What do the positions of the Buddha mean? The meanings
If you are interested in Buddhism, you certainly know that Buddha statues are part of the traditions. Indeed, throughout his spiritual life, the Founding Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) adopted many postures which today have quite characteristic spiritual meanings.
Faced with all his positions, “young Buddhists” generally have a common question. : What do the positions of the Buddha mean?
That’s why we have decided in this article to take stock of this topic. In other words, we invite you to discover on this page the meanings of the Buddha postures and the message they convey.
But beware, since Buddhism has become an international belief, some interpretations may differ slightly from one region to another.
Next, we will comprehensively decipher each Buddha position so that you may recognize them in the future and use them better. But first, let's see what a Buddha pose is and why there are so many.
What is a Buddha position and why are there several?
Before you begin, know that there are " several Buddhas" in Buddhist belief! As a reminder, a being obtains this status when he succeeds in achieving nirvana during his spiritual life.
Although many figures in this tradition can be qualified as such, there is one who is considered the Supreme Buddha : this is Siddhartha Gautama. The cause ? He is the first to reach this state and is therefore considered the founding father of this religion.
Therefore, when we speak of posture or position of the Buddha , it is about the different dispositions that the latter used during his journey in search of awakening and after obtaining its enlightenment. Generally, he adopted them to communicate with his interior and to free himself from the external world. In other words, each of them had a specific role and was not taken at random.
After this definition, one might be tempted to wonder why there were so many postures and what the different positions of the Buddha meant. To answer the first question, we will simply say that nirvana or paradise among Buddhists is not achieved suddenly. Indeed, you have to go through several stages to cross this threshold.
As for the second question, which concerns the meaning of these positions of the Buddha , we tell you everything you need to know in the following. However, note that we have not covered all of the Buddha images that exist. Here we have focused on those commonly found in temples and personal homes.
What do the different postures of the Buddha mean
As we said before, there are many Buddha positions that are symbols in Buddhism. In this part, we invite you to discover the most famous.
Bhumisparsha Mudrā (or touching the earth)
The Bhumisparsha Mudrā represents one of the most symbolic positions of this religion. Here, the Supreme Buddha with the right hand resting on his knee with his fingers pointing towards the ground . As for his second hand, it is resting on his other knee and the palm looks up at the sky .
In Buddhism, this posture means " to appeal to the earth ". In other words, Siddhartha Gautama was using it to somehow ask the earth to bear witness.As a reminder, it was used a lot during the enlightenment of the Buddha under the sacred Bodhi tree
Dhyāna Mudrā (symbol of wisdom)
As before, Dhyāna Mudrā is one of the most popular Buddha positions! Generally used in Thai and Buddhist times, it is symbol of deep wisdom . In other words, this is the posture taken by Buddha in his ultimate meditation under the sacred Bodhi tree. According to many sources, it was used when the latter was awakened.
As for its representation, the Buddha is seated! With legs crossed forward , he has eyes closed , a sign of concentration. As for his hands, they are placed in the crook of his legs : the right hand in the left hand, with the palms looking up to the sky .
Varada Mudrā (symbol of compassion and charity)
In the Buddhist tradition, this statue is quite special, because it symbolizes the 05 perfections of the believer. : patience; generosity ; the moral ; concentration and effort . Usually combined with other statues, it is the very symbol of a perfect life .
As for the representation, we can observe the Buddha seated with the left arm glued to the body and a little wrinkled towards the belly . With the other hand, her palm is towards the viewer with the 05 fingers extended .
Abhaya Mudrā (symbol of fearlessness)
If you are interested in different positions of the Buddha , you certainly know this one! Indeed, it is used a lot in Buddhist films and represents fearlessness (courage). In the spiritual life of the Buddha, this position was taken after he had attained nirvana (enlightenment).
In the temples, it is possible to see this position in two versions: a standing and a seated. However, the common point is in the position of his arms. Here, the left arm remains glued to the body and slightly folded towards the stomach . As for the right hand, it is facing the one who looks with the fingers towards the sky .
Dharmachakra Mudrā (symbol of teaching)
After the enlightenment of the Founding Buddha, the latter taught a Companion for the first time. This being in this position which will later be referred to as symbol of teaching or the activation of the wheel of dharma.
Here, the star of Buddhism is seen with two hands close to the heart ! The left hand brushes the thumb and forefinger of the other hand . Seen from the side, we can see a small so-called mythical circle at the level of the heart.
Karana Mudrā (symbol of protection)
Among the different positions of the Buddha , the Karana Mudrā gesture is prized for the protection it offers against evil spirits and demons. Here the Buddha can be standing or sitting and is distinguished by the position of his fingers! Usually, the right hand is raised upwards , the palm towards the viewer and the fingers slightly curved towards the palm except the index finger and the little finger .
As a global meaning, this posture adopted by Siddhartha Gautama during his spiritual life represents the conjuration of the bad and the discharge of negative energies .
Vitarka Mudrā (represents teaching or transmission of energy)
Like the Dharmachakra Mudrā, this posture of the Buddha represents the phase of transmission of knowledge. Unlike the previous one, this Buddha position was taken several times while the founding Buddha was teaching some people. Likewise, it is considered to be the transmission of an endless flow of energy .
In Vitarka Mudrā, the left hand is as usual glued to the body and folded towards the belly. Here she rests on the knee ! As for the right hand , it is raised and the palm towards the viewer , the thumb and forefinger touch to form a circle which is that of the continuous flow of energy .
What do the positions of the Buddha mean: what to remember
This article is coming to an end! Now we have taken a tour of the most popular buddha positions . Now you are able to recognize each one and decipher its meaning. However, be aware that not all of them have been listed! Indeed, many representations have gradually emerged and populate Buddhist temples.
Sometimes, we grant a particular statue each day of the week to better organize our spiritual life. Contrary to other beliefs, statues taken by Siddhartha Gautama cannot be prayed for. True, they accentuate both and can sometimes protect, but never represent the one who performs the prayers.
If your goal is to surround yourself with some of these representations in order to rekindle your faith, you can find them in many online stores. This is the case with ours, for example, which offers you most of the miniaturized versions of the Buddha's positions.
From now on, we hope that your question of what the positions of the Buddha mean is no longer a question. Indeed, everything has been provided to you in this article to allow you to better understand the Buddhist tradition. Do not hesitate to consult our other articles on the same topic to understand the contours of this belief. Likewise, let us know in the comments if you are satisfied or what is your favorite Buddha position..