In India, from time immemorial, MUDRAS are extensively employed at three levels
- In classical dance forms.
- In Hindu ritualistic worship.
- In yoga & Tantra.
In Mudras – Part 1, we saw its usage in classical dance forms. This section shows Mudras Usage in Rituals and Yoga
MUDRAS IN HINDU RITUALISTIC WORSHIP
No Hindu temple architecture will depict a deity or a statue whose hands are not held in any MUDRA. Every ritualistic worship in Hinduism has a set of prescribed Mudras associated with them. Simplest, significant & the most commonly used MUDRA is the NAMASKARA mudra. Most of the deities are seen in ABHAYA or VARADA Mudra.
Starting from PRANAYAMA, SANDHYAVANDANAM, YAGAS, YAGNAS etc. all have a clearly demarcated set of mudras to be followed in a particular order. Mudras, Mantras & Mandalas form an integral part of Hindu rituals.
MUDRAS IN YOGA
Mudras are extensively used in yoga where the basic essentials are the Asana, Mudra & the Breathing technique. It is basically used by the yogis to communicate spiritually within himself & the universal self. Unlike the Mudras in dance, Mudras in yoga are employed to turn the attention towards the inner self. It acts as a mode for self-realization. Every finger/digit on the palm/foot represents an element of nature. The Pranic energy is channelized & directed as desired with the help of Mudras in yoga. For example, the thumb represents the energy of the ATMAN (Universal self- in physiological terms, the energy of the central nervous system or sushumna nadi) and the index finger represents the energy of the JIVA (Individual self – in physiological terms, the right & the left peripheral nerves of the Ida & the Pingala nadis). In yogic parlance, the energies of the individual self are united to the energies of the universal self & the high meditative state is achieved. Every Mudra has a particular effect on the body, emotion, mind nervous system & the pranic flow with the human organism. The Mudra in yoga is an intra –personal communication tool.
THE HEALING POWER OF MUDRAS