Mudra is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘seal’ or ‘sign.’ It refers to a symbolic hand gesture or position which may indicate either a quality, such as giftgiving, or a specific event in the story of the figure depicted. An example of the latter type is the bhumisparsa mudra, which shows the moment of Buddha’s enlightenment, when he calls the earth as witness.
1. Abhaya mudra – gesture of fearlessness
2. Anjali mudra – gesture of prayer and veneration
3. Bhumisparsa mudra – gesture of ‘Touching the Earth’, also known as ‘Calling the Earth to Witness’
4. Dharmacakra mudra – gesture of ‘Turning the Wheel of the Law’. This mudra represents the first explanation of the dharma, or Buddhist doctrine, by the historical Buddha
5. Dhyana mudra – gesture of meditation
6. Varada mudra – gesture of gift-giving
7. Vitarka mudra – gesture of explanation