Jnana Mudra ज्ञान मुद्रा
|The tip of the index and thumb are joined and a mild pressure is exerted as if doing a flip. The other fingers are straight and held together.|
Jnana ज्ञान (jñāna): Engaging in, awareness, higher knowledge, knowledge without anything, conscience. This is the "Buddha gesture", the "Wisdom gesture" or the "Teaching Gesture".
See also Jnana Yoga.
The buddha is often shown with this mudra, the "sign of insight": holding up his hand with the thumb touching the tip of the middle or index finger, forming a circle, signifying all round knowledge of the three worlds.
(1) Jnana, in Sanskrit means "the most desirable acquisition in both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Without it there is only ignorance, ajnana, the cause of suffering and evil. Only knowledge enables us to follow the correct path. [(2) knowledge which leads to impersonal liberation: this concerns the atma's distinction from matter and its identity with brahma.
The index finger designates and identifies ourselves. The thumb is the strongest finger and is the only one opposite to the others. It represents the universe as a partner to our self. In this way, linking the index finger and the thumb, we signify the union of our self with the universe, of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The other fingers are held under control and understood as:
- The middle finger represents selfishness and vanity
- The fourth finger represents the attachment to passions
- The fifth finger represents May