Mudras of Buddha are basically sacred and symbolic gestures and non-verbal mode of communication and self-expression in Buddhism which consist of hand gestures and finger-postures.

Mudras of Buddha

mudras of buddha

Bhumisparsha Mudra

  • One of the most common Mudras found in statues of Buddha.
  • It depicts the Buddha sitting in meditation with his left hand, palm upright, in his lap, and his right hand touching the earth.
  • This mudra is commonly associated with blue Buddha known as Akshobya.
  • Significance:Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth’ and it represents the moment of Buddha attaining enlightenment.
Dhyana Mudra

Dhyana 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 attainment of spiritual perfection.
  • This Mudra was used by Buddha during the final meditation under the bodhi tree.
Dhyana Mudra

Vitarka 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 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, only perfection.
Vitarka Mudra

Abhaya Mudra

  • It indicates fearlessness and symbolises strength and inner security.
  • The right hand is raised to shoulder height with arm 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.
Abhaya Mudra

Dharmachakra 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 finger and the thumb. The left hand is turned inward and the index finger and thumb of this hand join to touch the right hand’s circle.
  • This gesture was exhibited by Lord Buddha while he preached the first sermon to a companion after his enlightenment in the Deer Park of Sarnath.
Dharmachakra Mudra

Anjali Mudra

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

Uttarabodhi 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 symbolises perfection.
  • Shakyamuni Buddha (liberator of Nagas) presents this Mudra.
Uttarabodhi Mudra

Varada Mudra

  • It indicates charity, compassion or 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 lefthand gesture as well.
  • Through the five extended fingers, this Mudra signifies five perfections: Generosity, Morality, Patience, Effort and Meditative Concentration.
Varada Mudra

Karana Mudra

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

Vajra 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. Knowledge is represented by the forefinger and the fist of the right hand protects it.
Vajra Mudra

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