How does mudra assist in meditation?
Mud (मुद्) means to impart Bliss. This is the root from which the word mudrā (मुद्रा) is derived. The word mudrā has two meanings viz. a symbol (e.g. abhaymudrā - the sign of protection) and an act of imparting Bliss.
‘According to the spiritual practice and sects, mudrās acquire various meanings.
The specific configuration of hands, feet, fingers and other parts of the body is known as a mudrā. For example dhenumudrā (mudrā of the cow), ghantamudrā (mudrā of the bell), bhusparshamudrā (mudrā of touching the ground), abhaymudrā (mudrā of protection), etc.
The symbols of the instruments of Deity Vishnu such as the conch, discus, etc. sported on their bodies by Vaishnavites are also known as mudrās.
The glass or crystal earrings worn by ascetics (sādhus) of the Gorakh sect.
Those practised in Hathayoga: Bhuchari, khechari, chāchari, agochāri, etc.
In secret tāntrik spiritual practice, the woman who has sexual relations with a seeker posing as the companion seeker. (In the Tantra sect other mudrās are also important.)
Certain postures of the hands adopted in dance, drama, sculpture are known as ordinary mudrās.’(4) The science of dance was created by taking words from the Rugvēda, music from the Samaveda, mudrā from the Yajurveda and emotion (rasa) from the Atharvavēda. In dance, dramatic representation plays a very important role. One form of that representation is the mudrā.
Specific physical actions performed during particular rituals in ritualistic worship (karmakānd).
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- 1. Asans (postures)
- 2. Bandha
- 3. Mudra
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