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What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures?

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures?

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of specific Buddha hand gestures? If you have Buddha statues in your home it would be useful to find out about their significance and best Feng Shui placement.

Buddha statues mostly show a particular mudra (a Sanskrit word) or a hand gesture. These hand gestures are a form of non-verbal communication and carry significant spiritual connotation. Mudras evoke certain ideas and refer to some event in the life of the Buddha. Let us now explore the top 10 mudras associated with the Buddha.

1.    Abhaya Mudra

The Abhaya mudra is also called as the fearless mudra. Abhaya in Sanskrit means fearlessness. In this mudra, the right hand is at the height of the shoulder with the arm slightly bent. The palm of the right-hand faces outwards and the fingers are joined in an upright position. The left-hand hangs down by the side of the body.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Standing Amitabha Buddha with Abhaya mudra, Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung Taiwan

Buddha had revealed this gesture immediately after attaining enlightenment. The Abhaya mudra offers a sense of protection, peace, and inner security. It is a gesture that instils fearlessness in others. In Japan, this mudra is represented with the middle finger slightly projected forward while in Laos and Thailand, the mudra is depicted in walking Buddha.

Feng Shui Tip: Placing the Buddha with this mudra in the main entrance of your home or living room is considered ideal.

2.    Dharmachakra Mudra

Also spelt as the Dharmacakra mudra, this gesture indicates the turning wheel of dharma or law. It involves the use of both the hands. The right hand is held at the chest level with palm facing outward while the left hand is turned inward. A circle is created by joining the tips of the index finger and the thumb of the right hand. The index finger and the thumb of the left hand join to touch the circle created by the fingers of the right hand.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Golden Buddha signifying the Dharmachakra mudra at Buddhist Museum in Dambulla, Sri Lanka

The Buddha exhibited this hand gesture while preaching his first sermon to a friend after his enlightenment at the Deer Park of Sarnath. Since the fingers are near the heart, the preaching is said to come from the core of the Buddha.

Feng Shui Tip: The Buddha with this mudra can be placed in any living space.

3.    Vitarka Mudra

The Vitarka mudra denotes teaching or a discussion. In this mudra, the tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other to form a circle. The right hand is at the shoulder level just like in Abhaya mudra, and the left hand is at the hip level may be on the lap with the palm facing upwards.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha's statue in Vitarka mudra located near Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh, India.

The Vitarka mudra indicates the teaching phase of the Buddha in Buddhism. The circle formed by the thumb and the index finger helps in maintaining the constant flow of energy.

Feng Shui Tip: The Buddha with this mudra should be placed in a library or the study room.

4.    Uttarabodhi Mudra

This mudra also means supreme enlightenment. In this mudra, both the hands are held at the chest level. The fingers are intertwined except the index fingers. The index fingers extend straight up and touch each other.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha statue in uttarabodhi mudra at the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple, London (Image Source)

The Uttarabodhi mudra helps in charging our energy. It signifies perfection. It evokes a sense of unshaken unity within oneself and helps us align with the One source.

Feng Shui Tip: The Buddha with this mudra must face the north or the south of your living area. The statue should be kept at a high and prominent position to evoke the energy.

5.    Varada Mudra

The varada mudra implies compassion or a hand gesture that grants wishes. It is also called as the boon-granting gesture. In this mudra, the right arm extends in a natural position all the way down with the palm of the open hand facing the onlookers. In the case of a standing position, the arm is slightly extended to the front. This gesture can be made using the left hand as well.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha depicting the Varada mudra (Image Source)

The mudra implies the five perfections of life; patience, effort, meditative concentration, morality, and generosity. In most cases, you will see a sacred shape like that of a mandala or an eye in the palm of the Buddha’s hand. The form indicates a rare and powerful energy originating from the enlightened person through his/her hands.

This mudra is found in combination with other mudras like Abhaya, especially in a standing position.

Feng Shui Tip: The Buddha with this mudra should be placed facing north-west.

6.    Karana Mudra

The Karana mudra is considered as the most powerful hand gesture with which negative energy is often expelled. In this mudra, the hand is stretched out either vertically or horizontally. The palm is forward in position. The thumb presses the folded two middle fingers while the index and little fingers are raised straight in an upward direction. This gesture is combined with the Abhaya mudra in the left hand.  The Karana mudra helps in removing negative energy and obstacles like a sickness.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Seated Buddha in Karana mudra at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Korea.

Feng Shui Tip: The placement of the Buddha statue with this gesture must be very mindful. You must never place it facing the front door of your living space as it welcomes the energy. Also, you must not put the statue in your bedroom or your child’s room. Only areas that need a big clearing like a window with little energy alley should be chosen to place the Buddha with this hand gesture.

7.    Vajra Mudra

The Vajra mudra is translated as the hand gesture depicting unshakable self-confidence. The Vajra mudra evokes the golden energy of soft, radiant, healing, everlasting and kind. The mudra is not enough known in India. However, it is very famous in other Asian countries like Japan and Korea.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha statue signifying the vajra mudra (Image Source)

In this mudra, the erect forefinger of the left hand is held in the fist of the right hand. While the pointer represents knowledge, the fist signifies protector of knowledge.

Feng Shui Tip: The ideal placement of the Buddha with this mudra would be the main entrance or the centre of your living space.

8.    Namaskara or Anjali Mudra

The Namaskara or the Anjali mudra evokes greeting each other with respect and adoration. The greeting is expressed in the form of a prayer that comes from one’s heart or the third eye. This hand gesture can be made by placing the palms at the heart level or the forehead level. The reason behind this placement is the belief that one can see each other’s expressions only with the heart or with a deeper spiritual thought through our third eye.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha in Namaskara or Anjali mudra (Image Source)

The Anjali mudra is done by placing both hands close to the chest with the palms and fingers joined against each other vertically. It is believed that the enlightened Buddhas do not make this hand gesture because it is mainly for the Bodhisattvas who aim or are preparing to attain enlightenment or perfect knowledge.

Feng Shui Tip: Your main entrance, dining or living room is the right spot to place the Buddha with this mudra.

9.    Dhyana Mudra

The Dhyana mudra or the Samadhi mudra promotes unity with higher energy, deep contemplation and energy of meditation. The Dhyana mudra helps in creating a circle of energy due to the touching of the thumbs of both the hands. The power cleans impurities on an etheric level.

The hand gesture is made in the sitting position only. In this mudra, both the hands are on the lap with the back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left hand with the fingers in an extended position. In many idols, the thumbs of both the hands are shown touching each other at the tips to form a mystic triangle shape.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? The great Buddha statue in Dhyana mudra at Giac Lam Pagoda in Vietnam.

Most sages or yogis use this hand gesture to concentrate or meditate. It also means attainment of spiritual perfection. The Buddha used this mudra during His final meditation under the Bodhi tree.

Feng Shui Tip: Meditation room, study room or library are the right places to keep the Buddha with this hand gesture.

10.    Bhumisparsa Mudra

Also translated as touching the earth or calling the land, the Bhumisparsa mudra is depicted with the right hand with the palm facing out like that of Varada mudra. It is shown in the sitting meditation pose only.

What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures? Buddha Statue in Bhumisparsa Mudra at Kandeviharaya, Aluthgama, Sri Lanka (Image Source)

The Bhumisparsa mudra is considered as the Buddha’s hand gesture at the time of enlightenment. It is the representation of the truth to his commitment to liberation and the unshaken strength that helped him overcome the darkness or the mara that challenged him before entering the light.

Feng Shui Tip: The main entrance of your living space is the perfect place for the Buddha with this mudra.

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What Is The Significance Of Different Buddha Hand Gestures?
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