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Monday, May 31, 2010

Mudras


A 'Mudra' is performed by pressing a finger onto another in a particular fashion. Acupressure Therapy states that the key to our health resides in our hands and that a particular kind of energy is continuously transmitted from them. It is believed that there is a chakra in the centre of the palm which emits an electro-magnetic ray .
Most of us have experienced that whenever we rub our hands together, it generates heat. If one adds the power of mind and love, the results can be dramatic.
Like the Universe the human body is made up of 5 elements. In the case of the hand: 
The THUMB represents the Fire or SUN
The INDEX FINGER represents AIR or WIND
The MIDDLE FINGER represents SKY or SPACE
The RING FINGER represents EARTH
The SMALL FINGER represents WATER.
The proper study of Mudras helps us to control the 5 elements. These Mudras can create energy waves in our body which help to bring the 5 elements into a proper balance. These then cure many diseases, be they physical, mental and/or spiritual. Achaarya Keshav Deo states: "If a human body is a machine, the mudras are the controlling switches of this machine". Different Mudras are performed for different purposes.
GYAAN MUDRA

Touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger. No need to press. Though you may sit in any comfortable position, best results are derived whilst meditating sitting cross-legged. This mudra increases Brain Power. It brings relief to people suffering from anger, mental tensions, headaches, insomnia, laziness and depression. It also helps mentally retarded children. You may practice this mudra for as long as you please.
A Reader enquires and Niradhara Marie replies:
I would like to know some more information about the  Mudras.

I was reading about the Mudras, The Gyaan Mudra and the  Varun Mudra. As you have said for the Gyaan Mudra, it is the touching of the  index finger and the thumb.  Please let me know that do I have to  chant anything while touching those fingers and also for the Varun Mudra, if I  have to chant some mantras with it as well.
The Gyan Mudra  and the  Varun Mudra.

Gyan means wisdom and so the Gayatri mantra is a good choice.  OM or AUM is also always an appropriate mantra.  This is the most commonly used mantra and mudra combination.  It is universal in that it contains the chi in a simple and direct way.  You may chant any mantra of your choosing for the goal you wish to achieve.  You do not have to chant with mudras though any layering as suggested, will intensify the experience and effect.

A poetic translation from Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati  (c. 1955)
The incoming, the outgoing, the balancing forces of the universe. We meditate on the effulgent light of Supreme Consciousness, the radiant source of all creation. May that inspire our wisdom.

Varun means water. Water is life. As per acupressure therapy, the little finger of left hand represents left portion of the body. Similarly, the little finger of right hand is symbolic of right portion. The little fingers, affecting the left and right parts of the body, are influenced by fire element. By exerting pressures on both the fingers, the left and right portions of the body become healthy and strong. Disorders are removed,  the energy is balanced. The moisture of the body is purified, we are made almost entirely of water. The state of unconsciousness ends. A particular Shanti Padah is indicated when in prayer for world peace with performing the Varun mudra.  It will cleanse your own inner world of water as well.

Vedic Peace Invocation
OM DYAUH SHANTIR, ANTARIKSHAM SHANTIH, PRTHIVI SHANTIR, APAH SHANTIR, OSHADHAYA SHANTIH, VANAS-PATAYAH SHANTIR, VISVE DEVA SHANTIR, BRAHMA SHANTIH, SARVAM SHANTIH, SHANTIR EVA SHANTIH, SA MA SHANTIR EDHI, OM SHANTIH, SHANTIH, SHANTIH, OM

Translation by Shri Bramhananda Sarasvati (c.1978)
OM may all heavens - sun , moon, stars and all zodiac signs – be in peace and harmony.  May the space between the Earth and the sun, moon, and stars be without pollution.  May all the waters be peaceful and free from pollutions: oceans, rivers, drinking water and rain (the water of the microcosm of our bodies).   May all medicinal herbs and plants be in their natrual state – free from all pollutants (insecticides, etc). May the whole vegetable kingdom, including trees and forests, be in a natural state,  healthy and free from pollutants.  May all the elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether – and all the cosmic forces be in peace and harmony without pollutions.  May our body, mind, and soul and all of the existence be in peace and harmony and free from pollution.  May everything and all beings, in and out, be peaceful and in harmony free from pollution!  And may peace itself be real peace, not artificially made by military and police forces.  And last but not least, may that natural peace, harmony and unity manifest and blossom through us!  May there be peace, peace, peace – physically, mentally, spiritually.
some full posture advice to go with your mudras:
Stretch the arms out straight parallel to the floor, elbows locked
Recommended with chanting at least 3 times
Stretch the arms out straight parallel to the floor, elbows locked
Focus your eyes to two and one half finger widths above the nose at the center point between the eyebrows at the Third Eye
Inhale through the teeth with the jaw relaxed
Exhale through the nose
No mantra is necessary but it is OK to chant your favorite mantra.
To end Inhale deeply and hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat


If possible let me know what MANTRA I have to chant to overcome  anxiety and please tell me about the MUDRAS. (Gyaan and Varun Mudra)
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo

This is a mantra recommended for overcoming past trauma and anxiety in the present. You are humbly asking to be shown your inner guru  (Sat Guru) to teach you what you are to learn from this experience of trauma. You bow to that God inside you, honor yourself as a manifestation of God and let Go and let God take care of you and guide you.


Peace & Purpose -
NirAdhArA
AAKAASH MUDRA

Aakaash means 'space' This Mudra is performed by pressing the tip of the middle finger to the tip of the Thumb. The middle finger is specially related to the heart. This Mudra is good for the heart and bone ailments. So if one is chanting one should hold the mala (rosary) in ones right hand close to the heart. If one is seeking wealth and worldly pleasures, that is required for peace And joy in family life, then chanting should be done by holding the mala And moving the beads with ones thumb and middle finger. Do the above if you have a desire for a son. If one uses ones thumb and index finger (Like the Gyaan Mudra) while Moving the beads, it aids in ending enmity and/or suffering. Do not touch the beads with your nails and do not pass the meru (the centre Bead) If you do, you may not get what you desire. Practice this Mudra only when required, and avoid doing it for long periods.
PRITHVI MUDRA

This Mudra is performed by pressing the ring finger and the thumb. It is believed that an electric current passes through the ring finger (Maybe that is the reason for wearing engagements and wedding bands on it) One generally applies tika with the ring finger and/or with the thumb. There is a two-petalled lotus in our forehead according to Yoga. By touching this lotus with the finger or thumb, invisible spiritual powers are enhanced. If one turns the beads of a mala with the thumb and the ring finger, It helps in ones progress towards enlightenment. This Mudra improves the texture of the skin as it improves health. It helps in gaining as much weight as is required. One may practice this Mudra for as long as one feels like.
VARUN MUDRA

This Mudra is performed by pressing the tip of the little finger with the Tip of the thumb. If one suffers from dryness of the body, this mudra helps in restoring moisture. This Mudra is beneficial for those who suffer from gastro-enteritis and stomach cramps. You may practice this mudra whenever needed.

Have received the following information from an Internet message...shall be happy to give credit where it is due...

    A mudra is a bodily posture or symbolic gesture. In Buddhist iconography every buddha is depicted with a characteristic gesture of the hands. Such gestures correspond to natural gestures (of teaching, protecting, and so on) and also to certain aspects of the Buddhist teaching or of the particular Buddha depicted.
    Here mudras accompany the performance of liturgies and the recitation of mantras. They also help to actualize certain inner states in that they anticipate their physical expression; thus they assist in bringing about a connection between the practitioner and the buddha visualized in a given practice.
The most important mudras are:
1.) Dhyani Mudra.................(gesture of meditation)
2.) Vitarka Mudra................(teaching gesture)
3.) Dharmachakra Mudra.....(gesture of turning the wheel of the teaching)
4.) Bhumisparsha Mudra......(gesture of touching the earth)
5.) Abhaya Mudra...............(gesture of fearlessness and granting protection)
6.) Varada Mudra................(gesture of granting wishes)
7.) Uttarabodhi Mudra.........(gesture of supreme enlightenment)
8.) Mudra of Supreme Wisdom
9.) Anjali Mudra...................(gesture of greeting and veneration)
10.) Vajrapradama Mudra....(gesture of unshakable confidence)

1.)Dhyani MudraIn this mudra, the back of the right hand rests on the palm of the other in such a way that the tips of the thumbs lightly touch one another. The hands rest in the lap. The right hand, resting on top, symbolizes the state of enlightenment; the other hand, resting below, the world of appearance. This gesture expresses overcoming the world of appearance through enlightenment, as well as the enlightened state of mind for which samsara and nirvana are one. In a special form of this mudra, the middle, ring, and little fingers of both hands lie on top one another and the thumbs and index finger of each hand, touching each other, form a circle, which here also symbolizes the world of appearance and the true nature of reality. 
2.)Vitarka MudraThe right hand points upward, the left downward; both palms are tuned outward. The thumb and index finger of each hand form a circle. The right hand is at shoulder level, the left at the level of the hips. In a variant of this teaching gesture, the left hand rests palm upward in the lap, and the right hand is raised to shoulder level with its thumb and index finger forming a circle. In a further form of this mudra, the index finger and little fingers of both hands are fully extended, the middle and ring fingers somewhat curved inward. The left hand points upward, the right downward. 
3.)Dharmachakra MudraThe left palm is tuned inward (toward the body), the right outward, and the circles formed by the thumbs and index fingers of each hand touch one another. 
4.)Bhumisparsha MudraThe left hand rests palm upward in the lap; the right hand, hanging over the knee, palm inward, points to the earth. Sometimes the left hand holds a begging bowl. This is the gesture with which the Buddha summoned the Earth as witness to his realization of buddhahood. It is considered a gesture of unshakability; thus Akshobhya (the Unshakable) is usually depicted with this mudra. 
5.)Abhaya MudraHere the right hand is raised to shoulder height with fingers extended and palm turned outward. This is the gesture of the Buddha Shakyamuni immediately after attaining enlightenment.
6.)Varada MudraThe right hand, palm facing out, is directed downward. When Shakyamuni is depicted with this mudra, it symbolizes summoning Heaven as witness to his buddhahood. This mudra is also seen in representations of Ratnasambhava. In a variant, the thumb and index finger of the downward extended hand touch one another. Frequently the abhaya and varada mudras are combined: the right hand makes the gesture of fearlessness, the left that of wish granting. 
7.)Uttarabodhi MudraBoth hands are held at the level of the chest, the two raised index fingers touch one another, the remaining fingers are crossed and folded down.; the thumbs touch each other at the tips or are also crossed and folded. This mudra is frequently seen in images of Vairochana.
8.)Mudra of Supreme
Wisdom
The right index finger is grasped by the five fingers of the left hand. This mudra, characteristic of Vairochana, is the subject of many interretations in esoteric Buddhism, most which have to do with the relationship between the empirical world of manifoldness and the principle that is its basis-the unified world principle, the realization of unity in the manifold as embodied in Buddha.
9.) Anjali MudraThe palms are held together at the level of the chest. This is the customary gesture of greeting in India. Used as a mudra, it expresses "suchness" (tahata).
10.)Vajrapradama MudraThe fingertips of the hands are crossed. This is gesture of unshakable confidence.


Malas are held draped over the second finger and you turn the beads with the thumb. the first finger should not touch the beads. the reason for this is the first finger represents the ego, the thumb represents the self. so the ego has to be kept out of the way.
when you reach the end of the mala, symbolised by the meru bead, the big one at the end, then just turn it around and go back the way you came. do not cross the bead - crossing it makes the mantras ineffective.

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