Buddhist Mudras

Ushnisha-vijaya: Ushnisha-vijaya (Sanskrit), or Tsug Tor Nam Par Gyelma (Tibetan), shortened to Namgyalma, is a Buddha Mother who arises from the Buddha's Crown. The eight-armed goddess Namgyalma is one of three deities associated with longevity and the fulfillment of earthly desires. The other two are White Tara and Amitayus. She is able to bestow longevity on beings not for selfish reasons, but for the purpose of helping all others towards enlightenment. The long mantra of Namgyalma is a practice, which is very powerful not only for granting long life but also for purification.

Avalokiteshvara: The Sanskrit epithet Avalokiteshvara literally means Worldward-looking Lord. Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva Ushnisha-vijaya of compassion.Seeing this, he became sad and his head split into thousands of pieces. Amitabha Buddha put the pieces back together as a body with very many Avalokiteshvaraarms and many heads, so that he could work with myriad beings all at the same time.The most usual form of Avalokiteshvara is the four-armed form in which the white male human form is seated holding up a mala (rosary) in his upper right hand, a lotus in the upper left and a jewel in his cupped hands. His holding a white lotus flower in his second left hand symbolizes his stainless wisdom that has realized the nature of emptiness. Just as the lotus, that is rooted in mud but is not soiled by it, his pure wisdom is undefiled by the faults of the world. He is one of the most loved deities and known as Avalokiteshvara in the ancient Sanskrit language of India, as Kuan-yin in China, as Kannon in Japan.

Buddha Amitayus (Buddha Amithaba ): He is the main bodhisattva and symbolizes long life, merit and wisdom. He is seated in Virasana (crossed legs with turned out heels) with hands in Dhyanamudra (meditative gesture). He wears bracelets, armlets and large yoke collar with pectoral and sacred chain covering most of the torso. He is crowned with a tri-partite crown beginning at the hairline, and has a simplified usnisa (topknot) that ends in a smooth, conical flame. Amitayus is the principal Buddha for overcoming the power that death and ignorance have over human beings. Amitayus' body is said to be like a ruby mountain, shining like a pure jewel. He is also associated with peacocks, his throne sometimes being painted with an array of these birds as its support. Generally, he is depicted as having a red body and holding a lotus or nectar vase with his hands. The nectar vase, filled with the subtle life-energy (nectar) demonstrates the immense power of this element. He is seated on a lotus that symbolizes pure intentions of all activities.

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