Positions and hand Gestures

Asana also means a throne or a pedestal. If the pedestal of lotus is arranged in single petal
row it is called Padmasana. If the lotus petals are arranged in a double row it is called

The pedestal supported by lion is called sing asana.

The pedestal supported by the tortoise is called kurmasana.

It is a sleeping pose of Hindu god Vishnu.

A pose of dancing Shiva and other various tantric gods are found in this position.

The meditative pose is also called padmasana. In this position the legs are crossed closely
locked with the soles of both feet visible. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas seated are found in
this position

A pose of ease-one leg pendent and other resting on a lotus flower. The other leg is in the
usual position of Buddha. Taras, the consort of Dhyani Buddha, Saraswati, and Basundhara are found in this Asana.

The European position seated knees apart and both legs pendent. The position of Maitriya

Seated with right knee raised and left leg in the usual position of Buddha. Right arm
hanging loosely over the right knee. Hindu deities are often shown in this posture.

ASANA (standing postures):
A pose standing either in straight or in various degrees of flexion of body or legs
Boddisatwas are found in this position.

A pose stepping to the left with right leg straight and left bent. The aggressive forms of
god, the Dankinis and the wrathful deities are found in this position.

MUDRA (Gesture):
Abhaya Mudra is the Mudra (gesture) of protection. In this gesture, the arm is elevated
and slightly bent. The hand is lifted to shoulder level with the palm turned outward and all
the fingers are extended upward. This mudra is characteristic of Dhyani Buddha

Bhumisparsa is the mudra of witness (earth- touching). The right arm is pendent over the
right knee. The hand with the palm turned inward and all the fingers extended downward
with the finger touching the lotus throne. The left hand lies on the lap with palm upward.
The gesture ‘of touching the earth' or calling the earth to witness commemorting Gautama
Buddha's victory over temptation by the demon Mara. This gesture is chracteristic of
Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya as well as Shakyamuni.

Dharmachakra Mudra is the gesture of Teaching. Literally, Dharma means" Law" and
Chakra means wheel and usually interpreted turning the wheel of law. In this gesture both
hands are held against the chest, the left facing inward, covering the right facing outward,
the index and thumb of each hand making a circle. It is characteristic of Dhyani Buddha
Vairochana. It is also a gesture of hands exhibition by Lord Buddha while preaching his first
sermon at sarnath.

Dhyana Mudra is the mudra of meditation. It is also called samadhi or yoga mudra. Both
hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched and the plams
facing upwards. Often, a begging bowl is placed. This is the characteristic mudra of Dhyana
Buddha Amitabha.

Jnana mudra is the gesture of teaching. In this gesture, the tips of the index and the
thumb are joined and held near the center of chest with the palm turned inward. This is the
Characteristic mudra of Manjushree.

Namaskar mudra is the gesture of prayer. In this gesture, the hands are kept close to the
chest in devotional attitude with the palms and fingers joined. This is the special gesture of
Avalokiteswara when with more than two arms.

Tarjani mudra is the gesture of threatening or warning. Only the index finger is raised while
the other fingers are locked up in the fish. This mudra is characteristic of most of the
wrathful deities.

Vajrahunkara mudra is the gesture of Adi-Buddha, Vajradhara. In the gesture the wrists are crossed at the breast. The hands hold usually the Vajra and Ghanta. This is the special mudra of Vajradhara and Samvara and most of the
gods when holding their saktis.

Varada Mudra is the gesture of charity or conferring boon or grace. The arm is extended all
way down with palm facing outwards, fingers extended downwards. This is the mudra of
Dhyani Buddha Ranta Sambhava, Avalokiteswara, sometimes of a standing sakyamuni.

Vitraka mudra is the gesture of argument. In this gesture the tips of thumb and index
finger touches forming a circle. All the other fingers are extended upwards. This is the
mystic gesture of Taras and Bodhisattvas