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Indian classical dancers fold their

fingers in various mudras. At


Khajuraho, or even in the murals of
Ajanta, figurines are almost invariably
depicted with fingers in a mudra. It is
little known, however, that mudra
vigyan is Tatva Yogaan essential
aspect of yoga. And, believes Acharya
Keshav Dev, these mudras can help
cure many diseases
In a teeming trans-Yamuna locality of Delhi, India, lies the
Vivekanand Yogashram. Its director Acharya Keshav Dev is a
lean man in his sixties. His eyes are perpetually half-closed
but you can scarcely suspect indolence, rather it seems as if
he is seeking something within. He discourses on the
mysteries of the universe or holds forth on the virtues of
ancient science with evident relish. In awe of nature, he
believes man to be its supreme creation.
The Acharya has spent years studying the ancient systems
of astrology, numerology, music and grammar. He asserts
that the sciences of yore got coated with sugar down the
years. "The ancients believed there were 24 diagnostic
elements, is it a coincidence that the Gayatri mantra has 24
words, the Jains have 24 Tirthankaras, Sanatan Dharma has
24 avatars," he asks.
One of his favorite subjects is the science of mudras.
Emphasizing on hasta mudras (hand postures), the Acharya
says there is a tremendous flow of energy in our hands and
each finger represents one of the five elementsthe thumb
is agni (fire), the forefinger is vayu (air), the middle finger is
akash (ether), the ring finger is prithvi (earth) and the little
finger is jal (water).

"The roots of all diseases lie in an imbalance of one of the


five elements and can be corrected with medicines,
willpower and mudras," he says. The Gayatri mantra also
confirms the worth of mudras with a grim qualifier:
Eta mudra na janati Gayatri nishfala bhavat (he who knows
not the mudras will not benefit from Gayatri).
The mantra lists 24 mudras, while an unknown number lies
in the many forms of yoga. Acharya Keshav Dev has,
however, evolved some of his own mudras, which help
control, many of the diseases that afflict us today.
"Often you might have been rebuked by your mother for
twiddling your fingers or dangling your legs. This is
considered inauspicious because it involves a waste of prana
or the vital energy within us," he explains. "An excess of
wastage can even lead to brain damage; mudra vigyan taps
this energy to heal the individual. The science of mudras is
one of the finest gifts of yoga to the cause of human
welfare," he adds.
Born in 1931, to the president of the local bar council in
Meerut, India, Keshav Dev's house was full of religious
literature. During the turmoil of Partition, he wandered away
from home and began rigorous ascetic practices, living on
fruit juices for six months. He discovered the magic of
mudras when he had an earache. His guru suggested a
mudra that, however, proved ineffective, but it led him to
configure his fingers in new ways. One of the shapes, which
he later christened Shunya Mudra, cured him completely,
and enhanced his aural faculty to such an extent that he
seems to have heard his inner voice too and has not ceased
trying out new shapes since.
His mission in life now is simply to help as manyas possible

by retrieving the lost discoveries of an ancient science.


These mudras are for everyone. They can be practiced for
half-an-hour daily. It is advisable to sit cross-legged on your
bed or on the floor while doing a mudra, but the Acharya
assures that it won't be ineffective if you do not follow this
posture. You could even go for a stroll, with your hands
casually tucked in your pockets, fingers folded in a particular
mudra.
Mudras never generate an excess of energy, they simply
seek an optimal balancing of prana, much like a thermostat.
So next time you are ailing, remember it may just be an
instance of maladjusted prana and an innocuous sleight of
hand could be the cure.
GYAN MUDRA
The thumb and the index finger are brought
together in gentle contact, not pressing hard,
while all other fingers are kept upright. This is
the mudra most people are familiar with.
Great thinkers such as Buddha, Mahavir, Christ
and Guru Nanak are generally depicted in this pose. Its
practice ensures mental peace, concentration, sharp
memory and spiritual feelings.
It cures insomnia and mental disorders, and dissipates
tension, depression and drowsiness. This is a
must for those who aspire to develop telepathy
or wish to acquire extrasensory abilities.
APAN VAYU MUDRA
(Also known as Mritsanjeevini Mudra)
Fold the forefinger down and touch the mound of
the thumb. The little finger should be held erect.

It regulates complications of the heart. In a severe heart


attack, if administered as a first aid measure within the first
two seconds, it provides instant relief.
PRAN MUDRA
Touch the points of the little finger and the ring finger to the
tip of the thumb lightly.
This is a life-giving mudra, it energizes the body and
improves its vitality.
It helps to improve eyesight. A must for those who feel
nervous, tired and weak.

SURABHI MUDRA
Join the little finger of one hand with the ring
finger of the other and vice versa. Similarly,
join the forefinger with the middle finger of the
other hand and vice versa. Leave the thumbs
free.
This controls rheumatic inflammation and
sharpens your intellect.
APAN MUDRA
Join the middle finger and the ring finger with the
tip of the thumb; the forefinger and the little
finger should be held upright.
Provides relief in urinary problems and
eases difficulty in labor and delivery. It
facilitates the discharge of waste matter
from the body and purifies the system.
LINGA MUDRA

Join both the palms and lock the facing fingers together,
keeping one thumb upright. The upright thumb must be
encircled by the other thumb and the index finger.
Makes the body resistant to colds, coughs and chest
infections by generating heat in the body, and destroying
accumulated phlegm in the chest.
It helps in weight reduction too, but has to be practiced with
restraint.
The intake of at least eight glasses of water, and butter and
ghee (clarified butter) as cooling agents in sufficient
quantities is a must.
Due to the heat it generates, it may not be
possible to practice this mudra with as much
ease and flexibility as the other mudras. It
might prove taxing and result in a feeling of
lethargy.
SHUNYA MUDRA
Bring the middle finger down to touch the palm
and bring the padding of the thumb on top of it, keeping the
other fingers straight up.
Do this for 40 minutes a day.
This mudra is ideal for ailments of the ear, and
also helps those of the nose and the throat.
Even five minutes of this mudra will help an
earache.
VARUNA MUDRA
A bit like the Gyan Mudra.

Touch the tip of the little finger with the tip of the thumb
while the other fingers are kept upright.
Regular practice ensures an optimum level of water in the
body and heals all ailments connected with dehydration.

Hand Mudras - Symbols of Deeper Meaning


The symbolic gestures of the hands of Buddha images, called mudras,
are picture tools of identification of deeper meaning: s

The Gesture of Teaching (Dharmacakra Mudra) with both hands in


front of the breast, tips of the index finger and the thumps touching.

The Gift bestowing Gesture of Compassion (Varada Mudra) the right


hand pendant with the palm turned outwards.

The Gesture of Meditation (Samadhi Mudra) with both hands resting


on the lap, palms upwards.

The Gesture of Fearlessness (Abhaya Mudra) the right hand slightly


elevated, the palm turned outwards, also called the Gesture of
Renunciation.

The Gesture of Debate explaining the Buddhas teachings (Vitaka

Mudra) with the hands raised and the tips of the forefingers and the
thumbs touch each other.

The Gesture Warding off Evil (Tarjani Mudra) with forefinger and little
finger outstretched.

The Gesture of Prayer (Namaskara Mudra) with the palms folded


together.

The Gesture Beyond Misery (Buddha-Shramana Mudra) also called an


ascetics Gesture of Renunciation.

The Gesture of Warding off Evil (Bhutadamara Mudra) this is a


protection gesture.

MUDRA VIGYAN: The science of


finger postures

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Guhyam brahma tadidam braveemi.


Nahi maanushaa shreshthataram hi kin chit.
Vijay K. Bansal
Home

(No visible or invisible power can compare with


the enormous inherent power possessed by
man)
What are Mudras? How do we define them?
Where and how Mudras originated
Mudras in Therapy

Mission

A Scientific look
YOGA TATVA mudra vigyan
Most commonly known mudras and how they
affect the body

Calendar of
events
About the
Author

What are Mudras? How do we define them?


As per Eastern philosophies and culture and Yogic
practices, 'Mudras' are systematic hand gestures.
Literally, Mudra in Sanskrit means a posture/seal.

Literature

More deeply, "closed electrical circuits" of the


subtle channels in physical and etheric bodies are
What others say
also known as 'Mudras'.
Mudras
Chinese
Massage
Foods for
health

Some Western writers have defined 'Mudra' as


mystic hand gestures used to focus subtle energy,
transmit teachings through symbols and confer
psychic protection.
Chogyam Trungpa says Mudra is "a symbol in the

Routine habits wider sense of gesture or actionAlso it is a


symbol expressed with the hands to state for
Contacts
oneself and others the quality of different moments
of meditation."
Leaving aside the complex definitions offered by
various people and sects, we will summarise to say
that:
Mudras are a non-verbal mode of communication
and self expression consisting of hand gestures
and finger postures. They retain the efficacy of the
spoken word. It is an external expression of inner
resolve, suggesting that such non verbal
communications are more powerful than the
spoken word.
In Yoga mudras denote the finger and hand
gestures and movements used in the performance
of dances, rituals and rites and while engaging in
spiritual exercises such as meditation. Mudras
symbolically express inner feelings and inner
psychological states. They also generate various
qualities such as fearlessness, power, charity and
peace in the practitioner and to on-lookers.
The Gherand Sanhita and the Vajrayana Tantra
advise that the Mudras are capable of bestowing
great powers and psychic abilities called "Siddhies"
on their practitioners, hence, their knowledge
should not be conveyed to those steeped in sin, to
those that are not true to their word, to the skeptics
and non believers, to heretics and insincere
persons and those who do not observe the
precepts.
Mudras have therefore always been considered an
esoteric science and even as of date there are
thousands of Mudras that are not available to the
uninitiated (like in the Chen Yen Buddhism or True

Buddha Schools). However, besides the mudras


providing spiritual gains, there are mudras which
are likewise of tremendous value in therapy.
Constant researches by the dedicated have
brought a large number of these to the fore
although we still seem to be scratching the surface
only of this sea of knowledge.
Where and how Mudras originated
No one knows for sure where and how mudras
originated. They have been in use for millenniums.
They have not ben known to adhere to any barriers
. They have been found in all continents, practiced
by people of all religions and those professing
none. They are as natural to the body as the daily
needs of the body. All that was required was to
recognize them, identify them and scientifically
understand and use them.

In the Orient these can be observed in the


rituals and rites of the rich cultural traditions
of Hinduism and Buddhism in India, Tibet,
China, Japan Indonesia etc. The paintings in
the caves of Ajanta and sculptures in the
Ellora caves, dating back to 2nd. and 1st.
centuries BC show innumerable mudras.

Hinduism shows the earliest recorded knowledge


and analysis of Mudras. The earliest
documentations are found in Mantra Shastra (the
book of incantations), Upasana Shastra (the book
of worship and prayers) and the Nritya Shastra (the
book of classical dances). The following verse from
Srimad Bhagwad Gita mentions that Lord Krishna
was in the posture of Gyan Mudra when he
bestowed the knowledge of Gita to Arjuna.
Prapannapaarijaataaya totravetre paanaye,
gyaan mudraaya Krishnaaya geetaamritaa duhe

namah

In Jainism, Swami Mahavir Jain and in


Sikkhism, Guru Nanak Devji are always
shown in Gyan or Dhyan Mudra.
In the Occident, cheironomy is the science of
hand gestures (mudras). In Christian art
Jesus, John the Baptist and Virgin Mary are
shown in various Mudras. Reference may be
had from the book "The sign Language of the
Mysteries" by J.S.M.Ward. Even today, the
sign used by the priests of Catholic Churches
while blessing the devotees, is what is shown
elsewhere in this article as "Mahagyan
Mudra"
Egyptian hieroglyphics are a virtual treasure
house of mudras. The postures of their kings
and queens even as mummies show them
holding mudras.
The Babylonian sun God Damuzi depicts
Mudras while descending into the
underworld.
In Islam, the mystical Whirling Dervishes
used Hand signs or Mudras for various rites
and rituals.
Roman art is replete with mudras.

Man only has that supreme power in his soul, that


when scientifically endowed with Yoga, can help
him achieve all the three sublime powers - the
physical, mental and spiritual. All that is needed is
the guidance and the rules of Dhyana (meditation)
and Practice (sadhana)
There are various supreme sciences for the
investigations on and into the human mind and
body. Some of these are:
Mudra Vigyan The science

of finger
postures
Kayakalpa
Vigyan

The science
of
rejuvenation

Brahma
Vidya

Divine
knowledge theosophy

The science
Pranvinimaya of curing the
Vidya
sick and the
defective
The science
Surya Vigyan of solar
energy
Punarjanma
Vigyan

The science
of
reincarnation

Deerghayu
Vidya

The science
of longevity

Swar Vigyan

The science
of sounds

Rasayan
Vigyan

The science
of Alchemy

Mantra
Vigyan

The science
of spiritual
incantation

Samyad
Preshan
Vidya

The science
of Telepathy
etc.

There are many many more covering all aspects of


science known to man today and those that
modern science still has to discover again.
YOG TATVA MUDRA VIGYAN or in short, the more