"When you pray and meditate with folded hands, at that time your attention, concentration, and everything in you become one pointed. Your physical mind, your physical being become more devoted." - Sri Chinmoy.
Mudra, which has been termed as the science of gesture has a deep seated relation with the process of meditation. Mudra or Gestures are used to communicate prayers to the almighty and quite ideally the meaning and purpose of meditation are also supported by the mudras. Thus, there is a complete system which is formed with Mudras and Meditation. Meditation can become an indispensable aid of life. Once practised it illumines the heart, soul and mind. A person practising Meditation can solve every problem in his life, make decisions, get advice and comfort, refine character traits, mobilize immune forces and develop visions for the future and most importantly seek connection with the Divine. Mudra Meditation is a profound meditation corresponding with color combinations. According to tradition, this mudra has derived from Gautam Buddha. The gestures or Mudra was thus adopted. Mudras are also practised for connecting with the Divine. Various Mudras help us find relax and also lead us to inner peace, contentment, and joy.
Meditation is a mental discipline which is a journey into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. It often involves turning attention to a single point of reference. Meditation also indicates every type of physical or intellectual exercise, accompanied with contemplation. Whenever one feels listless, tired, or even depressed, many of the Mudras can work wonders. Meditation and Mudras are for recharging energy reserves in a human being. Thus, various hand-gestures or Mudras are intertwined with Meditation. A huge reference about meditation accompanied with mudra is found in the Yogic philosophy. According to the Yogic philosophy meditation and mudra can affect consciousness.
Mudras can be practised while performing Meditation and it can be practised with one or both hands. According to Buddhist belief, the process of Meditation and Mudra enhance the mystic fire that consumes all impurities. Meditation and Mudra is for the attainment of spiritual perfection. It indicates the perfect balance of thought, rest of the senses, and tranquility. Meditation and Mudra helps in generating wisdom of discernment.
The mind becomes still, after intensive meditation practice. Although, intensive meditation increases awareness of mental energy, the mind tends to open up to subtle sense impressions. Meditation generates mental energy which can be felt round the chest and abdomen. Mudra becomes helpful in such case after Meditation. The Virgin Mary Mudra can be practised by putting the palms and fingers together resting against the chest increases mental energy. Mudras also boost mental energy. When the mid opens up to the subtle sense impressions, `Subtle Mental Energy` is generated.
Mudras or hand postures are used in meditation to invoke tranquility in the mind. The different Mudras that are used for meditation include:
Abhaya Mudra is traditionally used after chanting the Gayatri Mantra, the Abhaya Mudra once used in meditation frees the mind from fears and bestows confidence.
Anjali Mudra is recognized as a prayer position which is practised during meditation. This mudra is closely connected with meditation on the heart centre or chakra, located in the centre of the chest.
The Dhyana Mudra is a universal meditation position and here the right hand is gently placed on top of the left and the thumbs touch each other. The open palms are traditionally said to represent renunciation. This mudra along with meditation also helpful.
Jnana is synonymous to knowledge. It is a mudra which is used especially to invoke wisdom, peace and clear communication. It is an excellent exercise to begin meditation. Jnana mudra is done by concentrating on the pulse which is felt by the fore finger from the thumb tip and breathing as slowly and gently as possible.