What Are Some Different Buddha Postures and Their Meanings?

Some different Buddha posture, or mudras, are the Abhaya, symbolizing peaceful intentions and peacemaking, and Bhumisparsha, symbolizing the enlightenment of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree. Others include Dhyana, meaning wisdom, and Dharmachakra, symbolizing the Wheel of Dharma. Varada is a fifth mudra and it is a gesture of compassion.

The Abhaya Mudra consists of the right hand of the Buddha Statue raised with palm facing out, with the left hand down toward the hips and also facing out. It is also called "Gesture of Fearlessness" or "blessing" or "fearless mudra."

The Dharmachakra Mudra features the Buddha's thumb and index finger of both hands touching at their tips to form a circle. The circle represents the Wheel of Dharma. A variation of this is the dharmacakrapravartana, or the "Gesture of Teaching," which is a gesture of hands exhibited by Lord Buddha while preaching the first sermon in Sarnath.

The Bhumisparsha Mudra consists of the five fingers of the right hand of the Buddha reaching to touch the ground. It symbolizes enlightenment by representing Shakyamuni's victory over Mara.

The Dhyana Mudra depicts one or both hands in the lap, symbolizing wisdom, possibly accompanied by ritual objects such as an alms bowl. It is the characteristic gesture of Buddha Shakyamuni, Dhyani Buddha Amitaba and the Medicine Buddhas.