Hand gesture for lord Shiva

October 12th, 2008 by Anjali


Shiva in sanskrit means “the auspicious”. He is responsible of the dynamism in the world. In other words he is responsible for the changes in the form of death and dissolution. In the positive sense he shreds the negative ideas and gives way to positive and the creative once. He is described in the scriptures as fair in complexion, with only his neck blue. He is usually seen in sitting in a deep meditative posture. He also has a third eye on the forehead. He has a long matted hair which is tied into a knot. A spring of water is seen flowing from his hair ie the river Ganges. A crescent moon is studded to his hair. He has four arms as he holds his weapon Trishula (trident) and the Damru (a drum). The other two hands are in Abhaya and Varda mudra. A bull named Nandi is his vehicle. And Devi Parvati is his consort.

With reference to Dance, Nadikeshwar’s abhinaya darpanam states:

Shambovarmay mrugashirshas tripatakastu dakshine

Lord Shiva is shown as mrigashirsha hasta in the left hand and tripataka hasta in the right hand. Lord shiva is known by different names, example Nilakantha (the blue necked one), Trinetra (one with three eyes) , Nataraja (the king of dance) and many more. Each of these names can be expressed differently.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 HayleyHarrison Oct 23, 2008 at 2:35 am

    What is in shiva hands :)?

  • 2 to HayleyHarrison Dec 12, 2008 at 5:24 am

    When Shiva is in Nataraja’s pose in upper right hand holds a small drum, which symbolizes sound of creation. The upper left hand holds fire, which symbolizes destruction. The second right hand means a protection from evil and ignorance and finaly second left hand points to the raised foot which is symbol for upliftment, liberation. 🙂

  • 3 Aravindan Feb 28, 2011 at 4:59 am


    what does the mrigashrisha hasta denote here?! kindly advise.
    thanks in advance!


  • 4 Anjali Mar 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

    @Aravindan, If the Mrigashirsa is held further to the left would mean to hold Goddess Uma alongside.

  • 5 Mino Dec 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    excuse me ,i wonder 1 question:) why dose Shiva has number in his hand?similar number 35:)

  • 6 bini Feb 16, 2013 at 7:31 am

    What does Shiva’s Mrigashirsha & Tripathaka hastas denotes to ? Does it mean Nandeeshvara ?

  • 7 Sigrid Campbell Mar 28, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Since a couple of days ago, I have not at all been feeling well. My astrologer noted very recently that the hand of Shiva is on me. Are the two related and , if so, How can I make myself feel better.

  • 8 Shivani Joshi Nov 2, 2018 at 3:37 am

    I really need krishna hasta from deva hasta please