Vitarka Mudra, Dambulla caves, Sri Lanka


In Buddhist iconography, mudras invoke specific aspects of Sakyamuni or other Buddhas (for example, as a teacher, protector).  In this mural at Dambulla , The Buddha is shown with His right hand in the Vitarka Mudra.

 In the Vitarka Mudra, the tips of the thumb and index finger touch each other and form a circle. The right hand is held up  and the left hand rests on  the lap. This Mudra symbolises discussion and debate, to learn and to teach . The circle stands for a never-ending flow of energy.

The palms of His hands depict one of the signs of divinity that the baby prince Siddhartha was known to have been born with – the Dharmachakra or the Wheel of Righteousness. Prince Siddhartha grew to become the Great Teacher, the Buddha.


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