The word meaning of jnana is wisdom or knowledge; hence jnana mudra is the gesture of intuitive knowledge. Knowledge is known as Gyan in Hindi. So the name Gyan Mudra.
It is also called Dhyana mudra. Dhyana means meditation. This symbol is frequently used in meditation.
Mahabhuta (Basic elements) involved: agni (fire) and vayu (wind) in the balanced state as the tips are joined.
Read related: Mudra – The Science Of Gesture: Benefits, Types, How To Practice
Procedure of Jnana Mudra:
Sit in any comfortable posture with relaxed body and mind. Join the tips of thumb and index finger of both the hands with the palms facing downwards. Straighten the other three fingers of both the hands so that they are slightly apart and relaxed. Place the hands on the knees. Concentrate on breathing pattern.
Benefits of Gyan Mudra:
- It creates a circuit which allows the energy that would dissipate into the environment to travel back through the body and up to the brain.
- It promotes concentration
- It calms and stabilizes mind.
- Regular practice of this mudra boosts memory.
- It improves sleep
- Mudra should be practiced with both hands.
- There should be mild pressure between the touching fingers.
- Keep unused fingers reasonably straight but not rigid; as far as possible do not move the fingers or arms while practicing mudras
- The best time for the Sadhana is in the morning.
- Mudras should not be practiced for half to one hour after the meals
- Mudras can be safely practiced in 15-20 minutes sittings, 2-3 times a day or single sittings of 30 – 45 minutes.
According to Bihar school of yoga, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, explains that Jnana mudra and Chin mudra may also be practiced with the index fingers folded so that they touch the inside root of the thumbs. This variation may seem to be more secure to the beginners for prolonged periods of meditation, as the thumb and index finger tend to separate more easily when body awareness is lost.
Symbolically the middle, ring and little finger represent the three gunas(quality) of nature: sattva-luminosity and harmony; rajas-activity and creativity; and tamas-stability. These 3 states must be transcended in order to consciousness to pass through from ignorance to knowledge. The index finger represents individual consciousness, the jivatma, and the thumb symbolizes supreme consciousness.
In both jnana and chin mudra, the individual consciousness (index finger) is bowing to the supreme consciousness (thumb) acknowledging its unsurpassed power. In the practice of these mudras, the effect is very subtle and it requires great sensitivity of the practitioner to perceive the changes in consciousness.
By Dr. Smitha Bhat
Alva’s Ayurveda Medical College,
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