Bhumisparsha Mudra: Buddha’s Earth Touching Hand Gesture

Bhumisparsha Mudra
Hand touching earth buddha statue. Source: canva

Bhumisparsha Mudra translated as earth touching gesture. By touching the earth, this mudra lets you witness the earth to clear the obstacles in the path.

Among many mudras of Buddha, Bhumisparsha mudra was adopted by Buddha to achieve enlightenment under the bodhi tree.

Being firm over the decision made to achieve a certain goal is as tough as walking through a dark forest without a single negative thought.

This quote represents how hard it’s to be determined towards your goal. So, sometimes you need to witness something which keeps you remind your ultimate goal, and in spiritual practices, we use Bhumisparsha Mudra for that. It set up an environment that becomes the eyewitness of our journey while crushing negative energies.

Legend Behind the Bhumisparsha Mudra

Once upon a time, Buddha was meditating under the Bodhi tree. When Kama (lust) with his three daughters named ‘desire, fulfillment, and regret’ failed to distract Buddha, next came the Mara, the lord of death. Instantly, the demon king mara along with his army approaches to Buddha and claimed of being enlightened witnessing Buddha 1.

bhumisparsha mudra
Buddha statue touching earth. Source: canva

To confirm his enlightenment Mara tries to disturb Buddha. In response, Buddha remains calm and clear with his meditation practice. Now when Mara failed in this also, he turned himself into Dharma (one’s duty). Then as Dharma, in quest of disturbing to Buddha, he said – “Young man, the event of the world requires your attention”. On this Buddha touched the mother earth with his right.

On doing this, mother earth witnessed Buddha’s enlightenment and said, he’s the beloved son of her who has, through innumerable lifetimes, so given of himself, there is no body here.

Finally, on this, Mara believed the Buddha as a true enlightened personality and go away with his army of demons.

So, in this way, Buddha achieved his enlightenment with the skill (right hand touching stharva witnessing Nirvana) and wisdom (the left-hand palm facing the sky).

Anger will never disappear so as long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.

Buddha

This mudra signifies the perseverance and belief of Buddha in achieving enlightenment. It is said that Akshobhya used Bhumisparsha mudra in transforming anger and delusion into wisdom 2.

How to Do Bhumisparsha Mudra

  • Begin with the seated cross-legged comfortable posture Padmasana (Lotus Pose) or if not comfortable, then sit in Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
  • Straight your spine, close your eyes, and breath deeply. Relax and observe yourself entering deeper consciousness.
  • Now to bring hands in Bhumisparsha Mudra, place your right hand over the right knee in such a manner that fingers pointing downwards, touching the mother earth.
  • Place the left hand on your lap, palm facing upward like in Dhyan Muda of meditation.
  • Maintain the right and left hands position utterly without any moving. Feel the energy you’re observing from the earth that lets you ignore the sensation of distracting elements. Find your point of focus upon which you gaze to enhance your inner vision.
  • Practice it in the morning and evening for a minimum of 10 minutes. Slowly extend the period sitting in mudra for 20 to 30 minutes, varying with the stages of meditation.

Bhumisparsha Mudra Benefits

When performed consistently, Bhumisparsha mudra brings many positive mental effects along with physical being.

  • It enhances mental power by promoting focus and concentration. Buddha finally achieved nirvana by maintaining the Bhumisparsha Mudra.
  • As Bhumisparsha mudra literally means touching the earth, this hand gesture meets the lack of earth element. In this way, it removes the blockage in the root chakra and makes you emotionally strong against survival needs.
  • It transforms aggression into more wise tactics, which further can be used to push away the negativity. Buddha remains calm and clear on verbal provocation by the demon Mara.
  • Touching earth by the right hand in Bhumisparsha mudra directs all the negative energy to the ground and left palm in lap gives birth to wisdom.
  • This Mudra reduces stress and anxiety. This leads to the soothing journey of health-related aspects.

References

  1. The Demon Mara https://www.learnreligions.com/the-demon-mara-449981
  2. Akshobhya https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshobhya

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