Meaning of the Mudra
Updated: Dec 23, 2019
There are many reasons people like to have a Buddha statue in their home or establishment. Some may use it for decorating, others may use it in Feng Shui or even spiritual reasons.
Buddha statues symbolize the teachings, inner peace, fortune, and motivation for all humans. Many believe that chanting in front of a Buddha statue will bring some sort of inner satisfaction that gives peace to the heart, mind, and soul.
Buddha statues are always depicted with a mudra. A mudra is a symbolic hand position or gesture. The purpose of the mudra is to evoke a specific concept of Buddhist philosophy. Understanding the symbolic roles of the Mudra will help you find the right statue or sculpture for your home.
The Protection Buddha is shown with Buddha seated and the right hand is raised and facing outward. The raised hand represents a shield. It can also mean “overcoming fear” since one would be less fearful since they are being protected. If the Buddha is sitting or standing with the left hand extended outward or palm up it represents courage and offers protection from fear, delusion, or anger.
The Meditation Buddha has both hands in the lap, facing up with the legs crossed. Sometimes seen with an alms bowl in the lap also. The eyes are either closed or halfway closed representing focus and concentration. The silhouette is shaped similar to a triangle representing stability.
The Medicine Buddha is shown with the right hand facing down with the fingers extended toward the ground. The palm is facing outward toward the viewer and a bowl of herbs are resting in the left hand upon the lap. Tibetans believe that Buddha was responsible for introducing medicine to the world. Those seeking health choose this one.
The Walking Buddha is standing with the right foot behind and starting to lift off the ground. The right hand is raised, facing outward while the left- hand dangles along the left side if the body. It represents the Buddha returning to Earth after delivering a sermon on the Dharma in Heaven. This depiction signifies grace and internal beauty.
The Contemplation Buddha shows the Buddha standing and has both arms lying flat against the chest with both palms facing in and the right arm on the outside of the left arm. This conveys quiet determination and patient understanding.
The Nirvana Buddha is always shown laying down on the right-hand side on top of a resting table. This pose depicts the last moments of life on Earth before entering Nirvana. It represents the Buddha gaining enlightenment in this lifetime that he was able to escape the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth allowing Buddha to enter Nirvana.
These are just a few examples of Buddha statues to choose from. There are so many more Mudras and representations for everything in life you just need to find which one represents you.