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(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.


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 Khechari Mudra or tongue lock is a powerful yoga practice where the tongue is rolled up to touch the soft palate and then inserted into the nasal cavity behind the palette.
Mudra Loans are available for non-agricultural activities upto Rs.
Swami Saradananda encourages using the mudras collectively, as part of a plan for overall wellness.
Tambien acompanan a las asanas una serie de mudras o movimientos que se hacen generalmente con las manos.
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.
The photographs are captioned with titles of relevant musical works, and a section entitled "Yoga Prescriptions for Singers" suggests yoga poses, breaths, or mudras that can alleviate common challenges such as tongue tension or dry mouth.
To accomplish restraint, textual guidelines again prescribe the practice of advanced esoteric mudras (seals) such as khecari mudra with bandhas (locks, jalandhara, mala, and uddiyana) to facilitate opening the susumnu nadT (also referred to in the literature as nirvana nadi) and piercing the six cakras and three granthis.
The first appendix, "The Mudras of Ida Padanda Gde Agung," prepared by Dick van der Meij (pp.
They might be interested instead in exploring mudras, which promise, according to Rajendar Menen, their own quite astonishing results.
Participants will dance the steps, learn mudras, tell stories through movement, watch video clips, and ask questions in this interactive six-day workshop.
Enhanced with a new introduction, as well as black-and-white photographs of the asanas and mudras, The Gheranda Samhita is a first-rate primary source for anyone seeking to better understand the teachings and postures of Yoga.
com)-- Joseph Le Page and Lillian Le Page announced at SYTAR (Symposium of Yoga Therapy and Research) the publication of their new book, Mudras for Healing and Transformation.