May 15, 2013

The Sixty Four Arts

The other day, I was introduced to The Sixty Four Arts (See also; Kalā, which means 'performing art' in Sanskrit.) Autumn, of Du Pré & Moore, mentioned a quote she had found,

"In ancient times, a young woman was taught an assortment of disciplines - which when mastered, brought her much respect and value to the society. These disciplines were known as The Sixty-four Arts. One of The Sixty–Four Arts is the Art of Perfumery. Knowing how to blend various scents in order to create a healing or cleansing effect upon the spirit of a person, as well as the body, was and is indeed an art." 

Perfumery is Autumn's thing,  Kalā  19. I dabble in various Kalās, and would love to try out more. I saw this list as inspiration. Autumn and I have decided to explore each of the Kalās, each in our own way, and each to our own interpretation. I've noticed that many of the Kalās coincide with things I want to create and decorate for the celebration of our wedding (Mr H and I). 

So we'll annotate our journey, going through each Kalā (probably not in order, and really any ol' way we like) and we invite you to join us. Because this project is in its infancy, we don't know how it will all end up. Or if we will even get through the list of Sixty Four. My mind is abuzz with possibilities, and I'm sure Autumn's is too. So feel free to contact us if you want to join in, or pop the badge on your blog when it's ready to go.

How exciting* is this list? 
*Maybe not so keen on the theatrics, singing and dancing, so those will be done when few are in ear-and-eye shot.

64 Kalās

It is believed that lord Krishna possesses 64 kinds of arts called "Chausath Kalās". They are as follows:
1 Geet vidya—art of singing.
2 Vadya vidya—art of playing on musical instruments.
3 Nritya vidya—art of dancing.
4 Natya vidya—art of theatricals.
5 alekhya vidya—art of painting.
6 viseshakacchedya vidya—art of painting the face and body with colour
7 tandula-kusuma-bali-vikara—art of preparing offerings from rice and flowers.
8 pushpastarana—art of making a covering of flowers for a bed.
9 dasana-vasananga-raga—art of applying preparations for cleansing the teeth, cloths and painting the body.
10 mani-bhumika-karma—art of making the groundwork of jewels.
11 sayya-racana—art of covering the bed.
12 udaka-vadya—art of playing on music in water.
13 udaka-ghata—art of splashing with water.
14 citra-yoga—art of practically applying an mixture of colors.
15 malya-grathana-vikalpa—art of designing a preparation of wreaths.
16 sekharapida-yojana—art of practically setting the coronet on the head.
17 nepathya-yoga—art of practically dressing in the tiring room.
18 karnapatra-bhanga—art of decorating the tragus of the ear.
19 sugandha-yukti—art of practical application of aromatics.
20 bhushana-yojana—art of applying or setting ornaments.
21 aindra-jala—art of juggling.
22 kaucumara—a kind of art.
23 hasta-laghava—art of sleight of hand.
24 citra-sakapupa-bhakshya-vikara-kriya—art of preparing varieties of delicious food.
25 panaka-rasa-ragasava-yojana—art of practically preparing palatable drinks and tinging draughts with red color.
26 suci-vaya-karma—art of needle works and weaving.
27 sutra-krida—art of playing with thread.
28 vina-damuraka-vadya—art of playing on lute and small drum.
29 prahelika—art of making and solving riddles.
30 durvacaka-yoga—art of practicing language difficult to be answered by others.
31 pustaka-vacana—art of reciting books.
32 natikakhyayika-darsana—art of enacting short plays and anecdotes.
33 kavya-samasya-purana—art of solving enigmatic verses.
34 pattika-vetra-bana-vikalpa—art of designing preparation of shield, cane and arrows.
35 tarku-karma—art of spinning by spindle.
36 takshana—art of carpentry.
37 vastu-vidya—art of engineering.
38 raupya-ratna-pariksha—art of testing silver and jewels.
39 dhatu-vada—art of metallurgy.
40 mani-raga jnana—art of tinging jewels.
41 akara jnana—art of mineralogy.
42 vrikshayur-veda-yoga—art of practicing medical treatment, by herbs.
43 mesha-kukkuta-lavaka-yuddha-vidhi—art of knowing the mode of fighting of lambs, cocks and birds. {An animal welfare focus will be taken here in place of a needless practice.}
44 suka-sarika-prapalana —art of maintaining or knowing conversation between male and female cockatoos.
45 utsadana—art of healing or cleaning a person with perfumes.
46 kesa-marjana-kausala—art of combing hair.
47 akshara-mushtika-kathana—art of talking with letters and fingers.
48 mlecchita-kutarka-vikalpa—art of fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry.
49 desa-bhasha-jnana—art of knowing provincial dialects.
50 nirmiti-jnana—art of knowing prediction by heavenly voice
51 yantra-matrika—art of mechanics.
52 dharana-matrika—art of the use of amulets.
53 samvacya—art of conversation.
54 manasi kavya-kriya—art of composing verse mentally.
55 kriya-vikalpa—art of designing a literary work or a medical remedy.
56 chalitaka-yoga—art of practicing as a builder of shrines called after him.
57 abhidhana-kosha-cchando-jnana—art of the use of lexicography and meters.
58 vastra-gopana—art of concealment of cloths.
59 dyuta-visesha—art of knowing specific gambling.
60 akarsha-krida—art of playing with dice or magnet.
61 balaka-kridanaka—art of using children's toys.
62 vainayiki vidya—art of enforcing discipline.
63 vaijayiki vidya—art of gaining victory.
64 vaitaliki vidya—art of awakening master with music at dawn.

{We may have particular trouble with our versions of #43 & #44, but we are resourceful women, and we'll figure out a creative solution!}

Info provided by wikiawesomeness.
If you know more about The Sixty Four Arts, feel free to share your knowledge with us!
Image credit: US National Archives

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous26.2.14

    What is art no. 22, i think it was omitted because its the art of sorcery and spells. Pretty cool huh?