Image source: Canva
Vitarka Mudra is one of the Hasta Mudras performed in the Buddhist tradition to absorb the Buddha's teachings.
This hand movement can be seen in many Buddha statues, with a right palm facing forward next to the heart and representing the transmission of Buddha's teachings.
To achieve Vitarka Mudra, curl your index finger to touch its tip with your thumb, keeping the remaining fingers extended upwards. The index finger and thumb are connected in a circle and the palm points forward away from the body. It opens the mind and soul to gain spirituality.
Meaning and interpretation
The term "Vitarka" is referred to as "reasoning or consideration" and "Mudra" means "seal or closure". Buddha achieved Vitarka Mudra while discussing or sharing his wisdom with his disciples.
The discussion about the Buddha's acquired knowledge sometimes even leads to a discussion and explanation of the ideas, hence the name. Because of the discussion or explanation of the Vitarka mudra, it is also known as the Vyakhana mudra (Mudra of explanation).
In English it is known as the gesture of debate or discussion mudra.
Image source: Canva
Vitarka Mudra symbolizes a deeper meaning that has a universal meaning.
Union of the index finger and thumb
- The connection of the thumb and index finger represents the union of opposites that form a unity. It expresses the basic duality of the universe, namely. male-female, day-night and new moon-full moon. This is well described as yin-and-yang or siva-and-sakti.
- The union of the complementary opposites leads to a third element which is a bond or energy that combines them. It is represented by the circle formed by connecting your thumb and forefinger.
Three fingers raised
- The three raised fingers, the middle, the ring and the little fingers represent the tripartite nature of the universe.
- This omnipresent Trinity is well explained as past-present-future; Waking-dreaming-sleeping; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Mother, father and child.
Buddhist philosophy of the Vitarka Mudra
In this mudra, the thumb and forefinger are connected to form a circle at the tips. After Gautam Buddha understood the cycle of birth and death, he used his wisdom to spread the doctrine of truth or the Dharma among his disciples. Similarly, the circle symbolically represents the eternal flow of energy or information.
Tibetan Buddhism describes Vitarka Mudra as a mystical gesture by Taras and Boddhisattvas. In Tibet it is called the Prajnalinganabinaya Mudra.
Performing Vitarka Mudra
- Sit comfortably in any meditative posture.
- Bring your right hand closer to your chest with the palm facing forward, as in Abhaya Mudra.
- Move your index finger inward to touch the tip of the thumb and form a complete circle.
- Raise the remaining center, ring, and pinky fingers to the sky.
The old version of Vitarka Mudra actively involves only the right hand to curl the index finger and thumb. The left palm rests on your lap facing up.
In today's practice, Vitarka Mudra is performed by both hands. The fingers of both hands are placed in front of the chest as described above. The only difference is that the left palm is facing towards the body while the right palm is facing away from it. In this version, the fingers have similarities to the Dharmachakra mudra.
Vitarka Mudra benefits
1. Encouraged wisdom
Vitarka Mudra is generally practiced by a mentor or guru who has attained spirituality and enlightenment. While passing on their wisdom and knowledge among their disciples to teach the same principles.
As knowledge spreads from one being to another, a candle spreads its light. Hence, it is practiced to promote wisdom.
2. Develops a sense of clarity
By passing on and acquiring wisdom, clarity in thoughts and thoughts is brought about. This improves the analytical potential to make smart decisions.
3. Increases energy
This posture is also helpful for maintaining a connection with the outside world (elements) and for fully absorbing energy. So meditating in Vitarka Mudra helps to raise energy.
4. Bring enlightenment
Vitarka Mudra transmits the teachings of the enlightened Gautam Buddha. Together with the development of wisdom, knowledge, spirituality and energy, this ultimately leads to enlightenment.
You are either a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a yogi looking for the truth. Vitarka Mudra is a gesture for you to enhance your journey. Furthermore, the psychological and psychological benefits it offers are the needs of today's busy and agile generation.
All in all, there is no easier way than Vitarka Mudra that can lead you to enlightenment as simple as the curling of your finger.