(Last Updated on : 28/11/2014)
Bhumisparsha mudra is one of the oldest hand postures. Bhumisparsha means 'touching the earth
' and mudra
is a non-verbal mode of communication and self-expression which consists hand gestures and finger-postures. This mudra is more commonly known as the 'earth witness' mudra.
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 helps to calm down the mind and if practiced on a regular basis with whole heart and concentration, it can help bestowing celestial power on human soul.
This mudra also helps one to control mind.
It promotes meditation.
It enhances one's mental state of serenity and harmony.
It helps one to get rid of any anxiety or tension that the individual suffers from.
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.