A mudra is a symbolic or ritual gesture in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some mudras involve the body, most are performed with the hands. A mudrā is a gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography. One hundred and eight mudras are used in regular Tantric rituals, the Chinese translation is yin or yinxiang. The Japanese and Korean pronunciation is in, Mudra is used in the iconography of Hindu and Buddhist art of the Indian subcontinent and described in the scriptures, such as Nātyaśāstra, which lists 24 asaṁyuta and 13 saṁyuta mudras. Mudra positions are formed by both the hand and the fingers. Along with āsanas, they are employed statically in the meditation, Hindu and Buddhist iconography share some mudras. In some regions, for example in Laos and Thailand, these are distinct, according to Jamgotn Kongtrul in his commentary on the Hevajra Tantra, the ornaments of wrathful deities and witches made of human bones are also known as mudra seals. In Indian classical dance, the term Hasta Mudra is used, the Natya Shastra describes 24 mudras, while the Abhinaya Darpana of Nandikeshvara gives 28. In all their forms of Indian classical dance, the mudras are similar, there are 28 root mudras in Bharata Natyam,24 in Kathakali and 20 in Odissi. These root mudras are combined in different ways, like one hand, in Kathakali, which has the greatest number of combinations, the vocabulary adds up to c. Sanyukta mudras use both hands and asanyukta mudras use one hand, the classical sources for the mudras in yoga are the Gheranda Samhita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The thumb and forefinger on each of the hands are joined, the rest of the fingers are extended. The hands are placed palms-up on the thighs or knees while sitting in vajrasana and this mudrā supposedly activates the diaphragm, making for deep stomach-breathing as the diaphragm pushes out the internal organs when it descends towards the pelvis on inhalation. Slow breathing in a 5-2-4-2 mentally counted rhythm causes prana flow in the pelvis, the thumb and forefinger are the same as in Chin Mudrā. The rest of the fingers are folded into a fist, the non-folded part of the forefinger and the middle finger should still be touching. As in Chin Mudrā, the hands are placed palms-up on the thighs while sitting in Vajrasana and this mudra supposedly activates the ribs, making them expand sideways on inhalation. Slow breathing in a 5-2-4-2 counted rhythm causes prana flow in the torso, the thumb is folded into the palm, touching the base of the small finger
Image: Jagadguru Ramabhadracharya 010
Korea's National Treasure 119. The right hand shows abhaya mudra while the left is in the varada mudra.