Mudrâs Hand Gesture – lovepeaceboho
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Mudrâs Hand Gesture


Buddhas and Bodisattvas and frequently other deities are shown with their hands forming a number of different ritualized and stylized poses (Mudrâs). 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 below.

 "Gesture of Protection"
(abhaya) This gesture is also called "Gesture of Fearlessness" or "blessing" or "fearless mudra". Generally, this position is shown with the palms(s) facing outward and the fingers extended upwards. The arm is elevated and slightly bent. You can find abhayamudrâ sometimes also as a left-hand gesture. This mudra is characteristic of Buddha Shakyamuni and Dhyani Buddha Amogasiddhi.
 
"Gesture of Witness"
(bhumisparsha) This gesture is also called "touching the earth" mudra or "calling the earth to witness" mudra. The right arm hangs down over the right knee. The hand with the palm turned inward and all the fingers extended downward with the finger touching the lotus throne. The left hand lies on the lap with palm upward. This gesture symbolizes Shakyamunis victory over  Mara. The  Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya shows the same Mudra.
"Gesture of  Charity"
(varada) This gesture is also called "Gift bestowing Gesture of Compassion" or "conferring boon" or "grace" mudra. The arm is extended all way down with palm facing outwards. You can find varadamudrâ sometimes also as a left-hand gesture. This is the mudra of Dhyani Buddha Ratnasamhava, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and (sometimes) standing Buddha Shakyamuni.
 
 "Gesture of Understanding"
(cincihna) In this mudra, the thumb and index finger grasp a fine object as a a grain of truth. This is a symbol for spiritual understanding.
 
"Gesture of Knowledge"
(Jnana) The tips of the index finger and the thumb join, forming a circle, the other fingers are extended straight. This mudra is held against the chest, palm towards the chest. In this way, it differs from the vitarka mudra in which the palm faces away from the body.
 
"Gesture of Meditation"
(dhyana) It is also called Samadhi or Yoga Mudra. Both hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched and the palms facing upwards. This is the characteristic gesture of Buddha Shakyamuni, Dhyani Buddha Amitaba and the Medicine Buddhas.
 
"Gesture of Praying"
(namaskara or anjali) Also called the simple namaste (prayer) position (means "I bow to you.") In this gesture, the hands are kept close to the chest in devotional attitude with the palms and fingers joined. This is the special gesture of Avalokiteshvara with more than two arms.
 
"Warding Off Evil Gesture"
(Bhûtadâmara) Also called "Trailokyavijaya" or awe-inspiring mudra. It shows the hands crossed at the wrist, the right hand over the left hand, palms turned outwards. Usually the two middle fingers are slightly bent and the hands may both hold additional symbols like Vajras and Ghanta. This gesture is frequently seen in the representations of Vajrapani and Bhutadamaravajrapani