Mudras

(redirected from mudra)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Mudras

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Mudras are the symbolic hand gestures found primarily in statues of Buddhist deities and bodhisattvas. Mudras consist of hand gestures and finger positions and derive from a system of nonverbal communication between students of yoga. To one who understands the intention behind the various mudras, they evoke both meaning and power. Throughout the East, from Tibet to Korea and Japan, mudras will manifest in rituals, dance, and the performance of spiritual exercises.

There are a large number of mudras, but five have become central to the presentation of images of the Buddha. The Dharmachakra mudra, for example, recalls the Buddha’s first sermon at Sarnath. Both hands are pictured with the thumb and forefinger touching to form a circle (the Wheel of the Dharma), and the three remaining fingers extended, to which additional meaning is ascribed. The Bhumisparsha mudra recalls the Buddha’s enlightenment, with the right hand touching the earth and the left hand placed flat in the lap. The Varada mudra, emphasizing the Buddha’s charity and compassion, shows the left hand, palm up and fingers extended. The Dhyana mudra is made with the left hand placed in the lap, a symbol of wisdom (a feminine virtue). Various symbolic objects may then be placed in the open palm. The Abhaya mudra, usually pictured with a standing figure, shows the right hand raised and the palm facing outward. The left hand is at the side of the body, often with the palm also facing outward.

Throughout the Buddhist world, one will find statues of Kuan YIn/Avalokitesvara showing one of the five mudras or variations thereon. There is even one figure, the thousand-armed Kuan Yin, in which each hand is arranged to show a different mudra.

Mudras may be very complicated, among the most intricate being the Yonilingum mudra, which is one of a set of mudras symbolic of the human generative organs and used in Tantric practice.

Sources:

Chandra, Lokesh. Mudras in Japan. Vedam eBooks, 2001.
de Kleen, Tyra. Mudras: The Ritual Hand-Poses of the Buddha Priests and the Shiva Priests of Bali. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1924.
Hirschi, Gertrud. Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands. Weirs Bach, ME: Weiser Books, 2000.
Premakumar. The Language of Kathakali: A Guide to Mudras. Allahabad, India: Kitabistan, 1948.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said the 60-minute sessions include warm-ups, eight to 10 sun salutations, basic flow exercises, pranayama (breathing exercises), mudras and meditation.
The huge Mudra targets are being met because of loans handed out by banks.
MUDRA is an initiative by the government to provide financial assistance for entrepreneurship and was setup last year.
22 lakh crore loans under Mudra yojna during last the fiscal, government aims to disburse more in the current year which is around ` 1.
Los primeros terminos con los que se ponen en contacto los practicantes del yoga son seis, que tienen que ver con el sistema del yoga, a saber, asanos (posturas), pranayama (control de la respiracion, energia vital), bandhas ("llaves" o claves del cuerpo), drishti (el enfoque de la mirada), mudras (gestos hechos principalmente con las manos), mantras (palabras para liberar la mente del flujo constante de pensamientos).
I wanted Mudra to be located in the heart of Eugene," she said, "The Fifth Street Market district has the vibrant, upbeat atmosphere I sought - plus it is easily accessible by bike, car and walkable from other areas downtown.
When all else has failed, when there is nothing more to do, when you have exhausted every branch, when you feel tired like you want to give up, when the world is overwhelming, go into a prostration or a whole-body mudra.
Working on mudras is part of what Kapoor calls a cram session: "I start at the top of the head and work to the feet, isolating each part of the body.
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-October 17, 2011--CARE sets BB- rating to Mudra Real Estates' long-term debt(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.
15 -- Automobile manufacturer Ashok Leyland has assigned the media mandate of its light commercial vehicles (LCV) to Mudra Max.
The automaker has chosen creative agency Mudra for the launch communication.
The second phase will focus on "Capacity-building and Empowerment" and will include workshops for women leaders, the delivery of the globally accredited four-part Director Development Program by Mudra IOD, and the Board Referral Service which will provide a pool of at least 20 women leaders who can serve regional board appointments.