Friday, April 18, 2014

Bhumisparsha mudra

Bhumisparsha mudra,long associated with the Buddha -- one of the most iconic mudras that we see all the time, but hardly choose to use personally, including in  meditation. It could be that we are naturally inhibited from assuming a mudra that was part of the enlightened one's lore. The other is, that we simply perhaps do not even know it is actually a mudra -- which means the Earth-touching hand gesture.

The right hand of the Buddha is loosely touching the ground. Hence the name. The left hand is normally placed on the lap, so the  palm is facing up, in a relaxed hand gesture. The left hand is the female and cooling aspect of most mudras. When both hands are placed in this fashion, they create the Bhairav (Male/ Terrible warlord Bhairav) hand gesture. When the left hand is placed on top, it becomes Bhairavi mudra -- the female aspect.
In this particular mudra, one hand -- the left, is therefore in the cooling mudra, while the other hand (right) is in a grounding one. Both keep one grounded and cool. What a lovely mudra..
But a point of note: When the palm is down, it causes the downward prana (referred in yoga as apana,) to flow. When the palm is upwards, it causes the prana (of the chest region/stimulating in nature) to flow.Usually only teachers and gurus take the downward palm position -- it is the intellectual aspect.  The palm up gesture, on the other hand, is that of a student, receptive. The teacher gives, the student receives. Capisce?

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