Twelve Odissi Dance Mudras Which Teach Us A Lot About Life

Indian culture is always rich in dance forms and uses some of the most well defined dance expressions and steps to portray emotions that every human being can relate to. We decided to study the dance form of Odissi and bring out the beauty of the joint hand mudras used in it.

Also known as the Samyukta Hasta Mudras, these mudras have better portrayal since more number of fingers are used to create the object that is being defined.


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1.  Anjali

Salutation in India is done by the joining of two hands into the traditional Namaste. Dance recitals begin with this salutation.

2.  Kapota

Dove is a symbol of love and peace and is used in different expressions during a recital.

3.  Karkata

Crab signifies betrayal and cruelty and is used to symbolize hardship and deceit in life durig the recital.

4.  Swastika

Cross has different meanings. The best understood meaning is the convergence of paths into one basic source and the emergence of different roles from the same source, be it man or God.

5. Dola

Swing shows the transient nature of life. It continuously oscillates between the opposite extremes of life like in a swing.

6.  Pushpaputa

Flower casket is used to signify a gathering of good thoughts or happy occasions.


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7.  Shivalinga

Masculine principal denotes traits of valor and control.

8.  Katakavardhana

Link of increase is used whenever extreme happiness or sadness is to be shown. This is also used to show increment in feelings, emotions or worldly assets.

9.  Kartariswastika

Crossed arrows denote conflict of thoughts or emotions. It is a powerful expression and adds meaning to some very strong dance recitals.

10.  Shakata

Cart, ideally the bullock cart, is a slow mode of transport in India, which stands for peace, beauty and long journeys. The mudra is used to denote any of the above elements in a recital.

11.  Shankha

Conch shell is used to denote auspicious beginnings and endings. It beckons to the holy power of God and also heralds a superior power or entity in the recital.

12.  Chakra

Wheel denotes the never ending laws of Karma in our life.

So, if you thought these mudras were meaningless and did not hold any significance in your lives, then you were wrong. You now have a reason to relate with them when stuck or observing real life. Ain’t it so?


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