Model Question and Answers for APSC | What are Mudras? How many fundamental mudras are required to depict a particular emotion? (APSC Mains-2018)
Ans : The meaning of mudra (gesture) in Sanskrit is mudam anandang rati dadati (‘that which gives ultimate joy’). Mudra has been an integral part of Indian heritage and culture since the Vedic period. It has been a part of rituals, dance and drama in India.
Gesture or mudra is considered the soul of Indian classical dance. The language of mudra is based on 24 mudras enumerated in the Natyashastra and 28 in the Abhinaya Darpana. Single-handed gestures are called asamyukta, and those that use both hands are called samyukta.
The Indian classical dances—Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi, Mohiniyattam, Sattriya and Kuchipudi—are repositories of mudras that invoke emotions and objects.
One single gesture can depict an emotion or multiple gestures can help form an emotion. The Abhayamudrā "gesture of fearlessness" is a mudrā that is the gesture of reassurance and safety, which dispels fear and accords divine protection and bliss in many Indian religions. The right hand is held upright, and the palm is facing outwards.