Date: 25 August 2018


Time uploaded in London – 14-47 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5362


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.



Foreign historians wrote that Buddha was against Hindu rituals and he revolted against Hinduism. But if one reads Buddhist scriptures, one would realise he accepted all the Hindu practices in abstract form. He did not do Yagas or Yajnas, but he practised meditation and Japa/prayer. If one looks at the Mudras (hand and finger gestures) one would understand that he was a serious student of Hindu Yoga Sastra. Patanjali’s Yoga Sastra (Science of Yoga) is one of the six systems of Hindu Philosophy.


English word Yoke is cognate with Yoga (mind and body uniting)

Dr Radhakrishnan, famous philosopher and ex President of India, quotes the words of Buddha in one of his books “ I know a lot of other things; but I am not going to tell you (I will tell you only what you need to know). The reason for Buddha saying this was that he did not want to give too many rituals to laymen which they would not understand or may even abuse. In real life Buddha did great penance like the ancient Hindu seers and he used the same word Nirvana etc from the Upanishads. He praised Brahmins sky-high in one full chapter of Dhammapada.


The following pictures from Borobudur, Java, Indonesia showed that he was practising Mudras etc.


A mudra is a hand gesture with fingers pointing different directions or postures. The reason for having different postures is to channelize the body energy. Each Mudra brings or enhances certain type of energy in us.

All Hindu Gods show Mudra mostly Abhaya or Varada.


Mudras are used by Hindu priests differently. There is a book called ‘Mudra Vidanam’ giving a list of over 125 Mudras. A Brahmin who does Sandhyavandana ritual three times a day use Mudras as well. The Sanskrit slokas in the beginning of the book explain the significance of those Mudras. It says Mudras make the Devas (angels and gods) happy and it drives away the sins. The Devatas in charge of each Mantra (spell) are pleased with the Mudras. It also adds one should learn the Mudras used in Archana, Japa, Dhyana (Prayer and Meditation) Kamya Karmas (desire fulfilling rituals), Snanam , Avahanam (Bathing and Invoking), Prathista, Rakshanam and Naivedyam ( Installing, preserving and offering to god). The book classified Mudras under 11 titles and illustrated all Mudras with line drawings.


Regarding the Mudras practised by Gautama Buddha there are some interpretations. Buddhists refer to Indra very often and these Mudras refer to Earth Goddess (found in the Atharva Veda), we come to know that Buddha believed in all those Gods and Goddesses. He advised everyone to follow eight virtues. If one has those eight virtues that will take nearer to god. Ene in higher forms of Hinduism, the Yogis don’t follow rituals like Yagas (fire ceremonies) or Pujas. People at lower level only stick to them and use them as steps to higher. Since Buddha didn’t give them any ritual, Buddhist order slowly invented new rituals and they multiplied in course of time (which we see today).


One example: Buddha did not like killing animals in Yaga or anywhere else. Now Sri Lankan Buddhist monks wait for others to kill animals and bring the meat to them for food. Literally they don’t ‘kill’ animals.

One may wonder if Buddhists of today meditate upon Buddha who did Buddha meditate upon? Did he do Gayatri Japa?

Abhaya Mudra:

Take refuge in me; I will protect you ( No fear gesture).

This is a blessing sign.

Bhumisparsa Mudra

Buddhists interpret it as Buddha asking Bhuma Devi (Goddess Earth) to be witness for his enlightenment. Literally translated it sounds earth touching gesture. So I think he is taking the energy from earth or taking blessing from the earth.

Dhyana Mudra

This is meditation Mudra. preserving the energy or focussing the energy towards body

Dharmachakra Mudra

Turning the Wheel Mudra is a mudra of teaching and transmitting. It will help you to explain anything well.

Varada Mudra

Gesture of Giving, generosity and Compassion.


Mudras are not just gestures of fingers and hands. Here acupressure is also used to stimulate the energy stored in the body. Giving pressure to different places in the hand helps in concentration.


In dance and other arts it is used to just convey a message or thought, for secular purpose. They are different from religious mudras.



Hindu Mudras in Egyptian and Sumerian Statues | Tamil and Vedas


Picture: Egyptian Statue What is a Mudra? Mudra is the hand gesture or the finger position. Gods or saintly persons who practise meditation or Yoga use Mudras. The …




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1 Comment

  1. I am glad this articles brings out the truth about the Buddha, breaking myths propagated by western elements. The pictures are telling. We can’t see them in books.
    1.The Buddha did not break the ancient Hindu Dharma, but only stressed what he felt was needed by the common man at that time. He called his way”Arya Dharma” He cut a new channel out of the mighty current.
    2.The Buddha was not against Brahmins, but defined and praised the true Brahmin.

    The Sanatana Dharma, called Hinduism now, is so full of various elements that each Acharya stresses particular elements. This is recognised by our Sastras themselves. For instance the Bhagavata records that Dharma changes according to the Yuga. In the Krita or Satya Yuga, the main sadhana was dhyana; in the Treta Yuga, it was Yajna; in the Dwapara Yuga it was worship of Archa Murtis, pilgrimages etc. In the Kaliyuga none of these will hold, only chanting of the names of God will prevail. Thus, turning against Yajna, the Buddha was only fulfilling the Yuga dharma!

    The Four noble truths are the statement in essence of the spiritual quest: There is suffering, suffering must have a cause, it must have a cure, and it must have a method. This in nutshell is the statement of Vedanta. The practical method that Buddha prescribed is nothing but Yama-Niyama of orthodox Yoga. The famous colophon of the Bhagavad Gita calles it Upanishad,Brahma Vidya, and Yoga Sastra- these are but statement of the four noble truths in different form.
    The Buddha stressed that desire was at the roof of suffering. This is famously stated in the Gita. The Buddha prescribed renunciation, for all. He did not take into account individual competence (adhikara or fitness). This is where he erred. Thousands entered the fold of monks, were not true to their vows and the whole system got discredited. Also, after Buddhism got exposed to other countries. strange Tantric practices entered the fold and degraded it further. The wholesale advocacy of renunciation weakened the society, especially the ruling class. When foreigners invaded, there was no strong Kshatriya class to defend the land. Muslims butchered thousands of monks at a time.
    But Buddha’s advocacy of select ideals and practices was effective for a time, though the effect did not last, and it ended up as a cult.

    This has strong parallels to the method of Srila A.C.Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada and his ISKCON movement. Prabhupada stressed three strands of 4 factors each:
    1. Eating, sleeping, mating and self defence: these four factors were common to animals and man. So long as man merely lived at this level, he was no different from the common cats and dogs. Man must therefore rise above this, for he is endowed with a thinking faculty and seek the purpose of life.
    2. To embrace Krishna Consciousness, one should:
    – avoid intoxicating substances, including coffee and tea
    -avoid meat eating
    -avoid illicit sex; sex should be limited to marriage and only for procreation
    – take to chanting the maha mantra.
    3. Once in the ISKCON fold a family should:
    – Continue to chant the Mahamantra at least 16 rounds
    – get up in the morning, take bath, cook food and offer it to Krishna. Then it should be taken as prasada or God’s mercy. Nothing should be eaten other than prasada.
    – study sacred scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Ramayana should be studied and discussed among family members and devotees.
    – conduct regular worship of Krishna .
    [Here one can see how the elements of Yama-niyama are deftly combined.]
    Chanting the Mahamantra [ the name of Krishna, as prescribed by Chaitanya] formed the core of his teaching, and this is exactly in accordance with Sastric injunctions. Here too Prabhupada cut through the complex layers of Hindu philosophies , rituals and practices. Of course he gave a one-sided picture of Vedic learning, but it suited the audience and served the purpose. Here, he strongly reminds of Buddha’s method.

    Unlike Buddha who asked people to renounce, Prabhupada asked his followers to take up occupations which served society in a Vedic way, like organic agriculture, fostering cows, etc.

    Sri Ramakrishna also prescribed simple devotion , sadhana and chanting and worship as the proper means for the Kali age.[ Narada.s way of bhakti] As the movement in his name spread and became a cult, they are going back to old Vedanta, obscuring the simple message of Sri Ramakrishna.
    Sri Ramana Maharshi too gave a direct path: inquire who you are. This too did not depend on rituals or much sastric learning. But he never meant it to be mass movement.

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