You certainly remember our previous series of article dealing with mudras, these codified and symbolical hand postures used in the Tamil traditional dance: Bharata Natyam. You are now familiar with the gesture and signification related to one handed mudras (the Asamyukta Hastas): we will now go in depth and complicate your knowledge by taking you on the path of the two handed mudras: the Samayukta Hastas!
The first Samayukta Hasta is called Anjali and its strong signification exported it beyond its original artistic background and turned it into a true symbol of Indian culture. Indeed, the mudra Anjali is commonly used as a greeting sign. When done above the head it becomes a greeting destined to deities, in front the face it embodies respect towards the elders and teachers while when it's done in front of the chest it is a general sign of politely greeting someone.
In order to obtain this simple mudra, the palms just have to touch each other and the fingers have to line up.
Kapota mudra ensues from the previous mudra by slightly pressing the tip of the fingers against each other so that the palms could gently get away from each other. Be careful, palms are the only parts of the hands not to be in contact, the rest must keep a closed general aspect, especially the lower part of the hands, as if you were trying to keep something in between your hands.
Kapota is used to symbolize the following:
- A secret
- To show the gait of a snake
- A sign of obedience
- Gesture to be held while conversing with a teacher or a guru
- To show the Vinayam quality, the down-to-earth attitude of someone
As regards this mudra, the fingers of both your hands have to cross each other while being kept in a straight position. Karkata is a sign of gathering also connoting the following concepts:
- To blow in the conch
- To stretch
- To show the belly
- To bend a branch
Swastika mudra is also quite easy to achieve since it consists in crossing both your hands at the wrist level. Yet, hands must remain straight and fingers stretched. In the first place Swastika symbolizes the crocodile, but is also used to indicate:
- An Obstructed path
Finally the Dola mudra, beyond the apparent ease of its execution, still requires a certain strictness when positioning the elbows and hands. The latters first have to be placed on each side of your waist, the palm facing the thighs, the hand may be relaxed without being bent. The most important here is to keep the elbows still and their external side must face the floor. Dola'gesture conveys the following ideas:
- Meditation statues
- The swing
Now all you have to do is practice these five mudras before discovering the five next ones!