Poses and Gestures

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What do the Buddhas' gestures signify?

Pose, gesture, costume, number of arms, implements (properly called attributes) and accompanying animal ("vehicle") help identify the deity and also, the meaning of the image.  This "language" is known as iconography.

The language of gestures or mudras derives from ancient priestly signs.  There is a recent theory that they are modeled after the actual sounds of the language as well as the meaning of words.  

 

 

 

 

 

Mudras in Buddhist & Hindu Practice "A Dictionary of Mudras" by F. Bunce, 2005.

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