Mudras: Introduction. Jñana mudra and Kubera mudra.


In all cultures there are manual symbols whose origin and deep meaning are lost in the mists of time, protective gestures or manifestations of will or state of mind, desires, situations. Anthropologically, the fact that mudras, as such, are universal is accepted, although they have gained special strength in the Asian religious sphere and, due to their influence in the West, have spread and become popular. The mudras are, therefore, better known as religious, esoteric gestures, of Indo-Asian origin. However, the word mudra evokes many more meanings: Mudra is, as a whole, yes, a gesture, but like all gestures, it contains information, so it is also a symbol and, when done for a specific purpose, a seal.

In Asia, especially in China and India, mudras have a great religious and ritual value - one only has to see the hands of their gods, or their Buddhas, their sculptures, their dances - which in the West is lost, mixing with magical and spiritual concepts foreign to its origin. For followers of hatha-yoga, considered the psychophysiological work of energies, mudras are, above all, neuromuscular control techniques, which allow mastering these fields. They are also practiced in Tantrism, a mystical-esoteric-philosophical movement (whose "left path", unlike in the culture of the monks, not only does not stray from the mundane, but rather indulges in the pleasures of life in moderation), as useful instruments for universal understanding), which uses mudras to attract divine qualities to itself. But to understand the reason why such gestures are considered effective, you have to delve a little into the esoteric thought, not only Hindu, but also Western, which has provided this value.

From the point of view of Ayurveda medicine, as well as traditional Chinese medicine, disease, of any kind, arises from the imbalance or disharmony of the energies or the five elements, which are represented and linked in the five fingers of the hand. : in the doctrine of the five elements of Ayurveda, the thumb is fire, the index finger is air, the heart -the longest- is ether or sky, the ring finger is earth and the little finger is water. This meets a certain parallel with the planetary association of Western palmistry, where in some traditions the thumb is associated with Mars (whose astrological element is fire), due to the proximity of its mount in the palm. In addition, each planet, as has been discussed, far above, in other articles on astrology, governs or affects a specific part of the human personality or body, in the same way that each zodiac sign is attributed certain characters or ailments. frequent physical This is also related to the hand and the possibility of controlling these influences through its position changes. It is something known and taken as a basis in reflexology and acupressure.

Returning to yoga, each school associates different chakras with the fingers of the hand, but this follows the same line of thought and influence. From the thumb to the little finger or vice versa, the solar plexus, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the base chakra and the sacral chakra are usually the most associated, perhaps because they are the five chakras in vertebral position. Closely linked to traditional Chinese medicine, the association of the meridians is also very common. The meridians are the conduits through which the energies flow, and each finger has a link to them, so it is also considered that in this way they can be controlled and therefore help to heal and balance certain parts of the body, normally the abdominal area (spleen, pancreas, intestines, gallbladder, liver, and stomach).

All of these traditions, deeply rooted in Asian popular culture and with a certain degree of traditional secrecy, have found a place in the Western world due to parallels with their own esoteric science, so that their diffusion and supposed effectiveness have spread much more quickly than other traditions of difficult cultural or intellectual access. Mudras are, on the other hand, often confused with asanas (body postures) and hastas (arm positions), but this is not surprising considering that they share their purpose and are often performed together. Although its effectiveness is not demonstrable, it has also caught on and it is combined with breathing techniques, chromotherapy or music therapy.

There are infinite mudras. There are no mudras established in a closed way, there is not, so to speak, a canon, and also, on the already explained basis of their interrelationships, anyone with sufficient knowledge could execute a mudra distributing the fingers at will according to their needs to be covered. However, there are some that are much more used, and consequently known and widespread. Without going any further, the Jñana mudra, where the index and thumb are united and the rest of the fingers are extended. Jñana or Jnana means knowledge in Sanskrit. It is the mudra, by far, best known for its image in meditation, and it is a harmonic gesture, where the thumb closes a circle with the index finger, creating a cycle. It is said that this mudra is a stress reliever: following all the versions about bodily interrelationships, we could discover that the thumb in reflexology has the areas associated with the brain, the pineal gland and the pituitary gland or pituitary gland, and a little lower , the entire nape. Likewise, the tip of the index finger is linked, according to this alternative medicine, to the frontal and maxillary sinuses. In acupressure, the thumb is associated with respiratory issues, and also the (deep) meridian corresponding to the thumb affects the lung. And in the case of the chakras, the thumb is associated with the solar plexus and the index finger with the heart. No matter where you look at it, within the theories put forward by traditional Asian medicine, it seems clear that they would work precisely for relaxation, breathing and the heart as keys.

But it is that from the Western, astrological point of view, Venus and Mars influence the thumb, responsible for both passive and active feelings, both loving and violent, and Jupiter, the power itself, the ability to carry things out. In palmistry, the thumb usually determines the self, in terms of self-affirmation and recognition, while the index print leadership and self-esteem. Therefore, it is impossible for followers of any of the esoteric branches not to find in this gesture a profound personal force for change and control on a physical or spiritual level.

The Jñana mudra has two ways of performing it, one joining the tips and another where the thumb crushes the first phalanx of the index finger, or in other words, the index rests on the first phalanx of the thumb. The first version is considered to be passive, waiting, open to receive energies, while the second is active and promotes those energies. In addition, it can also be done downwards, with the palm facing the ground, receiving the name of Chin-mudra.

Another simple and common example is the Kubera mudra. Kubera is the Hindu god of wealth, so it is a highly demanded gesture. In this mudra, the index and middle fingers are attached to the thumb, while the other two fingers are gathered in the palm of the hand. Its purpose is wealth, both on a material and spiritual level, which is why practitioners use it in the most mundane situations, such as finding an object or making an instant wish, as well as to strengthen their future purposes and pave the way. This mudra is also associated with the goddess Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu, and goddess of beauty and good luck, for similar purposes. If we carry out the same analysis as in the previous mudra, we verify that in the traditional elemental linkage, the thumb is fire, the index finger is air, and the heart is ether. This would mean a kind of "ladder" upwards, from fire, which always goes up, to air, which reaches space. In the planetary association, Mars, the thumb, which symbolizes power, joins Jupiter, power itself, energy, and Saturn, maturation, overcoming. In meditation, the Kubera mudra is performed primarily to gain self-confidence. This mudra is said to be positive for mucus and breathing. If we compare the information that is presented to us with the fingers that are used, we discover that, in effect, it coincides that the three fingers used are related to the chakras of the solar plexus, the heart and the throat. In acupressure, the tip of the thumb is related to the nostrils, and the space between this finger and the index finger, with colds, throat and sinusitis. The latter is repeated in reflexology. According to the meridians, the thumb is associated with the lungs. Precisely because of this association with the lungs, it is urged to perform the mudra visualizing the inspiration of the aroma of a flower opening. This flower, coincidentally, is preferable to be pink, since the pink lotus is the attribute of the aforementioned goddess Lakshmi, on which she is seated.

With these two examples it can be seen how the apparently random execution of gestures is not random if we delve into Eastern thought. Meanwhile, in Western esotericism these concepts are rarely reviewed, which even enter the thought of astrology and palmistry. For both reasons, both ignorance and conscious fact, many of these gestures are being included within the rituals of visualization and sigils of Western esotericism.

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


-Calle, Ramiro A, Diccionario de orientalismo y budismo. Tikal ediciones, Barcelona, 1999

-Hirschi, G. Mudras. Ediciones Urano-Vintage. Barcelona 2017.

-Rodríguez Santidrián, P. Diccionario de historia de las religiones, Alianza editorial, 2004.

-Diamond, John W. The clinical practice of complementary, alternative and Western medicine. Crc Press, USA 2001.

Related posts:
> Hindu or Jyotish astrology. Astrology notions II.
> Sigils: Magic seals
Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.