Mudra

From Rigpa Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Mudra (Skt. mudrā; Tib. ཕྱག་རྒྱ་, chakgya; Wyl. phyag rgya), which literally means 'seal', is most commonly used in the context of Vajrayana practice and in iconography to refer to ritual hand gestures, which, together with mantra, are intended to enhance samadhi. Such gestures can represent particular deities, aspects of enlightenment or offering substances.

It is common to speak of mantra, mudra and samadhi as a triad, wherein mantra corresponds to enlightened speech, mudra to enlightened body, and samadhi to enlightened mind. In fact, the word mudra can refer to the deity's form as a whole or to their insignia. The teachings also refer to four kinds of mudra. Mudra is, together with mantra, the tenth of the ten topics of tantra described in the teachings connected with the Guhyagarbha Tantra.

Subdivisions

The four kinds of mudra are:

  1. the great mudra (Skt. mahāmudrā; Wyl. phyag rgya chen po) (see mahamudra)
  2. the dharma mudra (Skt. dharmamudrā; Wyl. chos kyi phyag rgya)
  3. the samaya mudra (Skt. samayamudrā; Wyl. dam tshig gi phyag rgya)
  4. the activity mudra (Skt. karmamudrā; Wyl. las kyi phyag rgya)

Or alternatively:

  1. the dharma mudra (Skt. dharmamudrā; Wyl. chos kyi phyag rgya)
  2. the great mudra (Skt. mahāmudrā; Wyl. phyag rgya chen po)
  3. the primordial wisdom mudra (Skt. jñanamudrā; Wyl. ye shes phyag rgya)
  4. the activity mudra (Skt. karmamudrā; Wyl. las kyi phyag rgya)

Depending on the context, mudras of hand gestures could be either samaya mudras or activity mudras.

Mudras (Hand Gestures) Which Are Common to All Three Yanas

External Links

Personal tools
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial 3.0 License.