Buddha Hand Position Meanings
The Meanings of Buddha Symbolic Hand Gestures - Buddha Hand Mudras in
The gestures and positions of the hands of a Buddha image or Mudras,
have specific meanings in Buddhism that refer to particular events in the Lord
Buddha's life or denote a special characteristic. There are six
main, general hand gestures or positions of Buddha iconography recognised in
This mudra signifies meditation.
Both hands are in the lap with palms upward.
The right hand is on top of the left hand. The Buddha statue is usually
seated in the half-lotus posture , sometimes refereed to as the 'yoga' or
'Indian', Buddha posture.
Some Buddha images display the statue in the so-called
adamantine, diamond, or full-lotus, posture with tightly crossed legs, so that
the soles of both feet are visible.
Mudra - "Subduing Mara" - Calling the Earth to Witness.
The left hand lies in the lap, palm upward. The right hand bends over the
right knee, with fingers slightly touching the ground. This gesture symbolizes
enlightenment, as well as steadfastness or imperturbability. It is easily the
most common Buddha gesture in the wats we visited in Thailand.
During meditation, Prince Siddhartha as a Bodhisatwa is subjected to many
temptations, many posed by the evil Mara, who taunts him with his demons
, monsters, violent storms and his three seductive daughters. As a Bodhisatwa
he remains steadfast. Then to testify to Mara of his meritorious past,
he points to the earth with his hand and calls the Earth Goddess. Thorani, the
Earth Goddess rises from the ground and wrings the water from her long black
hair, by this action raising a torrential flood that drowns Mara and his army
Mudra - Imparting Fearlessness or Reassurance.
This gesture is made with the hand raised and the palm facing outwards, fingers
extended pointing upward. The wrist is bent at a right angle with the forearm.
The gesture is sometimes made with both hands.
Sometimes the Abhaya Mudra
is made with one hand, while another Mudra (such as Varada Mudra) is made with
the other hand.
The Buddha image may be shown either standing, sitting or even walking.
Mudra - Teaching, Giving Instruction or Reasoning.
The hand is usually held closer to the chest than in the Abhaya Mudra (see
The palm is facing outward. A circle is made with the index finger and the
thumb. The other three fingers point upward.
Initially made with the right hand, later on the gesture is often portrayed
with both hands.
A common gesture in Dvaravati Buddha images.
Sometimes also substituted for the Dharmachakra Mudra (see below)
The Vitarka Mudra can be made while in sitting or standing position but not
Mudra - Turning the Wheel of the Law in Motion.
Same gesture with both hands as in Vitarka Mudra (see above). However the
hands are generally held closer to the chest of the Buddha.
The fingers of the left hand rest against the palm of the right hand (as if
turning the wheel, made by the index finger and thumb of the right hand).
The Dharmachakra Mudra signifies the teaching of the first sermon of the Buddha
at the Deer Park (Mrigadawa), which was also called Rishi-patana.
Mudra - Symbolizing Charity.
The hand lowered with the palm facing outward is the gesture of bestowing
blessings or of giving charity.
The hand is extended downward, palm out. Mostly on standing Buddha images,
but sometimes also represented in the sitting position.
The Buddhist Flag
First hoisted in 1885 in Sri
Lanka, is a symbol of faith and peace used throughout the world to represent the Buddhist
Buddhist Flag Meanings
Blue: Universal Compassion
Yellow: The Middle Path
White: Purity and Liberation
The Dharma Wheel
In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka,
Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent
8 spokes representing the Noble
Eightfold Path (Ariya magga).
12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada).
24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve
Laws of Dependent Termination (Paticcasamuppada).
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms
of form and 4 realms of formlessness).
Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist
chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct
13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333)
in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in
Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of
Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching.
Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise
Nam - To devote one's life
Myoho - Myo is the mystic nature of life and Ho, its manifestation
Renge - "Lotus Flower"; which symolises the ballance of cause and effect
Kyo - Sutra, the voice or teachings of Buddha (The sound or vibration that connects everything in the ubiverse)
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