The Dharma Wheel or Dharmachakra wheel - Buddha Statue Meanings About Buddha
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Buddha Mudras

Buddha Posture - What are Mudras?

Mudras are fixed ritualistic gestures and poses that are used in Buddhism and Hinduism, reflecting their common Indian heritage.

Mudras are fixed ritualistic gestures and poses, many of which can be seen here

All statues of the Buddha represent him performing one of these mudras. Many of the mudras are depicted through simple hand gestures, but others are full-body poses.

Buddha statues can be found in the three main body positions; standing, sitting and laying.

The five most common mudras are:

Abhaya Mudra (absence of fear), where the right hand raised and palm facing out, with the left hand down toward the hips and also facing out, symbolizing peaceful intentions and peacemaking. Right hand raised is also called "calming animals"; both hands raised is also called "forbidding the relatives". These mudra are usually associated with a standing Buddha, but seated representations are not uncommon;

Bhumisparsha mudra (touching the earth), where all five fingers of the right hand reaching to touch the ground (not always literally), symbolizing the enlightenment of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree;

Dhyana mudra (meditation), where one or both hands in the lap, symbolizing wisdom, possibly supplemented by ritual objects such as an alms bowl. It shows that the Buddha is disciplining his mind through mental concentration, a necessary step to achieving enlightenment;

Dharmachakra mudra (setting the wheel in motion), the hands are held in front of the chest, where the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle, symbolizing the Wheel of Dharma. This is a less common mudra since it refers to a particular episode in the Buddha's life: his first sermon, when he "set the wheel (of his life's work) in motion." It can be used for both seated and standing images;

Varada mudra (charity), the right arm is shown pendent (extended downwards), with the open palm turned to the front and the fingers extended. This mudra is usually associated with a standing Buddha. This position can signify either that the Buddha is granting or receiving charitable offerings, sometimes where both hands at waist level, palms out, right hand up and left hand down.

There are mudras beyond the basic five, and some of them are unique to regional or national forms of Buddhist art.

The Reclining Buddha, the most famous example of which is at Wat Pho in Bangkok, is depicted with the left arm laying along the body, while the right arm serves as a pillow with the hand supporting the head.



A regional mudra in Thailand particularly is:

Vitarka mudra (reasoning and exposition): the arm and hand are positioned in the same manner as in the Abhaya Mudra, except that the thumb and forefinger are brought together. The gesture can be made with either the right or left hand (usually the right), but not both. This mudra signifies an appeal to reason, or the giving of instruction. Since the Buddha is appealing to reason, the gesture is often interpreted as an appeal for peace.


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Many of the mudras are depicted through simple hand gestures, but others are full-body poses

The Dharma Wheel

Spokes of the Dharmachakra - "The Dharma Wheel" Meaning - The Dharma Wheel Symbol - The Dharma Wheel Image - 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga)

In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka, Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent various meanings:

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 Nichiren Buddhism.
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)


As the Buddha had never claimed to be a god, it is evident that he never prescribed the form of worship that was to be rendered to him. A legend, however, attributes to him the institution of this form of worship

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