Buddhist Mudras

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Buddhas and Bodisattvas and frequently other deities are shown with their hands forming a number of different ritualized and stylized poses (Mudrs). They may be holding different objects as well within these poses. Each by itself and in combination with others have specific meanings. Some of the more common ones are depicted

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MUDRA Amudraisabodilypostureorsymbolicgesture.In HinduandBuddhisticonographyeveryBuddhais depictedwithacharacteristicgestureofthehands.Such gesturescorrespondtonaturalgestures(ofteaching, protecting,andsoon)andalsotocertainaspectsofthe BuddhistteachingoroftheparticularBuddhadepicted. Theoriginsofthewordmudraareuncertainasisthe preciseevolutionofitsmeaning.Ataveryearlyperiod inthepost-VedicliteratureofIndiathetermmudra designatedtheideaofasealortheimprintleftbya seal.Somewhatlaterusagetakesonthemeaningof wayofholdingthefingers,designatingveryprecisely aritualgesture.ThePaliwordformudra,muddika, derivesfrommudda,meaningauthority.Thereisthusa developinginter-relationshipinthesemeaningsofa gestureenhancingandauthenticatingthespokenword withmysticandmagicalvalues.Thegestureisasign,a ritualseal;sealimpliesauthenticity.AsBuddhism spreadtoChinaafurtherusageofthetermcameto identifymudrasasmarksofidentifyofthedeitybeing personified. WORLDRELIGIONSCOMPARED Thesymbolichandgesturescalledmudrasareoftwo WORLDRELIGIONSCLIPART generaltypes.First,themostancientformofmudras, datingfrompre-Buddhisttimes,arethosepresented withthepurposeassignssymbolicofthemetaphysical WORLDRELIGIONSHOME aspectofEsotericceremonies.Mudrasusedinthissense areofsignificantimportanceintheritesofTibetan BUDDHISTSYMBOLS Tantrism,ChineseChen-yenandJapaneseShingon Buddhism.This,ofcourse,iswithinthelargercontextof HINDUSYMBOLS TantricmeditationwheretheThreeMysteries,orthe forcesofthespirit,speech,andthebodyaredirectedat theoneandonlygoal:enlightenment. Mudras,alongwithasanas(reflectingthebody),mandalas(reflectingthespirit)andmantras (reflectingspeech)allprovideexpedientmeansinachievingenlightenment.Apartfrom acknowledgingthisimportantaspectoftheritualisticuseofmudrasincertainschoolsof BuddhismandtheimportanceofTantrismincontributingtotheexpandeduseofmudras,our attentionisinsteaddirectedtotheothergeneraltypeofmudra,thepurelyiconographic,as representedinBuddhist/Hindusculptureandpainting. TheuseofthemudrasisquitecommonintheHinduPoojas,Tantricworships,Yogaandalsoin ClassicalIndiandances.InHinduiconography,thedeitiesareoftendepictedwiththeirhands makingvariousmudras- likethetwingesturesofdispellingfearsandgrantingboons.Various deitieshaveseveralspecificmudraswhichareassociatedwiththem.Theyareusedbythe practitionerforvariouspurposes- likeactivatingthevariousnervecenters,toconveyafeelingor toappeaseadeityetc. Somethingtokeepinmind,inNatyaSastra(classicaldance)andinYogaalsothereareseveral similarlynamedmudraswhichareattimesquitedifferentfromthePoojamudras.Forexample theYonimudrausedinYogaistotallydifferentfromtheYonimudrausedinPooja. Eachfingerrepresentsoneofthefiveelementsthethumbisagni(fire),theforefingerisvayu (air),themiddlefingerisakash(ether),theringfingerisprithvi(earth)andthelittlefingerisjal (water). Therearetwotypesofmudras,single-handanddouble-hand.Thesingle-handedmudrasnumber 28andarecalledAasanyukta.Thereare23double-handedmudrascalledSawyakta. ABHAYA(ABHAYAPRADA):Gestureoffearlessnessandgranting protection. TheAbhaya,orfearlessnessgestureisoneofthemostcommonly depictedmudras,representingbenevolenceandtheabsenceoffear.The gestureconfersontoothersthesamefreedomfromfear,sothismudra canalsobeinterpretedtomeanfearnot.Thegestureismadewiththe righthandraisedtoshoulderheight,withthearmbentandthepalm facingoutward.ABuddhistlegendtellsofwhenthehistoricalBuddhawas beingattackedbyanangryelephant,hesimplyhelduphishandinthe fearlessnessgestureandcalmedtheraginganimal. ADHARA:Perinealmudra. AHAMKARA:Self-confidence. Self-confidenceandself-assertion.Forcounteractingfearandtimidity. Bendindexfingersslightlyandputtheupperphalanxofthethumbtothe sideofthemiddlephalanxoftheindexfinger,attheupperpart.Other fingersarestraight. AHAYAVARADA:Beckoningtobestowafavor. AKASH(AAKASH/AKASHI):Skyposture. Theskyhasanattribute- recessorspace.Anotherattributeissound. Soundisregardedastheeternalspirit.Soundtravelsinwaves,whichare scatteredinthesky.Bycatchingthesoundwaves,weareabletohear theseonradio.Astheskyprovidesspaceoutside,soistheskyspreads inside.Thelackorexcessofelementsintheskyoutsideleadsto imbalance.Thethirdattributeoftheskyisvacuumornothingness.Thisis theattributethatfillsthesky.Theskycanbefilledonlywhenithas nothing.Howcanalreadyfilledskybefilled?Theyogahelpspractice meditationintheinnerspace.Emotionsgetpurifiedwhenone concentratesintheheart.Themiddlefingerandtheheartare interrelated. Thumbandmiddlefingerarejoined.Index,ring,andpinkyfingersare extended.Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartof kundaliniyogabecausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. ALAPADMA(ALAPADMA):OpenedLotus. AasanyuktaSingle Hand AMALAKA:AmalakaTree. TheSamyamaNayakahand,i.e.,theforefingerandthesecondfinger togetherinthemiddleofthepalm,therestofthehandextended. ANGARAKHA:Mars. LefthandShuchi,righthandMushthi. ANJALI(GASSHO/HRIDAYA/NAMASKARA):Gestureofgreeting andadoration,veneration,honororcelebration,thediamondhandclasp. Thegestureoftwopalmspressedtogetherandheldneartheheart, meansto"honororcelebrate".ItisourHindugreeting,twojoinedas one,thebringingtogetherofmatterandspirit,theselfmeetingtheselfin all.Thismudraisreservedforprayingfigures,whichoftenaccompanya statueoftheBuddhaintheartofIndiaorSouthEastAsia.TheAnjaliis madewithtwohandsjoinedverticallyinfrontofthechest,asinthe attitudeofprayer.Thismudraevokesanofferingofgoodfeelingsofone towardsanother.Thismudracanalsoindicatevenerationifitismadeat theleveloftheface.Hasta(hand),meditativemudra.Redirectsthe pranaemittedbyhandsbackintobody.SawyaktaDouble Hand UniversallyusedbypeopleinIndiaandSouth-EastAsiaforsalutation,it evokesanofferingofgoodfeelings,ofonesperson,etc.andalso indicatesvenerationifitismadeattheleveloftheface. ANJALYMUDRA: Bothhandsareheldabovethehead,theheelsofthepalmsaretouching, thefingersandthumbsspreadoutwardandupward.Frequentlyanobject isheld,e.g.animageofAmitabhaisheldbyatantricformof Avalokiteshvarawiththismudra. ANKUSHA(ANKUSA): TheAnkushamudraisthemudraofthegoadorcurvedsword,which symbolizesproddingseekersontowardstheirultimategoal,orcutting downtheiniquitiesoftheego. ANUSHASAN:Disciplineposture. Disciplineisthevitalelementofmeditation.Withoutdiscipline,meditation isnotsuccessful.Thepractitionercanmaintaindisciplinethroughhisown discretion.HemustremainunderthedisciplineoftheGuru(teacher),so longashiswisdomdoesnotbecomeawakenedandheisnotenlightened. Keeptheindexfingerstraight.Jointheremainingthreefingerswiththe thumb. APANA(APAN): Givesenergyandmakesonemoreself-confident.Thetipofthesecond andthethirdfingersshouldbeslightlypressedagainsttheinnerpartof thetipofthethumbasshown.Theothertwofingersshouldbekept straight.Improvestheexcretorysystembycleaningthewastefromthe body,curesconstipationandstomachachescausedduetowhich. APANMUDRA(APAAN):Flatusposture. Relaxation,heart,physicalandmental.Helpsinclearingthebodyby eliminationofwastematterfromthemouth,eyes,ears,noseetc.Helps whenurineisobstructed,reducesconstipation.Thetipofthethumbis touchedtothemiddleandringfinger. APANVAYU(MRITSANJEEVINI): Firstaidforheartattacks.Thetipoftheindexfingershouldbepressed slightlyagainsttherootofthethumbandsecondandthethirdfinger shouldtouchtheinnertipofthethumb.Curespalpitationoftheheart, strengthenstheheartandisgoodforheartpatients. APAVIDHDHA:Osprey. THeSuchihandrelaxed. ARAALAM(ARALA/ARELE):Bentorcrookedhand. DevaVayurighthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand ARALA-KATAKAMUKHA:Givingpiecesofbetelleaf. ARDHACHANDRA(ARDHACANDRA):Halfmoon. DevaSaraswatislefthand.BothhandsofDevaParvati,leftup,right down(abhayaandvarada,fearnotandcharity). AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand ARDHAPATAKA:Halfflag. DevaVayulefthand. AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand ARDHARECHITA:Invitation. ARDHASUCHI:half-needle. ARJUNA:ArjunaTree. Simhamukhahand. ASHOKA:AshTree. Patakahandscrossed,i.e.,touchingatthewristsandmovingfreelyto andfro. ASHWINI(ASHWANI/ASHWATER):Mule. Nagabandhahandsdirectedupwardindicatingcow-ear.Contractionof analsphincter. ASVATHTHA:PipalTree. Alapadmahandswavingthefingers. AVAHANA(AVAHANI): TheAvahanimudraisthemudraofinvitation.Itisusedtoinvokethe deityintothepresenceoftheworshiper. AVAHITTA(AVAHITHA):Dissimulation.DoubleHandGesture AVAKASHA:Gestureofleisure,thisisalefthandgesture. Thesittingpersonisholdingtheirlefthandontheirlapwithpalmupward. BALARAMA: TenAvatars LefthandMushthi,righthandPataka. BANAHASTA:Arrow. BARA: BANDHANANA(BANDHA/BAKU):Innerbinding,heartand compassionofBuddha. Handgestureformedbyclaspingbothhandstogetherwiththefingers interlocking.Whenthefingersareinterlockedontheoutside,itiscalled gebaku(lit."outerbind"),whilewhentheyareinterlockedontheinside, itiscallednaibaku(lit."innerbind").Naibakuconstitutesinnerbinding andrepresentsthevowofthemanyBuddhatohelpallsentientbeings. Gebakurepresentsonesvowtobecomeenlightened.Italsosymbolizes theheart,andcompassion,oftheBuddha. BHAILUKA:Bear. LefthandPadmakoshafacedownward,righthandPatakaplacedonthe backofthelefthand. BHAIRAVI: Hasta(hand),meditativemudra.Redirectsthepranaemittedbyhands backintobody. BHARTRI:Husband. BHARTUR-BHRATRI:Brother-in-law. BRAHMANA: DenotesCaste Shikharawithbothhandsasifholdingthesacredthread,therighthand movingtoandfro. BHERUNDAHASTA:Apairofbirds.SawyaktaDouble Hand BHOOCHARI: Practiceoftheexternalstageofdharana;gazingintospaceafterfocusing onthefingernailofthehandheldinfrontoftheface.Mana(head) mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyogabecausethey utilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. BHRAMARA(BRAHMARA):Bee. Goodforallergies.Placetheindexfingerinthefoldofthethumbandthe tipofthethumbonthesideofthemiddelfingernail.Theringandlittle fingerarerelaxedandextended.Dothiswitheachhand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand BHUDI(BHUDDI/BHUDY/BHUDDY/BUDDHI): Improvesfeelingandintuitionandhelpsmaintainthefluidbalanceinthe body.Tipoflittlefinger(Mercury)touchestipofthumbforclearand intuitivecommunication.Harmonizing. BHUJANGINI: Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. BHUMISPARSHA(BUMISPARA):Gestureoftouchingtheearth,calling theearthtowitness. LiterallyBhumisparshatranslatesintotouchingtheearth.Thegestureof "touchingtheearth"orasitisalsoreferredto,theearthwitness"mudra commemoratesthepostureinwhichShakyamuniovercamethe obstructionsofthedemonMarawhilemeditatingonTruth.Thismudra, formedwithallfivefingersoftherighthandextendedtotouchthe ground,symbolizestheBuddhasenlightenmentunderthebodhitree, whenhesummonedtheearthgoddess,Sthavara,tobearwitnesstohis attainmentofenlightenment. BHUTADAMARA(BHUTADAMAR):Wardingoffevilgesture. Bhtadmara,alsocalled"Trailokyavijaya"orawe-inspiringmudra.It showsthehandscrossedatthewrist,therighthandoverthelefthand, palmsturnedoutwards.Usuallythetwomiddlefingersareslightlybent andthehandsmaybothholdadditionalsymbolslikeVajrasand Ghanta.ThisisfrequentlyseenintherepresentationsofVajrapaniand Bhutadamaravajrapani. BRIHASPATI:PlanetJupiter. Withthetwoindexfingerstogether,thepowerofJupiter,orgoodluck andexpansionisactivated.Togethertheyfocusyourenergytobreak throughbarriers. Shikharawithbothhandsasifholdingthesacredthread. BRISCHIK:Scorpion. TheKarkatahandisdirecteddownwards. BUDDHA(BUDHA):PlanetMercury. Righthandrestsonleftformen,leftonrightforwomen,palmsup, thumbstipstouchingeachotherinareceptivegesture. LefthandMushthiaskew,righthandpataka. BUDDHAPATRA:GestureoftheBuddhasAlmsbowl. ThisisoneofthemudrasdistinctivelyidentifiedwithShakyamuniBuddha. Herethetwohandsareplacedhorizontallyinoppositiontoholdanactual orfigurativebeggingbowlatthelevelofthebreast,onehandaboveand theotherunderneath.Insomevariations,thebowlisreplacedbyawish- grantingjewelorbyatreasurebox. BUDDHASRAMANA:Gestureofsalutation,greeting. Inthismudratherighthandisliftedinlinewiththeshoulder,thewrist bendsbackwardsandthefingersandthepalmfaceupwards.Thefingers pointoutward,awayfromthebody.TheisthegestureofVasudharaand Usnishijaya.Thismudraisagestureofenlightenment. CHAGA:Goat. Shikharahandsincontactfacetoface. CHAKRA(CAKRA):ThisHastaisusedtoshowChakra,theweaponof LordVishnu,disc. Spreadallfingerswide.bringtherighthandontopoflefthandwith palmstouchingeachother,andlittlefingerofrighthandtouchingthe SawyaktaDouble thumboflefthandandviceversa.Achakraformationisshown. Hand CHAMPAKA:ChampakaTree. Langulahandsdownwards. CHANDRA:Moon. LefthandSola-padma,righthandpataka. CHANDRAKALA(CANDRAKALA):Digitofthemoon. AasanyuktaSingle Hand CHATAKA:Cart.DoubleHandGesture CHATURA(CATURA):Square,fourfingered. Brahmaslefthand. AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand CHATURASHRA: CINCIHNA(CHIN/CIN):Gestureofunderstanding. Thumbandindexfingergraspafineobjectasaagrainoftruth.Thisisa symbolforthespiritualunderstanding.AssumetheGyanmudrabut invertyourhandsforthepalmsfacingtowardsthefloor.Helpsasthmatic patientswhenfollowedwiththebreathingtechnique.Attitudeofchittaor consciousness.Hasta(hand),meditativemudra.Redirectstheprana emittedbyhandsbackintobody. WhenthefingerspointupitiscalledGyan(Jnana)mudrawhenthey pointdownitiscalledChinmudra. DAMPATI:Husbandandwife. DANDAHASTA:GestureofShivaindicatingthatthedevoteeshouldseek refugeunderhisliftedfoot. DHARMACHAKRA(DHAMMAKAKKA):Gestureofturningthewheelof theteaching,thefirstsermon. MeanstheWheelofDharmainSanskrit.Symbolizesoneofthemost importantmomentsinthelifeoftheBuddha,theoccasionwhenhe preachedtohiscompanionsthefirstsermonafterhisEnlightenmentin theDeerParkatSarnath.Itthusdenotesthesettingintomotionofthe WheeloftheteachingoftheDharma. DHENU(SURABHI):Fragranceposture. SurabhimudraisalsocalledDhenumudra.AsperIndiansystem,dhenu meanscow.Itsymbolizesvirtue(Satvikata)andexcellence.Theother meaningofsurabhi,asperdictionary,isKamadhenu(thespecialcow) whichgivesdesiredboons.Similarly,withSurabhimudraaperson acquiresthedesiredpower.WhilemakingSurabhimudra,fingerstakethe shapeofuddersofacow.Milkisobtainedfromtheuddersofcow,which givesstrengthtothebody.Similarly,theSurabhimudramakesthebody balancedandstrong. AccordingtoAyurveda,bymaintainingbalancebetweenwind(vata),bile (pitta)andphlegm(kuff),bodyremainshealthy.Imbalanceisthesource ofdiseases.Surabhimudrabalancesthewind,bileandphlegm.Itmakes thebodyhealthy.Thebodyofmanisphysical,itisatomic.Proper combinationofatomicenergymakesthebodystrong.Improper combinationweakensthebodyBalanceofallthefiveelementsinbody resultsinhealth,otherwiseproblemsarise.Fingersofthehandrepresent allthefiveelements.Thebalancedorderoffiveelementsinthebody leadstodevelopment.Surabhimudrastrikesbalanceinallthefive elements. Holdbothhandstogetherwithfingerstouchingeachotherforminga hollowandfoursetsoffingersformingthenipplesofudderofcow.Join thelittlefingerandringfinger,thenjointhemiddlefingerandindex fingertogether.Thisposecanalsobecalled"cowposture"asthemudra makesclovenhoovesofyourhands, DHYANA(SAMADHI/YOGAMUDRA):Gestureofmeditationand absolutebalance. InSouthEastAsia,thismudraisfrequentlyusedintheimageofthe seatedBuddha,thejoinedthumbsdonotforma"mystictriangle"andare placedagainstthepalm.ThepositionoftheSamadhimudrawiththe joinedthumbsformingatriangleissymbolicoftheTiratana(Three Jewels)namelytheBuddha,DharmaandSangha.Thetriangularform alsoindicatesthefirmnessofthebodyandofthemind. DOLA:Usedatthebeginningofadance,swing.SawyaktaDouble Hand GABHI:Cow. TheSankimaMudrahand,i.e.,themiddlefingerisbentandalltheothers extended,alsoindicatingYantra-bheda. GADA: DevaHand DevaKuverarighthand. GANESHA:TheElephantGod. Ganeshaistheelephantgodwhoovercomesallobstacles.Reportedly, thismudrastimulatesheartandlungactivityandopensthefourthchakra supplyingcourage,confidence,andopennesstootherpeople.Holdyour leftpalminfrontofyourheartwiththepalmfacingawayfromyou.Face yourrightpalmtowardyouandhookthefingers.Takeadeepbreathin; asyouexhalestronglypullthehandsawayfromeachotherwithout releasingthefingers.Onyourinhalationrelease,stillkeepingthefingers linked.Dothissixtimes.Letthehands,stilllinked,restagainstyour sternumforamoment.Thenrepeatthesameexercisewiththehands facinginoppositedirections.Sitquietlyforamomentandnoticethe energyintheheartandlungareas. GARDHABA:Ass. THeShinonjalihand,i.e.,theforefingersoftheKadanjalihandallbentin contacts. GARUDAHASTA(GARUDAPAKSHA):Eagle,Garudawing. Strengthensandinvigoratestheorgansandthecirculation.Interlockboth littlefingers(formstail);bringbackoftheknucklestogether;jointhe thumb(formsbeak);sixfingersformthewingsofgaruda.SawyaktaDouble Hand GIRIKA:Mole. TheKhanda-Mukulahand,i.e.,theforefingeroftheMukulahandisbent andmovedtoandfro(Tiryak-parsarita). GYAN(GIN/GNYAN/GUYAN/JNANA):Postureofknowledge, instructionbysilenceorcontemplation,Gestureofteaching,intuitive knowledge. Touchthetipofyourthumbwiththetipofyourindexfingerandkeepthe remainingfingersabsolutelystraight.Thismudraincreasesmentalpower andsharpensmemory.Increasesbrainpower,mentalconcentration, memory,intellect.Curesinsomnia,ifdoneinthenightbyrelieving tensioninducingpeacefulsleep.Inmeditationtheflowofenergy increasestowardstheastralself.Hasta(hand),meditativemudra. Redirectsthepranaemittedbyhandsbackintobody. WhenthefingerspointupitiscalledJnanamudrawhentheypointdown itiscalledChinmudra. GyanPassive HAMSAASYAN(HAMSAYA/HAMSASYA):Swansbeakorbill. Brahmasrighthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand HAMSAPAKSHA(HAMSAPAKSYA):Swanswing. AasanyuktaSingle Hand HANSI:Laughterposture. Laughterisasymbolforwisdom.Itisameansofexpressionofpersons wisdom.Hansimudraisusedfornutritiveactivities.Itleadsitall-round prosperity Tipsofallbutlittlefingerarepressedbythefronttipofthethumb,for formingthismudra. HAKINI:Body,mindandsoul. Helpforconcentration.Letthetipsofthecorrespondingfingersofeach handtouch.Peopletendtonaturallyputtheirfingersinthispositionwhile talking.Thishelpstoconcentrate.Thisfingerpositionhasbeen researchedquitewell;ithasbeendeterminedthatitpromotesthe cooperationbetweentherightandleftbrainhemispheres.Itisalso recommendedtodayinmemorytraining.Itopensaccesstotheright hemisphere,whichiswherethememoryisstored.Thismudraalso improvesanddeepensrespiration,andthebrainprofitsfromitaswell. HARINA:Gestureofteaching. Inthismudrathethumbalongwiththesecondandthirdfingerstouchthe tips,formingaring.Thelittleandtheindexfingersextendupwards. HINTALA:HintalaTree. Kartarimukhahand. IGUANA:Iguana. TalaPatakahand,i.e.,thethumbandthelittlefingerofthePatakahand areslightlyraised. JAMBU:JambuTree. Ardhapatakahand. JYESHTHA-KANISHTHABHRATRI:Elderoryoungerbrother. KADALI:Tree. Mukulahandsinterlocked,extendedandthefingeriswaved. KAKI: Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. KALESVARA: Thismudracalmsthemind.Itispowerfulandcanchangecharactertraits andeliminatesaddictivebehavior.Themiddlefingersofbothhands shouldtouchatthetips.Thefirsttwojointsoftheindexfingerandthe thumbsshouldtouch. KALKI:TenAvatars LefthandTripataka,righthandPataka. KAMI:KamiTree. Kartarimukrainterlocked. KANGULA(LANGULA):Tail,bell. DevaAgnilefthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand KAPI:Monkey. TheAdho-Mushthi-Mukulahandisused,i.e.,thethumbandsecondfinger oftheMushthihandarejoined. KAPIDHAKAM:Thefruitofthetree. KAPITTHAKA(KAPITHA/KAPITHTHA):ElephantAppleTree. Alapadmahandscrossed.DevaLakshmitwohandsheldatshoulder.Deva Ganeshausestwohandsheldonthethighs.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand KAPOTA(KAPOTHA):Tomakepromise,Speaktotheteacher,Tobe polite,toagree,pigeon,humble.SawyaktaDouble Hand InAnjaliHastha,onlythebordersofthehandsarejoined,thepalms shouldnottouchoneanother. KARANA:Gestureofbanishing,expellingdemons. Indicatesthehandstretchedout,eitherhorizontallyorvertically,palm turnedforward.Thethumbpressesdownthemiddletwofingers(likethe hornsofaYakagainstanenemy),whiletheindexandlitlefingersextend straightupwards.Youcanfindabhayamudrsometimesalsoasaleft- handgesture.EkajataandYamafrequentlyshowninthismudra. KARTARIMUKHA(KATARI):Arrowshaftface. Thismudraisheldwiththehandsatshoulderlevel.Thethumbandthe ringfinger(thirdfinger)touchthetipsformingacircle.Theindexand middlefingerextendstraightresemblingrabbitsearsorthehornsofa deer.Frequently,symbolsappearbetweenthesetwofingers. AasanyuktaSingle Hand KARTARISWASTIKA(KARTARISVASTIKA):Crossedarrowshafts, crossedscissors. Fingersheldlikescissorstoholdaweapon. SawyaktaDouble Hand KARTHAREE:Scissorssharppoint. KATAKAHASTA(KARBTA/KARKATA/KATAKAM/KARTAKAM): Goldenbangle,holdingaflower,callingandmoving,crab. Afistlikemudrainwhichthefingersbendtogetheruntilthethumband theindexfingermeet,forminganopentube.Thispositionisfrequently usediniconsinwhichfreshflowersorotherveneratedobjectsare inserted.DevaManmathasrighthand. SawyaktaDouble Hand DevaHand KATAKAMUKHA(KATAKAMUKHA):Openinginabracelet,crabface. AasanyuktaSingle Hand KATAKAVARDHANA:Mating.SawyaktaDouble Hand KATVAHASTA(KHATVA/KHATWA):Cot,bed.SawyaktaDouble DevaNairitahand. Hand DevaHand KATVAVALAMBITA:Easesorrow. Makingagesturebelowthewaisttosignaltheeasingofsorrow. KAULINI: KESHA-BANDHA:Tryingthehair. KETAKIL ScrewPineTree. PatakaandChaturahandscrossedatthewrists. KETU:Serpentmonster. LefthandSuchi,righthandArdhapataka. KHADIRA:KhadiraTree. Tamrachuda,facedownwards. KHECHAD:Tonguelock. KHECHARI(NABHO): Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. KILALAHASTA(KEELAKA/KILAKA):Link,bond,affection.SawyaktaDouble Hand KOORMA(KURMA):ThisHastaisusedtoshowTurtle,Tortoise.SawyaktaDouble OppositeofChakraHastha.Stretchthethumb&littlefingers&foldthe Hand otherfingersinChakraHasthatoshowKoormaHastha.TheMatsyahand isshown,whenbothhandsasTripatakaareleveledattheshoulders. TenAvatars KOROVI: KRISHNA: TenAvatars Mrigasirshahandsfacingoneanotherontheshoulders. KRISHNASARA:Blackantelope. TheMushthiMrigahand,i.e.,thethumbandlittlefingeroftheMushthi handareextended. KSHEPANA(KSEPANA):SprinklingofAmbrosia,nectarsprinkling. Simulateseliminationthroughthelargeintestine,skinandlungs.Ithelps relievetensionsofallkinds.Thetwohandsjoin,palmtopalm,andthe indexfingersextendtogetherandusuallypointdownwardstowardsa vaseorcontainer.Theotherfingersandthethumbsareintertwined. KSHATRIYA: DenotesCaste Shikharawithlefthandmovingtoandfro,Patakawiththeright. KUBERA:Makeawish. Opensanddecongests,cleansesthefrontalsinuses,especiallyifyoudraw theairupwardwhileinhaling.Italsogivesusinnerrepose,confidence, andserenity.Thepracticeissimple.Inyourmind,formulateyourwishor goalveryclearlyintowords.Askyourheartwhetherthisisgoodforyou andwhetheritenrichesyoursurroundingworld.Nowplacethethree fingerstogether,phraseyourwishinapositiveway,asyousayitout loudthreetimes.Pressyourfingerstogetherwhileyoudothis. LAKUCHA:LakuchaTree. Bhramarahand. KURUVAKA:KuruvakaTree. KartariandTripatakahandscrossed. LALITA:Mountain. LELIHANA: TheLelihanamudraliterallymeans"StickingOut."Itisthemudrawhich indicates,"ItisYouandonlyYouwhoisoursalvation." LINGA(ANGUSHTHA/LING):ThumbPosture,Phallus. Booststhebodysimmunesystemandloosensthemucousinthelungs. Makesthebodymoreresistanttocoldsandchestinfections.Thosewho habituallysufferfrombadcoldsandincurablechestinfectionsareadvised topracticeLingamudra.Alsohelpfulinweightreduction.BecauseoftheSawyaktaDouble heatitgenerates,thismudracanbetaxingandcanresultinafeelingof Hand lethargy. Formafistlikefigurebycrossing/entanglingallthefingerswhilekeeping thethumbofthelefthandstraight.Increasestheresistancepowerofthe bodyagainstcoldandbronchialinfectionsandchangeinweather.Gives powertothelungs,createsheatinthebodyandburnsaccumulated phlegmandstopsproductionofphlegmaltogetherandinvigoratesthe bodycompletely. LOLA:Goingfreely. MAHA:Greatattitude. Combinationofbandhaandmudra.Chargesbodywithpranaand preparesforawakeningkundalini. MAHABHEDA:Greatpiercingattitude. Combinationofbandhaandmudra.Chargesbodywithpranaand preparesforawakeningkundalini. MAHAVEDHA: Combinationofbandhaandmudra.Chargesbodywithpranaand preparesforawakeningkundalini. MAHASIR: Goodforheadaches/migraines,relievestensionandeliminatesmucous congestioninthefrontsinuses.Thetipsofthumb,indexfingerand middlefingershouldtoucheachother.Extendthelittlefingerandplace theringfingerintothefoldofthethumb. MAKARA:Sea,crocodile. Activateskidneyenergy.Ittapsyourreservesofstrength.Placeonehand insidetheotherandextendthethumbofthelowerhandthroughthelittle fingerandringfingeroftheotherandplaceitinthemiddleofthepalmof theupperhand. MANDARA:MandaraTree. KhandwaChatllohand. MANDUKI:Frogattitude. Kaya(postural)utilizesasanaswithbreathingandconcentration. MANIDHARA:Gestureofholdingthejewel. Thehandsarearchedandholdawishingjuwel,whichcannotbeseen becauseofitstransparency.ThisisamudraofAvalokiteshvara,andis oftenconfusedwiththesimilargestureofgreeting. MANTANQI(MATANGI): Strengthensthebreathingimpulseinthesolarplexus. MARLAR:Cat. TheArdha-Mukulahand,i.e.,thethumbandthirdfingeroftheMushthi handarejoined. MATAI:Mother. MATSYA:Fish.SawyaktaDouble TheMatsyamudraisthemudraofthefish,whichsymbolizesswimming Hand acrosstheoceanofworldlinesswithoutfear.ShreeMaatellsustobelike thefishatthebottomofthepond.Heisalwaysinthemud,butnever TenAvatars dirty. MAYURA:Peacock. Surya?AasanyuktaSingle Hand MIDA-NOJOUIN: MERU: Claspbothhandsinterlockingallfingersinbetweeneachother.Openonly middlefingerspointingdowntoearth.aformofgadaaisshown. MRIGASEERSHA(MRGASIRSA/MRIGASIRSA/ MRIGASHIRSHA):Deershead. DevaShambhuslefthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand MRIGI(MRIGA/MRUGI):Antelopeposture. Symbolicofdeer,averyinnocentcreature.Amongvegetariansdeeris oneoftheanimalsthatcanbeseenleapinginhermitage.Hideofdeeris usedbysagesastheirseats.TheMrigimudraisoneofthemudrasthat areusedduringworship,adoration,recitationofhymnsandmeditation rituals.Foritssimplicity,virtuousnessandnaturalness,Theformation lookslikeafawn. MUDGARA: MUDRAAKHYA: MUDRAOFSUPREMEWISDOM: Therightindexfingerisgraspedbythefivefingersofthelefthand.This mudra,characteristicofVairochana,isthesubjectofmanyinterretations inesotericBuddhism,mostwhichhavetodowiththerelationship betweentheempiricalworldofmanifoldnessandtheprinciplethatisits basis-theunifiedworldprinciple,therealizationofunityinthemanifoldas embodiedinBuddha. MUKULA(MUKULAM/MUKULAHASTAM):Flowerbud,blossom. Organsupportandrelaxation.Hasasharpfocusforhealingenergy,likea laserbeamorashaftoflightwhichisdirectedtotheareaofconcern.It canbeaveryeffectivehealingtool.Thismudraisplacedontheorganor bodypartthathurtsoristense.ItisalsoakintodirectingenergytoaAasanyuktaSingle specificpart.Cupyourhandandplacefourfingersonthethumb.Your Hand handshouldresembleacone,placeonthepartofyourbodythatneeds help. MUKURA:Mirror. MUSHIKA:Mouse. TheKhanda-Mukulahand,i.e.,theforefingeroftheMukulahandisfully extended. MUSHTI(MUSTI/MUSHTHI):Fist,holdingthings. Helpswithaggressions.Promotesdigestionandhelpscureconstipation. Bendthefingersinwardandplacethethumbovertheringfingers.Make bothhandsintofists.AasanyuktaSingle Hand NAGA:Deepinsight. Usedtosolveeverydayproblems.Ithelpsworkthroughobstacleswe encounteronourspiritualpath.Crossthehandsinfrontofthechestand crossthethumbsovereachother. NAGABHANDHAHASTA:Apairofserpents,serpentheads,thecoilofa snake.SawyaktaDouble Hand NALINI-PADMAKOSHA:Clusterofflowers. NANANDA:Sister-in-law. NARANGI:OrangeTree. Padmakoshahand. NARASIMHA: TenAvatars LefthandSimhanukha,righthandTripataka. NASIKAGRADRISHTI(AGOCHARI): Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. NIMBASALA:NimbasalaTree. Shukatundahandscrossed. NISHEDHA:Warning. NRISHABHA:Bull. TheTalSimha(i.e.,SimhaMukhawiththebackofthehandinthe horizontalplane),thesecondandthirdfingersarebenttotouchthepalm, andthethumbplacedoverthemwiththeothertwofingersextended. OCISTA: Mayura? PADMAKOSHA(PADMA/PADMAKOSA):Lotusbud. DevaKuveralefthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand PALASA:PalasaTree. Ardhachandrahand. PALLAVA:Sprout. PALLI: PANASA:BreadFruitTree. Chaturahand. PANKAJ(ANA):Lotusposture. AsperIndiansystem,lotusisasymbolofpurityLikealotus,which remainsdetachedfromthemudinwhichitblooms,asageremains detachedfromthemudofattachment,whilecontinuinghismeditation. Bykeepingthefingerslikelotus,thePankajmudraisformed.Inthis mudraboththethumbsandlittlefingerstoucheachother.Thismudra- developsthefireandwaterelementsandrefinesthoseelements.Likethe lotus,whichbloomsatsunrise,thefireelementmakestheinnerlotus bloom.Atnight,likethebloomingoflotusundermoonlightthewater elementalsobrightenstheface(ChandraKamal).Theremainingfingers faceeachother,whichnaturallyleadstotransitionoftheirvirtues, leadingtodevelopmentofthecapabilitytoprovidevitalenergytoothers. PARASHURMAMA: TenAvatars ThelefthandonthehipandtheArdhapatakawiththerighthand. PARIJATA:ParijataTree. TheTrijnanahand,i.e.,Patakawithbothhandstwistedupwards. PARINIRVANA:Reclining,Buddhas"momentofdeath". TheBuddha,Shakyamunidiedpeacefullyattheageofeightyoreighty- oneinagroveoftreesnearKushinagarainnorthernIndia.Insculptural representationsoftheBuddhasdeath,heismostcommonlydepicted layingonhisrightside,andwearingapeaceful,sereneexpressionwhen helefthisphysicalformandpassedintofinalenlightenment. PASAHASTA(PASHA):Noose,cord,chain.SawyaktaDouble DevaYamalefthand. Hand DevaHand PASHINEE: Kaya(postural)utilizesasanaswithbreathingandconcentration. PATALI:PataliTree. Shukatundahand. PATHAAKA(PATAKA):Victorybanner,flag. BeginningofNatya.DevaVarunalefthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand PITRI:Father. PRAN(PRANA):Vitalairposture. Lifemudra,helpsfatigue,nervousnessandisvitalizing.Thevitalair(pran vayu)entersthelungsalongwithbreath.Inturn,lungsmixitwithblood andsendittotheheart.Actionofcombustionstartswhenglucose presentincellsandvitalair(oxygen)presentinbloodcomeintocontact, whichproducesenergyThepranacharyahaveidentifiedfivetypesofairin thebody- pran,apaan,samaan,udaanandvyaan.Theyarespreadin variouspartsofthebody.Itisthepranthatenergizesthebody.Excessor deficiencyofprancreatesimbalance.Pranmudraisusedtostrikethe balanceofpranandkeepthebodyenergetic.Vayumeanswind.Any disorderofthiselementinthebodyistakencarewiththismudra.Helps inpains,rheumatism,gout,arthritis,Parkinsonsdisease,paralysisand anybloodcirculatorydisorder.Alsocorrectsthedisorderofthegasinthe stomach. Thetipsoftheringfingerandlittlefingershouldbeslightlypressed againstthetipofthethumb.Increaseslifeforce,immunity,increases muscularstrength,removesfatigue,nervousness,increasespowerofthe eyesandreducesthenumberofthespectacles.Kaya(postural)utilizes asanaswithbreathingandconcentration. PRANAMA: PRARTHANA:Gestureofprayer. ThePrarthanamudraisthemudraofprayer,andtheworshiperwho demonstratesthismudrapraysforpurityandclarity. PRITHVI(PRITHIVI): Helpsinsecurity,stimulatestheliverandstomach.Theearthelementis alsoaconstituentintheformationofthebody.Itisagrosselement, whichhasmoreweightcontent.ByPrithvimudra,theearthelementis balanced.Theearthisafundamentalelement,whichhelpsevolutionof life.Itislikeamothertolivingbeings.Theearthhasendurancecapacity. TheJainscripturesexhortasceticstomakethemselveslikeearth.Prithvi samemunihveja.ThePrithvimudraisusefulfordevelopingthequality ofsteadiness.Asteadfastpersoncanbeforbearing.Theearthtolerates alltypesofcircumstances.Whateverbetheconditions-winter,summer orrains-theearthremainsbalanced.Notonlythis,theearthforgivesall thosewhodefileitandpollutetheenvironment.Thesolidelement, presentinthebody,isapartoftheearth.Wetakeearthelementonly fromthefoodweeat.Thedeficiencyofearthelementweakensthebody. ThePrithvimudraisusefulforthedevelopmentofearthelementinthe body.Theringfinger,whichdenotestheearthelement,isusedin worshippingandapplyingauspiciousmark(tilak). Sitdowncomfortably.Touchyourringfingertothetipofthethumband pressitlittle.Restthreefingersshouldbeheldstraightandthenkeep yourpalmatyourknee.Removesphysicalweakness,increasesvitality, lusterandglowandgiveschetnashakti,giveslifetothesickandblissto thehealthy.Strengthensandenergiesthebodyandmakesthemind liberalandhappy.Makesthebodybalancedandsmart. PRAYERMUDRA: Palmsarepressedtogether,neutralizingandbalancingyinandyang,for centering. PUGA:ArecaNutTree. Padmakoshahandscrossed. PUNKHITA:Dove. THeKapotahandfluttered. PUNNAGA:PunnagaTree. PatakaandChaturahands. PUSHAN: Stimulatesthedigestivetractandbreathing.Dedicatedtothesungod.It signifiesacceptingandreceivingwithonehandandlettinggowiththe other.Helpsdigestionandelimination.Alsostimulatesthebrain.Thetips oftherightthumb,indexfingerandmiddlefingerareontopofeach otherandtheothertwofingers.Theringfingerandlittlefingerare extended. PUSPAPUTA(PUSHPAPUTAKA/PUSHPAPUTA/PUSPAPUTA): Flowerbasket,handfulofflowers,flowercasket.SawyaktaDouble Hand Pushpameansflower,thismudraisaboutopennessandacceptance.The gestureitselfresemblesthatemotion.Placebothhandsopenand upwardsagainstthethighs,relaxedandwiththethumbsplacedagainst theouteredgeoftheindexfinger. PUTRA:Son. RAHU:Bodylessmonster. LefthandSarpashirsha,righthandsuchi. RAJASA: TenAvatars BothhandsShakataheldontheface. RALASA:Mango. TheTripatakahand. RAMCHANDRA: TenAvatars RighthandKapiththa,lefthandShikhara,heldrespectivelynearandfar. RIPUJIVHA: RUDRA: Rulerofthesolarplexus.Strengthenstheearthelementanditsorgans.A goodantidoteforweakness.Placetipsofindexfingerandringfinger togetherontopofthetipofthumb,withotherfingersextended comfortably. SAHAJOLI: Contractionandreleaseoftheurinarypassageinthefemalebodyto stimulate. SAMANA: Helpsindigestionandalsocuresvariousproblemsassociatedwiththe digestivesystem. SAMANVAY:Co-ordinationposture. SAMBAHANI: TheSambahanimudrasymbolizesthat"IambindingYouwithallmy powernottoleavemeuntilmyworshipisnotcomplete.ForsolongasI payattentiontoYou,Youmuststayandreceiveit." SAMDANSA(SAMDAMSAM/SANDAMSA):Pincers,grasping,tongs. AasanyuktaSingle Hand SAMMUKHI: SAMNIDAPANI: TheSamnidapanimudraisthemudrawhichindicatesapologyforany inconvenienceitmaycausethedeitytobesummonedinthismanner.We understandthatmanydevoteesarerequestingHerpresence.Evenstill, werequestHertopayattentiontoMe,andapologizeforHer inconvenience. SAMPUTA(GAMPUTA):Casket,coveredbox.SawyaktaDouble Hand Tocoverthingsandtoshowthesacredboxinwhichtheidolsareplaced theSamputaHastaisused. SANKALPA: TheSankalpamudraisusedforstatingthedate,timeandplace,the performer,proposedactivityandpurpose,priortothecommencementof worship. SANNIRUDHA: SANNITAPA: SANSTHAPANA: SAPATRI:Co-wife. SARASA:Crane. ParadiseMukulahand,i.e.,theforefingeroftheBhramarahandisplaced onthethumbandfluttered. SARMEYA:Dog. THeMadhyaPatakahand,i.e.,thelittlefingerofthePatakahandisbent. SARPASIRASS(SARPASIRSA/SARPASIRAS/SARPASHIRSHA): Serpentshead,hood. AasanyuktaSingle Hand SARVABEEJA: SARVAKARSHINI: SARVAKHECHARI: SARVAMAHANKUSHA: SARVASANKSHOBHINI: SARVAVASHANKARI: SARVAVIDRAVINI: SARVONMADINI: SHAKATA(SAKATAHASTA):ThisHasthaisusedtoshowDemons,car.SawyaktaDouble Hand DevaNaritahand. DevaHand SHAKTI: InhonorofShakti,thegoddessoflifeenergy.Thispracticestimulates breathinginthelowerchestarea.Ithasacalmingeffectandwillhelpyou tosleepatnight.Itcanalsohelptocounteractspasmsintheintestines andmenstrualcramps.Touchthetipofyourrightringandpinkyfingers toyourleftringandpinkyfingers.Bendyourotherfingerslightlyover yourthumbs.Breathedeeplyintoyourabdomen,allthewayintothe pelvicbowl.Maketheexhalationasslowaspossible.Doasneededor threetimesdailyfor12minutes.Mayinducelethargyifoverdone. SHAMBAVI(SAMBAVI):Eyebrowcentergazing. Thismudrahasbeenfoundtohaveastressreducingeffect.Sitina comfortableposition.Placehandsinthejnanaorchinmudra.Directour gazeupwardtowardyourthirdeyepoint.Focusyourawarenessonyour breath.Endthemudrawhenyoureyesbecometired.Mana(head) mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyogabecausethey utilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. SHANAISCHARA:PlanetSaturn. LefthandSarpashirsha,righthandtrishula. SHANKH(SANKHA/SHANKA/SHANKHA/SHANKARA):Shell posture,conch. TheconchisconsideredtobeanauspiciousobjectintheIndiansystem. ItisusedforworshippingtheGod.Itiswiththesoundofconchthatthe doorsoftemplesareopened.Ourlivesaremostaffectedbysound.The soundwavespreventcalamitiesandalsohelpinattainingthedesiredSawyaktaDouble goals.Firstaidforthroatandlarynx. Hand Theleftthumbshouldbeheldintherightfistandthentheleftindex fingershouldtouchtherightthumb.Goodmudraforthethyroidfunction andcorrectionofanydisorder.Benefitstheintestineandcorrectsany problemthereinandwiththeorgansofthedigestivesystem. SHANMUKHI(SANMUKHI):Closingthesevengates. Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. SHASHAK:Hare. TheTara-patakahandismovedhorizontally(tiryak). SHIVALINGA(SHIVANLINGUA):Shivasphallus. Isamasculineforceandasymbolofdestructionandsubsequent regeneration.Placetherighthandwiththethumbextendedupwardon topofthelefthand.Thelefthandislikeatightbowlwiththefingersheld togetherandcupped.Bothhandsshouldbeheldattheabdomenandthe elbowspointingoutwardsandslightlyforward.Therighthandwillbelike afishwiththethumbcradledinthecupofthelefthand. SHRAMANA:Gestureofascetic. Alsocalledrenunciationmudra.Thehandpointdownwardsawayfromthe bodyasasymbolforrenunciationofsecularpleasures. SHRUSHA:Daughter-in-law. SHUDRA: DenotesCaste LefthandShikhara,righthandSuchi. SHUNI: Tipofmiddlefinger(symbolizedbySaturn)touchesthetipofthethumb, givingpatience. SHUNYA(SHOONYA/SUNJA): Goodforhearingproblems.Sitcomfortably.Putyourmiddlefingerof boththehandsattherootofthethumbandpressalittle.Nowkeepyour handsnearthekneewithyourpalmfacingupwards.Sitinthisposition forfivetotenminutes.Helpsinearache,deafness,vertigoandgiddiness. SIKHARA(SHIKHARA):Peak,spire. DevaKartikeyarighthand.DevaSanmukhasrighthandheldupwards. DevaManmathaslefthand.DevaVarunarighthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand SIMHAMUKHA(SIMHAMUKHA):Lionface. TheSimhamukhahandi.e.,righthandSimhamukhaandlefthandPataka appliedtothebackoftheright,fingersmovefreely. AasanyuktaSingle Hand SIMSAPA:SimsapaTree. Ardhachandrahandscrossed. SINDHUM:SindhumTree. Mayurahandsinterlocked. SMAN: SOLA-PADMA: SOUBHAGYADANDINI: SRIMUDRA: Surya?Mayura? STAPANI: TheStapanimudraisthemudraofestablishment.Theworshiperactually placesthepresenceofthedeityintohisorherheart. SUCHASYA:Needle-face. SUCHI(SHUCHI/SOOCHIMUKHA/SUCI/TARJANI):Designating bynameorinspiringterror,needlessharppoint. Unwellness,spite,impatience,violenttemper,wantingtoclingto everything-thecauseforalltheseunpleasantfeelingsisoftenfull,and thereforestressed,intestines. Firstclenchbothfistsandholdtheminfrontofyourchest.Whileinhaling, stretchtherightarmstotherightandpointtheindexfingerupward.At thesametime,stretchyourleftarmtotheleft.Holdthistensionfor6 breathsandthenreturntothebasicposition.Repeatsixtimesonboth sides.Forseriouschronicconstipation,dofourtimesaday.ForlightAasanyuktaSingle constipation,repeatsixtotwelvetimesinthemorningandatnoon.When Hand travelingorinacutecases,practiceeverymorningbeforerisingfor5to DevaHand 10minuteswhilecomfortablylyinginbed. DevaSaraswatisrighthand.DevaYamasrighthand. SUKATHUND(SHUKATHUNDA/SHUKATUNDA/SUKATHUNDA): Parrotsbeak. AasanyuktaSingle Hand SUKRA:PlanetVenus. Mushthiwithbothhands,theleftraised,therightdownward. SURAHI(SURABHI):Wind. EffectiveagainstRheumatism.Jointhelittlefingerofonehandwiththe ringfingeroftheotherandviceversa.Similarly,jointheforefingerwith themiddlefingeroftheotherhandandviceversa.Leaveyourthumbs free. SURYA(RAVI/SOORYA/SURJA/SURAY):Sunposture. Sitdowncomfortablywithyourbackandneckstraight.Jointipsofring fingersattherootofthethumbsandpresswiththethumbs.Therest threefingerswouldbestraight.Keepyourhandatyourfoldedknee, remembertokeeppalmfacingup.Putalittlepressureinyourpalmand restofthehandwouldbeinrelaxposition.Thismudracreatesheatinthe bodyandisonesurewayofloosingexcessfatandtoningthebodyif donefor20minutestwicedaily.Indigestionproblemiscorrectedifdone aftermealsandinVajrasanapose. Sola-padmaandKapiththahandsheldontheshoulders. SUVRUTTA: SWASHRU:Mother-in-law. SWASURA:Father-in-law. SWASTIKA(SVASTIKA):Crossed,praising.SawyaktaDouble ThisHasthaisusedtoshowalligator,totalkinfear,toargumentandto Hand praise. TADJAI: Kaya(postural)utilizesasanaswithbreathingandconcentration. TAMARACHUDA(TAMARAKUDAHASTA/TAMRACHUDA/ TAMRACUDA):Rooster,cock,redcrest,cockscomb. AasanyuktaSingle Hand TARJANA:GestureofThreatening. Thisgestureisalsocalled"warning"-mudra.Onlytheindexfingeros raisedwhiletheotherfingersarelockedupinthefist.Youcanfind abhayamudrsometimesalsoasaleft-handgesture.Thismudrais characteristicsofmostofthewrathfuldeities. TARPANA:Theperformanceofhomage,offeringgesture. TheTarpanamudraisthemudraofoffering.Tarpanausuallyisperformed inceremoniesrespectingancestorswhohavepassedon,inrespectofthe Guru,theSun,oranyotherdeity.Withthethumbandringweoffera pinchofwhateverofferingisbeingmade.InthePitriShraddhathe offeringissesameseedsinwater.IntheKaliPujaitiswine. Thearmsarebentattheelbowwithhandsraisedevenwithshoulders. Thefingersarelightlybentwiththefingertipextendingtowardsthe shoulders.Thepalmsofthehandsfacedownwards.Amudrafrequently shownbyNamasangiti. TATWA(TATTVA/TATVA):Tranquility. TheTattvamudraisthemudraofthePrinciple.Itreferstothe establishmentofdivinitywithin,andmostoftenindicatesthoseplaceson thebodywhicharedifferentseatsofthevariousenergies.Buddhagaveit tohisdisciplesforcontrolofthemind.SitineasyPosewithastraight spineandwiththeelbowsbent,bringthehandsupandinuntiltheymeet infrontofthebodyattheleveloftheheart. THRIPATHAAKA(TRIPATAKA):Flagwiththreecolors,parts. DevaShambhusrighthand.Atripatakausingbothhandsisrepresented bytheDevaVishnu.DevaIndrahandscrossed.DevaAgnirighthand.AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand TINTRINI:TintriniTree. Langulahand. TRIKHANDAA: TRISHULA(TRISULA):Trident. DevaKartikeyalefthand.DevaSanmukhalefthand. AasanyuktaSingle Hand DevaHand TSE: Thisisagoodmudraforhandlingdepression.Placehandsonthethighs andplacethetipofthethumbontherootofthelittlefinger.Encircleyour thumbswiththeotherfourfingerswhileslowlyinhaling.Holdyourbreath forafewmoments.Slowlyexhaleandthenopenyourhands. UDANA(UDAN): DevelopstheflowofenergyandChetnainallthepartsofbody.Thisis oneofthemainfunctionsofthismudra.Jointhetipsoffore,middleand ringfingerswiththetipofthethumb,whilekeepingthelittlefinger straight. ULBANA:Abundance. UMANABLAHASTA(OOMANABHAM/OORNANAABHA/ URNANABHA):Spider. UNMANI: Mana(head)mudra.Manamudrasformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga becausetheyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. UPASAMHARA(UPASANGHARA): Acalltoalldivinebeingstoassemble."MayallGodsandGoddessesmake theirpresencemanifest,righthere,rightnow. URDHESTITALS-PADMA:Indicatingdesires. USHAS: Newimpulseandenergy. USHTRO:Camel. THeKadanjalihand,i.e.,thethumbsoftheAnjalihandarebentand movedupanddown. UTSANGAHASTA(UTSANA):Toembrace.SawyaktaDouble Hand UTTANAJA: UTTARABODHI:Gestureofsupremeenlightenment,perfection. Refreshesthesystemandchargesitwithenergy.Bothhandsareheldat thelevelofthechest,thetworaisedindexfingerstouchoneanother,the remainingfingersarecrossedandfoldeddown.;thethumbstoucheach otheratthetipsorarealsocrossedandfolded.Thismudraisfrequently seeninimagesofVairochana. VAISHYA:DenotesCaste LefthandHamsasya,righthandSuchi. VAJRAHUMKARA:GestureofHUM. TheVajrahmkaragestureshowswriststhatarecrossedatthebreast. ThehandsholdtheVajra(=thunderbolt,male)andGhanta(=bell, femala).Therighthandcrossesovertheleftatthewrist,palmsfacing inwardstowardsthechestundusuallyovertheheart.Thisisthegesture ofAdiBuddhaVajradara,SamvaraandTrailokyavijaya. VAJRAMUDRA(CHIKEN-IN):Gestureofknowledgefist,sixelement mudra,fistofwisdom. Stimulatesthecirculation.TheVajramudraisformedbygraspingthe raisedforefingeroftheclenchedlefthandwiththeclenchedrighthand, withthetipoftherightforefingertouching(orcurledaround)thetipof theleftforefinger.Thisisalsoknownasthesixelementsmudra,orthe fistofwisdommudra,foritsymbolizestheunityofthefiveworldly elements(earth,water,fire,air,andmetal)withspiritualconsciousness. ThevajramudraistypicalofKoreaandJapan,butissomewhatrarein India,soitshouldperhapsmoreappropriatelybeidentifiedbyits JapanesenameofChiKen-in. VAJRAPRADAMA:Gestureofunshakableconfidence. Thefingertipsofthehandsarecrossed.Thefingertipsofthehandsare crossed,representingunshakableconfidence. VAJROLI: Contractionandreleaseoftheurinarypassageinthemalebodyto stimulateswadhisthana. VAKULA:VakulaTree. Samdamsahand. VAMANA: TenAvatars Mushthiwithhands,oneupwardandtheotherdownwardandtowardthe rightside. VARADA(VARA):Gestureofgrantingwishes,charity,generosity, welcome. Thismudrasymbolizescharityandcompassion.Itisthemudraofthe accomplishmentofthewishtodevoteoneselftohumansalvation.Itis nearlyalwaysmadewiththelefthand,andcanbemadewiththearm hangingnaturallyatthesideofthebody,thepalmoftheopenhand facingforward.Thefivefingersinthismudrasymbolizethefollowingfive perfections:generosity,morality,patience,effort,andmeditative concentration.Thismudraisrarelyusedalone,butusuallyincombination withanothermadewiththerighthand. VARDHAHASTA(VARAHA):Boar.SawyaktaDouble TheSankarnaMakarahand,i.e.,intheMatsyahandtherighthandisheld Hand downwardsandshaken,thefivefingersarekeptfarapartindicating bristles. VARDHAMAANAKA(VARDHAMANA):Seedling,increase. VARSHA: TenAvatars Handsonthelevelofthewaistkepttothesides. VARUN(VARUNA):Waterposture. Varunmeanswater.Waterislife.Likeair,waterisvitalforlife.Aperson canlivewithoutfoodforafewmonths,butitisdifficulttostayalive withoutwaterformorethanafewdays.Fluidityisthecharacteristic attributedtowater.Thewaternotonlyhelpsinliquidizingthefood,butit alsocreatesvariouselements.Deficiencyofwaterelementinthebody increasesdrynessandmakesthebodycellsdry,whichthenbecome inactive.Intheabsenceofwaterelementneithertheflowofvitalair,nor itscirculationcanbesettled.Thewaterelementprovidescoolnessand activity.Thismudraworkstogetridofexcessmucousthatcollectsinthe stomachandlungs.Peoplewhohavetoomuchmucoususuallybelieve theyaresaddledwitheveryresponsibility.Amucousoverloadisusually associatedwithover-stimulatednerves. Sitdowncomfortablywithyourbackandneckstraight.Jointipsoflittle fingersandthumbsandkeeprestthreefingersstraight.Keepyourhand atyourfoldedknee.Keepyourpalmtightandrestofthehandshouldbe relaxed.Helpscureskindisorders,curesimpuritiesofblood,usefulin gastro-enteritis.Helpscuretensionandcramps. VATA:BanyanTree. Patakahand. VAYU:Wind. Vayumeanswindandthismudraremovesflatulence.Benificialfor bloatingandabdominaldiscomfort.Bendtheindexfingersothatit touchesthesoftpartofthethumb.Theremainingthreefingersshould remainstraight.Itisbeneficialforjointpaininhandsandfeet,paralysis, hysteriaetc.ItisverybeneficialtodoPranamudraalongwiththis mudra. VETRA(VEETRAG):Dispassionateposture. VILWA:Wood-appleTree. VIPARITA(VIPAREETAKARANI/VIPREETAKARNI):Inverted psychicattitude. Kaya(postural)utilizesasanaswithbreathingandconcentration. VIPARYASTA: VIPRAKIMA:Loose. VISMAYA:Suggestingastonishment. VITARKA:Gestureofargument,reasoning. Spiritualguidance.Thegestureofdiscussionanddebateindicates communicationandanexplanationoftheDharma.Thetipsofthethumb andindexfingertouch,formingacircle.Allotherfingersareextended upwards.Sometimesthemiddlefingerandthumbtouch,whichisa gestureofgreatcompassion.Ifthethumbandringfingertouch,they expressthemudraofgoodfortune. VYAGHRA:Tiger. TheArdhachandrahandheldfacedownwards. VYAN(VIYAN): Jointhetipsofforeandmiddlefingerswiththetipofthethumb,while keepingthelittleandringfingersseparate. YAK:Yak. Thehandstouchingatthewrists,lefthandMushthi,righthandMudrika, makingtheMushthimudrahand. YOGAMUDRA:Psychicunionpose. YONI:Wombofcreation,source. Thismudraisanexerciseinpratyaharaorwithdrawalofthesenses. Blockingofyourears,eyes,nosesandmouthyouretreatinsideyourself. Duringthedaythemindisconstantlybombardedwithinformationor stimulifromthefivesenses.Onlywhenthesensesarebroughtunder controlandthemindisnolongerpulledoutward,canyouhopetobeable toconcentrate.TheYonimudrasymbolizesthewombofcreation.Hasta (hand),meditativemudra.Redirectsthepranaemittedbyhandsback intobody. ManysuchhandpositionswereusedintheBuddhistsculptureandpaintingofIndia,Tibet,China,KoreaandJapan.Theyindicatetothefaithfulinasimplewaythenatureandthefunctionofthedeitiesrepresented.Mudrasarethusgestureswhichsymbolizedivinemanifestation.Theyarealsousedbymonksintheirspiritualexercisesofritualmeditationandconcentration,andarebelievedtogenerateforcesthatinvokethedeity.Amudraisusednotonlytoillustrateandemphasizethemeaningofanesotericritual.Italsogivessignificancetoasculpturalimage,adancemovement,orameditativepose,intensifyingtheirpotency.Initshighestform,itisamagicalartofsymbolicalgesturesthroughwhichtheinvisibleforcesmayoperateontheearthlysphere.ItisbelievedthatthesequenceitselfofsuchritualhandposturesmayhaveeventuallycontributedtothedevelopmentofthemudrasofIndianClassicaldance.Thesanskritwordmudraistranslatedasgestureorattitude.Mudrascanbedescribedaspsychic,emotional,devotionalandaestheticgesturesorattitudes.Mudraisalsodefinedasaseal.Mudrasaresubtlephysicalmovementswhichalterattitude,perceptionanddeepensawarenessandconcentration.amudramayinvolvewholebodyinasanaorpranayamormaysimplybeahandgesture.Mudrasarehigherpracticeswhichcanleadtoawakeningofchakrasandkundalinihenceshouldbepracticedunderpracticalguidanceofaguruorateacher.Mudrascanbecategorizedintofiveapproximatecategories: Group NamesofMudras Description Thesearemeditativemudras.Theyredirectthe Hasta Gyan,Chin,Yoni,Bhairavi,Hridaya pranaemittedbyhandsbackintobody. (hand) Mudras Sambhavi,Nasikagradrishti,Khechari, Mana Theseformanintegralpartofkundaliniyoga. Kaki,Bhujangini,Bhoochari,Akashi, (head) Theyutilizeeyes,ears,nose,tongueandlips. Sanmukhi,UnmaniMudras. Kaya Prana,Vipreetakarni,yoga,Pashinee, Theseutilizeasanaswithbreathingand (postural) mandukiandtadagiMudras. concentration. Combinationofbandhaandmudracharges Bandha Mahamudra,Mahabhedamudra,Maha bodywithpranaandprepareforawakening (lock) vedhamudra kundalini Theyredirectpranafromlowercenterstothe Adhara brainMudrasconcernedwithsublimating Ashwanimudra,Vajroli/sahajolimudra (perineal) sexualenergyareinthisgroup. Dance NamesofMudras Description ThemovementsoftheNrittaHastasareoffive kinds,up,down,ontheright,ontheleftand tothefront.Themovementofthehands Swastika,Dola,Anjali,Kathakavardana, shouldbeinthesamedirectionasthefeetare Shakata,Pasha,Kilaka,Kapiththa, moving.Theleftone(footorhand)shouldbe Nritta Shikhara,Kurma,Ramsasya,Alapadma, ontheleftandtherightoneontheright. Hastas Pataka BecauseNrittadanceemploysmainly footwork,fewerhandgesturesareusedwhich isthereasonthereareonlythirteenonthe list. Variants:muddika(Pali). Hecreatedthishalfofhimselfastheworld. Whereistheindicationofhisotherhalf? Vedas Clipart|SiteIndex|Disclaimer Copyright2006-2008BellaTerreno;allrightsreserved.

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