Dharmachakra is a Sanskrit word meaning "the wheel of dharma."
Dharmachakra Mudra, used by the Buddha during his first sermon following his enlightenment, represents the continuous flow of energy. It is considered a representation of the Buddha's teachings about the cosmic order from the heart. The teaching sets into motion the wheel of dharma. This Mudra also symbolises kalachakra, which refers to the time cycles.
To perform this Mudra, bring the tips of the thumb and index fingers of both hands together to form a circle. Keep the remaining three fingers extended. Place the hands at heart level with the left palm facing the heart and right palm facing outward.
The cycle formed with the fingers represents the wheel of dharma. The left hand, which faces the heart, represents the inner world while the right represents the surrounding world. In metaphysical terms, the circle represents the union of method and wisdom. The jewels of Buddhism, which are Buddha, dharma and sangha, are represented by the three stretched fingers of the left hand.
The middle finger of the right hand denotes the listeners of Buddha's teachings. The ring finger represents the realizers of Buddha's teachings. The little finger refers to mahayana, "the great vehicle," which is one of the branches of Buddhism.
Practicing Dharmachakra Mudra calms the mind and elevates the state of the mind to a higher plane. It also improves focus and helps to maintain positive frame of mind and should be performed as part of a meditation practice in order to maximise its benefits.
Illustration © estudio mosa 2018