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Zazen Sacred Icons :: FAQ - MUDRAS

FAQ - MUDRAS
What are MUDRAS? (hand positions)

Mudras are, of course, extremely important in Hindu & Buddhist iconography, with both exoteric & esoteric significance. They are also a useful aid to identification of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Deities.

What are some of the most common mudras?

(i) Abhaya mudra: mudra of blessing or protection. Right hand, held at shoulder level, pointed upward with the palm facing outwards

(ii) Anjali mudra: mudra of greeting, gesture of respect and, of course, prayer. Palms together at the level of the heart, with fingertips pointed upwards

(iii) Vitarka mudra: teaching mudra. Held at chest level, the right hand faces outward. The thumb and forefinger form a circle. Pointing downward, the left hand faces outward or lies palm up in the lap

(iv) Varada mudra: mudra of giving, or generosity. Pointed downward, the palm of the right hand faces out

(v) Dharmachakra mudra: mudra of turning the wheel of the Dharma (teaching). Hands held level with the heart, the thumbs and forefingers of each hand form circles that touch one another. The left hand faces inward, the right hand out

(vi) Bhumisparsha mudra: earth-touching (also called ‘earth-witness’) mudra. The left hand rests in the lap with the palm facing upward. The right hand rests palm down on the right knee with fingers pointing towards the earth

(viii) Dhyani mudra: the meditation mudra. The back of one hand (usually the right) rests on the upturned palm of the other, with the tips of the thumbs lightly touching. There are several variations on this.
 
 
 
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