This oldest mudra involves all the five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground. In Buddhist tradition, Bhumisparsha mudra represents one of the classical modes of his iconographic representations. It symbolizes the pose of Buddha at the time of enlightenment under the 'bodhi tree', when he summoned the earth goddess (Prithvi), Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment.
Practice of Bhumisparsha Mudra
In the practice of Bhumisparsha mudra, the left hand is pointed down to the earth and the fingers are left for letting touch the ground. The right hand is pointed upwards to heaven like an open flower. This is complemented by the left hand which is held flat in the lap in the 'Dhyana mudra' of meditation. This represents the union of method and wisdom, 'samasara' and 'nirvana' also the realizations of the conventional and ultimate truths. According to the Hindu mythology, this posture is espoused by Shakyamuni who overcame the obstructions of Mara while meditating on Truth. This mudra is considered to be a gesture of unshakability. Thus, Akshobhya (the Unshakable) is usually depicted with this mudra.
Benefits of Bhumisparsha Mudra
Bhumisparsha mudra can be seen in various statues and images of Gods. In the earlier days, such hand postures were hugely used in the Buddhist sculpture and painting of India, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan. These kinds of mudras are also used by monks in their spiritual exercises of ritual meditation and concentration. Different Indian classical dances too involve these kinds of mudras in their performances.