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Eye Movements or Drishthi Bheda

Drishthi in sanskrit meaning “Vision”. In relation to our eyes it means “sight” or “to see”. The classification of these eye movements are based on how we move the eye balls. Infact we use each of them in our every day routine. Just a matter of identifying with their names. There are eight types of Eye movements given in the shastras:

1. Sama:  Eye kept still without any movement.

2. Alokita: Rolling your eye balls in a circular pattern.

3. Saachi: Looking through the corner of the eyes.

4. Pralokita: moving your eyes side to side.

5. Nimilita:  It looks like a half shut eye. Here one tries to focus the eye ball towards the heart.

6. Ullokita: Looking upwards.

7. Anuvritta: Rapid movement of the eyes up and down.

8. Avalokita: Looking down.

Shloka :

Samam Alokitam Saachi pralokita Nimility
Ullokita-anuvritte cha tatha chaiva-avalokitam
Ithyashtho drishthi bhedaha syu kirtitah purvasuribhi

The following video should demonstrate how each of these eye movements are done.


  1. Shalaka Kulkarni

    Hi Anjali,
    Tons and tons of best wishes to you for this beautiful and elaborate site. I’m also a student of Bharatnatyam and am still learning and practicing everyday. I’m from Mulund and learnt it from Ambujakshan Sir from age of 5. I did hear about your Guru Madhuri Kelkar and wanted to learn from her but traveling was a problem. I’m 30 now and presently live in Baton Rouge La and still by God’s Grace is able to keep up with the dance. I’m really fortunate to meet you through the internet and would like to help you develop the site and learn through discussions too. Keep up with this excellent work. The beautiful art will be treasured for generations to come.

  2. Anjali

    Thank you Shalaka. Nice to know you are Ambujakshan sir’s student too. I was in his institution for three during my late teens. Your contributions in any way are welcome. Pls mail me and we can talk.

  3. susmita

    Hello Anjali,
    I am visiting your site after a long time. and what a performance in Shiva Stuti!!! You are truely an inspiration!!!

  4. C.P.Unnikrishnan

    Nimeelita = Closed. Ardhanimeelita= half closed as per Sanskrit dictionaries. In MAnmohan Gosh’s translation also I found ‘Nimeelita’ = half closed. Would you kindly clarify.

  5. Ranjana Chakraverty.

    Online Bharatanayam has helped me a lot especially when I was learning the bhedas. THANKS A LOT!!!

  6. monica

    Your site is very useful . from this video i want to requst you that can you please show how to show the shloka of dristi bheda.

  7. Lily Brookes


    Nimilethe means half closed eyes. I’m sorry but I don’t know about the other one. Sorry.

    Sources: I do bharathnatyam.


  8. Anjali

    @Milan, Nimilita is looking into the heart. It looks like the eyes are half shut. Avalokita is looking down and not inwards.

  9. Dr.Madhavan

    Could you please provide references to tthe following stanza?
    Samam Alokitam Saachi pralokita Nimility
    Ullokita-anuvritte cha tatha chaiva-avalokitam
    Ithyashtho drishthi bhedaha syu kirtitah purvasuribhi

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