The Transcendental Arts of Srimati Radharani, Part 3

BY: SUN STAFF - 21.9 2018

Radha and Krsna Looking Into a Mirror 
National Museum, Delhi , c. 1800

The 64 transcendental arts.

Before we proceed with our study of the individual items which comprise the list of Srimati Radharani's 64 transcendental arts, we will begin to look at some of the suggested categorizations of items on such various lists. One Tamil list offers the following categorization of Sri Krsna's chausath kalas (64 arts) into ten areas of accomplishment.

The numbered items are Krsna's 64 arts. The items in blue are those also included on Radharani's list, although the wording of some may be slightly different. Other items on Krsna's and Radha's lists are somewhat general matches, but the specificity of one or the other prevents consolidating the two. Instead, we have included the remaining items on Radha's list, in red, each in the appropriate section according to this division of classic Vedic arts:


1. Make-up, toilet and use of beautifying agents

2. Painting the body, and colouring the nails, hair, etc.

3. Decoration of the forehead art of applying preparations for cleansing the teeth, cloths and painting the body art of practical application of aromatics


4. Art of hair dressing

5. Art of dressing

6. Proper matching of decorations and jewellery art of practically setting the coronet on the head art of decorating the tragus of the ear art of applying or setting ornaments


7. Singing

8. Playing on musical instruments (specifically, on lute and small x-shaped drum)

9. Playing on musical glasses filled with water art of playing on music in water

10. Acting

11. Dancing


12. Good manners and etiquette

13. Knowledge of different languages and dialects

14. Knowledge of vocabularies

15. Knowledge of rhetoric or figures of speech art of conversation art of talking with letters and fingers

16. Reading

17. Reciting poems

art of reciting books

art of caping or reciting verse for verse as a trial for memory or skill art of the use of lexicography and meters

18. Criticism of poems

19. Criticism of dramas and analysis of stories

20. Filling up the missing line of a poem

21. Composing poems to order

art of enacting short plays and anecdotes

art of composing verse mentally

art of designing a literary work or a medical remedy

22. Reply in verse (call and response poetry recitation)

23. The art of speaking by changing the forms of words

art of making and solving riddles

art of fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry

art of practicing language difficult to be answered by others

24. Art of knowing the character of a man from his features

25. Art of attracting others (bewitching)

art of knowing prediction by heavenly voice or knowing preparation of toy carts by flowers


26. Art of cooking

27. Preparation of different beverages, sweet and acid drinks, chutneys, etc.

28. Sewing and needle work

29. Making of different beds for different purposes and for different seasons

art of covering the bed

art of awakening with music at dawn


30. Physical culture

31. Skill in youthful sports

32. Swimming and water-sports, games

art of splashing with water

33. Games of dice, chess, etc.

34. Games of chance

35. Puzzles and their solution

36. Arithmetical games

art of using children's toys


37. Magic: art of creating illusions

38. Trick of hand

art of jugglery

art of concealment of cloths

39. Mimicry or imitation (of voice or sounds)

40. Art of disguise


41. Painting in colours

art of practically applying an admixture of colors

art of making the groundwork of jewels

42. Stringing flowers into garlands and other ornaments for decorating the body, such as crowns, clapnets, etc.

art of designing a preparation of wreaths

art of making a covering of flowers for a bed

art of preparing offerings from rice and flowers

43. Floral decorations of carriages

44. Making of artificial flowers

45. Preparation of ear-rings of shell, ivory, etc.

46. Making birds, flowers, etc., of thread or yarn

47. Clay-modelling: making figures and images

48. The art of changing the appearance of things such as making cotton appear as silk

art of kaucumara - a kind of art

art of spinning by spindle


49. Training parrots and other birds to talk

50. Training rams and cocks and other birds for mock fight


51. Gardening and agriculture

52. Preparation of perfumery

53. Making furniture from canes and reeds

54. Wood-engraving

55. Carpentry

56. Knowledge of machinery

57. Construction of buildings (architecture)

art of practicing as a builder of shrines called after him

58. Floor decoration with coloured stones

59. Knowledge of metals

60. Knowledge of gems and jewels

art of the use of amulets

61. Colouring precious stones

art of engineering

art of mineralogy

62. Art of war

art of enforcing discipline

art of gaining victory

art of designing preparation of shield, cane and arrows

63. Knowledge of code words

64. Signals for conveying messages