Symbolic significance

This mudra is not only very comfortable for meditative practices, it also has various symbolic meanings. The following is the most common: the straight fingers, small, ring and middle, represent the three categories of nature. That is, nature is divided into three arbitrary aspects: tamas (inertia, laziness, darkness, ignorance, etc.), rajas (action, passion, movement) and sattwa (understanding, purity).

These three states have to be transcended one after the other, in order to pass from darkness into light and from ignorance to knowledge. The bent index finger represents the individual manifestation of consciousness (jivatma).

The thumb symbolizes the all pervading consciousness or reality. The individual (index finger) is bowing down to supreme consciousness (thumb) and acknowledging its unsurpassed power. Yet at the same time the index finger and the thumb touch each other, which shows that though they seem separate, in fact the individual being is one with the supreme. It symbolizes yoga at its culmination.


The Sanskrit word chin means 'consciousness'; therefore this hand position can be translated as the 'attitude of consciousness'.

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