In Hasthalakshanadeepika, the classic text on dance, there are mentioned twenty-four basic mudras or hand signs. These Mudras are used in the classical dance dramas of Kerala, like Kathakali, Kutiyattam, Nangiarkoothu, Mohiniyattam and Ottanthullal.
Holding the palm fully open with fingers joined together and the ring finger bent forward from its middle is Pathaka mudra.
Pathaka using both palms represents:
Sun, king, elephant, lion, bull, crocodile, garland, creeper, flag, ocean waves, pathway, netherworld, this world, waist region, vessel, mansion, dusk, afternoon, cloud (weight), sand hill, thigh, servant, gait, wheel, seat, diamond sword, spire, coldness, vehicle, beautiful, crooked, gate, pillow, feet and water lily.
Pathaka, using one palm indicates:
Day, movement from place to place, tongue, forehead, body and also, noise, messenger, sand bank and a leaf bud.