Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Divine Manifestation - Sacred Mudras

The sacred Mudras are symbolic ritual hand gestures that play a major role in Hinduism and Buddhism. In addition, some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. Mudras are also present in the Indian dancing tradition, Mudras are an important part of yoga, where Yoga should also have an effect on the body and mind. 

Mudras are a non-verbal modes of communication and self-expression, consisting of hand gestures and finger-postures. They are symbolic signs based finger patterns taking the place, but retaining the efficacy of the spoken word, and are used to evoke in the mind ideas symbolizing divine powers or the deities themselves. 

The composition of a mudra is based on certain movements of the fingers. They constitute a highly stylized form of body or hand language. It is an external expression of 'inner resolve', suggesting that such non-verbal communications are more powerful than the spoken word.

Mudras were used in the Buddhist sculpture and painting of India, Tibet. Mudras indicate to the faithful in a simple way the nature and the function of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities represented. 
Mudras are thus gestures which symbolize divine manifestation. They are also used by Lamas in their spiritual exercises of ritual meditation and concentration, and are believed to generate forces that invoke the enlightened beings.

A mudra is used not only to illustrate and emphasize the meaning of an esoteric ritual but also it gives significance to a sculptural image, a dance movement, or a meditative pose, intensifying their potency. In its highest Tantric practice, it is a magical art of symbolical gestures through which the invisible forces may operate on the earthly sphere. 
The symbolic of the esoteric ritual
An interesting meaning of the mudra reveals the secret imbibed in the five fingers. In such an interpretation, each of the fingers, starting with the thumb, is identified with one of the five elements, namely the sky, wind, fire, water, and the earth. 

Their contact with each other symbolizes the synthesis of these elements, significant because every form in this universe is said to be composed of a unique combination of these elements. 

This contact between the various elements creates conditions favorable for the presence of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Deities at rites performed for securing some desired object or benefit. That is, mudras induce the deity to be near the worshiper.

9 important mudras of Buddhism
  • Bhumisparsa Mudra – “Gesture of the Earth Witness”. 
This mudra represents the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama with His right hand touches the earth with the tips of its fingers (the palm inwards) while the legs remain in meditation posture.

The Bhumisparsa Mudra plays an important role in the history of the historical Buddha Shakyamuyni. While Buddha meditated under the Bodhi tree, he was disturbed by Mara, who tempted him by taking the form of a naked girl. But Siddhartha wouldn’t deviate from his path to enlightenment, and so he touched the earth with the fingertips of his right hand and said, “the earth shall be my witness, I will not let myself be seduced”
  • Dharmachakra Mudra - "Turning the Wheel of Dharma". 
This mudra symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. 

This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom. Significantly, in this mudra, the hands are held in front of the heart, symbolizing that these teachings are straight from the Buddha's heart.
  • Varada mudra - "Boon granting".
This mudra symbolizes charity, compassion. It is the mudra of the accomplishment of the wish to devote oneself to human salvation. It is nearly always made with the left hand, and can be made with the arm hanging naturally at the side of the body, the palm of the open hand facing forward, and the fingers extended.

The five extended fingers in this mudra symbolizes of perfections, Generosity, Morality, Patience, Effort and Meditative Concentration.
  • Dhyana Mudra - "Meditation"
The Dhyana mudra may be made with one or both hands. When made with both hands, the hands are generally held at the level of the stomach or on the thighs. The right hand is placed above the left, with the palms facing upwards, and the fingers extended.  In some cases the thumbs of the two hands may touch at the tips, thus forming a mystic triangle. 

The esoteric sects obviously attribute to this triangle a multitude of meanings, the most important being the identification with the mystic fire that consumes all impurities. This triangle is also said to represent the Three Jewels of Buddhism. The Dhyana mudra is the mudra of meditation, of concentration on the attainment of spiritual perfection. 

According to tradition, this mudra derives from the one assumed by the Buddha when meditating under the pipal tree before his Enlightenment. This gesture was also adopted since time immemorial, by yogis during their meditation and concentration exercises. It indicates the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses, and tranquility.
  • Abhaya Mudra “Protection, Reassurance and Blessing”
Abhaya in Sanskrit means fearlessness. Thus this mudra symbolizes protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear. It is made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, the arm crooked, the palm of the hand facing outward, and the fingers upright and joined. 

Abhaya Mudra can be found in images of standing Buddhas and Tara. The fifth Dhyani Buddha Amogasiddhi is also represented with the Abhaya mudra.
  • Vitarka Mudra “Gesture of Teaching, Giving Instruction“
The Vitarka Mudra is the gesture of discussion and Teaching, Giving Instruction. It is characteristic of those regarded as teachers and instructors. In this Mudra the right arm is bent, the hand raised with the palm outwards. Thumb and forefinger touch and thus form the “Wheel of Dharma”. One finds this gesture often in depictions of the Buddha, but also in pictures and sculptures of the Tara.
  • Tarjani Mudra “Gesture of Warning” 
In Buddhism it is also an expression of warning or admonition. In this Mudra, the right hand is held vertically in front of the chest and only the index finger is stretched upward while the other fingers and thumb roll into a fist.  

One finds this gesture especially in the wrathful deities, Dakinis and Dharmapala ( Dharma Protectors) 
  • Karana Mudra – “Gesture to ward off the evil“
The Karana Mudra is a symbolical protection to keep demons and other negative influences at bay. In this Mudra, the hand is outstretched vertically or horizontally and with the palm facing forward. The two middle fingers are held down under the thumb. The index and the little fingers extend upwards. 

One finds this gesture often in depictions of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava right hand is holding a Vajra that symbolize divine manifestation of gesture to ward off the evil forces.
  • Uttarabodhi Mudra“Gesture of Perfection“
The Uttarabodhi Mudra represents supreme enlightenment and should bring positive energy and vibrations. By performing this Mudra, we connect with the universal divine energy. 

In this Mudra, both hands are folded across the chest. The two index fingers touch each other and point upwards. The thumbs are interwoven. The remaining fingers encircle each opposite hand.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.


Aspiration For Bodhichitta

For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit

By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note

I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Tibetan Wealth Treasure Vase

The Treasure Vase In Tibetan word is "gter gyi bum pa" and in Sankirt is "nidhana kumbha". The Wealth Treasure Vase was introduced by a great Indian master, Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava  to Tibet. He gave specific instructions on how to create and what sacred items need to be put inside them. 

According to the text, the blessings, pacification and improved environment created by the Vases extends for 15 miles outward from the Vases location. By the sacred contents and rituals employed during its creation, the Treasure Vase has the power to magnetize wealth and abundance, improve health and healing, pacify anger , conflict, and increase wisdom and compassion. 

The Treasure Vase is a fat bellied vessel with a short, slim neck. On top, at the opening, there is a large jewel indicating that it is a treasure vase. The tradition of the treasure vase is a very ancient one. The vases were very well known in Tibet for centuries, and many families had them. The Wealth Treasure Vase brings blessings to its possessor. The powers of the vase is concentrated in the building where it is placed, serving to increase the spiritual and material wealth of the residents.
Traditionally, the vase was considered to protect from the negative influences of both human and non-human beings. It protected from fears of life and death. It strengthened karmic connections so that the obstacles to material gain and prosperity were eliminated. It also improved the spiritual environment so worldly and transcendental accomplishments were more easily obtained. 

The Vase provided material wealth and spiritual wealth; if one increased, the other did too. It is an axiom of Tibetan Buddhism that it’s good to fulfill your desires as long as you do not harm anyone else. Obtaining what you want brings a great deal of self knowledge. The Wealth Treasure Vase evokes the inexhaustible wealth within us all.
Wealth Treasure Vases, sealed with precious and sacred substances, are commonly placed upon altars and on mountain passes, or buried at water springs, where their presence is believed to attract wealth and bring harmony to the environment. In relation to Buddhism it specifically means the spiritual abundance of the Buddha, a treasure that did not diminish, however much of it he gave away.

The Treasure Vases have been carefully prepared, sealed and consecrated through prayers and empowerment rituals to invoke the blessings of all the manifestations of the Buddhas and Yidam deities and the vitality of the elements.  Consecrated Treasure Vases bring balance, healing and abundance to the outer world and the inner world.

Inner world is refers to (flesh, blood, heat, breath and mind). Outer world is refers to (earth, water, fire, air, space) that are imbalanced, disturbed or depleted by environmental pollutants. Within the areas surrounding the vase, direct experiences of well being will occur.
Traditionally, Tibetan Treasure Vases are given on auspicious occasions such as births, weddings, housewarmings or new ventures in business premises, consecrated vases can be placed in homes or business to help balance the energy, bring good fortune, bless the residents through spiritual and physical well-being (health and long life) by removing negative energy and obstacles for prosperity and spiritual attainment (improving spiritual practice & virtuous activities), and contribute to the positive energy of the world.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.