This mudra is often also referred to as the 'gesture for warding off evil'
As the Buddha is commonly seen performing Karana Mudra, it is a mudra often favoured within the Buddhist tradition. It works by removing what Buddhists refer to as 'obstacles' as well as enhancing positive emotions such as inner peace, serentiy and a deep sense of relaxation. Obstacles can include negative thoughts, anxiety, fear, anger, resentment and depression. When we remove these obstacles, we inch closer to enlightenment.
When the mind is quiet we are able to be at peace with ourselves, but to quiet the mind we have to first remove negativity. Just as we must clean the body, we must clean the mind too in order to make space for positive sensations to replace the negative ones.
To perform this mudra, bring the right hand up to the heart, palm facing forward. The ring and middle fingers fold in toward the palm centre and the thumb is used to hold them down. The index and little fingers point upwards.
Different sources describe how this mudra should be performed in varying ways. Sometimes it is performed by folding the middle finger, little finger and thumb, instead of pressing the thumb on top of the middle and ring fingers.
When practicing Karana mudra, repeat the following mantra slowly and intentionally. Allow the energy of the mudra and the power of the mantra to penetrate your body ever more deeply with each breath.
Inhale: “May obstacles be removed.”
Exhale: “May negative energy be thwarted.”
Elements: Fire & Ether.
Illustration © estudio mosa 2018