Eye Movements or Drishthi Bheda

June 25th, 2010 by Anjali

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.

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17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Shalaka Kulkarni Jun 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    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 Jun 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    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 c.p.unnikrishnan Jul 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Very useful service. God bless you.

  • 4 susmita Sep 17, 2010 at 4:59 am

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

  • 5 Anjali Sep 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    @Susmita, Thank you.

  • 6 Maitili Chenoy May 23, 2011 at 6:04 am

    is the sloka written in english correct in its spelling and punctuations??

  • 7 binesh Mahavdevan Jun 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    a very clear depiction of the movements. just one word to say WOW!!!!!!

  • 8 C.P.Unnikrishnan Aug 5, 2011 at 4:15 am

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

  • 9 Ranjana Chakraverty. Jan 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

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

  • 10 monica Feb 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    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.

  • 11 Lily Brookes Jun 7, 2012 at 10:42 am


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

    Sources: I do bharathnatyam.


  • 12 Milan Aug 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Nimilita and Avalokita look the same.

  • 13 Anjali Aug 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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

  • 14 jaimini Feb 7, 2015 at 4:18 am

    i like this. it was helpful in my bharatnatyam project thank you.

  • 15 Abhianaya Apr 21, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Good it’s nice easy to learn and I am learning so much from this so my request is make more videos . So I can learn from u so much THANK U MAM?

  • 16 sabnam May 2, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    your site is very use full to me i learned drishthi bhedas thanks a lot

  • 17 dilhara madushani Dec 22, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    actually this note is very helpful for me. thanks a million times for this.