Uttarabodhi Mudra (Enlightenment Gesture): How to Do, Benefits

Uttarabodhi Mudra (enlightenment gesture)
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When fear dispels, the craving and attachment of worldly desires disappear which leads to enlightenment.

Uttarabodhi mudra is a Buddhist hand gesture which dispels fear & leads to enlightenment, hence known as ‘mudra of enlightenment’. This mudra fuels energy and refreshment within oneself to get rid of a sense of fear.

It is performed by entangling all the fingers together. Only the index fingers and thumbs are extended and joined together at the tips pointing upward and downward respectively.

Try out Uttarabodhi mudra anytime with the given instructions to get the maximum benefits.

Uttarabodhi Mudra Meaning

“Uttarabodhi” is a composite Sanskrit term, where, “Uttara” refers to “upwards” and “Bodhi” refers to the “closer to awakening” 1. Hence, Uttarabodhi Mudra means a gesture of moving energy upward to reach a higher state of awakened intellect i.e. enlightenment.

Symbolic and Mythological Aspects

Uttarabodhi mudra is practiced as a spiritual practice to develop a sense of unity within oneself. It helps to form a connection with divine supreme power with ultimate enlightenment, hence the name.

Besides all these, this mudra shares its roots with Buddhism. It is often seen in the images of Vairochana, one of the five Transcendent Buddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism 2.

The specialty of Uttarabodhi mudra is the Buddhist belief behind this practice. It states that “there is nothing wrong or frightening in the world and you need not fear anything other than Godwho will take care of everything in the long run.” Hence, Uttarabodhi mudra has a great significance in Buddhism.

Due to the involvement of all the fingers, it stimulates all the five elements and majorly targets achieving happiness and energy. Uttarabodhi mudra is also sometimes referred to as “best-perfection” mudra.

How to Do Uttarabodhi Mudra

Uttarabodhi Mudra practice
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Sit comfortably in padmasana. Close your eyes and hold your hands near the navel. Interlock the fingers of both the hands together keeping the thumbs and forefingers extended. Point the tips of extended forefingers upward while the thumbs downward. You can also keep the left thumbs crossed over the right.

Now once hands are positioned into Uttarabodhi Mudra, start moving hands from the diaphragm and rise upward through the central channel to reach the heart.

This upward ascent of this mudra creates an energy circuit that brings forth depth and richness.

Awareness and Duration

  • You can practice Uttarabodhi mudra at any time of the day or at any place as needed.
  • Try practicing it for at least 15 minutes one to three times each day.
  • Performing Uttarabodhi mudra while lying down is completely acceptable. Just make sure that in this reclined pose the tips of the thumbs rest on the lower end of the sternum.
  • Draw your awareness towards the tips of index fingers pointing vertically up and the flow of your breath.

Uttarabodhi Mudra with yoga poses

  • Practice Uttarabodhi mudra while performing Warrior poses I, II, and III. This combination represents strength, empowerment, and directs energy forward to other beings respectively.
  • Meditating holding this mudra helps to promote spirituality by enriching a deeper relationship with the divine.
  • You can also hold this mudra while performing Anjaneyasana.
  • It is best to combine Uttarabodhi mudra with standing backbends to feel energized, rejuvenated, and recharged.

How it works

It is important to understand how does this hand gesture uplifts the energy levels. This is so because Uttarabodhi mudra strengthens the Metal element.

According to Chinese philosophy 3, the Metal element is associated with the lungs and large intestine. Also, it affects the nervous system and is related to energetic impulses.

The metal element allows the Universal force chi or prana to enter from outside to the inside of the body. It replenishes the internal energy reserves of the body.

Chakras and Panchatattva

All five fingers are involved in holding Uttarabodhi mudra. These correspond to the following elements and energy chakras to benefits accordingly:

In this way, all the energy chakras are balanced and synchronized holding Uttarabodhi mudra. Hence, it promotes the energy levels within the practitioner.

Benefits of Uttarabodhi Mudra

1. Calms the mind This mudra is known to provide soothing effects on excited nerves. It enables the practitioner to face overwhelming situations with calmness.

2. Boosts confidence Holding hands in Uttarabodhi mudra stimulates the Manipura chakra. Its activation evokes self-confidence, enables decision-making skills. It also helps in getting rid of insecurities.

3. Inculcates fearlessness This hand gestures also activates the root (Muladhara) chakra. This helps in overcoming fears and facing challenges. The issues like stage fright or fear of public speaking can be easily resolved.

4. Enhances energy levels The breathing pattern while holding Uttarabodhi mudra fortifies the inhalation. It gets revived within the lungs and heart region, thus making the respiratory and circulatory systems efficient.

Therefore, by enhancing the flow of prana within the body, uttarbodhi mudra also enhances energy levels.

5. Promotes optimism – This mudra also protects the body and mind from negativity. Any physical or psychological stress can be easily drained when uttarbodhi mudra practiced consistently. Thus it brings clarity of mind and improves concentration power.

When dealing with a difficult task or feeling nervous, practicing uttarabodhi mudra calms the nervous system and promotes positivity in mind.

6. Spiritual benefits – Meditating with Uttarbodhi mudra develops an ultimate sense of completeness within oneself. Therefore it serves as a gateway to attain supreme enlightenment and connection with the divine.

Conclusion

Keeping all the benefits in mind, practicing Uttarabodhi Mudra is a must-try gesture.

Life might seems rough sometimes and hits us hard with its challenges. But now you can face anything head-on by spending a few minutes holding this simple hasta mudra.

References

  1. Enlightenment in Buddhism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_in_Buddhism
  2. Vairochana https://www.britannica.com/topic/Vairochana
  3. Metal (wuxing) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_(wuxing)

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