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Abhaya mudra

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Abhaya is translated from Sanskrit as fearlessness. The Abhaya mudra is made with the open palm of the right hand extending outwards at the chest level or slightly higher. If you look at this Buddha hand gesture, or mudra, you will also feel the energy of protection, peace and a sense of strong, deep inner security. A powerful feng shui decor addition to any home!

Abhaya Mudra: This is the gesture of protection and reassurance. By this mudra, Shridevi says with affection- “My devotee! Fear not. I am here to protect you!”. Protection from what?

Any fear. Maybe it is fear of examination for students, fear of failure for businessmen etc. But most important fear is that of birth and death cycle of our Individual Self. We should be very afraid to be in this infinite vicious cycle.

Abhaya mudra suggests that Shridevi gives us the liberation(moksha) from birth and death cycle. She offers her eternal abode as final refuge by this gesture. Devi Parvati is the deity of

liberation of souls. So, this mudra emphasizes dissolution function of Devi Parvati and Lord Shiva inherent in Shridevi. So, abhaya mudra bestows liberation(moksha). It indirectly implies the supreme power and invincibility of Shridevi to dissolve all difficulties in the path of liberation.

Abhaya means fearless. According to the Vedas (sacred Hinduism scriptures) this particular mudra has been practiced by the gods, goddesses and sages to induce fearlessness. The abhaya

gesture was used by the Buddha when attacked by an elephant to subdue it. While in modern life we don’t often face the fear of being charged by elephants, we are bombarded by fear

in many different ways. Our nervous systems’ fight or flight response to stress cannot differentiate between the fear of being charged by and elephant (or dinosaur) and our modern day fear (disturbing news headline).

Benefits of Abhaya Mudra:

strengthens inner resolve

quiets mind

relieves feelings of fear

affects body’s energetic system and flow of prana (just like yoga postures)

how to perform Abhaya Mudra:

(just like picture)

face east if possible

sit or stand in comfortable upright position, spine straight

eyes soft, (open or closed)

raise right hand to shoulder level, arm bent, palm face outward, away from body, finger extended

How does fear show up in your life?

What is fear holding you back from?

The gesture of protection (Sanskrit: Abhaya Mudra) or fearlessness is also associated with the gesture of giving refuge, described below. The right ‘method’ hand usually makes this gesture, with the palm

held outwards and the fingers extending upwards. In appearance it is similar to the boon-granting gesture, except that the hand points upwards instead of downwards and it is usually raised to the level of the heart. The abhaya mudra represents the Buddha’s protection from all the fears of cyclic existence,

and is the specific gesture of Amoghassiddhi, the green Buddha of the north. In early Buddhist art the gesture of protection is commonly shown on statues of the Buddha, where it represents his

sovereignty and protective blessings. In early Christian art this gesture is similarly made by Christ and is known as the magna magnus or ‘great hand’