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Dance Glossary

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  • (Bhumi )Namaskāraha
    The act of prostration; In Bharathanātyam, a short sequence of gestures and postures performed as a ritual of obeisance before and after dancing.
  • Abhinaya
    The meaning of lyrics of the song that the dancer dances to is conveyed to the audience with the help of hand gestures and facial expressions called Abhinaya. Abhinaya is a concept in Indian dance and drama derived from Bharatha's Nātya Śhāstra. Although now, the word has come to mean 'the art(...)
  • Abhinayadharpaṇa
    It is a treatise on Bharathanātyam written by Nandikeśhwara in 2nd century AD.
  • Aḍavu
    A basic unit of dance technique in Bharathanātyam, combining standing position, foot and leg movement, and hand gestures. Aḍavus are the building blocks of the nruttha, or abstract dance aspect of Bharathanātyam,, in which the movements are decorative and convey no meaning.
  • Adhbhutha
    It means awe or amazement and is one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam, (Navarasa). The other rasas are Śhringara (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Karuṇa (sadness), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor), Bhayānaka (fear), Bībhathsa (revulsion), and Shāntha (peace).
  • Adhbutha
    A particular rasa or feeling of surprise or awe in a song or rāga
  • Adhhama
    Of low stature. One of the classifications of characters in Bharathanātyam. Others are Utthama (divine) and Madhyama (human).
  • Adhhomukha
    It is one of the Śhiro bhedhas(head variations). It means to face downwards.
  • Adhhomukhaśhwānāsana
    A posture in Yoga resembling a dog facing downwards.
  • ādhi
    a common thāla, which is cathusra jāthi tripuṭa thāla. It has 8 beats, with a chathusra laghu (beat and 3 finger counts = 4) and then two dhrutams (beat and wave times 2 = 4). It may be also performed with double the beats per cycle, giving 16 beats.
  • Ādhi thāḷa
    It is the most common rhythmic pattern (thālam) with eight counts. The technical name is Chathurashra-jāthi Thriputa Thālam.
  • Agni
    Fire; Agni dheva is the God of Fire. In Hastha mudhrā, it is depicted by holding thripathāka hastha in the right hand and Kangula hastha in the left hand.
  • Agrathala
    It is one of the foot positions used in Bharathanātyam. In Sanskrit, Agra means tip and Thala means bottom.
  • Āhārya, Āhārya Abhinaya
    It is one of the four aspects of Abhinaya (the art of expression) that relates to expression through costume, jewellery, and make-up.
  • Ajāḍya
    In Sanskrit, it means lack of sluggishness.
  • Akāra
    Exercises in Carnatic music where vowel extension "A" is used and all the swaras are sung in this vowel. In notation, akāra is indicated by dots. For example, ‘Kā…mā…kshi…’ One may also use ‘e’, ‘o’, ‘aye’ and ‘hūm’ when singing.
  • Ākāra
    Using the vowel 'aaa'... to sing rāga or a musical phrase instead of words or swaras. One may also use vowels like eee, ooo, ayyy, aii, ohhh, etc. Ākāram is usually indicated by dots, ex: kā...mā...kṣhi...
  • Ākāśha
    In Sanskrit, it means Sky or Space.
  • Akṣhara
    It means Syllable.
  • Akṣharakāla
    The amount of time it takes for 1 akṣhara or one swara to be performed. So PaDhaPaMaGaRiSa is 7 akṣharakālas.
  • Alankāra
    In Sanskrit, It means ornaments and adornments. In the context of Indian classical music, the application of an Alankāra is essentially to embellish or enhance the inherent beauty of the swara or a note. The earliest reference to the term Alankāra has been found in Bharatha's Nātyaśhāsthra(...)
  • Alaṅkāram
    (1) - meaning a beautiful arrangement of swaras, it used to be a term for gamaka in the times of Bharatha (from AḍukkuAṇi) (2) - refers to the sapthaalaṅkārams, where the students are introduced for the first time to intricate thālas (SulādhiSapthathālas) and exercises in three speeds in(...)
  • Alapadhma
    It means a Fully Bloomed Lotus in Sanskrit. In dance, it is shown by the following instruction: Spread all the fingers and slightly bend sideways towards the palm.
  • Ālāpana
    One of the forms in manodhharma sangītha wherein a beautiful picture of the rāga free of rhythm is created by the performer in different octaves, starting from slow phrases to faster phrases gradually building the climax. Phrases used while rendering are Aa, Ee, Thanna, Thadharinna etc.
  • Alarippū
    Usually the first dance item in a Bharathanātyam, recital, the alarippū is a abstract dance item that begins with movements of just the eyes, and then progressively involves more of the body and increase the rhythmic pace. It symbolizes awakening, sanctification of the performing place, and(...)
  • Alārippu
    A dance style, which uses solkaṭṭu swaras - it is a beginning piece, often the first taught to dance students. It allows for expert gestures and intricate footwork coordinated in a strict manner in a fast-paced performance. Typically, the songs have no actual words, only solkaṭṭus.
  • Ālīḍa
    It is one of the foot positions in Bharathanātyam.
  • Ālolitha
    It is one of the Shiro bhedha(head variations). It means that which is shaken. In this variation, the head is rotated in a circular movement in a clockwise and anti clockwise direction.
  • Ambalam
    Ambalam means Temple; It also means a stage for performing arts.
  • Anāgatha
    A viṣhama graham in which the music begins after the start of the thāḷa. For EgMāJānaki – Kāmbhoji- Thyāgarāja ;Marugelara – Jayanthashri - Thyāgarāja
  • AnāhathaNādha
    Sanskrit term for the sound (Nādha) that is not heard except in the heart. Abstract sound which can be perceived by yogis and meditators. It is the opposite of ĀhathaNādha, which is the heard sound, or sound that can be perceived by human ear.
  • Ānandha
    Meaning "peace" or "ultimate happiness," this is also sometimes used in singing of thānam.
  • Anchitha
    It is one of the Foot positions in Bharathanātyam. It means curved or arched.
  • Āndhra Pradeśh
    It is one of the states in the southern part of India. It’s capital is Hydherābadh and the language spoken there is Thelugu.
  • Aṅgas
    The major parts of the body, such as head, chest, hands, and legs. One of three groups into which body parts are classified for the assignment of movements. The others are the prathyaṅgas or intermediate parts of the body, and upāṅgas, which include the extremities and facial features.
  • Āngika, Āṅgika Abhinaya
    The aspect of the art of expression (abhinaya) that relates to expression through body movements, including hand gestures and facial expressions.
  • Anjali
    It means divine offering. It is also one of the Samyutha hastha mudhrās where salutations are offered with both palms facing each other and joined together.
  • Annamāchārya
    He is one of the leading composers from Āndhrapradeśh in Carnātic music.
  • Annapūrṇa
    She is the Goddess of food. The temple for Annapūrṇa is in the city of Kāśhi.
  • Antharagāndhāram
    The highest of the 3 types of Ga - Ga3. It corresponds to E natural of the Western key of C.
  • Anubhava
    The consequences or effects of a feeling, manifested externally, that serve to indicate the inner state.
  • Anudhhrutham
    One of the rhythmic patterns in Carnatic music, consisting of a single beat. Denoted by “U” in the conventional shorthand.
  • Anudhrutham
    A type of thāḷa movement which is a single beat of the hand on the thigh. Its symbol is U. Considered a small (anu=small) dhrutham, it is equivalent to 1 akshara.
  • Anuloma-viloma
    Anuloma Viloma is a type of breathing technique. In Sanskrit, ‘Anuloma’ means with the ‘natural order’ and ‘Viloma’ means ‘going against’. This is also called the ‘Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique’.
  • Anumandhrasthāyi
    The octave below the mandhrasthāyi (two octaves below the middle octave). Indicated by 2 dots below the note.
  • Anupallavi
    Usually the second section of a song, after the pallavi and before the charaṇam, often of 2 lines. After this, the pallavi is repeated. Since anu means small, this is like a small pallavi. Generally it is believed that the idea which is introduced in the pallavi is elaborated more concretely(...)
  • Anuswara
    Graces or decoration of a note. The small (anu=small, atom) anuswaras bring out the beauty of arāga. These can be better described as small inflections around a swara to embellish it. The Rāga gets its identity only when swaras are sung with gamakās and their attendant anuswaras.
  • Anuvādhi
    All ragas have two pivotal Swaras, which are the Vādhi and Samvādhi notes, while the other Swaras are neither. The assonant notes in a Rāga that are neither Vādhi nor Samvādhi are called its Anuvādhi notes. They are often addressed as companion or attendant notes.
  • Anuvruttha
    In Sanskrit, it means to follow. It is one of the driṣhṭi bhedha (eye variations). The pupil quickly glances up and down.
  • Anya
    Notes taken from the scale of a different rāga. Example: Ma1 in sāraṅga. Arāga may have up to three anya swaras and no more. Anya swaras are indicated by an asterisk Ma*. They are also called bhāshāngaswaras
  • Apaswara
    A note with a pitch that is poorly focused (false note), or out of tune with respect to the ideal and true pitch (off-key note). It has a jarring effect on the ears.
  • Apūrvarāgas
    Rāgas which are uncommon or rare.
  • Apūrvathāḷa
    A thāḷa that is not in the sūḷādhi saptha thāḷa system and that which uses the other aṅgas, such as guru plutha,etc.
  • Araimanḍi
    A signature posture of Bharathanātyam, with erect torso, bent legs, knees outward, heels together, and toes outward. Also call ardhhamanḍali.
  • Arāḷa
    It is one of the Asamyutha hasthas. In Sanskrit, it means Petal/ bent. From the pathāka hasthā, when the index finger is bent, arāla hastha is formed.
  • Aramanḍi
    It is the most important position in Bharathanātyam. Here, the knees are bent forming oblong shape.
  • Araṅgam
    A Tamil word meaning stage, raised platform, or island.
  • Araṅgéṭram
    The debut performance of a Bharathanātyam, dancer, marking his or her readiness for performing a full solo recital. A Tamil word meaning to step onto the stage, from of araṅgam (stage) and éṭram (ascent).
  • Ārathi
    A song or ritual performed with a flame and/or turmeric to drive away evil spirits. Ārathi songs are usually in maṅgaḷa rāgas
  • Ardhhabhekāsana
    The word ‘Bheka’ is derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘Frog’. This Yoga pose is so called because, when done, it resembles a frog. Another name for it is ‘Maṇḍūkāsana’ that has many variations. Maṇḍūka also means frog
  • Ardhhachandra
    It means Half Moon. It is an Asamyutha hastha and is indicated as follows: From the pathāka hasthā, when the thumb is released and brought to a right angle, the ardhachandra hasthā is formed.
  • Ardhhamanḍali
    A signature posture of Bharathanātyam, with erect torso, bent legs, knees outward, heels together, and toes outward. Also call araimanḍi.
  • Ardhhanārīśhwara
    It is the concept in Indian mythology where Shiva and his consort Śhakthi are depicted as two equal portions of the body. The deity is the Lord who has both feminine and masculine traits.
  • Ardhhapathāka
    It is an Asamyutha hastha. This means ‘Half a flag’. From the thripathāka hasthā, when the little finger is bent, ardhapathāka is formed.
  • Ārohaṇa
    The ascending scale of notes in a rāga is referred to as the ārōhanam.
  • Āsana
    In Sanskrit, it means seat or Posture.
  • Aṣhtāṅga yoga
    "Ashtaṅga Yoga" ("Eight-Limbed Yoga"). This eight-limbed concept derived from the 29th Sutra of the 2nd chapter of Pathanjali’s Yoga sūthras is a core characteristic of practically every Rāja yoga variation taught today.
  • Aṣhtāṅganamaskāra
    It is a salutation where the eight limbs of the body touch the ground.
  • Aṣhtapadhi
    Literally "eight steps," this is a musical form, a type of sabhāgānam, also used in dance. Each has eight stanzas, plus one. The most famous is by Jayadheva and composed in devotion to Kriṣhṇa.
  • Aṣhṭapadhi
    Literally means "eight steps", from Sanskrit aṣhṭa (eight) and padhi (steps), but refers to musical compositions with eight lines. Popularly it refers to the Gita Govinda, 12th century compositions of Sanskrit poems written by Jayadheva depicting the life of Kriṣhṇa and Rādha and on(...)
  • Aśhwasanchalanāsana
    It is a posture in Yoga which resembles the movement of a horse. Aśhwa means horse and sanchalana means moving.
  • Assām
    It is one of the states in the eastern part of India. It’s capital is Dispur(in Guwahati) and the language spoken there is Asomiya (commonly referred to as Assamese).
  • Aṭa Thāḷa
    It is one of the seven basic thāḷas in Carnatic music system.
  • Athītha
    A viṣhamagraha in which the music starts before the beginning of the thāḷa (Also spelt as ateeta) For eg :Ninnuvinā – Poorvikalyāni – ShyāmaShāstri ; ChedebudhiMānura – Attāna - Thyāgarāja
  • Athithārasthāyi
    The octave above the thārasthāyi (two octaves above the middle octave), indicated by 2 dots above the note
  • Aṭṭa
    One of the sapthathāḷas, which has the form laghu, laghu, dhrutham, dhrutham with the symbol - ||00.With the varying 7 laghus, this gives seven forms. When the laghu number is not specified, it is chathuśhrajāthiaṭṭathāḷa, which is laghu(4), laghu(4), dhrutham(2), dhrutham(2), for 12 beats.
  • Aṭṭami
    The graceful movement of the neck from side to side is known as Aṭṭami in Tamil. In Bharatanàtyam, Aṭṭami serves several purposes including that of indicating time cycle as well as maintaining the tempo. It enhances the quality of both Nrittha and Abhinaya.
  • Aṭṭathāḷavarṇam
    A varṇam set iṇ aṭṭa thāḷa which usually has the same structures of other varṇams for example the pallavi, anupallavi and mukthāyiswara in the poorvānga or first half and the charaṇam and chittaswaras in the utharāngam. The edduppu in most starts at the ring finger. This may be due to the fact(...)
  • Āṭṭavarṇam
    Another name for a padha varṇam
  • Auḍava
    Meaning 5, this indicates rāgas which use only 5 notes instead of 7 in either the ascending or descending scale (or both), leaving out 2 notes. Mohana is an auḍava-auḍava rāga because it uses only Sa Ri Ga Pa and Dha going both up and down.
  • Auḍava rāga
    The rāgas which use only 5 notes instead of 7 notes in either the ascending or descending scale (or both), leaving out 2 notes are known as Auḍava ragas.
  • Avahitha
    It is one of the Samyutha hastha mudhrās in Bharathanātyam. When both hands held in alapadhma are crossed at the wrists and placed near the chest, we get the Avahitha hastha.
  • Avalokitha
    It is one of the Driṣhṭi bhedhas. It is the downward gaze of the eyes.
  • Avanāddha Vādya
    Percussion Instruments covered with stretched skin, e.g. Mridangam.
  • Āvarthana
    One cycle/bar of the particular rhythmic meter or thāḷa. For example, in ādhi thāḷa in madhya laya (medium tempo), one āvarthanam is 8 beats. Two āvarthanas are 16, etc.
  • Āyatha
    It means to spread over. This is the most important position in Bharathanātyam also known as Aramandi.
  • Āyurvedha
    It is the science of life. It is one of the systems of Indian medicine.
  • Balam
    It means Strength in Sanskrit.
  • Balarāma
    He is the elder brother of Kriṣhṇa. Orthodox Hindhus consider him also to be an incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Bālāsana
    In Sanskrit, Bāla means child and Āsana means posture. It is a pose in Yoga resembling that of a child.
  • Bāndhava
    The word means Relative in Sanskrit. In Hastha mudhras, we have specific gestures to depict relatives.
  • Bhāgavatha Meḷam
    • A group form of dance drama from Tamil Nadu, with all roles performed by men, and themes based on mythology. The tradition of Bhagavata Mela natakams of Tamil Nadu employed the art of music and dance in rich flavour using themes from "Srimad Bhāgavatam" and other "Purāṇams" to extol the(...)
  • Bhāgavatham
    Also called Bhāgavatha Purāṇa or Śhrimad Bhāgavatham. An ancient Hindu scripture in which stories of the incarnations of Viṣhṇu are told, eliciting bhakthi or loving devotion to Viṣhṇu or Kriṣhṇa as the Supreme being.
  • Bhagawān
    The word is used to denote God in Sanskrit.
  • Bhairava
    The Sanskrit meaning of the word ‘Bhairava’ is ‘Terrible’ or ‘Frightful’. Bhairava is a fierce form of Lord Shiva. There are several legends about the origin of Bhairava. Lord Bhairava is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Śhiva.
  • Bhairavi
    Another form of Pārvathi or Śhakthi, the consort of Lord Śhiva. It is also the name of a rāga in Carnātic music.
  • Bhajana / Bhajan
    A devotional song often sung in groups and in religious settings.
  • Bhakthi
    A Sanskrit word meaning devotion. In Hinduism or Bharathanātyam, refers to loving devotion to a particular deity. A high form of spiritual expression emphasized in Bharathanātyam, by Rukmini Devi.
  • Bharatha muni
    The name of the sage who wrote the text named Nātyaśhāsthra.
  • Bhasthrika
    Bhasthrika means bellows. Bhasthrika Prāṇāyāma is called the bellows breath. Air is forcibly drawn in & out as if using the bellows.
  • Bhāva
    The art of expression, the outer manifestation of an inner experience. Bhāva is a key feature of Bharathanātyam.
  • Bhayānaka
    Fear, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Karuṇa (sadness), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor), Bībhathsa (revulsion), and Shāntha (peace).
  • Bhedha
    It means variations in Sanskrit In dance it indicates the various eye, neck, head and hand movements.
  • Bherunda
    A mythical two headed eagle.
  • Bhramari
    It means Bee. It is also one of the prāṇāyāma where Musicians are recommended to practice. Bhramari also means whirling around. In Bharathanātyam, the Bhramari Aḍavu is also called the Suttru aḍavu. The body in this Aḍavu swirls round with the help of one foot while the other rests on the(...)
  • Bhujaṅga
    The word means a Serpent/Cobra in Sanskrit. In Yoga we have a pose resembling a cobra and it is called Bhujaṅga.
  • Bhūmi
    This word refers to the Earth in Sanskrit.
  • Bhuvanam
    The world is called Bhuvanam in Sanskrit.
  • Bībhathsa
    Revulsion, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Karuṇa (sadness), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor),Bhayānaka(fear)and Shāntha (peace).
  • Bindhi
    The round (dot shaped) mark worn on the forehead in India by girls and women, mostly Hindhus.
  • Bindhu
    A dot.
  • Brahma
    The god of creation; One of the Hindhu trinity of Gods.
  • Brahmin
    Also Brāhmaṇa. In ancient India, one who attained highest spiritual knowledge. One with suitable traits for spiritual advancement. After the caste system came into being, one who was born in the Brahmin or priestly caste. More recently associated with educated classes of society.
  • Bruhaspathi
    The preceptor of the Gods. Bṛuhaspathi is the name for the planet Jupiter, which is one of the Navagraha (the nine planets). He is also known as Guru.
  • Buddha
    The founder of the sect known as Buddhism; accepted later as one of the Avathāras of Viṣhṇu.
  • Buddhi
    It indicates Intellect, Intelligence in Sanskrit
  • Budha
    Name of the planet Mercury in Sanskrit.
  • Chakra
    In Sanskrit, chakra means Discus. It is one of the Samyutha hasthas in Bharathanātyam. When the palms holding the ardhhachandra mudhrā touch each other vertically and horizontally, we get the chakra mudhrā. The right palm is vertically held and the left palm is horizontally placed over it.
  • Chāmara
    In Sanskrit, it means Fan. Lord Ganapathi has ears resembling a fan or as broad as a fan.
  • Chandhra
    In Sanskrit, Chandhra means ‘The Moon’.
  • Chandhrakalā
    In Sanskrit, Chandhrakala means ‘The crescent moon’.
  • Chāpu
    One of the qualifiers with which a thāḷa or rhythmic meter is identified. Chāpu corresponds to the number of beats in the laghu, and is also known as jāthi.
  • Chāri
    The Chāris are the movements of the legs and feet. It is one of the important components of aḍavus.
  • Chathura
    In Sanskrit, it means clever. It also indicates the four sides, a square. It is a single hand gesture. When the thumb in mrgaśhīrṣha hastha, is held at the base of the Index, middle and ring fingers we get the chathura hastha.
  • Chathuraṅga dhanḍāsana
    In Sanskrit, Chathura means four, Aṅga means limbs; Dhanḍa means rod or staff and Āsana means posture. In Yoga it is a pose resembling the plank.
  • Chathuraśhra
    This refers to the number 4. Chathushra jāthi refers to 4 beats in the Laghu of a thālam.
  • Chauka kāḷa
    Thāḷas can be reckoned in Chauka Kāla or slow tempo, when every beat of the thāḷa is reckoned twice. For example Ādhi Thāḷa which when put in the madhyama Kāla has a count of 8 and has a count of 16 in Chauka Kāla. Chauka Kāla is also called Viḷamba Kāla. (2nd kāla)
  • Chauka varṇa
    It is another name for a padha varṇam - a varṇam that has rhythmic elements like a padham, meant for classical dance.
  • Chidhambaram
    Chidhambaram is a major pilgrimage site (240 kms south of Chennai) for Śhaivites as well as Vaiṣhṇavites, where one of the holiest and most ancient temples of Hinduism, the Chidhambaram temple is located. Chidhambaram is the birthplace of the sculpture and bronze image representation of Śhiva(...)
  • Chinna Méḷam
    Another name for Sadhir Nāṭyam, combining the Tamil words, chinna (small) and méḷam (performance)
  • Choḷa
    Chola dynasty is one of the main dynasties that ruled South India. Under Rajaraja Choḷa I and his son Rajendra Choḷa I, the dynasty became a military, economic and cultural power in South Asia and South-east Asia. The Choḷas left a lasting legacy. Their patronage of Tamil literature and their(...)
  • Ḍamaru
    A type of drum that is narrow in the middle and wide at the ends.
  • Ḍamaruyathi
    This refers to a type of rhythmic pattern of swarās or words resembling a Ḍamaru, a type of drum that is narrow in the middle and wide at the ends. In carnatic music, an example of the Damaru Yathi is: sndp-ndp-dp-p-dp-ndp-sndp, or srgrsrsrgm. In Bharatanātyam, an example is : thei thei(...)
  • Dhaithya
    In Sanskrit, it means Demon.
  • Dhakṣhiṇāmūrthi
    Dhakṣhiṇāmūrthi is an aspect of Śhiva as a guru (teacher) of all type of knowledge, particularly the Gnyāna. This aspect of Śhiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, understanding and knowledge. This form represents Śhiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music,(...)
  • Dhānava
    In Sanskrit, it means Demon.
  • Dhāru varṇa
    It is interspersed with Jathis. The style is lively and sung in Madhyama kala. It is most suitable for dance performances. A famous example for this type of Varnam is “Māthe malayadhhwaje pānḍya…” in Rāga Khamach.
  • Dhāsa
    In Sanskrit, it means servant.
  • Dhaśhāvathāra
    In Sanskrit, dasha means ten and avathāra means incarnation. The scriptures speak of the Dhasha Avathārās of Viṣhṇu - different incarnations that were taken by Viṣhṇu at various stages of human evolution. The “Dashāvathāra”, the ten incarnations are meant to re-establish dharma or(...)
  • Dhāsi Āṭṭam
    The dance of the dhevadhāsis or the servants of God. In Tamil, āṭṭam means dance.
  • Dhāṭṭu varisai
    It is a series of phrases for singing and playing for early music practice, which uses dhāṭṭu (gamaka) style swara combinations, in a jumping or non regular fashion. This refers to one of the initial exercises taught in music wherein the notes in the phrases jump in an irregular fashion. This(...)
  • Dhevadhāsi
    They are the female servants of the deity. Girls dedicated to dance in front of the deity in the temples of South India were called Dhevadhāsis.
  • Dhevaranāma
    The song of the gods is the literal meaning of the word Dhevaranama. It refers to the group of compositions made in lucid style in Kannada by the devotional saints of Karnataka, mainly the Dhāsa saints like Purandharadhāsa, Kanakadhāsa and others.
  • Dhevasthhānam
    It means the abode of the Goddess/God in Sanskrit.
  • Dhevathā
    In Sanskrit, Dhevatha means Goddess/God. In Bharatanatyam, Dhevatha hasthas are the hand gestures depicting gods and goddesses.
  • Dhothi
    A men's garment consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth tied around the waist, covering the legs. There are various ways to tie it.
  • Dhruṣhṭi
    In Sanskrit, it means vision. In Bharathanātyam, Dhruṣhṭibhedha is the variations in the eye movements which are seven in number.
  • Dhrutha
    This is one of the angās of a thālam. Dhrutham refers to the beat and wave of the hand. The symbol ‘0’ is used to denote it.
  • Dhruva thāḷa
    This is one of the Saptha Thāḷas. Dhruva thāḷa has the aṅgas - Laghu Dhrutham Laghu Laghu (1 0 1 1). Chathuśhra Jāthi Dhruva Thāḷa consists of 14 beats. The number of beats in the thāla will vary according to the Laghu
  • Dhurgā
    She is another form of Goddess Pārvathi; She is a symbol of strength.
  • Dhūtha
    In Sanskrit, it means a messenger.
  • Dhwi Sthāyi
    Literally translated this means ‘two octaves’. In Carnatic music, there are some exercises where two octaves are covered.
  • Dola hastha
    In Sanskrit, Dola means Swing. When the inner palm of the Pathāka Mudrā is placed to the sides of the thigh we get the dōlā hasthā. The most important aspect of this is how the elbows are held. Keep the shoulders and the mudhrās relaxed.
  • Eka
    In Sanskrit, Eka means one.
  • Eka thāḷa
    This is one of the Saptha Thāḷās. Éka thālam has the anga Laghu (1). Chathushra Jāthi Éka Thāḷam consists of 4 beats. The number of beats in the thālam will vary according to the Laghu.
  • Ekāra
    Exercises in Carnatic music where vowel extension "E" is used and all the swaras are sung in this vowel.
  • Étram
    A Tamil word meaning ascent, climbing, or to step on to.
  • Eṭṭaḍavu
    Eṭṭu means to reach out. This set of Aḍavus gets its name from the movements of the hands and the body. There are 3 variations of Ettaḍavu.
  • Gaṇa
    They are the attendants of Lord Śhiva.
  • Gāna
    In Sanskrit, it means Music; In Carnātic music – it is another term for Thānam.
  • Gaṇapathi
    He is the elephant faced God, the son of Lord Śhiva and Pārvathi and the remover of obstacles.
  • Gāndhāra
    This is the 3rd note in the Saptha Swarā scale. This is of 3 types: Śhuddha Gāndhāram, Sādhāraṇa Gāndhāram and Anthara Gāndhāram.
  • Gandharva
    They are semi divine beings, who are well versed in the art of music and dance.
  • Garuḍa
    In Sanskrit, it means Eagle. He is the vehicle or Vāhana of Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Garuḍamanḍala
    It is an important foot position in Bharathanātyam
  • Garuḍāsana
    It is a pose in yoga which resembles the eagle.
  • Gathi
    The number of counts per beat of a thāḷa. Also called naḍai. Each beat may be divided into 3, 4, 5, 7, or 9 counts (default is 4), with the names Thiśhra, Chathuśhra, Khanḍa, Miśhra, and Sankīrṇa, respectively, for the gathi
  • Gāyana
    In Sanskrit, it means singing.
  • Gejje
    In Kannada language, it means anklet.
  • Ghungru
    A Hindi term for a dancer's ankle bells. Also called Salangai in Tamil and Gejje in Kannada. The sounds produced by the anklet vary greatly depending on the metals used and their size. Ghungrus are worn in the performances of Indian classical dances and theatre forms.
  • Gītham
    This is considered the simplest musical form. Gīthams fall under the Abhyāsa Gānam category. Gīthams were created Purandhara Dhāsa. Gīthams have no absolutely defined divisions of pallavi, anupallavi or charanam though these may be observed in many cases. Gīthams have around 10-12 āvathanams.(...)
  • Gomukha
    In Sanskrit, Go means cow and mukha means face. Gomukhasana is one of the postures in yoga. It resembles the face of the cow.
  • Gopuchhayathi
    This refers to rhythmic patterns, swaras or words which are broad in the beginning and constantly narrow down like that of a cow’s tail. An example of Gōpucha Yathi is ‘Pérabhayam Abhayam Bhayam’.
  • Guru
    1. In Sanskrit, it means remover of darkness or ignorance. Guru means a teacher. 2. In music - this is a Thāḷa movement which has the symbol 8 and has eight beats. It is formed by a beat of four counts and a wave of the hand for 4 counts (or by a sarpini, making a looping eight with the(...)
  • Gurukula
    A system of schooling in ancient India in which the students live with, or near the teacher. From Sanskrit guru (teacher) and kula (extended family).
  • Half-sari
    A variation of the sari with reduced width, about one meter wide. When worn it extends just below the knees, and is worn over pyjamas for dance practice. In common usage, a long skirt teamed with a blouse and a veil worn across the left shoulder, resembling a sari is also called half sari.
  • Hamsa
    In Sanskrit, Hamsa means Swan.
  • Hamsapakṣha
    The Swan’s Wing is indicated thus: From Pathāka hasthā position, bend the middle three fingers out.
  • Hamsāsya
    It is one of the Asamyutha hastha mudhra. It means the Swan’s bill. In Bharathanātyam, in the Hamsāsya hasthā, the thumb and the index finger touch each other at the tips, while the other fingers are straight, separated and stretched. It is also known as Chin mudhra in yoga.
  • Hanumān
    He is the god of strength. He is a monkey faced God in Hindhu mythology.
  • Hara
    It is another name for Lord Śhiva.
  • Hari
    It is another name for Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Hastha, Hastha Mudhra
    Hastha means hand in Sanskrit. It is a symbolic gesture using the hands and fingers, used for decoration as well as expressing meaning in Bharathanātyam.
  • Hāsya
    Humour or laughter, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Karuṇa (sadness), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Bhayānaka(fear),Bībhathsa (revulsion), and Shāntha (peace).
  • Hindhu
    Originally the word indicated the people and culture indigenous to the Indian sub-continent. Now it has come to indicate those who practice the faith of Hindhuism.
  • Hūmkāra
    A vocal exercise in Carnatic music where the vowel extension "hūm" is used and all the swaras are sung in this vowel.
  • Indhirā
    She is the goddess of wealth. She is the wife of Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Indhra
    He is the king of Gods.
  • Indhu
    It means The Moon.
  • Īśhānya
    It is the direction of North – east.
  • Īśhwara
    He is the supreme lord. Lord Śhiva is also known as Īśhwara.
  • Jagannātha
    In Sanskrit, Jagannātha means 'Master/ Lord' (nātha) of the 'World, Universe' (Jagath). He is The Lord of the world. He is another form of Lord Viṣhṇu. The oldest and most famous Jagannāth deity is established in Puri, in Orissa. The temple of Jagannāth in Puri is regarded as one of the sacred(...)
  • Janaka rāga
    This is another name for the Meḷa Karthā Rāga. A Meḷa rāgam also known as a parent rāga must have all the seven notes in both the ārōhaṇa and avarōhaṇa. The notes must be the same in both scales and must follow the regular order. The Thāra Sa must be present in both scales. There are a total(...)
  • Janya rāga
    This refers to a rāga that has been derived from a Méla rāga. A janya rāga may not have all the swarās from its parent rāga. Its ārōhanam and avarōhanam may not follow an orderly fashion and sometimes swarās from other rāgās may feature in a janya rāga.
  • Jari
    It refers to an embroidery using metal threads, usually silver, gold, or copper and often for decoration of borders of the cloth.
  • Jathi
    Drum syllables, or sequences of drum syllables, describing units of percussion. Also sequences of syllables intoned by the dance conductor (naṭṭuvanār), during abstract dance passages
  • Jāthi
    One of the qualifiers with which a thāḷa or rhythmic meter is identified. Jāthi corresponds to the number of beats in the laghu, and is also known as chāpu.
  • Jathiswara
    The Jathis (rhythmic syllables) are combined with swaras (musical notes) in a particular raga and thāḷa. It is similar to a Swarajathi but does not contain any Sāhithyam. Only the names of notes are sung. Jathiswarams are used in dance recitals. Some jathiswarams are found in chauka kāla and(...)
  • Jāvaḷi
    They are one of the special compositions that are sung in the concerts. This type of song usually tells a love story. The Nāyaka, Nāyika and the Sakhi feature in Jāvalis. Jāvalis are performed at Bharathanātyam recitals. The compositions are usually found in Madhyama Kāla and use colloquial(...)
  • Jayanthi
    The Sanskrit word for anniversary and often refers to celebrations of the birthdays of religious figures and deities.
  • Jhampa thāḷa
    This is one of the Saptha Thālās. Jhumpa thālam has the angās Laghu Anudhrutham and Dhrutham (1 U 0). Mishra Jāthi Jhumpa Thālam consists of 10 beats. The number of beats in the thālam will vary according to the Laghu.
  • Jhanṭi
    This Means joint. It is one of the basic exercises in Carnātic music. It involves double and triples of a single swara. These should be sung with force and emphasis from the first note to the second: sa sa ri ri ga ga etc. The use of one plain note followed by a forceful one.
  • Jithendriya
    The one who has control over his senses is known as Jithendriya in Sanskrit.
  • Jnāna
    This could also be spelt as Gnyāna. It means Knowledge and wisdom.
  • Jnāna yoga
    Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge that leads to an experience of absolute truth.
  • Kalā
    It means fine arts.
  • Kāla
    It means time. The tempo of the rhythm. It is independent of the thāḷa pattern or rhythmic meter. Three speeds are used for dance: slow (viḷamba), medium (madhya), and fast (dhrutha), each double the speed of the previous.
  • Kālapramāṇa swarāvaḷi
    Exercises in classical vocal music, which enable the student to learn to hold notes over long interval of time and gives the student ability to culture the voice and Shruthi.
  • Kalaripayattu
    It's a traditional martial art form from Kerala, where artist move with a grace of dancers at the same time wielding deadly weapons in their hands.
  • Kaliyuga
    Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures
  • Kalki
    The last of the avathāras, Kalki is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the current time period. This avathāra will appear seated on a white horse with a sword blazing like a comet. It is believed that he shall finally come to destroy the wicked, to start new creation and to restore(...)
  • Kapālabhāthi
    Kapālabhāthi is a combination of two Sanskrit words. 'kapāla' meaning 'skull,' and 'bhāthi' meaning 'light' or 'lustre.' This breathing exercise is done to cleanse the body. Kapālabhāthi is essentially performed to clear the respiratory passages by forceful expiration.
  • Kapittha
    It means wood apple. It is a favourite of Lord Ganesha. In dance, it is a single hand gesture.
  • Kapotha
    It is Samyutha hastha mudhra. It means pigeon. When the Anjali Mudhrā is made to bulge at the knuckles of the palm we get the kapōtha hastha. In this gesture the palms touch each other only at the tips and the base of the palm. The centre is cupped.
  • Karkaṭa
    It is Samyutha hastha mudhra. It means crab in Sanskrit.
  • Karma
    It denotes the actions of the individual.
  • Karma yoga
    Karma Yoga is the path of service, for in this path, it is believed that the present situation is based on one’s past actions. Karma Yoga is the path of action, service to others, mindfulness, and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions or karma in the world. Karma(...)
  • Karṇa
    In Sanskrit, it means Ear. It is also name of one of the greatest warriors, Karna who is one of the central characters in the epic Mahābhārata.
  • Karnātaka
    It is one of the states in the southern part of India. The capital is Bengaluru (Spelt & pronounced Bangalore till recently) and the language spoken is Kannada. Many a famous composer hailed from this state.
  • Karthari aḍavu
    In Sanskrit, Karthari means scissors. This aḍavu is called the Karthari aḍavu as the mudhrā held in this aḍavu is the Kartharimukham mudhrā. Also, the dancer leaps from the aramanḍi to swasthikam with the foot crossed in front.
  • Kartharimukha
    It is an Asamyutha hastha. Karthari means scissors. From the ardhapathāka hasthā, the little and the ring fingers are pressed against the thumb, while the index and the middle fingers are stretched to show a scissor.
  • Karthariswasthika
    It is a Samyutha hastha. It means Crossed scissors gesture. When both hands are crossed holding the in kartharimukha mudhrā we get the karthariswasthika hastha.
  • Karuṇa
    The sentiment of pathos is called Karuṇa rasa. It is generally caused by separation or loss of something.The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor),Bībhathsa (revulsion), Bhayānaka(fear)and Shāntha (peace).
  • Katakāmukha
    One of the single hand gestures in dance. Kataka means a Bracelet or link.
  • Katakavardhhana
    It is a double hand gesture in Dance. It indicates Crossed katakāmukha. When both the hands are crossed holding the kaṭakāmukha mudrā, we get the kaṭakāvardhana hastha.
  • Kathak
    Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dance and originated from Uttar Pradesh, India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakas, or storytellers. The term Kathak is derived from Kathā meaning story.
  • Kathakali
    Kathakali is a classical dance form of India that originates from Kerala, the south-western part of India. It is a unique form of dance with a marvellous combination of elaborate gestures, picturesque costumes, grand make up and vigorous music. Kathakali is a group presentation in which(...)
  • Katthi aḍavu
    Katthi refers to a knife in Tamil. The dancer, in this Aḍavu swiftly jumps from the Aramanḍi to Garuḍamanḍalam. The hand movements in this Aḍavu look like the piercing of a knife, and therefore its name.
  • Katva
    It means cot. In Bharathanātyam, it is indicated as follows: Hold the simhamukha hastha in both the hands at chest level and turn the hand so that the palm is facing upwards. Join the tips of the middle and ring fingers of both the hands.
  • Kavi
    It means poet.
  • Kāvya
    It is a Sanskrit literary style. It means poetry.
  • Kethu
    He is one of the nine planets in Indian astrology. He is the serpent tailed Lord of the Descending/South lunar node.
  • Khanḍa
    In Carnatic music, this refers to the number 5.
  • Khanḍa chāpu
    This refers to a Chāpu thāla with 5 beats (2 + 3). A beat constitutes the angās in the thāla.
  • Khanḍa Jāthi
    Khanda jāthi refers to 5 beats in the Laghu.
  • Kīlaka
    It is a Samyutha hastha mudhrā. It means a cord / Friendship. Hold the Muṣhṭi mudhrā in both the hands and release the little finger. When both the little fingers interlock each other we get the kīlaka hastha.
  • Kīrthanam
    An expressive Bharathanātyam item, usually devotional in sentiment, with lyrics in praise of a particular deity. A medium tempo item with some abstract dance elements included for interest. The sāhithya which plays an important role in this form is usually in praise of god or one that(...)
  • Korvai aḍavu
    The word Korvai means to compile, join or thread together. The Korvai Aḍavu is a combination of Thattu, Pàichal, Nāttu, Bhramari and Mandi aḍavu.
  • Kovil
    In Tamil, the word for temple is Kovil.
  • Kriṣhṇa
    Krishna appeared in the Dwāpara Yuga along with his brother Balarāma. Krishna is one of the most worshipped deities in the Hindu faith. He played a huge role in the battle of Kurukshétra and helped the Pandavās defeat the Kauravās. He is also a significant character in the epic the(...)
  • Kruthi / Krithi
    Kruthi is the format of a musical composition typical to Carnātic music, an Indian classical music style. Krithis form the backbone of any typical Carnātic music concert, and is the longer format of a Carnātic music song.
  • Kṣhathriya
    Those who were into defence and warfare were called Kshatriyas in the past. Today it refers to those born in the community which once engaged in warfare.
  • Kūchipūḍi
    Kūchipūḍi is the classical dance form from the South-Eastern state of Andhra Pradesh. It derives its name from the village of Kuchelapuram, a small village about 65 kms from Vijayawāda. It is known for its graceful movements and its strong narrative dramatic character.
  • Kudhitta meṭṭaḍavu
    Kudhi means to jump and meṭṭu is to strike the floor gently on the toes with the heels raised up.
  • Kummi
    A women's folk dance from Tamizh Nāḍu, done in a circle with clapping.
  • Kunchitha pādha
    A foot position in dance where the foot is bent or curved.
  • Kuravanji
    A group dance by women, interpreting literary or poetic compositions typically on the theme of fulfilment of the love of a girl for her beloved.
  • Kūrma
    In Sanskrit, it means a tortoise.
  • Kūrmavathāra
    This is the second incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu. As the dévās(gods) and the asurās(demons) fought over the nectar of immortality, Viṣhṇu took the form of a tortoise that held the mountain Mandhara which was used as a churning staff.
  • Kurthā
    A loose shirt worn by men and women, reaching to just above the knees or somewhat below the knees, and worn over dhothis, churidhārs, salwārs or other pants.
  • Kuṭṭaḍavu
    It is one of the footwork variations in Bharatanātyam. Kuṭṭanam means the striking of the ground with the foot.
  • Laghu
    A thāḷa movement that involves a beat and then counts on the fingers starting from the little finger and moving inward (when the counts are more than five the counts go back to the little finger).
  • Lakṣhaṇa
    Lakṣhaṇa means grammar/rules. Apart from being good in creativity, the student should also strictly adhere to the grammar and rules of the music portion.
  • Lakṣhmi
    She is the Goddess of wealth and the wife of Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Lāsya
    It refers to abstract dance with graceful, lyrical and tender movements, usually ascribed to feminine qualities.
  • Lāvanya
    In Sanskrit, it means like beauty, loveliness or grace.
  • Laya
    Laya refers to the innate rhythm in anything. It is the primeval method of movement and denotes the speeds of a Thāḷa, which are of three types.
  • Laya sadhaka
    Laya means rhythm and sādhana is practice. These exercises are designed to strentghten the rhythm ability of the student, whether a musician or dancer.
  • Madhya
    The middle tempo of the three used in Bharathanātyam. Madhya is double the speed of viḷamba, and half the speed of dhrutha.
  • Madhyama
    Of human or ordinary stature; One of the classifications of characters in Bharathanātyam. Others are utthama (divine) and adhhama (base).
  • Mahābhāratha
    A major Sanskrit epic of ancient India, immensely important to Indian culture and a key source of themes for classical dance compositions.
  • Mallari
    A Mallari is played as the first musical item, by the Nādhaswaram (a wind instrument), during temple festivals before the temple deity is taken out in procession. A Mallari is performed in the first three speeds (Tisra naḍai), and is usually set in Raga Gambhīra Nāṭṭai. The other Ghana Pancha(...)
  • Manḍala bhedhas
    The positions or postures of the feet can either be static or dynamic. The static postures are called Manḍala Bhedhas. There are 10 variations in Manḍala bhedha.
  • Manḍi
    It means knee in Tamil and Kannada. In Bharthanātyam we have postures such as muzhumanḍi and aramanḍi as also some aḍavus. Muzhumanḍi is the full seated position. Aramanḍi is the half seated position.
  • Maṅgaḷa / maṅgaḷam
    Benediction. A short benedictory item of music or dance performed at the end of the last performance of the day.
  • Maṇipūri
    It is one of the classical dances of India from the state of Maṇipūr. Maṇipūri is a very graceful form of dance. It has very little facial expressions but its body movements are beautiful and graceful.
  • Manmatha
    In Sanskrit, the word refers to Cupid: the God of Love.
  • Mārgam
    The sequence of items in a Bharathanātyam recital. The literal meaning in Sanskrit is ‘the way or path’.
  • Mārjari āsana
    This is a pose in Yoga which resembles a cat. The cat is called mārjara in Sanskrit.
  • Mārutha
    This word in Sanskrit indicates the wind.
  • Māruthi
    The son of the Wind God. Another name for Hanumān.
  • Mathsya
    In Sanskrit, it means Fish. In yoga, we have a posture resembling the fish. In dance, when the right palm is placed over the back of the left palm, while both hold the Ardhhachandra hastha, Mathsya is formed.
  • Mathsyāsana
    The name comes from the Sanskrit word mathsya which means "fish". Since the posture of the body looks like that of a fish, it is called the Fish pose.
  • Mathsyāvathāra
    The first incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu, who took the form of a fish. Mathsya means fish and avathāra means incarnation.
  • Matya Thāḷa
    It is one of the seven main thāḷas in carnatic music system. It starts with a Laghu and is followed by 1 Dhrutam and. 1 Laghu.
  • Mayūra
    It means Peacock. It is a single hand gesture-asamyutha hastha – in Bharathanātyam, it is described as: From the thripathāka hastha, the ring finger and the tip of the thumb touch each other while the other fingers are held straight without any gap.
  • Mrudhaṅgam
    A double-sided Indian drum used mainly in South India, in Carnātic music. It is the main percussion instrument used in Carnātic concerts and is known as the “King of percussion” instruments. It is used as an accompaniment, as the lead instrument in thāḷa vādhya ensembles and is also played as(...)
  • Mudhrā
    A symbolic gesture using the hands and fingers in thanthra. This term has also been used to refer to hand gestures in Bharathanātyam, where they are used for decoration as well as expressing meaning. Hastha mudhrās or hand gestures are the most important element of dance.
  • Mukula
    In Sanskrit, it means a flower bud. In single hand gestures, Asamyutha hastha, when all fingers are brought together and touch each other at the tip, we get the mukula hastha.
  • Muṣhṭi
    It means Fist in Sanskrit. From Shikhara hastha,if you place the thumb on the four fingers, it is the muṣhṭi gesture in Dance.
  • Muthuswami Dhikṣhithar
    One of the Carnātic music trinity, Muthuswāmi Dhīkṣhitar was a master of the Thāḷa system. He is the only composer to have krithis in all the seven basic Thāḷas of Carnatic Music. For their Rāga Bhāva, grandeur of the Sāhithya and philosophical content, Muthuswāmi Dhīkṣhitar’s krithis remain(...)
  • Muzhumanḍi
    In Tamil, Muzhu- Complete. Mandi- Squat. From the aramanḍi position, squat into a sitting position. The balance is placed on the balls of the feet with the heels pointed up. The pelvis should rest on the heels. The knees should point outward and should be off the floor. The back should be(...)
  • Muzhumanḍi Prenkhaṇa
    Prenkhaṇam indicates Swing. First, sit in the Muzhumandi position. The right leg is then outstretched to the right with the toes pointing up. This position can also be held with the legs the other way round.
  • Naḍai
    • In Bharatanatyam, the term 'Nadai' means to walk. Hence, this aḍavu involves walking either sideways, to the front, backwards or diagonally, while employing various hand movements. Owing to its simplicity in execution, it is not practiced like the other aḍavus. This aḍavu is used at the(...)
  • Nādha
  • Nāgabandha
    This is a hastha mudhra used to denote Nāgabhandha or Twining Snakes. The nāgabandha is placed at chest level.
  • Namasthe/Namaskār/Namaskāra/Namaskaram
    The most popular form of greeting in India, especially the elders, is to say Namasthe with the hands joined at the chest level. It is also used at the time of farewell.
  • Nandhi/Nandikeśhwara
    Nandhi or Nandhikéshwara, is the lord of joy. He is Śhiva’s vehicle and embodies inner strength, acquired through control over violence and physical strength. He is Śhiva and Pārvathi’s gatekeeper. Some purāṇas state that Nandhi was born out of the right side of Viṣhṇu and resembled Śhiva(...)
  • Nara
    In Sanskrit, Nara means Human.
  • Narasimha
    He is the fourth incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu. He is half man and half lion.
  • Narthaka
    In Sanskrit, it means a Male dancer.
  • Narthaki
    In Sanskrit, it means a Female dancer.
  • Natarāja
    The term 'Natarāja' means 'King of Dancers' (In Sanskrit, Nata means dance; Rāja means king). A form of the Hindhu god Śhiva, whose divine dance creates and destroys the universe. Natarāja is most often depicted through a bronze statue and is popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture.
  • Nāṭṭaḍavu
    In Bharatanātyam, Nāṭṭu means to stretch. From the basic Aramanḍi position, one leg is stretched outward either to the side or to the front striking the floor with the heel and is brought back to the Aramanḍi position.
  • Naṭṭuvanār
    One who wields the cymbals/Thāḷam and conducts the performance; one who does Naṭṭuvāṅgam.
  • Naṭṭuvāṅgam
    The practice or art of reciting rhythmic syllables and striking cymbals on particular beats that follow the foot work of the dancer; The art of conducting Bharathanātyam, a dance recital.
  • Nātya
    The dramatically oriented aspects of dance are called Nātya, including spoken dialogue and mime, to convey meaning and enact narrative.
  • Nātya Śhāsthra
    A scripture attributed to the sage Bharatha that deals with theatre arts and dance. The Nātya Śhāsthra is about 2,000 years old. Written by Sage Bharatha.
  • Nātya vedha
    According to religious history, the gods and goddesses pleaded with Lord Brahma to create a Védha which would make it simple for the common man to understand. Thus, Brahma created the fifth Védha known as the Nātya Védha. It is believed that he took Pathya (words) from the Rig Vedha, Abhinaya(...)
  • Nātyārambha
    This the basic hand position in Bharatanātyam.
  • Naukāsana
    Nauka in Sanskrit means a boat. Naukāsana in Yoga, helps reduce the size of the belly due to the contraction of the abdomen from both the sides.
  • Nāyaka
    In Sanskrit, Nāyaka means the hero. He is the male protagonist.
  • Nāyaki
    In Sanskrit, Nāyaki means the heroine. She is the female protagonist.
  • Nimīlitha
    It means half closed in Sanskrit. It is one of the Driṣhṭi bhedhas. The eyes are kept half closed in this variation.
  • Nirbhaya
    Bhaya indicates fear and with the prefix ’ni’ it indicates ‘without fear’.
  • Nirruthi
    The south west direction is Nirruthi. In the Vedhic times, it was depicted as a female goddess. Later it denotes a male god in charge of the directions. In dance, it can be depicted as follows: Hold khatva in the left hand and śhakata in the right hand.
  • Niyama
    It consists of the five "observances": purity, contentment, austerity, study, and the surrender to god.
  • Nruthya
    Interpretive dance, using facial expressions, hand gestures and body movements to portray emotions and express themes is termed Nruthya.
  • Nruttha
    Nruttha is the set of abstract dance movements with rhythm but without expression of a theme or emotion. It is also called pure dance.
  • Nruttha Hasthas
    A sub-set of the hasthas (hand gestures) that find use in nruttha (abstract dance).
  • Odisha
    The way in which the name of the state of Orissa is pronounced in the native language.
  • Odissi
    The classical dance form which is from the state of Orissa. . It is the oldest surviving dance form in India on the basis of archaeological evidence.
  • Pādha
    In Sanskrit, it means feet.
  • Padha varṇam
    This refers to a varnam that has rhythmic elements like that of a padham and that is meant for classical dance. It consists of chauka kāla swaras suitable for footwork, and sāhithya suitable for abhinaya at the mukthāyi swaras as well as all the charaṇas. This is also called chauka varṇam or(...)
  • Padham
    The deepest expressive item of Bharathanātyam,, narrating divine love or the pain of separation from the beloved, usually using the device of a nāyikā (heroine) talking to her sakhi (friend), about her love for the nāyaka (hero), symbolizing the human soul yearning for union with the divine.(...)
  • Padhmakośha
    It is one of the Asamyutha hastha. It means lotus bud. Turn the hand so that the palm is facing upwards. All the fingers are stretched and bent slightly to form the padmakośha hastha. It looks like holding a ball or a fruit.
  • Padhmāsana
    It is one of the sitting postures in yoga. In Sanskrit, Padhma means lotus. This āsana has been given a great importance as it is best suited for Prāṇāyāma, Meditation & concentration. This excellent posture encourages proper breathing and foster physical stability.
  • Pāichal aḍavu
    In Tamil, Pāichal means to leap. In Sanskrit, it is ‘Uthplavana’. This Aḍavu involves leaping movements, covering space either to the sides or front with horizontal or through vertical jumps.
  • Parabrahman
    It is a term often used by Vedāntic philosophers about the "attainment of the ultimate goal". It is a Sanskrit word - para meaning beyond and Brahman meaning universal self or spirit. Parabrahman is That which is beyond Brahman - The self-enduring, eternal, self-sufficient cause of all(...)
  • Parakīya
    The married woman in love with another man. One of numerous categories of nayikās, or heroines, in Bharathanātyam.
  • Paraśhurāma
    He is the sixth of the ten incarnations of Lord Viṣhṇu and is the son of a Brahmin father Jamadhagni and mother Reṇukā in Hindhu mythology. In Daśhāvathāra hasthas he is depicted as an angry man holding the axe. Hold Muṣhṭi hastha in left hand and Ardhhapathāka hastha in the right hand to(...)
  • Paraval aḍavu
    Paraval in Tamil means to spread. The feet are spread from the position of Aramanḍi to Preritham.
  • Paravrittham
    It is one of the Śhiro bhedhas (head variations). It means turning. The face is turned away either to the right side or the left side. Alternately, the head is also moved from a side to side like a pattern of alphabet S.
  • Parivahitha
    It is one of the Śhiro bhedas(head variations). It means moving widely. The head is moved from side to with ears touching the shoulders alternately.
  • Parivarthitha
    It is one of the grīva bhedhas (neck variations). It means revolving round. Move the neck from side to side resembling the shape of a half moon.
  • Parivruttha thrikonasana
    Parivruttha means to turn around or revolve. Trikoṇa means thrī angles or a triangle. This is a revolving triangle posture.
  • Pārṣhni pārshwagathi
    It is one of the foot positions. Pārṣhni means Heel and Pārśhva means near/Side. a. In Aramanḍi b. In Samapādha
  • Pārśhwasūchi
    It is one of the Foot positions. Pārśhva means side and Sūchi means Triangle.
  • Pārśhwasūchi Prenkhaṇa
    It is one of the foot positions. Pārśhva means Side; Sūchi means Triangle; Prenkhaṇam means moving towards.
  • Paśchimotthānāsana
    In Sanskrit, paśchima means "west" or "back" or "back of the body", and utthāna means "intense stretch" and āsana means "posture" or "seat". It stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
  • Pāśha
    It is one of the Samyutha hastha. It means Bond or enmity. When both the hands holding the thāmrachūḍa hastha are interlocked with one another with the index fingers, we get the pāśha hastha.
  • Pathāka
    It is one of the Asamyutha hasthas. It means Flag. All the fingers are kept closer to each other with the tip of the thumb bent and placed at the base of the index finger.
  • Peri aḍavu
    Periya means big. These steps are used to cover big space. This is also known as Usi aḍavu. Usi means off beat.
  • Prakampitha
    It is one of the grīva bhedha (neck variation). It means shaking. The neck is moved back and forth like the neck of a male pigeon.
  • Pralokitha
    It is one of the Dhriṣhṭi bhedhas. It means wide glance. The pupils are moved to the corner of the eyes from right to left and vice versa.
  • Prāṇāyāma
    It is a Sanskrit word meaning "extension of the prāṇa or breath“. That is "extension of the life force". The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prāṇa, life force or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and "āyāma", to extend, draw out, restrain or control.
  • Prathyālīḍa
    Taking a particular stance when shooting, also meaning extended towards the left.
  • Prathyaṅgas
    The intermediate parts of the body, such as shoulders, stomach, thighs, and elbows. One of three groups into which body parts are classified for the assignment of movements. The others are the aṅgas or major parts of the body, and upaṅgas, which include the extremities and facial features.
  • Prenkhana
    It is one of the foot positions used in Nāṭṭaḍavu. Prenkhaṇam means moving towards.
  • Preritha
    It is one of the foot positions. It means turned. The feet are turned sideways and placed one foot away from each other.
  • Pruṣhṭānajali
    It is one of yoga postures. Priṣhṭa means the back or the rear of anything. Anjali means salutations with both palms facing each other and joined together.
  • Purandharadhāsa
    The musician-saint from Karnataka is one of the prominent composers in Carnatic music. Purandhara Dhāsa is said to have composed 475,000 songs according to the evidence contained by his disciple, Vijayaviṭṭhala. He systemized the method of teaching Carnatic Music. He introduced the Rāga(...)
  • Pūrṇa thithili āsana
    In Sanskrit, Pūrṇa means complete and thithili means butterfly. This āsana is so called because the legs move up and down like a butterfly's wings. It is one of the most important āsanas for dancers as it helps them to get their basic positions of Aramanḍi and muzhumanḍi right.
  • Puṣhpānjali
    It is one of the compositions in Bharatanatyam recital. Puṣhpa means flower and Anjali means salutation. The offering of flowers to a deity as a form of obeisance; Sometimes this ritual is expanded into a dance item.
  • Puṣhpapuṭa
    It is one of the Samyutha hasthas. It means handful of flowers. Hold pathāka in both the hands with the palm facing upwards. Both the palms are joined together such that the little finger touch each other and slightly hollow at the centre of the palms.
  • Puthra
    In Sanskrit, it means son.
  • Rāga
    A Rāga literally means colour or hue but also beauty and melody. A rāga in Indian Classical music is a combination of notes upon which a melody is set. Indian Classical Music is always set to a Rāga. “Ranjayathi Ithi Rāga” is a Sanskrit saying that translates, that which colours the mind is Rāga.
  • Rāhu
    He is one of the nine planets according to Indian astrology. He is a serpent, waist upwards and human downwards.
  • Rākṣhasa
    It means demon in Sanskrit.
  • Ramā
    It is another name for Goddess Lakṣhmi.
  • Rāma
    He is the seventh incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu. He ruled over Ayodhya and belonged to the clan of Raghu. One of the popular Gods of later Hindhuism.
  • Rāmāyaṇa
    An ancient Sanskrit epic of the story of Rama, prominent in India and Southeast Asia and a key source of themes for classical dance compositions. Sage Valmiki composed this grand epic.
  • Ranga
    In Sanskrit, it is the word for color.
  • Raṅgamantapa
    It means the stage.
  • Raṅgapraveśha
    It means entry of the student on stage. Ranga means stage and praveśh/praveśha means entry. Basically it is the first performance of the artist.
  • Rās( Ḍānḍiya Rās)
    A folk dance of Western India where men and women use decorated sticks to keep rhythm, and make complex circular movements. Origins of rās trace back to the life of Lord Kriṣhṇa.
  • Rasa
    In Indian aesthetics, rasa (mood or flavour) is the essence of beauty and harmony. Rasa is the primary concept behind classical Indian arts including theatre, music, dance, poetry, and even sculpture.
  • Rasika
    Rasikas are the connoisseur of fine arts and performing arts.
  • Raudhra
    Fury, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Hāsya (laughter, humor), Bībhathsa (revulsion), Bhayānaka(fear)and Shāntha (peace).
  • Sadhir, Sadhir Nāṭyam,
    A solo dance form performed for centuries by dhevadhāsis in temples and eventually in the royal courts of South India, especially in Tamil Nāḍu.
  • Sāhithya
    The poetic content of the music; bothlyrics and prosody, the system of poetic meters and versification.
  • Sakhi
    The friend, usually a companion of the nāyikā (heroine), one of the characters described in Bharathanātyam and also in the scriptures.
  • Salangai
    Tamil term for a dancer's ankle bells. Also called Ghungru in Hindi and Gejje in Kannada.
  • Salwār-kamīz
    A traditional dress for women in North India, combining loose pants (salwār) and a long shirt (kamīz).
  • Sama
    It means equal.
  • Samāgama
    Means union, close association or coming together.
  • Sāmānya
    The courtesan; a free woman whose love is for sale; One of numerous categories of nāyikās, or heroines, in Bharathanātyam.
  • Sanchāri Bhāva
    Transitory states or passing feelings in the presence of a underlying emotion. For example, someone in love may experience impatience, excitement, longing, and weakness, in the presence of the love. Depiction of the passing feelings to more fully portray the dominant emotion is an expressive(...)
  • Saraswathi
    She is the goddess of learning. In Hindhu mythology, she is depicted as the consort of the creator, Brahma.
  • Sari
    A traditional women's garment of India, a strip of cloth four to nine meters long and one-and-a-half meters wide, that is worn in various styles in different parts of the country.
  • Sarvāṅgāsana
    Sarva means complete; aṅga means body. The meaning of this āsana in Sanskrit is “a posture for the complete body”.
  • Sāthvika, Sāthvika Abhinaya
    One of the four aspects of the art of expression (abhinaya) that relates to the deep inner feelings of emotional states.
  • Śhabdham
    It is one of the items in a Bharathanātyam, recital; for the first time, students are introduced to the art of expression through Śhabdham where alternating sequences of expressive and abstract dance with each line of the poetry are expressed with lyrics that emphasize a particular word.
  • Śhāntha
    Peace, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Vīra (valor, heroism), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor),Bībhathsa (revulsion) and Bhayānaka(fear).
  • Śhiva
    A principal deity of Hindhuism. One of the Hindhu trinity known to be the Destroyer of evil.
  • Śhloka
    A Sanskrit term denoting a poem or phrase chanted as a form of prayer.
  • Śhrungāra
    Love or eros, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Vīra (valor, heroism), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor),Bībhathsa (revulsion), Bhayānaka(fear)and Shāntha (peace).
  • Sollukaṭṭu
    Rhythmic syllables indicating the arrangement of dance steps or rhythmic beats in a time sequence is a Sollukaṭṭu. The literal meaning in Tamil is spoken (sol) structure or binding (kaṭṭu).
  • Sri Rām
    Lord Rāma is also known as Sri Rām, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Viṣhṇu.
  • Sri, Shri, Shree written with diacritical marks as Śhrī
    A Sanskrit title of respect, also signifies the goddess Lakṣhmi who symbolizes wealth and beauty.
  • Sthāyi Bhāva
    A constant, dominant emotional state, unchanged by the passing of various moods related to it. For example, someone in love may feel agitation, comfort, or excitement in the presence of the lover, but the underlying state of love is not changed by them. Depiction of the passing feelings to(...)
  • Sukhāsana
    In Sanskrit, Sukha means comfortable or pleasant. It is a simple cross legged position - comfortable and easy sitting position for practicing yoga, āsana and meditation.
  • Suptha padhanguṣhtāsana
    The term 'Suptha' would mean 'lying down' or 'reclining'. Pādhānguṣhṭa means big Toe. This is a reclining big toe posture in Yoga.
  • Supthavīrāsana
    The term 'Suptha' would mean 'lying down' or 'reclining'. This is a variation of 'Vīrāsana' or the warrior pose. Hence the name 'Suptha Vīrāsana'.
  • Swara
    Swara is the single or set of syllables for musical notes and also indicates the singing of these syllables. The notes of the scale are designated by the syllables “sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa”, like the solfa syllables “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do” in Western music, although the system of scales is(...)
  • Swarajathi
    A musical composition with swara (syllables for musical notes) and jathi (syllables for rhythmic beats) combinations, distinguished by the singing of the rhythmic syllables with a melody.
  • Swīyā
    The faithful wife. One of numerous categories of nāyikās, or heroines, in Bharathanātyam.
  • Thāḍāsana
    In Sanskrit Thāḍa means mountain and Āsana means posture. In Yoga, this is a pose resembling that of a mountain.
  • Thāḷa
    Thāḷa or Taal (Sanskrit thāḷa, literally "clap", also transliterated as "tala") is the term used broadly in Indian classical music, defining the rhythmic pattern of any composition, and for the entire subject of rhythm in general, roughly corresponding to the ‘meter’ in Western music. Rhythm(...)
  • Thambūra/Thambūri
    An instrument used as a drone to set the pitch for a performance. Its (often) 4 strings are tuned to the Mandhra Sthāyi Pa, Middle Sa, Middle Sa, and Thāra Sa.
  • Thamil, Thamizh(Spelt as Tamil world-wide, ‘h’ added here for phonetics)
    It is a South Indian language. The language is spoken in Thamil Nāḍu. Many compositions can be found in Thamil. When India adopted national standards Thamil was the very first language to be recognized as a classical language of India.
  • Thamilnāḍu
    It is one of the states in the southern part of India. The region has been the home of the Thamil people since at least 500 BCE. Its official language Thamil has been in use in inscriptions and literature for over 2000 years. Thamil Nāḍu is home to many natural resources, Hindhu temples of(...)
  • Thāmrachūḍa
    It means Rooster. It is a double hand gesture which is displayed When the index finger of the sūchī hasthā is bent, we get the thāmrachūḍa hastha.
  • Thāna varṇa
    Thāna Varṇam is known for its Thānam-rhythmic qualities. Thāna varṇams only have lyrics for the pallavi, anupallavi and charaṇam.
  • Thanjai Nālvar/Tanjore quartet
    The term Tanjore Quartet refers to the four brothers who were Nattuvanārs and Dance masters at the royal court of Serfoji II in Tanjore, in the early 19th Century. While they excelled in the art of Bharathanātyam, they have also authored a number of Thāna varṇams and Kritis. The brothers(...)
  • Thanjāvūr
    Thanjāvūr is one of the ancient cities in India and has a long and varied history dating back to the Sangam period. Thanjāvūr is an important centre of South Indian art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Choḷa Temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments are located in and around(...)
  • Thanthra
    A body of practices and ideas, rooted in the religions of India, that aim to ritually channel divine energy in the human plane, including through the human body, for creative and liberating purposes.
  • Thāra
    One of the 13 lakshaṇas of a raaga, which indicates its ability to reach higher octaves
  • Thārasthāyi
    This refers to the higher octave in which a composition is sung. When writing notation, Thāra Sthāyi notes are referred to by drawing a dot above them.
  • Thaṭṭaḍavu
    The term 'thaṭṭu’ means to strike or hit. In this Aḍavu with the body positioned in the Araimanḍi stance, the feet are made to stamp on the floor alternately. Group of Thaṭṭ aḍavus are the foundation steps for all the aḍavus in Bharatanātyam.
  • Thaṭṭumeṭṭaḍavu
    Thaṭṭi meṭṭu means to strike and beat. Thaṭṭu means to strike the floor with the sole of the foot. Meṭṭu is to strike the floor gently on the toes with the heels raised up.
  • Thilakam
    The auspicious mark worn on the forehead by the Hindhus.
  • Thillāna
    It is a rhythmic piece in Carnātic music, generally performed at the end of a concert and widely used in dance performances in the end, giving a dramatic flourish. A thillāna uses rhythmic phrases (such as dhīm, thakiṭa, thām, jham) in the pallavi and anupallavi and lyrics in the charaṇam.
  • Thiraschīna
    It is one of the Neck variations (grīva bhedhas).It means criss - cross. The neck makes gliding movement like that of a snake.
  • Thiruvaiyāru
    It is one of the towns in Thanjāvūr district situated on the banks of the river Kāveri. Thiruvaiyāru is more renowned for its association with Saint Thyāgarāja, who, along with Muthuswāmi Dikṣhithar and Śhyāma Śhāstri, comprises the Trinity of Carnātic music. The Thyāgarāja Ārādhanā festival(...)
  • Thrikoṇāsana
    In Sanskrit, Thrikoṇa means Triangle and Āsana means posture. In Yoga it is a pose resembling a triangle.
  • Thrishūla
    In Sanskrit it indicates the Trident. It is Lord Śhiva’s weapon.
  • Thyāgarāja
    He is also known as Thyāgarājar and Thyagayya; He was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music. He was a prolific composer and highly influential in the development of the South Indian classical music tradition. Thyāgarāja has composed thousands of devotional compositions, most of them(...)
  • Trinities
    • Thrimūrthi – also referred to as Hindhu Trinity. Thrimūrthi meaning three forms is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahmā the creator, Viṣhṇu, the maintainer or preserver, and Śhiva the destroyer(...)
  • Ujjayi prāṇāyāma
    In yoga, it a very useful exercise to improve voice and keep throat healthy. It is also known as Cobra breathing or ocean breathing. Ujjayi means Victorious.
  • Upaṅgas
    The entire body is divided into three parts namely Aṅga (major limbs), Prathyaṅga (minor limbs) and Upāṅga (sub minor limbs). There are twelve Upāṅgās. They are: Chakṣhu(eyes), Bhrū (eye-brows), Puṭa (eyelid), Thāra( eye ball), Kapola (cheek), Nāsikā (nose), Hanu( jaw), Adhara (lips),(...)
  • Ūrdhwa jānu
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. In Sanskrit, Ūrdhwa means upright /elevated and Jānu means knee.
  • Ūrdhwa pādha
    This is one of the foot positions. In Sanskrit Ūrdhwa means upright or elevated and pādha means foot.
  • Uṣhtrāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. In Sanskrit, Uṣhtra means Camel and āsana means posture. This is known as the camel pose.
  • Uthkṣhiptha
    Uthkṣhiptha means thrown upwards or raised, in Sanskrit. This is one of the head variations (śhiro bhedha).
  • Uthplavana
    It means to jump. This is one of the padha bheda. Also, this is another name for Pāichal aḍavu.
  • Uthsaṅga
    In Sanskrit, Uthsaṅga means embrace. It is one of the double hand gestures (samyutha hastha).
  • Utthama
    It means of noble or divine stature. One of the classifications of characters in Bharathanātyam. Others are madhyama (human) and adhama (base).
  • Utthānapādhāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. In Sanskrit, utthāna means lift up or raised up; pādha means leg; Utthāna Pādhāsana means extended Legs. They are single and double leg raise exercises.
  • Utthānāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words Utthāna meaning "intense stretch" or "straight" or "stretched" and Āsana meaning "posture" or "seat".
  • Utthitha hastha padhanguṣhtāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. In Sanskrit, “Utthitha” means extended, “Hastha” means the hand, “Pādānguṣtha” means big toe and “āsana” means pose or posture. This is the Extended Hand-Toe Posture or Big Toe Hold.
  • Vāchika
    Vāchika is that which is communicated through speech. The aspect of the art of expression (abhinaya) that relates to expression through speech or song.
  • Vāchika abhinaya
    Expressions that are communicated through speech become Vāchika abhinaya. In Bharathanātyam, dialogue is not used; so this pertains to how the singer expresses the emotion through music.
  • Vāhana
    In Sanskrit, vāhana means “mount,” or “vehicle”. In Hindu mythology, it is the creature that serves as the vehicle and as the sign of a particular deity. The vāhana accompanies, pulls the chariot of, or serves as the seat or mount of his god. The vāhana is also used on banners and emblems to(...)
  • Vaiśhya
    They are one of the four varṇas or Hindhu social classes. Their role lay in productive labour, in agricultural and pastoral tasks, and in trading.
  • Vajrāsana
    This is one of the sitting postures in Yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words vajra meaning "thunderbolt" or "diamond".
  • Vāmana
    In the Puranic texts of Hinduism, Lord Vāmana is the fifth incarnation of Lord Viṣhṇu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age, or the Thretha yuga. Also he is the first Avathāra of Viṣhṇu who appears with a completely human form, though it is that of a dwarf Brahmin.
  • Vānara
    In Sanskrit, Vānara can mean one of three things: 1. vana nara meaning humans living in forests 2. va-nara meaning humans that are monkey - like 3. vā-nara also means nara-like or human-like. Thus it is the animal that is man-like, or an ape. Vānaras are mentioned in the Rāmāyaṇa. Lord(...)
  • Varāha
    In Sanskrit, varāha means wild boar. Also, He is the third Avathāra of Lord Viṣhṇu, in the form of a Varāha (Boar). He appeared in order to defeat the demon Hiraṇyākṣha.
  • Varṇa
    Varṇa means colour. Varṇa also refers to the categorization of the Hindhu society by four castes.
  • Varṇam
    The central item in a Bharathanātyam, recital, includes abstract and expressive dance in specific patterns. In Carnatic music, this is one of the most important forms, often the last to be taught during the early training period of music. The varnam is the link between abhyāsa and sabhā gānam.
  • Varuṇa
    In Vedhic religion, Varuṇa is the god of the sky, of water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld.
  • Vasiṣhṭāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. The literal meaning of "vasiṣhṭa" is most excellent, richest, or best. Also, the meaning behind the pose is that Vasiṣhṭa is also the name of prominent sages in yoga tradition.
  • Vāthāyanāsana
    This is one of the postures in Yoga. 'Vāthāyana' means a 'horse'. Āsana means posture. This āsana resembles the face of the horse.
  • Vedha
    In Sanskrit, Vedha means Knowledge and is derived from the root vidh "to know". Vedhas are the texts that constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Transmission of texts in the Vedic period was by oral tradition alone, preserved with precision(...)
  • Vibhava
    Vibhava includes the causes of an emotion, including circumstances, events and any contributing factors.
  • Vighna
    In Sanskrit, Vighna means obstacles, disturbances or difficulties.
  • Viḷamba
    The slowest of the three tempos used in Bharathanātyam. Viḷamba is half the speed of madhya, which is half the speed of dhrutha.
  • Vilambhitha
    In Sanskrit, It means hanging down loosely or suspended.
  • Vināyaka
    Vināyaka is a common name for Lord Ganeśha. In Sanskrit, The names suggests –“he is the remover of all obstacles”.
  • Vīra
    Valour or heroism, one of the nine emotions in Bharathanātyam. The others are Śhringāra (love, eros), Adhhbhutha (awe, amazement), Raudhra (fury), Hāsya (laughter, humor), Bībhathsa (revulsion), Bhayānaka(fear)and Shāntha (peace).
  • Viruttham
    A devotional verse set to a particular melody, but without rhythmic meter.
  • Viṣhṇu
    In Sanskrit, The root Vis means to enter. He is one of the Hindhu trinity. He is not limited by space, time or substance. “..that which pervades everything is Viṣhṇu..”
  • Vrukṣhāsana
    Vrukṣhāsana is one of the important āsanas among the various yogāsanas. Vrukṣhāsana comes from the Sanskrit word Vrukṣha which means tree and that is why this yoga pose/posture is known as the tree pose.
  • Vruśchika rechitha
    Vruśchika means Crab and Rechitha means Movement. It is one of the foot positions.
  • Yakṣhagāna
    Yakṣha-gāna literally means the song (gāna) of a yakṣha. It is a musical theatre popular in the coastal and Malenāḍu regions of Karṇāṭaka. Experts have placed the origin of Yakṣhagāna from the 11th century to the 16th century.
  • Yathi
    It is a rhythmic phrase that expands or contracts. The different groups of syllables are arranged into a beautiful combination that gives particular shape to music is called "Yathi". Yathi is of six kinds. They are Samayathi, Viṣhama Yathi, Mrudhaṅga Yathi, Ḍamaru yathi, Gopuccha Yathi and(...)
  • Yoga
    The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ meaning to join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual - body with mind and mind with soul - to achieve a happy and balanced life.
  • Yuga
    Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Sathya Yuga, the Thretha Yuga, the Dvāpara Yuga, and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindhu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years.(...)