Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jnana Mudra

Dear PVR garu,
I have confusion on the placement of index and thumb fingers regarding Jnana Mudra. Got three different versions.
1) A google search on "Jnana Mudra" shows a lot of images where tip of index finger is touched with the tip of the thumb.
However, I remember this being taught to me as "Chin Mudra" in one of Yoga classes. (And that the same mudra with the other 3 fingers closed becomes "Chinmaya Mudra".)
2) An instructror from a different yoga school taught us that the tip of the index finger should touch the root of the thumb and thumb should press the bent index finger with the other 3 fingers open.
(In the above image, thumb is not pressing the index finger ; but we were taught to press)
3) A local priest told me that the tip of the index finger should touch the line in the middle of the thumb (i.e not at the tip, not at the root but the middle line). He also said that the same mudra, when palm is raised to the shoulder level with the open palm facing away from us becomes "Upasana Mudra" and that Lord Dakshina Murthy is sitting in this position. (with one hand, but for Upasana mudra we have to do the same with both hands).
Also, I noticed 2 versions of doing (1) and (3). While some people are maintaing 'O' shape between the index finger and thumb (i.e. index finger is curved) , others are bending the index finger at right angles at the first and second bends / lines (when counted from the tip). So the first version is little relaxed than the second.
Could you please clarify which is correct posture for Jnana Mudra ?
Thanks and Regards,
From: Narasimha P.V.R. Rao <>
Date: Dec 6, 2007 9:41 AM
Subject: [vedic-wisdom] Re: Which is Jnana Mudra
To: Ramakrishna <>, ,

Dear Ramakrishna garu,
Hoping that you do not mind, I am cc'ing this mail to some yahoogroups.
What you mentioned in (1) is correct, with an O made with the index finger and thumb. Though (2) and (3) are also acceptable, (1) is the best.
Chinmudra is identical to jnaana mudra, except that the palms face down. In jnana mudra, palms face up.
Actually, I suggest a mixture of the two mudras. Make a circle with the index finger and thumb with the tips touching. Do it on both the hands. Make the right hand's palm face up (in jnaana mudra) and the left hand's palm face down (in chinmudra). The two circles generate flow of energy in different directions and balance nicely. With the right hand (pingala nadi - jnaana/wisdom), we are making jnaana mudra. With the left hand (ida nadi - surrender), we are making chinmudra. This mixed mudra is powerful and is a very balanced mudra to use in meditation.
The path of knowledge and wisdom (jnaana - pingala) is good and the path of surrender and submission (bhakti - ida) is good too. But mixing both is the balanced way.
Best regards,
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Brihaspati Gayatri, Vishwamitra/Gaathina Rishi Rig Veda 6.62.6