Explanation about the Bhumisparsha mudra - hand position

Asian art

See our Buddha statues in Bhumisparsha Mudra

Bhumisparsha Mudra

Buddha statue in Bhumisparsha mudra

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A mudra in Buddha statues is a gesture and body posture holding special meanings and commemorating few of the important moments in the Buddha's life. One of the most common and popular mudras which are found depicted in Buddha statues is the Bhumisparsha mudra, translated as the earth touching gesture. Buddha statues with this mudra are commonly known as the "earth-witness" Buddha and these iconographic representations are one of the most popular Buddhas you can find anywhere in the world.

In Buddha statues with the Bhumisparsha mudra, the Buddha, more specifically, the historical Shakyamuni Buddha is seen seated with his right hand as a pendant over the right knee reaching toward the ground with the palm inward while touching the lotus throne. In the meantime, the left hand can be seen with the palm upright in his lap. This gesture represents the moment of the Buddha's awakening as he claims the earth as the witness of his enlightenment. Just before he realized enlightenment, it is believed that the demon Mara tried to frighten him with the armies of demons and monsters including his daughters who tried to tempt him to get out of meditation under the Bodhi tree. While the demon king Mara claimed the throne of enlightenment for himself, his demon army claimed to be the witness for Mara's enlightenment. Mara then challenged Siddhartha about the witness. Then the former prince reached out his right hand to touch the earth as it is believed that the earth itself roared "I bear you the witness!" Hearing the roar from the earth herself, the demon king disappeared. The following morning saw the first appearance of the one who is awakened, the Buddha. Hence, it is believed that the Bhumisparsha mudra, or "the earth witness" mudra commemorates the Buddha's victory over the temptation by the demon King Mara.

This particular mudra does not only represent the defeat of Mara and his demonic army by the Buddha, it also represents the unwavering or firmness shown by the Buddha while he was in the pursuit of enlightenment by meditating under the Bodhi tree. Similarly, the Bhumisparsha mudra also signifies the union of skillful means or Upaya which is well represented by the right hand touching the earth, and wisdom or Prajna, which is represented by the left hand with its palm facing upward on the lap in the meditation position. As the story tells about the earth being the witness of the Buddha's enlightenment, the Bhumisparshamudra depicts the Buddha's firm belief and effort while pursuing the path of enlightenment. This mudra is also portrayed in the statues of many other Buddhas like the Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya along with Shakyamuni Buddha. It is believed that the Bhumisparsha mudra was used by Akshobhya to transform the delusion of anger into wisdom. Therefore, in Buddhism, it is believed that the Bhumisparsha mudra helps us to bring about the transformation from rage and anger to wisdom.

See our Buddha statues in Bhumisparsha mudra

Antesite stone Buddha statue

Antesite stone Buddha statue

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Old bronze Nepali Buddha

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Antique Burmese Lotus Buddha statue

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Antique wooden Burmese monk statue

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Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

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Antique Burmese Mandalay Buddha

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High quality old bronze Nepali Buddha

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Antique bronze Burmese Lotus Buddha

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Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

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Old Nepali bronze crowned Buddha statue

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Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

1250 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

650 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

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Large old teakwooden Buddha statue

Large old teakwooden Buddha statue

1400 euro
Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

Old Nepali bronze Buddha statue

750 euro
Bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Buddha statue

250 euro
Large and special 17th century Burmese Buddha

Large and special 17th century Burmese Buddha

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Old wooden Burmese Buddha statue

1450 euro
High quality Granite Buddha statue

High quality Granite Buddha statue

1750 euro
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Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
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Antique bronze Shan Buddha

750 euro
Special large antique Shan Buddha statue

Special large antique Shan Buddha statue

5500 euro
Special - very early bronze Arakan Buddha statue

Special - very early bronze Arakan Buddha statue

11000 euro
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Antique Burmese Shan Buddha

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Special antique bronze Pyu Buddha statue

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Antique bronze Burmese Shan Buddha

4250 euro
Small antique Burmese Buddha statue

Small antique Burmese Buddha statue

125 euro
Top quality Burmese Shan Buddha statue

Top quality Burmese Shan Buddha statue

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Special Burmese alabaster Buddha statue

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Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

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