Dharmachakra Mudra: Buddha’s Wheel Gesture of Dharma

Dharma means ‘Divine Law’ and Chakra means ‘Wheel’. Combining both terms, Dharmachakra translates “wheel of divine law”. On this Dharma itself, the basic principle of Hinduism and Buddhism is based.

Dharmachakra mudra is a hand gesture that lets you understand Dharma and emulate the righteous law of a Dharma. According to Hinduism, Dharma is as simple as the correct way of living.

Buddha in Dharamachakra mudra preaching knowledge of Dharma. | Source: buddhanet.net

Buddha imbibed this simple knowledge of Dharma and attained enlightenment. The deer park in Sarnath 1 was the place where Buddha first time preached the knowledge of Dharma while putting hands in Dharmachakra mudra.

Since Dharma also comprises cosmic law and order, it’s said, one who practices this mudra taps into the universal energy. This mudra brings positivity and gives a calmer mind as this mudra represents the enlightened mind of Buddha.

Dharmachakra Mudra: Wheel of Dharma

In Dharmachakra Mudra the index finger of both hands touches the thumb and forms wheels (as we do in Gyan mudra). Both hands represent two wheels of life and death.

The wheel formed with right hand shows the beginning of life and the wheel formed by left hand shows the transition from this life to the next life. Just like yin and yang, the wheel made by left and right hand represents continuous flow of energy mutually arising which transforms into one birth to rebirth.

This constant flow of energy of this lifetime to the other is the wheel of divine cosmic law which is Dharmachakra Mudra. Practicing this mudra generated the heart of the practitioner with a constant flow of energy.

Significance of Dharma Chakra Mudra

Buddha attained enlightenment by meditation. He understood the cycle of birth and death as he was in a state of Nirvana 2.

When he reached the higher realm of spiritual awakening he practiced the Dharmachakra Mudra which shows the cycle of birth and death. This can also be depicted as method and knowledge go hand in hand.

Those who observed Buddha in this mudra gained peace and joy. The practitioner does not dwell in the thoughts but remains in thoughtlessness holding this mudra near to the heart chakra. This mudra gives spiritual awakening and grounding of overstimulated energies. It brings peace and integration of energies in the life of those who practice this gesture.

Each finger of both the hand in Dharmachakra mudra signifies the teachings of the Buddha.

Fingers of the right hands show the three important teachings of Buddha.

  • The middle finger signifies the one who is listening to the teachings of the Buddha
  • The ring finger means “a lone buddha” or “a private buddha”. It means each one of us is a Buddha.
  • The little finger shows the Mahayana or ‘Great Vehicle’ which will carry the suffering of this world to another world

The left-hand fingers show the three Jewels of Buddhism, the Dharma, the Buddha & the Sangha.

Dharmachakra Mudra Performing Guide

hands in Dharmachakra Mudra. Source: Shutterstock

Firstly get yourself an open and calm place to perform this meditative posture with a hand gesture. Begin with sitting in a comfortable posture such as Sukhasana (simple pose), Padmasana (lotus pose).

Relax your body and prepare for the Dharmachakra Mudra. Center your attention to your heart. Close your eyes. Relax your jaws. Do not tighten your facial muscle. Keep your lips slightly apart. Take a moment or two, deep breaths, and relax.

  • Bring your palms to touch in the Anjali Mudra. Focus on your fingers when they touch, feel the integration of the left and right side of the body.
  • Bring both the hands in front of your heart chakra (chest).
  • Now place the tip of the index finger of both hands on the tips of the thumb. Two circles have formed with the thumb touching the tip of the index finger. This is called Gyan Mudra.
  • The left palm must face your heart.
  • Now turn the right hand. Your right palm is now facing opposite to your body.
  • Let the middle finger of your left hand touch the joining place of thumb and index finger making a circle with the right hand.
  • Bring your focus to the fingers of both hands.

You can be in this meditative mudra for 10 minutes or as much as you want. Focus on your breathing while being in this position. Breathe deeply.

Additional Gear

To achieve optimum benefit from Dharmachakra mudra the practitioner must try to meditate in this position.

Meditation is simple yet not so easy. The thoughts will start coming as soon you will try to meditate especially if you do not meditate regularly.

To keep the mind free from thoughts, the practitioner must focus on the breath. Breathe deeply and feel your lungs being filled with air. While exhaling, focus on how the breath is moving, emptying the mind and stress of the body.

You can chant:

Om Mani Padme Hum” while sitting in this mudra.

“Om mani Padme hum” means Jewel of the Lotus.

It is one of the most powerful Buddhist mantras. It means that both knowledge and wisdom brings one to enlightenment. You can transform all your impurity of thoughts, body, and mind and change into a Buddha by practicing knowledge and wisdom together.

Dharmachakra Mudra Affirmation

While performing Dharmachakra Mudra, use the following affirmations:

  • When bringing your hands in Anjali mudra in front of your heart chakra say “Thank you universe”
  • When you make circles with fingers of both the hands and join the index finger with ring finger say “ I am in total harmony with the universe”
  • While touching the index finger of your left palm with the beginning point of the circle made by fingers of the right hand say
    “Today I am mindfully speaking each and every word”
  • Focusing on your heart chakra and say either loudly or in your mind “Today I am mindfully doing all the right actions ”

Benefits of Dharmachakra Mudra

The practitioner will witness the following benefits once they start practicing Dharmachakra mudra regularly over a period of time.

1. Brings Focus

This mudra helps the practitioner to focus better. Especially students can do this mudra for concentrating better and attaining knowledge as this mudra was done by Buddha right after he attained enlightenment.

2. Helps in Deeper Meditation

This mudra is beneficial for those who want to go deeper into meditation. This mudra helps the meditator to meditate better to reach higher levels of consciousness.

3. Brings Positive changes

It empowers the heart chakra. Focusing your breath towards the heart chakra will help in controlling the high blood pressure. It brings happiness and contentment in life.

4. Clears the Mind

Practicing this mudra helps in clearing the mind from negative thoughts. This mudra can be helpful to give relief from anxiety and depression.

5. Grounding of Energy

This mudra gives the practitioner feel connected to the cosmic energy & sense of belonging to the universe. If one is feeling lost and sad, this mudra will bring the scattered energies inward giving a sense of peace and happiness.

References

  1. Sarnath – first teaching of buddha http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhistworld/sarnath.htm
  2. Nirvana (Buddhism) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_(Buddhism)

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