What is Mudra?


Mudra means "that which showers Bliss." It refers to a gesture made with both hands, symbolically representing the nature of the Ultimate Reality and its transformation into various energies and categories; and the Creation, Preservation and Destruction of the Universe (just as Sri Chakra represents these concepts in geometric or diagramatic form).

The five fingers of both hands signify the Panca-Bhutas. The right hand and right side represent Siva, and the left hand and left side represent Sakti.

Just as in the Natya-Sastra [classical dance tradition], mudra or gesture in Abhinaya represents an idea; in this case, those ideas just mentioned above. If a devotee performs puja with these mudras, not only her/his mind but also her/his body will be intensely aware of the great Truth that s/he is trying to grasp. It is there said [in LS 977/dasa-mudrA-samArAdhyA] to be another aspect of the Antaryaga (Internal) Worship, by which Sri Lalita is greatly pleased.

A mudra connotes the unity of the individual jiva with the Ultimate, as an aspect thereof. It is always presented along with the appropriate Mantra Bija or letters.

The Ten Mudras -- from Sarvasanksobhini to Trikhandesi -- are regularly presented in the worship of Sri Lalita. It is not possible to describe them here; they must be learned from a Guru. When a devotee does not know these Mudras, it is better that s/he conduct all worship with Yoni Mudra, which is used by Maharishis as Namaskara-Mudra, and which is a manifestation of Sri Lalita as the Union of Siva and Sakti.

[By Dr. C. Suryanarayana Murthy, Commentary on the Sri Lalita Sahasranama, 1962]


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