितः
तलाग्रसंस्थितः पादो जनिते करणे भवेत् ॥ 154-155 ॥
eko vakṣaḥsthito hasto dvitīyaśca pralambitaḥ ||4-154||
talāgrasaṃsthitaḥ pādo janite karaṇe bhavet |

  

In Janita Karana, one hand is at the chest. One hand on the chest, the other hanging loose and standing on the tip of the toes of the feet. This position of the feet is in the position of Talāgrasaṃsthitā Cārī. This Cari is also called Janita to reflect its association with this pose.

जनितं करणं कृत्वा हस्तौ चाभिमुखाङ्गुली
शनैर्निपतितो चैव ज्ञेयं तदवहित्थकम् ॥ 155-156 ॥
janitaṃ karaṇaṃ kṛtvā hastau cābhimukhāṅgulī ||4-155||
śanaairnipatito caiva jñeyaṃ tadavahitthakam |

  

If the Avahittaka pose, action is performed with the fingers of the hands followed by their being gradually lowered. First, assume the pose of Janitā-karaṇa. Raise both right and left hands with fingers spread out, facing each other, and then let the hands fall slowly to their resting position by the sides. This pose is performed standing on the tip of the toes.

करौ वक्षःस्थितौ कार्यावुरौ निर्भुग्नमेव च
मण्डलस्थानकं चैव निवेशं करणं तु तत् ॥ 156-157 ॥
karau vakṣaḥsthitau kāryāvurau nirbhugnameva ca ||4-156||
maṇḍalasthānakaṃ caaiva niveśaṃ karaṇaṃ tu tat |

  

In the karaṇa Niveśa of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the two hands will be on the front of the chest which should be bent and drawn in as in Nirbhugna and the dancer should assume Maṇḍala Sthāna stance.

तलसञ्चरपादाभ्यामुत्प्लुत्य पतनं भवेत्
संनतं वलितं गात्रमेलकाक्रीडितं तु तत् ॥ 157-158 ॥
talasañcarapādābhyāmutplutya patanaṃ bhavet ||157||
sannataṃ valitaṃ gātramelakākrīḍitaṃ tu tat |

  

In the karaṇa Elakākrīḍita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the feet are made to jump with the body being bent. jumping with Talasañcara feet and coming to the ground with the body bent and turned. Feet are kept in Talasancara. A motion of jumping up is made. While coming down from the jump the body should be bent and turned.

करमावृत्तकरणमूरुपृष्ठेऽञ्चितं न्यसेत्
जङ्घाञ्चिता तथोद्वृत्ता ह्यूरूद्वृत्तं तु तद्भवेत् ॥ 158-159 ॥
karamāvṛttakaraṇamūrupṛṣṭhe’ñcitaṃ nyaset ||4-158||
jaṅghāñcitā tathodvṛttā hyūrūdvṛttaṃ tu tadbhavet |

  

In the karaṇa Ūrūdvṛttam of the Nāṭyaśāstra, perform Āvṛtta karana with hands. Using Vyavartita movement, bend the hands and place it on the thighs. Assume the pose of Ancita with the back of the thigh.

करौ प्रलम्बितौ कार्यो शिरश्च परिवाहितम्
पादौ च वलिताविध्दौअ मदस्खलितके द्विजाः ॥ 159-160 ॥
karau pralambitau kāryau śiraśca parivāhitam ||4-159||
pādau ca valitāviddhau madaskhalitake dvijāḥ |

  

Madaskhalitaka is the karaṇa where the hands hang down, the head rolls, and the feet perform the Valitaviddha. The two hands hang down, the head assuming the posture of Parivāhita. Both the right and the left feet are to be turned round in Āviddhā Cārī.

पुरः प्रसारितः पादः कुञ्चितो गगनोन्मुखः
करौ च रेचितौ यत्र विष्णुक्रान्तं तदुच्यते ॥ 160-161 ॥
puraḥ prasāritaḥ pādaḥ kuñcito gaganonmukhaḥ ||4-160||
karau ca recitau yatra viṣṇukrāntaṃ taducyate |

  

Viṣṇukrānta is where the foot is extended out in the front. The outstretched foot stretched forward and bent as if on the point of walking, should be in Kuncita.  The hands are lifted to face the sky in the manner of Recita.

करमावर्तितं कृत्वा ह्यूरुपृष्ठे निकुञ्चयेत्
ऊरुश्चैव तथाविद्धः सम्भ्रान्तं करणं तु तत् ॥ 161-162 ॥
karamāvartitaṃ kṛtvā hyūrupṛṣṭhe nikuñcayet ||4-161||
ūruścaaiva tathāviddhaḥ sambhrāntaṃ karaṇaṃ tu tat |

  

In the karaṇa Saṃbhrānta of the Nāṭyaśāstra, one hand does Avartan, using the Vyavartita movement. The hand then bends at the back of the thigh; while the thigh is in the formation of Aviddha.

अपविद्धः करः सूच्या पादश्चैव निकुट्टितः
वक्षःस्थश्च करो वामो विष्कम्भे करणे भवेत् ॥ 162-163 ॥
apaviddhaḥ karaḥ sūcyā pādaścaaiva nikuṭṭitaḥ ||4-162||
vakṣaḥsthaśca karo vāmo viṣkambhe karaṇe bhavet |

  

Viṣkambha is wherein the right arm is in the form of Apaviddha, moving away from the chest. The left hand is at the chest, close to the heart. Stamping action is performed with the feet held in Sūcī Cārī. Legs are kept in Nikuṭṭita.

पादावुद्धट्टितौ कार्यौ तलसङ्घट्टितौ करौ
नतश्च पार्श्वं कर्तव्यं बुधैरुद्धट्टिते सदा ॥ 163-164 ॥
pādāvuddhaṭṭitau kāryau talasaṅghaṭṭitau karau ||4-163||
nataśca pārśvaṃ kartavyaṃ budhaairuddhaṭṭite sadā |

  

In the karaṇa Udghaṭṭa of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the Udghaṭṭa feet variation is used. The feet are in continuous motion. The hands clap in Talasaṃghaṭṭita as sideways bending movements are performed.

प्रयुज्यालातकं पूर्वं हस्तौ चापि हि रेचयेत्
कुञ्चितावञ्चितौ चैव वृषभक्रीडिते सदा ॥ 164-165 ॥
prayujyālātakaṃ pūrvaṃ hastau cāpi hi recayet ||4-164||
kuñcitāvañcitau caiva vṛṣabhakrīḍite sadā |

  

In the karaṇa Vṛṣabhakrīḍita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the dance movement begins with legs in the position of Alāta Cārī. The hands first assume the manner of Recita, and then Kuñcīta and Añcita are performed respectively.

रेचितावञ्चितौ हस्तौ लोलितं वर्तितं शिरः
उभयोःपार्श्वयोर्यत्र तल्लोलितमुदाहृतम् ॥ 165-166 ॥
recitāvañcitau hastau lolitaṃ vartitaṃ śiraḥ ||4-165||
ubhayoḥpārśvayoryatra tallolitamudāhṛtam |

  

In the karaṇa Lolita of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the hands are kept in Recita and Ancita; the head rotates as Lolitam. and the sides are to be used. Hands on the two sides to be Recita and Añcita, and the head Lolita and Vartīta.

स्वस्तिकापसृतौ  पादौ शिरश्च  परिवाहितम्
रेचितौ च तथा हस्तौ स्यातां नागापसर्पिते ॥ 166-167 ॥
svastikāpasṛtau pādau śiraśca parivāhitam||4-166||
recitau ca tathā hastau syātāṃ nāgāpasarpite |

  

In Nagāpasarpita, the feet are released and drawn back from the crossed Swastika position. Throughout this movement, the head is to be kept in Parivāhita and hands should be in Recita.

निषण्णाङ्गस्तु चरणं प्रसार्य तलसञ्चरम्
उद्वाहितमुरः कृत्वा शकटास्यं प्रयोजयेत् ॥ 167-168 ॥
niṣaṇṇāṅgastu caraṇaṃ prasārya talasañcaram ||4-167||
udvāhitamuraḥ kṛtvā śakaṭāsyaṃ prayojayet |

  

In the karaṇa Śakaṭāsya of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the body is at rest, stretched flat on the ground. The chest is raised in the manner of Udvāhita. Feet are to be kept in an advancing posture of Talasañcara.

ऊर्ध्वाङ्गुलितलौ पादौ त्रिपताकावधोमुखौ
हस्तौ शिरस्सन्नतं च गङ्गावतरणं त्विति  ॥ 168-169 ॥
ūrdhvāṅgulitalau pādau tripatākāvadhomukhau ||4-168||
hastau śirassannataṃ ca gaṅgāvataraṇaṃ tviti |

  

In the karaṇa Gaṅgāvataraṇa of the Nāṭyaśāstra, the toes of the feet are stretched up. The soles of the feet are also turned upwards. The hands are in the pose of Tripataka, held facing down, fingers pointing downwards. The head is tilted in Sannata.


References

https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/the-natyashastra/d/doc209696.html#note-e-79873

https://kalyanikalamandir.com/blogs/karanas-with-description/

https://ignca.gov.in/brhadisvaratemple/VIMAN/ICONOGRAPHY/KARNAS/

http://www.mcrhrdi.gov.in/group1-2019/Reading Material/History/History part 4(m).pdf

http://www.dhdi.free.fr/recherches/horizonsinterculturels/articles/bharatanatyamyoga.pdf

https://twitter.com/olivegreens09/status/1153718068578643969?lang=da

https://nysadancecom.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/leg-posture-aramandi-or-ardhamandala/

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