Mudra in Buddhism,
nirvana. If his
head is pointing to any other direction, it
represents him sleeping.
also six symbolic hand gestures
each hand gesture carrying a distinct
meaning. The Bhumisparsa is the most common one showing
Buddha seated with crossed legs, left hand
on his lap, palm upwards, and his right hand
on right knee with fingertips touching the
ground. This represents Buddha asking
Mother Earth to witness his Enlightenment.
In the Dhyana the Buddha sits cross-legged
with the palm of his right hand in the left
palm, and both hands lying in
The event in the life of the Buddha
being depicted is indicated by the objects held in the
hands or figures flanking the Buddha image.
Dharmacakra Mudra depicts Buddha with both hands
held in front of his breast forming a circle with
the middle finger and thumb of his left hand
touching the tips of the index finger and thumb of
This signifies the Buddha’s first Sermon
at Sarnath, India, giving an
explanation of the Wheel of Law.
found only on a standing Buddha, shows the right
hand raised and the left pointed downward. This
represents Buddha promising his followers
tranquility, protection and courage if they
accept and follow his law.
depicts the standing Buddha with
arms outstretched in front of his body, palms opened
out and the tips of the fingers pointing downwards
to the earth. This
represents the Buddha blessing his
The Abhaya and Varada show
Buddha’s right hand raised as in the
Abhaya and his left hand outstretched as in
the Varada. This postures and gestures
portrays Buddha blessing and promising
protection to his followers. It also represents his
descent to earth after preaching to his mother in
Mudras of Buddha
Buddhist countries such as Myanmar, the specific
above, as well as other strict directions
and rules must be rigidly followed by all
makers of Buddha images.
As religion, art and culture cannot be
separated in Myanmar life; these Mudras are
enacted by Myanmar dancers and form the
basis for their positions, gestures, and
movements. They also are the basis for the
marionettes and mime actors of the pwes.