Dance with Sveta




4. Kartari-mukha ('Arrow's Face' or 'Scissors Face')

From Ardha-Pataaka, open the index and middle fingers into scissors like shape.

There are two variations of this Mudra:

1. In the first one you keep the ring and little fingers as they are in Ardha-Pataaka and

2. in the second variation you bring the ring and little fingers together with the thumb, all touching.

Kartari-mukha (arrow shaft face): in the same hand, the forefinger

and little finger are outspread.

According to another book: the forefinger of the Tripataka

hand is out (spread) . Once upon a time, the sages say, Sasankasekhara

(Siva), set out to slay Jadandhara; he drew a circle

round the centre of the earth with his forefinger, and

that is the origin of the Kartari-mukha hand.

It originates from Shiva,

its sage is Parjanya,

its estate is Kshattriya,

its colour is coppery,

its patron deity is Chakrapani (Vishnu).

A fuller description of the Kartari-mukha hand is quoted by T. A. Gopinatha Rao, from an unnamed source, in " Hindu Iconography,'' 1914, p. xxxi, where it is stated that it is used for holding attributes (cf . on Plate XI c) such as the conch and discus; and also that the thumb and third finger should meet near the middle of the palms. The hands of images conform to this rule in most cases, but not invariably. Most likely there exists some confusion of Kartari-mukha and Mayura hands. Our figure shows the Kartari-mukha hand according to the text description.



Viniyogas (Meanings)

  1.     Shtripum-sayoosthu-vishlasya – Separation of man and women
  2.     Viparyaa-sapaday-pivaa – Opposition or overturning
  3.     Luntana –stealing or rolling
  4.     Nayana-amtham – Corner of the eye
  5.     Marana – Death
  6.     Bheda-bhavana – Disagreement
  7.     Vidhyu-dartha – Lightning
  8.     Api-yekashiyaa-viraha – Married couple fights and separate / In separation from the loved one
  9.     Patana– To fall down
  10.     Latayan  - A creeper

  When a student completes learning he/she recites:
Yujathay Yasthu Sakara Kartarimukhaa!


Single-hand (asamyukta hasta) gestures or Mudras of Indian Dance


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Natya-Shastra, Bharatanatyam, Flamenco, Sveta's Gallery, Alicante

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