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Friday, December 11, 2020

The Various Mudras Of The Buddha (Indian Art & Culture- History)

 The Various Mudras Of The Buddha


1.Bhumisparsha Mudra

  • One of the most common Mudras found in statues of Buddha.
  • The mudra is commonly associated with blue Buddha is known as "Akshobya".
  • Significance: "Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth" and represents the moment of Buddha attaining enlightenment.
Fig: Bhumisparsha Mudra


2Dhyana Mudra

  • Indicates Meditation and is also called "Samadhi" or "Yoga Mudra".
  • It depicts Buddha with both hands in the lap, back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left hand with fingers extended. In many statues, the thumbs of both hands are shown touching at the tips, thus forming a mystic triangle.
  • It signifies the attainment of spiritual perfection.
  • This Mudra was used by Buddha during the final meditation under the bodhi tree.
Fig: Dhyana Mudra


3. Vitraka Mudra

  • It indicates teaching and discussion or intellectual debate.
  • The tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other, forming a circle. The right hand is positioned at shoulder level and the left hand at the hip level, in the lap, with the palm facing upwards.
  • It signifies the teaching phase of preaching in Buddhism. The circle formed by the thumb and index finger maintains the constant flow of energy, as there is no beginning or end, the only perfection.
Fig: Vitraka Mudra


4Abhaya Mudra

  • It indicates fearlessness and symbolizes strength and inner security.
  • The right hand is raised to shoulder height with arms bent. The palm of the right-hand faces outwards and the fingers are upright and joined. The left-hand hangs downwards by the side of the body.
  • This gesture was shown by Buddha immediately after attaining enlightenment.
Fig: Abhaya Mudra


5Dharmachakra Mudra

  • It means "Turning the Wheel of the Dharma or Law", i.e. setting into motion the wheel of Dharma.
  • This Mudra involves both hands.
  • The right hand is held at chest level with the palm facing outwards. A mystic circle is formed by joining the tips of the index and the thumb. The left hand is turned inward and the index finger and thumb of this hand are joined to touch the right hand's circle.
  • This gesture was exhibited by Lord Buddha, while he prepared the first sermon to a companion after his enlightenment in the Deer Park of Sarnath.
Fig: Dharmachakra Mudra


6Anjali Mudra

  • Both hands close to the chest, palms, and fingers join against each other vertically.
  • It is a common gesture used in India to greet people (Namaste). It signifies adoration of the superior and is considered a sign of regard with deep respect.
  • It is believed that Buddhas (those who are enlightened) do not make this hand gesture and this gesture should not be shown in Buddhas' statues. This is for Bodhisattvas (who aim and prepare to attain perfect knowledge).
Fig: Anjali Mudra


7Uttarabodhi Mudra

  • It means supreme enlightenment.
  • Holding both hands at the level of the chest, intertwining all the fingers except index fingers, extending index fingers straight up and touching each other.
  • This mudra is known for charging one with energy. It symbolizes perfection.
  • Shakhyamuni Buddha (liberator of Nagas) presents this mudra.
Fig: Uttarabodhi Mudra


8Varada Mudra

  • It indicates charity, compassion, and granting wishes.
  • The right arm is extended in a natural position all the way down, with the palm of the open hand facing outwards towards onlookers. If standing, the arm is held slightly extended to the front. Can be a left-hand gesture as well.
  • Through the five extended fingers, this Mudra signifies five perfections: Generosity, Morality, Patience, Effort, and Meditative Concentration.
Fig: Varada Mudra


9Karana Mudra

  • It indicates warding off evil.
  • The hand is stretched out, either horizontally or vertically, with the palm forward. The thumb presses the folded two fingers but the index and little fingers are raised straight upwards.
  • It signifies expelling demons and native energy. The energy created by this mudra helps remove obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts.
Fig: Karana Mudra

10Vajra Mudra

  • It indicates knowledge.
  • This mudra is better known in Korea and Japan.
  • In this mudra, the erect forefinger of the left hand is held in the fist of the right hand. It is seen in the mirror-inverted form also.
  • This mudra signifies the importance of knowledge or supreme wisdom. The forefinger represents knowledge, and the fist of the right hand protects it.
Fig: Vajra Mudra






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