Symbols #41: Mudras

Mudras are sacred hand gestures and expressions of inner wisdom. Each mudra represents a different action or form of energy. In meditation, mudras help maintain focus, allowing the meditator to channel a specific energy for their practice.

Mudras are also a common feature of Eastern art, as various figures and deities are often shown gesturing with a specific mudra. In fact, mudras are some of the most distinguishing characteristics, helping the viewer better understand the meaning behind a specific statue or image.

Vitarka Mudra

Thumb and forefinger touch to create a circle

A gesture of instruction, wisdom, and intellect, this mudra represents transmission of knowledge. The mudra’s circle also represents the perfection of dharma.

Abhaya Mudra

Right palm faces outward, fingers are straight

A gesture of protection, reassurance, and comfort, this mudra means “no fear.”

Bhumisparsha Mudra

The fingers of the right hand touch the ground

A gesture of determination and steadfastness, this mudra represents the strength necessary to overcome temptation.

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