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HAND GESTURES WITH RELIGIOUS MEANING

Sanskrit = Mudra, Origin = India


Japanese = IN 印, lit. “seal” or “sign”
Also known as INZŌ 印相 or KAKUNIN-IN 確認印 in Japan

In Buddhist sculpture and painting throughout Asia, the Buddha


(Nyorai, Tathagata) are generally depicted with a characteristic hand
gesture, or mudra. Mudras are used primarily to indicate the nature
and function of the deity. They are also used routinely by current-day
Japanese monks in their spiritual exercises and worship. Knowledge
of these hand gestures can help greatly in identifying Buddha images
(less so when trying to identify Bodhisattva / Bosatsu images). But
there is much variation and overlap among the mudra, and traditions
in Japan differ from those in mainland Asia, so one should not depend
exclusively on mudra for identification.

The most widely known mudra in Japan are those associated with the
Five Buddha of Wisdom (Jp: Godai Nyorai, Gochi Nyorai), a grouping
Teaching Mudra
that originated in India, as did most Buddhist iconography. The five are (aka Vajra Mudra)
eminations of Buddha nature. They embody five fundamental wisdoms
-- wisdom against anger, envy, desire, ignorance, and pride -- to help
us break free from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara). Each of the five has a specific mudra
that corresponds to one of the five defining episodes in the life of the Historical Buddha (see charts
below). Each of the five is also associated with a compass direction, color, and other attributes. In Japan,
only two of the Five Buddha are still widely reverred. The five are:

• Teaching Mudra, Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana) | Center | White | Well known in Japan.
• Fear Not Mudra, Fukūjōju Nyorai (Amoghasiddhi) | North | Green
• Welcome Mudra, Hōshō Nyorai (Ratnasambhava) | South | Yellow
• Earth-Touching Mudra, Ashuku Nyorai (Akshobhya) | East | Blue
• Meditation Mudra, Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) | West | Red | Well known in Japan.
• Other well-known mudra are also presented below

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Tenbōrin-in This gesture was used by Shaka
転法輪印 or Turning the
Nyorai (the Historical Buddha)
Wheel of Law Mudra
when preaching his first sermon
Seppō-in after reaching enlightenment. It
Setsubō-in Dharmachakra Mudra refers especially to the teaching of
説法印 or Exposition of Turning the Wheel of Law Mudra the Dharma (law) and the
the Dharma Mudra
preaching of the Buddha.
Teaching Mudra
Associated with Preaching Mudra
Dainichi; appears also Dharma Wheel Mudra This mudra is formed by holding
with images of Shaka, the right hand with the palm
Amida, and others Vyakhyana Mudra turned outwards in front of the chest and joining the
Exposition of the Dharma Mudra
Converts ignorance and thumb and forefinger. Outside Japan, this mudra is known
bewilderment into the Wisdom of Universal Lawfulness by various names:
wisdom of primordial Mudra
awareness
White/Center/Zenith • Vitarka (mudra of argumentation)
• Karana (mudra of religious action)

• Vyakhyana (mudra of exposition); known as the


Seppō-in Mudra 説法印 in Japan
TEACHING MUDRA. The Sino-Japanese term Seppou-in is probably a translation
of Vyakhyana. There are Japanese scholars who believe the Tenbourin-in (Skt.
Dharmacakra Mudra) and Seppou-in (Skt. Vyakhyana Mudra), are identical. Some
Japanese say the Seppou-in formed by joining the thumb and forefinger symbolizes
the "Dharma-body" (hosshin 法身; Skt. dharmakaya). Joining the thumb and middle
finger symbolizes the "recompense-body" (hōjin 報身; Skt. sambhogakaya). Joining
the thumb and third finger symbolizes the "transformation-body" (ōjin 応身 ; Skt.
nirmanakaya). However, no similar interpretation is to be found elsewhere in Asia.
<above paragraph courtesy of JAANUS dictionary >

Dainichi Nyorai corresponds to the Historical Buddha's first turning of the Wheel of
the Law at Deer Park in Sarnath (India), where Shaka gave his first sermon. The
turning of the Dharma wheel is a metaphor for teaching the way of enlightenment.

QUOTE: This mudra “symbolizes the destruction of human ills, as well as the constant progression of
Buddhist doctrines which penetrate to all Beings and which, without limits, like the cosmic wheel, exist
universally. This is a symbolism which accentuates the movement of the wheel, a continual movement of
the Law which is constantly being transmitted to all Beings." <end quote by E.D. Saunders>

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Semui-in Abhaya Gesture of fearlessness and the granting
施無畏印 Abhayadana Abhayaprada
of protection; right hand lifted above right
Associated with “Fear Not” thigh with palm facing out, fingers pointing
Amogha- up. Said to be the gesture of Shaka Nyorai
siddhi (Jp: (Historical Buddha) immediately after
Fukūjōju Nyorai) and
attaining enlightenment. This mudra is
Shaka Nyorai
often used in combination with the Varada
Converts jealousy and Mudra (welcome mudra).
envy into all accomplish-
ing wisdom
Associated with Amoghasiddhi (Jp:
Wisdom required by karma for
Fukujoju Nyorai; not frequently found in
its completion. Japanese Buddhist sculpture).
Amoghasiddhi means “inevitable success.” The episode
Green relates to the historical Buddha who, while in deep
North
meditation in human form, was protected for seven days
from stormy rain and wind by Mucilinda, the seven-headed
serpent king who spread his heads above the Buddha.
Mucilinda is one of the Naga, a grouping of powerful serpent
beings, including the dragon, who converted to Buddhism
after listening to the teachings of Shaka Nyorai; in Japan,
the Naga are members of the Hachi-bushu (Eight Legions,
Protectors of Buddhism).
Fear Not Mudra, As quoted from JAANUS
The Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System
Literally the “mudra for bestowing fearlessness.” A hand gesture in which the right hand, with its
fingers extended, is held in front of the chest. In the iconography of Japanese Buddhism,
images with the right hand displaying the semui-in and the left hand displaying the yogan-in are
regarded as representing the general style for images of the Tathagatas (the Nyorai), and this
type is termed the Tsuubutsugyou 通仏形 (lit. "form common to Buddhas"). Hence the semui-in
is not restricted to images of Shaka, but is also widely used as the mudra of Yakushi, Miroku, and Fukuu
Jouju in the Diamond World Mandala. This mudra is thought to have its orgins in an event that took place
during Shaka's life. The malevolent Devadatta, wishing to kill Shaka, released on him an elephant
maddened with alcohol, but the elephant was struck by Shaka's spiritual power and fell prostrate before
him In order to emphasize Shaka's greatness, however, extant representations of this episode in India
depict Shaka larger than the elephant, and as a result his right hand is often shown with the five fingers
extended and the palm turned downwards as if to stroke the elephant's head. The origins of this mudra
are not necessarily accepted by contemporary art historians. But in view of the fact that in Tibet the
mudra turned downwards as in depictions of this subjugation of the maddened elephant is likewise called
"granting protection" (skyabs sbyin), this interpretation is still highly possible. Images of Shaka displaying
this semui-in are found in Buddhist countries throughout Asia, but there are few examples of its occurring
in combination with the left hand forming the yogan-in, as is the case in Japan; instead the left hand is
usually shown placed in the manner of the "meditation mudra" (zenjou-in), or holding a corner of the
robes. <end JAANUS quote>

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Yogan-in Varada Primarily represents the granting of wishes to
与願印
those who welcome the teachings of Buddhism;
“Welcome”
Associated with right hand points downward, with palm facing
Hōshō Nyorai, outward; left hand often used instead when
Kashō Butsu, and combined with Abhaya Mudra. In a variant,
Shaka Nyorai
thumb and index finger of hand touch each
Chinese: another.
Baosheng Fo
Associated mostly with standing statues of the
Converts pride, Charity Mudra or Blessing Buddha. When Shaka Nyorai is shown with this
greed and envy into Mudra
the wisdom of mudra, it symbolizes the summoning of heaven
equanimity; the South to witness his enlightenment.
wisdom of essential
similarity Yellow This mudra corresponds to Hōshō Nyorai 宝生如
Source of Secret Things
来 (Skt. Ratnasambhava; not frequently found in
Japanese Buddhist sculpture). Also corresponds
The One who Manages to Kassapa or Kashō Butsu 迦葉仏 (Skt.
the Treasures Kasyapa), one of the Seven Buddha of the Past;
Kasyapa was the Historical Buddha’s immediate
predecessor.

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Gōma-in Bhumisparsha Literally "touching the earth;" associated with
降魔印
Shaka Nyorai, who touches ground to "call
Earth as Witness
also read the earth to witness" his victory over
Mirror-like Wisdom temptation during his battle with Mara (the
Sokuji-in Evil One); made using both hands, with right
Shokuchi-in East
hand hanging over right knee, palm
触地印
Blue inward, with finger(s) touching earth, while
Associated with left hand positioned on
Akshobhya; Ashuku Subjugates demonic lap with palm up.
Nyorai in Japan passions; manifests the
pure spirit of wakefulness
Converts anger and
aggression into Sometimes the left hand holds a begging
mirror-like wisdom bowl; one of the most common mudra
among seated Buddha in Asia; not so
common in Japan however.

This mudra corresponds to Ashuku Nyorai (Skt. Akshobhya), who


is found mostly in the mandala of Japan’s Esoteric Buddhist
sects. Yet, among Japan’s many Buddhist statues dating from the
8th century onward, Ashuku is seldom represented.
Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo
Zenjō-in Dhyana In Japan, this mudra is associated with Shaka
禅定印 Meditation Mudra or
Nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai, and Senju Kannon.
Contemplation Mudra
Jō-in Found mostly on seated images, but some
定印 In Japanese Esoteric standing images of the Senju Kannon are also
Buddhism, Dainichi Nyorai shown with this hand gesture. Made by placing both hands in the
Jōin is an emboides the wisdom of
lap, right on top of left, with palms turned upward and thumbs
abbreviation of the essence of the Dharma
Zenjō-in, meaning realm. touching to form a circle. It symbolizes the Buddha in a state of
“Meditation Mudra” meditation.
------------
Hokkaijō-in This mudra was extremely popular in
法界定印 Mida jō-in
Meditation Mudra of Amida Asia, and examples abound throughout
Mudra of the Dharma Nyorai the region. But in Japan, it was rarely
Realm used for images of Amida Nyorai.
Wisdom of Distinction
Instead, Amida is portrayed almost
------------
One Whose Splendor exclusively with the Mida no Jōin
Hokkai means is Immeasurable Mediation Mudra (see below). In
“Dharma Realm” (Skt Japanese iconography, the Meditation
= Dharmadhatu); Buddha of the Afterlife
Mudra was differentiated into two types,
thus Hokkaijō-in
means “Meditation Buddha of the with the ordinary Zenjō-in (also called
Mudra of the Dharma Western Paradise Hokkaijō-in) used mainly for Dainichi Nyorai in the Womb-World
Realm” Mandala (Taizoukai), and the Mida-no-jōin reserved specifically
West / Red
for images of Amida Nyorai. Despite this variation, both mudra are
In Japan,
this mudra is not still translated as “meditation mudra.” In
used for images of addition, Zen artwork frequently portrays
Amida Nyorai Shaka (the Historical Buddha) with the
ordinary meditation mudra, but the position of
------------
both hands is often reversed (left on top of right, not right on top
Mida no jō-in of left). This is called Zenshūyō-no-Shaka (Shaka in the Style of
弥陀の定印 the Zen Sect).
阿弥陀の定印

Also known as Mida no Jōin Meditation Mudra


Rikitan-in 力端印 This mudra is found almost exclusively in Japan and associated
specifically with Amida Nyorai. In China, this mudra is rarely seen.
Mida is an Outside of Japan, Amida is mostly portrayed with the ordinary
abbreviation of
Amida and meditation mudra (the Zenjō-in, the Hokkaijō-in). In Japan,
associated however, the ordinary meditation mudra was not used for images
specifically with of Amida. Instead, the Mida-no-jōin was used to help differentiate
Amida Nyorai between Dainichi and Amida.
Converts desire, lust
and passion into the
wisdom of
discriminating
awareness.

The world-famous
15-meter Big Buddha
Statue in Kamakura
is Amida.

Formed by placing the right hand over the palm of the left hand,
with tips of both thumbs touching lightly; hands rest in lap, palms
up; right hand represents enlightenment; left hand represents
Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo
Raigō-in Vitarka Closely related to the Dharmachakra mudra;
来迎印
right hand points upward, left downward;
Reasoning Mudra
Associated both palms turned outward, with the thumb
closely with Teaching Mudra and index finger on each hand forming a
Amida Nyorai circle; right hand at shoulder level, left hand
Discussion Mudra
at hip level.

In a variant, left hand rests palm upward in lap, with right hand
raised to shoulder level with thumb and index finger forming
circle; in another variant, the index finger and little fingers on both
hands are extended, but the middle and ring fingers are curved
inward slightly, with left hand pointing up and right hand pointing
down.

Variations
The term Raigō-in 来迎印, or welcoming mudra, is only applied to Amida Nyorai. It refers specifically to
nine different mudra used by Amida when welcoming the dead into the Pure Land (Jōdo 浄土) of
Ultimate Bliss (Gokuraku 極楽). These nine are known as Amida Kubon-in 阿弥陀九品印 (also read
Amida Kuhon-in), meaning “Mudra of the Nine Levels of Rebirth.” Amida’s Pure Land is composed of
nine different levels or grades, and devotees are reborn into one of the nine. In Japan, the nine levels are
sometimes represented in Amida paintings and sculpture by nine different mudra (hand gestures).

Upper Level
Jōbon 上品
Upper Birth Middle Birth Lower Birth
Jōbon Jōshō 上品上生 Jōbon Chūshō 上品中生 Jōbon Geshō 上品下生

Middle Level
Chūbon 中品

Upper Birth Middle Birth Lower Birth


Chūbon Jōshō 中品上生 Chūbon Chūshō 中品中生 Chūbon Geshō 中品下生

Lower Level
Gebon 下品

Upper Birth Middle Birth Lower Birth


Gebon Jōshō 下品上生 Gebon Chūshō 下品中生 Gebon Geshō 下品下生
Source of Clipart: Web Site of Jodo Shu Headquarters, Honen Buddhism

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Chiken-in Vajra Characteristic gesture of Dainichi
智拳印
Nyorai in Japan and Korea;
Mudra of
Also called Six Elements outside Japan, Dainichi is typically
Kakushō-in 覚勝印 or represented with the teaching
"Mudra of Supreme Supreme Wisdom (preaching) gesture, the
Enlightenment” Dharmacakra mudra, for Dainichi
Fist of Wisdom
Associated with Dainichi corresponds to the historical
Nyorai One of Five Buddha's first turning of the Wheel
Buddha of Wisdom of the Law at Deer Park in Sarnath
Converts ignorance and (India), where Shaka Nyorai gave
bewilderment into Buddha of
wisdom of primordial the Center his first sermon after reaching
awareness enlightenment.
Embodies Omniscience and
CHI 智 = the intellectual Wisdom of Universal
Dainichi is also sometimes shown holding a
power to destroy Lawfulness
passions of this world medicine jar in the left hand while the right
and attain Buddhahood In Sanskrit, Dainichi is known hand forms the Abhaya or the Varada
as mudra.
Vairocana or Mahavairocana
The Vajra mudra is formed by grasping the
raised forefinger of the clenched left hand with the
clenched right hand, with the tip of the right forefinger
touching (or curled around) the tip of the left forefinger. This
is also known as the six elements mudra, or the fist of
wisdom mudra, for it symbolizes the unity of the five
worldly elements (earth, water, fire, air, and metal) with
spiritual consciousness. In Japan, Dainichi Nyorai is
especially important to adherents of Esoteric Buddhism
(Shingon).
SIX ELEMENTS MUDRA
“The Vajra Mudra is typical of Korea and Japan, but is somewhat rare in India, so it should perhaps
more appropriately be identified by its Japanese name of Chi Ken-in.” <Quote from Oriental Artifacts >

<Quote from JAANUS > Literally “knowledge-fist mudra.” There are some examples, although rare, in
which the positions of the left and right hands are reversed (e.g., image of Dainichi at Oomishima Jinja
大三島神社, Ehime Prefecture). In India this mudra was known as either jnanamusti mudra or
bodhyagri mudra. In Japan it is generally known as chiken-in. In the iconography of Indo-Tibetan
Buddhism, however, the term bodhyagri-mudra was generally used, and this is translated in Japan as
kakushou-in 覚勝印 or "mudra of supreme enlightenment." There are various theories on the origins and
symbolism of this mudra. According to some authorities, it is derived from the tenbourin-in (teaching
murdra), while others equate the left hand with the male organ and the right hand with the female organ,
and maintain that it represents, by means of sexual symbolism, the central deity of the mandala from
which all the other deities emanate. According to the traditional interpretation of Japanese Esoteric
Buddhism, however, the left and right hands represent sentient beings and Buddhas respectively, and
this mudra is generally interpreted as symbolizing the mutual response of the buddha and sentient
beings. The mudra is most commonly seen in images of Dainichi in the Diamond World Mandala
(Kongoukai Mandara 金剛界曼荼羅), but is also found on other deities affiliated with Esoteric Buddhism,
such as Ichijikinrin Butchou 一字金輪仏頂 (e.g., Chuusonji 中尊寺 in Hiraizumi 平泉, Iwate prefecture),
Sonshou Butchou 尊勝仏頂 (e.g., central deity of the East Stupa on Mt. Kouya 高野), and Daishou
Kongou 大勝金剛. <end quote from JAANUS >

SIX ELEMENTS 六界, Jp. = Rokukai ろくかい


In Esoteric Buddhism, the five elements (Jp. = Goshiki 五行) are combined with one
additional element, the MIND, for a total of six. Statues or paintings of Dainichi Buddha,
the central deity of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan, often portray Dainichi with a
characteristic hand gesture called the Mudra of Six Elements (Chiken-in 智拳印), in
which the index finger of the left hand is clasped by the five fingers of the right. This
mudra symbolizes the unity of the five worldly elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space) with a six
element, spiritual consciousness. (Note: This grouping of five elements differs somewhat from the
Chinese grouping of five.) To some, this mudra equate the left hand with the male organ and the right
hand with the female organ, and maintain that it represents, by means of sexual symbolism, the central
deity of the mandala from which all the other deities emanate. According to another interpretation, the
left hand represents sentient beings and the right hand the Buddha, and thus symbolizes the two-way
response of the Buddha and sentient beings.

In the Mandala artform, which is of special importance to Japan’s Esoteric sects (Shingon, Tendai), the
five elements are considered inanimate (this equates to the Garbhadhatu or Womb World Mandala).
Only by adding the sixth element -- mind, perception, or spiritual consciousness -- do the five become
animate. This equates with the Vajradhatu or Diamond World Mandala. Phrased differently, there is
“unity” only when the sixth element is added. Without the sixth element, ordinary eyes see only the
differentiated forms or appearances.

1. Earth
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Air (or Wind)
5. Space

6. the MIND (spiritual consciousness or perception)


* jump to five elements page *
Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo
Gasshō 合掌 Anjali Mudra of Greeting, Respect, Veneration. A
Añjali
symbolic gesture of reverence that
or
Namaskara symbolizes the unity of body and mind; also
Gōjū 合十 Namaskra a monk's salutation.
Namaste
Pressing one's Palms held together at chest level
hands together in Mudra of
prayer. Veneration (resembles Western image of praying
hands); signifies respect, submission, and
IN CHINA veneration, and therefore not found on
Mudra of
statues of the Buddha (Nyorai).
Kwan Yin (Kannon)
and Yama

Common gesture used even today by


Japanese worshippers to show respect to
shrine and temple deities; also the customary
gesture of greeting in India

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photos


Baku Bandha Below text
縛 Literally means “bind”
courtesy JAANUS
Gebaku Mudra of Binding
外縛 Hand gesture formed by clasping
Gebaku represents both hands together with the fingers
Naibaku one’s vow to become
interlocking. When the fingers are
内縛 enlightened. It also
symbolizes the heart and interlocked on the outside, it is called
compassion of the gebaku (lit. "outer bind"), while when
Buddha. they are interlocked on the inside, it
is called naibaku (lit. "inner bind").
Naibaku constitutes inner
binding and represents the
vow of the many Buddha Because it formed the basis of many
to help all sentient beings.
mudras, considerable importance was
attached to it in Esoteric Buddhism
(Mikkyou), and it was counted among
the mother mudras, Immo 印母. Yet
baku was seldom found in actual
images or paintings.

When used, it was frequently in


images of the arhat (rakan), or
eminent monks, such as Fukuu (Skt:
Amoghavajra; 705-774), one of the eight patriarchs of the
Shingon Sect. Figures shown with the gebaku include Genbou
(691-746), one of the six patriarchs of the Hossou Sect, and
Daikashou (Skt: Mahakasyapa) in a triad with Shaka Nyorai, and
Onanda (Jp: Anan). PHOTOS: www.skhquest.com/articles/ninjakuji.aspx

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Unknown Uttarabodhi Hands held at chest level; index fingers on both
hands are raised, touching each other; remaining
Pending research Mudra of Supreme
Enlightenment fingers are crossed and folded down; thumbs are
crossed and folded or are touching each other at
tips; outside Japan, this mudra appears sometimes
with images of Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana).

Japanese Sanskrit Description & Photo


Unknown Vajrapradama The fingertips of the hands are crossed, representing
unshakable confidence.
Pending Mudra of Unshakable
research Confidence

MORE EXAMPLES
Only the following mudras are used routinely in Theravada Buddhism:

• Gesture to assuage fear (Abhaya Mudra)


• Gesture of welcome or to make offering (Varada mudra)
• Gesture of preaching the Dharma (Dharmacakra mudra)
• Gesture of reasoning (Vitarka mudra)
• Gesture of meditation (Samadhi mudra)
• Gesture of calling earth to witness (Bumiparsa mudra)

NOTEBOOK (study notes):

• Shaka Nyorai's left hand is sometimes held with the palm upwards and the fingers outstretched
(except the middle two, which may be curled in slightly to beckon people toward salvation).
• Yakushi Nyorai usually holds a medicine pot in his left hand.
• Amida Nyorai's left hand is shown with an inverted "okay" gesture, with the thumb and index
finger forming a circle.
• Miroku Nyorai's left hand is usually pointing down.

Five Buddha Families, Five Major Energies, Five Wisdoms


Five Great Buddha of Wisdom
The Five Buddha of Meditation, The Five Jina, The Five Tathagatas
Wisdom against anger, envy, desire, ignorance, and pride

1. Vajra (Diamond) Family. Converts anger and aggression into mirror-like wisdom; main Buddha
figure is Ashuku Nyorai (Akshobhya); East; Blue; represents deep awareness of the sphere of
reality; also represents mind (blue, center), space, and body consciousness

2. Karma Family. Converts jealousy and envy into all-accomplishing wisdom; the wisdom required
by karma for its completion; this family is represented by the sword; North; Green; associated
with Fukujoju Nyorai (Amoghasiddhi) and Tara Bosatsu; embodies the accomplishing of deep
awareness; this family also represents actions (green, north), the wind, and tongue
consciousness.

3. Padma (Lotus) Family. Converts desire, lust and passion into the wisdom of discriminating
awareness, or the wisdom of distinction; main Buddha figures are Amida Nyorai (Amitabha) and
Kannon Bosatsu (Avalokiteshvara); West; Red; family also represents speech (red, west), fire,
and nose consciousness.

4. Tathagata (Buddha) Family. Converts ignorance and bewilderment into the wisdom of
primordial awareness, or the wisdom of universal lawfulness; family is represented by the Wheel
(turning the wheel of the law), and associated with Dainichi Nyorai (Vairochana or
Mahavairocana); Center or Zenith; White; the primordial Buddha, the cosmic Buddha; represents
deep awareness of the sphere of reality, the dharma realm (Skt. dharmadhatu); also represents
body, earth, and eye consciousness.

5. Ratna (Jewel) Family. Converts pride, greed, and envy into the wisdom of equanimity, or the
wisdom of essential similarity; main Buddha figure is Hosho Nyorai (Ratnasambhava); South;
Yellow; this family also represents deep awareness of equalities, goodness (yellow, south), water,
and ear consciousness.

LEARN MORE

• Handbook on Viewing Buddhist Statues


B&W mudra photos on this web page were scanned from this totally wonderful
handbook by Ishii Ayako. Japanese language only; 192 pages; 80+ color photos.
Click here to buy book at Amazon. Another book worth viewing is:

o Mudra: A Study of the Symbolic Gestures in Japanese Buddhist Sculpture,


by E. D. Saunders. ISBN: 0691097968, Publisher Princeton Univ. Press
(June 1, 1960)

• JAANUS DICTIONARY
www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/z/zenjouin.htm
www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/h/hokkaijouin.htm
www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/m/midanojouin.htm
www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/s/seppouin.htm

JAANUS HOMEPAGE
www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/
Type "mudra" in search box and click the GO button
for a list of many other mudra.

• Mudra Pages
www.buddhanet.net/mudras.htm
www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/buddhist-art/image03.htm
Oriental Artifacts, Mudra, Asana & Other Symbols

• Miho Museum of Japan


Statue from Pakistan, Meditation Mudra, 2nd-3rd Century AD
Statue from Gandhara, Teaching Mudra, 4th-5th Century AD
www.miho.or.jp/booth/html/artcon/00000391.htm
www.miho.or.jp/booth/html/artcon/00000804e.htm
Statue from Pakistan, Gandhara, Meditation Mudra
2nd-3rd Century AD, Photo Courtesy of Miho Museum

• Five Wisdom Buddha (Transcendent / Dhyani Buddha)


o Five Wisdom Buddha Page (this site)
o Five Tathagata in Kongokai Mandara (JAANUS; outside link)
o essenes.net/5BUDFAMILIES.html (outside link)
o Traits of Five Buddha Families (Berzin Archives; outside link)

• Buddha Statues from Japan, China, and SE Asia

• NOTEBOOK. Things yet to be incorporated:


MUDRA SHINGON http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/k/kuji/index.html
Kuji Goshin Ho 九字護身法

• MUDRA. http://www.metmuseum.org/special/japanese_mandalas/view_1.asp?item=13