Bhumisparsha Mudra: Buddha's hand gesture touching the earth
Hand touching earth buddha statue. Source: canva
Bhumisparsha Mudra translates as a gesture that touches the earth. By touching the earth, this mudra will allow you to observe the earth to remove the obstacles on the way.
Among many Mudras Buddhas, Bhumisparsha Mudra was adopted by the Buddha to achieve enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
Being firm about the decision to achieve a certain goal is as difficult as walking through a dark forest without a single negative thought.
This quote shows how difficult it is to achieve your goal. So sometimes you need to witness something that reminds you of your ultimate goal, and in spiritual practices we use Bhumisparsha Mudra for this. It has created an environment that becomes an eyewitness to our journey and at the same time destroys negative energies.
Legend behind the Bhumisparsha Mudra
Once upon a time, Buddha meditated under the Bodhi tree. When Kama (lust) with his three daughters named "Desire, Fulfillment and Regret" could not distract Buddha, next came the Mara, the Lord of Death. Immediately the demon king Mara approaches Buddha together with his army and claims to be an enlightened witness to the Buddha.
Buddha statue touching earth. Source: canva
To confirm his enlightenment, Mara tries to disturb the Buddha. In response, the Buddha remains calm and clear in his meditation practice. When Mara failed in that too, he turned into Dharma (his duty). Then he said as Dharma in search of a disturbance of the Buddha: "Young man, the event of the world requires your attention." On this Buddha touched mother earth with his right.
Mother Earth experienced Buddha's enlightenment and said that he was her beloved son, who has no body here in countless lives that have been given by himself.
Eventually Mara believed the Buddha as a truly enlightened personality and walked away with his army of demons.
In this way, Buddha attained enlightenment with the ability (right hand touches Stharva, which testifies to nirvana) and wisdom (left palm facing the sky).
Anger will never go away as long as thoughts of resentment remain in your mind. The anger will go away once the thoughts of resentment are forgotten.
This mudra signifies the Buddha's perseverance and belief in attaining enlightenment. It is said that Akshobhya Bhumisparsha used mudra to convert anger and delusion into wisdom.
How to do Bhumisparsha Mudra
- Start with the Seated Comfortable Cross-legged Posture Padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sit in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) if you are uncomfortable.
- Straighten your spine, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Relax and watch as you step into a deeper awareness.
- In order to bring hands into Bhumisparsha Mudra, place your right hand over your right knee so that the fingers point down and touch Mother Earth.
- Place your left hand on your lap with the palm facing up as in Dhyan Muda of meditation.
- Maintain the position of your right and left hands without moving. Feel the energy that you are observing from the earth that enables you to ignore the feeling of distracting elements. Find your focus point to look at to improve your inner vision.
- Practice morning and evening for at least 10 minutes. Slowly increase the duration of sitting in the mudra by 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your meditation level.
Bhumisparsha Mudra benefits
When Bhumisparsha Mudra is practiced consistently, it has many positive mental effects besides being physical.
- It strengthens mental strength by promoting focus and concentration. Buddha eventually attained nirvana by maintaining the Bhumisparsha mudra.
- Since Bhumisparsha Mudra literally means touching the earth, this hand movement encounters the absence of an earth element. In this way the blockage in the root chakra is removed and you become emotionally strong against the need for survival.
- It turns aggression into smarter tactics that can be further used to push the negativity away. Buddha remains calm and clear with the verbal provocation by the demon Mara.
- Touching the earth with the right hand in Bhumisparsha Mudra directs all negative energy to the ground and the left palm in the lap brings out wisdom.
- This mudra reduces stress and anxiety. This leads to a calming journey of health related issues.