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Bhumisparsha Mudra – Touching the Earth

Posted in on 7-21-12

 

Bhumisparsha_Mudra

 

In Bhumisparsha Mudra, the left hand lies palm facing up on the seated Buddha’s lap. The right hand lies curved over the Buddha’s crossed knee, fingers just touching the ground. This gesture finds frequent expression in Thai Buddhist shrines. There’s a story behind it:

When Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha) was deep in meditation, he was tormented by the demon Mara who would try and distract him with storms or tempt the Buddha with his three daughters. The hand pointing downwards was Buddha’s call to Sthavara, the Goddess Earth. Rising from within the ground, she wrung her hair dry of water – an action that caused floods and washed away Mara and his demon army.

This mudra is commonly associated with the blue Buddha known as Akshobya.