By Swami Harshananda
Gajahasta literally means ‘hand-pose resembling the trunk of an elephant’.
One of the subjects in the murtiśilpaśastra is the hasta or the pose of the hand. Out of the several poses mentioned, one is the ‘gajahasta’. It is called so because of its resemblance to the trunk of an elephant.
In images, Gajahasta is shown in two different ways. They are:
- In first posture, the arm is shown dangling by the side. Usually the left arm of the images of Devī is shown in this way.
- In second posture, the arm may be shown across the chest with the hand bent down as seen in the images of Naṭarāja.<re>This posture is generally in the left normal arm.</ref>
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore