Post No. 9968

Date uploaded in London – 12 AUGUST  2021     

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

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List of ornaments in Natyasastra

Ornaments for Men, Slokas 15-20; Chapter 23, Natyasastra by Bharata

Crest jewel and crown for the head,

Ear ring, ear pendant and ear top for the ears,

Strings of pearls, stringed gold and Harsaka/snake shaped one for the neck,

Bracelet and signet rings for hands and fingers,

Armlets and armbands for above the elbow,

Three stringed necklace to hang on the chest ,

Suspended Pearl necklaces and Garlands etc

Talaka to be worn below the navel and

Golden thread for the waist.

This is how the male characters,viz.that is Gods and Kings should wear ornaments

My comments

This is not an exaggeration. If one looks at the statues and sculptures at Bharhut, Sanchi, Amaravati and at the paintings in Ajanta, Sittannavasal and Sigiria in Sri Lanka and other places, one will feel the ornaments mentioned by Bharata is only 50 percent. There is more to it.

Look at the pearls used for men and women. It shows South Indian, particularly, Tamil influence. Pearls are available in Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu. In the olden days they were getting from the coast of Gujarat as well.

The word Pearl has link to Tamil PARAL.


Ornaments for women

Slokas 21-41, Bharata says,

“I shall now speak about the ornaments for females.

Sikhapasa, Sikhajala/ ornaments for tresses,

Pindi patra/ feather for the forehead, crest jewel,

Pearl net with large meshes,hair net are the ornaments for head.

Ear rings , peacock feathers, braids of hair stringed,

Karnika, Karna balayage, Patrakarnika, ring round the ears and ear lotus,

These made by various pearls and ivory for the ear.

The tilak Mark on the forehead in an artistic way.

On the eye brows, marks in the shape of a flower,

Tilaka and Patra lekha/ designs of leaves on cheeks

And the Triveni for the breast.

Collyrium is to be applied to the eyes and red to the lips,

Teeth must have various colours, but four of them to remain white,

So that the whiteness is emphasised by contrast .

For innocent and beautiful women, teeth white like pearls or teeth must be red like lotus petals.

(Pearly Teeth/ Muthup Pal is a Tamil Expression.)

With the colour of Asma/ a kind of stone, their lips would look like as beautiful as sprouts.

The Pearl necklace, the snake necklace, the Manjari, the jewel necklace and the jewel string are the ornaments for the neck. So also is the necklace with two or more strings of gold.

Garlands made of different jewels as well as one studded with pearls will be for breast.


Make up for Different Characters including Dravidas

Slokas 90-108

One should paint the body according to the region, custom, and age of the character.

Gods Yaksas, Apsaras and Rudras, Brahma and Skanda are to be painted in Gaura/ pale red colour.

Moon, Brhaspati , Venus, Varuna, the stars, ocean, Himalayas and Ganga are to be painted white.

Mars should be red , Mercury and fire yellow.

Narayana and Nara and Vasuki- blue.

Daityas, Danavas, Rakshasas, Guhyakas, mountains other than Himalayas, Pisascas, sky and Yama must be painted dark blue.

The Yaksas, Gandharvas,, the Bhutas, Pannagas,Vidhyadharas,Pitrs/ancestors and monkeys in various colours.

Gods and others, snakes and the other animals ,mountains, rivers, some weapons- all these are treated as living human beings for the sake of drama.

Human beings who dwell on seven continents ( except our own Jambudwipa) are to be painted in burnished gold.

When he comes to Bharata varsha,,Bharata says the following,

Following colours are used

Kings- pale red, dark blue or lotus colour

Happy people- pale red

Vile people, possessed, diseased, inferior births- a sita/ not fair

Sages- plum coloured,

Kirata, Barbara, Andhdra , Dravida, People of Kasi, Kohala, Pulindha and southerners- asi ta / not fair

Sakas,Yavanas,Pahlavas,Bahlikas – pale red complexion

Pancalas, surasenas, Mahisas, Odras, Maghadas, Angas, Vanga and

Kalingas – dark blue complexions


Bharata continued the chapter with the details of beards and moustaches.


My comments

Look at the variety of ornaments ancient Hindus used. 2300 year old sculptures and paintings prove what Bharata said is right.

As I mentioned earlier Greek did not influence us; we developed our own dance dramas independently. Colour plays a big role in makeups.

There is no Arya- Dravida racial division.

Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas are missing, because here geographical divisions only are given. More over the kingdoms mentioned here are very ancient, mostly found in Mahabharata.

I commented on the Dialogue poems of Rig Veda, about 20 hymns, as Proto Dance Dramas in one of my articles. One of the Dialogue poems is Dialogue with Rivers. Here Bharata says treat all the animals and inanimate objects in drama as human beings. So one man  or woman will come on stage to represent a river or a mountain. This shows that Rig Vedic dialogue poem with Rivers was also acted by Rishis at the end of or during the Yagas. According to Rig Vedic commentators, some Yagas were done for a whole year or more than a year.

— Subham —

tags — Colours Dance, Dramas, Dravida, Bharata, Men ,ornaments, Woman, ornament 

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