MUDRAS, THE SYMBOLIC SIGN LANGUAGE
This language of the hands is a cultural heritage of India. Since Vedic times, he has played an essential role in religious festivals and ceremonies of everyday life as well as in all manifestations of art. No ceremony, no adoration, no meditation can be accomplished without the prior execution of appropriate Mudras, necessary to create the required state of mind and atmosphere. They are always accompanied by songs or hymns in Sanskrit.
The most used mudras in religious rites are: Kurma, the turtle, Swastika, Dhenu – the cow, Hamsya – the swan, Anjali – greeting or prayer, Pushpaput – flower box, Shiva Linga – phallic symbol. To each of them and attributed a certain spiritual power whose designation is subtle and only connoisseurs can appreciate.
The mudras are so highly developed that a dance teacher can talk to his students for a long time by using the Mudras to express what he wants. Their explanatory value is important because they allow the viewer to read a painting, a sculpture, a dance. This is why any student of Indian iconography must know them perfectly.
There are two species of Mudras: those performed with one hand, Asamyunkta and those performed with both hands Samyunkta. The Abhinaya Darpana, indicates 28 gestures with one hand and 23 with both hands. These gestures translate dramas, poetry, literature, prose and songs through symbols.