Hand Gestures Of The Buddha

The symbolic hand gestures of the Buddha and the gentle smile of the Buddha statue is known around the world and can be seen in many sculptures. Beyond this distinguished feature lies an even deeper symbolism: his hands are often presented in a variety of mudras – ancient non-verbal gestures with profound spiritual meaning originating from both Hinduism and Buddhism. By learning about these sacred signs, viewers gain insight into one more important aspect of Buddhist teaching.

Through mudras, Buddhists are able to connect with the wisdom and guidance of Sakyamuni or other Buddhas. Invoked during prayer rituals, mantras and recitations, these symbolic gestures allow practitioners to tap into this spiritual energy in order to deepen their understanding of Buddhism’s teachings.


What Is The Significance Of Hands?

The right hand, much like the active male principle it symbolizes, is known to represent a focused and skilful method of action in Buddhist Tantric tradition. Similarly, holding an equally important position among symbols stands the left-hand – revered for its wisdom and contemplation just as its spiritual female counterpart.

Iconic images portraying this concept are often seen with one arm confidently gesturing teachings or blessings while his other rests meditatively at lap level.

Hand Gestures Of The Buddha

Abhaya Mudra – No Fear

The Abhaya Mudra, symbolizing assurance and protection from fear, is often seen depicted on statues of Buddha. It embodies the notion that we have nothing to be afraid of in our material lives: the arm bent up towards shoulder level with palm outstretched outward and fingers pointing upward promise security for all who confront life’s challenges.

Thai Buddhas often gesture with both palms facing upwards, a symbolic sign of peace known as the Abhaya Mudra. It is thought to originate from an ancient custom of cordially greeting strangers without threatening them.

Depictions in frescoes show the Buddha using this mudra against Devadatta, an attacking elephant; Amogasiddhi -or ‘the green’ Buddha- is well associated with it too!

Interestingly enough, following suit of its Eastern counterpart you can find similar examples in early Christian art where Christ’s ‘great hand’ does much the same thing: conveying reassurance and trustworthiness even amidst chaos or danger.

Varada Mudra – Gesture of Giving

Varada Mudra embodies the spirit of generosity and empathy. It is symbolically conveyed in majestic depictions of deities with an outstretched left arm, extending its blessings to their worshipers. This gesture not only signifies giving but also expresses that it comes from a place of sincere compassion – truly inheriting the virtue kindness!

The fourth and fifth centuries saw the rise of Avalokiteswara, a captivating figure marked with Varada Mudra. This mudra symbolizes an abundance of nectar flowing from one open palm to nourish ancestral spirits (pretas).

In Buddhist iconography throughout Southeast Asia, deities are represented by this gesture; offering wealth in the form of fruit or jewels held cupped within their right hands – a characteristic feature only found among Ratnasambhava’s representation.

How To Display Varada Mudra

Showing Varada Mudra is an ancient gesture that invokes both the inner and outer realms of spirituality. It involves placing one’s right hand on their right knee, facing away from them with a flat palm.

This mudra can be performed in any position – seated, standing or walking – while coupled with another intuitively chosen mudra for each other hand to create a powerful statement of intentionality.

The Medicine Buddha is a potent symbol of healing and compassion, often depicted making the gesture known as varada mudra with a sprig of myrobalan plant clasped in his hand.

This medicinal herb was highly valued by ancient Indians for its curative properties, treating everything from skin diseases to infections to eye ailments. Even today it continues to be used all around the world; testament to this holy figure’s power over suffering and pain through divine remedies.

Buddhas Hand Gestures / Canva
Buddhas Hand Gestures

Vitarka Mudra – Victorious Over Darkness

Through the Vitarka Mudra, Buddha is a beacon of light and hope to those seeking enlightenment. His left or right palm pointing upward symbolizes peace and serenity while his downward-facing hand represents generosity towards others as he shares teachings on dharma. With this comforting gesture, darkness can be vanquished as understanding breaks through into insight.

The Vitarka mudra is a reminder of the importance of discussion, learning and communication as essential tools in unlocking truth. It encourages knowledge-seeking to battle against obliviousness, invigorating us with understanding and enlightenment rather than letting ignorance consume our minds. With discourse it’s possible for everyone to unlock their potential – leading them towards becoming followers of Buddha’s teachings!

How To Display Vitarka Mudra

Displaying Vitarka Mudra symbolizes the perfect balance of energy and is commonly seen in Buddhist art. The circular shape formed by index finger and thumb represents a never-ending cycle while both palms are pointed outward – one aiming up, the other resting flat on lap – as if to showcase an alms bowl held within them.

This simple yet powerful gesture illustrates how even something seemingly small can be profoundly meaningful when it comes to embodying spiritual ideals such as peace, kindness and compassion!

Dhyana Mudra – Meditation Mudra

For thousands of years, this silent gesture has held the power to open a path between one’s inner peace and their outward expression. By sitting in perfect stillness with palms facing upwards and fingers spread wide apart.

Hindu yogis have accessed an ancient wisdom that can bring focus and healing into everyday life. It is said that when done correctly — right hand atop left – enlightenment awaits on one side while the illusionary nature of reality resides on the other; both essential elements for skillful action within our lives.

The symbolic gesture of Dhyana mudra, with thumb tips touching to form a triangle, represents the union between Buddhism’s Three Jewels – the Buddha, Sangha and Dharma. It is more than just an iconic symbol though: it also indicates harmony within each individual through its representation of male and female energies uniting together.

This potent hand-gesture has deep roots in Buddhist culture; Sakyamuni used this meditation technique before finding enlightenment beneath his sacred pipal tree while Samantabhadra and Amitabha Buddhas are frequently pictured as exhibiting Dhyana mudra themselves.

Dhyana Mudra With Alms Bowl

In the days before his enlightenment, a wealthy woman encountered the Buddha meditating under the Bodhi tree. Believing him to be a divine being she made an offering of pure gold alms bowl filled with rice and placed it in his right palm.

Unmoved by her gifts, instead he divided each portion of rice into pieces that matched how many days remained until he was enlightened – then sent them out as blessings upon all creatures nearby while returning its golden vessel back to whence it came: flowing downstream within a river’s rushing waves.

Buddhist monks are often depicted holding alms bowls, a symbol of the renunciation of worldly goods and pleasures. The bowl is seen to represent having wealth replaced with knowledge; it holds teachings on Dharma that eclipse those things which bring only temporary satisfaction like fame or fortune.

Going further still, within Buddhism’s beliefs this vessel stands for purifying one’s mind by letting go greed, hatred & illusion in exchange for three ‘nectars’ life-changing wisdom can offer.

Bhumisparsha Mudra – Touching the Earth

The Bhumisparsha Mudra – Touching the Earth – stands as a symbol of strength and power, with its roots in an epic story. This gesture is frequently seen at Thai Buddhist shrines to commemorate when Buddha called upon Sthavara, the Goddess Earth who responded by wringing her hair dry which caused floods that swept away Mara and his demon army.

It’s associated with Akshobya commonly known as ‘the blue buddha’, representing fearlessness and assurance even under distressful circumstances.

How To Display Bhumisparsha Mudra

The historical Buddha demonstrated a powerful gesture beneath the Bodhi tree, making light contact with the ground using his middle finger. As he reclined in full lotus position, this action of summoning Earth’s strength signifies one of Buddhism’s most sacred practices–Bhumisparsha mudra.

All it takes is for one arm to be extended over their knee – palm inward and that single fingertip lightly brushing against Mother Nature!

Shakyamuni Buddha holds an alms bowl in his left hand, forming the Bhumisparsha mudra – a gesture rarely seen from any other. Seated atop a lotus flower and brimming with ancient significance, this revered posture symbolizes all that is sacred about him.

Dharmachakra Mudra – From the heart of the Buddha

The inception of Buddhism began at Sarnath with Sakyamuni’s transcendental realization. To commemorate this momentous event, the Dharmachakra Mudra was created; a circular gesture conveying great power and depicting both right action and wisdom in its entirety.

Through looping tips of index fingersand thumbs together to form an inspiring circle, the Wheel was set in motion signifying harmony between body, mind & spirit – laying foundation for one of the greatest world religions today.

The Dharmachakra mudra held by the Buddha is a symbolic representation of his teachings and audience. His right-hand fingers represent those who understand and realize his message, while the left hand signifies him, Dharma law, and Sangha – all emanating forth from within in true expression of love for humanity.

This treasured teaching gesture is honored among representatives including Maitreya, Dipankara Manjugosha as well Indian Tibetan masters Atisha Tsongkhapa Asanga Sakyo Pandita alike.

Dharmachakra: Dharma Wheel Mudra

After achieving enlightenment, Buddha used his fingers to teach and spin the Dharmachakra – a divine wheel of righteousness. Through this powerful mudra of both hands touching at chest level with thumbs and forefingers forming a circle, he embodied the process by which his teachings spread far into the world beyond.

The circular motion symbolizes Dharma’s most important conceit: that we are all connected in an eternal cycle bringing wisdom higher than ourselves down for those who seek it out.

By performing the Dharma chakra mudra, with palms facing the heart representing enlightenment and a spinning wheel symbolizing motion and transformation, you can bring an energy of fluidity to your home – just as Buddha did when he began teaching after his own awakening.

Handgestures Of Buddha / Canva
Handgestures Of The Buddha