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 …