Mudras & Hand Symbolism: What Are Mudras? Part 1

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When we study Eastern philosophies, beliefs, tradition, and the pragmatic yogic techniques of Hinduism and Buddhism, we typically appear throughout methods of systematic hand gestures. The rites, rituals, initiations, dances, and religious disciplines of these Oriental religions and traditions are replete with multifold varieties of hand gestures with symbolic meanings and empowering virtues. In Sanskrit these gestures are termed mudra. Mudra usually means “seal,” or “image.” The phrase has various connotations or definitions in Yogic and Tantric philosophies. In Hatha yoga, mudras are distinctive physical asanas, or human body-postures they are also particular exercise routines or processes that arouse into exercise one’s innate energies. The ancient yogic text, the “Gheranda-Samhita,” describes 20-5 of these mudras among the which are: ashvini-mudra, bhujangini-mudra, kaki-mudra, khecari-mudra, maha-mudra, manduki-mudra, matangi-mudra, nabho-mudra, pashini-mudra, sahajoli-mudra, shakti-calani-mudra, shambhavi-mudra, tadagi-mudra, vajroli-mudra, viparita-karani-mudra, yoni-mudra, and so on.

The above yogic guide advises us that these mudras are to be kept secret with wonderful care and not to be conveyed to anybody unfit for their reception as these mudras could confer tremendous ability and psychic qualities termed siddhis. All those with no the proper religious qualifications could cause untold hurt to themselves and other people ought to they interact in these exercise routines and be profitable in unfolding occult faculties. The psychic powers obtained therefrom would be misapplied, misused and abused for egoistic needs–and this is likely deadly for one’s evolutionary progress. These mudras were thus esoteric in mother nature and reserved for the selected several–the real religious aspirants, and not for the worldly-minded or the extremely spiritually formidable. This doctrine “for the several” was noticed carefully by mainly all religious traditions. In one particular ritualistic text of the Vajrayana Tantra about an initiatory instructing, the chela or scholar is enjoined to,

” . . . distribute this instructing with wonderful caution. It ought to be kept secret from equally sinful and Dam Med (oath-breakers) persons from innovative and foulmouthed persons. This instructing ought to not be specified to skeptical and defamatory persons it ought to not be bestowed on heretical and insincere persons. It ought to not be specified to the thief of Dharma [religious doctrines] or to these who do not observe the precepts. Retain this sacred instructing from such persons is a rule you ought to observe.”

In his guide on yoga, which consists of 195 Sutras, Patanjali under no circumstances the moment mentioned mudras, nor the serpent force, or kundalini for that make a difference. Probably he thought of these teachings esoteric and not intended for normal circulation.

Apart from the possible acquisition of paranormal powers as one particular outcome of the awakening of the kundalinic force lying latent at the foundation of the spine, the mudras explained by the Gheranda-Samhita also results in rejuvenation, and the sought for liberation from the mortal, human condition. Extreme and frequent apply of these mudras in conjunction with other religious exercise routines is reported to have the ability to renovate guy into a residing god. Hand mudras, we believe that, do have this sort of impact.

Hindu Tantrism has a diverse comprehension of mudras. To the practitioners of Tantra, the phrase refers to a shakti, a human woman participant in the maithuna, or sexual rites or even to the parched grain as one particular of the 5 substances applied in the panca-tattva rite for the reason that of its physical resemblance to the yoni, the woman genitalia. Shaktis are termed “mudras” for the reason that in the system of ritualistic and yogic coitus they have an impact similar to human body and hand mudras. Mudras awaken dormant psycho-physical facilities and purifies particular delicate channels enabling for the circulation of energies to consider location Mudras facilitates concentration, and are a strong usually means of communing with the forces and divinities lying within man’s interior mother nature gals have a wonderful entry to psychic energies as a result, the sexual yogic act, when appropriately done, does the identical point. Remaining extremely revered, a lady proficient in the Tantric arts is referred to as a “mudra,” or to be much more distinct, “Karma mudra,” of which there are 5 forms, classified according to various psycho-physical attributes.

In an additional sense, “shut electrical-circuits” of the delicate channels in the physical and etheric bodies are also recognized as “seals,” or mudras.

In passing, we ought to point out that the big earrings worn by associates of the Kanphata Purchase in India are furthermore termed “mudra.”

The Kagyu sect of Vajrayana Buddhism takes advantage of the suffix “maha” which means “wonderful” in association with the phrase “mudra.” Consequently, the conjoined phrase mahamudra usually means “the Great Seal,” or “the Great Image.” In this context, the phrase refers to a point out of immediate realization and knowledge of the final mother nature of the Mind or Fact in which all dualities and sense of separateness from All that Is are transcended.
Putting apart complexities, the definition of mudra is simply “symbolic gesture.” Chogyam Trungpa in his e-book, “Mudra,” defines the phrase as,

“a image in the broader sense of gesture or action. It is the inspiring colour of phenomena. Also it is a image expressed with the palms to point out for oneself and other people the high quality of diverse times of meditation, such as touching the earth with the proper hand as a witness to Buddha’s liberty from psychological and mental frivolousness.”

Yoga teachings in normal clarify that mudras denote the hand gestures and movements applied in the effectiveness of dances, rituals, rites, and while partaking in religious exercise routines such as meditation. Mudras symbolically express interior feelings and interior psychological states they also make various traits such as fearlessness, ability, charity, and peace in the practitioner and to on-lookers.

In an additional ancient text termed Soma-Shambhu-Paddhati, a wonderful amount of these hand mudras are explained. Probably the ideal recognized by yogic practitioners and learners are abhaya-mudra, anjali-mudra, cin-mudra, dhyana-mudra, and jnana-mudra. Some of these mudras are recognized by other names, particularly in other cultures and religious traditions. It is this latter comprehension of mudra that we shall be dealing with in this collection of posts.

To sum up, we present Nik Douglas’ definition of “mudra” to be uncovered in the glossary of his e-book, Sexual Secrets:

(Mudras are) “mystic hand gestures applied to concentrate delicate electrical power, transmit teachings as a result of symbols and confer psychic security. As an assist to Tantric meditation, mudra can also indicate lady in her part as Yogini. The identical phrase is occasionally applied to refer to cereal grains applied in Tantric rites. “

The Origin of Mudras

It is not quite recognized when or in which systematized and stylized gestures originated. Just about all ancient cultures designed use of hand signs in one particular variety or an additional. Hand Signs were used even in earliest situations in religion, in the rhetoric artwork, in social intercourse, in builders’ and trade guilds, and so on. The operative Masons–the Comacines, the builders of Europe’s very best cathedrals, and the hoary trade guild recognized as the Dionysiac Artificers–who were accountable for the design of ancient properties and structures–all designed use of hand signs as a procedure of communication and security of their conclaves or secret meetings in opposition to unauthorized entry.

In Hinduism, as very well as Buddhism, hundreds of mudras were fashioned for yogic needs, for ceremonies, drama, and dance. Most of these were symbolic in mother nature, other people, on the other hand, had metaphysical virtues. There are virtually hundreds of mudra-gestures fashioned by the ancient yogis and sages on the other hand, they are all based on four simple hand positions: the open palm, the hollowed palm, the shut fist, and the hand with fingertips jointly.

In the Occident, the study of hand gestures in ritual and its spontaneous movements is termed cheironomy. It particularly relates to gestures applied in esoteric symbolism and particular varieties or signs applied in spiritual ritual. In occultism, each hand gesture has particular importance as very well as embodying a particular force. Ritual gestures were an significant aspect of spiritual ceremonies in most ancient cultures. They were reported to have the ability to connect with on the gods, to unfold powers, and to have an affect on the surroundings in various means.

The ancient Egyptians regarded the hand poses of their god-incarnate pharaohs as extremely powerful, even if it is just a pictorial illustration. Though depicting these pharaohs in murals or while forming statues of them, artists were thorough not to misrepresent the mudras assumed by their sovereign for panic that it would evoke an undesired force.

Power in the Palms

The palms when applied systematically in mudra exercise routines outcome in a prosperity of advantage for the practitioner. Not only does it increase one’s health and fitness, they also make the energies that would empower one particular to dwell a dignified life as a little one of God. Particular hand gestures guide the unfoldment of one’s divine potentials, or interior divinity lying dormant within one’s remaining.

Mudras aid the recognition of our interior mother nature, the truth of Spirit, the oneness of the Cosmos. It arouses the religious coronary heart to grow and express by itself with effulgent radiance. By means of appreciate, selfless appreciate, unconditional appreciate, divine appreciate, it is possible to conquer all points. It is with appreciate that we approach God, not as a result of panic panic will under no circumstances consider us to the divine throne. To express appreciate is the beginning of wisdom.

By training hand gestures we at some point find ourselves communicating with Nature, for some of her esoteric languages are signs and symbols. Mudras make structured magnetic fields with varieties that resemble personal computer fractuals and photographs. Summary varieties arrive at the bigger planes of life in which angelic forces reside. Consequently, by undertaking mudras we may perhaps at some point find ourselves socializing with cherubim and seraphim.

In accordance to experts we use about ten% of our brain probable. Mudra methods may perhaps alter all that, for the energies that it awakens clears all of the vessels–physical and non-physical–of obstructions and blockages that avoid the brain from remaining nourished and designed. New synapses amongst neurons are fashioned when the brain gets a fantastic source of chi or prana. An improve in I.Q., a solid memory retention, enhanced studying potential, and mental alertness, are some of the results of cleared electrical power channels. When empowered the brain varieties new connections with the etheric brain. These connections resemble and function as miniature sutratma, which is the website link amongst the lower quaternary of the microcosm and the bigger components that we typically refer to as “the Spirit” of guy. The much more inbound links amongst the etheric and physical brain, the much more strong and smart the brain turns into.

Mudras awaken the ability of the palms to act therapeutically and magically. The psychic facilities in the palms and fingertips are activated to their optimal degree by the reliable software of mudras. This at some point facilitates the no cost outflow and inflow of cosmic forces that may perhaps be utilized for various occult needs. With such ability, even a mere contact may perhaps mesmerize, enchant, fascinate, or quicken the “useless.” Palms with such ability would unquestionably be an asset not only to the metaphysical practitioner but also to these involved in social and company affairs.

Copyright © 2006 Luxamore



Resource by Leonard Lee

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