Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hamsa and Buddhism

Hamsa emerged from India and then spread to South, South East and East Asian Countries (Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Tibet, China, Thailand, Nepal).

Buddhism is a belief system with many rich symbols of which Mudras is of great importance as in Hinduism.  It draws attention to two Mudras in terms of it is similarity with Hamsa.

Varada Mudra - Hand faces down in to feel that blessing and fertility will come, and that prayers will be accepted and requests will be given.

Abhaya Mudra - Hand faces up. Do not be afraid, the protective hand and goodness are with you.

There is an interesting link between the number five and Buddhist mudras as it represents the by five-directions and the five colours of white, yellow, red, blue and green.

East signifies confidence and fearlessness. The hands are in a mudra of casting out fear. With the daily occurrence of violence and natural disaster around our world, many people find it difficult to pursue their way forward into the future. The tranquility gained from following the Buddha’s way better enables one to remain calm; like a mountain unmoved by ravaging elements, one can approach each day without fear.

West whose hands are in a mudra of meditative concentration. It signifies infinite light and boundless life. Amitabha Buddha presides over the Western Pure Land.

The central direction represents wealth.  The hands are in the mudra of the ceremony of unction. Humans craving for material-wants find themselves in a futile exercise. At best, the joy derived from materialism is short-lived.

South. The hands are in a mudra of touching the ground, which symbolizes Sakyamuni Buddha’s resolve to overcome the temptations of Mara and thereby gain supreme enlightenment. He represents beauty and dignity. The practice of Buddhism cultivates inner beauty and sincerity. This in turn results in a more relaxed and pleasing external beauty.

North. Signifies calmness and purity. The hands are in the mudra of casting out fear. 

The teachings of the Buddha can purify and calm the mind so that fear-creating problems can be faced, and brought under control.

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