Symbolic significance

The four folded fingers represent the finite aspects of the world around us. The closed fist shows that the phenomenal world seems to be severely limited, blind and unconscious. The thumb pointing forwards indicates the consciousness and the transcendental aspect of existence that pervades everything. It is often regarded as different to or separate from the material world, yet in fact the manifested universe is really identical with and permeated with consciousness. The material world is linked intimately with consciousness. This is indicated by the contact between the index finger and the thumb.

Furthermore, the folded fingers represent the physical, bioplasmic and mental aspects of life. These are not the complete aspects of man, for there is also consciousness. All of these aspects are intimately linked, yet it is the consciousness that is transcendental and capable of contacting infinity and the whole. This is indicated by the thumb, which points away from the finitude symbolized by the four fingers.

Again this mudra symbolizes yoga - the realization that the individual (four fingers) is identical to and connected directly with consciousness. The four fingers can also represent the gradual unfoldment of higher states of awareness. That is, the little, ring and middle fingers represent different facets of the material world, from stones and trees to animals and birds, all becoming increasingly aware. Eventually there is man, who seems to be no more than mind and body yet as far as we know, man alone can develop awareness sufficiently to know his integral identity with consciousness. This again is shown by the joining of the thumb and index finger.

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Beginners Guide To Yoga

Beginners Guide To Yoga

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