Mudras help in moulding the Physical, Mental and even the Moral aspects of the individual.
Mudra is a Sanskrit word derived from the root mud, ‘please’ or ‘delight’ and dravay, the causal form of dru, ‘to draw forth’. Specific folds, mutual positioning, or postures – called Mudras – of the fingers in one or both hands were discovered by the Vedic scientists of yoga for maintaining the natural order and healthy distribution of the Pancha Tattvas – five basic elements. The five fingers of the hand are regarded as representative symbols of these vital elements in the body.
Mudra is the ancient Yogic art and science of gesturing and sealing vital pranic energies in the human body for health, well-being, and spiritual evolution. It also works as a therapy for the body and mind by balancing the ratio of five elements (panch tattvas) when done with hands. Along with Asanas, Mudras are employed along with Yogic Meditation to energize the Chakras and calm the mind. These are advanced techniques designed to improve neuromuscular coordination, culture human emotions, and still the restless mind. Concentration is improved and the mind settles into the body better when Mudras are used. Mudras “gesture” the energy necessary and “seal” that otherwise intangible and elusive moment, fixing it for all time in our heart and nerves, bones and blood, mind and body, soul and thought – creating a solid foundation upon which to build a spectacular healthy, happy and spiritual life.
Mudras can bring about miraculous change and improvement in our bodies. Mudras generate Powers to provide all-round development of mind & body which brings peace and happiness. Mudras look like miraculous remedies. They provide instant relief in many illnesses. Mudras can cure almost any ailment from simple earache to heart attacks. Mudras help in molding the Physical, Mental, and even Moral aspects of the individual. Some Mudras can balance the elements of the body within 45 minutes, while some are fast enough to act within a few seconds. The practice of some of the Mudra’s regularly can cure Insomnia, Arthritis, and improves memory. Mudras have extraordinary powers, the practice of mudras brings about quick and fundamental reversions of the destructive changes in the human body. They also develop virtuosity, social amiability, non-violence, piety, and courteous dispositions.
Mudras show how finger positions and pressure upon certain points of the hands can affect different parts of the body, influencing physiological processes linked with the currents of vital energy (Prana) as well as settle mental processes and calm emotions. Mudras are positions of the body that have some kind of influence on the energies of the body, or your mood. Mostly the hands and fingers are held in some position, but the whole body may be part of the mudra as well.
Mudras have been in use in the East for thousands of years, particularly in Buddhism. Buddha statues often have the hands in certain hand positions. They have been used as a spiritual practice (and still are), as a way on the path to enlightenment. Indian classical dancers fold their fingers in various mudras. At Khajuraho, or even in the murals of Ajanta, figurines are almost invariably depicted with fingers in a mudra. It is little known, however, that Mudra Vigyan is Tatva Yoga — an essential aspect of yoga. All Godly and superhuman persons like Lord Mahavir, Gautam Buddha, Lord Shankaracharya, and others used to remain in these Mudras. Mudra helps in Kundalini Yoga to awaken the Cosmic Energy and to unite consciousness of inner Supreme Soul. Mudras are significant and simple yogic functions by which one can develop internal and external dispositions. A detailed description of Mudra’s is found in Tantra Shastra, Upasana Shastra, Nritya Shastra, Art of Sculpture, etc.
The most well-known mudras are probably the ones performed while meditating. One sits in lotus position (or with crossed legs) and either put one’s hands on the knees, the tips of the thumb and index finger joining, or in the lap, the fingers of the right hand resting on the left palm. But also the Christian crossing of the fingers for prayer is a mudra, as is the Indian greeting gesture (that is also used while praying), where the hands are held in front of the chest, the palms touching. The crossing of the hands puts one’s attention within while opening the heart. The Indian greeting gesture puts one into a mood of respect. Some mudras are performed spontaneously by many people, like the Hakini mudra, where the tips of all fingers from the right hand touch the corresponding fingertips from the left.
Often you might have been rebuked by your mother for twiddling your fingers or dangling your legs. This is considered inauspicious because it involves a waste of prana or the vital energy within us. An excess of wastage can even lead to brain damage; Mudra Vigyan taps this energy to heal the individual. The science of mudras is one of the finest gifts of yoga to the cause of human welfare.
Mudras never generate an excess of energy, they simply seek an optimal balancing of prana, much like a thermostat. So next time you are ailing, remember it may just be an instance of maladjusted prana and an innocuous sleight of hand could be the cure.
Mudra Vigyan is also a science based on the principles of the Indian Medical Science (Ayurveda) which lays down three factors primarily responsible for the body’s ills, Vata (Wind), Pitta (Bile), and Kapha (Phlegm).
10 types of Vayu (Winds) circulate through the nerves of the human body and can be controlled with MUDRAS.
- Pran Vayu: Mouth; central nose; central nabhi; heart
- Apan Vayu: Rectum; regenerative organs; knees; loins Stomach; waist; navel and calves
- Vyan Vayu: Eyes; ears; shoulders; ankles; throat
- Udan Vayu: Hands and feet
- Saman Vayu: assists other Vayus
Nag Vayu, Kurm Vayu, Kriker Vayu, Krikal or Devadutta Vayu, Dhananjaya Vayu, and these winds circulate in places like the skin and bones, etc.
The rules to keep these Vayus in good order are called PANCHMUKHI PRANOPASANA or the five faceted worship of the life forces and use the Mudras to achieve their ends.
The ancients believed there were 24 diagnostic elements, is it a coincidence that the Gayatri mantra has 24 words, the Jains have 24 Tirthankaras, Sanatan Dharma has 24 avatars.
The roots of all diseases lie in an imbalance of one of the five elements and can be corrected with medicines, willpower, and mudras. The Gayatri mantra confirms the worth of mudras with a grim qualifier:
Eta mudra na janati Gayatri nishfala bhavat (he who knows not the mudras will not benefit from Gayatri).
The mantra lists 24 mudras, while an unknown number lies in the many forms of yoga.
Mudras are nature’s way of healing, as intended by nature and therefore, the mandates of nature are to be followed. These are no instant pills, which do give temporary relief but harm in the long run. While some Mudras do give instant relief, for permanent and long-term gains they should be done with sincerity and belief. Remember, the gains from all Yogic procedures are permanent and achieved without interfering with the natural working of the body, mind, or spirit.
Like any Yoga, Mudras must be practiced sincerely and after gaining full knowledge of them. With few exceptions, a practice of these, with partial knowledge can, at the least, result in no gains and if practiced wrongly also produce undesirable effects.
Like any Yoga, Mudras should be learned from a Guru. After understanding the basic principles, the practitioners can generally do most of the Mudras by themselves.